Buddhism teaches that life is a continuous cycle of birth and death, that to be alive is to suffer, and that one can overcome suffering and achieve enlightenment through wisdom and compassion1.
Compassion is what Dharma Master Cheng Yen embodies. Wisdom is found in her aphorisms and teachings. Hailed as the “Mother Teresa of Asia,” Cheng Yen is a Buddhist nun who founded the Tzu Chi Foundation, the largest nonprofit organization in the Chinese-speaking world.
The foundation is well known not only in China and Taiwan but also globally for its humanitarian relief machinery, especially for its ability to respond immediately in the wake of natural disasters. Tzu Chi volunteers arrive at ground zero with astonishing speed, promptly dispensing food, medicine, blankets, and warm clothing to the displaced and, in the longer term, rebuilding homes, clinics and schools.
Inspired by Dharma Master Cheng Yen, Tzu Chi’s followers put Buddhism into action. They bring calm in chaos, touching the lives of those whom they serve with their acts of kindness given freely without any expectation of reward.