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.
The Saver of the Almond Tree is one of the Master Cheng Yen Tells Stories series. This book contains three stories: “The Man in White”, “Empress Komyo”, and “The Saver of the Almond Tree”. All the stories make this book very abundant and diversified, explaining profound meanings in simple language. The stories remind us things like:
(1) Those who realize the beauty of life are with kindness and virtue. They know how to seize the moment to love and protect life.
(2) When we do good deeds and give to others, we should think of it as our duty. We must be careful or not let our pure minds be corrupted by arrogance!
(3) We should treat everyone equally and form good affinities with everyone with a sincere heart. Only then are we living with wisdom.
Through colorful illustrations, stories become more interesting. And basic values are passed down to the next generation. With easy-to-understand bilingual text (Traditional Chinese with pinyin and English), this book helps non-Chinese readers to learn Chinese and Chinese readers to learn English.
“The Saver of the Almond Tree”
In a king’s garden, there was an almond tree so magnificent it was called the Queen of Trees. When the pillar of a great hall in the royal palace had to be replaced, the best wood was needed, so the king decided to chop down the almond tree for it. Hearing that she would be cut down, the almond tree spirit cried for days. A little reineckea spirit came to comfort her. Would he be able to help her?