Nga Gyur Shed Dup Charity Foundation 2014
Marching onto the new year of 2014, a new milestone has begun. 30 over children finished the elementary studies program of 5 years and decided to leave our school. It’s time for them to move on with new destinations in mind. And the school has also seen new enrolment of younger children who fulfilled the requirements.
With new found experience and more thorough consideration, we’ve made adjustment to the studies program; instead of 5 years, it’s now a 3-year program. Also, the core emphasis of studies now focuses on writing with proper grammar and technical skills. We’re hoping that our children are able to master basic knowledge of making a living when they graduate.
Not only are the vulnerable young children affected by this high plateau of poor soils and remote mountains, the elderly who have gone through tough life are also a big part of the community and these older people deserve more loving care. In Anzi village, because of vast land and tough terrain, these elderly with snowflake hair and full wrinkles on face walk with great difficulties, every step taken must be maneuvered with caution.
Taking care of elderly and young children is a noble beauty. Quite many of us have forgotten about this group, especially the elderly, in this fast pace material world. Living without relatives and children, not being able to take care of themselves and the very lonesome feelings deep inside the heart are making all things empty and hopeless in life. And these elderly usually live day to day, without proper idea or planning about their remaining time. A few times we talked to some of the elderly, they haven’t shed any tears on numerous disasters in their lives yet the extreme void of loneliness could torture them to pouring tears.
We sympathize with these poor old people but we’re unable to build them an old folks house yet. In order to console their souls and spirits, we’ve decided to install hand-turn Mani (dharma) prayer wheels around the walls of monastery.
In Tibet, rotating the Mani prayer wheels traditionally serves to benefit all living beings with Buddhist mantras and sutras. It reflects how faithfully and with full of respect Tibetan people apply the teachings of Gautama Buddha of compassion on all aspects of living. In 《The Sutra of Mani Prayer Wheel brings Benefits of One Hundred Thousand Virtues (Translation yet to be standardized) 》(《经轮利益十万功德经》) : “I (The Buddha) will in the future, turn into words and shapes and benefit all of you.” And still more directly in 《The complete series of Shakyamuni Buddha (Translation yet to be standardized) 》(《摩尼全集》) : “Put the liberating prayer wheels on high places, anywhere winds carry with them all living beings shall benefit. If at places such as rivers, ponds, streams that the prayer wheels be placed in hydraulic rotation then fishes, shrimps and etc will benefit. ” Also in 《Water Wind Broad Continuation (Translation yet to be standardized) 》(《水风广续》) that it says of : “The merit of turning prayer wheels… Immeasurable merit can’t be spoken enough of.”
Old folks at Anzi village are quite elderly and no longer have sharp memories. Research on sutras and analysis is difficult for them; debates by understanding sutras is even more impossible. Turning the prayer wheels is the easiest way for them to practise. In fact turning prayer wheels is more than a spiritual practise; when they go around the monastery and turn the wheels they’ll be able to exercise their bodies, and thus making the bodies stronger. This is one of the main reasons we chose to build the prayer wheels.
We’ve faced challenges one after another in the work of helping the poor in Anzixiang village. Still, no matter what the hardships lie ahead we’ll be full of love and enthusiasm in working with the local community to carry on the fire of hope. We look forward with optimism because we believe “Compassion is born to all human beings and is the source of our inner strength.”