As COVID-19 lingers on, Ling Jiou Mountain Meditation Center in Thailand reaches out with Relief Support

As COVID-19 lingers on, Ling Jiou Mountain Meditation Center in Thailand reaches out with Relief Support
The Ling Jiou Mountain (LJM) Meditation Center in Thailand is filled to the brim with relief materials ready to go, and all the bags are full of goodies filled with compassion. The first round of distribution took place on the morning of May 16, with 500 households on the receiving end of livelihood stuff like rice, cooking oil, canned food, mangos, and food made of sticky rice, etc. The second round of distribution has been scheduled for May 30 at the same location.

Local Thai authorities at the District Admin Center issued vouchers to eligible households for the redemption of food items from the LJM relief mission. Meditation Center executive, LJM Master Miao Lang, pointed out that people short-listed are mostly daily-wage earners who have lost all odd jobs due to the pandemic. With no food on the table, the poor have been confronted with existential pressure.

Master Miao Lang prioritized to tide over those below the poverty line, and an emergency fund-raising quickly got underway. Special gratitude goes to all who made contributions because of word of mouth via social media like LINE. Donations from non-Buddhist organizations and the Taiwan Representative’s office were among the early entries, and a senior community resident in his 70's approached the Center to make a donation of 2,000 Thai Baht as yet another heart-warming example. And all deeds of kindness will not go unnoticed.

Chairman CHEN Sui-Lung of the LJM Charity Foundation of Thailand, and CEO LIU Bin-Er of the LJM Meditation Center of Thailand, have been working closely with the local authorities of the County Government for coordination and logistics ranging from procurement to packaging all individual portions for on-site distribution. Volunteers were mobilized and everyone did their utmost in order that the relief materials could be received in a timely fashion. We are particularly indebted by Chair Person CHEN-LI Shu-Yun of the LJM Thailand Association of Honorary Board Members - who led by example and moved quite a few local opinion leaders to endorse our fund-raising. Her all-out efforts were certainly most impressive.

Starting at 9 A.M. on May 16, people with the vouchers queued up in front of our Meditation Center, and the COVID-19 precautions SOP kicked into action: masks were worn, the distance was kept, body temperatures were taken, and both hands sanitized with medical alcohol. Two Maha Sanghas of Thailand - Sangkasitthikorn, Phra Mahawarot - were engaged to bless the occasion for the local recipients with a Thai purification ritual. A gift of 540 bottles of drinking water was dispensed to keep people in the queue from dehydration in the glaring sun, and it came from the residential community near-by. Community Chairman and his Mother, furthermore, had prepared for every one of the 500 recipients a lunch box and a cash gift of 100 Thai Bhat. Everyone was touched.

It has been 37 years since the Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society was established. LJM has been creating sermon facilities, meditation centers, and overseas service outposts all around the world. LJM upholds 'Compassion' and 'Chan Meditation' as the cornerstones of its school of Buddhist practice to promote and materialize the spirit of compassion embodied in the couplet saying of 'To live is to serve lives / The purpose of life is to dedicate oneself to all lives'. The LJM Founding Abbot, Dharma Master Hsin Tao, said that ‘when confronted with life-threatening calamities, we need to cherish one another with blessings and the realization that we are companions for life and we must have compassion and empathy to banish the pandemic in the fastest way possible. As long as we work together, we most certainly will eradicate the calamity.'