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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Monday, 13 July 2015 14:23

Affinity with the Dharma Continues with Verses Rooted in the Heart

Written by  Foo Huey Sluan, Ang Siew Lee & Li Xue Li, Temerloh / Translated by Tan Heang Shin

Through participating in sutra adaptation, Chang Chia Hwee (left) learnt the Law of Karma and is able to face the reality of impermanence, turning regrets into strength. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]

At the appreciation tea party held by Tzu Chi Temerloh, participants recalled the preparation process once again. When footages of the sutra adaptation were shown, participants could not help but exclaimed joyfully, “We did it!”


 
The Dharma as Water sutra adaptation successfully concluded on July 5, 2015, with 48 volunteers and members of the public from Temerloh participated. Everyone involved was enlightened in one way or another amidst the rehearsals and preparations. In appreciation of their effort, a tea party was held on July 13 for the participants to share their experiences.
 
Touching moments
 
Volunteer Lee Sek Wan selected the song, “Walking the Path of Enlightenment Life after Life” as background music to a short video clip as a remembrance. Seventy attendees sang along. When they learnt that the video was recorded by Chew Yee Leng, deputy person-in-charge of Tzu Chi Temerloh, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, the attendees were truly grateful and deeply amazed by her perseverance.
 
When scenes of performance were shown, everyone was touched and excited. “We did it!” shouted some volunteers happily. The sign language practices were put on hold for two months due to the East Coast Flood disaster. When they resumed, they had lagged behind other community groups. As a result, they received a poor performance review compare to other teams. The facilitator of the sign language bore tremendous pressure and faced many ordeals.
 
After viewing the footage, Yee Leng told the audience, “Although I was not able to participate, I wanted to be by your side till the end and capture the precious historical moments.” No matter where the team was practising, Yee Leng was always seen recording with her phone.
 
Moving stories
 
Volunteer Wong Choy Sim went against all odds to be on stage with her eldest son, Yan Shi Sheng. “My family was not happy with our participation but I told my son to hang on and I rejoiced on my son’s determination. Not only did he become a vegetarian, he will apologize whenever he does something wrong.”
 
Choy Sim was a bad tempered person before participating in the sutra adaptation. She would take it on her children whenever she encounters unpleasant moments. But now, she would recall the verses that “being irritated often hurt others”; repent and the emotion subsides.
 
How does karma originate? Where does consciousness go?
Ignorance is a blinding darkness, cause and effect are interdependent.
 
The above verses were very meaningful to volunteer Ko Chwe Hon from Jerantut. At one of the practise sessions, Chwe Hon’s youngest son fell sick and needed treatment unexpectedly. This made her realized uncertainties and impermanence of life. She wept and said, “Like what my son said, perhaps this is a test from god!”
 
Chwe Hon had to juggle between practise sessions and caring of her son, and had to travel between Kuala Lumpur and Jerantut. She was so exhausted and fatigue that she thought of giving up. However, with encouragement from the sign language facilitators and volunteers, she carried on.
 
Feeling very grateful, she said, “I am honoured to be part of the biggest Dharma assembly in Malaysia. Seeing the jam-packed stadium made me feel excited and touched. I think it was a blessing in disguise, as I was made to repent through participation.” It was also inconceivable that her son was discharged from the hospital on the same day and hence was able to attend the Dharma assembly. She thanked everyone for the well-wishes during her son’s stay in the hospital.
 
Seventy-year-old volunteer Lee Sum Mooi was not serious in her participation at first, thinking that it was a mere sign language performance. After the first acceptance review at KL Jing Si Hall, she then realized she had to endure the long journey and hardship just to travel from Temerloh to Kuala Lumpur. For every review, the team would have to leave Temerloh early in the morning and reach home late at night.
  
She had wanted to withdraw from the event but stayed on when the sign language facilitators encouraged and accompanied her. The moment she heard the beat of the drum, she had no regrets, her efforts were worthwhile. She said, “The verse ‘speak good words and gently is like lotuses emerging from the mouth’ had influenced me greatly as I used to fight back with harsh words when I quarrel with my husband. I have learnt to be more patient and tolerant now.”
 
The spirit of determination
 
Tee Chee Yoong, a sign language facilitator, had participated with his mother, elder sister and two nieces. He thanked everyone for staying on till the very end. This serious young man remarked, “In all the six shows, I am so deeply touched I could drop my tear; every verse gives me reflection. The verses were hard to understand but through sketches and gestures, the true meaning is comprehended. It was great seeing more and more people becoming sign language facilitator. Everyone has different opinions, luckily everyone was able to cooperate and accomplish the sutra adaptation.”
 
Chang Chia Hwee, the youngest sign language facilitator, felt blessed being recommended and entrusted for the task. During the course of practice, her father passed away. She broke into tears at the sharing and after some encouragement from all, she continued, “I never thought the conversation with my dad just before I left to Jing Si Hall for acceptance review, became our last one. One week prior to the premiere, my uncle, who had agreed to attend, was admitted to hospital. Fortunately, my better understanding of the Law of Karma had helped turn these regrets into strengths.”
 
Volunteer Zhong Wen Ting was the leader for Temerloh sign language facilitating team. Although she has suffered from neck pain, she was undeterred. She shared, “To me, facilitating the sign language team is duty bound. Spreading the Dharma is indeed a heavy responsibility. But it is a rare opportunity to be able to participate.”
 
She thought of quitting due to tremendous stress and worldly matters. She said, “When my mind is calm, I thought of Master’s earnest expectation. I then ask myself, do I want to miss this? The seed of blessings is already sowed, I should treasure this divine affinity! I should turn the pressure into a test of wisdom. This is a great chance of learning, I must seize the opportunity!” Looking back at the hardships along the way, she said with sincerity, “My hearfelt thanks to all of you. Temerloh has shined, we all did it!”
 
 
Many volunteers went on stage to share their experiences. Throughout the entire practise sessions, the verses were imprinted on their mind and served as a reminder always. The session drew to a close with the song, “Walking the Path of Enlightenment Life after Life”. However the sharing sessions went on, over desserts prepared by volunteers.
 
 
Tzu Chi Temerloh held a tea party in appreciation of volunteers’ participation in the sutra adaptation. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]   Wong Choy Sim was joyful with her son’s participation and adoption of vegetarianism. These days, he would apologize when he does something wrong. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]

Tzu Chi Temerloh held a tea party in appreciation of volunteers’ participation in the sutra adaptation. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]
 
Wong Choy Sim was joyful with her son’s participation and adoption of vegetarianism. These days, he would apologize when he does something wrong. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]
 
Ko Chwe Hon felt lost when her youngest son was down with sickness. Realizing the dreadfulness of impermanence and negative karma, she felt blessed with volunteers’ company. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]   Thanks to the sutra adaptation, Teh Lay Heong has resumed her vegetarian diet and found she has less idle thoughts these days. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]

Ko Chwe Hon felt lost when her youngest son was down with sickness. Realizing the dreadfulness of impermanence and negative karma, she felt blessed with volunteers’ company. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]
 
 
Thanks to the sutra adaptation, Teh Lay Heong has resumed her vegetarian diet and found she has less idle thoughts these days. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]
 
A serious Tee Chee Yoong felt that each verse was a reflection of himself.  He was moved to tears at all the six Dharma assemblies. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]   Zhong Wen Ting had assumed the lead role of sign language facilitating team to help spread the Dharma. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]

A serious Tee Chee Yoong felt that each verse was a reflection of himself. He was moved to tears at all the six Dharma assemblies. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]
 
 
Zhong Wen Ting had assumed the lead role of sign language facilitating team to help spread the Dharma. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]