Advocating “to apply the teachings of Buddha in our daily lives and bring bodhisattvas into this world,” Master Cheng Yen adopted the Four bodhisattvas’ spirit of Kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Selfless Giving as Tzu Chi’s guiding principle. The four bodhisattvas’ spirit was developed into Tzu Chi Four Missions of Charity, Medicine, Education, and Humanity. These visible missions are intended to purify the invisible spiritual aspect within each individual; and consequently promote social harmony and peace.
The Mission of Humanity covers literary, audio and visual works which aim to exemplify the spirit of great love among people. It is a manifestation of people helping and caring for one another, promoting the philosophy of respecting life and affirming humanity, which is also the core value of a human being.
Aiming to serve as “the living water to purify the minds, the pillars of a peaceful society, the eyes and ears that watches over and listens to call of distress, and the right mindset to the deluded and confused,” Tzu Chi Monthly Magazine started its publishing in Taiwan in July 1967. The publication, which includes Buddhist teachings and reports on benevolent people and deeds, is the origin of Tzu Chi’s Mission of Humanity.
Man’s insatiable greed and discrimination that result to endless wars and human tragedies nowadays, together with the imbalance of nature leading to catastrophic natural disasters, leads the Mother Earth in gradual destruction. It is only by purifying human minds can disasters be lessened or end in this world. Television is by far the fastest media to help accomplish this mission. On New Year’s Day 1998, Tzu Chi’s Daai (Great Love) TV was officially launched. Its programs do not indulge in sensationalism or criticism, but promotes information of truth, goodness, and beauty.
Humanity Mission Center
Six years later, with the launch of Tzu Chi Monthly Magazine, Rhythms Magazine, Tzu Chi’s Radio Broadcast and Daai TV, Taiwan’s Tzu Chi Humanity Mission Center was officially inaugurated, aspiring to be the best in humanity media center.
Through satellite and the worldwide web services, Daai TV and Tzu Chi Radio broadcast can now be viewed and listened to almost anywhere in the world. Tzu Chi magazines and other electronic magazines are also available for downloads, allowing viewers to be immersed in the world of Tzu Chi anytime, anywhere. Furthermore, it is more environmentally friendly because it preserves a lot of resources as it cuts down paper use and transport costs.
Tzu Chi Establishments
Aside from propagating works to purify people’s minds through the media, Tzu Chi also gathers the collective strength of the community through different Tzu Chi community establishments. Serving as an education venue in the community, the public can go to these establishments and learn things beyond one’s knowledge. After the groundbreaking of the Still Thoughts Hall in Hualien, Taiwan, Tzu Chi’s offices and other Still Thoughts Hall were built from one area to another. Blending simplicity, elegance, and oriental architecture, Still Thoughts Hall projected an aura of meditative stillness and pureness, as if speaking of the dharma to the public in silence. Tzu Chi activities and achievements illustrated with photographs are exhibited to propagate the Tzu Chi silent culture. It does not only pass on the spirit of Tzu Chi humanity, but also serves as a multipurpose hall that propagates the Buddhist teachings, arts, and community development. Whether it is Tzu Chi offices, Tzu Chi recycling centers, JingSi Book shops, or Still Thoughts Hall, these are all considered the Home of Tzu Chi. Moreover, these structures serve to bring blessings to the society, and these are important venues to calm, bring peace and purify people’s mind.