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.
“There was once a two-headed bird; one of its heads always wanted to sleep, and the other was always alert. One day, while the sleepyhead was asleep, a sweet-smelling fruit rolled in front of the two headed bird. The alert-head did not want to wake the other head, so he ate the sweet fruit by himself. When the sleepy-head found out, he was very upset, so he decided to get back at the alert-head. What is he going to do?”
The latest book from the series, “Master Cheng Yen Tells Stories,” Fragrant Fruit and Poisonous Fruit contains three short stories: “The Gratitude of Birds and Beasts,” “Animals Repaying Gratitude,” and “Fragrant Fruit and Poisonous Fruit.” Involving diverse characters and different cultures, these stories explain the following teachings in succinct and easy-to-understand language.
1.Only when we all respect and care about each other will society be filled with light and warmth.
2.Cultivate our minds, do good deeds, love all living beings, and develop good affinities all the time.
3.In life, our mind is the hardest thing to control, so, we need to always be mindful.
4.When we respect ourselves, we repay good deeds. When we give to others, we show our gratitude.
Filled with interesting and colorful illustrations that appeal to children, the stories seek to inculcate wholesome values and virtues in the young. With easy-to-understand bilingual text (Traditional Chinese with pinyin and English), this book is ideal for non-Chinese readers to learn Chinese and Chinese readers, to learn English.
「有一隻雙頭鳥， 一個頭很貪睡， 而另一個頭時常保持警覺。有一天，貪睡的頭在沈睡時，一顆香果滾到雙頭鳥身邊。清醒的頭不忍心叫醒另一個頭， 就獨自把香果吃了。貪睡的頭知道了很不高興，就想要報復清醒的頭。牠會做出什麼事呢？」
(3) 人生最難控制的就是「心」，所以， 大家更要多用心。