Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

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20,000 Celebrate 46th Anniversary of Tzu Chi

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On Saturday, April 14, more than 20,000 people in 22 countries celebrated the 46th birthday of the Tzu Chi Foundation. Connected by Internet, the volunteers in 150 branches around the world prayed together for all living beings and chanted the Medicine Buddha Sutra.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen expressed her gratitude to her volunteers for their contributions over the last 46 years to help those in need. She said they had brought peace and harmony wherever they went. She encouraged everyone to continue on the bodhisattva path and bring the peace and harmony to every corner of the world.

It was on March 24, 1966 according to the lunar calendar that she founded the Buddhist Tzu Chi Merit Association in Hualien in eastern Taiwan. On this day each year since then, she has chanted the Medicine Buddha Sutra to express her gratitude to all the members of the foundation. Since then, they have carried out its international relief work in 72 countries.

The two-hour ceremony began at 9:30 A.M. Taiwan time, when Master Cheng Yen and her monastic disciples led all the participants in chanting at the Jing Si Abode. The ceremony not only expressed gratitude to all the members but also brought together the positive thoughts of everyone, in praying for harmony in the minds of people and in society and in wishing happiness to everyone.

At the same time, the volunteers held the monthly distribution, for nearly 200 care recipients who came to the Abode. This included a free clinic, a free hair cut and hair-perm, a lunch reception and distribution of goods. The volunteers treated the care recipients as members of the family, bringing warmth to the anniversary celebrations.