Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Jul 27th
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Home Our Founder Master's Teachings Miscellaneous Seize Every Second - Transforming the sutra teachings into an actual path

Seize Every Second - Transforming the sutra teachings into an actual path

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Transforming the sutra teachings into an actual path
In Keelung,Taiwan, there is a Mr. Zhu, aged 40, to whom Tzu Chi volunteers have been giving care for many years. When Mr. Zhu was young, he embraced deviant religious beliefs and became obsessed about supernatural forces. So obsessed was he that he became delusional. He developed severe auditory hallucinations and often thought people were trying to hurt him. His delusions were so real that it made him destroy his family and his neighbor’s property. Eventually his mother could no longer endure his ways, and she moved away with his younger sister.

Left on his own, Mr. Zhu’s situation deteriorated to the point that he could not take care of his daily needs. Sometimes, however, his symptoms would not be as severe, and during one of those times, when he felt very hungry, he suddenly remembered that Tzu Chi volunteers had once provided help to his family when his father was critically ill. With nowhere else to turn, he phoned the local Tzu Chi office for help.

That was in 2005. When Tzu Chi members in Keelung first visited him, they found him covered with filth and the house full of garbage. They tried to talk to him, but he ignored them. They knew it would not be easy to help him or guide him, but they didn’t have the heart to give up on him. With love, patience, and wisdom, they visited him time and again. After a time, he finally came to trust the volunteers, and he eventually agreed to let them clean his home and take him to receive psychiatric treatment.

After some effort, our volunteers found a psychiatrist that Mr. Zhu could accept. However, they were concerned that he would not take his medication as needed. So, three times a day, they would bring the medication to his house and would leave only after he had taken it.

When his condition began to improve, his mother and sister moved back home. Our volunteers continued to visit them, hoping to further help the family get back on their feet.

From all this, we can see that in life, one misguided thought can take a person down the wrong path and lead him far astray. This can be very frightening, as we can see in Mr. Zhu’s case, where he started having hallucinations and became so divorced from reality that he could no longer function day to day. At such a time, what is needed is people with the compassion and wisdom of bodhisattvas, who can guide him and help him open his heart. Then, with their upright thinking, they can gradually help him to correct his distorted views.

After around four years under the care of Tzu Chi volunteers, Mr. Zhu now is able to interact with other people, and he willingly goes with our volunteers to sort recyclables at our recycling station.

I am truly grateful to our volunteers, who serve as living bodhisattvas in this world. They not only look after their own hearts and minds, but also dedicate themselves to helping others. Without needing to be asked, they reach out to care for and guide those who are lost. With their sincere love, they win the trust of these people and become their support and refuge.

The Sutra of Innumerable Meanings says, “Be the eyes for the blind… and set right the minds of the wayward and deluded.” It also says, “Be a source of relief, protection and support.” We can see Tzu Chi volunteers living out these verses. Fearing no hardship or difficulty, they diligently give of themselves, employing both compassion and wisdom. In so doing, they have transformed the concepts within the sutras into an actual path that they walk on.

A warm bond between doctor and patient
In life, there are all kinds of suffering which we often can do little about. Sometimes, however, our unfortunate circumstances turn out to be a situation that leads to better things. One person who experienced this was a man everyone affectionately called “Uncle A-ji.”

When Uncle A-ji, 58, was a young man, he was a member of his school baseball team. When he was in his early twenties, he developed ankylosing spondylitis, a disease of the spine. In the course of 30 years, he became more and more stooped over due to the illness. To make matters worse, a stroke aggravated his condition. He had difficulty breathing and even lost consciousness several times. In October 2001, he was urgently transferred to our Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital.

I was taken aback by Uncle A-ji’s appearance the first time I saw him. His spine had curved to an angle of over 100 degrees, making him unable to raise his head, eat, or speak. His jaw touched his chest, his tongue stuck out, and as a result saliva would keep flowing out of his mouth. Unable to move about, he could only lie in bed. Seeing him like this, my heart really went out to him.

At Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, Dr. Chien Jui-teng (簡瑞騰) was able to save Uncle A-ji’s life after performing a neck operation. How to proceed with treatment, however, was a dilemma for Dr. Chien. The nature of Uncle A-ji’s condition meant a very arduous and painstaking treatment process. Should any small step go wrong, he could die. Dr. Chien felt tremendous pressure and was not sure whether to take the risk. Uncle A-ji, however, said to him, “Don’t worry, doctor. I have faith in you.” Seeing his resolve to undergo the treatment and endure whatever pain it would entail, Dr. Chien could not help but have great respect for him.

Alleviating a patient’s suffering takes not only a good relationship between doctor and patient, but also a doctor with both humanity and great skills. Besides treating Uncle A-ji like family, Dr. Chien treated his illness as his “teacher.” He continually researched Uncle A-ji’s case and devoted considerable time and effort to conducting the proper treatment. Through his efforts, Uncle A-ji is now able to lie down flat, stand up, and even walk. In essence, he has been given a new life.

Indeed, when I saw Uncle A-ji a few months later, I almost did not recognize him, so much had he changed. When he was first hospitalized, he could not talk, so the hospital staff gave him a thick notepad for him to write down what he wanted to say. When I went through the notepad, I was deeply touched by the warm interactions between the medical team and the patient. I was deeply moved by the love and care shown by our medical team.

Uncle A-ji was very grateful to Dr. Chien for freeing him from an illness that had tormented him for so long. He frequently served as a volunteer at the hospital when he returned for follow-up checkups. He even printed some name cards and used them to introduce himself to people. He told them of the treatment he had gone through in the hope of helping patients with the same condition. Uncle A-ji later moved into a nursing home in Tainan. Because there was some distance between the nursing home and Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, he could not visit the hospital as often as he wanted. Cooped up in such a small space, he began to feel depressed. Learning of this, our medical team and volunteers began caring for him again. Dr. Chien and his family also visited him. Their visits helped lift his spirits.

Our volunteers discovered that Uncle A-ji was good at drawing, so they encouraged him to draw illustrations for Jing Si Aphorisms as a way to educate children. His arms were stiff and powerless, and he had double vision caused by the stroke. Even drawing a straight line was very challenging to him. Yet he overcame his physical limitations and did his best. On April 6, he held an exhibition at Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital. He donated all the proceeds from the sale of his paintings to Tzu Chi.

When the body is ill, besides the need for good doctors, the patient also needs to have considerable willpower and inner strength—only with both can the patient complete treatment and be freed of suffering. When the mind and spirit are ill, the medicine that is needed is the Dharma. Uncle A-ji not only faced his illness with courage, but he also learned the Dharma, as we can see in his drawings. His inner strength and resilience has enabled him to live out a new life.

I truly hope that from these stories of people’s suffering, we can realize how blessed we are, and with gratitude make the most of our lives to benefit others. We must furthermore try to understand more deeply the root causes of suffering, so that we do not create more seeds of suffering through our wrong actions.

All accomplishments come from efforts accumulated through time. I am very grateful to Tzu Chi volunteers for their dedication these 43 years. With sincere love untainted by selfishness, they have given of themselves to Tzu Chi’s Four Missions and Eight Dharma Footprints. On this path, their every thought has been sincere and upright, their every step steady and solid. That is what has made possible the Tzu Chi of today, with members around the world who are living out the Tzu Chi spirit of love in their families and their societies.

Tzu Chi has now entered into its 44th year. I hope that as Tzu Chi volunteers, we will all carefully look after our hearts and minds, making sure we are indeed moving forward in our spiritual cultivation. At the same time, we must seize every second to walk on the Bodhisattva Path diligently, with solid steps, making sure that our direction is correct. Let us cultivate ourselves with a pure and uncomplicated heart and give of ourselves with gratitude. May we, with compassion and wisdom, help heal the suffering in the world. In this, let us always be mindful!

By Dharma Master Cheng Yen
Translated by Teresa Chang and Jing Si Abode Translation Team

Его "Учет продуктов питания в бюджетных учреждениях"трюмы были полны не чернокожими, а белой слоновой костью, желтым "Учет продукции на складе средствами программы 1С:Предприятие на примере ООО 'Альтаир'"золотым песком и страусовыми перьями.

Казалось, Чиун "Учет производства и реализации готовой продукции"просто вышел прогуляться.

И никто не "Учет производственное деятельности"знает, что такое Пасадена и что такое "Учет производственных запасов"Калифорния.

Уселись они прочно на "Учет производственных запасов на примере ОАО 'Ижевское'"наших местах, а теперь попробуйте заставьте-ка их "Учет производственных запасов"снова "Учет производственно-хозяйственной деятельности предприятия"убраться на "Учет производственных запасов в строительных организациях на примере 'ООО СтройДом'"свои голые горы или равнины!

Если бы я совершил что-нибудь бесчестное, "Учет производственных запасов"я бы ни за что не признался,-сказал сапер Водичка.

Даже у нас на Земле изобретение стоящее, а здесь прямо-таки бесценное.


" Making vows without taking any action is like ploughing a field without planting any seeds; so, there is no harvest to reap. This is letting opportunity pass us by. "
Jing-Si Aphorism