[:en]Everyday Buddhism[:zh]生活佛法[:]

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Reflection
by Peggy Bryant

The other day I was walking around the block near the hospital where I work, when an older man got out of his car right near me. We exchanged “hellos” and I asked how he was. He was a handsome, African American, tall and athletic looking. He noted my hospital ID badge and started telling me about his recent heart bypass surgery, his kidneys that were beginning to fail (his doctor wanted to discuss dialysis), and his prostate cancer. He said, “You know, I’m just not sure I want to deal with all this.” He told me that he had worked for many years as a longshoreman at the Oakland docks. He was always in good shape, he said, and he had felt good about himself physically. Now, he said, pointing to his outstretched arm, “I don’t have much muscle left.” He was proud that he had just celebrated his 73rd birthday. It was tough, he said. All the while, he had a smile on his face and a gleam in his eye, so I knew that he’d continue to fight. He was grateful for what he had.
This made me reflect on my Buddhist practice and how we struggle with our conventional views of ourselves versus what we know to be true about existence; that is, everything is impermanent. How can we learn to accept impermanence? Buddhism teaches that meditation is key in developing self knowledge and, therefore, clear seeing. During sitting meditation, we face ourselves alone. It’s very difficult to allow things just to be as they are when we sit. There’s no fooling ourselves that things come and go – thoughts, pains, noises, feelings change. Impermanence. That means accepting our bodies that hurt, our minds that run around, our always having to work to remain focused and alert. To just sit, facing ourselves as we are.
I wish I could tell that man I met on the street how meditation is helping me to face myself and accept things as they are, always changing. That is half the battle.

The Life of Subtraction
by Chuan Ren

Just as one teaches students how to subtract in mathematics (one of the most difficult concepts to teach to children for some reason), first with physical manipulates (fingers, blocks, candies, etc.) and then gradually moving to the abstract practice of subtraction through symbolic numerals mentally and on paper, so I am attempting to subtract my attachments and false ego.
I need to begin with one step at a time. First, by diminishing the most obvious in the physical state: television. There could be nothing more deceptive, false, or ignorant than watching television. By recently removing the act of foolishly watching television, I was able to naturally extricate the urge to be a certain way and buy more of what is not at all necessary.
Now is the more challenging part: How do I remove all of my other, less obvious and more abstract attachments that have been embedded within me during my thirty years of living? I have been constantly surrounded, fed, and bombarded with delusions. I have willingly accepted so many of them. Learning the teachings of Buddha at Buddha Gate Monastery, meditation, and my husband’s unceasing and compassionate assistance with reminding me to develop more awareness, have all assisted me in becoming more conscious of where my attachments lie and what is real. I want and “need” that new and fashionable cell phone. I desire the good-tasting food from that fancy restaurant. I really crave that feel-good compliment from my boss in order to feed my false ego. If only I could really, truly understand that these desires are just bringing me suffering.
Subtracting these material goods and attachments from this life, in fact, add to my life. My true Buddha nature can be revealed through subtraction.

The Life of Subtraction
by Chuan Xiu

Due to Buddha’s infinite compassion,I encountered Buddha Gate during a confusing period. Every time I ask myself “Who is walking?”, “Who is meditating?” or “Who is eating?”, I notice that new “I”s surge, but I can neverdiscoverwho they are. I used to believe I knew myself, but now I don’t know who I am. Who is this who demands and expects so much of everyone? Who is this who is never satisfied? Who is this who seekssocial identification andfulfillment of senseless habits while swinging betweenself-limitation and self-exaltation?
If I don’t know who I am,I have no legitimate reason to struggle so hard in order to satisfymy endless threads of desires.This has helped me to make small, daily life decisions that once sounded daunting:vegetarianism, less comparison, emotional sublimation and the attempt to empty the mind of pre-concepts. Thepractice is lighterwhen I remember that I am not myself and that the Buddha’s Mind is infinite.

Weeding & Planting
by Darlene Cioffi-Pangilla (Chuan Ling)

 

I am a volunteer at the Gardens at Heather Farm in Walnut Creek. The time I spend gives me the opportunity to reflect on what is taught in Buddha Gate’s Meditation and Buddhism classes.
As we begin the new year, the weeds accumulated over the winter need to be pulled up, making space for new flowers to be planted and the dormant ones to emerge and grow.The weeding and planting is ongoing:  each day, each week, all year.  Should this not be like our daily life, not only while at Buddha Gate?  We weed out what needs to be eliminated, and we plant new attitudes, thoughts, speech, and actions that WILL enhance our personal environment and that of the greater world.
While pruning shrubs, trees or whatever, at the Gardens, we first remove the coarse stuff so that the finer growth can be seen.  We then step back and look at the finer growth from different angles to see what needs to be weeded or pruned so that the plants intrinsic beauty has a chance to be revealed.

Is this not like our meditation practice?  We sit to allow the coarse stuff to surface.  The more we sit, the more falls away, the fine with the coarse, deeper and deeper, subtle and even more subtle until our True Nature, the subtlest of all things, Is. I must continuously weed and plant, weed and plant. Buddha Gate Monastery and the teachings available there help me to better recognize what I need to weed and what I need to plant.  For this I am most grateful.
減法的人生
就好像教學生數學減法(某方面來說,是最難教的概念之一。)首先從具體模擬(用手指、方塊、糖果等。)然後慢慢地轉移到,透過數字在紙上及智力上抽象的減法練習,如同我嘗試地削減我的執著。
我需要一步一步來。首先,得先減少最具體,最明顯的:看電視。大概沒什麼事比看電視來得更虛妄不實或無明不覺。自從近來,遠離了呆滯地看電視的行為,我已經可以很自然地,從那股購買些不必要物品的衝動中解脫。
進一步,更挑戰的部份是:我如何去除其他較不明顯,更隱微地已深藏在我三十年的生活當中的執著?我已經被無明妄想不斷地環繞、餵食、轟炸已久。我也已習慣接受他們。在佛門寺學佛禪修,以及我同修不斷慈悲地幫助我、提醒我,讓我提起覺性,意識到什麼是執著虛妄,什麼是真實的。我想要或“需要”那新型流行的手機,我想到精緻的餐廳享用美食,我真渴望老闆讚歎我,好讓我長養那我執。我其實真正需要了解的,是那些欲望帶給我痛苦。
從生活中,減少這些物欲執著才是豐富我的生命。透過這些減損,我的佛性由此開展。
佛門寺研經班傳仁(Lauryn Marinho)

減法的人生
因為佛陀無盡的慈悲,在我困惑時,得遇佛門寺。每一次我問自己,“誰在走路?” “誰在打坐?” 或 “誰在吃飯?” 我發覺一個新的“我”湧現,但我仍不明白那是什麼。過去,我認為我知道自己,但現在,我不知道自己是誰。這個向外要求、期待這麼多的,是誰? 這個永不滿足的,是誰? 這個在自我設限和自我得意之間,搖擺追尋著社會地位及無意義的成就感,是誰?
如果我不知道我是誰,我沒有正當的理由為了滿足這無止盡的欲求奮力掙扎。這幫助我從每天生活中小小的決定做起,雖然它一度聽來令人怯步:素食、少比較、昇華情緒及去除心中成見。但當我記得我不再是自己,而是本具無量的佛性時,修行簡單些了!
佛門寺研經班傳修 (Vinicius Marinho)[:zh]

覺照
Peggy Bryant


    前幾天在我工作的醫院附近漫步,一位男子剛好從他的座車下來。彼此打了招呼後,我問他可好。他是個英俊高眺、有著運動員身材的非裔人士。他注意到我掛著醫院的識別證,於是開始訴說他最近的心臟繞道手術、他的腎臟開始衰竭(醫生想與他討論洗腎的問題) 、他還有攝護腺癌。他說:「你知道嗎?我不確定是不是應該處理這些問題。」他告訴我他在奧克蘭碼頭做了許多年的碼頭工人,以往他總是維持良好的狀態,對自己的身體很滿意。他露出伸直的手臂說:「現在,我已經沒有什麼肌肉了。」他很自豪剛剛過了73歲生日,對他而言這並不容易。言談間他始終帶著微笑,眼神露出光芒。我知道他仍在為生命而戰。他很感激自己所擁有的一切。

於是我反思了自己的佛法修行,以及我們如何在世俗眼光中的我與法界實相中的我之間掙扎。也就是說,諸行無常。我們如何學習接受無常?佛法教導我們,禪修是自覺、認清自我的關鍵。透過禪坐,獨自面對自我。禪坐時很難不理會現起的境界。不要騙自己,各種境界來來去去的,妄想、疼痛、雜音、思緒不斷變換。這就是無常。也就是說,接受身體的疼痛、亂跑的思緒、必須時時努力保持專注與警覺。單純靜坐,面對真實的自己。

真希望我能告訴在街角遇到的男子,禪坐如何幫助我面對自己、讓我接受現實的無常。這樣就成功了一半。

 

減法的人生

佛門寺研經班傳仁(Lauryn Marinho)


        就好像教學生數學減法(某方面來說,是最難教的概念之一。)首先從具體模擬(用手指、方塊、糖果等。)然後慢慢地轉移到,透過數字在紙上及智力上抽象的減法練習,如同我嘗試地削減我的執著。
我需要一步一步來。首先,得先減少最具體,最明顯的:看電視。大概沒什麼事比看電視來得更虛妄不實或無明不覺。自從近來,遠離了呆滯地看電視的行為,我已經可以很自然地,從那股購買些不必要物品的衝動中解脫。
進一步,更挑戰的部份是:我如何去除其他較不明顯,更隱微地已深藏在我三十年的生活當中的執著?我已經被無明妄想不斷地環繞、餵食、轟炸已久。我也已習慣接受他們。在佛門寺學佛禪修,以及我同修不斷慈悲地幫助我、提醒我,讓我提起覺性,意識到什麼是執著虛妄,什麼是真實的。我想要或“需要”那新型流行的手機,我想到精緻的餐廳享用美食,我真渴望老闆讚歎我,好讓我長養那我執。我其實真正需要了解的,是那些欲望帶給我痛苦。
從生活中,減少這些物欲執著才是豐富我的生命。透過這些減損,我的佛性由此開展。

減法的人生

佛門寺研經班傳修 (Vinicius Marinho)

因為佛陀無盡的慈悲,在我困惑時,得遇佛門寺。每一次我問自己,“誰在走路?” “誰在打坐?” 或 “誰在吃飯?” 我發覺一個新的“我”湧現,但我仍不明白那是什麼。過去,我認為我知道自己,但現在,我不知道自己是誰。這個向外要求、期待這麼多的,是誰? 這個永不滿足的,是誰? 這個在自我設限和自我得意之間,搖擺追尋著社會地位及無意義的成就感,是誰?
如果我不知道我是誰,我沒有正當的理由為了滿足這無止盡的欲求奮力掙扎。這幫助我從每天生活中小小的決定做起,雖然它一度聽來令人怯步:素食、少比較、昇華情緒及去除心中成見。但當我記得我不再是自己,而是本具無量的佛性時,修行簡單了些!

 

去蕪存菁
Darlene Cioffi-Pangilla (Chuan Ling)

 

我在Walnut Creek的 Heather Farm花園做義工。花園的時光讓我有機會觀照在佛門寺禪修班所學的一切。

新年伊始,我們會把在冬季繁衍的雜草拔除,勻出空間栽培新的花卋,也讓休眠的植物能重新露出成長。除草和植栽的工作每天、每周、每年不曾間斷。這不應該是每天要做事, 而不是只發生在佛門寺嗎?我們把該消除的拔掉,然後栽下可以提升個人境界並讓世界更為美好的新態度、思維、言語、和行為。

我們在花園修剪矮叢、樹木時,首先除去粗大的枝幹,露出較細的枝枒。然後退後幾步從不同角度觀察,看看需要拔除或修剪哪些部份,才能讓植物本身的美感有機會顯露出來。

這不就像是禪修嗎?我們靜坐時讓粗重的雜念浮現。坐得愈久,雜念愈少。心思由粗轉細、深入再深入、微細再微細,直到覓得最微妙的自性。我必須不斷地去蕪存菁、去蕪存菁。佛門寺師父提供的開示幫助我更清楚應該要去除什麼、培植什麼。為此我至誠感激。[:]