Friday, Jun 22

Solemnity reigns in the Tzu Chi community with Buddha

May 13, 2018 | Grace Limbher Daigdigan

The celebration of Buddha’s birthday, Mother’s Day, and Tzu Chi Global’s 52nd anniversary united over 300 attendees at the solemn grounds of Tzu Chi’s main office in Quezon City.【Photo by Kinlon Fan】

Story Highlights

  • On May 13, Tzu Chi Philippines’ gathered Filipino and Chinese volunteers at Tzu Chi’s main office in Quezon City for the most awaited celebration in the Tzu Chi community, the 3-in-1 event: Tzu Chi Day, Buddha Day, and Mother’s Day.

  • The pious ceremony was divided into four sessions, which ran on May 13 and 14. Simultaneous events were also held by the Tzu Chi communities in the cities of Cebu and Ormoc.

 

Simple yet grand. These words describe the 3-in-1 event at the Jing Si grounds of Tzu Chi’s main office in Quezon City. This year’s theme of the combination of Tzu Chi Day, Buddha Day, and Mother’s Day of Tzu Chi Philippines Chapter is unity.

Harmony among the Tzu Chi volunteers was reflected in the human formation of the Chinese character “hé“, which means unity.

“We wanted the word ‘Unity’ as our theme because I know this is what every volunteer in the Philippines wish for. To have unity in words and in actions so everybody can be motivated to do more in the community,” shares Tzu Chi Philippines CEO Henry Yuñez.

Under the sweltering heat, a group of Tzu Chi commissioners, headed by Yuñez paraded with candles and flowers as offertory to the Buddha. This was followed by a drum performance.

The slow beats centered the minds and hearts of the attendees to help them attain calmness throughout the ceremony. The highlight of the event came next, the Buddha bathing.

The Buddha bathing is done to cleanse the inner impurities of an individual and to ensure that they stay on track with the teachings of the Buddha as they cultivate it continuously across humanity.

For the past seven years, Tzu Chi commissioner Marie Frances Masinaghas has been joining this pious ceremony. One of the segments she anticipates is the Buddha Bathing. She is always amazed by the beautiful execution of the formation.

However, she admitted that she didn’t learn the true essence of the ceremony until she has truly put into heart its message in her later years in the Buddhist organization.

“Eventually, I learned that it is about giving thanks for both the blessings we receive despite our shortcomings and the blessings we are able to give,” says Tzu Chi commissioner Masinag.

 “It was also here that I learned to give my all when helping others. Being busy is not an excuse, you always have to make time to serve. When immersing myself in community activities, I have to share the wisdom from Tzu Chi because the lessons help other people live better lives,” she adds. The Buddha bathing was short and quick but it has left over 300 attendees with a positive aura.

Steering committee member and Tzu Chi volunteer Molita Chua hopes that after the participants have attended the ceremony, they would attain a clearer state of mind and remember that having unified words and actions, can help alleviate their plight.

The holy ritual ended with a prayer to remind everyone to live life in the right path and lean towards the direction of what Dharma Master Cheng Yen desires for  humanity.

In the Greater Manila Area, the 3-in-1 event was divided into four sessions which ran from May 13 to 14. Tzu Chi Foundation also implemented the same event in Cebu City and Ormoc City for the benefit of the Tzu Chi community outside the Luzon area.

  • While chanting verses which will remind them of the great teachings of the Buddha, Tzu Chi volunteers embrace peace in their hearts and minds during the walking meditation. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • Towards the end of the ceremony, the volunteers came together in a human formation of the Chinese character “hé“, which means unity. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • A drum performance before the Buddha bathing ceremony helped the participants focus on attaining inner peace.【Photo by Daniel Lazar】

  • Tzu Chi Philippines CEO Henry Yuñez making sure that all the things needed for the Buddha bathing ceremony are in order. He hopes that after this pious ceremony, there will be unity in the words and actions of every attendee. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • During the Buddha bathing, Tzu Chi volunteers dip their fingers in a bowl of water and take a white flower which signifies cleansing of inner impurities. 【Photo by Heng Choun Lee】

  • The triple event started with the marching of a group of commissioners headed by Tzu Chi Philippines CEO Henry Yuñez.【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】