劉耀銘講於2012年2月3日星期五晚 萬佛城大殿A talk given by Yao Ming Liu on Feb 3 (Friday), 2012 at Buddha Hall of CTTB

中文翻譯:張瑜庭       Chinese translator: Christine Chang

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Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Venerable Master, Dharma Masters and all good knowing advisors, Amitofo. Today I would like to share some experiences I gained from the day the Ugandan children came to CTTB on January 11, 2012.


From meeting the children ofUganda, I learned many things I would never have known about them had they not come in person. I experienced their culture through their music, their lifestyles through their dances, and their beliefs through our conversations. But most of all, the Ugandans had taught me that the key to living a happy, healthy, and motivated life is to “live the present”. To enjoy every moment, and to treasure the time spent doing anything, anywhere, because a moment lived is a moment passed, and cannot be relived again.

遇到了他們之後,我學到了許多。我慢慢透過音樂,透過舞蹈,了解他們的生活方式 。透過對話,更知道他們的想法。最重要的是,他們教會了我 要活出一個快樂、健康、有熱忱,且活在當下 的人生。他們教會我要去享受每分、每秒 ,還要珍惜每一次的經驗,還有在人生每一個景點的時間。因為時光飛逝,當你錯過了,你有可能沒有辦法再次體會。

Before I got to know some of the Ugandans, I made assumptions of what they must be like. They were dancers ranging from 12 to 18 years old, many of whom had lost their parents and was taken in by the Children of Uganda Organization at an early age. The hardship these children have faced was beyond what I could have imagined. From this background information, I assumed that life must be painful to live for them because most – if not all – of their family are gone. How did they possibly overcome the obstacles they faced in life and continue living with the haunting memories of their past?


My views and thoughts changed as I welcomed the 20 children coming out of the bus. Each of them was very eager to meet us, and some even gave hugs. This had surprised me, because I had previously assumed that these were children that must have felt bad about what had happened to them. Yet, they were not at all the people of my assumption. They were friendly, loving children who opened their hearts to embrace new people and new cultures.


At this moment, I saw the world through a whole new perspective. These children, young as some of them were, had already learned to move on from what had happened, and were ready to receive the present. During that one day at CTTB, they were living the moment they experienced Chinese calligraphy. They were living the times they toured around the city, admiring the Buddha Hall, appreciating the introduction to Buddhism in the morning, and enjoying the moment they danced on stage. It was because they do not dwell on the memories of their past that they were happy and at ease.


I remember a conversation I had with the artistic director (choreographer) of the dance and music for the Tour of Light performance. We particularly discussed the different cultures we had and the beliefs we each held. Evidently, the choreographer had had a similar conversation with some new people he met atSan Francisco. What he concluded from his first impression ofAmericawas that Americans have no culture because they were so engrossed in the media. They do not notice what is around them. They see the virtual world instead of the reality. He drew from his conversation with one woman that all that the people inAmericado is eat, watch television, and go on the computer. I was shocked, for this was not exactly theAmericaI know. Were we, as people inAmerica, losing our culture to the media? Or was media our culture?

我記得我與其中一位藝術音樂及舞蹈指導有一段對話。我們分別討論了不同文化的差異及不同的信仰。他曾經也跟另外一個人討論過同樣的話。我們得到的答案是美國並沒有所謂的文化。因為人們都太過專注於大眾傳播系統,他們沒有注意到周遭發生的事情。烏干達小孩也看到了實際發生的事情。他告訴一位女士,關於很多美國人都只會吃、看電視,或是上網等等的評語。當時,我嚇壞了!  因為美國好像不是他想的那樣。身為美國人的我們,真的因為大眾傳播系統而失去了我們的文化了嗎?還是大眾傳播系統就是我們的文化?

Then, he recalled his second impression ofAmerica, which was the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. He discovered that this part ofAmericawas totally different from the areas ofSan Francisco. Here, the culture was rich because the people actually notice their surroundings, the reality around them that are constantly changing. And from recognizing such changes, from living the moment, a culture was preserved.

接著,他回想了他對美國的第二印象,也就是萬佛聖城。他發現到這是一個完全不同於舊金山的地方。這裡的文化很不同。 大家似乎都非常投入這個環境, 也感應到了這個地方的變化。我們可以看到感受到每天的變化,因為我們「活在當下」。 對他來說,我們這裡是有文化的!

After this deep conversation with the choreographer, I realized that the environment around me was truly beautiful and very precious because it was a culture preserved by the recognition of time. I had never seen from this perspective before. I also realized that these children fromUgandawere not only happy and content from living the moment – they had preserved their culture as well.


There was one other conversation I had with the lead dancer of theUgandaperformance. She told me of how she felt about being here in this new environment. She loved the peaceful atmosphere and all the people. During our talk, I remember one thing she had emphasized on. “Everyone is so good here; the people are good, the environment is good, and the nature is good. Everything is good here.” Later, she mentioned that she was very thankful to have met all of us, and that to express her gratitude, she is willing to dance with all her heart. Now that I think back, I was conscious that the reason she can put so much feeling into her dance was because she was living every experience at CTTB; and because of this, she dances with sincerity and heart.

另外,烏干達舞團團長說:他很喜歡這裡很平和的環境,還有友善的人們。他特別強調,不管是這裡的人,還是環境都很好。之後,他說:他會全心全意的來表演,因為他要表現出他對這裡所有的感謝。現在想起來,因為他真正的在聖城 「活在當下」, 他也就很自然的用盡他全部的心思、誠心來表演。

In conclusion, I learned from this experience that it is because I seldom truly live the moment, I miss out on the great parts of life. Had the children of Uganda lived their past, they would have been what I had at first expected them to be. They would have been people mourning past losses and regretting what they could have done.These were not the people I met that day. I saw in these children happiness that came from every moment they lived through. I saw in them hope for the endless opportunities ahead of them. Amitofo.

總而言之,從這個活動當中,我學到要活在當下。 不要錯失很多人生中難得的機會。如果這些烏干達的小孩活在過去,那他們應該跟我原先想的一樣,哀悼過去失去的東西;後悔著他們應該做,卻沒做到的本分。但我看到的是不一樣的人,我看見他們活在當下的幸福;我看見他們眼前無止盡的希望與機會等著他們。 阿彌陀佛!

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