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我在萬佛聖城的心路歷程
My Experience at The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

林聖傑 16歲 培德中學學生 1997年10月10日講於萬佛城中大殿
Spoken by Sam Lin, age 16, student of Developing Virtue High School, in the Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas on October 10, 1997

 

師父上人、各位法師、各位居士、各位師長及同學:阿彌陀佛!我名叫林聖傑。我是十年級學生。

兩年前經人介紹來聖城讀書,我當時有很多不好的習性,都一一顯露在日常生活中。老師們就會糾正我、指導我。那時我血氣方剛,總覺得這些人怎麼這麼煩,這麼討人厭,怨氣一天比一天多,有時還會和老師頂嘴。父母打電話來的時候,我就對爸媽說這邊哪裡不好,老師們又是哪裡不對。父母親一直勸我不要常和老師作對,沒有一個地方是十全十美的。聖城都是發心的義務老師,要常看優點,不要老是挑毛病。我覺得很刺耳,一點都聽不進去。學校也把我的情況做了記錄寄給父母親,他們都很痛心,不知該用什麼方法來開導我。

寒假時父親來聖城,老師們就和爸爸開會,討論我的一些情況。那時爸爸傷心得流下眼淚來。在那一剎那間,我才覺悟到我是多麼不孝。即使父親遇到再大的痛苦打擊;從小到大,我也從來沒看過父親流過淚。這時我的心好像有百千把刀在割一樣,痛苦極了。那時我對自己說:「爸爸難得來看我一次,而我的表現卻是這麼令他失望傷心,也讓父親沒面子,我一定要痛改前非。雖然我沒把書讀得很好,但我一定要有好的品行,或者要盡力地幫道場做工。」所以我開始念佛、持大悲咒,雖然只是斷斷續續地,不過我已經體會到念佛持咒的時候,心裡就會有一種說不出的寧靜、安祥;做晚課時,心中就會迴光返照,知道自己犯了那些錯,該如何改進,怎樣做才會使自己更好……等等。煩惱也比較少,欲望也減少了許多,注意力能夠更集中,我想這都是念佛持咒的功德,以及觀世音菩薩冥冥中的加持吧!

另外,我想和大家分享一下我的感觸。上學期老師提議我們到廚房幫忙做晚餐。在那段期間,我深深地體會到在廚房工作的法師和居士們,真的很辛苦。從早上五點開始工作到晚上六、七點,他們要挑菜、洗菜、煮菜、洗碗、擦桌子、洗地板、清理倉庫、掃地等等,好像永遠有做不完的事。他們還怕我們吃得不好或是不喜歡,費盡心思就是想讓我們吃得很快樂、很健康。有時法師會問我:「今天的菜好不好吃?」我的回答是:「好吃!當然好吃!」心裡就在想:「妳們做得這麼辛苦,不怕冷、不怕熱地為大眾服務,這個菜是最甜美、最有愛心的菜了!」學生們是人在福中不知福,批評這,批評那,完全不知道廚房工作人員用心良苦。

很多人都不知道,廚房的工作人員每天辛辛苦苦地為大眾調理美味的佳餚,把最新鮮可口的飯菜供養給大眾。那些殘湯剩菜,也是最大的困擾。很多日中一食的工作人員,每天就吃這些剩菜,心裡一點怨言也沒有。這種慈悲的精神,除了讓我感動之外,我真不知道用什麼來回報她們。

現在我已經知道,如果時時刻刻存著感恩的心理,就會看到人性中最光明的一面,每天都會過得很快樂。我們就不會去埋怨別人,反過來要自我檢討,自己是不是有什麼缺點,應該趕快加以改進。這不就是師父上人所說的「真認自己錯,莫論他人非;他非即我非,同體名大悲」的意義嗎?

我覺得在聖城這兩年中,給我的幫助實在是太大了。我學習到很多做人處事的道理,使一個無知、不懂事、依賴性很重的我,變成一個大男孩了。我希望大家能分享我的經驗和快樂。不過這種成長的經歷,實在是「如人飲水,冷暖自知」。如果你還找不到一條正確的道路,我可以給你一個誠懇的建議:「趕快從念觀世音菩薩聖號,或是持大悲咒開始吧!」

南無大悲觀世音菩薩!

Venerable Master, Dharma Masters, laypeople,, teachers and fellow classmates. Amitabha! My name is Sam Lin. I am currently a tenth grader.

Two years ago, someone introduced me to this place.  At that time, I had many bad habits.  My teachers often corrected and instructed me, but being stubborn and impetuous, I was only annoyed by their words. My temper grew greater each day.  Sometimes I argued with the teachers.  Whenever my parents called, I would complain about the school and the teachers.  My parents advised me several times not to go against the teachers, saying, "No place is perfect. The teachers are all volunteers. It's best to look at the good qualities of people, rather than be a fault-finder." I couldn’t accept their advice. The school had sent a report of my behavior to my parents, who felt really sad and didn’t know how to deal with me.

During winter break, my father came and had a meeting with the teachers about my misbehavior.  My father was so sad that tears fell from his eyes.  In a split second, I realized how unfilial I had been all my life. I had never seen my father cry even when he was going through the most difficult times. It felt as if thousands of swords were stabbing my heart: I had hurt his feelings and let him down. From then on, I resolved to behave properly and do my best to help out in the monastery. And so I started to recite the Buddha’s name and the Great Compassion Mantra, although only intermittently. Whenever I recited, I would feel an ineffable silence and peace in my mind. During the evening ceremony I would reflect upon my own faults and ask myself how I could improve. My afflictions and desires lessened, and my concentration power increased. It must have been due to the merit and virtue of reciting and the aid of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva.

I'd also like to share my thoughts about cooking in the kitchen last semester.  By that time, I truly recognized the difficulties and hardships of the kitchen staff.  They work from 5 o’clock in the morning till 6 or 7 in the evening.  They sort, clean, cut, and cook the vegetables, wash the dishes, wipe the tables, sweep and mop the floor, clean the storerooms, and so on...the work is endless. What's more, they have to worry about whether or not people like the food. They have worn themselves out to keep us happy and healthy. Sometimes a Dharma Master would ask how the food was, and I would hasten to say, “Of course it’s delicious!” In my mind I would think, "You work so hard to serve the assembly, not minding the cold and heat; the food you make is the sweetest, and it's prepared with the greatest love!"  Not knowing how lucky we are, we students criticize this and that, and have absolutely no idea of how hard these people work.

Many people don't realize that the kitchen staff not only has to cook delicious meals for the assembly, but also has to deal with the leftovers. Many of the staff, who eat only one meal a day, have to eat the leftovers, and yet they never make a single complaint. I am very moved by their tremendous kindness and don't know how I can ever repay them.

I have learned that if we always have a thankful heart, we will certainly see the bright side of our human nature and live happily every day.  We will not complain about others but instead, reflect upon our own shortcomings and quickly change them. Isn’t this the meaning of Venerable Master Hua’s verse:

Truly recognize your own faults,   
Don’t talk about the faults of others.    
Others’ faults are just your own.   
Being one with everyone is called Great Compassion.

I feel that I've gained so much from my two years in the City. I have learned a lot about how to be a good person, how to interact with others, and how to handle matters. From an ignorant and dependent boy, I have grown into a young man. I hope everyone here can share my experience and happiness.  But such a growing experience is actually like drinking water: only the person doing it perceives the temperature of the water.  If you haven't found the right path yet, I sincerely suggest that you start reciting Guanshiyin Bodhisattva’s name or the Great Compassion Mantra! 

Homage to the Greatly Compassionate Guanshiyin Bodhisattva!

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