Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

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May 26th
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Masters Letter to Typhoon Morakot Survivors

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To dear friends affected by Typhoon Morakot,

I offer my deepest condolences for survivors of Typhoon Morakot. For those who have lost their family, friends, and communities, I offer most sincere prayers that the lost ones may peacefully transition to the next stage. For those whose houses and things have been swept away, damaged, or ruined, let us be grateful that we are still alive and well, and offer an extra hand to help those less fortunate to quickly rebuild our communities. With mutual love and support, we shall overcome these difficulties together. May we emerge awakened to Mother Nature's needs and vigilant of our individual and collective responsibility to each other and to our Earth in challenging times.

In truth, we all shared a sense of joy as well as worry from the formation of Typhoon Morakot. Before the typhoon made landfall there was hopeful anticipation that the typhoon would end the drought, yet I had prayed that people would make necessary safety preparations if the typhoon upgraded in intensity. I am deeply grateful to Tzu Chi volunteers who reminded their local community to make necessary preparations for sufficient draining and disaster prevention, including ensuring that vulnerable families had sufficient supplies, in the hopes that such preparedness would minimize suffering for potential victims. We also established a center for coordination of disaster preparedness and aid, for real-time monitoring of the typhoon conditions and disaster situation and timely relief for those affected.

On the evening of August 7, Typhoon Morakot arrived in Taiwan with severe winds and rains, followed by much destruction in the regions of Taitung, Pingtung, Kaohsiung, Tainan, Miaoli, and Hsinchu, from mudslides, bursting rivers, flooded streets, interrupted electricity, etc. Several village communities also had to evacuate their homes to reach safety amidst the constantly pouring rainfall. To those communities, I offer my deepest sympathies and concerns on behalf of all Tzu Chi people around the world. Keeping a heart of great love and great compassion, Tzu Chi volunteers have made constant relief efforts to soothe the suffering of our fellow village communities. On behalf of Tzu Chi people around the world, with a heart of utmost sincerity and faith I offer their immeasurable blessings to quickly emerge from the suffering of Typhoon Morakot.

For more than forty years, Tzu Chi Foundation has upheld the maxim of "Great love for those who bear no relation to us; great compassion as though we share the same body" and followed the simple spirit of "Overcoming difficulty through diligence and frugality". It is the mission of Tzu Chi people around the world to accompany our fellow citizens and village communities without resentment or regret and keep a heart of gratitude, respect, and love as we protect our local communities. Indeed, these have been our prayers and hopes ever since I founded Tzu Chi Foundation more than forty years ago. In this era of degenerate teachings, amidst persisting global warming, climate change and extreme weather patterns, we shall see human disasters continually occur as human hearts stubbornly wander in this ocean of suffering. I pray that every person can raise their vigilant mindfulness and together pray for all awakened beings (Buddhas) to hear, and may we also at the same time protect all of earth's beings. With mindfulness and with love, let us protect Mother Earth, the great nurturer of life, and let only virtuous thoughts stay in human hearts. Together, let us combine our efforts and collect our good thoughts to extend blessed connections. May Taiwan keep love and goodness as its treasures, and let blessings of virtue infinitely spread forth.

Master Cheng Yen
Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation

Translated by Victoria Fan

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