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Sunday, 09 September 2018 00:00

Passing On the Jing Si Dharma Lineage

Written by  Tzu Chi Documenting Team,KL & Selangor / Translated by Lee Hui Yieng

A total of 1,209 volunteers attended the “4-in-1 Cadre Training Camp” organized by Tzu Chi KL & Selangor. [Photograph by Lee Kok Keong]

The gist of Jing Si Dharma Lineage lies in diligence. While carrying out missions amongst the people, one cultivates inner calmness; and while helping others, one purifies one’s mind. Tzu Chi path on the other hand, advocates the practice of the Six Paramitas while serving humanity. Through these, one learns to count one’s blessings and guide others towards the right path.


Tzu Chi KL & Selangor organized a 3-day “4-in-1 Cadre Training Camp” from September 9 to 11, 2018, at KL Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall, with the theme “Passing on the Jing Si Dharma Lineage for everyone to nurture their wisdom-life with a pure heart, flourishing the Tzu Chi path for everyone to strengthen the spirit of working in unity and harmony with mutual love and concerted effort”.

Six Dharma Masters from the Jing Si Abode – Master De Rang, Master De Man, Master De Ying, Master De Yuan, Master De Kun and Master De Huang, and 16 Tzu Chi volunteers from Taiwan, came specially to pass on the Dharma Lineage to the 1,209 participants from 14 Tzu Chi Chapters in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Sabah, Sarawak and Pahang.

Setting exemplar lives

In her opening remarks, Master De Man delivered Master Cheng Yen’s acknowledgement on the efforts of the Malaysian volunteers. “You have worked hard to overcome various difficulties and willingly benefit others and relieve them of their suffering. Mind purification is not an easy feat, but you did it!”

Master De Man encouraged the participants to expedite mind purification by setting and spreading good examples. In a multi-racial country with people of different religions, Tzu Chi people have established the image of serving others with sincerity and selfless Great Love. This reflects the Buddhist teachings and fully manifests Tzu Chi’s humanistic spirit.

Master De Rang gave the first lesson on the topic “Jing Si Dharma Lineage and Tzu Chi Path”

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Master De Rang said that Jing Si Dharma Lineage is like pure water that nourishes the seeds of kindness, whilst Tzu Chi path is like the earth with countless seeds of Dharma. “The Dharma Lineage resembles Dharma water, and each thought resembles a seed that nourishes our wisdom. Master Cheng Yen has given us infinite treasures. Only by us developing wisdom through the Dharma Lineage and sowing blessings through Tzu Chi’s missions, can we cultivate both blessings and wisdom.”

In undertaking the Dharma Lineage, we cultivate sincerity, integrity, faith, and honesty; make the Four Great Vows; uphold precepts, cultivate Samadhi and wisdom; and live out the Dharma in our daily life. In walking the Tzu Chi path, we exercise loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity; and serve humanity in concrete actions. Undoubtedly, Bodhisattva Path is bound with challenges, but it is the only means to learn the Buddha’s Way and to attain Buddhahood. Master De Rang advised, “Master Cheng Yen has paved the path for us, so we must walk the path mindfully and return to our pure innate nature. It is rare to be born as a human. Hence, we should cherish this wondrous affinity and do not wait to engage in spiritual cultivation.”

Master De Rang hoped that everyone can write their own life story with love and mindfulness. The first thing to do is to develop deep faith and understanding of Buddhist teachings, and to take the teachings to heart so that we will be able to apply them at any time in our daily dealings and in face of conflicts.

Everything around us is related to time, space and people. Over 50 years ago, Master Cheng Yen started Tzu Chi alone, from a small wooden hut to an international organization today. Master De Rang hoped that everyone can seize the time and expand their space from their family to the multitude, and form good affinities with others to avoid creating hindrances in their next life.

Just like our bodies require good blood circulation to stay healthy, we need to continuously take the Dharma into our consciousness to grow in wisdom. Dharma exists everywhere in the universe, it is up to us to realize it.

Choo Mei Mei, who comes from Kuala Lumpur and works in Singapore, used to go sightseeing during holidays. But after joining Tzu Chi, she began to allocate her holidays for voluntary work at the Jing Si Abode or Tzu Chi training in Taiwan, so as to add value to her life.

This time, she seized the opportunity to attend the training camp held in Malaysia. Through Master De Rang’s talk, she could better understand that Master Cheng Yen wants her disciples to reach out to the suffering people, and she felt her heart closer to the Master’s.

She expressed, “I have learnt a lot from the camp. Although many of the contents delivered are not new to me, I have gained a better understanding and is more confident to explain about the Dharma Lineage and Tzu Chi to others.”

Mei Mei felt that Master Cheng Yen has aged and as an overseas disciple who could not serve by her side, she wished she could nurture her compassion, learn more of the Dharma, and be the Master’s eyes and hands to do what the Master wants to do and transmit the Dharma Lineage.

Sharing on Jing Si family tradition

Master De Man talked about “Jing Si Family Tradition”. When Tzu Chi was first established, the Abode faced various challenges, such as, lack of manpower, funds, land, and so on. Initially, Master Cheng Yen and a few of her followers produced an extra pair of hand-sewn baby shoes each day to fund the charity work. Later, Dharma Masters at the Abode also did various work and overcame various challenges, before extending the footsteps of Tzu Chi internationally. All these were made possible owing to the core values of Jing Si Abode, that is, practising self-discipline, diligence, frugality and endurance.

At the Abode, the principle of “a day without work is a day without meal” was upheld from the start. After the set-up of Tzu Chi, Dharma Masters at the Abode worked even harder to support its missions of Great Love. With increasing number of Tzu Chi volunteers, the Abode also takes care of all the expenses incurred by overseas volunteers during their stay at the Abode.

Now, Jing Si family tradition has spread worldwide. For example, a Myanmarese farmer, U Thein Tun, after receiving help from Tzu Chi and realizing that even the poor can help others, initiated a “rice bank” similar to Tzu Chi’s bamboo bank era. Every day before cooking, he would save a handful of rice for donation. He kept the cycle of kindness going by inspiring close to 1,000 households from 15 villages to do the same.

Likewise, from providing rice to Al-Ashriyyah Nurul Iman Islamic Boarding School in Indonesia, Tzu Chi gradually helped the school to be self-reliant by teaching the students to farm and bake. Following Haiti earthquake, volunteers from Tzu Chi USA also taught the locals to plant Moringa trees to alleviate their malnutrition problem. This not only helped to open up their hearts but also brought joy to their lives.

Master De Man said that the dining hall of the Abode was expanded to accommodate the needs of the increasing number of Tzu Chi volunteers worldwide. She advised, “The Abode does not only provide food for eating but also spiritual food. So, we must always remember the exemplary models to motivate ourselves to commit to Tzu Chi and serve humanity.”

A community leader, Nai Keng Hak, shared his thoughts after the first day’s training: “As human beings on planet Earth, we should fulfil our responsibilities. This is the spirit of Master Cheng Yen in carrying out Tzu Chi’s missions.”

He repented for his surface understanding of Tzu Chi’s voluntary work when he first joined as a volunteer. He presumed that volunteering with Tzu Chi means doing Tzu Chi’s work in Tzu Chi uniform. But as time went by, he slowly realized that what makes one a true Tzu Chi volunteer is a sincere heart of giving. He remarked that as one of the leaders in his community, he should care sincerely for fellow volunteers and put serious efforts in solving problems within the team. “The earnestness and commitment of the Taiwanese counterparts is truly worth emulating,” he said.

A steadfast living bodhisattva

As always, David Liu shared in an enlightening, yet humorous manner. He talked about the five tips to prevent one from retreating from the Tzu Chi path.

1. Maintaining one’s initial aspiration: Many volunteers were happy to give of themselves when they first joined Tzu Chi. But as the workload increases, or when faced with setbacks, they gradually lost their passion. He encouraged everyone to be vigilant while dealing with frictions in people or matters. Only when we are able to maintain our initial aspiration can we make further progress.
2. Taking the Dharma to heart: Take refuge in the Dharma and let the Dharma be our guidance. With the Dharma rooted in our hearts, we will not panic and be easily influenced by the external circumstances when faced with difficulties. As long as we maintain our pure innate nature, we will be able to see things clearly and will not lose our direction.
3. Working with joy: Only when we are able to feel the joy of doing will we continue what we are doing. Unhappiness originates from one’s own tainted mind, as all things are created by the mind. If we are irritated by others, it is because we are still lacking in moral cultivation. Transforming others can be achieved only with a joyful heart. We should always seize the moment and look forward.
4. Be diligent: A diligent person is naturally busier. But, in a busy life, it is important to identify our direction and goals. A busy man has no time for disputes. One who spends time meaningfully will not pick on other’s shortcomings. A truly diligent person is one who knows how to keep an ideal pace on the path of spiritual cultivation, is always at ease, and will not stop progressing on, or retreat from, the path.
5. Steadfast on the path of spiritual cultivation: All Tzu Chi commissioners have undergone training to develop right views and strengthen their resolve in spiritual cultivation. Only with deep faith in the Dharma can we remain steadfast on the Bodhisattva Path.

Soon Kian Heng, a leader in his community zone, learnt a lot from the speakers’ sharing, especially on the topic, “Never Retreat on the Tzu Chi Path”. He has found some ways to care for and inspire volunteers who are less active.

He mused, “First of all, we must create a family-like atmosphere so that the volunteers feel joyful at work and being cared for. Additionally, we must encourage them to listen to Master’s Dharma talks at dawn to strengthen their resolve in spiritual pursuit.”

Having found his life’s direction through Tzu Chi, Kian Heng has not only eradicated many unwholesome habitual tendencies, but also felt more and more joyful with his involvement in Tzu Chi. He even forgo his career to focus entirely on Tzu Chi in 2015. He said, “I believe in Master’s teachings. I feel more motivated as the Dharma is taken to heart.”

It is inevitable to encounter some issues while dealing with people and matters, but with Tzu Chi’s values of contentment, gratitude, understanding and tolerance, problems can be resolved. Kian Heng said, “Brother David mentioned that gratitude is the root of compassion. We must remind ourselves to always be grateful. This will prevent us from having frictions with others and over time, we will be more compassionate.”

It is hoped that everyone can learn the Dharma diligently, assimilate the teachings in their daily lives, and go a step further to spread the Dharma, benefit mankind and create a harmonious society.

 

 

Led by four Dharma Masters from Jing Si Abode, the participants kick-started the first day of the training with Dharma learning. [Photograph by Ng Shie Yuh]   The participants welcomed the Dharma Masters from the Jing Si Abode reverently before the official opening of the training camp. [Photograph by Chua Teck Ching]

Led by four Dharma Masters from Jing Si Abode, the participants kick-started the first day of the training with Dharma learning. [Photograph by Ng Shie Yuh]
 
The participants welcomed the Dharma Masters from the Jing Si Abode reverently before the official opening of the training camp. [Photograph by Chua Teck Ching]
 
Master De Rang urged the participants to cherish the affinity with Master Cheng Yen, and to listen and practise the Dharma so that the Dharma can dwell forever in this world. [Photograph by Chua Teck Ching]   With examples from life at the Jing Si Abode, Master De Man explained about the spirit of self-discipline, diligence, frugality and endurance, which is practised at the Abode since the beginning. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]

Master De Rang urged the participants to cherish the affinity with Master Cheng Yen, and to listen and practise the Dharma so that the Dharma can dwell forever in this world. [Photograph by Chua Teck Ching]
 
 
With examples from life at the Jing Si Abode, Master De Man explained about the spirit of self-discipline, diligence, frugality and endurance, which is practised at the Abode since the beginning. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]
 
Volunteer Nai Keng Hak felt that everyone living on this planet Earth should protect the Earth and benefit mankind. [Photograph by Chua Teck Ching]   Taiwanese volunteers shared about the significance of sincere companionship in recruiting and retaining volunteers. [Photograph by Chua Teck Ching]

Volunteer Nai Keng Hak felt that everyone living on this planet Earth should protect the Earth and benefit mankind. [Photograph by Chua Teck Ching]
 
 
Taiwanese volunteers shared about the significance of sincere companionship in recruiting and retaining volunteers. [Photograph by Chua Teck Ching]
 
David Liu shared some tips to remain steadfast on the Tzu Chi path. [Photograph by Ng Shie Yuh]   The participants learnt in a light and happy mood with David Liu’s sense of humour. [Photograph by Ng Shie Yuh]

David Liu shared some tips to remain steadfast on the Tzu Chi path. [Photograph by Ng Shie Yuh]
 
 
The participants learnt in a light and happy mood with David Liu’s sense of humour. [Photograph by Ng Shie Yuh]
 
The participants had a 2-way sharing with Dharma Master from the Jing Si Abode. [Photograph by Lee Kok Keong]   Volunteer Soon Kian Heng found the ways to care for and inspire the less active volunteers through the speaker’s sharing. [Photograph by Chan Boon Huat]

The participants had a 2-way sharing with Dharma Master from the Jing Si Abode. [Photograph by Lee Kok Keong]
 
 
Volunteer Soon Kian Heng found the ways to care for and inspire the less active volunteers through the speaker’s sharing. [Photograph by Chan Boon Huat]