Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Mar 25th
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Home Our Missions Environmental Protection Implement Environmental Protection, Purify the Mind, and Hold Nature in Awe

Implement Environmental Protection, Purify the Mind, and Hold Nature in Awe

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In recent years, the global climate change has lead to increasing worldwide disasters. Through research and investigation, scientists have concluded that global warming -a result of environmental pollution associated with human civilization and industrial development- is the key factor of these catastrophes. Now the concerns becomes, how can we decrease the occurrence of these disasters? What can humans do to better protect the environment? What can we do for our next generation?

Environmental protection is the sole answer to these concerns. However, its success depends on motivating and inspiring people's compassion into action.

On August 23, 1990, Dharma Master Cheng Yen was invited by T.H. Wu Foundation, a non-profit organization, to give a three-day lecture at Taichung Shin Min Commercial & Industrial Vocational High School (Currently, Shin Min High School).  On the way to the school in the early morning, Master saw a lot of trash in the streets, left over from the night market.  Referring to the audience's clapping hands at the end of his lecture, Dharma Master Cheng Yen appealed for everyone to use their pair of encouraging hands to pick up trash, sweep the streets, and recycle so that, together, we can convert this piece of land into pure land, convert trash into gold, and convert gold into compassion.

With the encouragement of Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s words, Miss Shun-Lin Young, who lived in Taichung Fengyuan, immediately took action into promoting recycling and assisting the local Tzu Chi.  In September 1990, when Master Cheng Yen visited Tzu Chi Taichung regional offices during his island-wide tour, Miss Young explained the details of recycling activity to Master Cheng Yen.  From then on, Tzu Chi members became dedicated to the principals and mission of environmental protection-- Recycle at all corners of community and society. Promote the practice of appreciating blessings and cherishing materials.  Mobilize neighborhood to protect our mother earth.

Regardless of their age, careers and social status, and background, Tzu Chi environmental protection volunteers envision the streets as a fertile ground for spiritual cultivation.  Their selfless dedication to environmental protection manifests in their hard work and fearlessness of the dirty and messy. For that reason, Master Cheng Yen commended them as Environmental Protection Bodhisattva or Spiritually Uplifting Bodhisattva.

In addition to protection of the physical environmental, it is just as important to protect the spiritual environmental. Towards this goal, Tzu Chi promotes healthy dining habits such as eating more fruits and less meat, using communal utensils for shared dishes rather than one's own, and emphasizing proper table manners. On top of their basic dining suggestions, Tzu Chi also encourages a lifestyle of open mindedness, no afflictions, vegetarianism, courtesy and good character.

In order to spread daily awareness of environmental protection, guide others to treasure and protect our good earth, and lower the global warming impacts, Master Cheng Yen appealed the general public for their support in reducing the carbon footprint. Means to do this include living a simple lifestyle, elevating moral values, and proactively practicing self-control and courtesy.

To exercise self-control is to overcome personal temptations.  If one cannot control personal temptation and instead recklessly wastes resources, then not only does one cause harm to oneself but to Mother Earth as well. Courtesy represents the beauty among people. Courtesy can allow us to convey self-cultivation, achieve societal harmony, refine the way one carries oneself, and restore the traditional proper manners of respecting the teacher, the way, and filial piety.

 If we can realize the principals mentioned above, then the future eco-environment can likely be improved.  Gathering our loves closely, global warming and climate change can be reduced and society can be more peaceful.

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The Beauty of the Jing Si Abode


Are you prepared to put your kindness into actions and join Tzu Chi in promoting the goodness and beauty of mankind?
You are always welcome to join our Tzu Chi’s Great Love missions by becoming a member or volunteer. Please contact the Tzu Chi location near you.

" Know your blessings, cherish them and sow more blessings. "
Jing-Si Aphorism