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Student Reflection

學員心得

The Diligence of Memorizing Sutras

I have realized that memorizing sutras is a way for me to deepen my practice……

 ♦ Buddha Gate Monastery Sutra Study Meditation Class A

♦ Name: Cynthia (Chuan Dun)

I appreciate persistence and having a strong work ethic, but it is more than just doing something for outside recognition, reward or the accumulation of things or knowledge. It is more than just showing up and working hard. As my practice deepens, I find that my diligence is challenged, and those challenges have brought about changes.
I started to appreciate diligence when I finally memorized my first sutra. I resisted memorizing sutras because I did not see the need or the benefit in doing so. Because of the encouragement from the Dharma Masters, I finally stopped making excuses and memorized my first sutra—The Eight Realizations of Great Beings.
I have realized that memorizing sutras is a way for me to deepen my practice. I now plan to memorize the Diamond Sutra; I do not know how long it will take me but it is a part of my daily practice. It took persistence on my part to memorize The Eight Realizations of Great Beings. I memorized one line a day, and it took quite a while to finally commit the entire sutra to memory. Many a night I would start to recite what I had memorized that day only to stumble on a line, so I would grab a flashlight and quickly peek at the text to get the line correct, only then could I fall asleep.
First thing in the morning I would recite what I had memorized thus far and then add a new line for the day. I did not do this for outside recognition or admiration. I did it to strengthen my practice and to gain a better understanding of the Buddha’s teachings. I always want to have the teachings with me. I try and uphold the teachings of the Sutra every day. Diligence for me is no longer just persistence and industriousness or external recognition. It is an inner joy—the joy of diligence without attachment to outside recognition; the joy of having this resource always with me. It is an internal unwavering calm.
I am grateful for the opportunity to join the collective practice of chanting the Diamond Sutra. It is not enough to say that chanting and memorizing the Diamond Sutra is joy. It is so much more than that, but I do not have the words to describe it at this time; it is unlike anything I have experienced before. It is not a temporary feeling. It is more like I am grounded, and I have a guide for how to conduct myself.

持經精進行

 ♦ 美國佛門寺英文研經二禪修班學員

♦ 法名 : 傳惇

我很認同堅持不懈及敬業的精神,這不只是為了得到他人的肯定、獎勵,或增加財物、學識;也不只是勤奮投入。當學佛更深入,發現自己所認知的精進面臨了挑戰,而這些挑戰改變了我。

        我是在背完第一部經之後,才開始珍視精進法門。以前很排斥背經,不懂背經的必要性與好處。由於法師們的鼓勵,我不再找藉口,首次背完一部經──《佛說八大人覺經》。

        我領會到背經是深化修行的方法。我現在發心要把《金剛經》背起來,雖然不曉得要花多少時間,但這是我每日定課之一。把《佛說八大人覺經》背完,需要自己發心堅持不懈。我一天背一行經文,花好一陣子才能背完整部經;我常在睡前背誦當天所記下來的經文,如果沒有背熟,便拿起手電筒快速瀏覽經文,直到背誦正確才睡得著。

        每天早上第一件事,是背誦先前所背的經文,接著背一行新的進度。這麼做不是為了別人的認同或讚許,而是自發性地加功用行,讓自己更了解佛陀的教義。我希望自己不要忘記教理,每天都試著受持經文的義理。精進對我來說,不再只是堅持不懈、勤勞或是獲得肯定;精進是一種內在的喜悅,無需外在的認同;是一種常能持有這資糧的喜悅;一種不能搖動的平靜。

        感恩有機會參加佛門寺《金剛經》共修,唱誦、背誦《金剛經》,不僅僅是喜悅,更是超越語言文字、前所未有的領會──那不是一種短暫的感受,而是像找到一個立足點,指引自己如何待人處世。