A Second and A Lifetime

Master Cheng Yen has made a vow to spread the Buddha-Dharma and benefit all sentient beings. For decades, she has led Tzu Chi volunteers to walk the Bodhisattva-path joyfully, without regret.

Over the years, Master Cheng Yen has gathered many stories from the Buddhist sutras as well as from real life. Based on the conditions and people’s capabilities, she kindly guides everyone with these stories. Each story provides teachings that illustrate the principles taught by the Buddha.

[2019.11.19 upload]

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About the Author

Dharma Master Cheng Yen was born in 1937 in a small town in Taichung County, Taiwan. When she was twenty-three years old, she left home to become a Buddhist nun, and was instructed by her mentor, Venerable Master Yin Shun , to work “ for Buddha’s teachings , for sentient beings. ” In 1966 , she founded a charity, which later turned into the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, to “help the poor and educate the rich”—to give material aid to the needy and inspire love and humanity in both givers and recipients.

 

In recent years, Master Cheng Yen’s contributions have been increasingly recognized by the global community. In 2011, she was recognized with the Roosevelt Institute’s FDR Distinguished Public Service Award and was named to the 2011 TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people. In 2014, she was presented with Rotary International’s Award of Honor in recognition of her humanitarian efforts and contributions to world peace.

 

證嚴上人於一九三七年,出生於臺灣臺中清水。上人服膺上印下順導師「為佛教、為眾生」之慈示奉持不懈。一九六六年創辦佛教克難慈濟功德會,自此展開「濟貧教富」的工作。慈濟世界在法師慈悲呵護下,數十年來,一步一步地堅實茁壯;發展為慈善、醫療、教育、人文四大志業,以及國際賑災、環境保護、社區志工、骨髓捐贈八大腳印,透過親手拔除眾生的苦痛,以善與大愛膚慰人間。

 

近年來,證嚴上人的貢獻獲得國際間一致推崇;於 2011 年獲美國羅斯福基金會頒贈「傑出公共服務獎」, 並被時代雜誌列為 2011 年全球百大最具影響力人物。2014 年獲頒國際扶輪社「最高榮譽獎」,肯定證嚴上人對於人道主義精神與世界和平的貢獻。

 

Introduction

More than two thousand five hundred years ago, the Buddha attained enlightenment. Teaching the Dharma for forty-nine years in the world, he listened to countless afflictions of sentient beings, told innumerable stories, and applied infinite analogies and metaphors, all in the hope that everyone would have the auses and conditions to listen to the Dharma and be transformed.

 

Master Cheng Yen has made a vow to spread the Buddha-Dharma and benefit all sentient beings. For decades, she has led Tzu Chi volunteers to walk the Bodhisattva-path joyfully, without regret. Over the years, Master Cheng Yen has gathered many stories from the Buddhist sutras as well as from real life. Based on the conditions and people’s capabilities, she kindly guides everyone with these stories. Each story provides teachings that illustrate the principles taught by the Buddha.

 

The various forms of suffering, afflictions, and joys experienced by sentient beings are all created by the mind. Thus, we must safeguard our minds at all times. We can give rise to a thought of kindness within the span of a second; if we can seize it and mindfully put it into practice, it can influence our entire lives. By upholding such kind thoughts, we can prevent ourselves from going astray on our path in life.

 

This book gathers many stories told by Master Cheng Yen that describe situations we may encounter in our daily life. In addition to spreading the Buddha-Dharma in the form of literature, these stories are also examples showing us how we can polish the most precious mirror of our minds so that we can all return to our pure intrinsic nature.

 

二千五百多年前,佛陀覺悟成道,在人間說法四十九年,傾聽眾生無邊煩惱,講說無數故事,使用無量譬喻,希望人人皆有聞法得度的因緣。

 

證嚴上人誓願弘揚佛法利益眾生,數十年來,帶領慈濟人歡喜無悔行菩薩道。上人心中亦有許許多多的故事,或出自佛教經典,或源於人間百態,隨緣應機善導大眾,皆是闡述佛理的良方。

 

眾生種種苦惱喜樂,莫不由心所造,時時刻刻都需要守護好心念。一秒鐘內生起的善念,若能恆持且用心力行,就能影響一輩子;對準方向,大步向前邁進,一秒鐘就是一輩子,在人生的道路上才不致有偏差。

 

本書收錄許多上人講述的故事,皆是生活中常會遇到的情境,除了藉由文學的形式而發揚佛法,也讓人引以為鑒,擦亮最重要也最珍貴的心鏡,回歸清淨本性。

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