20190807恆持剎那啟悲智Learning from Past Disaster
I often remind all of you to live with vigilant care and sincere piety. See, there are truly many disasters in the world. Every day, I pay close attention to world weather conditions, seeing if there are countries affected by disasters arising from the imbalance of Nature’s four elements. This is what I’m most concerned about and pay close attention to every day.
We must pay close attention to typhoons. I remember the disastrous floods that affected Taiwan 60 years ago on August 7 and left over 600 people dead and hundreds missing. Losing their family and property, some could only seek refuge with their relatives or friends. Yet, those less fortunate were also affected by typhoons later.
In many of our disaster relief missions, we’ve met disaster survivors who told us: “We were affected by the disastrous floods on August 7, and this time, we’ve also been affected by this typhoon.” There are truly many saddening stories in this world. Do we reap what we sow? We do, indeed. So, some have been affected by one natural disaster after another and have truly experienced great suffering.
The imbalance of Nature’s elements has brought about many natural disasters, forcing people to relocate. As to that, there is truly little we can do. During my tour last time, I asked all Tzu Chi members to recall how they’d dedicated themselves to Tzu Chi’s work to transform people’s lives and contribute to society.
So, during the 31 days of my tours this time, I listened to our Tzu Chi members from one session to another. They’ve all shared their rich experiences indeed, including (Dr. Ie-Ming Shih,) a scholar who came back from the U.S. he told me that there is a part in our brains which prompts us to benefit others with compassion. I asked him immediately: :Don’t people tap into it in daily life? Since everyone can be altruistic, why is this world still in such chaos?” He replied, “Because this part of the brain can be clouded by ignorance, people seldom tap into it.”
Don’t we often see in Buddhist sutras that although we may give rise to ignorance and afflictions, we all share the same Buddha nature? We all share the same pure true nature. It is just that our true nature is clouded by ignorance and afflictions. Hasn’t this been proved by scientists? Indeed, the Buddha, the Awakened One of the Cosmos, was the first to expound this truth.
Coming to this world, the Buddha had laid out the right path in life, which is the broad and straight Bodhi Path. Didn’t I keep mentioning that we must pave the path by ourselves? Do we live out the Dharma at all times? Only by practicing the Dharma at all times can we always walk on the Bodhi Path. Otherwise, even with a slight deviation, we will end up straying from the path.
Everyone, I’d still like to remind you not to forget Tzu Chi’s history, our Tzu Chi members, and our aspirations. This should not just be a slogan. May all of you look back to the relief missions you once participated in and draw lessons from the past. Exhibitions on our relief work for the 921 Earthquake have taken place. In the exhibitions, we can see the photos of children who received our aid back then. They’ve grown up.
So, through the accumulation of time, we can accomplish many things. We can seize a moment and make it last for a lifetime. Do not think that I often share things of decades ago. It was indeed the good thought I gave rise to at a certain moment decades ago that has made Tzu Chi into what it is today.
In all, we must neither let any second slip by nor let any of our memories about Tzu Chi fade away. May you recall and share all the memorable moments of Tzu Chi so other Tzu Chi members will also recall the work they’ve carried out. May none of you ever forget such important life experiences from serving with Tzu Chi.
As expounded in the Dharma, we must cultivate flawless wisdom rather than give rise to afflictions. It is not right to harbor afflictions within. May we recall the work we’ve done and share them with everyone so our young Tzu Chi members who did not take part in our relief missions will learn about the time and the way we carried out our work.
As earthquake recur in certain areas, recently I have been watching the news daily and have learned that many earthquakes have occurred around the world over the past few days. I’m very concerned about people living on seismic zones. Apart from typhoons, may everyone also stay vigilant of earthquakes. May all of us heighten our vigilance, harbor sincere piety, and pay close attention to potential disasters. Thank you all. may you be mindful always.