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Special guests of Zamboanga Liaison Office, Tzu Chi volunteers:
Good day to all!
As the summer heat recedes, we now feel the coolness of autumn. The love among mankind.. it is a feeling of warmth and auspiciousness. Today is a happy occasion, as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Tzu Chi Zamboanga Liaison office. At this moment, good people fills the venue, and bodhisattvas are gathered together. Everyone is filled with joy and laughter, which is overflowing with warmness. ChengYen won’t be able to come personally to express my utmost blessings and gratitude. Through this greeting, allow me to express my gratitude towards the government and the kind hearted people who endlessly gave their support. And most of all, I would like to say thank you to all the volunteers who give every effort without expecting anything in return.
“With immesurable great vision, we alleviate suffering. With kindness and compassion, we accumulate affinity of blessings” My gratitude to the volunteer of Zamboanga. Your distance may be far away from me, but our relation as master and disciple is very special. Everyone keeps in mind to nurture a Buddha’s mind and to carry out the Master’s Mission. With inspiration and great vows, every one of you gives willingly and carry on the responsibilities happily. All these are but for the sake of allowing the seedlings of awakening be spreaded all over the land.
In the great treasury sutra of Tzu Chi, I’m delighted to see your Bodhisattvas image in responding to the suffering of the needy, whether it is the Great Love Rehabilitation and Prosthesis Manufacturing Center, or the Great Love Eye Center, through these years, you have helped many amputees who are poorIn the great treasury sutra of Tzu Chi, I’m delighted to see your Bodhisattvas image in responding to the suffering of the needy, whether it is the Great Love Rehabilitation and Prosthesis Manufacturing Center, or the Great Love Eye Center, through these years, you have helped many amputees who are poor and cataract patients who lost their sight. The Rehabilitation Center, not only fills up the missing piece of our physically disabled friends, moreover, it even provides a chance for them to work again. By training them to manufacture prosthesis, it doesn’t only provide them a livelihood skill, but it even boosts their confidence and encourage them to face the future. While the eye center, also provides a miracle to bring back vision to cataract patients who used to live life in darkness and despair. After recovering their eyesight, these people can now manage their own life, and even help support the families’ financial needs. Because of your love, every single day in their future is filled with brightness and hope.
Moreover, what’s worth everyone’s praises is that due to every firm steps of your service in dedicating to lead with love, many medical personnel and kind hearted people from local medical and charity organization came to join our medical mission and relief operations. By exemplifying the image of Kuan Yin (Avalokitesvara) Bodhisattvas great compassion in responding to alleviate suffering in every calls of distresses heard, you have provided medical attention and aid to the poor and needy. You have helped the indigent patient to eradicate physical suffering which they are incapacitated to treat themselves, and you have brought the warmth of mutual help and love to people who are in suffering. Such compassionate love in benefiting oneself and helping others is indeed a true practice of the spirit of “educating the rich and helping the poor”. Most of all it is a strong advocacy of the spirit of “great love and gratitude”.
In August last year, Taiwan was severely affected by Typhoon Morakot. Though you are miles apart from us you even showed genuine love of practicing “Compassion without Distances and Great Love Without Geographical Boundaries” by mobilizing quickly to conduct street donation drive. With humility and warm smiles, everyone assisted in accumulating every drop of kindness and blessing. From deep within my heart, Cheng Yen Thank you and 52 other countries worldwide in providing support and love. Thus, it allows us to complete Tzu Chi Great Love Villages one after another in just within one year. Thereby allowing our brothers and sisters who are affected by the typhoon to settle down and live peacefully and at the same time allow the great land and mountains where they used to live to be able to rejuvenate.
For 44 years, Tzu Chi follows the principle of serving “for the sake of Buddhism and for the sake of all being”. My gratitude to the Tzu Chi volunteers around the world in organizing the celebration of Buddha day during May of each year. This year I am delighted to see how each one of you helps in spreading the true meaning of the “Buddha Day”. By promoting mindfully, everyone sincerely invites people from different walks of life. Be it Muslims, Catholics or people from our neighborhood, people from different race or religion gathered together with Tzu Chi Bodhisattvas all over the world to celebrate this meaningful event. With solemn ceremony, sincere prayers, and with everyone in unity, all of these not just reveal the true beauty of harmony between humanity and religion, but also expresses a sense of gratitude and respect to the Buddha; moreover it purifies one’s heart from delusion and afflictions. With tears of inspiration which becomes sincere prayers, we all pray that the world be in harmony and be free from disasters, and may Heaven and the pure land be in this world.
These recent years, due to escalating effects of global warming, the four elements of earth, water, fire and wind are imbalanced. Super storms, flood, mudslide, forest fires, earthquake, and drought among other catastrophic disasters are very common. The disruption of weather starts with the disaster in man’s heart. Just because man wants to satisfy one’s desire, seeking more comfort and pleasures, it leads to the destruction of natural ecosystem, polluting the air, water source and even the land, harming earth and causing suffering amongst people. It’s really sad and unbearable. A good thing we have Tzu Chi volunteers globally who embraced the mission of alleviating suffering by having strong faith, commitment and action. These volunteers utilize immeasurable compassion and wisdom by being in unity, harmony, by loving one another and working together, to help the beings in suffering. By cherishing every time and space to serve others, Tzu Chi’s charitable footsteps has now reached 70 countries globally.
This July, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation was granted by the United Nation a special forum as the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), a special consultative status for NGO institution. To be recognized by the UN for such selfless great love spirit of Buddhism that doesn’t discriminate race and religion, is indeed a great affinity. I sincerely express gratitude to Tzu Chi volunteers across the globe for their long term service and love, which made up Tzu Chi history. After which, we carry a much heavier responsibility to spread the great love and selfless spirit of Buddhism by helping the suffering beings beyond different geographical boundaries. With firm strength, let us carry the heavy burden of this world.
“Passing on the Jing Si lineage and promoting Tzu Chi’s Dharma Path” is our common responsibility as Jing Si (Still Thoughts) disciples. Today is the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Tzu Chi Zamboanga Liaison office. It symbolizes a new milestone. I hope Tzu Chi volunteers will practice the teachings diligently with a pure undefiled mind, maintain self reflection from time to time. May you promote Tzu Chi’s teachings and path among men, by practicing compassion and great love. Most of all, I hope all of you realize the imbalance of the four elements, the impermanence and fragility of the land. And also, be aware of the accumulating karma of sentient beings and have the thought of fear that it may be too late. If only man learn to cherish resources, protect the environment and practice recycling at its source while at the same time, being vigilant and maintaining piety and goodness in one’s heart. So shall we hasten the achievement of the vision of “purifying people’s mind, bring harmony to society and eliminate disasters in this world.” I sincerely greet everyone to have everlasting and undiscriminating love, maintain a heart of gratefulness. And may all have peace, blessings and wisdom.
Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
Shih Cheng Yen, Founder
October 9, 2010