20 years of Tzu Chi in the USA - 4 day workshop on 20th anniversary ---
This month we are celebrating 20 years of Tzu Chi in the United States. The US chapter was also the first overseas operation point established by Tzu Chi. To mark the anniversary, 738 senior volunteers from North America gathered at the US headquarters in San Dimas, California, for a four-day workshop. The morning of the third day started with a "walking meditation" around the chapter grounds.
738 volunteers walk the Tzu Chi path
738 Tzu Chi volunteer, led by Masters De Rang and De Chen, take a reflective walk around the US Headquarters chapter grounds. In the bright Californian sunshine, the early morning stroll is also a chance for the American volunteers to contemplate how they need to stick to the bodhisattva path.
Abode nun, Master De Chen:
"Through the whole United States, Tzu Chi volunteers started from nothing to create what I think is limitless life. Along the way, I think they have high hopes for the future."
Tzu Chi global volunteer coordinator, Huang Sixian:
"We Tzu Chi walk the bodhisattva path. We can't be like other Buddhists who sit there meditating. We still have a lot of lives to live. We can't stop. We have to keep moving."
Reflecting on a path walked for 20 years
During the brisk early morning walk, peals of laughter ripple around the chapter grounds. The experience of walking the bodhisattva way not only helps everyone discover just how pretty the chapter grounds are, but gives them a chance to reflect on the path they are treading.
Volunteers remember early pioneers
This four-day workshop for American volunteers is held on the 20th anniversary of Tzu Chi in the United States. On the morning of the second day, participants remembered the some of pioneers, who contributed to the past two decades, but are sadly no longer here.
Fond memories of Lin Zhenxiong
Ling Jicheng(凌濟成), the executive director of the Dallas Chapter, has fond memories of Lin Zhenxiong(林貞雄), who collapsed in the toilet during a training course, and died before the ambulance arrived.
Tzu Chi Dallas Chapter executive director, Ling Jicheng:
"The hospital asked if we could donate his body parts that could be used. His wife and his family, his daughter and everyone, agreed. So they donated his bone marrow, corneas and skin to help other people."
"Silicon Valley Grandma" Lin Wang Xiuqin
The woman known as the grandma of Silicon Valley, Lin Wang Xiuqin(林王秀琴), is also sadly missed.
Northern California Tzu Chi volunteer, Liu Weichen:
"She had a mission to scatter the seeds of Tzu Chi in northern California; but she also looked after the people around her very well. Like when my wife was pregnant and gave birth, she came to help us look after the baby, and taught us how to take care of it."
Mapping the way for the next 20 years
Remembering the heroes of the past, while looking forward to the next 20 years, these American Tzu Chi volunteers know there is still much work to be done on the path ahead.