20210822力擔使命積善德Creating Life’s Values Through Doing Good and Developing Virtue
Listening to volunteers’ sharing, for me spiritually, this is also learning the Dharma, because all the matters in the world have to do with people. In our world, between people, there are always events and affairs; events and affairs can be seen and they might take place far away from us. Now, we are sitting in accordance to social distancing rules, and for volunteers in other countries, thought it seems like we are very far apart as they are from all around the world our hearts are very close.
Things in the world can be seen, and there are distances between them. However, the most important thing is our heart, which is where we store the Dharma. In our world, among everyone, there is the Dharma. For example, between Tzu Chi volunteers, there is the Dharma of karmic affinity. With Tzu Chi as the affinity, no matter how far apart we are, we all care about matters regarding Tzu Chi.
Tzu Chi started with just one person; it started with an initial aspiration. Because of karmic affinity, Tzu Chi started. For one, some people wanted to become my disciples, but I did not want to have disciples. Yet, at the time, my master wanted me to go to Chiayi, such was the affinity.
At the time, I had decided to go because I could not say no to my master. So, I was going to western Taiwan. At this time, three ladies came to ask to be my disciples. This was the affinity. I gave them a condition of being my disciple: you need to keep me in Hualien, with karma and affinity, it could happen, and I ended up to forever having an affinity with Hualien that cannot be undone.
This affinity will never be undone, it will always be tightly knitted, and the seeds I plant here will take root. Indeed, the seed I planted back then, became the cause, together with the location of Hualien, which provided the condition, I have a karmic affinity with Hualien. Tzu Chi has been established for 55 years; without that affinity, there might not be Tzu Chi. Therefore, we must seize affinities well.
Recently, I have been talking about the value of one’s life. When we take on a responsibility, we must give of ourselves to carry it out, and this gives us our values. Making use of our skills is creating values with our life.
Recently, I’ve been evaluating myself. What is the value of my life? At the end of one’s life one dies. Within a day, the body starts to bloat and decompose, releasing foul odor. This is why the Buddha says that filthiest thing is the human body. That’s right, it’s our body. In life, we fuss over things because we have a body. Our concept of I comes from having a body.
What does this I refer to? Because we have a body, we can say this is my view, my feelings, my thoughts, etc. If we don’t have a body, we will not give rise to any thoughts. Without our body, we cannot do anything. If we don’t seize the moment when our body is able, after the affinity has passed, we have no control over our body to do anything. Everything depends on our karmic affinities.
Volunteers, let us seize the thought of serving others. Only when we serve do we gain and develop virtue. Speaking of gain and virtue…To gain is the feelings we receive after we give of ourselves to serve. People see that we’ve taken part in a good deed and we are happy to take part in it, this happiness comes from our heart. We’re happy things go our way. We feel we’ve gained something. We say let’s do things this way, and people all work together to finish the task. This is to gain an accomplishment.
What about virtue? Virtue comes from having a kind heart, which comes from one’s spiritual cultivation. Seizing time to serve, not doing wrong deeds, and helping people gain achievements all constitute as virtue. Virtue is about doing good deeds. Virtue is having moral values and accomplishing good deeds. This is called virtue. We can feel what virtue is like for ourselves.
For other people, what they feel is their gain. We look to people of virtue and learn from them, and together, we gain the hearts of people and manpower. With people and their strength, we can have more people to do more deeds to benefit people widely around the world.
All in all, we must stand solidly on the ground and shoulder the world. Since we’re standing on the ground, we truly need to shoulder the world. The task of taking care of the world falls on people of the world. Since we’re standing on the ground, we are part of the world. When natural disasters occur in the world, we need to lend a helping hand, so the world will not collapse.
Everyone has the power to do this. Everyone, as long as we have the will to do this, we will have the strength to do it. Please be more mindful in this.