Love in Action: Autumn, Winter and Spring 2012-2013
Like other spiritual leaders around the world, Supreme Master Ching Hai often speaks about the wisdom of helping others, and also demonstrates love in action through her own example. By giving love and care to people, animals and the environment in times of need, providing financial support and emergency aid during natural disasters such as floods, fires, and earthquakes, she puts her philosophy into practice in her daily life.
The following reports give a brief overview of recent disaster relief and other assistance rendered by members of the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association worldwide. Sometimes undertaken at the initiative of local centers and at others in response to Supreme Master Ching Hai’s direct requests, the work is always carried out in light of her timeless ideals of sincerity, selfless service, humility and unconditional love for others.
While inspired by Supreme Master Ching Hai’s example and teachings on compassion, the work is also guided by the inner wisdom and divine grace derived from Association members’ practice of the Quan Yin Method of meditation. Aided by this miraculous method, the relief work flows smoothly and the seemingly impossible becomes possible with maximum benefit for all.
The following is a summary of some of the humanitarian work carried out by Association members in late 2012 and the first part of 2013.
After Hurricane Sandy struck the US East Coast in October 2012 Supreme Master Ching Hai provided US$28,806 in disaster-relief funds to convey her deep love and care. The International Association’s relief teams then went to the most affected areas to find disaster victims in greatest need and provide them with relief items. The teams also delivered relief supplies to nine local, non-kill animal shelters.
Using a US$20,000 contribution from Supreme Master Ching Hai, members of the Costa Rica relief team handed out relief packages to 1,340 families in need. The team also visited orphanages in Haiti. The children at one of the orphanages had been without food for several days. In some cases, the relief team arrived just in time to help the facilities address the people’s most urgent needs. Although the team ran out of supplies, they still tried their best to help others.
On November 7, 2012, members of the New York, USA relief team worked closely with The Homeless Alliance’s Meal Truck Service in bringing 200 pieces of winter clothing to the Hurricane Sandy disaster area and distributing relief items to homeless people in Manhattan. Due to the economic recession and the impact of Sandy, some local residents who were short of food were forced to stand in long lines together with the homeless in cold, snowy weather to get food packages. Our Association’s Boston Center also provided timely assistance by purchasing 200 warm blankets for the hurricane victims.
In November 2012, an unprecedented flood struck Italy, where local volunteers and charitable organizations provided food and other necessities to those affected, and also helped clean up their damaged homes. Their actions on behalf of the flood affected were true demonstrations of compassion and humanity. The Association’s relief efforts concentrated on finding elderly people and orphans who were in urgent need of help to make sure none of God’s children affected by the flood were left out.
Supreme Master Ching Hai was deeply touched by US President Barack Obama’s compassionate action during the 2012 Thanksgiving Holiday, when he spared the lives of two turkeys instead of only one, as had previously been the custom. In recognition of the president’s noble act, Supreme Master Ching Hai provided US$50,000 to a number of no-kill animal shelters in New York, USA to help animal friends impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Many animals had been separated from their human caregivers because of the storm, and after being rescued were sent to shelters or foster homes. Concerned about their wellbeing, Supreme Master Ching Hai made sure these animal friends received the same care that humans did after the disaster.
On November 11, 2012, an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale struck the city of Mandalay in Myanmar. Supreme Master Ching Hai asked Association members to organize relief activities and provided US$10,000 in relief funds. The monetary aid was used to help the quake-affected and local hospitals, and to assist in repairing or rebuilding temples and office buildings.
Warmth in Winter Relief Project
Winter is the season when hot food, warm clothing and shelter are needed the most. However, these basic necessities, taken for granted by most people, are hard to come by for the homeless, who struggle daily for survival in the winter season despite living in prosperous metropolitan areas. They are also often misunderstood or neglected by society.
Feeling deeply about the distress and needs of the homeless and itinerant monks around the world in winter, Supreme Master Ching Hai kindly asked Association members to provide them with blankets and clothing to send warm love and comfort to their weary hearts and help them endure the hardships of the cold season.
Upon receiving these instructions, Association members around the world quickly planned and put the Warmth in Winter relief project into action. The countries and areas where Association members supported this action included Bulgaria, France, Sri Lanka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the US states of Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Texas. While the relief recipients often expressed deep appreciation for the physical and spiritual comfort provided by Supreme Master Ching Hai’s representatives, the relief-team members themselves were also profoundly touched by their experiences in selflessly serving others. The team members are sincerely thankful to her for giving them the opportunity to expand their compassion and love for all beings.