With One Thought of Reverence, Everything Can be Accomplished

National Headquarters  |  August 24, 2023

Teachings by Dharma Master Cheng Yen
Translated by Dharma as Water Dev. Dept, Tzu Chi USA

Reverence and faith can be expressed in one word, “love.” Every day,  I call on everyone to reverently pray for peace in the world and work  to eliminate disasters with mindfulness and love. When everyone can  move forward in the right direction with one heart, and this positive  energy can remain on the right track, this is the way of reverence. 

A religion with right faith requires everyone’s reverence. 

Although Tzu Chi volunteers have different religious faiths, in Tzu  Chi, we come together with sincere love and move toward a shared  direction—the direction of becoming Living Bodhisattvas. 

“Bodhisattvas” have the correct realization. With right understanding,  we accurately see what is going on and promote Great Love in the  world. With hearts of Great Love and reverent thoughts, we can bring  peace to the world. 

Although natural disasters are frightening, man-made disasters are  even more worrying. Damage from natural disasters can be repaired  when we rebuild homes. However, if people’s hearts are turbulent  and in disharmony, it will be difficult to live a life with peace of mind.  Sentient beings suffer tremendously. As human beings, why do some  countries suffer from recurring disasters while others are blessed and  people live as if in heaven? 

The Buddha teaches us that “such is the cause, such is the condition,  such is the effect, such is the retribution, and such is the ‘law of karmic  cause and effect.’” 

Good causes are like good seeds. After sowing good seeds in fertile  land, we also need good conditions. Even with water to nourish the  earth, we still need sunlight and fresh air. These are all conditions.  The most important thing is the seed. One seed can give rise to  infinite seeds. A bean seed will not grow into a squash; it will grow  many beans. Likewise, with a good seed and good conditions, things  will grow properly. When everyone recognizes the power of love and  follows the right direction, we can gather our strengths to cultivate a  field of blessings together. We sow one seed at a time, and the plant  will flourish in an endless cycle. 

After three years of the pandemic, more than a thousand “seeds”  will be certified this year. In the Certification Ceremony, we come  together to bear witness to Tzu Chi’s love. As we grow to understand  Tzu Chi more, we recognize the purpose of Tzu Chi is love, and thus,  we hope to unite everyone’s Great Love to work together to benefit  those who suffer in this world. 

During the Certification Ceremony, a group of newly certified  volunteers from different countries and of different languages and  skin colors walked by in front of me. Many of them had tears in their  eyes. Their compassionate hearts resonate with each other. They  care for the suffering people in the world and love all sentient beings  in the world. When I affix the Tzu Chi badge on their chests, I hope  the seeds will enter their hearts. Everyone is a seed full of potential;  when they return to their countries, they must earnestly cultivate  their seed, grow the seedling in their heart into a big tree, and take  on the spirit of Tzu Chi. 

Within me, I have countless blessings for every single person, and I  hope that each person will not only think, “I am now certified with  a Tzu Chi badge pinned on my chest”; I hope each person will plant  this seed firmly in their heart. Tzu Chi should be kept in the heart,  so that every day, each volunteer has the heart of Tzu Chi and the  direction of Tzu Chi in them. Only when we all move in the direction  of benefiting sentient beings and bringing peace with love can there  truly be blessings in the world. 

In the video “Tzu Chi 2022 Year in Review,” we saw the beautiful  country of Indonesia. Thinking of the social turmoil in Indonesia thirty  years ago, Mr. Eka Tjipta Widjaja1 asked, “What method should be  used to make this country stable and peaceful?” 

I replied, “Love is the only way. Love can turn people’s lives around,  stabilize a country, resolve hatred, and bring peace.” I really admire  Mr. Widjaja for humbling himself to lead with love. He took the  initiative and led the cleanup of the Angke River. Gathering a group of  entrepreneurs and calling on the government, military, and localities  to work together, they cleaned the Angke River, known as the “Black  Heart of Jakarta.” 

Before the Angke River became a garbage dump, it was crystal clear  and people could see the bottom of the river. 

There have also been human tragedies during which the river turned  red with blood. Moments of time accumulate into history; there were  many tragedies but also happy times. 

People create karma; if negative karma continues to accumulate  and cannot be suppressed, it can explode, lead to a crisis, and cause  suffering in the world. But if we can continue to spread virtuous  Dharma, people’s hearts will move in the direction of goodness.  When everyone creates blessings and encourages each other with  love, society will become peaceful and stable. A world like this is like  heaven. 

Heaven and hell can always be seen on earth. I have been reminding  everyone that in a blessed community, the most important thing for  people is “to remember the past” and never forget the hard work  done in the past. Everyone must continue to give with love. We need  money and people to continue our efforts. Most importantly, we  need the heart and sincerity to give. With sincere hearts and people’s  strength, it is not impossible to turn suffering around. 

In the past, the Angke River was very dirty, and the surrounding  houses were dilapidated; now, there are high-rise buildings, a beautiful  environment, and a clear river where people can row dragon boats. As  long as someone takes on the work, Tzu Chi volunteers will observe,  share, and encourage each other. 

Everything in the world follows this principle in the same way.  Everything can be achieved through people’s effort, and everything  can be accomplished over time.

1 Eka Tjipta Widjaja (1921~2019) was the founder of the Sinar Mas Group of Indonesia and one of the  top ten richest people in Indonesia. He was also a philanthropist. Following the widespread flooding of Jakarta  in 2002, he was inspired by Tzu Chi and devoted himself to the cleanup of the dirty and smelly environment  despite being eighty years old already and despite his family’s and his doctor’s attempt in dissuading him. He  also took the lead in donating money and supplies and called on local entrepreneurs to join in to provide aid.

Compiled from the Master’s teachings at the Certification Ceremony of the Tzu Chi  International Commissioners and Faith Corps Members on June 23 and 24, 2023 

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