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Sep 17th
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Turning Vacation into Cultivation

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[Master's Teachings]
"Some greedily seek indulgence and idleness, while others are obsessed with the pursuit of fame and fortune without content; even practitioners who aspire to become a Bodhisattva will have thoughts of greed – which will extinguish their aspirations and determination.” When the heart deviates, it brings suffering to yourself and others. The Master reminded us to be constantly mindful of the movements of our mind, to keep cautiously to the right direction and practice diligently.

Right Views, Perspective and Contemplation Guide People into the World of Dharma

During the conference of the Education Mission, many professors and teachers shared their experience of studying the Water Repentance Sutra and how their inspiration in the rehearsals of sign language and formation made the Dharma presentation possible. The Master emphasized that these Dharma presentations are not performances but are dignified assemblies of the Dharma. Only when performers concentrate with their body and mind can they inspire hearts and minds. She also expressed praise and admiration for the teachers and elders who lead by example and teach children the principles of Dharma and apply them in their life. Many children who know the principles of right and wrong are able to have a calm heart and persist in vegetarian diets despite temptation; and so they influence their parents and elders to walk firmly on the right path.

"When the human hearts deviate, even by an inch, chaos arises in the world." The Master encourages us to work hard in eliminating bad habits that we have acquired in life. In our interaction with others, if we are careless in allowing these bad habits to take over, unpleasant conflicts will arise. When we notice them, we must quickly repent and apologize and resolve misunderstandings in time so as not to affect relationships.

"We must allow the water of Dharma to stay in our hearts, to cleanse us and wipe the mirror-like mind and let it be free of dust. With such a bright and clear mind, we can discern right from wrong and not deviate in our speech and action." The Master explained that every religion directs people towards faith, in the hope that everyone's heart will point to the right direction. Although Tzu Chi is based on Buddhist teachings, many followers of Christianity, Catholicism, Islam and other religions volunteer with Tzu Chi. “We should respect all religions that guide people toward goodness and realize that their essential teaching is the same. When we connect Buddha's Dharma with other religious teachings and apply skillful means to do this, we can inspire everyone to contemplate and practice them.

"'Jing Si' is practicing the right perspective and right thinking in Samadhi. With the correct perspective, we constantly remind ourselves not to deviate even in the smallest thought.” The Master explained that the “Jing Si” Dharma lineage is a holistic and comprehensive view of religion. She hopes that everyone cultivate a heart of gratitude, bring peace to their hearts and follow ethical principles in order to bring peace and harmony to our families and community.

She encourages everyone to cultivate themselves constantly. “The more we cultivate ourselves, the more we gain; the more we do not, the more we lose. We should transform vacation into cultivation, take on the responsibility of the world and give ourselves to the people of the world. With each step we take, we are not only accomplishing practice in this lifetime, we are also paving the way to practice the Bodhisattva path. I hope everyone will maintain a beautiful state of mind and behavior during the sutra rehearsal period and uphold the right perspective and thinking. The Dharma boat is setting sail. With the wind of virtue behind us, we will guide everyone to appreciate the teachings of the Buddha and appreciate the bright and beautiful Bodhisattva path.”


Jing Si aphorism
The more we cultivate, the more we gain; the more we rest, the more we lose. Let us transform vacation into cultivation and walk firmly on the path of service.

Master Cheng Yen's teaching on Mar 15, 2012
Excerpt from Tzu Chi Monthly Issue 543

Translated by: Huiying Chin