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Bodhi Mirror

蘭若觀照得自在--介紹比丘阿姜柏沙諾
Cultivating Awareness in the Forest—Introducing Bhikshu Ajahn Pasanno

比丘恆順 文 By Bhikshu Heng Shun
眾仁 中譯 Chinese translation by Zhongren

阿姜柏沙諾,生於加拿大蒙利托巴省拉帕市,主修歷史於溫尼佩大學。畢業後隻身前往印度旅行了一段時間,然後轉往泰國。一九七四年在曼谷市郊Pleng Vipassana寺,依止Phra Khru Nanasirivatana上人剃度出家,受戒為比丘。出家後他漸漸地對森林修行派產生了興趣。於是他的師父帶他去見阿姜查上人;阿姜柏沙諾在徵得師父同意下,留在Pah Pong寺,跟隨這位當代著名的森林修行派宗師,聽教修習。Pan Pong寺位於泰國東北部的烏賁(Ubon)附近,緊鄰寮國。

自一九六七年以來,親近阿姜查的西方出家人越來越多。一九七五年,他的弟子在Pah Pong附近供養一塊地興建了Pah Nanachat寺,也就是廣為人知的國際森林寺,以供西方弟子修行之用。這座寺廟以其嚴謹的苦修方式,以及西方比丘、沙彌和信眾們的精誠精神,聞名於世。

柏沙諾比丘一直駐錫於烏賁,並於一九八二年至一九九七年任Pah Nanachat寺的第四任方丈之職。位於加州紅木林谷的無畏寺於一九九六年建立,修行注重於日常生活上的觀照。一年後,柏沙諾比丘移居該寺,協助英籍比丘阿瑪柔及維蘇弟,並共任方文之職。

柏沙諾比丘在森林寺廟薰修了二十多年,對處於紅木林谷邊遠的森林環境中,覺得十分自在。雖然在美國創立森林修行法門有其困難,但是隨著無畏寺的發展與興盛,柏沙諾比丘以能將其廣博的知識與經驗,與寺上的僧俗分享而深感欣喜。

Venerable Ajahn Pasanno was born in La Pas, Manitoba in Canada. He studied History at the University of Winnipeg. After graduating he spent some time traveling in India, and from there went to Thailand. In 1974 he renounced the householder's life to become a Bhikshu under the Venerable Phra Khru Nanasirivatana at Wat Pleng Vipassana located in a suburb of Bangkok. During his first year as a monk he developed an interest in training in the forest monastic tradition. His teacher then took him to meet the Venerable Ajahn Chah, and at Ajahn Pasanno's request his teacher allowed him to stay and train with the renowned Master of the forest monastic tradition at Wat Pah Pong near Ubon in Northest Thailand close to Laos.

In 1975 disciples of Ajahn Chah offered land for a monastery not too far from Wat Pah Pong, specifically for the growing number of Western monastics who had actually begun to draw near to study and train under him since 1967. This monastery, formally called Wat Pah Nanachat but more commonly known as the International Forest Monastery, quickly gained a world-wide reputation for its very strict and austere way of life and its devoted Sangha of Western Bhikshus, as well as Shramaneras and lay followers.

Ajahn Pasanno remained in Ubon and in 1982 became the forth abbot of Wat Pah Nanachat, where he thus served up until 1997. With the establishment of Abhayagiri Forest Monastery in Redwood Valley, California in 1996, with its emphasis on expansive awareness (smrti/sati) in all of one's daily activities, he came to America. Ajahn Pasanno came to Abhayagiri after its first year to assist the English Bhikshus Ajahn Amaro, and Ajahn Visuddhi, and to serve as the monastery's Co-Abott.

Having trained and taught for over two decades in the forest monastic tradition, he feels quite at home in the remote forested area in Redwood Valley. Although establishing the forest tradition in the United States has its unique challenges, he find great pleasure in sharing his extensive knowledge and experience with the new Bhikshus, Shramaneras and visiting laity, as Abhayagiri Monastery grows and flourishes here in America.

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