Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Jan 22nd
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Home Our Founder Master's Teachings Bodhisattva Path The Way to Enjoy Life - Happiness comes from a heart full of love

The Way to Enjoy Life - Happiness comes from a heart full of love

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The Way to Enjoy Life
Happiness comes from a heart full of love
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Happiness comes from a heart full of love
The United States has been hit by historic heat waves this summer, with temperatures in 40 states soaring as high as nearly 40 degrees Celsius (104°F). As in Japan, the American government has urged people to conserve energy and restrict the use of air-conditioning.

The U.S. isn't the only place experiencing abnormal heat waves this summer. In many places around the world, it's as hot as a furnace. Blazing temperatures have led to crop failures and the deaths of livestock. Yet, despite the decrease in food production, the global population has been rising and is expected to hit 7 billion by the end of October. A food crisis seems inevitable.

Such a crisis is already occurring in North Korea. Chronic food shortages coupled with flood damage to crops have left millions of North Koreans starving. Due to the dire situation in the country, the North Korean government, which had long been reluctant to seek aid from the international community, is now asking international NGOs for help.

The situation in North Korea brought to my mind another country—Cambodia—where Tzu Chi delivered aid eight times between 1994 and 1997. During one distribution, a mother holding a thin, feeble baby came to receive rice. Her baby was running a high fever. Seeing the helpless, lifeless expression in the mother's eyes, our volunteers went up to her to see if she needed help. To their dismay, they found that the baby had died in her arms. They asked the mother if she knew her baby wasn't alive anymore, and she answered, "I know, but I cannot leave because I need to take food back to my six other children who are waiting for me at home."

How heartbreaking this story is! Our world is so full of suffering. When we see people suffering, we should realize how blessed we are and act to put our love in action. Only when all of us combine our love and kindness and give timely aid to the needy can the sorrow in the world be alleviated.

As we can see, disasters around the world are intensifying in frequency and magnitude, causing many people to suffer. However, we can help the disaster areas recover more quickly if we can rein in our wants and desires and pool our efforts and financial resources to help the victims. Sadly, many people are slow to understand this. Too many in this world cling too tightly to their selfish attitudes and continue to indulge in pleasure and excessive consumerism.

Happiness comes from a heart that is full of love and is happy to give. People who do not have love in their hearts will never be genuinely happy. Only when we can curb our desires, avoid over-indulging in enjoyment and consumerism, repent of our past wrongs, and live in vigilance and sincere piety will we help our world become a safer and more peaceful place.

The mind, the world
In mid-July, three bombings occurred in Mumbai, India, in a matter of just 15 minutes. Many people were wounded or killed. In Libya, the anti-government rebellion is becoming more and more intense. The Libyan leader, Gaddafi, has proclaimed that if rebels seize the capital, he might even use missiles and explosives to blow the city up.

How frightening the mind of a person can get! However devastating a natural disaster is, if people can help one another with love, the damage done will eventually be soothed. But if people's minds are out of balance and harmony, conflicts and wars will continually arise. The resulting calamities will never end.

Once war breaks out, famine and pestilence will follow. The sutras speak of these as "the three minor calamities," all caused by the actions of human beings. If the three minor calamities are compounded by the "three major calamities" of fire, wind, and water, which are brought about by the imbalance of nature's Four Elements, the consequences will truly be catastrophic and threaten the very survival of mankind.

That's how an evil thought in someone's mind can lead to ruin and destruction. Therefore everyone must carefully reflect on themselves and take good care of their minds.

In recent months, forest fires have raged in Russia, fueled by extreme heat waves. Because it was impossible for vehicles to reach fires in the mountains, firefighters had to climb up on their hands and knees. One firefighter said that it was very hard work. He said that crawling up the mountain was like a punishment from heaven and that humans needed to repent.

I've been urging Tzu Chi volunteers to practice repentance to purify their hearts and minds. Unexpectedly, the word "repent" also came out of the mouth of a firefighter in far-away Russia.

The first step in preventing erratic weather conditions in the world is transforming human hearts and minds. Everyone must reflect on themselves, repent, and take good care of their minds. They must lead diligent and frugal lives and clean impurities and afflictions from their minds. Only when people's hearts are full of compassion and love will nature function well in a world full of hope.


" True liberation is realized through unselfish giving for the benefit of mankind. It is also realized through the challenges of relationships with others. "
Jing-Si Aphorism

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