Thursday, Mar 21

Volunteers’ Camp Leave in High Spirits

February 24, 2019 | Katrina Mina

Participants of the three-day Volunteers’ Camp practiced a few lines of the Water Repentance sutra adaptation. During the camp, participants were encouraged to join in the performance. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

Story Highlights

  • Volunteers’ Camp in Tzu Chi Great Love Campus ends with songs and laughter on February 24, 2019.

 

Songs and laughter filled the halls of Harmony Building during the much-awaited culmination of the three-day Volunteers’ Camp held at Tzu Chi Great Love Campus (TCGLC) in Sta. Mesa, Manila last February 24, 2019.

The camp, which introduces the foundation to the 85 participants, aims to encourage them to volunteer with the foundation. During the three-day stay in TCGLC, camp participants learned about Tzu Chi’s missions of education and medicine in the country, relief efforts here and abroad, environmental protection campaign and Tzu Chi’s values and missions.

During the last day of the camp, the participants were invited to join the stage adaptation of the Water Repentance sutra to be performed early next year. Written by Dharma Master Wu Da from the Tang Dynasty, the Water Repentance sutra talks about people’s affliction, karma, and the way to repent for these bad actions.

According to the sutra adaptation, people create negative afflictions in their lives that will come back in the future as karmic retributions. This in return creates a vicious cycle of sufferings inflicted on our present and future lives, without much agency for liberation. The text urges everyone to reflect and repent, through the help of the Dharma, in order to relieve oneself from this otherwise unending cycle.

Camp participant Shu-Li Weng Co said that since she believes in the consequences of our wrongdoings, joining the performance of Water Repentance would somehow help absolve her own bad karma.

“When we do something wrong, no matter if [we] believe or not, there’s a cause and effect. So I do believe in my life, I [did] a lot of wrongdoing[s]. I’d like to join this activity to correct it.” said Shu-Li Weng Co.

Another participant Johnny Cheng emphasized the importance of practicing water repentance in sowing greater blessings in life.

“As Master Cheng [Yen] said, you need to purify yourself before you get a reward. If you have a pure spirit in doing good deeds to others, you will get good rewards in life.” he said.

To end the event, some of the participants shared their learnings during the camp. Tzu Chi volunteers and participants also joined in chorus as they sang Tzu Chi songs.

Shu-Li Weng Co said that she had a hard time convincing herself to join Tzu Chi. But after a lot of mulling over; she realized that all her efforts to be a volunteer is worthwhile since she had learned a lot of things.

“I’m willing to… wear the uniform, to follow the rules, to sit there and to spend the time because we [could] take home something… I’d like to invite my classmates and I promise you will learn something.” she said.

Cheng said that the camp was filled with people who wanted to do nothing but kindness. “This camp is good because this is the first time I experience where everyone wanted to do kindness. Then if everyone will do good, everyone would think nothing else but the good of their fellow beings… so everybody love each other. The things they taught us, we would contemplate on them and incorporate them to make our lives better.”

  • Volunteer Ci Yue talks about the sutra adaptation of the Water Repentance by Dharma Master Wu Da. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Johnny Cheng (leftmost) laughs along with the audience as volunteer Ci Yue delivers a speech about the Water Repentance. The camp was held to give the participants a better understanding of the foundation. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Dharma Master 德倪 (De Ni) delivers a speech at the end of the camp. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Camp participant Shu-Li Weng Co shares stories of her co-participants and herself during the closing ceremony of the camp. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • The crowd erupts in an applause as Tzu Chi volunteers and personnel bid their goodbyes and well wishes. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • As deep bonds form over the span of three days, emotions run high when it was time to say good bye. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】