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Saturday, 30 April 2016 00:00

Overcame Obstacles to Finish Bowing Pilgrimage

Written by  Tham Yok Seng, Tampin / Translated by Tan Heang Shin

Tampin volunteers and public members gathered at Tampin Liaison Office for prostrating pilgrimage. [Photograph by Tay Chun Wie]

“My mind was scattered, I focused on the chanting to calm down my mind,” said Wong Yu Hoi, a Tzu Chi teenager who learnt how to tame his mind during the pilgrimage. People from all walks of life immersed themselves in the serene atmosphere. With a sincere heart amid the chanting, the participants began their pilgrimage.


It had been very dry and hot for the past few months and everyone prayed for rain. With great blessing, on the eve of the bowing pilgrimage, the rain came. At 4 am on April 30, 2016, the congregation, the young and the elderly gathered at the entrance of Tzu Chi Tampin Liaison Office.

Everyone enjoyed the fresh air while chanting the “Sutra Opening Verse”. With a calm mind, the Buddha’s name was recited and the pilgrimage began. As they proceeded, participants mindfully adjusted their pace and it resulted in a very synchronised and orderly procession.

On the road in front of the office, the path of the pilgrimage had been cleared by volunteers, hence it was free from sharp stones and objects. Still, there was little inner peace as the participant’s mind was afflicted and distracted.

Strive for improvement calmly

Wong Yu Hoi, a Tzu Chi teenager, had experienced an emotional roller coaster. “My mind was scattered, I focused on the chanting to calm down my mind. We have to work towards our aim. Even though my feet were bruised by stones, I hung on to it. That is like if we have arguments with friends, we have to learn to calm our mind and talk things through gently. I did not do well in Form 5 but after this pilgrimage, I will work harder and make sure I do well in Form 6.” He has gradually matured after many years of involvement in Tzu Chi teenage activities.

Chang Ying Ting went for National Service Training Programme together with Yu Hoi. They just finished their first month and had applied two-day leave for the pilgrimage. “I was so grateful that our leave applications were approved. After graduated from high school, my participation in Tzu Chi teenage activities had been limited. All of us will be heading to different directions after this National Service. Thus, I want to make good use of this pilgrimage to remember my days with the Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group. We used to partake in various activities and there were bound to be arguments but we had always got back to good terms. I always remind myself to stay calm as only a calm mind can help resolve issues. I have learnt a lot from Tzu Chi,” Ying Ting shared.

Well behaved throughout

Leong San Yee woke up at 4 am for the pilgrimage, her seven-year-old daughter, Chong Ying Xian wished to tag along but still lazed around. She then told her daughter, “If you are not getting up soon, mama will not wait for you.” This proved effective as her daughter immediately rushed to brush her teeth and changed her clothes.

At the pilgrimage, Ying Xian was serious and obedient. She did not make any complaint and even joined her mother for volunteers’ morning assembly session. Not only did she sit up straight and pay attention throughout, she also participated in the one-hour Medicine Sutra chanting session. San Yee shared, “This is my first participation. I learnt about the event from the Parent-child Bonding Class. I felt so calm with the recitation and was able to focus thanks to my daughter; she was so well behaved.”

The beauty of the pilgrimage stems from coordinated body and mind

Chia Chai Chua, coordinator of the event, said, “As participants were quite diverse, the movements looked messy initially. But with adjustments along the way, the procession became more organized and even displayed the overall beauty. During the kneeling and bowing, one must coordinate one’s body and mind in order to feel relax. Through the pilgrimage, it can train one’s will power to stay calm in life.”

With Tzu Chi celebrating 50th Anniversary, Tampin Liaison Office achieved an important milestone – the opening of Da Ai Kindergarten. Education is a long-term mission full of challenges hence requires an unwavering determination. Through bowing pilgrimage, one can cultivate this quality to continue to shoulder on the Education Mission.

Chang Ying Ting (2nd left) and Wong Yu Hoi (1st right) took leave from National Service Training Programme to partake in this event. [Photograph by Tay Chun Wie]   After the pilgrimage, participants tuned in to the live telecast of “Medicine Sutra” Dharma lecture. [Photograph by Tang Feng Ying]

Chang Ying Ting (2nd left) and Wong Yu Hoi (1st right) took leave from National Service Training Programme to partake in this event. [Photograph by Tay Chun Wie]
 
After the pilgrimage, participants tuned in to the live telecast of “Medicine Sutra” Dharma lecture. [Photograph by Tang Feng Ying]