The Challenges of Building A Spiritual Home
The mission of a spiritual organization is to spread the message of peace taught by its founder and to bring relief to others through various means…
It is every spiritual organization’s dream to have their own permanent base with sufficient space to be able to carry out activities that benefit others in a more effective and efficient manner. Having such a permanent base will nurture a spiritual community that would help preserve the teachings and values taught by its founder and carry on his/her works for the benefit of current and future generations.
It is no easy feat to build a permanent base for a spiritual community. The amount of benefit their work would bring to the people they touch will be as tremendous as the challenges they have to overcome. This is in terms of finding the necessary resources, finance, government approvals, manpower, expertise etc etc. The bigger the scale of the project, the bigger the obstacles.
A permanent base of a spiritual organization is a culmination of many prayers, aspirations, hard work and strong faith of its members in its founder and the teachings taught by him/her.
Below is a video and an article of the groundbreaking ceremony of Jing-Si Hall of the Tzu Chi Foundation Malaysia. The Jing Si Hall located at Kepong will be their 4th Jing-Si Hall in Malaysia. After 8 years of land search and 3 years of waiting for building approval, they have finally been given the green light to start construction! It’s a historic event marking the fulfillment of their members’ dream for a permanent base or a spiritual home in KL. What an inspiring accomplishment. I truly rejoice! I am so happy for them. I am very grateful for their tremendous work to bring compassion into the lives of so many around the world.
Much care and prayers,
Brief Background Information on Tzu Chi Foundation
Tzu Chi Foundation is an international humanitarian organization in Taiwan founded by Dharma Master Cheng Yen, a Buddhist nun, on 14 May 1966 in Hualien, Taiwan.
Master Cheng Yen was moved by the poverty and lack of services in the mountainous Hualien and had decided to set up a charity organization. It started out as a group of thirty housewives who saved a small amount of money each day to care for needy families. From these humble beginnings, the group has grown to become a major civil society with approximately 10 million members and chapters in 47 countries.
The group’s core activities include Charity, Medicine, Education and Humanistic Culture and it provides aid to all people regardless of race, religion or nationality. With particularly deep roots in Asia, Tzu Chi is considered one of the most effective aid agencies in the region.
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Groundbreaking Ceremony for Kuala Lumpur Jing-Si Hall
On September 16, 2010, Kuala Lumpur Jing-Si Hall held its groundbreaking ceremony, witnessed by VIPs and some 3,500 people. After eight years of land searching and three years’ wait for a building permit, it is expected to be ready in 2013.
On a 5-acre plot along Kepong’s main road, Malaysian, Buddhist and Tzu Chi flags were seen flying in the wind against the cloudless blue sky. The place was bustling with people since the early morning of September 16, 2010 (the Malaysia Day).
Malaysia Day is held on September 16 yearly to commemorate the establishment of the Malaysian Federation on the same date in 1963. As of 2010, this special day has been gazetted as a Federal public holiday. Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur had also chosen this day to hold the long awaited groundbreaking ceremony for their Jing-Si Hall
Accompanied by Lin Pi-yu, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, and Ven. Ming Ji, are seen here taking a close look at the model of Jing-Si Hall. (Photo by Cheong Huey Chiat)
Tzu Chi volunteers from many countries and 18 Chapters in Malaysia attended the ceremony. Also present to witness this historical event were the Venerable Masters and representatives from various Buddhist organizations, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Representative from Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia, Mr. Lo Yu-chung, Representative from cooperation partners, Tzu Chi members and members of the public.
The seeds of Tzu Chi’s Great Love landed in Malaysia in 1992. In 1997, the Melaka Branch opened the first Tzu Chi Jing-Si Hall in Malaysia. This was subsequently followed by the establishment of two more Jing-Si Halls in Penang and Kedah by the Penang and Kedah Branches respectively. This building in Kepong will be the fourth Jing-Si Hall in Malaysia.
This Jing-Si Hall is strategically situated in Kepong, a township with a large Chinese population. Surrounded by a commercial centre, light industries, schools and residential estates, the 4-storey Jing-Si Hall will have a built-up area of 442,000 sq.ft that accommodates many facilities.
The groundbreaking ceremony began at 9 am with Tzu Chi’s Faith Corp Team marching in with a Buddhist flag, a Tzu Chi flag and the model of KL Jing-Si Hall.
Brother Yoo Ming Wai, who carried the “Jing-Si Hall” model, said it was an emotional moment for him when he held the model up with both hands. He said, “We have waited for so many years for today! The model is heavy, but we know we have an even heavier responsibility to carry – that is the responsibility of Tzu Chi.”
In his speech, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, delivered the Malaysian Prime Minister’s best wishes to Tzu Chi, and expressed his appreciation to the foundation for its contribution to society. He said he was very impressed with Tzu Chi’s relief work in the northern part of the Peninsular when it was hit by the 2004 tsunami. Tzu Chi was the first organization to arrive at the disaster scene.
He also said that he was glad he and his wife had the opportunity to meet Master Cheng Yen in 1996; and he felt her great love and compassion. He said, “Tzu Chi is a religious organization with the Right Belief and it is a role model for all to emulate. I hope all parties will give their support to Tzu Chi in their effort to promote the true Buddhist Spirit.”
In his speech, Reverend Dhammaratana, Chief Monk of the Buddhist Maha Vihara, said that Tzu Chi is a Buddhist organization that reaches out to the public. He was impressed with Tzu Chi’s spirit of “First to arrive and last to go”.
Venerable Ming Ji, Chairman of the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Branch of Malaysian Buddhist Association, hoped that all Buddhists will learn this spirit of “showing great mercy even to strangers, and great compassion for all” as preached by Master Cheng Yen.
Representative from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia, Mr. Lo Yu-chung, also took the opportunity to deliver the government’s best wishes to Tzu Chi Malaysia.
Lin Pi-yu said, “Jing-Si Hall is a building we build together to train more bodhisattvas to carry on the spirit of great love.”
Lin Pi-yu, Tzu Chi Foundation’s Vice President, was also present at the ceremony to deliver Master Cheng Yen’s message. The Master hopes for all bodhisattvas to always emulate the spirit of a farmer who ploughs his land diligently. She also thanked Tzu Chi volunteers in Malaysia for diligently spreading the seeds of great love in Malaysia and connecting people with selfless love.
“First shovel, let’s pray for peace and prosperity, and good weather; second shovel, let’s pray for a harmonious society; third shovel, may all lives on Earth go on forever…”
A team, comprising of 150 Commissioners and Faith Corps (Tzu Cheng), marched in with gloves, gifts and shovels at the ceremony, and this attracted much attention.
Mr. Zhou Han Huan and his fiancee were among the VIPs. They thought donating money before their wedding for the construction of the Jing-Si Hall was a meaningful thing to do.
All present had a chance to participate in the groundbreaking. With a permanent home in place, Tzu Chi volunteers hope to invite more people to learn more about Tzu Chi and do good deeds together.
CEO of Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur, Echo Chien, had this to say, “Seventeen years ago, I had wondered where our home would be? The land searching mission was very tough, but I am glad that we have many volunteers who never gave up in their search; and we finally found it here. This Jing-Si Hall is the result of many people’s efforts. I hope that when completed, the Jing-Si Hall will become the spiritual home of the neighbourhood and benefit more living beings, besides spreading Buddhism.”
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