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.
More than two thousand five hundred years ago, the Buddha attained enlightenment. Teaching the Dharma for forty-nine years in the world, he listened to countless afflictions of sentient beings, told innumerable stories, and applied infinite analogies and metaphors, all in the hope that everyone would have the causes and conditions to listen to the Dharma and be transformed.
Master Cheng Yen has made a vow to spread the Buddha-Dharma and benefit all sentient beings. For decades, she has led Tzu Chi volunteers to walk the Bodhisattva-path joyfully, without regret.
Over the years, Master Cheng Yen has gathered many stories from the Buddhist sutras as well as from real life. Based on the conditions and people’s capabilities, she kindly guides everyone with these stories. Each story provides teachings that illustrate the principles taught by the Buddha.
The various forms of suffering, afflictions, and joys experienced by sentient beings are all created by the mind. Thus, we must safeguard our minds at all times. We can give rise to a thought of kindness within the span of a second; if we can seize it and mindfully put it into practice, it can influence our entire lives. By upholding such kind thoughts, we can prevent ourselves from going astray on our path in life.
This book gathers many stories told by Master Cheng Yen that describe situations we may encounter in our daily life. In addition to spreading the Buddha-Dharma in the form of literature, these stories are also examples showing us how we can polish the most precious mirror of our minds so that we can all return to our pure intrinsic nature.