Source: Tzu Chi Monthly | Issue 683

Author: Chen Wenyin | Taipei

One aspect of Teacher Chen Meiyi (陳美羿) that I deeply admire is her unwavering dedication over the past four decades to a single cause -- advocating for Tzu Chi, embodying its principles, and meticulously chronicling the footsteps of love associated with the organization. Through her writings, she not only guides others to cultivate a compassionate mindset but also effectively explains the teachings of Dharma Master Cheng Yen.

Teacher Chen Meiyi (陳美羿) shared the story of Tzu Chi's care for Syrian refugees in Turkey, titled 'Gazing Across Eight Thousand Miles, Amidst Stars and Moons.' ‌ ‌Photo by Chen Kunfu | Ben Chiao Jing Si Hall, New Taipei City, Taiwan | 2023/07/21

Having read her published works, including Teaching Our Children with Love and A Lifetime of Braving Storms with a Straw Cape: Upholding Virtuous Deeds as a Model of Constancy, I was profoundly moved by the selfless dedication of Tzu Chi's tutorial volunteers. Their unconditional love has brought warmth and acceptance to countless underprivileged children and encouraged them to work for a brighter future.

I learnt the graceful demeanor of Ven. Master Cheng Yen's first disciple. She  embodies a gentle and inspiring presence, further promoting the Master's teachings and the well-being of sentient beings.

In late October 2021, I came across a Facebook post showing Teacher Chen Meiyi being assisted by a home caregiver for a stroll by the riverbank; she was using an umbrella as a makeshift cane. Upon visiting her, I was sad to find that she needed support from tables or walls to move around. Yet she remained cheerful, insisting that everything was fine. What endeared her to me even more was her pride in the physician's assurance that her mind was that of a healthy young person.

Sunset at the Bald Cypress Trail in Jing Si Abode. ‌ ‌Photo by Zhou Xinghong | Hualien, Taiwan | 2023/01/23

As time swiftly passed, at the approach of the Lunar New Year, I spent the holiday at the Jing Si Abode (in Hualien, east Taiwan) and stayed at Teacher Chen Meiyi's home. Astonishingly, she personally drove to the train station to pick me up. I could not understand how her vertigo symptoms had improved so rapidly. Over the next four days, she cared for me with meticulous attention, transforming me from someone accustomed to taking care of others into her cherished younger sister. She introduced me to admirable Tzu Chi senior brothers and sisters, took me for a leisurely stroll along the Bald Cypress Trail in Jing Si Abode, and even visited Ci Sing Tan Scenic Spot to enjoy the sea. Despite her busy schedule, she knew how to savor life.

During our conversations, I learned that she had instructed her son to give away her property in the future. Since we were both being retired teachers, I wondered how she could be so magnanimous, willingly contributing money to numerous charitable endeavors; I struggled with such generosity. This reminded me of the teachings of the Buddha: "Enter my door not poor, exit my door not rich," and the words of Dharma Master Cheng Yen: "To gain, one must be willing to give."

Teacher Chen Meiyi said that the actions of Dharma Master Cheng Yen commanded respect from both deities and spirits, a sentiment I deeply share.  I also hold great admiration for Teacher Chen Meiyi herself.