By Anik Ghose
Welcome to the 70th issue of the Tzu Chi USA Journal. Our cover story, “Tzu Chi Joins the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions,” takes us to Chicago, Illinois, to recap Tzu Chi’s participation in the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions (PoWR), considered to be the premier, oldest, largest, and most inclusive gathering of the global interfaith movement. Over 7,000 people from nearly 100 countries, representing over 200 spiritual traditions, attended the week-long program from August 14 to 18. Our story overviews Tzu Chi’s sessions and exhibition booths and recounts how the delegation joined the PoWR’s Plenaries and Assemblies, including the Closing Plenary, during which Dharma Master Cheng Yen made a special address via video.
To round out coverage of the PoWR, our feature, “On a Mission to Bring Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s Light to Chicago,” follows three Tzu Chi Dharma Masters from our Jing Si Adobe in Taiwan, who spoke on several panels and introduced Master Cheng Yen’s holistic philosophy through presentations touching on environment protection, vegetarianism, and international disaster relief. The Dharma Masters also held two Buddha Bathing Ceremony sessions, allowing PoWR attendees to experience the Buddhist ritual, which aims to symbolically purify the heart.
In early August 2023, a series of wildfires broke out in the U.S. state of Hawaii, predominantly on the island of Maui, with Lahaina being one of the most severely affected areas. Tzu Chi Hawaii immediately jumped into action and began mobilizing an aid effort. In our second feature, “Help Heal Maui: Tzu Chi USA Launches Relief Following Devastating Fires,” discover how Tzu Chi quickly took steps to help the survivors in their time of great need, offering the first emergency cash card distribution on August 27, with others on consecutive weekends until September 17. Tzu Chi volunteers from across the United States flew to Hawaii to join the aid mission and be “a beacon of hope.”
Lastly, our portrait story, “Symposium on Ven. Cheng Yen’s Philosophy and Leadership Breaks New Ground at Harvard University,” reviews how several esteemed scholars and guests from nine countries came together for a gathering of minds at Harvard University, in Boston, to examine the philosophy and leadership of Tzu Chi’s founder Dharma Master Cheng Yen. Explore how Tzu Chi’s maxim of Compassion in Action is one of the driving pillars for the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation and an extension of Master Cheng Yen’s teachings and heart.
As always, thank you, and enjoy reading!