Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

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May 24th
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Home Our Founder Master's Teachings Miscellaneous Walking on the Path of Compassion

Walking on the Path of Compassion

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In life, when we wish to do something for the greater good and undertake such a project, we will almost always run into obstacles and challenges. It is the norm for there to be differing opinions, for people to disagree with what we are doing, or perhaps even make unkind comments or try to deter us. These endeavors are never easy. The path is almost always rocky and treacherous.

That is my own personal experience, especially in the aftermath of the Typhoon Morakot disaster of August 2009. Seeing that many mountainous areas had been damaged to the point of no longer being safe to live in, I wished to help build a permanent housing community in the valley for the disaster survivors. Then, they can relocate to a safer area, settle down in homes they can call their own, and begin to rebuild their lives. This was my vision, but carrying it out has been neither smooth nor easy. I have met with many obstacles along the way. There were many tedious and complicated processes, as well as sudden changes of plan, as differing voices influenced the parties involved to change their minds. The journey has been one of many twists and turns.

How was I able to keep going despite it all?

I have found that in such cases, we can only go on if we can bring forth compassion, wisdom, resilience, patience, the capacity to see people's good qualities, the will to do better, and gratitude toward all.

Compassion is essential. When faced with so many setbacks and obstacles this time for our building project, it would have been so simple just to give up. But, when I thought of the survivors who months after the disaster were still taking shelter in military barracks, who cannot return to their homes for they have either been destroyed or are no longer safe to return to—how could I give up? If I were to give up, what would become of these disaster survivors? Therefore, I continued to work for my goal, facing and accepting all the challenges that came with it. When something truly is right, we should "just do it", without letting others' opinions or the difficulties involved deter us.

In fact, all these obstacles and challenges are a kind of test. They test our wisdom. When the circumstances keep changing, making it difficult to progress according to plan, that is when wisdom is needed. Only with wisdom can we find a way to overcome each and every obstacle.

These obstacles and difficulties also challenge our resilience. If we are not resilient enough, we will easily be defeated by the circumstances. We must not let our resolve be broken so easily.

At the same time, we must learn to develop a spirit of patient perseverance and equanimity. In the course of implementing our plans, we necessarily have to communicate with many parties. The process can be tedious and wearying, or even convoluted. With many differing views and opinions to deal with, the communication process can be very trying. Only if we have equanimity and patient perseverance can we face all of it and work to gradually bring everyone toward consensus.

That is also why I say that in the face of complications, we must learn to appreciate others' good qualities—for we need to learn how to shift our mentality. A perfectly simple matter often becomes very complicated when many parties are involved. When there are many complications, the only way to not get "stuck" is to shift our mindset. The only way to shift our mindset is to learn to look at people's good qualities. Doing that, I've found that everyone truly has good qualities that we can appreciate and learn from.

In addition, as we work to fulfill our goal, we must always strive to do better and seek improvement. It is not enough to simply carry out our plan; we must strive to do even better. For example, in wanting to build permanent housing for the disaster survivors of Typhoon Morakot, I do not settle for merely building them an adequate home to live in. Since I have decided to give them a home to last many generations, I must strive to make it quake-resistant and capable of withstanding strong winds, for there may be more disasters in the future due to climate change. At the same time, the home should be beautiful and the entire housing community well designed, in consideration of their needs as well as aesthetics. As many of the disaster survivors are aborigines, we also hope to build the community in a way that preserves their aboriginal culture. Therefore, even though it is already no easy undertaking to build them permanent housing, we must still aspire to do even better and give these disaster survivors the most ideal home that we can. In pursuing our goal, we must always continue to push ourselves to improve and make our work more ideal.

Lastly, in all our interactions with others, we need to have gratitude. Although our undertaking involves a difficult and complicated process, we need to always be grateful to everyone. In life, we are like a stone that can only become smooth, shiny and polished when there is another rough stone rubbing against us and wearing down our rough edges. Without this rough stone, how could our rough edges have become smooth or our surface shiny? That is why we need to be grateful toward everyone we interact with.

Indeed, when we undertake a good cause, there are many challenges and complications, and the process is arduous. What I have shared with you above is how I deal with such trying circumstances, and the attitude that sustains me.

On reflection, it is because this world is so full of problems and complicated matters that we take on the work we do. Our goal is to do good so that all people can live in peace and security; the world can be peaceful, harmonious, and without disasters; and Mother Nature can have the rest she needs to heal and recuperate. Only then can she continue to nurture and sustain all life on Earth.

But, to achieve these lofty goals, we must first overcome our own inner issues when we encounter difficulties along the way.
That is why I say:

In the face of suffering, we must nurture greater compassion.
In the face of ever-changing circumstances, we must bring forth wisdom.
In the face of difficulties, we must develop resilience.
In the face of tedious processes, we must learn patience.
In the face of complications, we must learn to appreciate others' good qualities.
In the pursuit of ideals, we must always strive to do better.
In the interactions with others, we must harbor gratitude.

If we can do all this, there is nothing we can't achieve. Everything ultimately depends on our mindset.


Teaching from Dharma Master Cheng Yen
Compiled into English by Shih De Lin*

* Shih De Lin is a monastic disciple of Dharma Master Cheng Yen who attends Dharma Master Cheng Yen's daily meetings and writes and compiles in English the teachings heard firsthand.

Чиун "Учет инвестиций в строительство"выбросил вперед руку, готовясь нанести Римо "Учет исполнительного листа на сотрудника организации"тот самый удар, в чистоте которого никто "Учет использования материалов в производстве в ООО 'Стереотип'"не мог с ним сравниться.

За "Учет итоговой прибыли и нераспределенного дохода"пропастью тускло "Учет кадров в системе 1С:Предприятие 8.2"мерцало море.

Потому что если мы "Учет капитала"не удерем, то попадем в тюрьму, "Учет капитала предприятия"ответил "Учет капитальных вложений""Учет капитала предприятия"капитала">Учет капитала"Рубин.

Телефонная система тут не вполне надежна.

Похоже, по каким-то соображениям нам не хотели немедленно прочитать приказ.

на совещание,-Джинни пригладила волосы.

 

" Learn to remain undisturbed in the tumult of people and events. Remain at peace within even when busy and occupied. "
Jing-Si Aphorism

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