The Abbot President of Dharma Drum Mountain Encourages People to Relieve Calamities and Reassure Everyone with the Power
In view of a series of recent calamities, the Abbot President of DDM, Ven. Guo Dong, specifically encouraged the public to face impermanent situations with a peaceful mind, which is also the most important fortress for us. Only with calmness and steadiness, we can prevent ourselves from getting into panic.
1. Aware of the fact that we are all in the same boat
Recently, and successively, several disasters happened throughout the world, including Taiwan. Especially, the gas (propylene) explosion in Kaohsiung on July 31st and the explosion of a factory in Kunshan, China on August 2nd took away many people’s precious lives and ruined numberless families.
Nowadays we can more realize the concept of “global village” and “butterfly effect” owing to the highly developed internet technology. Such the close, mutual-dependent, and interpersonal relationship without the separation of time and space is just the spirit that Buddha Dharma calls that “we are all in the same boat.”
2. Everyone has the duty to take care of the disaster-hit areas
The founder of DDM, the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen had encouraged us: “Disasters are closely related to our lives so that every one of us has the duty to take care of the disaster-hit areas.”
We can see that as soon as the disasters happened, the professional relief workers always immediately arrived at the scene of disasters to relieve disasters. As a result, please trust and support them.
What can we, not on the disasters scene, do for those suffered from the disasters? As a religious group, what DDM can do firstly is to pray for blessings for the deceased of the accidents through the faith in religions and the power of prayer, and hope them can let go of all attachments and be reborn in the Buddha’s pure land.
I think everyone can realize the trauma that the injured, family members of the deceased, and the frightened local inhabitants experienced in the disasters. Therefore, we should deeply feel for them, show our respect for them, and let them have time and space to arrange funerals for their deceased family members and simultaneously appease their sorrow.
Nevertheless, people usually don’t have the slightest idea what to do next when encountering the realm of impermanence, which is mainly caused by overpressure of their mind. Thus, their body and mind are not easy to be clam. Under the circumstances, DDM will lead them to chant the Buddha’s names, and teach them how to reassure themselves. Through experiencing the preciousness of every single breath, they will slowly and gradually ease their mind and body, further cultivate a peaceful life and family, and finally rebuild a sweet home.
3. Help ourselves with the power of stability; reassure people’s mind with the power of prayer
When people face the irreversible loss of lives, please give them blessings and also believe one thing: “Although the lives of our physical bodies are impermanent, the lives of wisdom and merits are continuous; those who lost their lives are the teachers to give people still alive instructions, and the Bodhisattvas to teach the Dharma.”
However, disasters also make us ponder how to adjust our mindsets to improve our environments, by which, people in the future can create a safer and healthier living environment.
When dealing with impermanent situations, a peaceful mind is the most important fortress for us. Only with calmness and steadiness, we can prevent ourselves from getting into panic.
As for helping others, there are various ways. Expressing prayer is the most direct care. Sincere prayer consists in the fact of how to feel for others. When we realize those suffered from disasters need the power to reassure their mind, we should pray for them with sincerity; as long as we are sincere, the power of prayer is very huge and extensive. As for people without religious faith, they can make a wish that people in the disaster-hit areas have less sufferings, but more peace and that there are less disasters, but more peace and joy in the human world.
Therefore, I, here, sincerely recommend that everyone should help yourself with the power of stability and reassure our mind with the power of prayer when facing the various impermanent realms of our lives.
(By Venerable Guo Dong, the Abbot President of DDM/Translated by Tom Hsieh)