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《菩提鏡》

 

Bodhi Mirror

南北傳佛教結合的希望
A Hope for the Unity of the Southern and Northern Traditions

編輯室 by editorial staff

英國籍的阿摩羅法師,於一九七八年二十一歲時,跟著柬浦賽的察法師在泰國東北部的森林中接受訓練。在一九七九年末又回到英國齊特斯寺,跟著蘇美度法師學習二年,之後又在英國佛教永生中心住了十年。

阿摩羅法師在他受戒滿五年時,獲准至英國行腳,這是泰國森林比丘的一種傳統修行方式。阿摩羅法師說:「法界佛教總會的僧人,第一次行三步一拜的朝聖之舉,給了我很大的啟示。」阿摩羅法師與他的法侶由英國北部行腳至南部,自一九八三年五月開始至同年八月結束。在「沉默的雨」一書中記載了他行腳的行程。

一九九○年阿摩羅法師,第一次受邀訪美,此行見到了宣公上人和萬佛聖城的僧眾。事實上法師很久以來就受著宣公上人的教化,和北傳佛教的影響。他內心也受著這兩種佛教傳統的沖激,這種內心的掙扎,很擾亂他在這兩種佛教中的修行。有一天宣公上人在夢裡跟他講了一句話,讓他認清了自己這種在南北傳佛教表面上加以分別,甚而使自己的修行都受到干擾的行為是多麼地愚癡。

蘇美度法師又啟發了他想在美國成立道場的看法,他每年帶著這樣的看法來美國訪問。阿摩羅法師說:「一九九五年五月底時,英國僧團派了兩位僧侶到美國來設立道場,我們在加州曼都仙諾郡開始尋找地方。那時蘇美度法師正在長堤看望了住在醫院中的宣公上人。雖然那時上人已不能接見蘇美度法師,但是上人還是像以往一樣能觀機逗教。在他和我找了三天之後,消息傳來上人數年前已指示將曼都仙諾郡中一塊一百二十英畝的森林地贈與蘇美度法師及其僧團。那時我想:『哦!原來如此。』立刻我就看出了,我注定是要全力來促成南北傳佛教之間的和諧團結、及互不障礙,這也是上人一生努力的目標之一。英國僧團帶著感激之情接受了這項饋贈,過戶手續也於一九九五年七月廿七日完成。」

阿摩羅法師則成為這座位於紅木谷,名為「無畏山寺」的住持方丈。無畏山寺為信徒提供禪座及聽法的機會。

In l978, in his twenty-first year, Ajahn Amaro began his training in the forest monasteries of Northeast Thailand under Venerable Ajahn Chah. By late l979, he returned to England, going to Chithurst Monastery to study under Ajahn Sumedho. 

After two years at Chithurst, he spent ten years in residence at Amaravati. When he had been precepted for five years, he requested and received permission to conduct a Tudong, a “wandering” traditional to the forest monks in Thailand, on the soils of England. “I was also inspired by the first Three Steps, One Bow pilgrimage conducted by monks from the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association,” he relates. He and his companion monk “wandered” from north to south in England between May and August, l983. Records of his journey are published in the book Silent Rain.

In l990, Ajahn Amaro was invited to the United States for the first time and it was then that he met Venerable Master Hua and the Sangha of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Actually, he had long been influenced by Master Hua's teaching and Mahayana practices, and even developed a nagging internal conflict about the two traditions. This internal struggle, which disturbed his practice of either tradition, persisted until the Venerable Master Hua appeared to him in a dream and with one sentence, made him realize the folly of his superficious discriminations that had been undermining his faith.

After that first visit to the US, he came every year, with a view, inspired by Ajahn Sumeda, of starting a monastery in America. “By the end of May, l995, permission had been granted by the Sangha in England and two of us monks came, ready to undertake the task. We began to search for land in Mendocino County California. At that time Ajahn Sumedo was at Long Beach, having gone to pay respects to Venerable Master Hua, who had already been hospitalized. Although the Master was too ill to receive Ajahn Sumedo personally, he was, as always, ready with the right expedient for the occasion. Thus it was that three days after our search for land began, we received word that Master Hua had directed [several years previously] that a gift of 120 acres of forest land in Mendocino County be given to Ajahn Sumedo and his Sangha!  I thought, “Oh! So that's how it is to be! And immediately I saw that I was destined, in whatever ways I could, to help continue the process of bringing the Theravada and Mahayana traditions together in an harmoniously unified and mutually non-obstructive way, a goal that Master Hua had always been diligently dedicated to. The Sangha of England gratefully accepted the gift and the title was transferred on July 27, l995.“ 

Ajahn Amaro presides as Abbot of the monastic facility called Abhayagiri, which means “Mountain of Fearlessness.” Located in Redwood Valley, Abhayagiri offers opportunities for the faithful to attend meditations and Dharma talks.

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