From Dharma Master Cheng Yen
Dharma Master Cheng Yen replied: To look beyond the heart that dwells on one’s personal gains and losses! I have a heart free from thoughts of personal gains or losses. When I see people who are happy, I feel happy. When I see those with no suffering, I feel at peace. Thus, the days go by and not a single regret or complaint crosses my mind.
Question: I am frequently bothered by the small things. Is there a way for me to not get bogged down by them?
Dharma Master Cheng Yen replied: Yes. Just do everything with a clear conscience and no regrets. If your actions are correct, then you need not worry.
This Q&A reminds me of gentle Grace Chen who always seems at ease with life. One might easily think that it is because she has everything going her way. One would not guess that at the prime of her life, she has already encountered shocking challenges, the latest one being life threatening. This week she is starting a second round of chemotherapy for Leukemia at the City of Hope. Since the diagnosis, Grace has been remarkably peaceful and grateful. Instead of plunging into an abyss of despair, she nourishes compassion and wisdom. It is amazing to witness how she bears no regrets, no complaints about her disease or the treatment. Her first posting on Facebook was, “I’m in good hands now – just listening to the doctors and do whatever needs to be done … Life is impermanent – so take good care of yourself too! .”
In Buddhism, there is a Bodhisattva who embodies the spirit of compassion. This Bodhisattva, named Avalokitesvara, is so full of love that she cannot bear for people to suffer. When she sees or hears people in distress or difficulty, she goes to them very quickly to offer aid and relief. Exercising wisdom and compassion, she not only helps them out of their material difficulties, but guides them with the Dharma so they may gain the insight to liberate themselves from their suffering and attain true happiness. Grace embodies this light of Avalokitesvara from the hospital bed. When friends asked how they can help, she encouraged them to cherish the lives of animals and protect the environment by practicing vegetarianism whenever possible, to help feed the 5,000 orphans in South Africa, provide education for children in Haiti etc. In the face of physical discomfort and hair loss, Grace never forgot to rally behind these simple ideas of the impact of $5 a month (The Power of 5), a movement our team launched in the US right before she was hospitalized. We dared to dream of awakening love in everyone and took action through micro-donation. Grace pursues the Truth in life, wasting no time in serving others often hoping from one plane to the other in her latest role of PR for Tzu Chi. Her accomplishments are too many to name, but her ideals are clear. Her words and actions always included others. When people promised to pray for her, Grace would gently ask them to include all those in suffering.
I have known Grace for many years, being sisters at our Tzu Chi extended family. While I am pained by the hardships that come with her cancer treatment, I simultaneously feel joy to witness that she has been able to transcend ordinary views about life. It is rare to achieve such state of tranquility and wisdom, especially at a young age. Confident about walking the correct path in her life, I detect no worries in her days. Just take a look at her recent photos. In the face of unexplainable pain, there is undeniable hope for Grace, for humanity. May all good wishes come true!