Angela Green、楊淵善、蘇詠盈、林慧宜 、王司程講於2014年6月3日星期二晚 萬佛城大殿
By Angela Green
Good evening everyone, my name is Angela, a graduating senior at DVGS. I have been studying at CTTB since preschool..I have been studying here for 14 years. The last time I gave one of these talks, I was really little. I can’t remember when, exactly, or what I talked about, but know I did. I have basically grown up here. This temple is as much a part of me as my home. Because of this, questions like “how has being a student here helped you change?” or “what has been this school’s greatest effect on you?” are extremely difficulty for me to answer. It’s like trying to answer the question, “how has your parents’ influence affected the person you have become?” The answer to that question is “In every way.” And, just like the answer to that question, I can never, and probably will never be able to put my figure on how – exactly—this school has affected me.
I’ll focus on my morals, because if there is any clear line of influence, my moral beliefs would be it. I don’t identify myself as a Buddhist, but there is no denying that my more valued beliefs are Buddhist in nature. With some of them, it might by hard to tell the similarity, but I assure you that at the root of the belief, there are one or more Buddhist principles. I do believe in karma, maybe not the precise Buddhist concept, but my belief has the same basic idea: “what goes around comes around. ” However, Buddhism discusses aspects like bowing for repentance and eons of karmic cycles. These ideas are too complicated for me. Nonetheless, I do NOT have the belief that these aspects do not exist. I simply believe that they are complex– the rule is simple enough on its own: if you want people to be nice to you, be nice to them. This is probably the most valued lesson this place has taught me, a lesson that I hope never to forget.
所以我想我會專注於道德上，因為如果一定要說影響的話，那一定就是我的品德和信仰。我並不是一個佛教徒，但是我必須承認我自然而然就會接受佛教的理論。雖然有時很難分辨其相似之處，但是我很確信的是這些理論的根基都是從佛教而來的。我相信業障，可能這並不單單是佛教的理論，但是我相信因果不虛。我深深地相信｢善有善報, 惡有惡報, 不是不報, 時候未到｣。佛教說拜懺消業障及種種無始劫的的因果關係，這個道理對我來說太複雜了。但是我不是不相信因果，我深信如果你要別人對你好，你要先付出，先對別人好才行。這可能就是聖城教我最重要的一課吧？希望我永遠不會忘記。
Another part of me that I believe that is a result of CTTB is my tendency to want to rush out and help people with the little things, like giving someone a ride or opening a door. I do not always act on it, but I feel that I act on them often enough, but only if I act before I can talk myself out of it or if I don’t get lazy. But this aspect must certainly be credited to what I have been exposed to here, and as ironic as it may seem, these beliefs are responsible for my choice to be an organ donor and for my plans to donate blood, both of which I know Buddhism does not smile upon.
If I had to sum all the “CTTB effect” in a few sentence I would say, “Going to school at CTTB has made me a person who believes that “you reap what you sow”. I believe that a person’s worth that is shown by how a person’s actions affect those around them. This school seems to graduate very admirable people, and I hope to be able to carry on this legacy when I leave. ” Thank you!
如果一定要我總結我在聖城的學習經驗的話，我會說，萬佛聖城和這裡的教育塑造出今日的我，我相信｢種瓜得瓜, 種豆得豆｣ 的道理。我也相信一個人的價值體現於他日常生活的言行舉止中，及他對身邊的人的影響力，聖城的學校經常培育出令人欽佩的畢業生，我希望將來我也能將這份榮耀傳承下去。 謝謝！
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By Vanessa Yeong 楊淵善
Good Evening Dharma Masters, Dharma practioners, and DVGSers. I am Vanessa Yeong. Tonight, I would like to share with you the most significant change I have made in my CTTB life. Yes. I used to punch walls. Why do I punch walls? Because I had anger issues and I do not know how to manage them. I am happy and delightful to say that those problems no longer exist in my life.
Why do I have these problems? Why am I always angry? It comes down to only one answer—my heart does not know how to accept. I have very little space in my heart. Therefore, I blame others for everything. It was always their fault and never mine. I shout and scream at my friends, and the ignorant thing was, I do not realize that I hurt their feelings. Many told me to change my behavior, but it was extremely difficult. The feeling of wanting to make a change yet nothing progressed was truly unacceptable and hurtful. It was not easy for me. It took me more than three years.
I went through a process that was absolutely painful, emotionally and physically. In order not to hurt the people around me, I swallowed my anger but it was not better, I was not any happier. I took another way to express my anger, it was unreasonable and immature. Yes, I punch walls, to be specific; I punch the dividers in the rooms. There are holes in my room and I use paper to cover it because I am embarrassed. The question is why do I want to hurt myself? Why do I want to wound my knuckles? The frustration that I had to endure was so heavy that physical pain meant nothing. Months later, I realized that this problem of mine no longer plays a huge role in my life. How did that sudden change happened?
I realize that the challenge was not managing my anger, but being happier and more open-minded. When I am happier, more open-minded, and more considerate; I am less agitated and angry. I become a nicer and more approachable individual. I love being happy, it makes my day worth cherishing. Sometimes, things still frustrate me, but I resolve my anger in more peaceful ways. When I feel agitated, I ask myself if it is worth it to be mad. It took me a long time to realize that my temper and afflictions are my biggest enemies. I am my biggest enemy, no one else. I always thought that it was impossible to get rid of my anger. However, my change made me think differently. If I have the will to fight my biggest flaw, then what else can challenge me?
I am graduating in ten days, and I am extremely grateful that I am able to eradicate my biggest flaw before leaving the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. I am thankful that I will be a better person with a better personality when society challenges me. I am proud to say that I am a teenage girl who graduated from a Buddhist Temple School.
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By Crystal So 蘇詠盈
Dharma Masters, Amitabha. My name is Crystal So, I am a senior that studying in Developing Virtue Secondary school. Throughout my entire four years of my high school life here, I am glad that I have obtained three important keys that will allow me to open the doors of success in the future. The best part? I can share this with everyone today. One of these important keys is to want to change willingly. Studying in Developing Virtue Girl School can be a very different story compared to learning in other schools. For one, although all students have their own worries and challenges, our school tends to lean towards developing the students from their character. Most of the time, students need learn and change their mindset and stubbornness, acknowledge their mistakes, and then learn from peers and teachers in order to fit into this big community. Things are more difficult to do than simply saying what should be accomplished. Till this day, I still have trouble dealing with my ego, such as accepting, changing, and even listening to people’s advice. After 4 years of training in the girls’ dorm, I have learned to recognize and stand in different point of views to understand a problem before I make any judgment of people. When people criticize me, I need to reflect upon myself, not trying to find excuses to cover up the facts. I know that fully letting go our ego and recognizing our faults require a lot of courage and energy. However, I won’t give up. I am happy that I have planted this concept within me. That being said, I will do my best to nurture this seed with care.
各位法師，以及善知識， 阿彌陀佛。 我是蘇詠盈，培德女校 12年級的學生。今天很榮幸可以在此與大家分享我從萬佛聖城得到的三把鑰匙。 三把能讓我打開未來成功之門的鑰匙。第一把鑰匙是真心和願意改變。在培德女中上學與在其它學校上學時非常不一樣的。雖然每一位學生都有著不同的挑戰及考驗，我們的學校更注重在學生們的品行上。很多時候，我們必須改變自己的思想，改掉我行我素的做法，好讓自己融入這大家庭裡。因為知道自己的做法是不對的，所以須參考及向前輩們學習。但說的容易，做的難。實際上我也有放不下自己的自尊心，不願意改變的時候。經過這4年的漫長訓練，我學會接受，站在不同的角度來看待問題的來龍去脈。別人批評我時，我須反省而不是找藉口。我知道完全放下自尊心需要很大的勇氣和精力來完成，但我會不放棄。我很高興我能在離開聖城前在我心裡種下這個概念。我希望以後有機會好好栽培這顆種子，讓他發芽長大。
The second key is to treat people around us sincerely truthfully. Because we have such a small number of students in our school, everyone will eventually bump into everyone. As time goes on, we are able to understand each other’s behaviors and habits, thus all of us can truly be who we are, without needing to please anyone. This is where we learn to treat everyone with our most sincere attitudes. As the result, we live together like a big family, close together like siblings. We share the same memories, all the annoying, sad and happy moments together. Moreover, even the nuns, teachers and volunteers are always there to help and teach us with the most sincere attitudes. When we fall, they reach out to us with open arms and bring us up. When we succeed, they cheer and applaud us. When we are hungry, they prepare delicious meals to warm us up. Such a relationship may require 10, maybe 20 years to build up with those outside of this community. I must say, living and studying under such conditions for 4 consecutive years is what I am most grateful for.
第二把鑰匙是真誠對待。由於培德中學學生人數比較少， 每一位學生時時刻刻與大家碰面， 久而久之大家都對彼此的行為舉止和性格瞭如指掌，因此每一位同學不須帶上假面具來討好他人，反而都學習著以最真誠的態度與大家共處。也因為如此，我們就像一個大家庭，好姐妹，好哥們！一起共度所有的酸，甜，苦，辣。除此之外，這裡的法師、老師們，以及員工們，無時無刻都以最誠懇的態度來協助和栽培我們。在我們跌倒後，伸出援手，把我們扶起來。在我們成功候，為我們大聲地歡呼鼓掌。當我們餓了後，一定會捧出香噴噴的菜餚來溫暖我們。這一切的一切，想必在外面的世界，必定需要花上10年，20年，或一輩子的時間來建立。我很開心我能在這種環境下成長和學習了4年。
I cannot deny that this last and final key is the key that helped me the most throughout my high school life—it is to give with your heart. I am still learning to treat and give out willingly to people around me, trying my best to fulfill my promises that I made. Before, it is not because I am forgetful I do not finish tasks that needs to be done. I merely so not see much importance in such tasks. The reason for that is because I rather focus on own work than giving care and attention to those around me. Fortunately, I am surrounded by a group of friends that are kind hearted and willing to give their best. They support, encourage and help me understand the happiness that I will receive after helping people. They show me how a helping hand can end in smiles.
These three keys help me to determine my definition of success. Not wealth, fame, or being popular among people, but instead having the ability to be true among those who are close to us.
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By Charmaine Lim 林慧宜
All Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Venerable Master, all Dharma Masters and all good knowing advisors. Amitabha. My name is Charmaine Lim and today, like others that are on stage as well, I am going to share my experiences as a graduating student of DVGS this year. Since our graduating class is big, I will keep this short.
The beginning of my journey started out because I was trying to run away from many problems. I always thought those problems were caused by others, no matter whether they were my parents or my friends. Nothing was my fault, being as selfish as I was; even my relationship with my own family was terrible. No one knew how to communicate with me. My mom is a devout Buddhist and she told me about DVGS, I was hesitant at first but it is such a place where I can run far far away from home and all the bad relationships, I gave in and left. Thus, begins my struggle with the schedule here. First off, rules. Waking up for breakfast6 inthe morning calls for extraordinary supernatural human skills (especially during the winter); no cell phones or social media; homework time is after evening ceremony and yes you are expected to finish all your homework, no talking to boys and no you cannot even look at them and etc. To make things worse and embarrassing, I use to always be the one to trip on my black robe whenever I go up the stairs or bow. Like rules, it took me a while to adjust to it.
What surprised me was how much I changed through these struggles. Being far away, I realized that my attitude was my major fault. All these years, I had taken my parent’s unconditional offers for granted, and thus I had never appreciated anything that they had done for me. The first few months month I called home, it was about how much I regretted upon coming here; and I told them I wanted to leave; they always comforted me, telling me to hang in there and it will pass sooner or later. I remember being angry at them, how could they understand my hardships here? As time goes on, I achieved many things that I never imagine I am able to achieve, and I remembered their advice: “See, everything will pass.” In the end, everything did pass. They were happy for me; I cried, telling them how sorry I was. All the relationships I established with everyone here in CTTB, no matter they are dharma masters, teachers, the volunteer workers or students, they provided me with all the support and made me change my attitude and also the way I think. These guide my actions and provide direction in whatever I do.
I remember vividly one night last year, the Uganda project had to finish a poster board, and I had to motivate everyone to work on it, and they did, staying up so that the job gets done. I remember being touched and even more motivated by the group effort that the members put in. And I also remember when the group goes through disagreements; I have to come up with ways to solve them rationally. It takes effort and time, and a good attitude. Qualities that I am sure that I will not have if I were still the girl that did not went through the trainings of DVGS.
Upon graduating, I have no idea what the future will bring, but one thing for sure, I will keep and apply what I have learned here to everywhere else. And if I can time travel and was given a chance to pick again, I will still pick this road full of challenges and master the art of not tripping on my black robe.
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By Serena Wang 王司程