Upon arrival, the warm greetings showered by local volunteers made each individual feel as if they were “home”.
Tread the Bodhisattva Path with diligence
On the first morning at 5 am, participants made a beeline for Sutra Lecture Hall while chanting sutra verses. After listening to Master’s morning sermon, followed by breakfast, the Master of Ceremony, Xu Cui Ling opened the programme by introducing eight Dharma Masters (De Xuan, De Xin, De Shao, De Bei, De Yun, De Rang, De Yuan and De Shu), volunteers of various function groups, and participants from Vietnam, Hong Kong, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Sri Lanka, Jordan, New Zealand, China and Malaysia, which had the largest delegation.
Master De Rang spoke on the first topic “Jing Si Lineage and Tzu Chi Path”, where she retraced the history and development of Tzu Chi. Jin Jin Qing, a seasoned volunteer, then talked about the Foundation’s missions, while recounting her affinity with Tzu Chi and involvement in disaster relief. That experience had inspired her to forgo the dream of travelling the world, and set out to help the poor and relieve their suffering instead. She even sought for her children’s approval to play a more active role in Tzu Chi. The relief operation in China was particularly significant, as it paved the way for subsequent aid work in China.
Immediately after the crash of TransAsia Airways, Tzu Chi mobilized volunteers to offer care and support for the victims’ families. Among them was the mother of a crash victim from Dalian, China. With volunteers’ help, she weathered through difficult times, and went on to spread the Great Love back in Dalian. Jin Qing also stressed on the importance of recording, as it captured the stories of truth, kindness and beauty. Therefore, to spread the seeds of kindness in communities, she urged volunteers to practise the Six Perfections through home visits.
Another speaker, Chen Zi Ming from Tzu Chi Taipei, briefed the attendees on home visits, as volunteers often play a crucial role for needy families to receive help. Hence, he encouraged everyone to master the art of listening, as “listening is a form of communication” as well. Besides physical needs, their emotional well-being is equally important too. Therefore, one should strive to improve their physical and emotional well-being before addressing their living conditions and educational needs.
After lunch, the programme continued in the Sutra Lecture Hall with Master De Rang enlightening the participants with key Dharma vocabularies, such as, Three Refuges and Triple Jewels. They also learnt and practised the right way to greet and prostrate. In the International Conference Hall, there was another session on proper attire and ways to fold blanket, while four volunteers demonstrated dining etiquettes in the dining hall.
During sharing on humanity mission, Ye Su Shan, Deputy CEO of Humanity Mission was joined by her team from Da Ai TV and Da Ai e-Radio to shed light on their work and the latest Da Ai drama – “Reborn from the Dust”. Their productions have been nominated for several major awards over the years. Su Shan also talked about a management system based on precepts and love.
Dong Ying Man, producer of “Wisdom at Dawn” recollected her transformation in Da Ai TV for the past 16 years, from someone who would switch away the “Master’s Sermon” programme to assume the editing role at Da Ai TV. She also revealed an absurd incident where she was writing a script on vegetarianism while devouring chicken lunchbox. Since then, she has switched to vegetarian for good, and embraced the mission to spread wondrous Dharma.
Assistant Manager of News Division, Ren Jia Zhen shared a few notable Da Ai headlines. A recent news about a Malaysian student, who donated her liver to her teacher, had stirred up media interest in Taiwan. Hence the importance of capturing Tzu Chi’s headlines from other countries.
Manager of Internet Broadcasting Division, Chi Yun recounted the establishment of Da Ai e-Radio and their plans for the station. Another speaker, Cui Ju Fen captured the attention of the audience with various mobile applications available for download.
After having “Master’s rice dish” for dinner, the participants were divided into groups for the last programme of the day – the “Sipping Water of Wisdom” session with Dharma Masters. Seasoned volunteers were also invited to share their roles and responsibilities in Tzu Chi.
Keep up with Tzu Chi’s footstep
One particular volunteer stood out from the crowd for his resemblance to Maitreya (Laughing) Buddha.
With roles in more than ten associations, Dato’ Sri Yong Seng Yeow is an active figure within the community. Since becoming Tzu Cheng Faith Corp, he had relinquished some responsibilities to pursue a more active role in Tzu Chi.
Now he manages Tzu Chi’s public relations while working on Tzu Chi International School project. He said, “I hope to use my connections to have donations for the project qualify for tax deduction. With that, we can solicit more support for the project.”
Back on September 16, 2010, Seng Yeow was invited by Loo Leong Teck to the ground-breaking ceremony of KL Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall. Deeply moved by the beauty of Tzu Chi, he donated to become an Honorary Board Member and had participated in a few Tzu Chi activities since then. Seng Yeow repented for spending five years as a Tzu Chi trainee volunteer, as he felt donation alone would suffice back then.
Luckily with his semi-retirement, Seng Yeow was tasked to receive guests visiting Tzu Chi KL & Selangor. He was deeply moved by the volunteers’ dedication, perseverance and attention to detail, which stood in stark contrast to other charitable organizations. That had inspired him to partake more diligently, and finally, the long-awaited certification has come to fruition this year.
“Although this is my fourth trip to Taiwan this year, this one is particularly significant as I was there to receive certification from the Master,” expressed Seng Yeow.
When asked of his plan to get rid of the moustache, he loved the idea but his daughters were against it, as they have grown accustomed to his look. He admitted, “I am trying to convince them, because as a member of Tzu Cheng, I should not look too different.”
Found solace in Tzu Chi
Another participant from Tzu Chi KL & Selangor was Tan Cheoh Suan. Her affinity with Tzu Chi began when she joined the “Great Love Mothers” programme in 2011, as she was finding ways to educate her son.
During Primary 3, her son had received numerous complaints in school, from not turning in homework, to messy handwriting and poor cooperation. When Cheoh Suan traced the root cause to her lack of companionship, she promptly resigned from her job to become a full-time housewife.
“As my son’s writing was always missing a stroke, I could sense his emotional void. Although I cared for him full-time, his discontentment was evident in his action,” Cheoh Suan shared.
Having worked in a manufacturing firm before, she would apply the same management approach at home unwittingly. Cheoh Suan recollected, “I was insensitive to other people’s opinions, and my family had to listen to me. Gradually, my son grew estranged from me.”
Thankfully, her relationship with family members has improved since joining Tzu Chi, where she learnt to practise Tzu Chi’s “Four Spiritual Soup” of contentment, gratitude, understanding and accommodation.
She revealed, “Argument with my husband used to end in silent treatment, but now I have learnt to reflect on my thoughts and behaviour. Although I still lose my temper occasionally, I will explain and apologize to my children.”
After two years of volunteers’ training, Cheoh Suan was supposed to be commissioned last year but her husband was against it. She revealed, “He didn’t want me to get caught up in Tzu Chi’s activities and gatherings at night. But surprisingly, he wasn’t against it this year. I am indebted for their support, as they are my greatest motivation.”
With the aim of purifying the hearts and minds of younger generation, Cheoh Suan hopes to continue on the path of “Great Love Mothers”. The benefits of Jing Si Aphorism Teaching Method are evident in the children!
She shared, “We noticed poor behaviour and academic performance among some of the children. They had low self-esteem. When we began telling stories based on Jing Si Aphorisms to Primary 3 students, they could not sit through the lesson. But two years later, the transformation was evident. As they can feel the love and care showered by ‘Great Love Mothers’, they have transformed into well-behaved and confident children.”
When Tzu Chi KL & Selangor delegation arrived at Banqiao Jing Si Hall, the warm greetings showered by local volunteers made each individual happy to be “home”. [Photograph by Chen Xian Yuan]
Master De Rang spoke on the first topic “Jing Si Lineage and Tzu Chi Path”. [Photograph by Chen Kun Fu]
Jin Jin Qing spoke of the TransAsia Airways disaster, where Tzu Chi mobilized volunteers to offer care and support for the victims’ families. [Photograph by Chen Xian Yuan]
A seasoned Tzu Chi Taipei volunteer, Chen Zi Ming briefed the attendees on home visits, as volunteers often play a crucial role for needy families to receive help.[Photograph by Chen Kun Fu]
Attendees learnt and practised the right way to greet and prostrate. [Photograph by Chen Xian Yuan]
In the International Conference Hall, the coaches demonstrated the proper way of folding a blanket. [Photograph by Chen Qing Xiong]
Assistant Manager of News Division, Ren Jia Chen shared a few notable Da Ai headlines. [Photograph by Chen Xian Yuan]
For volunteer Yong Seng Yeow, this trip was significant as he was there to receive Master’s certification. [Photograph by Ang Cheng Peng]
For Tan Cheoh Suan (2nd left), her relationship with family members has improved since joining Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Ang Cheng Peng]