萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea
萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea

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《教育專欄》

 

FOCUS ON EDUCATION

談教育與修行
ON EDUCATION AND CULTIVATION

【慈祥代天宣化 忠孝為國教民】

On Behalf of Heaven, Proclaim and Transform with Kindness.
For the Country, Teach the People to Be Loyal and Filial.

(接上期)     Continued from last issue
恆朝師一九九四年七月一日開示於國際譯經學院     A Talk by Master Heng Chau at the International Translation Institute on July 1, 1994

我遇到不少人在聽聞到佛陀的教 誨時,都很熱衷興奮地問道:「為 什麼我不曾聽過這種道理呢?為什 麼佛教不創辦學校及大學呢?為什 麼你們不增加教學人員呢?這是非 常好的東西。」教育兒童的人士可 以說是關係著未來。經典上不是常 常激勵我們要「莊嚴佛淨土,廣度 眾生和普供無量佛嗎?」我想這些 理想都可以在教室中完成,也必須 在教室中完成。

所以我們持誦觀音聖號是否為了有一部賓士汽車 或中彩券?「拜託!觀音菩薩,請告訴我這期的中 獎號碼。」那我們可聽錯了音聲,造錯了菩薩像! 我們應該返聞自性的觀音,喚醒自性的大悲。「嗨 !觀音!我聽見我自己了嗎?」念誦觀音聖號是提 醒自己,我們就是觀音菩薩。念著聖號祈求正是刺 激自心,這也就是修行。

那麼,我們遇到的每個境界都是修行的機會,每 個眾生都是應承事的一位未來佛。向觀音菩薩求這 求那,倒不如說:「我是觀音菩薩,(廟上)這些 牆都是虛幻的屏障,其實本來並不存在的。全世界 是個道場,沒有東西阻礙我的修行。我能敏銳地回 應一切眾生。」教學生時,我設法啟發他們內在的 佛性,同時啟發出自己的佛性。

我認為這就是在清涼國師《華嚴經疏鈔序》裡所 寫的意思:

廣大即入於無間,
塵毛包納而無外。

一切人、一切事、一切地、一切時都在修行佛法。 我想這也是上人在下列偈頌中所表達的意思之一:

法界為體有何外,
虛空是用無不容。

這就是為什麼教書是那麼令人喜愛的工作,它都 是修行。兒童很接近他們的自性(在他們的年齡, 就差那麼一寸)。我曾經在心理病房和醫院工作, 成人的改變很慢。等他們進步,要好長一段時間, 甚至常常是一點進展或希望也沒有。小孩卻令人驚 喜地有反應、有彈性。觸及他們的本性時,他們立 刻放出光亮。兒童比大人快,對慈悲智慧立刻有反 應。誠意與明德在兒童身上仍是鮮活而完整的。

總結來說,希望在萬佛聖城以及我們所到之處, 都能辦學校,都記住寬廣的佛法,都不忘記發大菩 提心、修大悲之道。

→待續

Most people I meet are excited and enthusiastic when they hear the teachings of Buddhas, and ask, "How come I've never heard this before? Why don't you have schools and colleges and more teachers? This stuff is really fine!" Whoever teaches children touches the future. The Sutras urge us to "purify Buddhalands, save living beings, and serve limitless Buddhas." All of this can and must take place inside a classroom.

So do we recite Guanyin's name hoping to get a Mercedes Benz, or as a lucky prayer for winning the California Lottery? "Please, come on, Guanyin, give me the right number!" If so, then we have listened to the wrong sounds of the world, and to a false Guanyin image of our own making. We should listen inside for our own Guanyin Bodhisattva and call up our own great compassion. "Hey, Guanyin, do I hear me?" Reciting Guanyin's name is to remind us that we ourselves are Guanyin Bodhisattva. When we invoke that name, we are activating that heart; just that is cultivation.

Then, every state we meet is a potential chance for cultivation; every living being, a future Buddha to serve. Instead of begging Guanyin for this and that, we might say, "I'm Guanyin Bodhisattva, and these walls (of the temple) are illusory obstacles. In fact, these walls don't exist; the whole world is the Way-place and nothing is an obstruction to my cultivation. I can sensitively respond to all living beings. When I teach children, I'm just trying to find a way to bring out that Buddha-nature inside each child, and thus bring out my own.

To me, this is what the Avatamsaka Sutra means when National Master Ching Liang writes in the Preface:

The vast and great can enter where there is no place;
Dust motes and hairs envelop with nothing left outside.

Everybody and everything, every place and all the time is cultivating the Dharma. I think also that this is part of what the Venerable Master meant in his verse:

The Dharma Realm is my substance; nothing falls outside. Empty space is my function; everything fits inside.

That is why teaching is such satisfying work. It's all cultivation. Children are very close to their own true nature. It is right there beneath the surface, at that age. I have worked in psychiatric wards and in hospitals. Adults are slow to change. You have to wait a long time before you can see any signs of improvement, and often you never see any progress or cause for hope. But kids are amazingly responsive and resilient; they light up right away when you reach out to their nature. They respond to kindness and wisdom immediately, faster than we adults do. Their sincerity and "bright virtue" (ming de 明德) is still vital and intact.

So in conclusion, I'm hoping that at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and wherever we go, we will establish schools; that we will remember the bigger Dharma and not forget to make the Great Bodhi Resolve to cultivate the Way of Great Compassion.

→To be continued

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