On Saturday, 19 May 2018, a group of Tzu Chi volunteers decorated the Tzu Chi Free Clinic at Redhill and transformed it into a solemn venue for a mini Buddha Bathing ceremony that was held for physically challenged aid beneficiaries.
It was raining on that day; fortunately, transportation arrangements were made earlier to bring the aid recipients to the free clinic, with a team of volunteers in charge of driving the former to the venue.
Although it was drizzling wet outside, the atmosphere in the clinic was filled with joy and warmth. Friendly volunteers stood at the entrance to welcome the arrival of the guests and greeted them warmly, before ushering them into the clinic. Help was readily rendered to those who were wheelchair bound as they made their way inside.
The Tzu Chi Merit Organization had held a Buddha Day ceremony which combined the celebration of Buddha Day, Mother’s Day and Global Tzu Chi Day at Bedok Stadium on 13 May 2018, with a massive crowd of nearly 5,000.
For aid recipients who are physically challenged, standing for long hours in an open field is not an option for them. Therefore, a mini Buddha Bathing ceremony was specially organised for them at the Tzu Chi Free Clinic. Through the Buddha bathing ritual, a total of 44 beneficiaries and their family members cleansed their hearts and minds while sincerely praying for blessings and world peace.
The Buddha Bathing ritual was followed by a foot bathing and tea serving ceremony that allowed the younger generations to show their love and appreciation for their parents. Madam Shen couldn’t contain her happiness while her daughter was bathing her feet. And her daughter was moved to tears as she bathed her mother’s feet and served her tea.
“I have waited 19 years for this cup of tea,” said Madam Shen.
“Thank you, Mum, for looking after me for 19 years. Thank you for raising me up and letting me go to school. The person I’m indebted the most in my life is my mother. It is my turn now to repay my mother and give her an easier life,” shared her daughter.
Madam Yan’s husband came to know about Tzu Chi after a stroke attack in 2015. This day, she had brought her husband and son to the Buddha Bathing ceremony. Madam Yan opined that the act of foot bathing is a way for children to express their gratitude for their parents, and she hoped that her son would learn to be grateful to his parents and grandmother.
In the recent three years, Madam Yan and her mother-in-law have been accompanying her husband to the Tzu Chi Day Rehabilitation Centre for physiotherapy. Her husband is now less dependent on adult diapers and is showing signs of recovery.
Suppiah, a Hindu by faith, closely followed the instructions of the host during the prayer session.
“Today, as we pray to the Buddha, I feel peace and lightness in my heart as if every burden in my heart has been lifted and all my sufferings are gone,” she said joyfully. Then, she expressed her desire to attend the mini Buddha Bathing ceremony again next year.
At the end of the ceremony, Tzu Chi volunteers stood next to the beneficiaries and their family members as they sang the Tzu Chi song, “Our Earnest Prayers”, bringing the 2-hour event to a heart-warming close.