Wondrous Lotus Sutra Saturday's 6:00 PM (Pacific)

Forty years after Tzu Chi was established, Dharma Master Cheng Yen officially announced the formation of  Tzu Chi’s dharma path.  All disciples who have taken refuge are Jing Si Disciples and everyone is a Tzu Chi volunteer. 

The Jing Si Dharma-Lineage and the Tzu Chi’ dharma path, are all based on the essences of the Lotus Sutra and practices of the Sutra of Immeasurable Meanings. 

2014.02.08 Lotus Sutra 6 pm: "Wondrous Dharma Adapts to Times and Conditions"

posted Feb 4, 2014, 9:52 AM by Seminar Coordinator

Discussion Topics

2014.02.08 Lotus Sutra Transcript Wondrous Dharma Adapts to Times and Conditions

2014.02.01 Lotus Sutra 6pm (PT) He came to the Saha World to Transform all Beings

posted Jan 31, 2014, 6:17 AM by Seminar Coordinator   [ updated Feb 1, 2014, 3:33 PM ]

2014.02.01 He Came to the Saha World to Transform all Beings

Topics for Consideration

  1. "Who was the Buddha practicing for?”  
  2. "The Buddha already told us that sentient beings have the same intrinsic nature as Buddhas, and He gave us a lot of wisdom to absorb. However, if we absorb a lot of wisdom but do not apply it, that does not count as enlightenment. We have to apply it."  What has Master done for us to answer this requirement fro the Lotus Sutra? 
  3. "A lotus arises from mud but remains undefiled. Only among interpersonal and worldly conflicts can our bright lotus flower bloom and grow."  This is why we are studying the Lotus Sutra.  To learn how to be that pure Lotus Flower.  A monumental goal or something we should work on everday?  Which do you think Master suggests?

2014.02.01 Wondrous Lotus Sutra - Wisdom at Dawn Transcript - Part 11 - He Came to the Saha World to Transform All Beings

2014.01.25 Five Periods of Teachings Based on Capabilities

posted Jan 25, 2014, 4:29 PM by Seminar Coordinator   [ updated Jan 25, 2014, 5:03 PM ]

2014.01.25 Five Periods of Teachings based on Capabilities

Discussion Topics

  1. "So this is the great cause for which he came to the human realm, to figure out how to teach sentient beings."  What is it that the Buddha wishes us to know above all else?  
  2. "Humans are more blessed than other beings. Therefore, we must uphold precepts and create blessings."  Why is this so?  (page 3)  Please share your thoughts on this idea and how it relates to your relationship with the Precepts.
  3.  Those with limited capabilities and poor causes and conditions will be influenced and tempted by evil. If they practice doing small good deeds, and have a small amount of merits, a benefactor will naturally appear. Can you think of how Tzu Chi works to promote this type of teaching?  Share your thoughts, stories or experiences...

2014.01.25 Wondrous Lotus Sutra Wisdom at Dawn Transcript Five Periods of Teachings Based on Capabilities

2014.01.18 Dharma-nature is Everlasting and Endless

posted Jan 18, 2014, 8:54 AM by Seminar Coordinator   [ updated Jan 18, 2014, 6:20 PM ]

2014.01.18 Dharma-nature is Everlasting and Endless

Discussion Topics

  1. 1.      Master reminds us that we must spread the Seeds of Love as Bodhisattva’s in this world.  Master explained how even one grain of rice is actually a result of all past generations of rice, seeds, water, nutrients, sun, etc.  The same is true of water.. actually the water we drink today was also present millions of years ago…  in another form perhaps, but still here.  When we look  at Dharma in this way, is it easier to understand Master’s hopes for humanity now?  How, life after life, (like the grain of rice), Bodhisattva’s of Tzu Chi benefit and work to help in purifying society…  Please share your thoughts…

    2.      “You and I created a karmic connection in the past, so now we live together every day.”  Is there something that makes you believe this to be true?  Dreams, thoughts, coincidences?  Your thoughts?

    3.      “We are all born with an intrinsic nature, one equal to the Buddha's. Why have we not attained Buddhahood after the Buddha explained so much? Because karmic retributions prevent our minds from eliminating afflictions. Our mind is not yet clear, so the lotus flower has not manifested.”  This first sentence is extremely important in Tzu Chi…the next supports the first.  This is a central understanding of Tzu Chi….  Why do you think Master wants us to take in and firmly believe in this understanding?

2014.01.18 Wondrous Lotus Sutra ‎[Dharma Nature is Everlasting and Endless]‎

2014.01.11 The Universe is Endless, the Dharma Ever-present

posted Jan 10, 2014, 5:21 PM by Seminar Coordinator   [ updated Jan 10, 2014, 5:42 PM ]

2014.01.11 The Universe is Endless, the Dharma Ever-present

Discussion Topics

  1. "We hope to be able to combine the Dharma, our thoughts of spiritual cultivation, and the practice of these teachings in working with others. By doing this, we wish to manifest the spirit of the Lotus Sutra."    How does Group Study address Master's hope for us as Tzu Chi Volunteers?
  2. " Our great perfect mirror wisdom can create all things. Because it perceives all things in the universe, this mirror can reflect the wisdom that is hidden deep within. But if we do not purify that wisdom, it will become knowledge, then our minds will know a lot and understand a lot. Once that happens, our minds will begin to give rise to desirous and greedy thoughts. When true and clear wisdom has been deluded by external conditions, it acts as “knowledge” and “intellect.” Such knowledge and intellect will unleash boundless greed. Our greedy thoughts will be as numerous as all the things in the world."  How does Master suggest we live life then?  Are we not to acquire knowledge and intellect?  What protects us in Tzu Chi as we do acquire these abilities through our education so that we can not "unleash boundless greed"..
  3. Did the Buddha invent Dharma?  What did he do instead?  What is Master attempting to do now?

2014.01.11 Wondrous Lotus Sutra ‎[The Universe is Endless, the Dharma Ever-present]‎

2014.01.04 Jing Si is like the Wondrous Lotus Sutra: Pure and Clear

posted Dec 30, 2013, 7:59 AM by Seminar Coordinator   [ updated Jan 4, 2014, 5:52 PM ]

2014.01.04 Jing Si is like the Wondrous Lotus Sutra: Pure and Clear

2014.01.04 Wondrous Lotus Sutra ‎[Jing Si is like the Lotus Sutra Pure and Clear]‎

2013.12.28 The Wondrous Lotus Sutra [Preface Part 5]

posted Dec 26, 2013, 7:55 AM by Seminar Coordinator   [ updated Dec 27, 2013, 6:50 AM ]

2013.12.28 Preface Part 5

Discussion Topics

  1. Master reminds us that when we have no expectations, we remove our afflictions.  Does this mean that Master has no expectations of Certified Volunteers?  How about our local Community leaders in Tzu Chi?  Do they have expectations of fellow Tzu Chi volunteers?  After all, if we do not expect anything from others, we will never be disappointed... Right?  Share your thoughts about if this is correct thinking or not...
  2. ""When the body and mind are pure, seeds of purity will increase." We need to understand that to purify our body and mind, we must have no expectations or any sense of gain or loss."  If we have a group study on Saturday night and 300 people are online....or if we have a Group Study and 3 people are online... Is there every a question of "gain or loss"  How do you think Master would want us to look at this?
  3. "Acts of reverence are not limited to engaging in ceremonies at temples. Actually, our daily behavior can already bring us closer to our vows. Thus, we act out our vows. In our daily living, every day, the thoughts that stir and the actions we take are the means of acting out our vows. So, we change our habitual tendencies by engaging with people and matters and these interactions urge us forward. Therefore, these are ways of acting out our vows."  Master has designed Tzu Chi as a place to act out our vows.  It is a training ground.  Often, when we are in training, we fail frequently.  We are all learning in Tzu Chi.  Certification is the very beginning of learning.  Do these ideas seem different than what you believed before joining Group Study?

2013.12.28 Wisdom at Dawn Study Group Lotus Sutra Transcript ‎[Preface Part 5]‎

2013.12.21 The Lotus Sutra [Preface Part 4]

posted Dec 18, 2013, 5:29 AM by Seminar Coordinator   [ updated Dec 18, 2013, 7:03 AM ]

2013.12.21 Lotus Sutra Preface Part 4

Discussion Topics

Topics for Discussion:

  1. If this happens, then I vow to do that.... If I get this...or I don't get that...then I will do this...  This is a form of deal-making connected with selfish desires... How does this compare or contrast with the Prayer that we say in Tzu Chi...at every event and even at the end of our Group Study program? 
  2. "This [indecision] is what we need to repent. Actually, it is not that difficult to nurture a loving heart. We do not need to make vows in a specific way; we just need to have a loving heart, which is by itself a vow to purify our minds. We did not know we were wrong. We were wrong in the past, but now we will begin to cleanse and reform ourselves and quickly change our attitude toward living. This is the right way. This is how we make a great vow."   Through the creation of Tzu Chi, Master Cheng Yen has created a structure by which to nurture a loving heart and return to our Pure Nature.  What's the hardest part in doing so? Please share the most difficult aspect for you..
  3. "Once we purify our minds, we can attain even what we do not seek. This natural way of living benefits humankind and can also be used to educate others. This is a "natural and uncontrived vow, which is a great vow."  In this lecture,  Master explains how when we make a vow at each moment to live with Good Words, Thoughts and Deeds, we naturally attain and are not constantly seeking, and seeking, and seeking...  Does this definition of a a "GREAT VOW" differ from what you may have thought before?  What do you think?  How have these 24 minutes changed your perspective about Tzu Chi and The Lotus Sutra?  

2013.12.21 Wisdom at Dawn Study Group Lotus Sutra Transcript ‎[Preface Part 4]‎

2013.12.14 - THE LOTUS SUTRA (PREFACE 3)

posted Dec 12, 2013, 5:17 AM by Seminar Coordinator   [ updated Dec 14, 2013, 7:17 PM ]

PDF and DOC transcript can be downloaded via links at bottom of this posting, thank you!

2013.12.14 - The Lotus Sutra (Preface 3)

Discussion Topics

Discussion Topics

  1. Let us think about Master's story of another great teacher, Socrates, and the Orchard.   Let's put this in relation to our decision to volunteer in Tzu Chi.   What do you think the distance from the entrance of the orchard to the exit represents?  What do the tangerines represent?  What do those who leave the orchard empty-handed represent?  Choose any of the above and tell us what you think from your perspective...
  2. Master Cheng Yen tells us that the direction we take is very crucial at the beginning of our Tzu Chi paths... a slight deviation at the beginning dictates a very large deviation later on...  If direction is so very important....me must follow Master closely... how do we do this?  What do you think?
  3. So, let us assume we have made a vow to become a Commissioner or Faith Corps Certified Volunteer.  We are closely following Master and volunteering many hours "doing Tzu Chi" in the Four Missions.  Do we need the Ten Precepts then?  If we are already on the Path and dedicating Merits and countless hours toward others...what will the Precepts do for us?  Do we really need to follow them completely?  What difference will it really make in the end?     

2013.12.14 - The Wondrous Lotus Sutra ‎(Preface 3)‎

2013.12.07 Lotus Sutra (Preface 2)

posted Dec 4, 2013, 6:07 AM by Seminar Coordinator   [ updated Dec 4, 2013, 6:31 AM ]

Lotus Sutra Preface ‎(2)‎

Discussion Questions

  1. In this very touching and poignant episode, Master describes the very essence of the Jing Si Dharma Lineage as arising from the Lotus Sutra.  Master then describes her personal experience and the immensity of the impact it made upon her to this day.  When Master says: "We must all train our minds so that when we face any person, matter or condition, we will use a selfless and pure mind to deal with everything."   Do you think that this is possible for us?  Why yes or no?
  2.  "So, as long as we are very sincere, a distance of over 2000 years means nothing. With a heart of sincerity, we have already returned to the Buddha's Lotus Dharma-assembly at Vulture Peak. Sincerity in prayer is very crucial, especially when bowing to and chanting the Lotus Sutra. Every word in it is precious, so we must chant every word sincerely"  Master asks us for our sincerity.  Sincerity is only achieved when we remove our doubts.  Master advises that if we have doubts, we should do all we can to learn, read, watch and then satisfy ourselves of any doubts.  Without doubts, we can be free and have genuine sincerity.  Please share how you learn about Tzu Chi... for instance...Life Wisdom/Books/Videos/DVD's...what is your source of education to learn more..?  Do you have a routine everyday? Or every week?  Share with each other what works for you..

2013.12.07 Lotus Sutra ‎(Preface 2)‎

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Seminar Coordinator,
Nov 29, 2013, 7:56 PM