Now in Guatemala, there has been an earthquake as a result of the karmic obstacles of the people there. Originally, there should also have been one in San Francisco. I’ll be honest and tell you, there should have been 20,000 deaths in 1968. But not a single person died. There was no need for emergency aid or blood transfusions. Now many people have died or been hurt in Guatemala, and blood transfusions are needed to save them.
Guo Ning went to give blood, but his giving was actually evil within good. Why? He himself was sick with a cold, and that means there were cold germs in his blood. Not only would his blood not help the victims, but it would give them colds. He should have waited until he recovered from his cold before giving blood. So if any of you want to give blood, don’t do it when you’re sick. If you feel perfectly healthy and have too much blood, you can give some away.
Also, in the future, no matter what happens, the people at Gold Mountain Monastery (GMM) should be united. We should get organized. If there are disasters anywhere, whoever wants to contribute money or volunteer to help may do so. However, we should do it as a group. It shouldn’t be that everyone makes their own announcement—that’s too chaotic. GMM should make the official announcement, and it should conduct things properly. Everything should be done in accord with the Dharma. If people from outside want to put up announcements here, they have to go through the manager. And among the residents, it shouldn’t be that this one is a boss, that one is a manager, and the other one is a chairman—each one making his or her own statement. There should only be one official spokesperson. This isn’t a marketplace. We don’t want to have so many bosses and managers.
In all these years, the Sino-American Buddhist Association has been doing a lot of work to renovate Gold Mountain Monastery. And so we haven’t really had the strength to help others. Now the renovation work is complete. Although the property in Ukiah [the future City of Ten Thousand Buddhas] will also require a lot of work, we can still establish a relief department. Whenever there are natural disasters such as tornadoes, hailstorms, and so forth; or manmade disasters, such as wars and famine, we should do as much as we can do help them. Or if there are earthquakes, such as the one in Guatemala, which left so many casualties and victims in need of aid, we should also do as much as we can to help them. So the Sino-American Buddhist Association should set up a relief department and choose a director. Then when there is any calamity, everyone can bring forth a compassionate heart to help the victims.
The Dharma does not arise by itself; it comes in response to situations. We weren’t aware of such circumstances before, so we didn’t do this kind of work. That was an oversight on our part. This time, when Guo Shan announced the news, I know many people wanted to give contributions to help. This is very good, but we should do it in a proper and organized way. We should keep a clear record of the names of all the people who donate money, and then give the donations to one person who is in charge. Today I heard that Guo Shan returned the money to the donors. That wasn’t necessary. They donated it for charity purposes, so that’s what it should be used for. We should first nominate members for the relief department. In the future that department will take care of such affairs. Then things will be done better and more effectively. The relief department can accept donations for relief at any time. We can save up the money, and then where there is a disaster, we can use a portion of the savings to help those people. This will give everyone an opportunity to do charitable deeds in an orderly manner.