About the Author(作者介紹)：
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.
Dharma Master Cheng Yen once said, “Time is the most precious thing in life. Every day, month, or year spent in peace is a thing of joy. At the new year, many people express that they have made it through another year, as if the new year is a key threshold in life. People place importance on this time, but in fact, we should be mindful of our lives every second. This is because life is impermanent. In the span of a second, life can end. This is why we say, ‘In every second, every hour, and every day, we should be mindful and present and strive to live a good life.’”
A Steady Heart and Steady Practice: Stories for Living a Good Life is a book of one hundred stories about the nature of the mind as told by Master Cheng Yen. Some of the stories in this book are from the Buddha’s time, while others describe instances from the lives of Tzu Chi volunteers. These stories are intended to help us learn to develop a “steady heart” that does not allow time to pass in vain, as well as a “steady practice” of the Bodhisattva Path. With these tools, we can lead a pure, “good life.”