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The Origin of “Jing Si”

Prior to being ordained as a nun, Master Cheng Yen gave herself the Dharma name, “静思” (Jing Si), which means “silent contemplation”. She kept the name as a reminder for herself to constantly reflect on life’s direction. It subsequently nurtured the philosophy of Tzu Chi and set the tone for the establishment of the organisation’s first publishing house, “Still Thoughts Cultural Mission”. The character, “静” (Jing), is made up of two characters, “青” (green) and “争” (fight), which, according to the Master, convey the message, “strive to be like the stately green mountains, never fighting over anything in life”. And the character, “思” (Si), which consists of two characters, “田” (field) and “心” (heart), can be taken to mean “mindfully cultivating the field of our heart”. The Master hopes that everyone will keep a simple, pure, and sincere heart that bears Right Faith, and diligently till the soil of their own hearts as well as cultivate fields of blessings in society.

In 1966, Master Cheng Yen and 30 local housewives (her lay disciples) began their humble work of helping the poor. To raise funds for their charity work, the Master asked them to save NT$0.50 each day in a bamboo coin bank. However, at the Jing Si Abode in Hualien, Taiwan, the Master and her monastic disciples make an effort to maintain self-sufficiency, without drawing a cent from Tzu Chi’s charity funds. They have always abided by the strict rule of “No Work, No Meal”, sustaining their livelihood by making various handicrafts, farm work, etc. Later, Tzu Chi’s own publishing house, “Still Thoughts Cultural Mission” (later renamed as “Jing Si Publications”), was established, publishing various books and audio-visual products, with the aim of passing on the Jing Si Dharma Lineage and bringing love, purity, and joy to hearts and minds. The income generated by the sale of Jing Si’s products supports the living expenses within the Abode.

The Goal of Jing Si

The goal of Jing Si’s publications is to inspire people towards goodness, and they cover various topics, such as Dharma, spiritual development, education, medicine, social care, and other subject matters that promote holistic living. In addition, books on spiritual development from other publishers are carefully curated and displayed within the Jing Si bookstores for sale.

The most popular publications are the books of Jing Si Aphorisms, which are wise and inspiring sayings excerpted from Master Cheng Yen’s teachings. Nuggets of life’s wisdom are encapsulated in the sayings, which are written in easy-to-read language. The book of Jing Si Aphorisms published in 1989 was the first Tzu Chi book circulated in the public. 25 years after the first book of Jing Si Aphorisms was published, the sayings have been translated into 14 languages with more than 4.5 million copies sold worldwide.

Apart from publications, Jing Si also offers a wide range of food and lifestyle products that are developed along the lines of environmental conservation and sustainability. They include hand-made candles and soap, grain/bean powdered drink mix, reusable utensils, etc., which are all safe and healthy for both people and the environment.


Jing Si Tea is produced on the rolling hills of Taiwan under optimal environmental conditions and cultivated by hand.  Only organic farming techniques are used.  No chemical fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides are involved in growing these tea leaves.  Leaves are picked at optimal times according to the season.  No preservatives, artificial colorings, and fragrances are added.



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Learn more about
Tzu Chi USA and the global foundation.

Tzu Chi Foundation was established in 1966 by Venerable Dharma Master Cheng Yen on the poor east coast of Taiwan. Over the years, the foundation has been contributing to better social and community services, medical care, education and humanism in Taiwan and around the world. From the first 30 members, housewives who saved two cents from their grocery money each day to help the poor, the foundation has volunteers in 50 countries , with 502 offices worldwide.
Master Cheng Yen firmly believes that suffering in this world is caused not only by material deprivation but, more importantly, also by spiritual poverty. She feels that the lack of altruistic love for others has been the root of many problems in this world. Thus, the foundation’s guiding principle on charity is to “help the poor and educate the rich.”
Tzu Chi’s missions focus on giving material aid to the needy and inspiring love and humanity to both givers and receivers. In addition to charity, the foundation dedicates itself in the fields of medicine, education, environmental protection, international relief work and the establishment a marrow donor registry. It also promotes humanistic values and community volunteerism. Through helping those in need, Tzu Chi volunteers take on the path of bodhisattva practices, the way to Buddhahood.