你曾經歷過什麼樣的奇蹟?

張瑜庭 講於2012年2月10日星期五晚 萬佛城大殿  A talk given by Christine Chang on Feb 10 (Friday), 2012 at Buddha Hall of CTTB


諸佛菩薩、宣公上人、各位法師、各位善知識:阿彌陀佛!我的名字是張瑜庭,今年我是十二年級,而我也將去一所女校大學 Bryn Mawr College 。

今天,我想要與各位分享我申請大學時寫的一篇小文章,而佛教的教導與培德女中給我的教育,又如何讓我在跟我同期一起申請的同學中突出我個人的特色。今年,我所申請的學校大部份都是女校。你可能會問「為什麽?」我想我的答案永遠都會是:「因為女校可以讓我有一個更有紀律的生活,以及一顆更能專注於學習的心。」

而今年,其中一所女學校給我的題目就是「你曾經歷過什麼樣的奇蹟?」一開始,我一直想寫一些比較不是普通人所說的奇蹟,可是我怎麽都想不到。一直到有一天,我在電臺聽到了一段有關第一次世界大戰時,德國人與英國人如何一起過聖誕夜的歷史,才給了我靈感,寫出了這篇短文。以下就是短文的內容:

對我而言,奇蹟就是——人們之間,大大小小的慈悲心。我是一位在佛教學校就讀的學生,而這個環境也給了我一個能有機會去感受人們之間所付出的慈悲。我看見了這裡的法師,願意犧牲一切,用他的生命來照顧、關懷我們這群精力旺盛的學生;一群吵雜的學生,突然彎下腰,把在人行道上的蚯蚓移到一旁;或是一群正在辯論的同學們,停下腳步來擦拭掉一位正在哭泣的朋友臉上的哀傷,再用巧克力,以及溫柔的話語來安撫他的心靈;我也看到了一部紀錄片,說明了種族滅絕戰爭的可怕,讓我們這些才十五歲,像溫室花朵般的孩子,開始走出溫室去募款, 我看見了陌生人眼裡的懷疑,轉變成認同的心理,又轉變成了慈悲;我體會過那些在偏遠國家不幸孩子所寫出來的文字。這些都是我人生中所感受到的「奇蹟」。

在政治以及歷史上,這些展現出慈悲心的機會卻沒有這麼多!但是,在第一次世界大戰時,德國人和英國人在耶誕夜一起慶祝的畫面,給了我一線希望,或許有一天,有戰爭的地方也可以如此的和樂——和平相處。因為相似的文化,讓敵對的德國人、英國人能夠聚在一起,在當時的戰爭地點一起分享小禮物以及唱耶誕歌。

也因為這樣的慈悲,我想,人類也可以一樣的在不安以及恐懼中找到慈悲,就像是一位陌生人給烏干達小孩的慈悲,一位年輕人給蚯蚓的慈悲,德國人以及英國人在聖誕夜互相間的慈悲。或許,我們都可以找到這樣的慈悲心給彼此,以及這個世界。但是,有一件事是我從看見慈悲時所學到的奇蹟,也就是我所說的慈悲,是因為個人的決定,才能讓這個奇蹟發生。

在我寫這篇短文之前,我總覺得別人給予我的慈悲、愛我、照顧我,是很理所當然的!但是,從佛法裡,我學到了所得到的每一樣東西沒有一樣是權利或理所當然的,每一樣都是特別給予的,我並不值得得到別人的奇蹟,除非我自己好好的去栽培,去修這個慈悲。

以前的我,並不是真正由衷的去感謝那些給與我慈悲的人。但在我學習、經歷過不同形相的慈悲後,我了解了慈悲不僅僅是一種奇蹟,更是一種力量,推著我向前走的力量 。

當我在寫這篇短文的時候,我在電台聽到了英國人以及德國人互動之間的耶誕夜。當時的我真的很難去相信這件事情的發生,我對戰爭的想法總是逃不過「黑暗」、「怨恨」、「痛苦」這些關鍵字的,怎麼可能可以在戰爭中看到慈悲呢? 答案就是人類的力量,我們有這一股力量能夠把黑暗轉變成光明,怨恨轉成愛,痛苦變成解脫。

我在培德女校的這五年裡,我學到了是我們的選擇,並不是我們的命運告訴著我們要不要修我們的慈悲,以及在及時的時候展現它。就像我在我的短文裡所說的:「德國人和英國人能夠開心的一起唱耶誕歌,沒有人須要逃命,或是跟其他的人打仗, 大家只需要去享受那一晚因為大家慈悲心而創造出來的和平。」

身為一位學生,而生活在這個大家庭裡,我學習到了修行、靜坐,以及適時展現慈悲的重要性,真正學到佛法是,只有在我真正的付諸實行佛所教的東西時,才是我得到的。因為慈悲心、和平,在戰爭當中是有可能發生的!

今年,我將會在這裡畢業,然後去上大學。我應該會修有關和平、戰爭以及正義的課程。雖然我已經好幾年都聽了烏干達國家的戰亂新聞,而我每一次聽到還是會感到非常的失望及難過。到了大學後,我想找出全部戰爭開始的因,找出能夠幫助戰亂之中的解決方法,然後再去關懷那些在戰亂之中的小孩們。

這間學校教會了我不只是學一些只是為了生存而學的東西,而且要反問自己:為什麼要學這門學問呢?為什麼我想要學習這些東西呢?我在大學所吸收的教育,又如何能夠提供別人一個更好的生活呢?而這個道理,也就是孔子所說的世界大同,大家都是因為大眾的利益而去做一件事,而並不是因為個人的利益。阿彌陀佛!

By Christine Chang

Buddhas Bodhisattvas, Venerable Master, Dharma Master, all good knowing advisors Amitabha!

My name is Christine Chang. I am a senior and I recently got accepted to a girls college–BrynMawrCollegeat Pennslavania.

Today I will like to share some short excerpts from my college supplement essays and how the Buddha’s teaching and the education I receive from DVGS make me different compared to the other applicants. This year, I decided to apply to a lot of Girls Colleges. You might ask me why? Well, I think my answer is that I will be able to have a more disciplined life when I am in an all girls environment and that I will obtain a more focused mind.

A college that I applied to had this prompt: What miracle have you witnessed?

I tried to think of those non-spiritual miracles in my life but couldn’t really find one until I heard something on the radio about the Christmas truce that happened during World War II.

For me the miracle is human compassion, in large or small measure.  I attend school in a Buddhist monastery; this has given me the opportunity to personally witness many acts of compassion, a nun sacrificing years of her life to relentlessly care for hyperactive teenagers, or a loud gaggle of students suddenly stopping to help a suffering animal or bend to remove worms from a trodden sidewalk, or arguing students stop their angry words to dry the tears of a sister student with comforting gestures and chocolate. I have seen a class film on the horrors of genocide and have it move me and three other 15-year-old girls to stretch beyond our comfort zone and talk to strangers to raise money. I have witnessed a stranger’s eyes move from frowning doubt to understanding and compassion and then to donating money. I have witnessed the letters from the children saved by this small amount of money raised. These are personal miracles I have witnessed.

In politics and history, accounts of compassion rarely appear, but I have read of the Christmas Miracle of 1914 and it gives me hope for the tensions between the wars and conflicts that are happening nowadays.  The shared culture and miracle of Christmas united the British and German soldiers on that World War I battlefield for one night, to cross the No Man’s Land, to share small gifts and sing carols in the dark.  Maybe the shared culture between all humans can also be a way to unite us peacefully in the dark night of distrust and fear. And if a stranger can find compassion for a child inUganda, an unruly teenager compassion for a worm, and British and German soldiers compassion for each other in the Christmas holiday, maybe, just maybe everyone can find the compassion to care for each other and the world.  But one thing I do know from what I have witnessed: miracles are possible if and only if human beings are willing to let them happen.

Before I wrote this prompt, I always thought that I deserved others’ “compassion” or it is a right to be loved and cared by others. However, in Buddhism, I learned that nothing is a right; everything is a privilege. I do not deserve this quote quote “miracle” unless I cultivate my own “compassion”. I was not being truly thankful to the compassion that other people are giving to me; I was not mindful of it. As I learned more and experienced more of this miracle in life, I realize that compassion is not only a source of miracle from others, but a source of strength that can keep me going. While writing this prompt, I learned about the Christmas truce that happened between British soldiers and German soldiers during World War 2. When I first got acquainted with this part of history, I was shocked, indeed. In my opinion, war is a symbol of darkness, of hatred, of suffering. How is it possible to see compassion, or “miracle” during a war? Humans. We have the power to turn from darkness into light, from hatred into love, from suffering into liberation.

From attending DVGS for 5 years, I learned that it is a choice, not a destiny for us to decide whether we want to cultivate and manifest our compassion at a critical moment or not. Like what I have mentioned in college supplement essay, British and German people stopped and started to sing Christmas carols at night. No one has to run for life, or fight another soldier but enjoy the peacefulness that is created by everyone’s compassion.

Being a member in this community, and a student inDevelopingVirtueGirlsSchool, I understand the importance of practicing, meditating, and acting out compassion. Buddhism is only learned and internalized when I applied the teachings into life. Once we show others our compassion, I believe that “peace” is possible even during chaotic times (just like what we have witnessed during World War 1). Compassion is a miracle that can be easily achieved when you are willing to achieve it.

This year, I will be graduating from the school and going off to college. I will most likely be studying the Peace, Conflicts, justice Program in the college I am attending to. As you may know, I have been involved in the Uganda project for a period of time, and is still horrified by the conflicts and wars that are now happening in that area. Besides raising money for the children inUganda, I want to search for the roots and causes of war, finding answers that bring peaceful solutions to conflict, and heal the hearts and bodies of victims damaged by war.

Our school has taught me not to just learn something for the sake of living, but to question the purpose behind it—why do I want to study about this? How can my education in college help create a better life for others? This is also one of the concepts of a Great Unity, of how people consider everyone’s benefits and not just one person’s.