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Home Our Founder Master's Teachings Miscellaneous Examples of Bodhisattvas - Gathering love

Examples of Bodhisattvas - Gathering love

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Gathering love
In August 2009, Typhoon Morakot devastated southern Taiwan, destroying homes in the mountains and wreaking havoc in the lowlands. The disaster shattered the hearts of many. Tzu Chi volunteers opened their arms to the survivors, provided them with a shoulder to lean on, and gave them care and support in the hope of restoring peace, stability, and hope to their lives.

Team after team of volunteers arrived at the disaster areas to help the survivors clean up. In just one short week, ravaged communities regained their vitality and vigor. The hearts of countless survivors were cheered.

To help build permanent housing for people who had lost their homes to the typhoon, Tzu Chi volunteers around the world hit the streets to solicit donations. Some braved sweltering heat, some freezing cold. They all hoped to gather love from across the globe so that those affected by the disaster could have new homes to live in as soon as possible and settle down to a new life.

Pooling together manpower and resources, Tzu Chi devoted itself to providing emergency relief and mid- and long-term assistance to survivors made homeless by Typhoon Morakot. In February 2010, the Shanlin Great Love Village in Kaohsiung was inaugurated. By late March, about 500 families had moved in. On April 19, the Xinfeng Great Love Village in Pingdong was also completed and turned over to residents.

I visited the Shanlin Great Love Village in mid-April. From a distance, I saw row after orderly row of well-built houses. Tree leaves were budding and flowers were blossoming in verdant gardens. What a beautiful scene.

Coming to the activity center in the village, I saw some aboriginal residents weaving and beading, creating traditional handiwork. Right there in front of me, a beautiful new life was unfolding. The sight filled me with emotion. It brought back the memory of countless people toiling under the hot sun and late into the night to bring into being those nice, strong houses, which are nothing short of works of art. My heart was filled with infinite gratitude to all those who contributed to make it all possible.

Drops of water form a river. In the eight months after Typhoon Morakot, Tzu Chi volunteers pooled together their bits of strength to help typhoon survivors build a future of hope. I hope that with everyone’s combined efforts, a thriving and prosperous future lies ahead of all the families in the Great Love villages.

On the second Sunday of May, we celebrate the Buddha’s birthday, Mother’s Day, and Global Tzu Chi Day. On this day, Tzu Chi volunteers around the world hold Buddha-bathing ceremonies to bring the beauty, truthfulness, and goodness of the Buddha’s teachings to the awareness of more people. The theme of this year’s Buddha-bathing ceremonies was “The Broad and Straight Bodhi Path” [“bodhi” means enlightenment]. With his pure, untainted nature, the Buddha doesn’t actually need our bathing. Instead, the ceremonies serve as a reminder to us to always keep our minds clean, pure, and unpolluted.

All the participants stand together to form the shapes of bodhi leaves. If one person doesn’t show up, the leaf will look incomplete, as if a worm had eaten a hole in it. So the beauty of the ceremony lies in the participation of everyone. It symbolizes that in the past 44 years, it has taken the love of every Tzu Chi volunteer to pave the Tzu Chi Path. This Bodhi Path cannot exist without you.

It takes everyone’s effort to make harmony prevail within a group. Without the effort of each and every member, harmony cannot come to a group. So, we must do our best to get along with others. Only when everyone works together in harmony can a group manifest its beauty.

I hope harmony can permeate society so that our world can be free of disaster. If we want that to happen, we must start by purifying our minds. If everyone can purify their mind and sincerely dedicate themselves to doing good deeds, our society will be a picture of truth, goodness, and beauty. Let us be ever more mindful.

Translated by Teresa Chang
Source: Tzu Chi Quarterly Summer 2010


" It is meaningless to demand others’ respect. Only the respect inspired by the goodness of our character is real and true. "
Jing-Si Aphorism

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