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作者:朱麗真  

Author: Li-chen Chu 

 

回想還沒學佛之前,一聽到有人提到有關佛經上的地獄、因果,我就感到很沉重,甚至有點畏懼。但是自從105年(2016年)開始聽老師開講《地藏菩薩本願經》,最大的收穫就是,在老師的講解下,了解地獄不是諸佛菩薩在懲罰眾生,其實是眾生自己造成的。經裡面講「獄中有百千種業道之器,無非是銅是鐵,是石是火」,大意是說地獄裡所有的刑器不是銅就是鐵、石頭、火做的,其實也就是我們造惡時的心的狀態,冷酷堅硬如銅鐵石頭,或炙灼如火。我們對別人的所作所為終將會回到我們身上,才知道原來很痛令人難受,於是想改變。而諸佛菩薩其實是要來幫助我們離苦得樂的,教我們可以止惡行善的佛法,教我們讓惡果晚點成熟的方便法,甚至有佛菩薩發願要度地獄眾生,如地藏王菩薩,以及許多鬼王。於是真心覺得佛菩薩慈悲又有智慧,於是更相信老師的比喻──佛法是人生必備的地圖指南。

 

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I recalled that before I learned the Buddha Dharma, every time when I heard others talking about the hells and causality in the Buddha Sutra, I felt very serious and even a little scary. But after attending the Dharma lectures of Sutra of the Original Vows of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, being under the teaching of the Teacher, Susan Duan, since 2016, my biggest gain is understanding that the hells exist not because the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas punish the sentient beings, but caused by the sentient beings themselves. The scriptures say “In each hell, there are hundreds of thousands of kinds of instruments of this karmic path, all made of copper, iron, stone, and fire”. The instruments of hells reflect that the state of heart while the sentient beings are making evil is cold and hard like copper, iron and stone, or hot as fire. From the scriptures, we knew that what we did to others will eventually come back to ourselves, then we know that what we did had made others equally painful and uncomfortable; therefore, we want to change (to save ourselves from suffering). And the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are actually here to help us free from suffering and gain true happiness by teaching us the Dharma which enables us to cease bad acts, do good deeds and make the bad karma mature later. There are even Buddhas and Bodhisattvas vow to save the sentient beings in hell, such as the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva and many Ghost Kings. Seeing their great deeds, I was deeply touched by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ compassion and wisdom. Hence, I believe more in what the Teacher has said—the Dharma is the essential map of life.

 

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剛聽經時有被震攝到,覺得佛法似海廣闊無邊,舉例經上寫「如來含笑」,老師解釋「含笑」是因為眾生自證自得,佛認為自己只是助緣不居功,很輕鬆地只是含笑,再者,佛含笑其實已經在說法。沒想到簡單兩字竟然隱含這麼多的道理,要是沒有老師的講解,怎麼可能知道,因此深深感恩遇到老師,感恩有因緣聽經聞法。而「如來含笑」也讓我反思,佛菩薩這麼有智慧為眾生做了這麼多,但不居功所以可以含笑,而自己在生活裡面對身旁的人,卻總把自己放很大,別人的好不好都跟我有關,把自己搞得痛苦萬分笑不出來,看到這點,於是能夠放下,進而比較輕鬆。

 

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I was shocked when I first heard the scriptures, because I felt that the Dharma was like the ocean which is so vast and boundless. For example, the scriptures say “The Buddha smiled”. The Teacher explained that it is because the Buddha knew the sentient beings can only get enlightened by themselves, and he did a lot but didn’t claim credit, so he can keep relax and smiling. Moreover, the Buddha's smile was already teaching the Dharma. I didn't expect that the simple two words actually contained so many meanings. If there was no guidance from the Teacher, how could I know! So I am deeply grateful for meeting the Teacher and having the chance to attend the Dharma Lectures. In addition, "The Buddha smiled" also made me reflect that although what the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have done for us sentient beings wisely were so amazing and incredible, they don’t claim any credit, so they can purely smile. On the contrary, when I face people around me, I always enlarge myself, thinking that I can influence others and everything is related to me, so I was always nervous and painful without smile. After knowing it, I can get over my anxiety and feel more comfortable.  

 

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老師常說希望我們看懂事情背後的理,也這樣為我們講經,舉很多生活的例子要幫助我們理解。也會針對某個道理,從許多面向拋出問題讓我們思考,確定我們的理解正確。這對我是很新的體驗,在自己過往的學習中,常以為懂了字義就是會了,也因此所學都各自獨立,無法融會貫通。這一系列的講座,除了經文義理外,也讓我學到了讀書的方法。

 

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The Teacher often says that she wants us to understand the reason behind things; therefore, she also teaches us the scriptures in such ways which are giving many examples of life to help us understand and asking questions from different ways to make sure that we understand correctly. It’s really a very new experience for me. In my past studies, I often thought that I have already learned as long as I understood the meaning of the words. As a result, all my studies were independent and could not be integrated. This series of lectures make me learn not only the meaning of the scriptures, but also the right methods of studying.

 

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還有在老師生動的講解下,我總彷彿身處在忉利天宮,佛說法的道場,聽佛在對我講話。佛說法不說教,總讓我感受到祂對眾生的慈悲、放心不下;地藏王菩薩見到釋迦牟尼佛時涕淚哀戀,教了我知恩、感恩;文殊菩薩、觀世音菩薩不因古來成佛擺架子,祂們化身菩薩與釋迦牟尼佛共成佛道,教了我互補合作……。原來佛法不只在字裡行間,也體現在諸佛菩薩的言行姿態中。

 

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Besides, the Teacher’s lively speech always made me feel like I was in the Trayastrimsa Heaven (the place the Buddha teaches the Dharma) and listening to the Buddha speaking to me. The Buddha doesn’t preach but teaches the Dharma which always makes me feel his compassion for us sentient beings. In the scripture, we saw the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva weeping with tears when seeing the Shakyamuni Buddha, it taught me to remember the Teacher’s love and kindness with gratitude. And the Manjusri Bodhisattva and the Guanyin Bodhisattva who had already become Buddha long time ago don’t put on airs but assist the Shakyamuni Buddha to save the sentient beings; they taught me to cooperate with others and complement each other......It turns out that the Dharma is not only between the lines of scriptures, but also in the actual deeds of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

 

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學佛後,常對自己的做不到感到沮喪、不耐煩,但老師說我們學佛是一點一點地薰習,鼓勵我們就像走螺旋梯,好像又回到原地,其實是有進步的。深深感恩釋迦牟尼佛說法,為我們留下法寶;深深感恩祖師大德們歷盡艱辛取經、翻譯,讓法流傳;深深感恩老師辛苦備課,用我們懂得的語言,教給我們可以脫離生死的佛法。願能夠一直得佛法薰習,也願眾生都能像我們一樣,得善知識接引教導,聞法學佛,離苦得樂。

 

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After studying the Dharma, I often feel frustrated and impatient with myself for being unable to do as the Teacher taught. However, the Teacher said our learning is like bathing in aroma of the Dharma, and changing the habits takes time. The Teacher also encourages us that the process is like walking up the spiral staircase, although it seems to go back to the original point, we are actually improving. I am deeply grateful to the Shakyamuni Buddha for giving us the Dharma. Additionally, I am deeply grateful to the patriarchs for their hard work to go on a pilgrimage for buddhist scriptures, translating, and making the Dharma spread. I am deeply grateful to the Teacher for her hard work in preparing the lectures and using the language we know to teach us the Dharma which can save us from the cycle of birth and death. I hope that I can learn the Dharma all the time, and I also hope that the sentient beings can also meet good teachers, be guided, hear the Dharma, be free from sufferings and gain true happiness.

 

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