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.
The content of this book came from Master Cheng Yen’s “Wisdom at Dawn” lectures given at the end of 2002, whereas the book The Sutra of the Bodhisattva’s Eight Realizations was based on her teachings in 1984. This book not only explains the sutra, but it also contains current real-life examples of people applying the Buddha-Dharma to their daily living. In this way, readers can realize the principles contained in the sutra through these examples and apply the spirit of the Buddha-Dharma to resolve difficulties in their daily living.
The Sutra of the Eight Realizations of Great Beings clearly demonstrates the ways in which we can realize impermanence, eliminate greed, eradicate delusion, and understand cyclic existence. This sutra was given by the Buddha to his disciples to explain to them how to cultivate their minds and refine their character, but the text is also like a light that illuminates the path to purifying our minds and engaging in proper conduct.
It has been said, “To save the world, we must first save people’s minds.” In other words, it is only when people’s minds are purified that the seeds of love can be spread all over the world. People, regardless of religion, race, or lifestyle, can all make use of their special abilities and work together to care for this world.