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本次講座一開始,老師說,佛教導我們:如果我們在輪迴中一次次死亡的屍體堆起來,比須彌山還高。這代表死亡是我們不論貧富貴賤都會遇到的,於是要學習明白,應該以什麼心態來面對這個表面是肉體死亡,實則是生命轉化,就像換工作,總想愈換愈好、換房子愈換愈好,帶著這樣的心態來學習,才是正向樂觀且真正對生者亡者有幫助的。

 

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At the beginning of this lecture, the Teacher said that the Buddha teaches us: our dead bodies in the reincarnation, if piled up, would be higher than the Mount Sumeru. It means that death is something that we must encounter, no matter we are rich or poor, we therefore must learn to understand what kind of mentality we should have to confront the thing which superficially seems to be the physical death but is actually the transformation of life form. It is like changing job and house, we always want to get a better one. Only when we learn with such mentality is it positive and optimistic, and truly helpful both for the living and the deceased.    

 

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於是,老師為我們整理歸納了第七品利益存亡品全品的重點。因為眾生脫獲善利,多退初心,若遇惡緣,念念增益,這樣的因將會感召以下的果:是諸眾生,所造惡業,計其感果,必墮惡趣。所以慈悲的地藏菩薩教導眾生,要在親友臨終時,即在他們正要轉換生命形式這個關頭時,為他們稱念佛名號,使他們在中陰身這個最無助的階段,跟隨佛名號,發起求助於諸佛接引的心,否則以眾生在生時,必是造惡多於行善,因為習惡眾生從纖毫間便至無量,於是可以想見,墮惡道的機會極大,此時幫助他們最有用的方式,一個就是為他們供養佛像丶稱念佛名號,以及在他們身死之後的七七四十九日內廣造眾善迴向給他們。地藏菩薩特別教導我們,當於親友臨終之日慎勿殺害眾生,因為那只會拖累亡者,使其罪緣,轉增深重,甚至在為他們修營齋的時候要注意、恭敬三寶丶愛惜物資(即是愛惜眾生),如此才能真的幫助到他們,也幫到自己。

 

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Therefore, the Teacher summarized the key points of the Chapter 7─Benefiting the Living and the Deceased. “Although now and then sentient beings may generate virtuous thoughts and gain good benefits, they mostly retreat from their initial resolve. If they encounter evil conditions, in every thought they increase and add to the unwholesome.” Such a cause will appeal to the following results: “These beings, should the results brought about by the unwholesome karma they generated be reckoned, would certainly fall into the lower realms.” Accordingly, the compassionate Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva teaches beings to chant the names of the Buddhas for the relatives and friends who are at the end of life, the moment of life forms changing, enabling them to follow the Buddhas’ names and initiate the mind of asking help from Budddhas in the most helpless stage of the intermediate state. Otherwise, as the Sutra said “living beings who are accustomed to evil begin with a minute amount then quickly escalate into measureless evil”, when the beings were alive, the amount of evil they do is definitely more than the good. As a consequence, we can imagine that there is a very high probability that beings will fall into the lower realms, at this moment, the most useful ways to help them are to offer the Buddhas, chant the names of the Buddhas, and widely perform good deeds during the forty-ninedays periods after their death for them. And the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva particularly teaches us that the living should be careful not to kill other beings on the days when the relatives and friends are nearing death because it would just be a drag on the deceased to make their condition of wrongdoings deeper and more severe. Even when the living make vegetarian meal offerings to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha for the deceased, they should pay attention to respect the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and cherish the resources (equal to cherish beings), and then it would be helpful both for the deceased and the living.  

 

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講座下半場進入第八品,老師就著經文鼓勵我們,修心的道路就是如同走螺旋梯,不斷看到同樣的風景(遇到同樣類似的問題),但是不要氣餒,因為隨著你不斷前進,高度必然變高了。然而還是要保持謙卑丶依止善知識,繼續學習,如此才能不致墮入險道,難以脫出,進而轉入正道,享受真正的自在自由與幸福。

 

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The second half of the lecture entered into the Chapter 8 of the Sutra. The Teacher encouraged us by the scripture that cultivating the mind is like walking on the spiral stairs, we may constantly see the same scenery (confront the similar problems), but don’t be discouraged, because with you keep moving forward, the higher place you have reached. However, it is still necessary to stay humble, rely on the good teacher and keep learning so that we would not fall into the dangerous paths which is difficult to get out, and then we can turn to the right paths, enjoying the true freedom and happiness.

 

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參與講座的同學與大德們,都很感謝老師的教導。因為老師在講解中,善巧地透過提問引導,刺激我們去思惟、理解諸佛菩薩之所以這樣說,其背後的道理是什麼,藉此使我們不會只是照著經文死背照做,而是能了解佛菩薩教導我們的每一個方便法的背後原因及理路,於是我們才能發自真心,踏實地去做,如此利益自己與他人,成為一個真正快樂的佛子。感恩三寶及老師教導我們如何面對生命形式的轉換,讓我們能像是先模擬導航一般,知道平日裡可以怎麼做,不會走偏,為自己累積智慧資糧,也因為有了佛法地圖,在人生的旅途裡就能踏實、快樂!

 

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The attendants of the lecture were very grateful for the Teacher’s teaching because she skillfully guided us through raising questions to us, stimulating us to think and realize the meaning behind the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas’ talking and making us to understand the reasons and the context of every convenient method the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas teach us instead of rote learning so that we can stabilize each step in doing everything sincerely, benefiting others and ourselves and being truly happy sons of the Buddhas.We are so grateful to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and the Teacher for teaching us how to face the transformation of life forms, like the navigation simulation, guiding us know what we can do in daily lives to accumulate wisdom for ourselves and not to get into the wrong directions. With the map of Buddha Dharma, we can then be settled and happy in the journey of life.

 

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(附註:本次講座更多相關照片,請至部落格相簿http://pureclassroom.pixnet.net/album/set/16450191觀賞。)

 

(more photos of the Lecture are at http://pureclassroom.pixnet.net/album/set/16450191)

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