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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

由《普門品》入佛門——介紹謝果正居士
Entering the Dharma from Universal Door Chapter: Introducing Upasaka Guo-Cheng Hsieh

謝果正 文 By Guo-Cheng Hsieh
編按:謝居士現在中華民國行政院新聞局工作,
並為〈智慧之源〉義務攝影。

學佛的人都有其淵源,往昔熏修 過,今世舊夢重溫。小時喜到廟裡看人拜拜聞香味,觀賞神像威儀,喜獨處,因此被家人視為「孤僻、異類」。

一九七五年赴美讀書,暑假到紐約中餐館打工。許是受越戰和中、美建交的影響,東風西漸,東方的玄學成為當時美國青年時髦的顯學;顧客中有研究〈易經〉的,有練氣功的,有學打坐的,不一而足。一次經人介紹到一家佛堂學打坐約半小時,回來後整三天腳下像長了根一般穩重。這是我第一次經由西方人介紹認識佛法的奧妙。

八一年返臺,對佛法雖有較多的接觸,但仍未深究;九零年為了健康和環保的理由發願吃全素。一次在素食館請了一本結緣書回家,書中把佛法不可思議的境界,深入淺出地勾勒出一個清晰完整的概念來,令我自覺能掌握佛法的大要和方向。那本書就是宣公上人講解的《妙法蓮華經‧觀世音菩薩普門品》。或許真是因緣綠成熟了,同年九月妹妹告知萬佛城弘法團將來臺,問我是否願去皈依那位大修行人。我問什麼名字?「宣公上人。」我想起曾看過他的書,因此就在臺北縣寶纈寺皈依了上人。
回想這段往事,常自忖如果當時沒下決心吃長素,是否還有機緣皈依這位清淨的福田僧呢?

Buddhists generally have deep conditions from previous lives, which reappear in this life. I recall that I enjoyed going to temples as a child to watch people bow, to smell the incense, and to see the awesome statues of deities. I also liked to be alone and was thus regarded as a loner and a misfit by my family.

I came to the United States to study in 1975 and worked in a Chinese restaurant in New York City during the summers. Perhaps because of the influence of the Vietnam War and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China, Eastern metaphysics became popular with young Americans. Among the customers at the restaurant, there were people who studied the The Book of Change, meditated, or practiced Chi Kung. I once went to a temple to meditate for half an hour. For three days after returning home, I felt as if my legs were rooted in the ground. That was my first experience of the wonders of Buddhadharma, and it happened through a Western friend.

Returning to Taiwan in 1981,1 had more contact with the Dharma, but not deeply. In 1990, I became a full-time vegetarian for health reasons and to protect the environment. Once, at a vegetarian restaurant, I took a complimentary book in which the inconceivable states of the Buddhadharma were clearly described in a simple and accessible way, based on the author's profound knowledge. That book gave me some idea of the essence and principles of the Dharma. It was the Venerable Master Hua's Commentary to the Universal Door Chapter of the Wonderful Dharma Lotus Sutra. The conditions must have become ripe, for in September that year, my sister told me that a delegation from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas was coming to Taiwan and asked whether I would like to take refuge with a great master. "What's his name?" I asked. "Venerable Master Hua" was her answer. I recalled reading his book and so, with her family members, I took refuge with the Master at Baojie Temple in Taipei County. Since then, step by step, I have entered into Buddhism more deeply and realized the vastness and immensity of the Buddhadharma.

Whenever I look back on those days, I always think that if I had not made up my mind to be a full-time vegetarian, I would not have had a chance to take refuge with that monk who is such a pure field of blessings. Editor's Note: Upasaka Hsieh works for the Government Information Office of the Executive Yuan in Taiwan and is a volunteer photographer for a newspaper, The Source of Wisdom.

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