A FLOWER contains a world, according to an inscription in the Buddhist sutras. Like a smile, a flower is a universal language that can purify the world as it brings joy, peace and comfort to those who look at it. It makes one happy, and that person makes everyone around them happy, too.
Those beautiful words, spoken by flower arrangement instructor Wong Mun Yee, brought a smile to the 30 participants at a workshop at the Ti-Ratana Penchala Community Centre in Petaling Jaya.
Wong then proceeded to teach the participants the basic forms of flower arrangement, patiently showing them, step by step, how various flowers could be grouped to become a sight to behold.
With them at the flower arrangement workshop held recently at the centre in Petaling Jaya were Chief High Priest of Malaysia Venerable K. Sri Dhammaratana, who urged the public to take part in projects conducted at the centre.
The workshop had another purpose. The participants were encouraged to share their newfound knowledge with others, especially women from the poorer or rural areas so that they could generate income from home while looking after their children.
“Ti-Ratana is not only for children; we are ready to give our service to all who need help.
“After this workshop, we hope you can impart what you’ve learnt to those who can use this skill to work from home,” he said.
Centre adviser Datin Catherine Lai shared the vision. “As a mother of two, I know how important it is to be hands-on in raising our children. A skill — be it art, craft, writing or others — will enable them to do so while helping them to making ends meet.”
She said the centre was also set up to help women to be self- reliant.
“Women are born to give and protect, so their survival instinct is immeasurable. As long as they are game for something, they can do wonders,” she said.
Among the participants was Puan Sri Wendy Ong, who had taken part in the centre’s ground-breaking ceremony two years ago.
“Each stalk of flower is beautiful on its own, but placing them together enhances their beauty. It is just like how Ti-Ratana has pulled in the knowledge of kind souls to benefit the entire community,” she said.
Apart from dhamma classes and arts and craft workshops, the centre also feeds the poor with hot food. It is seeking donations and contributions in any form to make its Meals on Wheels programme a reality.
“We hope to have a van that can go from place to place to dish out hot food to the needy. We want the food to be hot, so the van ought to be fitted with equipment such as a food warmer.
“We also hope to pass on a positive message through talks, hence we are in dire need of volunteers and donations for this programme,” Lai said.
The Ti-Ratana Penchala Community Centre is located at 21, Jalan Penchala, Petaling Jaya. It can be reached at 03-7784 9002, 012-240 9020 or 019-662 6101 (Ms Serena), or 012-300 2638 (Brother Wong).
Volunteers can register at the centre’s official website www.ti-ratana-penchala.com.my.