泰國 Satira Dhammasathan 和平中心的義工和 Mae Chee Sansanee Sathirasutta 來美國聯合進行一項“環遊世界三十天”的計劃。這計劃的宗旨有二：走出去既是觀照外界；走出去也是省思內裡。觀照外界的方面，我們先是參加了日內瓦“全球婦女和平發起促進會”的宗教精神領袖會議，之後又訪問世界各國的佛教中心。內省方面，我們則把這趟旅行定位在一種修習內在寧靜和淨化心靈的方式。這次日內瓦會議的目標之一，即在產生並培養新的年輕宗教精神領袖。自性的薰修乃是新一代精神領袖的根本，在這個前提下，所以有 Mae Chee Sansanee 和甄古德博士共同來教授佛法。說到這二者合作的淵源，則起於在全世界六十個國家發起“植根與發芽”運動的甄古德博士，對 Mae Chee Sansanee 手中的兒童教育印象極為深刻，因而促使她立即飛往曼谷，願同 Mae Chee Sansanee 一起推動泰國的“植根與發芽”。我們的訪問團，不只到過日內瓦、瑞士，更遠赴英美等國訪問許多佛法中心。我們去到了瑞士的 Wat Dhammapala，英國的永生寺，美國的無畏寺。這3個國家的的三座寺廟，都是來自泰國 Luang Por Cha 系的佛教傳承。在無畏寺，我們有幸獲得帕沙諾比丘和阿瑪若比丘二位的慈悲引領，得以聞知佛陀所說“善入出住”的種種聖教。亦是因著這層緣由，才使我們進而有緣拜謁加州的萬佛聖城。
用佛法來教導新生代的精神領袖，就等於是支持 Savika 所致力的聯合國青少年計劃。很多學校一致主張：修行是在日常生活中。育良學校小學生的教室令我們印象深刻。修行時有房間和空間能幫助正在吸收人生智慧的孩童。“修行對我的人生來說很重要，…使我變得更加心平氣和。”一名來自亞洲國家的年輕學生，正在一位有藝術表演和生命藝術的義務老師協助下，帶領這個文學課。老師和年輕學生樂意將自己的智慧種籽，撒播在孩子們的心田上。所以在這裡，佛法的教導，無論從寫在黑板上的字句，還是透過孩子的文章，無不流露出佛陀教化的真實義，如：當我站在一個粗暴無禮人的面前時，其實他在顯示給我看，教我千萬不要用像他那樣的態度，來對待任何一名站在我面前的人。
末了，站在妙覺山空曠的野地上，Savika 訪問團恭賀聖城，為致力於世界和平將要成立的國際哲學倫理研究院。Mae chee Sansanee 也答應聖城尼師，將來肯定會一起合作，雙方也可以互換智慧種籽及義工。以後，他們來跟我們的孩子認識了，我們就能向他們學習，同他們一起修行，好準備做未來的世界精神領袖。
The word Savika means a woman who listens to the teachings and practices until she leaves suffering and fulfills a peaceful and useful life. Savika volunteers, from Satira Dhammasathan Peace Center in Thailand, traveled to the USA with Mae Chee Sansanee Sathirasuta on the project ‘30 days Around the World’ with two purposes: Going abroad to observe outside and going abroad to observe inside. Going abroad to observe outside, we attended the “Global Peace Initiative of Women”, a meeting of religious and spiritual leaders in Geneva, and traveled further to visit Dhamma centers around the world. Going abroad to observe inside, we used this trip as a way to practice inner peace, and purify our minds while traveling.
One of the goals of the Geneva conference was to create and empower young religious and spiritual leaders. Mae Chee Sansanee works with Dr. Jane Goodall teaching Dhamma education; the education of (one’s) nature is the root of young spiritual leaders. Dr. Jane Goodall established the Roots & Shoots program in 60 countries around the world and she has been very impressed with Mae Chee Sansanee’s children’s project. Dr. Goodall will soon be in Bangkok to study and work with Mae Chee and continue Roots & Shoots in Thailand.
From Geneva, Switzerland, the Savika team traveled further to England and the USA to visit many Dhamma centers. We traveled in three countries to three temples of the Luang Por Cha lineage, which is a great root of Buddhism in Thailand: Wat Dhammapala in Switzerland, Wat Amaravati in England and Wat Abhayagiri in USA. At the Abayagiri monastery, we experienced many Buddhist teachings for both “going abroad outside and inside” through the kindness of Ajahn Pasanno Bhikhhu and Ajahn Amaro Bhikkhu. One of those experiences led the Savika team to visit the temple of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in California.
From Fearless Mountain to Enlightenment Mountain
Our first sight, when we came to this temple, was a green hill behind it, like a safety wall. This was Wonderful Enlightenment Mountain. The next thing we saw were the smiling faces of Bhikshunis; leaders of the female Sangha. They gave us a temple tour and took us especially to many exclusive spots. Ajahn Pasanno, the honored translator, said to us: “It is a great pleasure for me to be here with you.”
We saw a videotape showing the 20th anniversary of the temple. We saw photos of Ven. Master Hsuan Hua working hard to establish Buddhism in the western world, and this included photos of him with Venerable Sumedho Bhikkhu when they worked together. We also heard the story of how Abhayagiri Monastery was established with the support of the Venerable Master Hua.
Impressed with the ten thousand Buddha images which covered the walls, we moved slowly into the temple to chant, and we were thankful to be Buddhists. We were even more happy when we were told that all these Buddha images were created by Master Hsuan Hua. The chanting was so meaningful to our team, and we chanted and walked from place to place around the temple. The Savika team recorded TV footage of young students in different nationalities praying with the same heart. Lunch at the Dhamma center was quite the same; so simple and peaceful. Dhamma readings before and after meals teach us to respect and be thankful to nature. This meal was not only for the body, but also for the mind and soul. After lunch we paid homage to the Lord Buddha’s relics and the relics of the Venerable Master, and later visited the rare book library. There are more Bhikshunis than monks in this temple. We experienced the Sangha working hard as educators, using media, books, and tapes. The highlight of the trip was visiting the ordination hall for the Sangha, where they confirm the right thought for devoting their lives to the Dhamma and realizing real freedom.
Roots & Shoots: Wisdom of the World
To use Dhamma education to establish new spiritual leaders is to support the Savikas’ work with the United Nations youth project. Many different schools have the same idea; the idea of practicing in daily life. We were impressed with the classrooms for the young students. Having rooms and spaces for practice supports children who are gaining in the wisdom of life. “Practicing is important to my life...more peaceful.” A young student from an Asian country led the literature class with the support of her volunteer instructor, who is expert in art performance and the art of life. They enjoyed planting their wisdom seeds in each other’s hearts. Dhamma teachings on the blackboard and through the children’s essays revealed perfectly the meaning of the Lord Buddha’s teaching: “When I am standing in front of an impolite one, he is showing me myself to warn me not to do the same to anybody in front of me.”
Last but not least, on the empty field of Wonderful Enlightenment Mountain, the Savika team gave congratulations for the temple’s new University Project for Peace in the world. And Mae Chee Sansanee agreed with the Bhikshunis that we will work together. We will exchange our wisdom seeds...our volunteers. They will meet our children, and we will learn and practice together to be the next generation of world spiritual leaders.
From roots to shoots...
From the Ten Thousand Buddhas Temple
To Dhamma education for the wisdom of the world.
Long way to go...
But we start here and now with our heart.