We Take the Buddha’s Heart as Our Own and Take Our Teacher’s Mission as Our Own

Everyone’s help is needed to spread the mission of Tzu Chi. Every day, the housewives set aside fifty cents of their grocery money before going to the market. As soon as they arrived at the market and saw someone they knew, they would tell them, “I save fifty cents of my grocery money every day.” Thus, the housewives began to spread the message of saving fifty cents every day whenever they went to the market, and the number of regular donors gradually increased.

Thirty Housewives Saving Fifty Cents a Day to Support Tzu Chi

In February of 1966, thirty housewives jointly petitioned for Master Cheng Yen to stay in Hualien. One day when visiting the sick, she saw a pool of blood from an indigenous woman who had a miscarriage. Later on, three Catholic nuns came to visit her. These were the causes and conditions that lead Master Cheng Yen to make a vow to “bring together 500 people to form one Guanyin Bodhisattva with 1,000 hands and 1,000 eyes.” It was with this spirit that she established a bodhisattva network that could respond to the calls for help and save those who are suffering.

The Spirit of the Bamboo Bank Era

Everyone’s help is needed to spread the mission of Tzu Chi. Every day, the housewives set aside fifty cents of their grocery money before going to the market. As soon as they arrived at the market and saw someone they knew, they would tell them, “I save fifty cents of my grocery money every day.” Thus, the housewives began to spread the message of saving fifty cents every day whenever they went to the market, and the number of regular donors gradually increased.

Making an Additional Pair of Baby Shoes to Support Tzu Chi’s Charity Work

When we left our secular life behind to enter the Tathagata’s family, we did not bring anything with us. Master did not allow us to bring any money from our secular life either, saying that it would create a sense of dependency in us. At that time, there was no money to buy food, so we relied on the wages from Master De Rong’s knitting to support us. We also planted vegetables periodically.

Jing Si is Tzu Chi’s Ultimate Support

The Jing Si Abode is self-sufficient. Sometimes, I feel quite sorry when I think of these monastic disciples. They have to rise shortly before 4 a.m., they start to work after the morning recitation, and they work all the way until 10 or 11 p.m. before going to bed.

Master Cheng Yen and Three Catholic Nuns Discuss Religious Teachings and Meanings

Three Catholic nuns (Sister Zhang Jinju, Sister Huang, and Sister Tang) came to spread Christian teachings and discuss life and religion with Master Cheng Yen. This led Master Cheng Yen to the profound realization that Buddhist practitioners ought to benefit society in tangible ways. That afternoon, Master Cheng Yen told her disciples and the two seniors who had asked her to stay, “If everyone produces one more pair of baby shoes each day, we can actually do relief work.”

The Pool of Blood Incident

In the early spring of 1966, Master Cheng Yen and her disciples went to visit someone at the hospital in Fenglin. At the entrance of the hospital, they saw a pool of blood. Bystanders recounted that it was from an indigenous woman who had been refused admission because she could not afford the hospital deposit.

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