Wednesday, Aug 23rd

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 05 July 2015 13:35

The Mind Creates All

Written by  Tan Kim Hion, KL & Selangor / Translated by Chong Pei Fen

Dr Ho Gwo Fuang found “The Mind is the Source of Afflictions” a true portrayal of life. [Photograph by Ivan Ooi Yoong Seong]

A group of doctors and entrepreneurs assumed the role of painters for the scene, “The Mind is the Source of Afflictions”, in the Dharma as Water sutra adaptation performance. Through their paintings and body language, they produced pictures that illustrated human desires and the resulting afflictions.


 
Short but thought-provoking performance
 
Despite their busy schedules, more than 40 members from Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) had participated in the Dharma as Water sutra adaptation performance, with five assuming the role of painters.
 
Dr Eddie Chan, who was engaged in the Dharma Accompaniment Team, had to play dual roles following the withdrawal of one of the “painters”. He was unaware of how crucial the seemingly simple and straightforward portrayal of a painter was until early June, when Joy Lu, Chief Planner of the Dharma as Water sutra adaptation performance in Taiwan, came to Malaysia to conduct an acceptance review and highlight the significance of the painter character, whose role was to awaken the audience to their unwholesome mental factors of greed, anger, delusion, arrogance and doubt.
 
He then contemplated how he could convey the Dharma effectively through his facial expressions and body languages within three minutes. Sometimes, even after spending a long day at work, he would still practise in front of the bathroom mirror with a simple intention of creating awareness of the karmic obstacles caused by avarice.
 
Dr Eddie admitted that he used to be money-minded, but as the opportunity to partake in this performance was priceless, he paid another doctor to take over his clinic duties so that he could make time for practices.
 
He said, “Even though I play a small character on stage, I can tell that it takes tremendous effort for a minute show.”
 
Dr Eddie, who was an atheist, has experienced the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha after joining Tzu Chi and learning the Dharma. Now, he has developed a strong belief in the Karmic Law of Cause and Effect.
 
True reflection of reality
 
Dr Ho Gwo Fuang, an Oncologist with the University Malaya Specialist Centre, joined the performance at Dr Eddie’s invitation. Since early June, Dr Ho had been practising the portrayal of a painter at the KL Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall around 6-ish am daily, and would rush to work after the two-hour practice. He thoroughly enjoyed the process and was determined to present a good show.
 
Dr Ho found the scenes in “The Mind is the Source of Afflictions”, a true reflection of reality – a peaceful and unpolluted piece of land was transformed into a bustling city in humans’ relentless pursuit of materialism; people were lost in the quest for wealth and fame, and fell into misery and suffering; and eventually, all the glories came to naught and returned to a state of tranquillity.
 
He related that one night, as he returned home from a practice session, he was shocked to discover that the open space near his residence had turned into blocks of high-rise buildings. He said, “A person’s desire is truly frightening. It traps one in an endless cycle of material pursuit. The mission of the painters is to caution everyone of the source of afflictions. This is the truest and most influential in life education.”
 
Dr Ho also realized that although life is short, the Dharma can last forever to inspire and edify all beings, just as how the Dharma as Water sutra adaptation performance has served as a reminder for everyone to liberate oneself from worldly attachments and undue worries.
 
Wisdom to let go
 
Dr Andrew Tan, an Ophthalmologist who joined TIMA a year ago, was invited by his wife, a member of the Dharma Accompaniment Team, to be part of the performance.
 
When Dr Eddie approached him to portray a painter, he thought that it involved only some movements and accepted it gladly. It was only during the practices that he learnt that in addition to mastering the body languages, he also needed to synchronize his movements and expressions with three other painters, performing simultaneously on the four-sided stage.
 
Dr Andrew, who is also the Chairman of the Malaysia Medical Association (Federal Territory), said that it was always patients who listen to the doctors’ instructions. But it was not so in the performance as everyone had his/her own views and standpoints. Thus, to make the performance a success, it was essential for everyone to let go of self-attachment, humble oneself to accept constructive feedback from others and progress together as a team.
 
Despite having to dedicate a lot of time and energy for the practice sessions, which involved some extensive body movements, Dr Andrew did not complain of fatigue. Instead, he appreciated the chance for physical exercises besides mind cultivation.
 
Dr Andrew hoped that more medical professionals could join the performance, so as to expose themselves to the practice of repentance and self-cultivation.
 
A rewarding journey
 
Standing on stage, Dr Foo Seay Liang was all touched and happy. He felt that the scenes before him were an epitome of Buddhist cultivation, where the ultimate goal is to eradicate impurities of the mind and return to its intrinsic purity.
 
Everything in the universe undergoes the process of formation, existence, destruction and extinction. Likewise, we will all leave this world empty-handed. Thus, we should refrain from desire and detach ourselves from worldly possessions.
 
Dr Foo sighed that discontent leads to creation of countless karmic obstacles. He does not know what karma he had created in his past and current lives, or when he will be able to uncover his innate pure nature. But, he knows for sure that since he is blessed with the opportunity to learn the Dharma in this lifetime, he should refrain from doing evil deeds and creating unwholesome karma.
 
As coordinator for the group of doctors who portrayed painters, Dr Foo not only practised hard, but also shared with his group members about the practice of repentance and their roles.
 
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It was a rare occasion that these doctors could set aside their expertise momentarily to perform on stage. Gratified for the opportunity to purify their minds with the Dharma water, they shared in unison, “We earned it! It is all worth our while!”
 
 
The painter character illustrates the reality that greed and desire are the root causes of afflictions through body languages. [Photograph by Wong Poh Fatt]   Dr Eddie Chan practised hard with the hope of awakening the audience to the karmic obstacles resulting from our desires. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]

The painter character illustrates the reality that greed and desire are the root causes of afflictions through body languages. [Photograph by Wong Poh Fatt]
 
Dr Eddie Chan practised hard with the hope of awakening the audience to the karmic obstacles resulting from our desires. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]
 
In portraying a painter, Dr Ho Gwo Fuang realized that the Dharma can last forever to inspire and edify all beings. [Photograph by Lim Chin Tong]   Besides performing, Dr Foo Seay Liang also offered medical services to volunteers, who were unwell. [Photograph by Gan Cheah Teck]

In portraying a painter, Dr Ho Gwo Fuang realized that the Dharma can last forever to inspire and edify all beings. [Photograph by Lim Chin Tong]
 
 
Besides performing, Dr Foo Seay Liang also offered medical services to volunteers, who were unwell. [Photograph by Gan Cheah Teck]
 
Dr Foo Seay Liang appreciates the blessings to be awakened to the truth of life and purify his mind. [Photograph by Sam Pin Fook]   More than 40 TIMA members took part in the Dharma as Water sutra adaptation performance. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]

Dr Foo Seay Liang appreciates the blessings to be awakened to the truth of life and purify his mind. [Photograph by Sam Pin Fook]
 
 
More than 40 TIMA members took part in the Dharma as Water sutra adaptation performance. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]