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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

現代時空下談道德教育
Virtue in a Modern Context (continued)

鮑果勒講於1997年12月2日萬佛聖城男校會議
A talk given by Doug Powers at the Boys School Meeting on December 2, 1997
文正後 中譯 Chinese translation by Wen Zheng-hou

(二)老師的關愛與忍耐

你帶到教室的精神、氣質、與你的關注必須是一種對學生的關愛。你每天去授課,是因為你關心他們。你每天教的課都有實質有內容,而不是在教室裡瞎磨時間。每天我教你們,我的教學都是有意義的。這種關愛信息的影響是非常深遠的,因為他們感受到你的關愛。他們看到你的一顆心是真的繫在教學上的。他們看到你是真的有心在教的。因此,不管你使用什麼教學方法,他們的心神就已經先跟著你了。如果在走入教室之前,你能夠將個人的問題與情感放下,那麼他們即刻就會感受到你的身心都在課堂裡,他們會有一種幸福感,能夠感受到你生命的活力。這樣,你所講的話都能使他們感興趣,因為你好像很有趣,你所教的課可以使師生打成一片。你有一種幽默感,你也有其他一些值得他們效仿的可貴品德。為什麼他們想效仿你呢?因為你的一言一行和種種教書的情感,都在展示一種淨善情操的生命品質。所以他們能夠接受你,也接受你所說的話。

光有好的開始是不夠的,你還得保持道德教學的連貫性。你所教的每一樣東西也都應該這樣。要做到這一點,需要許多個人的鍛鍊與忍耐。因為你需要在教學上具備一種連貫性;這種連貫性要求你將外在的教學,轉變成你自己的東西,所以在你能勝任教學之前,你一定要先經過一番個人的鍛鍊。

如果你在教學上想成功,你所採用的任何一種教學方法都必須與實際情況相結合。這需要你與學生互相交流。另外,教道德時,應從一種積極向上的角度來教,而不是以一種消極否定的方法來教。不能像聖經上的用語:「你不得說謊。」因為這其中包含著一種權威與法律的成份。我們就在五戒的範疇來舉例說明吧。因為佛教的戒律不僅實在,且便於說明。我們所要探討的問題是為什麼我們應該誠實。我們從一個正面的角度來說明這個問題:我會先說「一個人講真話,他的為人就真誠。」我是以「講真話」作為介紹誠實這一美德作為出發點的。下一個問題是你為什麼要說真話?接著你就要做詳細說明。從說真話這一話題,以及五戒這一題目,可以進入生活的每一個方面。你可以問他們:為什麼我們要說真話?你問他們為什麼我們不講真話?在什麼樣的情形我們不敢講真話?是否因為我們講真話會有反彈?我們為什麼要躲避呢?說到這裡,它牽扯到你所應該躲避不應做的一些事情。在你說謊或不講真話之前,你已經在躲避一些事情了,所以,這個問題最後變成一個十分複雜的心理問題。你已經做了一些你知道你不應該做的事情。那麼你為什麼那樣做呢?要往回分析。「是因為……。」這樣廬山真面目就顯現出來了。一旦這個問題的真相顯露之時,事情的結果就是,只要一個人沒做他事後不願承認的事情,那講真話就很容易了。這個問題是這樣探討下去的。每一次你撒謊的時候,同時發生好幾件事惰。第一件事:當你不說真話的時候,你自己在隱藏一些東西,好讓自己看不見,所以你就不能真正瞭解你自己。撒謊不僅是在對別人撒謊;你也在對自己撒謊。如果你對自己撒謊,你就很難真正瞭解自己。這是心理上的問題,你可以花許多時間去研究,這個問題是如何會因為講真話而能瞭解自己,及如何因為不講真話而無法瞭解自己。這樣子呢,你可以花一點時間來討論說對人撒謊,終究是在對自己撒謊這一道理。

待續

2. Personal Care and Patience

The spirit, the energy, the focus that you bring to the classroom, must be a caring one about the kids. Your presence should indicate that you are there every day teaching because you care about them. Every day you are delivering quality stuff, not just messing around and using up time. Every day you are trying to be relevant and trying to work with them. That message goes a long way because they see you care. They see you want to be there. They see you want to teach something. Therefore before you get to any of your other methods of teaching, they will pay close attention to your own behavior. If you can come into the classroom detached from your own emotions and your own problems, then they see that you are right there. They will feel a kind of happiness, an energy about your life. Then what you say from that point on, they will be interested in listening to because you seem to be pretty well integrated. Because you seem kind of interesting, you have a sense of humor, and you have other qualities, there are things about you they will want to emulate. Why would they want to emulate you?  Everything you say, every action, every emotion you bring into the classroom, everything you do displays this wholesome quality of life. Therefore, they can accept you and what you say.

A good beginning alone is not enough. You also need consistency and constancy in teaching virtue. This is also true for everything you teach. That requires a lot of personal practice and patience. Before you can teach, you have to have a personal practice because you have to bring consistency to the classroom which requires being well integrated within your own self.

If you want to be successful in your teaching, all the methods have to be adapted to the real situation. This requires a lot of interaction with your students. Also, teaching anything about virtue should be taught positively, not negatively. It is not "thou shall not lie" because that implies law and authority. Let us talk within the context of the Five Precepts, because Buddhist precepts are solid and easy to work with. We may start with honesty. The question to be explored is, why should we be honest? To put it in a positive frame: I would discuss that telling the truth is being truthful. Introduce the virtue of honesty as telling the truth. The next question is, why would you want to tell the truth? Then you have to elaborate. This topic of telling the truth, as well as the topics of all the Five Precepts, gets into everything about life. You ask them: "Why would we tell the truth? You ask why would we not tell the truth? In what situations would we not tell the truth? Would we not to tell the truth so as to avoid the repercussions? Why do we want to avoid them? Well, it usually involves something else that you should have avoided doing. It turns out to be very complicated psychologically, because before you lie or do not tell the truth, you already had something to avoid. You had already done something that you knew you shouldn't have done. So why did you do that? You have to work back. Well, it was because... Then it starts to unravel. Once it all starts to unravel, it turns out that telling the truth is easy as long as you haven't done something that you want to avoid admitting. The question goes on like that. Every time you tell a lie, several things happen. Number one, when you don't tell the truth, you are hiding something from yourself, so you never can know yourself. Lying is not just directed at other people, but to yourself as well. If you lie to yourself, you never really know yourself. So this is a psychological issue that you could spend a lot of time on—that is, how to know yourself by being truthful and how, by lying, you don't know yourself. In this way, you could spend time discussing how lying is something you do to yourself.

To be continued

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