生命中的轉捩點
文/菲律賓海天禪寺護法會諮詢委員 傳皈(Betty Lim)


  傳皈和一般土生土長的華僑一樣,生長在菲律賓華裔的家庭。雖然每逢週末,會陪信奉佛教的雙親去佛寺禮佛,但當時連母親口中的觀世音菩薩和佛寺大雄寶殿的三尊佛像都分不清楚!直到二○一三年,家父不幸往生,兩年後慈母亦辭世而去。家人尊重雙親以佛教方式舉辦後事。做七法會期間,恭誦《地藏經》,但對於經文,我雖認識其字卻不解其義,以此因緣進入佛門,在海天禪寺上課。

  傳皈幾十載的親情,在短短三年內頓失摰愛雙親,痛不欲生。悲痛的心情,幸遇佛法、在禪寺聽經聞法,以及師父的關心安慰和慈悲的指導下,慢慢理解世間的無常。原來,除了色身父母應該敬養外,尚有更重要的法身父母要護持和供養。

  這四年來,在海天禪寺打坐、上課、誦經、修行,是傳皈這一生中最大的轉捩點!急躁不耐煩的脾氣,在師父開示的平常心中柔和下來。平時得理不饒人的個性,被課程所教的包容心、慈悲心感化,漸漸學會寬恕別人。原來不持瞋恨之心,是解脫人間痛苦之良藥!

  親友們看到自己的改變,感到十分驚訝!非但如此,我慢慢學會凡事不計較,自我檢討、慚愧懺悔。傳皈除了受三皈五戒,也在二○一六年底受菩薩戒。法師鼓勵我們,除了持守清淨的戒律,還要修自利利他的菩薩行。我開始學習關心親戚、朋友、同學,甚至關懷未曾相識的師兄們。尤其對病重生離死別之事,儘量抽空去撫慰及幫忙。法師非常慈悲,精心安排居士們輪流在禪寺當義工,修福修慧。傳皈在學習廣結善緣中,有很大的收穫,真正體會到幫助別人的確是快樂之本。雖布施從不求回報,但最終福報還是回歸於己!多朋友少敵人的日子,原來是這麽輕鬆愉快!

  幾十年來的習氣,當然不能在短短的這幾年去除。尤其在苦海無邊的世間,平時所面臨的十之八九都是不如意的事,經常生起非善之念。幸好師父的教誨銘記在心,次次喚醒傳皈的反省、檢討、慚愧、懺悔,惡念隨即轉成善念。凡夫俗子的執著太多,傳皈的成長,是在一對為家庭付出身命的雙親扶養下長大。此生雖很有福報,但對親情的情執,尚在學佛中一點一滴地學習放下!

  非常感恩此生有幸能做禪宗弟子、有福報親近惟覺安公老和尚為法忘軀所成就的清淨中台禪寺,還有日夜無休為眾生慈悲指引的善知識--老和尚及諸位法師們,傳皈無以為報。希望日後有更多因緣和福報在禪寺用功學佛、持戒修行、護持道場、永不退轉!

Reflections

By Betty Lim

  I was born and raised in a Filipino-Chinese family. Although I did accompany my parents to visit and pay respect in Buddhist temples every weekend, at that time, I could not differentiate between the three Buddha statues in the main hall from Guanyin Bodhisattva which I heard Mom often mentioned. In 2013, Dad passed away, and two years later followed by my Mom. We followed the burial service in Buddhist way out of the respect for my parents. During the 49 days of mourning, we chanted Amitabha Sutra which I found interesting yet difficult to understand. That was when I decided to attend classes in Ocean Sky Chan Monastery.

  After decades of living with and taking care of my parents, their sudden departure drove me to feel deep sorrow, anxieties, hatred, and frustration. I felt life had become meaningless and subsequently lost my purpose. Luckily, at that time, I had just started my classes learning Buddhism in Ocean Sky.

  Under the compassionate guidance, comfort and care of the Dharma Masters, I learned about impermanence in this world. I also realized that apart from being grateful to my dear parents who brought me into this world and raised me, I also have an ultimate important duty: to make offerings to and respect my Dharma Parents, i.e., the Three Jewels, and to support and protect Buddhist temples.

  My four years of study in Ocean Sky, such as joining meditation classes, chanting sutras, cultivations, and attending ceremonies and so forth, have resulted to a big turning point in my life. My impatient hot temper has tamed and cooled down through the practice of calm mind taught in classes. I used to be intolerant, unforgiving and uncompromising. Little by little, the teachings of compassion in class have made me learn to forgive, understand and tolerate others. I realize the best way to get rid of sufferings is to let go of all hatred, greed and all kind of emotions and attachments.

  In fact, my relatives and friends are so surprised to see the big change in me, even more astonished to find I am now introspective, self-repentant and non-complaining! I have taken the Three Refuges and Five Precepts, and at the end of 2016, I also took the Lay Bodhisattva Precepts. Lay Bodhisattva Precepts, as guided by Dharma Masters, are observed not only to keep pure precepts, but also to benefit others as well as myself. I am now able to extend my concern to my relatives, friends and even the Dharma brothers whom I barely know, and to comfort and offer help especially to the sick and the departed ones. Our compassionate Dharma Masters intentionally arrange schedules for volunteer works in the temple for everyone to take turns in cultivating merits and wisdom. I am lucky to be one of them. In the process of forming good affinity with others, I can feel true happiness within me in helping others. Although I never expect anything in return, surprisingly, the incredible merits have just bounced back to me! The more friends and less enemies means lots of relaxation and joys in life!

  It is indeed difficult for me to reverse my decades-long bad habits. Given the bad influences in this sinful and suffering world, every time I am faced with unfavorable incident, I would be stricken with a bad thought. However, I would constantly remind myself that I have to apply the Buddha’s teachings of compassion, tolerance, and forgiveness, and to look at myself, to examine my actions, to feel remorseful and to repent. Thereafter, I would immediately switch to good thoughts. I still find it difficult to let go of my attachment and love for my departed parents who had sacrificed their whole life for me. However, I have confidence that in the process of learning Buddhism, I will be able to overcome and let go gradually.

  It is indeed the best merit in this life to become a Zen disciple, and I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our dear Founding Patriarch Grand Master Wei Chueh, who had devoted and contributed his life to building a very solemn and pure Chung Tai Chan Monastery, a perfect place for meditation and cultivation. Also to all Dharma Masters for their untiring efforts in preaching and teaching us. I have nothing to repay them, except to stay diligent in my study of Buddhism, forming greater affinity with all sentient beings, and strictly keeping all precepts and supporting Buddhist temples!






海天禪寺

地址:716 Jose Abad Santos St., Little Baguio, San Juan, MM.
TEL:(63)2-723-6132, (63)2-726-0600
FAX:(63)2-722-4400
Email:oceansky@mail.ctcm.org.tw
    mail@oceanskyzen.org  
http://oceanskyzen.org/wp/

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