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仔細推敲智慧開,文字遊戲意味深
SUBTLE REFLECTION LEADS TO INSIGHT:
A WORD GAME OF FLAVOR AND DEPTH

鄰虛塵      文      by Nearly Invisible Dustmote

對聯是東方文學裡一門需要仔細推敲文 字的學問。中國文字包括字形、字音、字 義,若能善巧運用形、音、義的變化,即 可做出種種妙不可言的文字遊戲。雖名遊 戲,實非遊戲,最可貴者在於弦外之音、 言外之意的深厚哲理與微妙智慧,涵容了 一切的世法、出世法。

對聯就像佛法一樣,猛一看,並不覺得 有什麼了不起的地方;可是,當你一字一 字研究時,就能發現其中妙趣。尤其是歷 代的名聯,增不得一字,減不得一字,換 不得一字,令人拍案叫絕,回味無窮。

因語言文化的差異,即使依字面意思譯 為英文,亦甚難解其中的旨趣,僅能勉力 為之而已,但願以此盡力而為的一片誠心 ,能把這門學問帶入西方社會。

上人傳法西來,也將東方的悠久文化背 景,融入這個年輕活潑的國土。「對聯」 ––這中國文化的國粹,也就隨著上人帶 來美國加州的萬佛聖城。

只要上人一回萬佛聖城,他老人家便為 四眾弟子繼續這一堂未完的對聯課,時間 是早上六點開始,七點半結束,但通常會 在反應熱烈、欲罷不能的情況下,而延長 時間。

一位初嚐果實甜滋味的學生,謹此記述 個人的心得,雖未能代表所有人的心聲, 但願能與城外更廣大的眾生一起分享對聯 課中的法喜與清涼。

Matching couplets is a branch of Asian literature which requires a penetrating and precise understanding of Chinese characters. Every Chinese character involves the three aspects of meaning, form, and sound. By skillfully using the changes of meaning, form and sound of Chinese characters, one call invent delightful word games. Although we call them "games," they are actually much more. The most valuable attribute is the profound philosophy and subtle wisdom of the meaning hidden between the lines, of the music beyond the notes played by the orchestra, containing both worldly and transcendental Dharma.

Matched couplets are similar to the Buddhadharma, in that when you only take a superficial look, you cannot perceive the wonder. But if you study the couplets word by word, you will begin to discover their fascinating qualities. This is especially true of the famous matched couplets of the past, which are so perfect that if you tried to add, take away, or change even one character, it would spoil the wonderful meaning. These examples are truly unforgettable.

Due to differences of language and culture, it is not easy for people to thoroughly understand the principle and meaning of the couplets through a literal translation of the characters into English. However, despite the difficulties of interpretation, we would still like to try our best, in the sincere hope that the study of matching couplets will be adopted in the West.

In addition to bringing the Dharma to the West, the Venerable Master has also brought the age-old heritage of Eastern culture to this young and energetic country. Thus, matching couplets, the national legacy of Chinese culture, has been brought to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.

Whenever the Venerable Master comes to the City, he will teach a class on matching couplets for the fourfold assembly of disciples. The class is scheduled from 6:00 to 7:30 A.M. in Wonderful Words Hall, but because of the enthusiasm of the assembly, the class usually continues way past the scheduled time.

As one student who has tasted the sweetness of the fruit, I have written down my feelings about the matching couplets class. Although they cannot represent the feelings of the whole assembly, I would still like to share them with all those living beings outside the City, giving them a refreshing taste of the joyful Dharma found in the matching couplets class.

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