Sometimes, the faith of others can be won by setting a good example.
Master Dafeng was an eminent monk who lived doing the Song dynasty (960–1279) of ancient China. Being a Zen monk, one would assume that his teachings would revolve around meditation. But instead of preaching or teaching meditation, he spent most of his time travelling and raising funds for charity. His final project was building a bridge so that people no longer had to cross a turbulent river by boat and losing their life. He worked tirelessly even when he was very old and died from fatigue before the bridge was completed.
His spirit of selfless service and sacrifices left such a lasting impression on the Teochew people (his beneficiaries) that it created a culture of charity amongst them. As the Teochews migrate from China to foreign places, they brought along this precious legacy. Places where Teochew people settled will have charity houses (善堂) devoted to charity. The virtue of giving back to society, thus became part of their cultural heritage. The emphasis of being kind and charitable is passed down from one generation to the next; all this is due to the precious lesson learnt by their ancestors from a simple and unassuming monk.
Below is a Chinese movie with English subtitle. I find this movie interesting because it reflects the various conflicts amongst people. Driven by craving, hatred and ignorance, they created all sorts of conflict and troubles in their life. What happen when a kind and selfless monk came into their midst? Here we see Master Huifeng living like a lotus in the mud. Hope you enjoy this weekend movie recommendation.
May all be well and happy.