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 20110401 --- Practicing Loving-kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity to Benefit All (四無量心濟蒼生)

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20110401 --- Practicing Loving-kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity to Benefit All (四無量心濟蒼生) Empty
發表主題: 20110401 --- Practicing Loving-kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity to Benefit All (四無量心濟蒼生)   20110401 --- Practicing Loving-kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity to Benefit All (四無量心濟蒼生) Empty周三 4月 13, 2011 6:38 am

Date: April 1st, 2011 (Friday)
Lecturer: Master Zheng-Yan
Subject: Practicing Loving-kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity to Benefit All 四無量心濟蒼生

We often hear people describe Australia and New Zealand as heaven on earth.
Many people say they would love to live in these two countries because of the vast land, as well as the beautiful coastlines and mountains there.
These two countries are truly surrounded by Nature’s beauty.
With good welfare systems and high standards of living, people there are able to live carefree lives.
Many people often tell me that it’s a blessing to be born in countries like that.

However, from last December to January this year, large parts of Australia were affected by floods.
The severity of the floods made it difficult for our volunteers in Australia to go survey the disaster areas.
Our volunteers in New Zealnd also pitched in to help.
But soon after that, on February 22, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand, claiming more than 180 lives.
There are still many who remain missing, and about 10,000 houses require demolition.
Our local volunteers kept communicating with local authorities to see how we could go to the disaster areas to bring relief supplies as well as comfort and care to the quake survivors.
After much effort, on March 12, we were finally able to distribute aid to the quake survivors by working with the Salvation Army in one of the severely devastated areas.

The sincere love and respect displayed by Tzu Chi volunteers during the distribution truly touched the locals deeply
So, following the distribution, we learned from the locals that there were two other devastated areas that also needed help.
So, on March 14, our volunteers went with the Salvation Army to visit these two suburbs.
Originally, there were close to 3,000 families living in the two suburbs, but after the earthquake, many houses were damaged, and those who are unable to rebuild left to stay elsewhere with friends or family.
There are now only 500 or so families living there and most of them are low-income households.
So, when our volunteers went to visit them, some of them were so moved that they burst into tears.
See how much suffering they’ve been through.

So, despite being blessed to live in such a beautiful heaven-like place, they still cannot escape from disasters.
After the quake, they have come to realize how impermanent life is and how fragile the land is.
Our Tzu Chi volunteers have truly lived out the Buddha’s teachings of loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity and overcome all challenges to bring aid to others.

During the second aid distribution a few days ago, they also called on everyone to pray for Japan.
Having been affected by an earthquake, they could understand the suffering that Japanese are going through now.
Indeed, as I have said before, the greatest beauties are held within our minds.
Be it heaven or hell, everything is created by our mind.
So, whether the world we live in is a Pure Land or not also depends on our mind.

We must further understand that one cannot attain Buddhahood in heaven because it is more difficult for the more fortunate to walk the path of cultivation.
The weathier and more blessed a place is, the better people’s lives are, and so they are unaware of the suffering in the world, let alone the impermanence of life.
That’s why it is harder for them to walk the path of cultivation unless they possess the wisdom to not be attached to their power, fame and wealth.
Aren’t our blessings just the fruits of the seeds that we had sown in our past lives?

So, as we enjoy all the blessings we have, we mustn’t think that such blessings are what we rightly deserve.
Instead, we should be grateful for all the good karmic affinities and blessings that we have.
We truly must be grateful at times because everything is possible due to the contributions made by everyone in society.
When we feel grateful, we will cherish our blessings and further work to sow more blessings.

Moreover, since we have the affinities to come across the Dharma, we must put it into practice by doing good.
Only then can we share with others the Dharma we’ve learned.
When we’ve received the Dharma, we must share it with others.
As I often say, we must care for others with loving-kindness and feel others’ suffering as our very own.
Our loving-kindness should be as immeasurable as the endless void so that everyone in the world can bask in it and live in blessing, peace and safety.

That’s how broad our loving-kindness should be in order to benefit everyone in the world.
We must also work hard to form good affinities with more people
Before we can attain Buddhahood, we must first form good affinities with people around us.
For people to accept the Dharma that we share with them, we must have good affinities with them.
And, to form good affinities with more people, we must practice loving speech, and beneficial actions.
That is how we can form good affinities with others.
We must further feel others’ suffering as our very own.
That’s how immeasurable our compassion should be.
Just as Mother Earth willingly sustains all living things on her, we must feel for the suffering and be as generous and accommodating as Mother Earth.
On then will we be able to feel for everyone in the world, including you, him, and numerous people in the world.
This is because we do not differentiate between race, religion, or nationality.
Moreover, we must also inspire people to walk the path with us.
As we are giving of ourselves to care for suffering, we must also inspire them to give rise to a heart of great compassion.

Everyone, in learning the Buddha’s way, we must practice great loving-kindness and compassion.
Only then can more people be inspired to work together for the sake of relieving suffering in the world and caring for our wounded Mother Earth.
This is what we must work hard to do now.

We see that Thailand is being devastated by floods that have affected ten provinces in southern Thailand.
The condition is truly very worrying.
Everyone, we should not go sightseeing anymore but use the time to do good.
Tzu Chi volunteers in Thailand have had a meeting to discuss how they can help.
But, many roads have been blocked as the flooded area is very extensive.
All in all, there is indeed much suffering in the world.
Please be mindful in practice loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity by caring for everyone like our family and feeling for their suffering as our own.

(Source: Da Ai TV 人間菩提)
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