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本期主題:為人點燈 明在我前







古德云:「剔起心燈懸巨剎,千門萬戶盡光輝」
以慈心為人點燈,以利行攝諸有情,
是暗夜中光芒萬丈的一盞明燈。
照亮他人,也照亮自己。黑暗,因燈明而消散;
心光,因體解而朗耀。光光相照,慧燈長明。

人人都是贏家

文/菲律賓海天禪寺英文高級班學員 Pauline Apilado

  「總是先考慮自己」、「先想到自己」這些自私的想法,在大部分的家庭、辦公室及我們所處的世界中,已經成為普遍性的思考模式。每個人總是先想到自己及自己的需求,難怪人生有這麼多痛苦。

  我也是如此,每天活在我執當中,導致人與人的互動,總是出現誤會與爭執,尤其是與父母、妹妹的相處。舉例來說,他們對我煮完飯或用完餐後,沒有立刻把碗盤洗乾淨會很生氣,但這也讓我很不高興,總覺得父母偏袒妹妹。因此,當找到遠方的工作就立刻搬出去住,這樣自私的舉動,一開始如同天堂般的快樂,沒想到幾個月後卻變成地獄,因為我住的地方永遠亂成一團,而且非常思念家人,當初所找的工作,雖然是搬出去住的藉口,卻讓生活失去目標。

  就在此時,朋友邀請我到海天禪寺上禪修班。靜坐時思惟住持法師的開示,幫助我提起正念,以正向思考面對同事與客戶。幾個月後,我搬回去和家人住在一起,沒想到以前的爭執和誤解又出現了,於是我持續靜坐思惟師父的開示,並且思考著與家人的相處模式,如果還是處於過去的痛苦中,我肯定做錯了什麼。

  每天靜坐、時時提起正念,讓我的心很平靜,也察覺到自己的念頭和感受,對於家人不再習慣性地負面思考。出乎意料之外的是,我的家人也是如此,經常保持正向思考。

  上高級班時,住持法師花了很多時間教導我們菩薩行(利他就是自利),透過很多發人深省的公案,提醒我們落實修行的重點,鼓勵大眾慈悲對待長者和他人,並把他人的事優先擺在第一位。突然間,我心中的燈被點亮了,這正是我心中尋覓許久的答案。

  我不再自私地只考慮自己的需求和快樂,而不顧家人和別人的感受,現在的我,儘量把他人的需求優先列入考量,卻也發現時時刻刻都要保持利益他人的心,並不容易。不過,這是唯一的解決方案,讓每個人體會到寧靜、快樂、智慧與慈悲,再加上善念及善行,如此一來,每個人都是第一順位,人人都是贏家!

  (“Always look out for Number One” and “Take care of you first,” are all expressions of the predominant way of thinking in many families, workplaces and the world we live in. No wonder we experience so much suffering, with many of us always taking care of our own needs or self (ego) first!

  In my case, living by ego had become such a deep-seated habit that I kept having misunderstandings and getting into arguments with the people I lived and interacted with on a daily basis, specifically my Ma, Dad and younger sister (e.g. they would get angry with me for not washing the plates and utensils I used right after cooking or eating and I would resent my mother and father for seemingly favoring my younger sister over me). So I moved out of the family home to live and work far away from them. This selfish move was heaven for the first few months before it became hell. My living space was almost always a mess. I missed my family a lot. I also felt a lack of a sense of purpose since the job I took on as an excuse to live apart from them was making me unhappy.

  This was the time I started attending Beginner's Meditation Class at Ocean Sky Chan Monastery after a friend’s invitation. Meditating and reflecting on Abbess’ Dharma talks helped me keep a positive attitude towards my co-workers and clients. But after a few months, I moved back in with my family and all the same arguments and misunderstandings we had before I moved away reappeared! I continued meditating and reflecting on Shifu’s Dharma talks though, thinking I must be doing something wrong if I was still experiencing the same old suffering I always had with my family.

  True enough, meditating every day and being mindful of all my actions helped calm me and made me more aware of my thoughts and feelings, so that I’d stopped responding negatively to my family out of habit. Now, to my surprise, my family almost always does the same!

  Then in Advanced Meditation Class, Abbess spent a lot of time teaching the Bodhisattva Way (“To benefit others is to benefit oneself”) with insightful stories and practical reminders that encouraged us to love and give priority to our elders and other people. A light in my mind turned on, and I knew in my heart it was the answer I was looking for.

  Instead of putting my own needs and comfort first before those of my family and other people, I am putting their needs ahead of mine as often as I can. Now, I am finding that living moment by moment with the intention of benefiting others first isn’t always easy, but it is the only way that everyone can experience peace, joy, wisdom, loving-kindness plus good intentions and deeds like all of us are Number One, first priority and winners.)








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