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.
What is a “bodhisattva”?
“Bodhisattva” does not have to refer to a carved statue, neither does it have to refer to a being with supernatural powers. A true bodhisattva is a person who does not fear hardship in body and mind in seeking to help others.
This book compiles discourses from 1990 on the Ten Grounds of Bodhisattvas, the ground of joy, the ground of freedom from defilement, the ground of radiating light, the ground of blazing wisdom, the ground of overcoming difficulties, the ground of manifestation, the ground of far-reaching practice, the ground of stillness, the ground of excellent wisdom, and the ground of the Dharma-cloud.
Using examples from both present-day life and Buddhist classics, Dharma Master Cheng Yen describes the ten grounds that bodhisattvas go through in their practice. Each ground builds on the previous, from the ground of joy all the way to the ground of the Dharma-cloud. By progressing through these grounds, ordinary beings can gradually proceed toward the stage of supreme, universal and perfect enlightenment.