我來聖城常住的因緣及感想

郭美伶講於2012年10月26日星期五晚 萬佛城大殿  A talk given by Meilin Kuo on October 26 (Friday), 2012 at Buddha Hall of CTTB

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


諸佛菩薩、師父上人、各位法師、各位善知識,今天輪到美伶上來和大家結法緣;若有講得不如法的地方,請指正我。我生在一個佛教家庭,父親年輕時就皈依三寶;祖母也很早就和上開下證老和尚結法緣;而我哥哥是我這一生學佛的啟蒙老師,當上人到台灣的時候是他帶著我和媽媽一起去皈依上人的。

但是,我是一個很糟糕的皈依弟子,皈依後我也沒有馬上就吃素,只有在家人去世49天內吃素49天,或在佛菩薩聖誕日吃素一天。我哥哥常常看到我的時候,就叫我要吃素。他就像在念咒一樣叫我要吃素,但是他的話總是從我的右耳進左耳出,我也沒有吃素;直到在2006年我開始背《楞嚴咒》的時候才成為素食者。

聖城我以前也來過,但是沒有來打過七;更不用說有想到有一天我會住在聖城。我第一次來聖城是在1994年和我父親來的。我父親來聖城時非常喜歡聖城,說住在這裡的人非常有福報;那是他第一次也是最後一次來聖城,他將他的福報留給他的女兒。

在2007, 觀音誕時, 我第一次來參加「觀音七」。那次「觀音七」讓我想起很多事情,也想起我那一萬拜還沒有完成。一個月後雖然已經沒有假了,還是向主管請了無薪假,來拜了一個禮拜的「萬佛懺」;之後幾乎每年都要來聖城兩次參加打七。我同修後來也跟著來打七,我就勸他要皈依;他皈依幾年後,我就勸他受五戒,並叫他要趕快完成一萬拜。我們並計劃退休後來聖城當義工;因為每次來打七也沒有幫忙做什麼事,只是坐享其成,深感慚愧。

但2010年時,我媽媽的兩場病改變了一切。我母親身體雖然不是很好,但是從沒住過院;在2010年3月她第一次生病住院,我慌了!一心只有想到趕快回台灣,糊塗了幾天才想到要替媽媽供養三寶。回台灣時我帶著我的MP3,裡面有我從聖城網站下載的《地藏懺》;我讓媽媽聽了幾次,希望法總能將《地藏懺》印製成CD讓更多人受惠。

在2010年11月我母親第二次住院;她一年內住院了兩次,這次我哥哥也慌了,打電話給我。我知道我和我哥哥德行不夠,雖然我們不喜歡麻煩別人,但我告訴哥哥請道場法師及師兄、師姐們迴向。我雖然像熱鍋上的螞蟻,可是我的工作已經不允許我再請假;我除了幫媽媽供養三寶、念經迴向就束手無策、江郎才盡。後來想到我可以發願;我發願若我媽媽康復,我就替道場做事。我念經迴向時,並迴向給照顧我媽媽的所有人。後來我媽媽手術成功,照顧的醫生、護士、看護也對她很好。

但當我媽媽比較好的時候,我卻開始猶豫要不要把工作辭掉了。那時候失業率正處於高峯,而我主管又要我學這個那個、做這個那個;我陷入兩難,常常跟自己作戰。有時候想,再七年半我就可以辦提早退休了;有時候想我應該把工作辭掉了。當我心力交瘁,快要投降決定要工作到退休時,隔天我漫不經心轉我的MP3要聽上人講經時,MP3傳出上人的聲音說:「你們發願就要做到!」我聽了差點從椅子上跳起來,心想:「唉呀!要辭職,不能賴皮!」所以,我就在去年「萬佛懺」後留下來。

剛來聖城時,我非常喜歡大殿的功課,也喜歡在有機農場工作。很感謝法大親切溫暖地接納我,我也非常喜歡法大的課,但我也很想家。我不確定我是否要留下,我就對我自己說:「觀音七」以後再想這個問題;「觀音七」後我想:怎麼可以不參加「地藏七」?「地藏七」後,《華嚴經》剛好念到《入法界品》。每天跟著善財童子參訪善知識,居然忘記要回家了,每天迫不及待想要知道善財童子要參訪哪個善知識。念《華嚴經》時,有時候感動得流下淚;有時候慚愧得流下淚。以前我覺得我能瞭解《法華經》已經很好了,但《華嚴經》對我可能太難;實際上《華嚴經》打開我的心胸,今天有機會念《華嚴經》,非常感謝上人。

而在聖城常住免不了廚房的工作,我第一次進廚房時,好像劉姥姥進大觀園,從沒看過那麼大的炒鍋、那麼深的水槽。我打電話告訴媽媽說:「媽媽,我負責洗菜,水槽很深可以養魚。」當我第一次洗了一個早上的菜後,兩腳發軟覺得快倒下。

現在覺得做一些廚房的工作是很好的訓練,不只訓練你洗啊、切啊,也訓練你忍耐、忍讓及合作;雖然很累、很餓還是要忍耐完工作。而和你一起工作的人,有的時候是個急性子,菜一直傳過來,你恨不得多生兩隻手來趕上她的速度,你要忍耐!有時候碰到一個慢郎中,一根一根菜仔細慢慢地洗,你還是要忍耐!

洗菜是第一步,你的速度要配合切菜及炒菜的人,這就是合作。在廚房每個人做事方式不同,所謂「一個廚房容不下兩個女人」,就要忍讓;否則廚房就會變成戰場。

收垃圾對我來說又是另外一種挑戰,收垃圾那輛Van對我來說好像巨無霸;雖然我會開車,但從沒開過那種大車。當我第一次敢一個人開那輛車時,對我來說是一個很大的成就,但並不表示我技術有多好;所以當你們看到我坐在上面時,請和我保持距離。來聖城學到以前從沒有的經驗。

在過去一年半有很多考驗,經常是對面不識、後知後覺,所以只好繼續練。但比較會反省自己,也想起法師在上《百法明門論》的時候,給我的一記棒喝;她說:「觀照你自己的心,不要觀別人。」我也比較會迴向,在聽了實法師的《十迴向品》之後,也從戒律學上學了很多,才知道自己很多都不懂。

我仍舊常常擔心媽媽的健康,我每個禮拜都打電話給她,看她怎麼樣,並告訴她我在聖城的生活點滴,及我學了什麼。她總是仔細很有興趣地聽;我並檢查她有沒有做功課;除了每天早上念《大悲咒》,她常念《地藏經》,我很以她為榮!

而我同修也常來聖城。有一次週末我打電話給他,問他有沒有吵醒他?他說:「沒有!我早就起來了,而且做完早課了」,讓我非常驚訝!我住在家裡的時候,我總要等他做早課,等他吃完早餐、看完報紙,對我這個沒耐心的人真是考驗!但我知道如果我發脾氣,他就不做早課了。自從我在聖城常住,他開始自立自強,每天早上念完《普門品》及《心經》,才吃早餐然後去上班。

看似我是為了我媽媽來聖城,實際上是我媽媽成就我修行。雖然我還是常常為了我的家人煩惱,但是我發大菩提心的時候,也是為了我的家人;他們是我的善知識。

我想要跟大家介紹我跟我同修住的地方。Iowa(愛荷華)是一個農業州,在美國的中部。Iowa生產很多大豆及玉米,但也養了很多火雞及豬,所以殺業也很重。

大部份的人都信基督教,所以在我們住的Des Moines幾乎每個轉角,就有一間教堂。

我們住的地方是Iowa的capital,名叫Des Moines,是法文。Des Moines是一個保險重鎮,有很多保險公司。

這裡很少人信佛教,但是有幾間越南廟;我從來沒有去過,因為我哥哥常常跟我說不可以亂跑道場。但是愈來愈多人信佛教,那是因為達賴喇嘛來Iowa的時候,我從報紙上得知的消息,讓我很驚訝!而且近年來愈來愈多人學佛,而且愈來愈多人成為素食者。大部份美國人都喜歡坐禪!

但是沒有聖城法師造訪Iowa,希望有一天聖城法師能到Iowa弘法,讓Iowa的人知道什麼是真正的正法,並嘉惠Iowa的所有眾生。阿彌陀佛!

問:(妳哥哥怎麼知道上人的)

答:他先是讀上人的書, 上人在1988(1989)年到台灣弘法,我哥哥就去參加法會。

——————————————————————————————————————————-

All Buddha, Bodhisattva, Venerable Master, all Dharma Masters, and all good wise advisors, Amitabha!

It is Meilin’s turn to tie Dharma affinity with assembly. If I said something improper, please correct me.

I was born in a Buddhist family. My father took refuge when he was young, and my grandmother tied Dharma affinity with 上開下證 Dharma Master long time ago. It is my brother who guided me to learn Buddhadharma in this life. He brought me and my mother to take refuge with Venerable Master when he came toTaiwan.  But, I was a terrible disciple who did not become vegetarian right away after taking refuge.  I was being 49 days vegetarian only when there was family member passed way, or being one day vegetarian when Buddha or Bodhisattva’s birthdays.  Every time, my brother saw me, he keep telling me to become a vegetarian just like keep reciting a mantra, but his words came in to my ear from right side and came out from left side.  I did not become vegetarian until I tried to remember Shurangama Mantra in 2006.  I had visited CTTB before, but never came here for seven days Dharma Assembly.  Not to mention that I had the idea that one day I will live here.  In 1994, it was the first time that I visited CTTB with my father.  My father liked CTTB very much, and he said who lives here must have great blessings.  It was my father’s first and last time visiting CTTB. He left his blessings to his daughter.

In 2007, during celebration Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s birthday, I came to CTTB for my first Guan Yin session.  This Guan Yin session reminded me of lots of things, and it also reminded me that I had not completed my ten thousands bows.  One month later, though I used up my annual leaves, I got permission from my supervisor and took leaves without pay to attend Ten Thousand Buddha’s repentance, and stayed one week.  Since then, I came back CTTB at least twice a year to attend Dharma Assembly.  Later on, my husband also jointed me to come here for Dharma Assembly.  I encouraged him to take refuge.  Few years after his taking refuge, I encouraged him to take five precepts and told him to complete the ten thousands bows as soon as possible.  We had a plan that we will come here to work as volunteer after we retire. We felt ashamed that every time we came here, just enjoy everything without helping anything.

But, in 2010, my mother’s illness changed everything. My mother’s health was not very good, but never stayed in hospital.  In March of 2010, it was the first time that she was so ill that she needed to stay in hospital.  When I got the news, I was in panic. I was so muddled that forgot to offer to triple jewel for my mother until few days later. When I went back toTaiwan, I brought my MP3 with me, and in the MP3, there is Earth Store Bodhisattva repentance.  I let my mother listen few times.  I wish one day DRBA will publish Earth Store Bodhisattva Repentance as CD and benefits more people.

In November of 2010, it was the second time my mom was sent to hospital.  She was in hospital twice in a year.  This time, my brother called me and was in panic. I knew I and my bother do not have much virtue.  Although, I and my brother do not like to trouble people, I told my brother to ask Dharma Master, Dharma bothers, and sisters make transference.  I was like an ant in hot wok, but my job not allowed me to take leaves again.  All I could do was offering to triple jewel for my mom, reciting sutra and making transference.  Then, I was downhill and helpless.  But, later on, an idea came into my mind that I could make a vow.  So, I made a vow that if my mom recovered, I would work for Way Place.  At the same time, when I recited sutra for my mom, I made transference to all people who take care of my mom.  My mom’s surgery was successful, and all doctors, nurses, and medical assistant were very nice to her.

But, when my mom got better, I became hesitated to quit my job. At that time, the unemployment rate was sky high. And, on the other hand, my supervisor asked me to learn this and that, and do this work and that work.  I was in dilemma.  I fought with myself constantly.  One day, I told myself that it only takes seven and half years that I can apply for early retirement.  The next day, I told myself that I should quit my job right away.  When it reached the point that I was so exhausted that I want to surrender and work until I retire.  The next day, I carelessly turned my MP3, and want to listen Venerable Master’s Dharma Talk, it came out Venerable Master’s voice, said that “ if you make a vow, you should complete it”.  I almost jumped from my chair. I thought “ Oh, I have to quit my job!”  So, here I am.  I have stayed at CTTB since last year’s Ten Thousand Buddha Repentance.

Last year, when I just came to live at CTTB.  I like the daily schedule at Buddha Hall very much, and I also like to work at organic farm.  I appreciate that DRBU kindly and warmly accept me.  I like all classes at DRBU too.  But, I also missed home.  I was not sure if I would stay.  I talked into myself that I will make decision after Guan Yin session. After Guan Yin session, I told myself that” how could you leave without attending Earth Store Bodhisattva session?”  After Earth Store Bodhisattva session, it happened to recite Entering Dharma Realm chapter in the morning, when we recite Avatamsaka Sutra.  I followed Youth Good Wealth to visit each good wise adviser.  Then, I forgot that I want to go home.  Every morning, I was so eager to know which teacher Youth Good Wealth is going to visit.  When I recite Avatamsaka Sutra, I cried, sometimes because I was so touched, and sometimes because I felt ashamed of myself.  Before, I always thought that it is good enough if I could understand Dharma Flower sutra. But, the Avatamsaka Sutra is too hard to me. In fact, Avtamsaka sutra opens my mind.  I am very appreciated that I have chance to recite Avatamsaka Sutra.  I have to say thank you to Venerable Master.

Who lives in CTTB is hard to avoid kitchen duties.  The first time when I went into kitchen, I was like an old lady from countryside visiting big city.  I never saw such a huge wok before, and I never saw such a deep sink.  I called my mom and told her that “ Mom! my duty in kitchen is washing vegetable, and the sink is so deep that it looks like fish tank.”  After my first kitchen duty, my feet weak, and I felt that I would pass out.  But, now, I think kitchen duty is a good training.  It is not only to train you how to wash and chop vegetable; it is to train you to be patient, to be cooperative, and to be compromised.  Though, you are so tired and so hungry, you still need to finish your job. That is being patient.  And, sometimes you work with someone with quick temper, and she keeps handing over vegetable, and you wish you have two more hands to keep up with her speed. You need to be patient.  But, sometimes you work with someone who is so slow that she washes vegetable one leaf by one leaf.  You still need to be patient. In the kitchen, washing vegetable is the first step, you need to keep your speed with who chop and cook vegetable.  This is being cooperative.  However, in kitchen, everybody has their own way to handle things.  It said that there is no space for two women in one kitchen.  Then, you need to learn compromised or the kitchen will become war zone.

Collection garbage is another challenge to me.  The van we use for garbage collection looks like a jumbo car to me.  Though I can drive, I never drove a big van before.  To me, it was a big achievement when the first time I drive the van by myself.  But, it does not mean that my skill is very good, so next time when you see me drive the van, please keep distance from me. In CTTB, I have experience that is so different than what I have before.

In the past one and half year, there were tests, and usually I did not recognize until what has happened for a while.  So, all I can do is keep cultivation.  But, I learn to reflect on my own and I practice it more often. The words of DM always come to my mind.  She said to me in a way like a thunder striking, “contemplate your own mind instead of contemplating other people’s mind!” when she lectured on the class of One Hundred Dharma Shastra. I also learned how to make transference after listen to DM Sure’s lecture of Ten Transference Chapter of Avatamsaka Sutra.  I learn a lot from Laity and Bodhisattva precepts too.  It makes me realize how much I did not know.

I am still worry about my mom’s health all the time. I call her every week to see how she feels, and I told her my life at CTTB, and what I have learned.  She always listens carefully and with interest.  I also check on her to see if she did her home work. Except  reciting Great Compassionate Mantra in every morning, she also recites Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra.  I am very proud of her!

And, my husband visits CTTB more often than before.  One time, I called him during weekend, and I asked him if I wake him up.  He said no. He said he woke up early and already finished his morning recitation.  It really surprised me.  When I live at home, I always need to wait him for morning recitation.  I needed to wait until he had breakfast, and read his newspaper.  For someone likes me who has little patience, it was a real test! But, I know if I lose my temper, he would not join me for cultivation. Since I live at CTTB, he knows he needs to be independent. Now, in the morning, he recites Universal Door Chapter and Heart Sutra before he has breakfast and goes to work.

It seems I came to CTTB for my mom.  In fact, it is my mom who helps me cultivation.  I still have many afflictions because of my families, but it is always my families who make me bring forth my Bodhi Mind.  They are my good wise advisor.

發佈留言