Using Love to Protect Peace in This World

Master Cheng Yen’s Teachings
Translated by the Dharma as Water Team

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Life is filled with pain and suffering, but also with hope and love.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen

In this current age, we are facing climate change, the ongoing pandemic, and man-made calamities and conflicts. The four elements are out of balance, and so is the human mind. At this time, there is truly much suffering in the world. Recently, we have seen the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This unthinkable war is due to a single thought that went astray. All of this is due to greed. Now, the situation has put many people at risk, forcing thousands to become displaced.

These displaced people are unable to bring anything with them. All they hope for is for their families to be safe. They flee to neighboring countries, walking for hundreds of kilometers, and traveling in large, packed groups. Some carry their babies, and others hold children who are able to walk, with the elderly following behind. Each family follows the crowd. Filled with fear and shock, they do not know what lies ahead. Every minute and second, they fear for their lives and do not dare stop for even a moment. Even if a loved one collapses, they have to continue forward. It is unbearable to imagine a state of mind filled with so much suffering.

For those who are blessed, it can seem that time is quickly passing, but for those living amid war and conflict, every single moment is difficult. At this moment, in our world, how many people are suffering and waiting for us to lend a helping hand? We must have compassion and empathy, and be willing to take on the responsibility of providing for others’ needs. We must inspire love in people and spread that love even wider, extending the love of bodhisattvas even further. We cannot take even the smallest bit of love lightly, for even a glimmer of light can bring direction and hope to those who are suffering.

We must also awaken love in people’s hearts. In this way, more and more people will be willing to dedicate themselves to doing good deeds. There will be more ears to hear people crying for help in all corners of the world, and more eyes to see where people are suffering, and we can extend our arms and lift them up. Furthermore, we must always be vigilant, to prevent any more conflicts in this world. Let us use the love we have in our hearts to protect peace so that such tragedies will never happen again.

As we care for people and this earth every day, we broaden our knowledge and perspective. To shut ourselves out is like closing a window, leaving us unable to see the light outside, unable to experience the passing of time. When we close our minds, our wisdom also slowly disappears.

I hope we can reflect on whether our minds are broad enough to encompass everything in this world, and that we can ensure we have not deviated in our actions. As we cultivate ourselves, we must also dedicate our energy to people and lead by example. Creating a harmonious atmosphere can lead people to follow the majority in doing good deeds. Naturally, evil thoughts will diminish, and virtuous thoughts will increase.

The Bodhisattva Path is not far from us. It is just below our feet, and we walk upon it whenever we have a single thought of kindness and take action to do a good deed. It is as simple as that. We must be true to our teachings and do good together for this world. When we each lead by example and inspire one another, we will not be alone on this path, and we can let love spread from our circle to beyond.

Compiled from Master Cheng Yen’s teachings from February 28 to March 15, 2022

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