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 20110107--Aspiring to Be a Living Bodhisattva(發心立願為菩薩)

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20110107--Aspiring to Be a Living Bodhisattva(發心立願為菩薩) Empty
發表主題: 20110107--Aspiring to Be a Living Bodhisattva(發心立願為菩薩)   20110107--Aspiring to Be a Living Bodhisattva(發心立願為菩薩) Empty周日 1月 09, 2011 8:33 pm

See how the homeless in Taipei’s Wanhua District suffer from the winter cold.
Feeling for them, Tzu Chi volunteers from ZhongZheng and Wanhua Districts went to bring warmth and comfort to them in the cold of the night.
In wintry times like this, the homeless still have to sleep on floors or whatever they can find.
Unable to see them suffer like this, our volunteers went to give them care.
They gently woke the homeless, politely greeted them, and helped to wrap scarves around their necks.
They also gave out sleeping bags and other items.
Such a display of love is truly heartwarming.
But, aswe feel that Taiwan’s winter is already very tough for the homeless, we must also remember how hard it must be for the homeless in countries that are much colder than Taiwan.
How are people there to survive the cold?
So, at this time every year, no matter where it is in the world, as long as there are local Tzu Chi volunteers, they’ll brave the cold to bring care to those in need.
For example, our volunteers in South Africa also hold winter aid distributions every year.
But instead of holding it in December, they hold in June when it is winter there.
“Thank you, Tzu Chi. Thank you, Taiwan.”
“Amitabha. Thank you.”
There aren’t that many certified Tzu Chi volunteers in South Africa, but the country covers a very vast area of land and there are many people who are in deed.
So, our volunteers have recruited many locals to serve as our volunteers.
That’s why we now have many local volunteers reaching out to care for those in need and carrying out aid distributions just like what we do here in Taiwan.
One of their winter aid distributions this year was very special...
They went to give out aid to a community near a prison.
Most of the inmates of this prison they visited are not major criminals, but illegal immigrants from neighboring countries.
As they have been sent to prison, their families have been left with nowhere to go and no one to take care of them.
The warden of the prison was very compassionate as he opened up the gates to the prison and allowed us to hold the aid distribution there.
The families of the inmates were also allowed to go in.
So, there on the prison grounds, our volunteers handed out winter clothing, as well as thermal blankets, food supplies, etc.
That was indeed one of the more special winter aid distributions that we’ve held.
We saw that when they received the thermal blankets and food supplies from our Tzu Chi volunteers, they also felt the warmth of our love and so, they were very grateful.
In thr footage, we heard them say: “Thank you, Taiwan! Thank you, Tzu Chi!”
So, in a way, Tzu Chi is also helping to develop Taiwan’s diplomatic relations with every country that Tzu Chi brings relief to.
Up till now, Tzu Chi’s relief efforts have reached 72 countries and regions.
No matter which country it is, our local volunteers always tell people that they’re fron Tzu Chi Foundation in Taiwan.
That’s why people in many countries who were not aware of Taiwan before now know about Taiwan because of Tzu Chi.
So, they are grateful to Tzu Chi as well as Taiwan.
That is why we must inspire more people to become living bodhisattvas.
Although Taiwan is small, it is a place full of warmth.
This is because there are many loving and kinf-hearted people in Taiwan and through their interactions with others, they’ve been able to inspire love in more people.
(Zhang Mao-xing had always been doted on by everyone in his family since he was little.
When he was 19, he had a serious motor accident and began to use drugs.)
The brother of Zhang Mao-xing said, “When I learned that Mao-xing was using drugs, I was very shocked and concerned.”
Zhang Mao-xing said, “Every time I used drugs, I cried because I knew I had disappointed my mom and my brother.
I tried to quit, but I just couldn’t.
One time, when we were riding on the bus back home from a bowing pilgrimage we watched a video about the inauguration of Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital.
When I saw Master wave at the doctors and nurses, tears rolled down my cheeks.
I thought to myself: Maybe Master can save me.”
After having the motor accident when ha was 19, Mr. Zhang began to give up on himself.
His family loved and cared so much about him, but after the accident, he picked up many bad habits, including using drugs, and became addicted to it.
Fortunately, he came upon Tzu Chi, and it was the loving support of our volunteers that finally helped to turn him around.
Now, he serves as a living example to tell others why we must stay away from drugs and the suffering it brings.
Zhang Mao-xing said, “It was so painful that I felt like I was in hell.
I want everyone to know that you mustn’t go down this path.
I also want you all to know why I was able to change.
It was the love and kindness of Tzu Chi volunteers that softened my wayward ways.
A volunteer in Taichung once described to me what it was like to withdraw from drugs.
He said it was like having hundreds of thousands of ants crawling on his skin.
It was so painful that he felt like bashing himself against the wall.
That was how he described it, and why he couldn’t quit.
So, quitting drugs truly isn’t easy.
But these are indeed many temptations out there to lure people into it.
That is why we must take good care of our minds at all times.
Last year, Da Ai TV made two films about the stories of two drug addicts.
With the help of the Ministry of Justice, the films have been broadcast at schools and prisons to remind people of the consequences of using drugs.
The films have indeed influenced many people.
After watching the movies at school, one child said to his mother: “Mom, I’ll never use drugs.”
His mother asked him why, and he said, “It’s very painful.”
“Before, my friends and I had thought about giving it a try, because we were curious.”
His mother asked him, “How about now?”
He said, “I’ll never touch drugs because it’s not only me who will suffer.
You will also be heartbroken.”
This is how children have been influenced after seeing real-life examples of how drugs can ruin lives.
In Taichung, some of those who used drugs before are now serving as our volunteers.
Two of them even opened a vegetarian restaurant and invited their inmates in prison to work at their restaurant.
That’s how they have changed.
This is how the environment of Tzu Chi can help people transform.
Everyone, we truly must work even harder.
I’ve kept telling everyone that we must inspire more people to become living bodhisattvas and live out the Buddha’s teachings in our daily life.
The Buddha’s teachings are not meant for us to chant at temples only, but for us to practice in our everyday life.
So, we must live out the Buddha’s teachings and aspire to become living bodhisattvas.
Aspiring to become bodhisattvas is not about prostrating to the statues of Bodhisattvas.
In fact, the real Bodhisattva lies within everyone’s heart.
Only you can serve as a bodhisattva to help others.
When you reach out to those in need, you are a bodhisattva who can save others.
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