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Master Cheng Yen told stories from the Buddha’s time and instances from daily life. This book includes three parts:

In part one of this book, “The All-Pervasive Heart,” a young child deposits coins in a piggy bank every day in order to “help Grandmaster build the hospital.” In this child’s young heart, a window of love is opened, and as she grows up, the goodness in her heart will continue to grow.

In part two of this book, “Self-Refinement,” there is a story from the Buddha’s time about an elder who asked the Buddha how to eliminate illness. The Buddha told him, “If one’s mind remains well even when one’s body is sick, one can achieve liberation from the pain of illness. Unenlightened beings are all afflicted by the Five Aggregates (form, feeling, perception, action, and consciousness). Once we fall ill, our lives become enshrouded by pain and fear. If we can fully understand that our body is merely an illusory form, and that aging, illness, and death are natural, our bodily suffering will not be as intense.”


The final part of this book, “Serenity at Life’s End” provides many real examples to show that even at life’s end, we can transcend the afflictions of birth and death so long as we can let go of our attachments. In this part of the book, there is the story of a cancer patient who endures the pain of illness and refuses chemotherapy in order to preserve his body for medical research. There is also the story of elderly people who live out the final stretch of their lives in a state of peace and ease.

證嚴法師講述了真實人生故事以及佛典故事。本書共分為三個部分:
在本書上篇〈心香處處聞〉中,年幼的孩童日日投硬幣存撲滿,為的是「幫忙師公蓋醫院」,在幼小的心靈開啟一扇愛的窗,延續到他們成長後,心中的善依舊不斷增長。

本書中篇〈自我的焠煉〉中,提及佛陀在世時,有位長者請示佛陀,如何去除病苦。佛陀告訴他,若能身病、心不病,病痛即可解脫。凡夫都有五蘊(色、受、想、行、識)的煩惱,一旦生病,更使生活籠罩在痛楚與死的恐懼中;若能徹底了知身體是假色,使老、病、死的一切歸于自然,身體的病痛自然不會如此強烈。

於本書下篇〈自在的終點〉即以諸多實例,呈現出縱使到了生命的盡頭,只要能放下執著就能超越生死的煩惱。其中或有癌症患者,忍住病痛不做化療,為的是捐出大體供醫學研究;也有老人們在臨終時,以安詳自在的心境,譜下生命的休止符。

About the Author:
Dharma Master Cheng Yen was born in 1937 in a small town in Taichung County, Taiwan. When she was twenty-three years old, she left home to become a Buddhist nun, and was instructed by her mentor, Venerable Master Yin Shun, to work “for Buddha’s teachings, for sentient beings.” In 1966, she founded a charity, which later turned into the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, to “help the poor and educate the rich”—to give material aid to the needy and inspire love and humanity in both givers and recipients.
 
In recent years, Master Cheng Yen’s contributions have been increasingly recognized by the global community. In 2011, she was recognized with the Roosevelt Institute’s FDR Distinguished Public Service Award and was named to the 2011 TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people. In 2014, she was presented with Rotary International’s Award of Honor in recognition of her humanitarian efforts and contributions to world peace.

  • Preface
    • Part One
    • Part Two
    • Part Three
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