Lecturer: Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Need to Recruit More Bodhisattvas (珍惜光陰勤行道)
Thank you all for coming. It is so wet and cold outside from the rain but despite that, you still came, because you know I’m here today. So, thank you.
I also thank myself and this body I have because this body enables me to do what I want to do. So, we all need to make good use of our body.
A few days ago, Mrs. Qin an elderly volunteer who used to live at the Abode returned to Hualien. I asked her if she was happy to be back.
She said, “I’m very happy.”
She still spoke with such energy and vigor.
“I’m most happy to see you, Master.” she said.
I replied, “I’m glad you’re happy. How old are you now?”
“A hundred,” she said.
I still remember not long ago, when she’d help collect my bowl after each meal. I asked her, “Do you remember how you used to collect my bowl for me?”
She said, “I’ll still do it.”
That’s what she said that day. Look at how she’s using her body to the fullest. She’s already one hundred, but she still strives to be of use. She really puts her body to good use.
While residing at the Abode, she always helped prepare vegetables with everyone. After each meal, she’d always come by to collect my bowl. She’s close to 100, but she is still so diligent. Can we be as diligent as her? (Yes).
Your “Yes” is very long;Y--e--s. Alright, I hope by drawing out your “Yes” you mean to make it last. Not a curt “Yes” which ends very quickly. Drawing out “Y--e—s” like this…… Yes, I want you to continue for a long time.
Speaking of our longtime volunteers, today I saw two senior volunteers nicknamed “Third sister” and “Big sister.” I remember “Third sister” came from a very big extended family. When one relative passed away, busloads of relatives came for the funeral. I remember she told me that she did not want to miss this opportunity to share Tzu Chi with them. So, she went onto each bus to tell her friends and family that there was a charity called Tzu Chi “Please read this Tzu Chi monthly, thank you.”
When the bus stopped at a red light, she’d ask the driver to let her off and she’s quickly go to the next bus to tell people about Tzu Chi. She did this for all the buses that were part of their funeral procession. She did not want them to miss this chance to learn about Tzu Chi. I remember this clearly.
Today, I saw her again “You haven’t changed at all,” I said “You still look so young.” In the early days, whenever I came to Taipei and travel south, she was the one who drove me. She really wanted to share Tzu Chi with people wherever she went and she seized every opportunity to inspire people. I don’t know if you all do this too?(Yes). Not many of you, I believe.
Many are satisfied with just 40 donating members. Just now, I heard that there’s a professor who often volunteers at our Neihu recycling center. At night, he goes with his wife to collect donations from 400 donating members. I was very moved to hear this. Many of you nowadays don’t make this effort to recruit donors and longtime volunteers say they already passed on their donating members to younger commissioners while younger commissioners say they are too busy to collect the donations. So, the donors are no longer involved.
Everyone, when I encouraged each volunteer to recruit one new volunteer, our volunteers from South Africa made the vow to recruit one Xieli team (20 people) per person. I told them that that’s not enough, they must recruit more than one Xieli team per person.
Our world is filled with impurities. When a person turns into a Tzu Chi volunteer, that’s one more person purified. So, I hope we can really inspire and recruit more volunteers.
I also heard sharing from volunteers. They’re doing a good job with recycling work at Neihu. Everyone in Neihu is very busy now. We are supposed to ship two containers of blankets to Jordan for the Syrian refugees. Due to the fighting in Syria, the refugees are suffering difficult conditions. Our volunteers Chiou-hwa is in Jordan. After his brother Der-Hsiung became a certified Tzu Chi volunteer a few years ago, he joined Chiou-hwa in doing relief work in Jordan.
This time, Der-Hsiung told me in detail of the plight of the Syrian refugees. They suffer deeply. He showed me a picture of a valley between two mountains. One side is Syria. The other side is Jordan. The refugees trying to escape in the trench, looked like a line of tiny ants. But the Syria government doesn’t want its people to leave the country. So, it hires foreign mercenaries to fire at the refugees. Such violence and manmade crisis is truly causing unspeakable suffering for the people in that country.
In Taiwan, you can take a day off from work to come to see me, even on a rainy day. We have a lot of freedom living in Taiwan. This makes me feel very grateful. I’m also thankful to live in these times where we can help many countries and learn about what people are going through. Through this, we can bear witness to the natural disasters and violence in this world. I this past, Tzu Chi volunteers had been to Afghanistan, Rwanda, Chechen, and Azerbaijan. These are countries where there was fighting. But our volunteers went there to distribute aid to the people. Every time they went on a mission, I worried deeply about their safety. Though they were stepping on solid ground, my heart was in mid-air. If I didn’t let them go, what about those people in need? But letting them go, I really worry for their safety. So, this is why I have a lot of pressure and worries.
Yet, those who came back from the relief missions testified to what the Buddha said about the suffering in this world. We can see so much of it now in this world. Violent conflict is truly terrible. If people’s hearts can become more peaceful, then they won’t impulsively act in violence. Once violence starts, it’s hard to stop it.
So, we have to calm and purify people’s hearts and inspire people to be volunteers. Only then can peace be brought to our world. Only then can natural disasters be eliminated. Do you understand this? (Yes).
Everyone, I hope we can really recruit more volunteers. Everyone, we have to be grateful for our good fortune and safety, not because we get to enjoy a good life but because we have the chance to do good deeds. By enjoying the good life, we’re in fact using up our blessings. We should be grateful for having a healthy body.
So, we have to quickly do Tzu Chi’s work, serve people who are in need, and inspire people to be volunteers. The people you encounter if you don’t inspire them, they won’t join us. For those who have affinities with you, if you don’t reach out to them so they have no chance to join Tzu Chi, that’s too unfortunate. You have good affinities with many people. Quickly go back to inspire them. Do you understand? (Yes). We really need to work for the common good.
(Source: Da Ai TV 人間菩提)