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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

宗教與工作
Religion and My Work

張允芸 文 By Chang Yun-Yun

十一年前來臺北的原因是在故宮博物院找到了工作。那時每天高高興興地流連於各種精美文物之間,接觸世界級的重要人物;心中認為找到了一份好工作。後來和佛法有了接觸,反而對這份多數人稱羨的工作,起了煩惱心,常自問,「拜託!我在做什麼呀?一天到晚引導大家欣賞這些表象的東西,把一顆應該內觀的心導引向外。每天服務的對象僅止於社會金字塔頂的小眾,我對這個社會真是沒貢獻!身為一位佛教徒,我似乎應該去服務大眾,或者去窮鄉僻壤貢獻自己的專長!」

有一段時間,上班上得不是那麼起勁;可是一想,我的專長是英語,窮鄉僻壤的人學英語幹嘛呀?我去哪找大眾來服務呢?怎麼服務呢?慢慢的,這股匹夫熱忱就被所謂的現實埋到內心深處。班,還是照上;心中的疑問與為大眾服務的熱忱,不時還會冒出來,但很快地又被無知、漠然壓了下去。上班時老實盡職,沒有期許,心中有一股淡淡的無奈與木然。

三年前來到臺北法界印經會,並不刻意尋求答案,只是隨眾念佛、拜懺、恭讀上人的開示錄,慢慢地就心開意解了。現在的我真是天天開心,對自己的生命充滿了歡喜。誰是大眾?我們生命中每天遇到的認識或不認識的人,就是大眾,每一位大眾都是世界級獨一無二的重要人物。我們自己老老實實身體力行不爭、不貪、不求、不自私、不自利、不打妄語,社會上就多了一位可以潛移默化大眾的好人。

我的工作每天要面對來自世界不同國家的貴賓,他們也是大眾。故宮定期展出佛像與法器展覽,藉著這些展覽我可以名正言順地隨緣介紹佛教,或者藉展品談一點點佛理,結個善緣。哇!這真是一份好工作!介紹佛像時,談佛為什麼會成佛、佛的本生故事、佛教和基督教的不同處,或者如何欣賞佛像之美;介紹西藏骨法器時,我和來賓談天葬、眾生平等的意義,有時討論吃動物的肉和吃人肉有什麼區別,以及大眾不自覺的雙重標準:很有意思!

上人一直強調教育救國、救世界,所謂教育並不僅止於學校教育。舉凡整個國家、社會、人與人之間的互動都屬於教育的範疇。孔老夫子說「三人行必有我師」,我們都是彼此的老師;我們不但要尊重我們的老師,也要以身作則地當個好老師。我們有幸親近佛法,佛法是無上妙法,更幸運的是,我們來到了上人的道場。如果我們身體力行六大宗旨,就可以成為上人的真弟子,我們所有的困難與疑惑也大都可以迎刃而解了。有這麼好的妙法該如何與大眾分享呢?在我的感覺,佛法是不應該口頭推銷的。如果我們都歡歡喜喜地各安本份,各盡其職,相信多少可以為大眾做一個好榜樣,大眾自然能領略佛法的妙處。

在我的工作環境中,很幸運的,大家會用一把特別嚴厲的尺規來衡量佛教徒,尤其是吃素的佛教徒。因此我會份外留意自己的言行舉止和起心動念,警惕自己千萬不要不自知地當了一粒老鼠屎。也正因為如此,慢慢地習慣成自然,不與人爭名奪利,克盡本份無所求,打開心胸真誠地與人交往,日子越過越舒服。宗教不旦洗滌清淨了我的心靈、同時讓我的紅塵生活過得像仙境。不論各行各業,每一個人,每一天,每一刻都會有不同的大小煩惱。沒有宗教信仰的人,日子可能都在物質追求中打滾,但物質是可以用錢換來的,是會壞的;有宗教信仰的人,尤其是佛教徒,日子可能會過得比較歡喜,因為我們知道人生真諦。當我們遇到困難時,誠實地面對自己的起心動念,再想一想上人的教誨,大概所有的問題都可以解決了。真的,真是這樣子的!

Eleven years ago, I came to Taipei to take up a job at the National Palace Museum. At first I greatly enjoyed working among the beautiful artwork and having the chance to meet important people from all over the world. However , later, after becoming a Buddhist,I became more and more frustrated with my work and constantly asked myself what exactly was the point of what I was doing. I was spending all day showing people superficial objects, expending great personal effort, and yet I was only working for a small number of people at the top end of society, not contributing to the greater society in any way. After becoming a disciple of Buddhism, I felt I should be serving the greater public, or else go off to a remote place where I could work on my own special abilities.

At one point work was really not going so smoothly, but I thought to myself: My abilities lie in the English language, and what use is there for English in some out-of-the-way place? Where could I go to serve others, and what form should this service take? Slowly, my devotion and enthusiasm became buried inside under the forces of reality. At work it was still the same though; if the enthusiasm in my heart for working for others should make an untimely appearance, ignorance and apathy would quickly suppress it. At work I just did my best with no sense of expectation, to the point that it seemed like I was numb and helpless.

Three years ago I came to the Dharma Realm Buddhist Text Distribution Society, and although I merely read the Buddhist texts and prayed and did not actively seek an answer or solution, these very problems were gradually resolved. Now, I honestly can say that I am happy and contented and enjoy my life. As to the question of who is the greater public, the answer is that all the people you come across in the course of a day, whether they are people you know or not, are the public, and every person is a unique and important person. If we each try hard to refrain from fighting, being greedy, seeking, being selfish, pursuing our own beneficial ends, and lying, then society will gain one more good person who is able to imperceptibly affect the greater public. My work entails meeting visitors from all over the world; they are also the public. Long-term exhibitions on Buddhist sculpture and ritual objects give the opportunity and justification to introduce Buddhism to the public or to talk a little about Buddhist theories, thus at the same time earning myself a little merit—not a bad job at all!

When talking about Buddhism, I mention how the Buddha became a Buddha, the founding stories of Buddhism, the differences between Buddhism and Christianity, or perhaps how to appreciate the beauty of Buddhist sculpture. If I take guests to see the Tibetan ritual objects made of human bone, I mention the practice of sky burial and the idea of equality between man, and sometimes I touch on the double standard that exists in distinguishing between eating animal meat and the eating of human flesh.

The Venerable Master often emphasized how it is through education that we will save our nations and world. Learning does not stop with a school education but includes all interactions between state, society and man. Confucius stated that, "Among three people we each have something to teach the others." We are all the teachers of each other and we should not only respect and value our teachers, but also educate through the example of our own actions. We are fortunate to be involved in Buddhism; the Buddhist teachings are incomparable. We are yet more fortunate to have come to the Venerable Master's monastery. If we practice in person the six major tenets of Buddhism, we will then be true disciples of the Venerable Master. In this way most of the difficulties and doubts that we experience can be resolved. But how to convey the beauty of Buddhism to the greater public? Personally speaking, I do not think that Buddhists should verbally proselytize; instead, if we all go about our lives and work with enjoyment, I believe that this will set a good example for others, and so they, as a matter of course, will then come to appreciate the strong points of Buddhism.

In my workplace, a special kind of standard is used to evaluate Buddhists, especially those who practice vegetarianism. It is due to this that I keep a close watch over my actions, words and motives. In addition, it is for similar reasons that I have gradually become accustomed to being very natural, to not compete or fight with others, and to be open and sincere in my dealings with others. As a result, life just gets better and better. Not only has religion cleansed my spirit, but also at the same time it has allowed me to live my mundane life as if I were in the land of the immortals. Everyone, regardless of profession, will experience various frustrations and annoyances, be they large or small. To non-believers, life is passed amongst material things. Material things are those that can be exchanged for money, and they are things that can become rotten or bad. To religious believers, and Buddhists in particular, the days are perhaps passed with greater happiness because we know that life is really true, and so when we encounter difficulties, we can openly confront our motives for doing something and think back to the teachings of the Venerable Master, and in this way most problems can be resolved. And yes, yes, it really is like this!

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