13/9/2021 — Report of Joyful Dharma Reading Club
Topic: Buddha-Dharma: Pure and Simple — A Drop of Water
A total of 32 participants joined today’s session facilitated by Bro. Steven Shum.
The title of the topic “A Drop of Water” seem like a light subject but when dealth deeper, it seemed like a heavy topic! Venerable Master Hsing Yun described the different metaphors of water with different analogies to allow us to see the true essence of a ‘drop of water’. Firstly, Master described that Dharma is like water; if we squander and use it wastefully, we are like living a life without knowing the Truth and the Dharma is like the fish living without water. The underlying message is that we must live a life with meaning so that when suffering and adversity befall us, we are able to overcome these difficulties with ease. From the reflection of readers, learning the Dharma is like taking drops of nectar as it nourishes our life with wisdom and strength.
The readers also shared some of the activities carried out by BLIA members such as sending oxygen concentrators to India when the country was badly hit by the waves of pandemic. In the local front, BLIA members actively mobilise distribution of food parcels and lunch boxes throughout the country to families affected by the pandemic. Although these were just small droplets of water but these compassionate acts have formed a trail of warmth and comfort into the homes of the needy. And we were also reminded of how Venerable Master Hsing Yun vowed to devout his life to Buddhism by repaying the kindness of his teacher, Venerable Master Zhi Kai, who served him a bowl of pickled vegetables when he was gravely ill at the age of 17. This small droplet of water had accomplished many causes and conditions as it manifested into springs of gratitude which leads to the set up of Fo Guang Shan Water Drop Teahouse around the world. As aptly implied by Master, a drop of water is the result of the strength of the universe, and a small act of kindness is the accomplishment of all of one’s good intentions. Let our hearts be nourished by the Buddha-Dharma so that faith and hope may continue to grow into the infinite future.
This passage has truly awakened us to cherish the significance of a drop of water and to be grateful for the existence of all causes and conditions given by society. As the Chinese proverb quoted by Master goes, “Repay the favour of a water drop with a whole fountain.” We concluded the session with ‘A Prayer Before Retiring for the Day”, followed by Transference of Merit. May all be well and safe!
Sadhu sadhu sadhu!