Master Cheng Yen hopes that the pace of mind purifying movement can be quickened as the occurrence of disasters has become more and more frequent. The course focused on helping volunteers understand the importance of inspiring more people to have good thoughts and act benevolently.
The first Jian-Xi Training Course for 2010 took place at Continuing Education Centre (Kuala Lumpur) and Pudu Activity Centre on March 7, 2010 with 23 participants from Kuala Lumpur, Klang, Melaka and Tampin.
The morning session
The training began with a walking meditation practice. For ten minutes the participants focused on the rhythm of their gentle steps, in tune with the verses of a sutra. This allowed their minds to calm down. Next a video clip on Essence of Bodhi Mind - To Change the World: Ordinary Citizens Bring Changes (an interview of the New York Times Editor with Master Cheng Yen) was played. We live in an era of many disasters, yet also of great spiritual potential. Countless "ordinary people" are being inspired for change, showing how the power of compassion can change the world. In the video clip, Master explained that the intention of recruiting donating members and volunteers is for them to understand what Tzu Chi is doing and allow them to be part of Tzu Chi in nurturing compassionate hearts.
Sister Michelle Ng shared her personal experience of walking the Tzu Chi Path. Being an English-speaking volunteer, she had not only overcome her language barrier, but also made significant progression in walking the Tzu Chi Path. The Jing Si Aphorisms not only gave her the insight into the true nature of life but also helped her in mastering the Mandarin Language. She managed to learn all the Chinese characters in the Aphorisms. She thus inspired several volunteers to take up the challenge to learn Mandarin through the Jing Si Aphorisms. Her advice to the volunteers is that all things stem from a single thought. With the right and determined mindset, we will achieve what we set out to do. The volunteers had not only benefitted from her sharing, but were also provided with a role-model for them to look up to.
Sister Tong Siew Bee shared how she became a vegetarian to overcome a health problem. She is now a healthy vegetarian and has inspired others to do the same. Vegetarianism is not only healthy; it also overcomes the problems created by meat production. Animal farming is grossly wasteful of our Earth's resources. It contributes significantly to pollution as well. Animal meat is often tainted with antibiotics, growth hormones and toxins. It is therefore not healthy for consumption.
To have a better understanding of Tzu Chi's vision and mission, the volunteers were encouraged to read more Tzu Chi's reading materials. The book "Master of Love and Mercy - Master Cheng Yen" was recommended and discussed in details.
The afternoon session
In the 2nd half of the training session, more sharing from veteran volunteers took place and one of the topics that drew much attention was on the mission and purpose of recruiting Bodhisattvas. The topic on the correlation between the recruitment of Bodhisattvas and achieving the goals of purified minds and a harmonious society was cleverly addressed by Brother Ng Yooi Boon. Whilst a donating member is inspired by good thoughts, a volunteer gets to purify his/her mind by the observance of precepts and the constant cultivation of fields of blessings through his/her participation in Tzu Chi's wholesome activities.
Sister Serena shared her experience on how she recruited a few hundred members. To recruit members is to give the opportunity for others to do good deeds and create blessings. With time and with more understanding about Tzu Chi, these members may eventually be inspired to become volunteers.
The session ended with a Question & Answers round which helped clear any doubts that the volunteers had.
It is hoped that the participants have benefitted from the course and are more determined to progress on the Path of Bodhisattva.
By Ho Wan Chin, Chiew Luang Fong & Hew Kwee Heong, Kuala Lumpur
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