The Theosophical Society of the Philippines, which shares its non-alignment to any single religion or philosophy, invited Tzu Chi Foundation to share its wisdom among its members. The talk was held on September 30 at their national headquarters in Quezon City, inspiring the attendees.
Tzu Chi volunteers on September 30 shared their knowledge with members of the Theosophical Society in the Philippines (TSP), a non-sectarian organization devoted to the study of religions, sciences, and philosophies.
The TSP is the Philippine chapter of the Theosophical Society, first formed in 1875 in New York City. Through its studies, it aims to become the “nucleus” at which humanity can achieve unity regardless of race, sex, or color. Like Tzu Chi, the Society doesn’t align itself with any religion or philosophy, opening its doors to all kinds of wisdom.
At the invitation of the TSP, Tzu Chi volunteers led by Peggy Sy hosted a talk at its main office in Quezon City, a few minutes away from Jing Si Hall. The attendees, members from different walks of life, lent an ear to the knowledge the volunteers had to share.
“This group’s mission is actually to search for truth and the divine wisdom. So I think their goal is to understand other philosophies, much more Tzu Chi’s school of Buddhism and Master [Cheng Yen’s] teachings. We’re very happy to come here and share with their members,” Sy said.
The three-hour talk consists of four parts. Sy shared a brief history and introduction of Tzu Chi. Fellow volunteers Lino Sy talked about environmental protection, Rita Tan about international relief, and Edward So on life at the Jing Si Abode in Hualien, Taiwan. The talk held the theme of “Buddhism in action,” which impressed the attendees.
“I’ve tried various spiritual groups but Tzu Chi seems to be the most practical. It’s not like a very dreamlike idea of spirituality, but it’s like a practical-oriented idea of spirituality, which appeals to me,” remarked Arby Ting, coordinator for the event.
“The work of Tzu Chi, the teachings of Master Cheng Yen are so inspiring that I could feel the Great Love they’re talking about. And I’m very excited to share it with my students, as in our school we’re trying to inculcate into them a spirit of volunteerism,” said Armielyn Matela, an elementary school teacher in Caloocan City.
“[Tzu Chi] is like well-oiled machinery, especially in disaster relief,” remarked lawyer Chally Romero.
Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., former TSP president, is saddened at the reality of the world today. Even with the TSP’s lifelong goal of encouraging the study of all wisdom, many religions have caused so much conflict and suffering in parts of the world. A simple twist of words in teachings gives rise to terrorism and bigotry, among other negativities.
“There must be a reform and transformation in these types of religions into a more inclusive, loving and compassionate religion. And Tzu Chi is one of the best examples,” Chin said.
Having known and worked with Tzu Chi for many years, Chin urged Tzu Chi to build its school in the Philippines. With its philosophy of Great Love, Chin believes, the foundation can nurture the next generation of role models in the country.
“Wherever they go, whether they become a businessman or professional, they’re going to affect people in a very wholesome way,” he added.