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Sunday, 08 May 2016 00:00

How Do I Repay the Kindness?

Written by  Tan Kim Hion, KL & Selangor / Translated by Tan Heang Shin

Folding her palms together, Yang Ngip May chanted the Buddha and Master’s name sincerely. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]

Having a deep gratitude for the Buddha and Tzu Chi, 48-year-old Yang Ngip May thought hard on how to reciprocate the kindness. She suddenly had an idea with the approach of the Buddha Bathing Ceremony…

Owed a debt of gratitude

At the crack of dawn on May 8, and with an excited, hopeful and grateful heart, Yang Ngip May, arrived at KL Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall to attend the Buddha Bathing Ceremony for the first time as a volunteer. She brought along her two daughters and 13 members.

During her participation in the ceremony as a public member a few years ago, she was deeply moved by the solemn atmosphere and totem formation. On this occasion, being part of the formation comprising over 4,000 volunteers, her emotion was totally different. As a volunteer this year, she felt she got closer to the Master and the Buddha at that very moment.

“Oh Buddha! With millions of prayers, with millions of wishes, with the Master’s love in mind...” When the song “Our Earnest Prayer” was played and sung, Ngip May was so touched that she could not hold back her tears.

The recitation of the Buddha and the Master’s name moved her deeply. She felt warm as if being engulfed in the Buddha’s compassion and loving-kindness. Recalling the surgery of her youngest daughter, Heu Wei Teng, Ngip May folded her palms reverently and expressed her sincerest thankfulness.

“I am so grateful with the blessings of the Buddhadharma and Tzu Chi. Thank goodness I have known Tzu Chi! Had it not been for Tzu Chi, my daughter and I would not be able to get through the most difficult time in our lives,” Ngip May remarked.

She has three children. Her youngest daughter, Wei Teng, 15, has learning difficulties hence needs constant attention. But, what worries Ngip May most is Wei Teng’s health. The latter was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 10 years old. Although she started physiotherapy back then, her condition deteriorated as she grew up.

Met Master in dreams

Ngip May chanced upon a Tzu Chi volunteer in 2012 and was invited to join the monthly Parent-child Bonding Class. It was the happiest time for Ngip May because not only did she learn about Jing Si Aphorisms, she was also convinced of a world filled with loving-kindness, having witnessed the moving stories of the caring volunteers. She also felt relieved that Wei Teng was well-loved by the volunteers and classmates.

In April last year, Ngip May noticed her daughter’s worsening condition. Volunteers then referred them to University Malaya Specialist Hospital and the doctor recommended an immediate surgery to avoid adverse effects on the heart and nerves.

Ngip May never expected Wei Teng’s condition to be so serious especially after learning the risk of paraplegia if the surgery fails. The huge surgery cost was also beyond her means. Fortunately with the doctor’s help, she managed to raise the necessary funds from public donations.

With the surgery date arranged, Ngip May, who appeared calm, was in fact very anxious deep in her heart. She was very thankful to the volunteers who gave her and Wei Teng great encouragement and well wishes.

In the class, volunteers would come forward and give her daughter a big hug, wishing her a successful operation and good health. Volunteers also visited them at home to offer their blessings and sent loving messages through the phone. All the kind words helped put her mind at ease.

Ngip May said, “Luckily we have Da Ai TV at home to listen to Master’s sermon regularly. Once, Master said, ‘Let the doctor treat the illnesses’ and that ‘parents must bless their children’. I understood immediately and thus told my daughter not to worry too much as the doctor will treat her well.”

Fearing Wei Teng’s uneasiness might affect the operation, she had often reminded the former to be brave as there were many blessings from the volunteers and the Master. Her daughter would then tell her that she was not worried at all as she had even dreamt of the Master.

Ngip May could not forget the day of the surgery. She had comforted her daughter: “Don’t worry about the pain, it is only for a short while. Don’t be afraid, there are blessings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Mummy is here with you and you will see me when you open your eyes.”

Wei Teng entered the operation theatre calmly while Ngip May waited outside chanting prayers piously. The surgery ended successfully in two hours, a much shorter time than the expected six hours. The doctor was astounded with the smoothness of the operation.

Ngip May truly believed that it must be the blessings from the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, as well as, all the well-wishes from the volunteers. She admitted that if she did not encounter Tzu Chi, she would have been very nervous and even gone to a shaman for advice.

Calmed the mind with Dharma

The experience convinced Ngip May that the Buddha’s teaching has the ability to help one maintain one’s composure. Volunteers’ blessings also brought her positive energy. To care for her daughter, she stopped participating in Tzu Chi activities. But when her daughter was back to normal, she resumed home visits and volunteers’ trainings.

Ngip May had always contemplated on ways to repay the kindness showered upon her family. Being a babysitter, she could not partake in many Tzu Chi’s activities but when the Buddha Bathing Ceremony was round the corner, she realized she could invite others to the event through the mobile phone. She could also take the opportunity to promote the bamboo banks and that all great kindness originates from small donations.

She hopes to inspire more people to be near to the Buddha’s teaching, to talk to people about Tzu Chi and the Master, as well as, to get more people to carry out Tzu Chi’s missions hence helping more people in need.

“This is one way to show my gratitude to the Buddha, Tzu Chi and Master. Thanks to the Master for establishing Tzu Chi and propagating the Buddha’s teaching. We now have a chance to learn the Dharma and hence will be able to calm and purify our mind at all times,” expressed Ngip May.

Besides bringing her daughters to the ceremony, she had brought Wei Teng for the prostrating pilgrimage on Tzu Chi 50th Anniversary. It happened to be Wei Teng’s birthday. She then shared with her daughter that children’s birthday was also the day where mothers went through great labour pains, thus it should not be celebrated as an occasion for merriment.

To Ngip May, bringing Wei Teng to the pilgrimage was the best birthday present as it gave her daughter a chance to be thankful to the Buddha and the Master.

After attending the morning session meant for the volunteers on May 8, Ngip May rushed home to fetch her members for the afternoon session of the Buddha Bathing Ceremony. On the bus, she seized the opportunity to promote Tzu Chi and the bamboo banks, as well as, encourage everyone to do good and hear the Dharma.

Ngip May found strength in the Dharma when her daughter suffered from illness. Volunteers’ blessings also brought positive energy to both of them. In return for the kindness, she came with her two daughters plus 13 members for the totem formation, and 30 friends for the bathing ceremony.

Having promoted over 40 bamboo banks so far, it is her wish to continue spreading the spirit of Tzu Chi and bamboo bank to people around her, encouraging everyone to carry out Great Love albeit a small amount of money.


Yang Ngip May brought with her 13 members and her own two daughters for the Buddha Bathing Ceremony especially for volunteers. [Photograph by Ng Min Hui]   Yang Ngip May promoted the spirit of bamboo bank to the attendees in the bus. [Photograph by Ng Min Hui]

Yang Ngip May brought with her 13 members and her own two daughters for the Buddha Bathing Ceremony especially for volunteers. [Photograph by Ng Min Hui]
Yang Ngip May promoted the spirit of bamboo bank to the attendees in the bus. [Photograph by Ng Min Hui]
Yang Ngip May thanked Master for establishing Tzu Chi and propagating the Buddha’s teaching, giving her an opportunity to learn the Dharma. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]  

Yang Ngip May thanked Master for establishing Tzu Chi and propagating the Buddha’s teaching, giving her an opportunity to learn the Dharma. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]