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 20171011歷盡險象度人間Seizing Our Lives to Relieve Suffering in the World

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王慮怡
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發表主題: 20171011歷盡險象度人間Seizing Our Lives to Relieve Suffering in the World   周五 10月 20, 2017 6:46 am

20171011歷盡險象度人間Seizing Our Lives to Relieve Suffering in the World

Erratic weather patterns have fueled wildfires that ravage forests in many parts of the world. Forests function as the lungs of the Earth, which is the one and only home of human beings. The wildfires have also greatly affected the Earth's ecosystems. We shouldn't think that wildfires only impact forests. They have been raging through such a vast area that buildings in residential communities have also been affected. So, we really must heighten our vigilance.

Also, earthquakes have recently hit many parts of the world. Tzu Chi members are still surveying the affected areas in Mexico in order to bring aid to those in need, some of whom are impoverished and particularyly need our help in the aftermath of the quake. Such suffering is caused by natural disasters.

Earthquakes occur as tectonic plates are still moving. We may think that the Earth's continents will always be where they are now, but in truth they are moving, albeit slowly. The Earth's continents used to be a vast single landmass. In time, they broke apart, converged, separated again, and finally drifted to their present locations as various continents and islands with oceans or seas in between. The whole process took hundreds of millions of years.

Such is a long time compared with one's lifespan, so we can't feel the Earth's continents moving. This is a truth also expounded by the Buddha. Over eons of time, everything in this world undergoes everlasting changes.

One of the Five Aggregates expoounded in Buddhist sutras is about the constant, subtle, and unseen process of change in everything of the world, be it Mother Nature or our body. For example, we age gradually, going from young to old and passing away eventually, as our body undergoes a subtle, unseen process of change. Such a process of change never stops as time flows.

So, instead of counting how much time we may still have in this life we should seize the rest of our lifetime to find life's truths and benefit all living beings through our actions because time waits for no man. That's why when we give rise to wholesome thoughts, we should take hold of them and embody them in our actions throughout our lives.

In my Dharma talk at dawn, I mentioned that about 20 years ago, Afghanistan was hit by a major quake, and Tzu Chi members risked their lives to bring medical supplies and nutritional supplements to those affected as many of them were ill and impoverished. To transport the supplies there, they took an airplane, which was full of bullet holes. In addition, while on board the plane, they saw cannons on the ground aiming at the sky.

So, they discussed whether to escape or to safeguard the relief supplies ifthe plane got shot by the cannons. They were a team of seven people, but there were only four parachutes on board. They decided to use the parachutes to safely drop the medical supplies to the needy, if necessary. See how hey prioritized the needs of those affected despite the risk they may face.

Tzu Chi members visited Afghanistan several times and could not bear to see the people and children there live in such suffering. There was a child aged five, who had to raise and care for his siblings. In him and other children, we don't see joy or innocence. All we see in them is unbearable suffering. This is how they lead their lives filled with unbeearable pain and suffering. If we didn't go to their aid, who would?

Tzu Chi members went there once and again, knowing what lay ahead was arduous and dangerous. These are part of Tzu Chi's history and the experiences of those who went there. As I mentioned in my Dharma talk, I asked if you truly understand and have faith in  the teachings of the Buddha. Can we not have faith after learning about the experiences of those who walked the path?

We should have faith the path and have firsthand experience, not to mention the Buddha's teachings. Although the time of the Buddha was ages ago, we must have unwavering faith in his teachings. If we don't go to the aid of those in need, we won't truly understand people's suffering. If we see their suffering with our own eyes, we will certainly feel their unbearable suffering as our every own.

However, is the situation in Afghanistan any better now? No ,because people there are still suffering due to many years of conflicts. I often say that we need to eradicate evil as soon as we can. We must find life's truths, live in the present, and seize time to purify people's minds so we can extend the breadth of our lives and benefit countless people living in suffering. This is truly living out the value of our lives.
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20171011歷盡險象度人間Seizing Our Lives to Relieve Suffering in the World
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