Never thought about I will have the chance to stay in touch with Tzu Chi again in the North America. My mum told me to get involve with after I arrive Canada but after all the searchings the closest one I could get is Detroit Chapter, and nearest one in Canada is Toronto's chapter. At the end the thought of joining Tzu Chi slowly faded out from my mind as school stuffs come all together.
How I did join Tzu Chi? Well, I joined as a Tzu Shao at first, kind of forced by my mum because her friends are sending their kids to their as well. I was pretty igorant because I already an athiest at that time, Buddha's teachings are just a no-no for me. As time goes by, month by month lecture and activities, (Why I never skip class every month? Because I am a obedient kid, lol) Tzu Chi showed me a different world. Buddha's teaching has nothing to do with religion, it is a philosophy, a way of life.
Later on, I was given a position, as a photographer, plus senior Tzu Shao. From that moment, my perspective of Tzu Chi has changed totally. Because of Tzu Chi, I started to care more about the society, at least be aware of what is happening at the surrounding. And I started to do volunteering because of Tzu Chi. I remember one of the Shi Gu said volunteering can be addictive, which is very true. Volunteering brought me to a whole new journey, I became active, more sociable, the change is even obvious when I was in INTI. Until now, I hold 2 executive positions in my university, and possibly 1 more incoming.
The conference was epic. Met back with Fion and SynDee was awesome, got to know people from all over the states was fantastic! It is so heartwarming when seeing those Shi Gu and Shi Bo contribute their time and hardwork without asking anything back, they never complain! This really touches my heart because Shi Gu Shi Bo back in Malaysia, at least in Klang Chapater weren't this helpful until this extend. Shi Gu Shi Bo in the states are like living in a Tzu Chi world, willing to do anything for Tzu Ching and Tzu Chi, selflessly. In the conference, they mentioned about communications between Tzu Ching and Shi Gu Shi Bo is difficult because most of the Tzu Ching does not understand Mandarin and Taiwanese while Shi Gu Shi Bo are not fluent with English. However Shi Gu and Shi Bo promised to try their best to improve their language. From my point of view, shouldn't Tzu Ching try to learn Mandarin and Taiwanese instead? Since youth can learn things easier and faster.
This conference mostly talked about vegetarism and leadeship. However, I think the coolest part in this conference was we got to skype with Master Cheng Yen during the morning ceremony in Taiwan. It was a very special moment, and I almost cried, lol. Master Cheng Yen could actually see us! :') Leadership part of the conference did not really apply to me since I am not a real Tzu Ching LOL. However vegeterism class striked me quite hard. I had the thought of being a vegetarian but I don't have the perseverance to do it, I couldn't give up meat. But one thing I can promise myself is that I try to reduce the amount of the meat I consume, that is at least what I am able to do now.
Anywho, I have made friends from University of Michigan and University of Toronto, hopefully they will tag me along when they have Tzu Chi events coming.
Another thing I learnt from the conference. "To forgive others is to be kind to yourself." - Jing Si Aphorism
Gan En :)