20211107盤點生命惜因緣Taking an Inventory of Our Life and Cherishing Our Affinities
Volunteers, we are happy to see one another at the annual Year-End Blessing ceremony. At this time, we are full of gratitude as we prepare to welcome the New Year. Despite the global pandemic, we have been safe and well, so, let us harbor gratitude to one another and to everyone in every second of every day.
I have been telling Tzu Chi volunteers this year that we have to take an inventory of the things we have done with our life every day. A life is valuable when one has served the world rather than what good things one has enjoyed. The good things we have enjoyed in life are not something to be bragged about. You can enjoy life because you have created blessings in your past life. Let us count our blessings. Furthermore, let us create blessings.
Lately, I’ve often talked about fireflies. Each moment they take a breath, we can see their light; such is the fireflies. They also serve as a kind of education about the environment. When we see vegetation, we get a sense that they are lives too. Look at a seed planted in the soil; it doesn’t take many days to see it sprout. After it sprouts, it will grow to be a sapling, and then a tree.
Every day, after I come out of my sleeping quarters, I spend the most of my time in a small space. I walk around and visit a big tree. I stand by it and look at it; seeing the trunk and the leaves of the tree, they are grown so well. I’ll be reminded of that, in our world, love is the same; little by little, bit by bit, small donations of 50 cents came together.
Even now, this practice has inspired many people to give of their love and connected people’s love together. Every day, I see the Dharma in this world. This morning, as I saw Buddhist elders and Dharma masters, suddenly I felt the glory of Buddhism. The Buddha came to this world. When he aspired to see outside the palace and he ventured outside, he saw the life inside and outside of the palace.
Outside the palace, he saw many people suffering from aging, illness, poverty and death. Seeing the sight of suffering such as birth, aging, illness and death, he gave rise to compassion. He asked himself, what’s the value of life? What is the value of life?
Yesterday, a volunteer said that when she learned about me wanting to build a hospital, she felt that she also wanted to help by contributing her part to lessen my load. She cut down on her family’s living expenses. She wanted to save money on food, so every day she went to the market to get discarded vegetable leaves. That was how she and her husband lived a simple life. She was very mindful in inspiring people to know about Tzu Chi.
Think about this. In Tzu Chi’s 50-plus years, because Hualien lacked medical care, this triggered me to start a free clinic service. Then, I saw that our free clinic could only treat minor illnesses. For critical illnesses, we had to send patients to big hospitals. Sometimes, in emergency situations, we had to transport patients to Taipei for treatment by flight. When this happened, it involved a lot of work.
Tzu Chi was just beginning and we didn’t have money. Yet, every time I saw people suffer, I felt for them. This was the reason that I thought about building a hospital, a project that started with no funds. With aspiration and determination in mind; I had the will and strength. With aspiration, determination and strength, I believe that my intention is selfless and that everyone has love.
By having such a faith, I started calling on people to help. It was not enough to just appeal to the public in Hualien, so I started going to places, gave Dharma talks, and gradually taught the spirit and teaching of Buddhism for people to use in their modern daily life and guided people to create blessings for the world.
As time goes by, it has been 50-plus years. Since I gave rise to the thought of building hospital, it has also been 40 years. As time keeps on going by, every second and minute has been accumulated. There are 86,400 seconds in a day and I seize and make use of every second, apart from the five hours for sleeping.
As each day starts, once my eyes are open, I’ll start to work on preparing the scheduled activities for the day. What should I do and talk about today? What direction should we head to? These are the value of our life.
Lately, I’ve been taking an inventory of my life. One day, I told myself that I have no regrets in this life. I have no regrets in this life. Now that I am advanced in age, I’ve kept reminding myself; indeed, time is running out. I remind and urge myself that never let a second go idle by. This year is Tzu Chi’s 55th year and I am still trying my best to stay healthy.
Before the tour, I’ve been practicing walking daily at the Abode in order to walk steadily. I’ve practiced this continuously, now I’ve finally taken the tour and is here to give everyone this red envelope of blessings and wisdom as I’ve done so every year to continue forming affinities with volunteers and say to everyone that I am grateful to everyone for giving themselves mindfully with love.