Giving through suffering, living the word

Here is a recent video clip from Da Ai television. Da Ai television is one of the humanitarian works of Tzu Chi. Their news clips feature some of today’s news mostly from Asia but with humanitarian themes. More than this, there is the overarching emphasis of benevolence, authenticity, and environment. According to Master Chen Yen, if we truly believe in making the world a better place, we should start at home and with some inner work as well.

Overcoming difficulties through patience, benevolence, harmony

The June 9th “Overcoming Difficulties to Pave a Path of Love” was moving because it addressed the strain on small countries from climate change, from drenching storms and flooding to large mudslides and building failures. How we respond as a community seems to be steeped in our ability to interact and value one another as human beings.

Observing the Tzu Chi volunteers there are many positive impressions. They coordinate and don’t dwell on themselves. Their blue uniforms inform people that they are there to help, determined to alleviate local suffering, and elevate people’s hearts and minds. Among themselves, the uniforms signify that not only are they representatives, but that there is a level playing field in which materialism is cast aside.

In this clip, they are cleaning up after a devastating monsoon, and preparing for more to come. According to Master Chen Yen, “We must be vigilant. Not only that, we must also be sincerely pious. With humans’ collective karma, we ought to reflect on our actions now.”

Small nation-islands are especially vulnerable to the forces of climate change, whether due to rising tides, typhoons, ocean acidification, or at-risk ecosystems. Many spiritual leaders believe there is a link between ecological catastrophe and folly.

“We must eliminate our ignorance, greed, and hatred in our hearts and minds and stop creating negative karma.”  –Master Chen Yen

In recent years, the world has seen a record rise in the number of homeless and refugees. Yet there is an increasing lack of empathy exhibited by those in the ordinary workforce. Some workers really believe that shunning them is part of the bourgeois success mantra.

How can children, born so full of hope and nurtured throughout their school years, be so callously regarded as detritus overpopulation after they turn eighteen? This is the materialism-dialectic that we need to challenge.

We must resist, deflect, question, and redirect the materialist dialectic chains that the ordinary workplace uses to misinform, harden minds and hearts, and feed narcissism.

“The Dharma is what we should seek in life.”  –Master Chen Yen


“Everyone has a sense of self that can narrow our minds, which causes us to fuss over things all our life. Doing this brings afflictions, vexation, troubles, and sufferings onto ourselves.

“We should use the Dharma to find means to open our hearts and let go of our selfishness to embrace and become one with the world and feel the suffering of all living beings.”  –Master Chen Yen, Tzu Chi Foundation

By paving the path of others and ourselves with true authentic human love, we open up many opportunities in the world. While these may not be material-enriching, they are more than spiritually uplifting.

Everyone can see the inner light and beauty shining forth even when the Tzu Chi volunteers have to do the back-breaking work of shoveling dirty mud.

Such hope, love, and perseverance is truly inspiring.


1. Da Ai Television, 20170610 用愛鋪路不畏難, <>