Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

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Jun 16th
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Work Together to Save Lives Without Distinction

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[Master's Teachings]
“Great Healers from around the globe, every year during the time for the Moon Festival, we have the opportunity to get together. But this year, according to the weather forecast, we might not be able to see the moon on the night of the Festival. There is also a typhoon forming, and people are starting to worry about disasters caused by the wind and rain it will bring. So I wish to remind everyone to be vigilant and sincerely pious.”

In the Morning Volunteer Assembly on September 17, Dharma Master Cheng Yen reminded us to closely watch tropical storm Usagi that has just formed. During tropical cyclone Kong-rey, in late August, many people did not prepare properly, since the cyclone was only reported to be a tropical storm. However, it caused severe flooding in Southern Taiwan. Master hopes that we can all be vigilant and prepare ourselves, to reduce the possible damage from the cyclone this time.

Living a Simple Life to Reduce Natural Disasters

In Taiwan and across the world, natural disasters are the consequences of an imbalance of the four elements – air, earth, water, wind. Hurricane Ingrid and storm Manuel have caused several deaths and affected many people along both the east and west coasts of Mexico; Typhoon Man-yi has landed in middle Japan, forcing evacuations of more than 400 thousand people. The typhoon is now moving towards north-eastern Japan, causing the world to again worry about the Fukushima nuclear leak crisis. “In the United States, we see Tzu Chi volunteers distribute blankets and cash cards to residents affected by the forest fire in California that raged during July and August. Tzu Chi is working together with the Red Cross to start the aid distribution. They have already distributed to 27 families whose homes were completely destroyed by the fire.”

There are many disasters happening, but the world is also full of love. Besides bringing comfort to the victims of disasters, we also need to go back to the source. Tzu Chi volunteers are starting with education, teaching the young to “see suffering and realize their blessings.” This way, they learn to cherish goods and not to waste the planet’s resources.

Medical Professionals Cooperate to Do Good

During september 17th to 20th, more than 500 doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals volunteering with the Tzu Chi International Medical Association have come to Hualien from 21 countries and regions around the world for the annual TIMA conference. In the Morning Volunteer Assembly, the Master reviewed the loving footprints of TIMA in Taiwan, and thanked all TIMA teams for devoting themselves to serving the poor and sick with love. In TIMA, there are also non-medical volunteers that assist in free clinics. Tzu Chi commissioner Zhuang Gui-Xiang is a good example. She was touched by the work of our TIMA doctors, and vowed to recruit more doctors to join TIMA. She has been going to many hospitals and clinics to recruit members. The Master praised Ms. Zhuang, “She said that she would go to every clinic, even if she wore down her shoes! Once, she heard about a fine doctor, but his clinic was full of patients. Still, she wouldn’t give up, so she registered to see the doctor. When it was her turn, she told the doctor, ‘I’m not sick, I am here to talk to you.’”

Ms. Zhuang explained her intentions to the doctor, “I would like to invite you to join TIMA.” She was surprised by the doctor’s answer, “Ok! TIMA is a very good group, I would like to join!” After filling in the forms, the doctor said to her, “I am a Christian.” Ms. Zhuang quickly told him, “It doesn’t matter which religion you have. There are TIMA members of all different religions. But they have one thing in common: loving-kindness. The mission of every doctor is to treat the sick and the suffering.”

The Master explained, “You TIMA volunteers walk the same path. With a single mission you work together to go to mountain areas, isolated villages, and even go abroad to serve the needy. Now, when you have assembled in the Jing Si Hall, you can follow surgical simulations done on eight Silent Mentors. These Silent Mentors donated their useless cadavers for medical education, so that doctors coming to Hualien could learn from them. The Great Healers get to improve their skills, and can go back to their home countries to help patients in need. It is a cycle of love.”

Be Alert even in Celebration, Piously Pray for Safety

The TIMA members spread great, unselfish love and willingly go to distant places to serve those in need. Because all the members share the same mission, they can all assemble together at this conference. This kind of good affinity is difficult to come by.

The Moon Festival is in two days, but with Tropical Cyclone Usagi coming, the Master reminded us all to prepare ourselves with the most sincere heart.

The Master said, “I hope that every (Tzu Chi) hospital and Tzu Chi volunteers everywhere will increase their vigilance. Whatever preparations that are needed should be carefully done. I am grateful to see so many good people doing good deeds for others, working together in harmony. These are all things to be happy about. But with so many disasters happening in this world, we all need to awaken to their warning. We must seize the moment to do good deeds; if something is the right thing to do, we should just do it!”

Excerpts from Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s Speech at the Morning Volunteer Assembly on 2013/09/17
Edited by Johan Alwall