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STAFF PICK: MASTER OF LOVE & MERCY

Name: Mohammad Faridzuan bin Abd Rahman
Position: Executive, Communications and Publications
Book: Master of Love and Mercy: Cheng Yen
Author: Yu-ing Ching

Comment:
The author, Yu-ing Ching, was tasked to write a book about Master Cheng Yen, the Buddhist Monk who founded the Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation. As the Master is a very busy person, the author decided that the next best thing was to interview and follow around the people who have met and work with the Master, as well as those who have been blessed and helped by the Master or the Tzu Chi Foundation. Throughout the book, there were many who recounted their experiences with the Master, and her disciples, and how her teachings altered their lives for the better.

A personal favourite of mine is the story of an old lady named Lin Mei Chai, who lost her ability to speak intelligibly after suffering from rheumatic fever, and later was abandoned by her family. She lives alone in a very small house, accompanied only by a social worker who comes in everyday to cook for her. You would think that this is a classic charity case, but you would be wrong. Ms Lin Mei is actually a proud contributor to the Foundation as she herself receives a small monthly allowance from the local government. She insisted that the money she receives is more than enough for her, and donates the rest of her unspent money to those who needs it more than her. Of course, she could have easily kept the money all to herself, as well as ask for more contributions from the Foundation. But that would betray the teachings of Master Cheng Yen, and therefore, unacceptable to Ms Lin Mei. Bless her good heart.

There are many more stories like this in the book, and most of them are capable of bringing tears into the eyes of even the most cold-hearted person. And I firmly believe that everyone should read books like this once in a while to allow ourselves to be more sympathetic to others as well as learning to be grateful with what we have.

Excerpt:
 “The Master believes that life is a journey; we aboard an express train at birth and head for the unavoidable destination towards death. The scenery drifts by, and the only meaningful thing we can do is to be good and kind to our fellow passengers.”

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This book is available at the Perdana Library. If you are interested in reading or borrowing the book, please contact Ms Magdalena (03-88858968/magdalena@perdana.org.my)

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