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Sunday, 23 April 2017 00:00

Resolute Every Step of the Way

Written by  Tzu Chi Documenting Team, KL & Selangor / Translated by Yip Sook Ying

Some 3,500 people performed the prostrating pilgrimage in an orderly manner. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]

In conjunction with Tzu Chi Foundation’s 51st Anniversary, Tzu Chi KL & Selangor organized a prostrating pilgrimage on April 23, 2017. It was followed by a volunteers’ training session, where Hong Jing Yuan, Head of Tzu Chi Dharma Lineage Historical Archival and Research Centre, was invited to share on the archival and spirit of Jing Si Dharma Lineage.


On April 23, 2017, some 3,500 Tzu Chi volunteers and public members assembled at KL Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall before daybreak to participate in the prostrating pilgrimage to commemorate Tzu Chi Foundation’s 51st Anniversary, as well as, honour Master Cheng Yen’s birthday. It was an occasion where everyone was filled with gratitude, recollecting what the Master had done in leading her disciples to contribute towards a peaceful and harmonious society in the past half a century.

It had been raining in the morning for days in KL, but miraculously, the weather was dry and cloudy on April 23 morning, and the air was refreshing. This spiritual assembly was truly a divine blessing.

The prostrating pilgrimage was planned back-to-back with volunteers’ training course, thus volunteers from other Tzu Chi Chapters outside Klang Valley were able to spend a meaningful day in enriching the cultivation of wisdom.

Participants included people from all walks of life, from different races and all ages ranging from 3 years of age to 80 years. The procession was magnificent, with the parade filling up the external circumference of the Jing Si Hall, portraying the eternal love of a mother hugging her child.

At 6 am, the procession was orderly arranged with ten people in a row. The crowd was silent and waited patiently for the commencement of the spiritual practice.

Following the sound of the “wooden fish” (a Dharma instrument) and the chime of the bell at 7 am after the recitation of the “Sutra Opening Verses”, 200 male volunteers led the procession to walk three steps followed with a prostration, guided by the chanting of the Buddha’s name. With gratefulness and determination, the volunteers and participants walked and performed prostration in the right order. Some were repenting while doing their prostration, some were touched by the humble prostrations, and some endured physical pain with determination to complete the walking and prostrations.

There were also some who could not kneel or prostrate because of their advanced age or physical limitations, yet they walked and bowed with sincerity.

Volunteer Chia Mui Kheng, who injured her right hand, could only prostrate with the support of her left hand. She said, “I kept telling myself that I must follow the procession because if I left, the procession would be incomplete. I must complete the solemn pilgrimage.”

Ye Jun Hui from Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association shared that the walking and prostrating was not an easy task, just like walking the Bodhisattva Path. However, one must overcome the challenges along the way and keep moving forward. It was a difficult path but it was achievable.

By 8 am, the procession reached the main entrance of the Jing Si Hall. The crowd of 3,500 people finished with a birthday wish to Master Cheng Yen. Everyone wished the Master good health and long life, and for the Master to always share the Dharma with us.

Handing down the Jing Si Dharma Lineage

After the prostrating pilgrimage, over 2,000 volunteers stayed back to attend the volunteers’ training session. The Head of Tzu Chi Dharma Lineage Historical Archival and Research Centre, Hong Jing Yuan from Taiwan, gave two lectures entitled, “Spreading Seeds of Kindness and Paving for Spiritual Cultivation” and “Mission and Conviction”.

She emphasized on the essence of the Dharma, and hoped that volunteers could understand the teachings, apply them in their daily life, and spread the teachings to others. Whilst involved in Tzu Chi work, volunteers could reach out to others and bring hope to people’s life. She said, “When you attain a peace of mind, that means you have acquired spiritual wisdom and found a path to spiritual home.”

Besides the sharing at volunteers’ training session, Jing Yuan also had a series of talks at different Tzu Chi Chapters, namely in Johor Bahru, Malacca, KL & Selangor and Singapore, to share the essence of Jing Si Dharma Lineage. Then on April 22, she shared in the Commissioners’ training course on how she got into the compilation work of the Master’s Dharma discourses and her experience in the compilation work.

In explaining “humbleness”, she said that “lowering down one’s voice” is outward bearing but “transforming the mind (by letting go the sense of self-importance)” is true spiritual cultivation. So, we should internalize the quality of being humble before we could truly translate it into action. In her sharing, her sense of humour in relating to the Master’s teachings sparked off laughter from the audience.

Her sharing session ended with a ceremony where five sets of compilation text were presented to Echo Chien, CEO of KL & Selangor, and persons-in-charge of four other Tzu Chi Chapters. She emphasized that the collection contains the essence of Jing Si Dharma lineage, and all disciples of the Master shall learn and grasp the teachings. All the commissioners present knelt down with utmost respect along with the CEO and persons-in-charge as the latter received the compilation work presented to them by Jing Yuan on behalf of the Master.

In her closing remarks, Echo Chien was grateful to have Jing Yuan deliver the lectures despite her busy schedule. As Malaysia was Jing Yuan’s first overseas stop, Echo Chien urged the volunteers to cherish the opportunity given to them to listen to the essence of the Dharma and the Master’s teachings, so that they will stay and spread for a long time.

 

Resolute in every step they took, everyone prayed sincerely for a peaceful world. [Photograph by Ch’ng Kooi Tick]   Selvin a/p Subramaniam (2nd left) from Klang was determined to perform the pilgrimage to earn blessings for the Master. She persisted and completed her pilgrimage despite not feeling well due to an empty stomach. [Photograph by How Siew Geok]

Resolute in every step they took, everyone prayed sincerely for a peaceful world. [Photograph by Ch’ng Kooi Tick]
 
Selvin a/p Subramaniam (2nd left) from Klang was determined to perform the pilgrimage to earn blessings for the Master. She persisted and completed her pilgrimage despite not feeling well due to an empty stomach. [Photograph by How Siew Geok]
 
Wong Lian Shin (1st left) participated in the prostrating pilgrimage for the first time. She wished not only for her good health, but also for the Master and her parents to be well and safe. [Photograph by Lim Kar Guan]   Tan Siew Kheng (front row, 1st left) overcame her physical obstacles to complete the prostrating pilgrimage. The accomplishment has strengthened her faith in continuing the Bodhisattva Path. [Photograph by Yong Kar Chew]

Wong Lian Shin (1st left) participated in the prostrating pilgrimage for the first time. She wished not only for her good health, but also for the Master and her parents to be well and safe. [Photograph by Lim Kar Guan]
 
 
Tan Siew Kheng (front row, 1st left) overcame her physical obstacles to complete the prostrating pilgrimage. The accomplishment has strengthened her faith in continuing the Bodhisattva Path. [Photograph by Yong Kar Chew]
 
Through the pilgrimage, Lim Kun Lian (in white pants) realized that one should face challenges in life bravely. Liao Rui Ping, who was next to him, managed to complete the pilgrimage too. [Photograph by Yong Kar Chew]   The crowd of 3,500 people finished the pilgrimage with a birthday wish to Master Cheng Yen. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]

Through the pilgrimage, Lim Kun Lian (in white pants) realized that one should face challenges in life bravely. Liao Rui Ping, who was next to him, managed to complete the pilgrimage too. [Photograph by Yong Kar Chew]
 
 
The crowd of 3,500 people finished the pilgrimage with a birthday wish to Master Cheng Yen. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]
 
Hong Jing Yuan’s humorous sharing drew much laughter from the audience, while learning the Master’s teachings. [Photograph by Lee Wei Kean]   On behalf of Master Cheng Yen, Hong Jing Yuan presented the compilation text on Jing Si Dharma Lineage to Echo Chien, CEO of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor. [Photograph by Lee Wei Kean]

Hong Jing Yuan’s humorous sharing drew much laughter from the audience, while learning the Master’s teachings. [Photograph by Lee Wei Kean]
 
 
On behalf of Master Cheng Yen, Hong Jing Yuan presented the compilation text on Jing Si Dharma Lineage to Echo Chien, CEO of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor. [Photograph by Lee Wei Kean]