Wednesday, Aug 23rd

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Thursday, 26 March 2015 15:46

Success Comes With Sincerity and Genuine Care

Written by  Jacqueline Khoo & Siow Lee Kien / KL& Selangor / Translated by Jacqueline Khoo

Teoh Sor Hui, guide reader of the study group, explained the real definition of killing: having the intention to kill, taking the action to kill and being killed. [Photograph by Boon Wui Kong]

Tzu Chi volunteers from Central and Southern Malaysia will be staging a sutra adaptation performance on Dharma as Water in July 2015. To stage this grand Buddhist event, community volunteers have intensified their practices; and with the sutra being played repeatedly, volunteers have taken the Dharma to heart by repenting and observing vegetarianism.


 
To allow volunteers involved in the performance to fully understand the true meaning of Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance as taught by Master Cheng Yen, regular study groups have been organized at various community centres in KL & Selangor. On March 26, 2015, at a study group organized by Kota Kemuning Community Centre, Liao Shu Yu, a volunteer from the Dharma interpretation team, invited the attendees to write the names of four persons they love most on a piece of paper.
 
“First, choose the fattest person for offering.”
“Next, choose the best looking one, the oldest one and the youngest one.”
“I cannot do this, he is the person I love most.”
 
Everyone was reluctant to make the selections from their families and relatives. Through this experiential activity, everyone learnt to feel for others, and understood the importance of not serving animals as offerings.
 
“The heavenly gods normally protect all beings, but why are humans killing animals for offering, and praying to the heavenly gods for protection?” These words from Shu Yu had triggered all to rethink that all beings are equal. It is hoped that through the sutra adaptation performance of Dharma as Water, people can start practising vegetarianism and create good affinities with all beings.
 
Vow to observe precepts and refrain from killing
 
Teoh Sor Hui, the guide reader of the study group, helped everyone to gain a better understanding of the sutra through her sharing. She explained the real definition of killing: having the intention to kill, taking the action to kill and being killed. All volunteers present began reflecting on whether they had killed in the past, and by so doing, they felt deeply regretful.
 
In a hurry to leave for the Community Centre, Chua Seah Hoon saw some tasty fried fish on the dining table. Unable to resist, she ate some to satisfy her craving. With the reminder from Sor Hui, she repented in front of all present. She regretted not taking care of her mind and actions, hence creating bad affinities with others besides breaking the precepts.
 
“I vowed in front of my father-in-law’s grave that, if my husband’s business does well, I will offer a roasted pig every ‘Tomb Sweeping Day’,” said Teo Swee See, who had made the vow out of ignorance before joining Tzu Chi. Now through Master’s Dharma teachings, she has realized her wrongdoings.
 
Warm up the stomach with meals
 
The frequent sign language practices every week has created an opportunity for volunteers to gather. It also gave volunteer Chen Wen Yen the opportunity to prepare meals for her fellow spiritual friends who attend the practice sessions without proper dinner or on an empty stomach. She does not feel tired at all as long as the volunteers have more energy carrying out Tzu Chi’s activities. Her thoughtfulness has touched everyone’s heart, and motivated them to work together for the sign language performance.
 
“I only have to cook a little more for everyone to have a simple and nutritious meal,” said Wen Yen. She also made sure the menus are not repeated; and as the recent weather had been hot, she even prepared cooling soups for volunteers staying up late for work. She truly treats volunteers as family.
 
“I love Wen Yen’s watercress soup the most as it reminds me of my mother’s cooking,” expressed Ong Siew Ling, who is single and used to have her meals in restaurants. Initially, she felt shy when invited by Wen Yen for dinner. Now, she feels as if she is part of the family. She said, “I don’t have to eat out or buy takeaway, and the time saved can be used on Tzu Chi’s activities.”
 
For the past four years, Wen Yen and husband, Sia Ah Tong, have also invited married couple, Teh Kim Yuan and Khow Siew Moi for meals, thereby being their strong support to take on responsibilities in Tzu Chi’s activities.  Wen Yen treats them as family members; and they sometimes blurted out, “Our family of eight...”
 
“I find it really touching when Wen Yen prepares meals for the volunteers involved in the performance,” said Siew Ling.
 
Boxes of meals would be sent to the Community Centre for volunteers who rush over for practices after work. Wen Yen would lovingly remind them to eat first and she would even take home the empty boxes to wash, so that volunteers could save more time for rehearsals and meetings.
 
Care and love from community volunteer
 
Since Wen Yen took up the role, she always knew that Group C has the most challenges as their target for participants had fallen short. With patience and sincerity, she managed to convince experienced and potential volunteers and public members to participate.
 
Volunteer Teoh May Lee eventually joined Group C after Wen Yen’s persuasion. The latter even volunteered to arrange transport for her for every practice. When the number of participants reached the target, another problem surfaced with members quitting due to the long rehearsing time, difficult sign language and so on. Wen Yen would always plead with them to stay on with sincerity. She informed, “There are people who leave again after they come back.”
 
Before every sign language practice, Wen Yen would enthusiastically invite all members to attend. “When I heard that the WhatsApp group members did not really read the messages posted to the chat group, I then changed and sent the messages to each member personally.”
 
Once, while she was typing a message at 11 pm regarding the next sign language practice, she dozed off and her fingers accidentally deleted all the messages typed. She had to re-type the message word by word; and this accidental deletion went on a few times before she finally finished sending messages to all 45 members. Only then, she went to sleep.
 
A morning filled with happiness!
I do not want to disturb others, so I quietly send this message to you.
A gentle reminder: After a short rest, please spare some time to practise your sign language!
 
Above was the message Wen Yen sent. “When I received the message at 9 am on the second day of Chinese New Year, I was deeply touched and impressed. How slothful was I that she would even remind me to practise my sign language with more efforts,” said volunteer Siow Lee Kien, who felt ashamed.
 
As she was absent for a few joint rehearsals and practices, Wen Yen even took the effort to find out from Lee Kien if she needed any sign language practices in smaller groups. Wen Yen would also send creative messages as encouragement, as follows:
 
Good morning Group C members!
The past is gone, and today starts now. Have you taken you breakfast?
There is a note on my kitchen’s fridge that says:
March 29 (1.30pm – 3.30pm)
Our rehearsal for the 1st and 2nd song!
Please keep this in mind!
 
 
With sincere invitation and delicious meals, everyone is keen to attend the study group and daily sign language practices, thereby cleansing their minds for the sutra adaptation performance in July.
 
 
Liao Shu Yu, a volunteer in the Dharma interpretation team, guided the volunteers to think deeply and inspire everyone to follow the precepts and practise vegetarianism, so as to create good affinities with all beings. [Photograph by Boon Wui Kong]   Chua Seah Hoon repented in front of all present for eating the fried fish on her dining table before rushing to the Community Centre. She regretted not taking care of her mind. [Photograph by Boon Wui Kong]

Liao Shu Yu, a volunteer in the Dharma interpretation team, guided the volunteers to think deeply and inspire everyone to follow the precepts and practise vegetarianism, so as to create good affinities with all beings. [Photograph by Boon Wui Kong]
 
Chua Seah Hoon repented in front of all present for eating the fried fish on her dining table before rushing to the Community Centre. She regretted not taking care of her mind. [Photograph by Boon Wui Kong]
 
Teo Swee See regretted for making a vow to offer a roasted pig if her husband’s business does well. Now that she understands the Dharma, she has realized it was an incorrect belief. [Photograph by Boon Wui Kong]   Volunteers gathered at the Community Centre to practise the sutra adaptation performance. [Photograph by Boon Wui Kong]

Teo Swee See regretted for making a vow to offer a roasted pig if her husband’s business does well. Now that she understands the Dharma, she has realized it was an incorrect belief. [Photograph by Boon Wui Kong]
 
 
Volunteers gathered at the Community Centre to practise the sutra adaptation performance. [Photograph by Boon Wui Kong]
 
Chen Wen Yen prepares meal boxes at home for volunteers who rush for practices after work. [Photograph by Sia Ah Tong]   Chen Wen Yen invited Ong Siew Ling over for dinner and treated her as family. Her thoughtfulness saved Siew Ling’s eating out time, giving her more time for Tzu Chi’s activities. [Photograph by Sia Ah Tong]

Chen Wen Yen prepares meal boxes at home for volunteers who rush for practices after work. [Photograph by Sia Ah Tong]
 
 
Chen Wen Yen invited Ong Siew Ling over for dinner and treated her as family. Her thoughtfulness saved Siew Ling’s eating out time, giving her more time for Tzu Chi’s activities. [Photograph by Sia Ah Tong]