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NEWS FROM THE DHARMA REALM

長青大學參學萬佛聖城

Elderhostel at The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

「我們要過充實的生活」
“We Want to Live Life Fully”

李果北 文 by Rebecca Lee


長青大學本年度第二期課程於十月十三至十八日在萬佛聖城舉行。遠自紐約與威斯康辛州的年長學生們,來此學習佛法及打坐一周「以過更充實的生活」。

每日清晨以體操及靜坐課程為始,接著聆聽來自柏克萊的史帝芬‧田納先生的系列講座--『充實的生活』。內容觸及中國思想、道教與佛教的傳統及靜坐技巧。

下午由來自所諾瑪郡的自我保健教師露西‧路易女士教導中國式自我保健。課程有指壓和八段錦,來自中國的中醫師張中和亦講述了中國醫學;他解釋老年人的肝臟與脾臟的重要性。城內女校教師李果北女士也談論了老年人的營養:「多吃青嫩食品,如豆芽菜和嫩胡蘿蔔以保持年輕,還有多和年輕人相聚。」

除了講習外,比丘尼恒海教導長青學生們插花。她以插花來比擬不爭:「花朵必需互相配合,而非爭艷。」來自阿肯色州的學員羅勃‧哈克說:「插花課引起了我的排序感,緩和了我的思緒。」

星期二下午,學員們在城內君康素食餐廳大廚師溫在祥的指導下,及郇若慧女士協助翻譯下,自己煮了頓中國晚餐。他們學習如何切菜與炒鍋,作出了幾道中式美味,如金銀玉、水餃、春捲等 。

學員們也在比丘尼恒良師和易果參居士的指導下學習中國書法。一星期的課程在戶外漫步後,學員們以日本詩詞分享其感受中圓滿結束。學員們還參加了培德男校的冰淇淋聯歡會。

晚間則是各項研討會。長青大學課程安排人喬治‧衛思滿博士作了系列演講--『東西相合』。來自柏克萊宗教聯合研究所的馬丁博士亦受邀演講。多位出家眾談論佛法,及個人出家的體驗。晚間活動,在比丘恒顯所領導的靜坐中結束。

來自俄亥俄州的竇堤‧強斯說:「這些安排都讓我們感到是城中的一份子。」來自帕羅奧圖的艾咪‧米勒寫道:「我的整個生命都改變了。以後我會很小心地不傷害到住在我家裏的小生物。」

長青學員們,在飽嚐純淨素食與法喜充滿下,精神充沛地離開萬佛聖城。


接封背「敬老節」文

緊接著由育良小學與培德中學的學生們,做了一連串精彩的表演節目,有國樂、合唱、鋼琴、小提琴、簫、的演奏、又有短劇、中國舞蹈等。在溫馨感人的歌聲中,學生們並贈送了一百二十朵聖城手製的蓮花與老人們。年輕的學生們充滿了活力與熱情,在午齋時細心地為老人們服務,讓他們有賓至如歸之感。比丘尼恆持師並教老人們念阿彌陀佛名號,結下了佛緣。瑜伽鎮長賀詩禮女士說,聖城的孩子們對長輩說話時合掌表示恭敬的態度,讓她留下了深刻的印象。

培德男校林聖傑同學說:「敬老節不應只是流於形式--請老人們吃吃飯,看看表演,作表面文章而已。我們要用真心時時敬老,天天敬老,還要善用老人的智慧。」

The second yearly Elderhostel at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) was held from October 13 to 18, 1997. Elders from as far away as New York and Wisconsin attended to learn hou Buddhism and meditation could help them to live life more fully.

Each morning began with exercises and meditation followed by lectures on ‘Living Life Fully’ by Steven Tainer from Berkeley. The lectures covered Chinese thought and Taoist and Buddhist traditions with instruction on meditation.

In the afternoons, Lucy Lewis, teacher of self-care from Sonoma, taught the Chinese system of self-care that includes acupressure and an exercise called Eight Essential Movements. She invited Dr. Zhonghe Zhang of mainland China to speak about Chinese medicine. He explained the importance of the liver and spleen in aging. Rebecca Lee of the Girls School at CTTB also spoke one day about nutrition for elders, noting that foods such as sprouts and baby carrots keep one young, as does spending time with young people.

In addition to lectures, the elders learned to arrange flowers in a class given by Bhikshuni Heng Hai. She compared flower arranging to the principle of no fighting: “Flowers should complement each other and not fight.” Robert Harker from Arkansas said, “I found arranging flowers challenging to my sense of order and soothing to my thoughts.”

On Tuesday afternoon, the Elderhostelers cooked their own Chinese dinner under the instruction of Michael Wen of CTTB's Jyun Kang Restaurant, with a lively translation by Josey Shun. They learned the art of cutting vegetables and cooking in a wok. Among some of the culinary delights they made were ‘Gold, Silver, and Jade Vegetables’ , boiled dumplings, and Spring Rolls.

One afternoon, everyone tried their hand at Chinese calligraphy taught by Bhikshuni Heng Liang and Terri Nicholson. The week ended with a Haiku poetry class in which everyone shared their impressions after a walk in nature. The elders were also invited to an ice cream party at the Boys School.

In the evenings, there were various discussions. Dr. George Weismann, coordinator of the Elderhostel, gave a series of talks entitled ‘East Meets West’ with Dr. Martin Verhoeven from the Institute of World Religions as guest speaker. Various members from the Sangha spoke on Buddhism and their experiences as monks and nuns. The nights ended with meditation led by Bhikshu Heng Syan.

Dottie Jones from Ukiah commented, “We were all made to feel a part of the community.” Emmy Lou Miller, from  Palo Alto, wrote, “My whole life has changed. Now I'm very careful to not harm the little creatures that live in my house.”

The elders left CTTB revitalized, filled with pure vegetarian food and Dharma bliss.


Honoring Elders Day (Continued from back cover)

Following that, the students of Instilling Goodness Elementary and Developing Virtue High Schools gave a series of delightful performances that included Chinese orchestra, choir, piano and violin, plays, and Chinese dance. As they sang the heartwarming song "Colors of Wind," the students passed out 120 handmade paper lotuses to the elders. During the vegetarian luncheon, students enthusiastically and cordially served and waited upon the elders, making them feel right at home. Bhikshuni Heng Chi shared some Buddhism with the elders by teaching them to recite Amitabha Buddha's name. Ukiah City Manager Candace Horsley said she was very impressed to see the children at CTTB place their palms together to show respect when addressing their elders.

Sam Lin, a student at Developing Virtue High School, said, "Respecting elders shouldn't be just a token gesture of inviting them to have a meal and see some performances. We ought to sincerely respect our elders every day and at all times. We should appreciate the wisdom they have."

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