家常綠活

林麗珊的創意無添加生活


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(活動介紹) 不丹:快樂就係咁簡單 (自遊講場 X 綠活地圖)

詢眾要求,地圖啲core member 為我地搞呢個分享會,邀請大家嚟!

不丹,世界上快樂指數最高的國度。短短幾天在不丹旅遊,印象最深刻是不丹人對宗教、傳統工藝、環保及醫療的重視,國家政府甚至提出「全國100%有機化」政策。這個不追隨急促步伐的國家,風景當然美; 一切都顯現出恰到好處的平衡,人們開心又友善,馬路沒有紅綠燈,人和車也相當合拍,快樂源自適度的發展。

日期: 6月11日(星期日)

時間: 早上11時至12時

地點: 牧羊少年咖啡館 (太子) 太子站A出口,西洋菜北街交界

講者: 林麗珊 (綠活地圖發起人) 、鄭治康 (綠活地圖成員)

填妥以上報名表格後,收到電子確認郵件後,即代表報名成功。

座位有限,先到先得!

報名方法: goo.gl/MJI0qZ

填妥報名表後,收到電子確認郵件即代表報名成功。

座位有限,綠活地圖成員優先!

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歡迎隨緣樂助,捐款支持綠活地圖

(查詢:9507 3632 綠活地圖–油尖旺Ellen )

https://wherevergreen.hk/events/7Ya8Cg4hQWizNQrJ0Fqu-Q


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原木工作坊之meditation

 

自從去年綠活地圖搞過卡板癈木工作坊之後,一直都不敢輕易開始這個興趣,知道一發之後會是不可收拾的局面,又再搞多壇嘢就周身唔得閒😅

點知機緣之下報了KFBG的原木工作坊,上堂工作時個心清空咗,好平靜,好好的meditation …..做好幾件作品後,滿足感滿溢。
又洗濕個頭添,課堂完結,手痕痕,點算?

    


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我的綠色靜心之旅 My Journey to Meditation

今年四月份邀請了我的斯里蘭卡禪修老師Upul Gamage,替「綠活地圖 」http://www.wherevergreen.hk 在荔枝窩搞了一連串靜修籌款活動後,温暖人間找我寫了這篇記錄—「我的綠色靜心之旅」, 有關跟老師這些年所學習靜修的得著.

文章在温暖人間的#443-446期分四期刊出,很高興在此能與大家分享!🙏🏻

特此鳴謝:

  • Upul 老師多年來對每位學生細心的指導
  • 温暖人間Mable的邀請, 讓我借此機會整理十年間所學習的得著
  • 志堅及品涵兩位好友幫忙校對
  • Katherine Chen 及 i-Leaner Education Centre www.i-learner.com.hk 很專業的翻譯此文章至英文版本, 讓老師能原汁原味的去閱讀我的文字!

感謝!

雜誌版本在中/英文文字之後!

After I invited my Meditation Teacher Mr. Upul Gamage hosted a  fund raising retreat in Lai Chi Wow during April this year for http://www.wherevergreen.hk , the magazine Buddhist Compassion invited me to write an article about my benefit from learning meditation through my teacher’s teaching.

I’m happy to share these words with you here!

Special Thanks to:

  • Teacher Upul’s attentive teaching to every one of his students
  • Mable from Buddhist Compassion’s invitation to write this article, she granted me a chance to review what I’ve been learning through the decade
  • Chi Kin and Pin Han for proof reading
  • Katherine Chen & i-Leaner Education Centre  www.i-learner.com.hk for translating this article

Please scroll down to read the English Version.

 

 

我的綠色靜心之旅

My Journey to Meditation

推廣綠色生活十多年來,回看自己前半段日子,我的心一直沒有靜下來。我是位完美主義者,性格直率,生活上各方面的堅持,原來一直為家人、朋友帶來壓力亦不自知,直至遇上我生命的恩師——烏普老師(Upul)的教導,開始令我改變,我慢慢學懂用心去感受生活,和自己及別人融洽相處。在推廣綠色生活時,學習令自己及別人都更自在。

I have been advocating green living for more than a decade. Indeed I am a perfectionist and a frank person. Thinking back on the first half of my life, my resistance to change exerted a lot of pressure on my family and friends. I had not been aware of that until I encountered my teacher – Mr. Upul. His teachings changed me and made me start to enjoy my life and learn to get along with others and understand myself. Advocating green living has led to myself and others becoming more at ease and self-assured.

十年前我姐是家中首位學習靜修的成員。還記得當時看到她靜坐,我的反應是:這玩意兒沉悶至極!坐着一動不動,我肯定這生不會學習這個!誰知直至2007年暑假結束,我的「暑期恐懼症」又再發作,心內急着要離家找地方讓自己喘息,正好從瑜伽老師口中得知一位從斯里蘭卡來的禪修導師將舉辦一連十天的靜修營,期間必須「止語」。我二話不說便報了名,但內心忐忑不安的懷疑多話的我,嘴巴持續十天不說話會否長出霉菌來。

Ten years ago, my elder sister was the first family member to learn meditation. When I saw her sitting still, meditating, I thought it must be extremely dull and I made a resolve not to follow her. Ironically, at the end of the summer holidays of 2007, my phobia of summer holidays resurfaced and I became eager to leave home and find a place to escape. At that time, I learnt from a Yoga teacher that a meditation teacher from Sri Lanka was going to hold a ten-day meditation retreat in which participants had to observe a ‘noble silence’. I enrolled in the activity right away, but deep inside I was worried about whether ten days of consecutive silence and stillness would lead to my mouth becoming overrun with bacteria and mould.

了解靜修的意義

The meaning of meditation

沒想到止語的確有深層認識自己的驚人效果,雖然嘴巴不說話,但心中的話語不斷排山倒海的湧出。我清楚看到自己愛批判的性格;同時驚覺原來這個我有多麼的貪吃——靜坐時不斷記掛着剛錯過的咖喱汁。也慶幸自己曾看清爸爸在世時在我生命中有多重要的啟示,提醒我及時在他臨終前的一年盡心盡力的陪伴他,直至他離世後,我並沒帶着遺憾,而和他一起的美好時光一直伴隨心中和我成長。知道止語的效果後,每當我獨自外遊時,我會刻意選擇自己語言不通的地方,藉此機會觀照自己呢!

I had never expected that silence could lead to such deep self-understanding. Though my mouth was closed, I became aware of my tendency to be judgmental and my obsession with food, as my mind wandered to the curry I had missed during the meditation period. More fortunately, I was inspired by how important my father was to me and that made me strive to spend more time with him while he was alive. After my father’s death, I have been able to live a life without regret, focusing on the good memories of our time together. After appreciating the effects of noble silence, whenever I travel alone nowadays, I choose to visit places where I don’t speak the local language. In this way, I can spend time directing my attention inside towards self-reflection.

初嘗靜修,我並不清楚為的是什麼,更別說有什麼得着;老師曾對我說,修習 (practice)不是一朝一夕的事,要經多年不斷自我提醒,才會看得見成果,過程能訓練人的耐性,只要相信這是對自己有益處的。

During the early stages of meditation, I did not understand its purposes or benefits. However, my teacher reminded me that practice takes time, and that it would only be through many years of constant self-reflection that I could feel its benefits. All I needed to do was to trust the benefits of meditation, and then this process would train my patience.

一直聽聞學習靜修的好處:能深入了解並認識自己,學習增加性格上不足的彈性;培養覺知 (mindfulness)、增強直覺 (insight);減輕生活壓力,處理情緒問題;對事物有多角度的了解;生活比以前更快樂、生命更有意義;與家人朋友相處更和諧。國際間多方面的研究都證實靜觀修習 (mindfulness practice)的確能治療身心的疾病。我也因而認識多位從事心理治療,並且把靜觀 (mindfulness)技巧帶進工作領域的心理治療師。知道了這些後,更令我堅定不移地繼續修習。

I have learned about the benefits of meditation. They include deeper understanding of oneself, increasing personal resilience, cultivating mindfulness, enhancing insight, relieving daily stress, better managing emotions, seeing things from different perspectives, leading a happier and more meaningful life, and building harmonious relationships with family and friends. International research has proved that mindfulness practice is an effective cure for physical and mental illnesses. I know a few psychotherapists who carry over mindfulness skills to their therapies. Knowing all of these has given me the determination to continue practicing mindfulness.

雖然我現在的程度還很幼嫩,但經過幾年的學習,我開始明白以往自己只為生存而機械式地過活。現在開始學習用心去生活,盡量培養慈心及專注。要將一個圓圈畫得圓滿,最重要的是固定中心點。所以我們要學懂了解自己、愛護自己,然後從心出發,再伸延開去,令整個世界都充滿正能量。

Although I am only a beginner, over a few years of study I have recognized that in the past I lived solely to satisfy the basic needs of life. Now I have started to enjoy life, to embrace benevolence and to improve my concentration. I imagine that I am drawing a perfectly round circle: the most essential point is the very centre of the circle, from which every other point within the circle emanates. Similarly, we are the centre of our own lives. We must first truly understand and value ourselves, and only then should we allow ourselves to spread outwards. By doing so, the energy we bring into the world becomes more positive.

(It is us who make our life complete and fruitful. Therefore, we have to understand ourselves and care about ourselves from the bottom of our heart. By so doing we know how to care about others and impact others positively.)

明白了一些靜修基本知識,有助釐清了坊間對禪修的誤解。原來靜修是一套心理學、認識自己、認識大自然、宇宙定律的哲學,是生活的一部分。

Grasping some of the fundamental concepts of meditation helps dispel some common misconceptions we may initially have. In fact, meditation is part of our lives. As a philosophy, it goes hand in hand with psychology in helping us to understand ourselves, nature and essential rules about the universe.

烏普老師(UpulNishanthaGamage) 簡介(www.facebook.com/upulnishanthagamage?pref=nf)

Introducing UpulNishanthaGamage

(www.facebook.com/upulnishanthagamage?pref=nf)

老師是斯里蘭卡「尼南毗禪修中心」(Nilambe Meditation Center)導師。他經常於斯里蘭卡、歐洲各地及香港教授禪修。近年他知道本人在港推行綠色生活,樂意為綠色人士分享靜修技巧。2010年10月曾為本人主持的網上電台U on live「綠活搖搖板」節目——「都市生活小休亭」接受訪問,講授禪修基本知識。他亦曾於2014年10月替本人發起的「綠色生活地圖製作小組」辦了一場一天的「心靈綠色之旅」靜修活動。

https://greenmamahk.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/%E3%80%8C%E5%BF%83%E9%9D%88%E7%B6%A0%E8%89%B2%E4%B9%8B%E6%97%85%E3%80%8D%E9%87%8D%E6%BA%AB%E9%81%8E%E5%BE%80%E6%B4%BB%E5%8B%95/

有幸能親近老師,進一步向他學習,令自己這些年有顯著的進步。

Upul Gamage is the resident teacher at the Nilambe Meditation Center in Sri Lanka. He has been teaching meditation in Sri Lanka, Europe, and Hong Kong for years. In recent years when he knew that I have been promoting green living in Hong Kong with the organization, wherevergreen.hk, he was happy to share his green living and meditation knowledge with the participants. In October, 2010, he taught us basic meditation knowledge in a radio program called “A short break in city life” I hosted on an online radio station Uonlive’s “Green Living Teeter Board”. In October 2014, Upul taught a one-day meditation activity titled “a green journey for the mind”. I was fortunate to have more opportunities to learn from Upul and made significant progress in my learning.

老師性格平易近人,風趣幽默,帶著孩子氣;生活簡樸,喜歡慢活,講課時用心清晰,以最淺易簡潔的方式表達,他會花很長時間為學生解答問題,我相信這也同時培養大家的耐性。我不知道他哪來的記性,每次他到港時都會記掛著每位同學,可想而知,他對每一位學生都用心教導。每當學生們為他留港期間安排觀光,他只會喜歡到大自然的地方去。他精通各樣知識,例如何種植物適合食用或藥用,天文地理的問題也能詳細解答,更懂烹調家鄉菜餚,簡直是位無所不能的高人。所以我認為老師是位身心靈環保哲人,他一直以身作則引領我做人處事的方式、怎樣推行綠色理念。於是我立志把發起「綠活地圖」的行動視作為自己修心及學習的過程。

Upul is a very approachable teacher with a great sense of humor. He lives a simple and slow life. He is a conscientious teacher; he uses clear and easy language when he teaches, and he spends a lot of time answering students’ questions. He has an exceptionally good memory: every time he comes to Hong Kong, he remembers each and every one of the students. When we want to arrange for him to do some sightseeing, he only ever wants to go to places where there is nature. He is a very knowledgeable man; he knows much about astronomy, geography, what kinds of plants are suitable for eating or for medicinal use. He’s a very good cook as well! I found him to be an environmentally conscious philosopher as he lives what he teaches. Inspired by him, I am determined to keep wherevergreen.hk as a marker of my progress in meditation and learning.

由於自己得益甚深,眼見香港現時複雜的社會問題,加上身邊的綠色朋友都有一些共通難處:大家生活都太繁忙,承受無比壓力;心裏都想有所改變,同時充滿無力感,甚至有時還帶著憤怒及情緒去推廣綠色理念。我認為每個人都應學習這套生活態度,先要鍛鍊好自己的心,才有能力改變外間,並有效地以和諧的方式去改變世界。就如甘地所言"Be the change you want to see in the world",所以當新綠色網站平台「綠活地圖」(wherevergreen.hk)剛成立,我便立即邀請老師來辦一連串「擁抱自己、擁抱地球」靜修籌款活動。

Personally speaking, everyone should learn the living style of Mr. Upul and there are several reasons for my recommendation. First, I have benefited a lot from meditation. Second, complicated social problems manifest themselves in Hong Kong. In particular, some of my friends who lead green lives and I share similar difficulties––suffering a lot from hectic lifestyles, overwhelming stress, and the insurmountable frustration of not being able to change. Sometimes they even advocate green principles through the use of anger or negative emotions. I believe that we need to strengthen ourselves before we can change and improve our world in a peaceful way. This echoes Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s words, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. After the launch of wherevergreen.hk, an online platform used to promote green living, I immediately invited my teacher to organize a series of fundraising campaigns entitled “Embrace Yourself, Embrace the Earth”.

* 「尼南毗禪修中心」http://nilambe.net 是我所到過,使用最少資源的地方。中心不設電力供應,夜間使用爉燭照明。中心內有有機耕種、天然堆肥區等。我在那裡體驗不用衛生紙的生活, 體會到原來用最少物質的生活是可行而滿足快樂的!

Out of all the places I have visited, Nilambe Buddhist Meditation Centre is the one which consumes the least resources. The centre has no electricity and candles are the only light source at night. The Centre is installed with organic farms and a compost area. I experienced not to use any toilet paper in the centre, so I realized that it was still feasible and satisfying to live with such scant resources.

*綠活地圖 wherevergreen.hk 是一個非牟利的網上平台,讓人人都可以發掘和分享社區裡的綠色生活地點、資訊和故事,促進社區的資訊交流、資源共享、社群互動及計劃協作,藉以推動綠色公民的實踐。

(wherevergreen.hk) is a non-profit making online platform which allows people to explore and share information, locations, and stories relating to green living in the community. Hence, the platform encourages the circulation and exchange of information, prompts interaction among members, and initiates projects. This provides a greater incentive for members to put green living into practice.

老師點滴的教導

Selected teachings

活在當下 (Be Present)、身心合一、培養覺知、奉行慢生活

Be present, harmonize body and mind, cultivate mindfulness and slow down the pace of life

營內的訓練無時無刻都著重培養覺知(Mindfulness Training)。即使課堂後,梳洗時間、伸展運動期間、工作禪時段,甚至獨處時間、行住坐臥,老師都提點我們盡量保持覺知;用心去做好每樣功夫,避免例行公事、機械式地進行。時刻把焦點集中細心觀察自己心的狀態;若有負面的感覺出現,不排斥、不逃避、不批判 (not to be judgmental/not to judge),只需觀察它,如實接受狀況,嘗試接納及包容任何情緒生起。老師解釋,情緒是沒有好壞之分,如果我們明白心的運作機制,當情緒出現時,當下只觀察,不反應,慢慢地情緒便會過去,練習一段時間後,心的彈性就會越大,日常生活便不易被情緒所操控。

The retreat focused on mindfulness training. Even after class, the teacher reminded us to remain mindful in whatever we do, for example bathing, doing stretching exercises, meditating, and even when we are alone or lying down. We should throw our whole selves into every task we undertake, and avoid considering the task at hand as routine or mechanical. At any given moment, we should direct our focus towards state of mind. Try not to reject, avoid, or be judgmental against any negative emotions which may arise, but observe, accept and tolerate any kind of emotions. My teacher explained that emotions are emotions – there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’. We only have to understand how our mind operates, so that when emotions arise, we can observe them without adverse reaction, and let them fade away. After a period of practice, we would become more adaptable and less susceptible to our emotions in daily life.

及後,我再從心理健康、左右腦運作的書本中得知:我們一般人習慣偏重左腦,令交感神經不停活躍,使我們的器官不斷運作,身心缺乏休息,容易引致失衡。反之,當我們培育覺知時,右腦活躍起來,這會令副交感神經驅使我們的器官好好休息,身心得以平衡,壓力得以舒緩;所以培養覺知的確能治療身心的疾病。同時,保持覺知的狀態,讓我們能和潛意識溝通。所以我明白為何練習瑜伽、氣功、太極等,都著重身心合一才能達致效果。

Later, by reading some books about psychological health and the lateralization of left- and right-brain functions, I learned that we often use our left brain, keeping our sympathetic nervous system active. This leads to our organs running constantly. The fact that our body and mind are thus deprived of rest can cause imbalance. In contrast, when we train in mindfulness, we can activate our right brain, which in turn activates our parasympathetic system. This will relax our organs, help us strike a balance between body and mind, and relieve stress. Hence, mindfulness cultivation is an effective cure for physical and mental illnesses. In addition, maintaining the state of mindfulness can clear the path to our subconscious. I finally understand practitioners of Yoga, Qigong and Tai Chi get benefits only when they reach harmony between the body and the mind.

每次靜修營結束,老師都叮囑我們把覺知帶入日常生活中。他經常提點我每次只做一件事,只有用心專注地去做,事情才會做得好。以前我習慣multi task去做事,以為同一時間進行很多工作便是有效率、能幹。例如我們喜歡邊吃飯邊看電視,結果自己吃下什麼東西、什麼味道也不清楚;但如果我們能於吃飯時專注的吃飯,消化器官就能盡量吸收食物中的營養,若能再進一步感恩提供食物的人,食物的能量及營養就通通融化到身心去,滋養我們的身體,令我們更健康,那麼,吃的層次便加深了其功效。

Whenever a meditation retreat comes to an end, my teacher always reminds us to bring mindfulness to our daily life. It is important that we only do one task at a time, since we can only perform well if we stay focused on that task. I used to multitask and view it as a good and efficient practice. For instance, we love to eat at the same time as watching TV. As a result, we are not aware of the food we consume and the flavor of it. However, if we concentrate on the eating itself, the food will be digested better and more nutrients will be absorbed. Furthermore, if we appreciate the people who provide us food, its energy and nutrients will be absorbed and integrated into our body, thus nourishing our body and making us healthier. In this way, we will gain a lot more from eating.

老師是一位教懂我如何真正慢活的人。這讓我想起女兒的鋼琴老師關於快與慢的教導:她說快是從慢那裡來的,有了專注於慢的練習,得心應手的快才會自然出現,然後才可準確的控制快慢,我們便可把事情調節自如。

My teacher taught me how to lead a slow-paced life. This makes me think about how a piano teacher taught my daughter to play the instrument. She used to say that a fast performance is born out of slow rehearsal. Only after concentrated slow practice can a pianist come to play at a more natural tempo and control the pace of his performance. Similarly, if we adopt a slow living style, we will better manage the pace of our life.

練習慈心 (loving-kindness)、學習感恩

Practicing loving-kindness and learning to appreciate

老師一向著重學生們「心」的培育。他引領我們先懂得愛護自己,聆聽自己內心的聲音,瞭解自己需要,做自己最要好的朋友。

My teacher is always concerned about how students cultivate their minds. He has led us to take care of ourselves first, learn to listen to the voice in our mind, understand our needs, and helped to make ourselves our own best friends.

在練習慈心禪 (Loving-Kindness Meditation) 環節中,他帶領我們把靜修中獲得的平靜和祥和感與一切眾生分享(包括身邊的朋友,甚至自然界中所有物種,乃至小昆蟲們)。他經常提醒我們,人類是互相倚靠的,就像我們能置身營內,應感恩在背後支持我們、為我們填補崗位的人,而不應視作理所當然。

The loving-kindness meditation has brought us to share the calmness and peace acquired from meditation with every other life form we encounter, from our friends to even natural species like insects. He often reminds us that humans are dependent on each other. Therefore, we should not take it for granted but appreciate those who supported us going to the meditation retreat. Those who filled in our vacancies should also be valued and not taken for granted.

他更教導我們去散發慈心至身邊受身心疾病之苦的朋友;令我驚嘆的是,他甚至進一步帶領我們散發慈心給你討厭的人、或討厭你的人,這讓我們明白因為憎恨,其實雙方都在受苦。

He taught us to convey loving-kindness to those in suffering or distress, yet what impressed me further was that he led us to extend the same loving-kindness to those who you hate, or those who hate you. This made it clear to us that hatred afflicts those on both sides of an argument.

還記得我們曾探討過,一般香港女孩都被認為欠缺溫柔,有位自問不懂什麼是溫柔的女同學向老師提問如何能令自己變得溫柔,老師叫她想像觸摸絲巾的感覺,就在那一刻,連我自己都希望像「沙紙」的性格可以變成像絲巾般柔軟,無論對自己或別人都如是。

In one of our previous discussions, we concluded that women in Hong Kong were generally considered less gentle. A girl who claimed to be ignorant of the concept of being gentle asked the teacher how to change and become more gentle. Our teacher asked her to imagine the feeling of silk. At that moment, I also wished that my rough character could be softened, and that I could be gentle to both myself and others.

老師不時提問我們:「你現在感覺怎樣?」、「你開心嗎?」。其實他正在提高大家隨時觀照自己的意識。我於是學會時刻注意自己當下心的狀態。

Our teacher often asked, “How do you feel now?” and “Are you happy?” Indeed, he heightened our self-awareness. Thus, I have learned the importance of checking in with my state of mind at any given time.

生命無常(Impermanence)

靜坐可以訓練我們觀察當下身體的感覺,每當靜坐時腳部感到麻痹,老師提醒我們先保持姿勢,感受麻痹的感覺,一段時間後,才讓我們從坐姿轉至站姿,體會隨之消失的不適感,但保持姿勢一時段,不適又會來訪;世上任何事情都循環不息的變化著,無論任何東西、事物或感覺,都是過客,不會永久停留;所以凡事順應自然,懂得珍惜此刻,放棄執著,是我們生命中應有的態度。曾經有位喇嘛演說,幸福就是「相信自己只剩下短短的餘生」,明白生命快要完結,知道珍惜每天的時光。

Sitting still can train us to be sensitive to our feelings. Whenever our legs go numb from sitting still, our teacher would tell us to keep that posture and feel the numbness. After a certain amount of time, we could stand up and the discomfort caused by the numbness would vanish. Of course, the discomfort would return after sitting still for some time again, and thus we see that the world around us is in constant flux. All people, objects, events or feelings are transient “visitors” who never linger for our whole lives. Hence, we ought to learn to accept changes, cherish the present and abandon stubbornness as our attitudes. I remember a speech made by a lama, who posited that one would feel fortunate if he believed he would have a short life. It is no doubt that we will cherish the present moment more if we realize that our life is coming to an end.

改變心態、活得自在

Changing our attitudes and living freely

曾在營內受蚊子騷擾而不能專注靜坐,便請教老師該怎麼辦,老師的回答使我茅塞頓開:「首先,不要老是自我中心,認定蚊子飛過身邊就必定要來吸我血。其實,蚊子只有雌性才會叮人,雄蚊是不會叮人的,所以如果你格殺勿論,雄蚊變成了無辜的犧牲者!我們應以平常心接受昆蟲飛行的聲音與權利,就當牠是一個在你身邊走過的陌生人,我們不會平白覺得陌生人一定會攻擊我。當你「熱血沸騰」時,蚊子靈敏的熱感應器會探測到人體內因血液迅速流動而發出的熱量,反而惹來被叮的機會;此外,靜坐的目的是修練專注力及慈悲心,昆蟲飛行的聲音亦是對你的考驗。」

Once when I failed to sit still because I was irritated by mosquitoes, I asked my teacher for advice. His answers were very inspiring. He replied, “You should not be so self-centered to believe that mosquitoes are coming to bite you. In fact, only female mosquitoes feed on blood. If you killed all the mosquitoes that fly around you, you would needlessly be killing the innocent males! Instead, we have to accept insects’ sounds and respect their right to fly. They are like passers-by and we normally don’t think that other passers-by will attack us. In fact, if you get annoyed by mosquitoes, they will sense the heat produced by your increased blood circulation, and will be attracted to bite you. Besides, since the purpose of sitting still is to train your concentration and benevolence, you should take the sound of flying insects to be a way of testing yourself in these qualities.”

同時老師提出一項有趣的問題:「假如這次是蚊子的最後晚餐,你願意奉獻嗎?」自始之後,我每次被蚊蟲叮咬過後,都會嘗試把自己當作「布施奉獻者」而不是「受害者」。經過多次心的鍛煉,我慢慢調整自己的態度,即使被叮處一樣紅腫發癢,但內心已由恐懼、害怕、憤怒轉化成輕鬆接受被叮的結果。當坦然接受事實後,再去體驗這個「癢」的過程,當初心理及生理上「痛苦難當」的感覺便隨之減退。原來用另一態度去面對同樣事物,便可令自己從容面對日常生活的各樣挑戰。

Then, my teacher raised an interesting question, “If you were a mosquito’s last dinner, would you sacrifice some of your blood?” Since then, whenever I was bitten by a mosquito, I would regard myself as a ‘donor’ instead of a ‘victim’. After some practice, I gradually adjusted my attitude from one of panic, fear and anger to that of acceptance, despite the mosquito bites becoming swollen and itchy. The acceptance of being bitten alleviated the itchiness. Now, I understand that I can take on every challenge in life with a change of attitude.

對人和事,不設預期(No expectation)

Dealing with people and things through the principle of ‘no expectation’

人與人相處而出現的磨擦,都是我們對別人有所預期而產生的,尤其是家人親密關係中最具挑戰性。所以學習對他人及事物沒有預期,便就不會令自己失望,造成不快。

Expectations about other people are often the reason that arguments arise. The arguments with our family members may be particularly serious, as we have higher expectations about them. Thus, we should learn to hold no expectations about other people or things, which can help us to avoid feelings of disappointment and unhappiness.

我是個不被天氣影響的人,好天當然令人舒暢,但如果明白下雨是大自然的現象,雨天和晴天都會交替出現,有雨水植物才能生長,氣溫得以調節。理解任何狀況的出現都是自然的,順其自然的接受,那麼任何時候,面對任何情境,心情也能舒暢。 所以一切事物都是相對的,都是大自然定律,物極必反,沒有好壞之分。

The weather has little influence on me. Of course, fine weather makes us feel cheerful; but we should understand that rainy weather is a natural phenomenon, and good and bad weather must occur in alternation. Rain water is what enables plants to grow and adjusts air temperature. If we learn to accept every phenomenon as a natural process, then any given time or any given circumstance can only ever bring us cheerfulness. Everything is relative and exists within the rules of nature. Things will develop in the opposite direction when they become extreme, and we should not make a distinction between the good and the bad.

培養智慧、看清價值

Generate wisdom and see the value

都市人一般都認為自己生活繁忙,根本騰不出時間學習靜修。老師解釋,生活越是繁忙,越有需要學習,因靜修可令人在生活中找到空間,同時提高工作效率。此話何解?老師解釋:都市生活令人混亂,容易迷失自己,一般人都犧牲掉陪伴家人、朋友的時光,自己的興趣或休息時間都被剝奪。靜修卻令自己知道什麼是對自己重要,然後懂得取捨,選擇自己想要的生活,而不是被外境牽着走,以為自己沒有選擇。道理就如隧道在繁忙時間實施的車輛管制措施一樣,一般隧道口會把車輛截停,直至隧道內阻塞情況清除,才會再次開放車輛以正常速度駛入。此舉避免隧道停滯或速度緩慢,這個現象,是我先生和老師駕車經過隧道時遇到的一個貼切的好例子。所以都市人越繁忙,越要給予空間自己停下來好好休息,令自己頭腦清晰,才有空間與智慧迎接未來的挑戰。

City dwellers usually think that they lead busy lives, and they have no time to spend on meditation. But our teacher said that the busier their lives were, the greater their need for meditation was. It was because meditation would help them find some space in their hectic lives and at the same time enhance their efficiency at work. Why? Our teacher explained it is easy to lose oneself in the confusion of city life. People often sacrifice time which should have been spent with their family and friends, on their own interests or on rest. But meditation would make them realize what is truly important to them, and they would make wise choices in pursuit of a life they wanted to lead, rather than submitting themselves to the external environment and misjudging that they had no choice. An analogy might be the control of traffic in a tunnel; vehicles might be asked to stop at the entrance during peak hours until a jam is cleared. This policy aims to avoid blocking the tunnel or slowing down the speed of vehicles. I learnt this example from a drive with my husband and our teacher. Therefore, the busier city people are, the more time they should set aside to allow themselves to pause and rest. By keeping their minds clear, they can have the mental space and wisdom to face upcoming challenges.

奉行中道、不執着、不強求

Sticking to the central path, and avoiding stubborn or headstrong attitudes

曾有人問:「執着是否等於,我喜歡喝咖啡,不執着就應當從此把咖啡戒除呢?」老師解釋:從此不喝咖啡,只是從一極端跳到另一極端吧!採取不執着的態度,應該是活在當下去享受面前的咖啡,如果場合中沒有咖啡時,內心也能自在。心是柔軟有彈性的,那麼我們的心擁有自由。凡事順其自然,相信最好的都在眼前發生。這樣雖然有點阿Q精神,卻令我能更豁達的接受任何不如願的情況,令自己更自在地面對多變的世界。

Someone asked about stubbornness, “I am obsessed with coffee. Should I stop drinking coffee so that I stop being stubborn?”My teacher answered, “Quitting coffee is just a jump from one extreme to the other. Those who are not stubborn should enjoy the coffee at the present time. If there is no coffee at that moment, they still feel comfortable. Besides, if we are flexible enough, our minds can be free. We have to accept changes in life, and believe that what is happening at any given time is the best possible option. Although this perception sounds a bit unrealistic, it prepares me for any unpleasant situations, and enables me to feel more comfortable in this ever-changing world.”

仿效孩子對事物的初心 (Beginner’s Mind)

Imitating the ‘beginner’s mind’ of a child

面對任何事情,抱持初學者的態度學習,像小孩般擁有天真的好奇心,謙卑的去接受新事物,即使對舊事物亦以「我不太懂,想多認識學習」的心,便能對凡事有空間去作更深入的認知。

When we are exposed to anything, we should learn in a way a child would do. Children are curious, humble enough to learn new things, and will readily build upon previous learning experiences with an open mind. By adopting their attitudes, we can deepen our understanding of the world around us.

百病從心生

Illnesses stem from the heart and mind

老師曾寫過一首詩,關於每個人的喜樂、平和、健康等,應掌握在自己手上,與別人及外在因素無關;當我們面對不快、壓力、情緒、疾病等,其實都應對自己負上全部責任。(我想起很多人把健康的責任交給醫生,甚至認為得病是因別人傳染,竟沒想到是因自己的原因所造成,如不良生活習慣等)。我們應當學習不依賴別人,亦不應被別人依賴。重要的是:我們同時有責任不令別人不安、壓力及生病。孩子當然除外,父母有全權責任確保孩子擁有身心的健康。

A poem written by my teacher expressed that we, not others, have the grip on our happiness, peace and health. If we suffer from distress, pressures, negative emotions or illnesses, we are responsible for all those sufferings. As I remember, many people claim that it is the doctor’s responsibility to secure their health, and attribute any illness they may catch to an infection from others. They never associate the illnesses with themselves, for example an unhealthy lifestyle. We should learn not to lean on others and not to let others lean on us. More importantly, we must not disturb others to the extent of exerting pressure on them and causing them to fall ill. Children, however, are an exception, because parents are wholly responsible for keeping their children physically and psychologically healthy.

老師強調絕大部份的生理疾病都是由心理所影響的。如果我們懂得從訓練覺知開始,調適自己的心,把內心變得柔軟豁達,便能預早化解心理上的種種疾病。這令我頓時明白對應情緒治療的花藥(Bach Flower Remedy)的原理,以及其他整全醫學(Holistic Health)如中醫、印度阿育吠陀(Ayurveda)、順勢療法(Homeopathy),香薰療法(Aromatherapy)等,都從個人身心出發去醫治疾病。

The teacher often highlights that our mind is the origin of many physiological illnesses. If we learn to adjust our mind and become flexible from the mindfulness training, we can prevent many psychological illnesses. He led me to realize that the Bach Flower remedy and Holistic Health treatments, for example Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Aromatherapy, can all be used to cure patients’ body and mind.

我自己的體驗是:年前因心理上抗拒食物添加劑,我相信自己的「味精敏感」是來自心理上對化學食物添加劑的排斥。近年學懂接受並與它共存,狀況反而舒緩。

I would like to share one of my experiences. I have been restrained myself from consuming food with additives for years now, and so I believe that my allergy to monosodium glutamate (MSG) has stemmed from this mental rejection of additives. Recently, I have tried to reintroduce additives back into my diet, and have found that my allergy has been alleviated.

我相信疾病是人生一個難能可貴的學習機會。生病與痛楚是身體的朋友,不是敵人,提醒我們休息,好好愛護自己。生病時,嘗試細心聆聽身體的輕聲細語,藉此機會,感恩自己的身體在日常生活的付出,學習好好關顧他。

I think that falling ill is an invaluable learning experience. Illnesses and pains are our friends, not enemies. They come to remind us to rest and care about ourselves. Hence, when we get sick, we should try to listen to, appreciate and take good care of our body.

凡事持謙卑態度,不製造二元對立

Learning to be humble and tolerant, and avoiding confrontation

老師教導我們凡事持謙卑態度對待事物,世間的一切思想概念背後都有優點,都可為世間帶來好處,但如果我們偏離了其中心思想,便會造成二元對立。我隨即想起一些切身例子:我身邊有些因環保或慈悲理由成為素食者的朋友,素食當然對環境及健康都有好處,而自己因種種原因還未能成為茹素者。曾面對一些激進的素食人士的態度令人不安,他們欠缺點點包容,可能認為自己已經做到,便稍帶批判的眼光對待肉食人士。其實素食與否純屬個人選擇,應當因應自己步伐去實行。如果因為愛護環境而持素,更加要開始過真正綠色身心的生活;如果以慈悲心出發,待身邊人慈悲不就如同對待動物慈悲同樣重要嗎?我相信素食主義是不應把人分隔開的。我認為這是值得我們去思考的問題。

My teacher taught us to be humble and tolerant because every doctrine must have its positive side from which the world can benefit. Nevertheless, if we are not humble enough, and put forward that a particular doctrine should have been the best, such a move might deviate from the positive intention behind that doctrine. Here is an example to illustrate this point. I have some friends who have chosen to be vegetarians in order to protect the environment and show kindness to animals. Of course, eating vegetables is good for the environment and one’s health, although for various reasons I have failed to adopt vegetarianism myself. Unfortunately, some extreme vegetarians have upset me because they want others to follow suit, and show their intolerance by criticizing meat-eaters. In fact, being a vegetarian is a personal choice. If someone chooses to be a vegetarian because of his love for the environment, he has to apply green living to his life. If he does so because of being kind to animals, he should be kind to people too. There is no point of rejecting people who are different from us. This is something we should consider carefully.

我還把這個教導放諸於自己推廣綠色生活上,可能綠色人士的步伐比其他未轉化人士快走幾步,只有持謙卑態度去影響別人,多與他人分享這種生活態度對環境、社會、家人及自身的好處,才會令人信服,推廣就更成功。

I have applied this principle of tolerance to my advocacy of green living. It is probable that environmentalists may make greater progress than the ‘unconverted.’ They should approach others with humility, and share how tolerance is beneficial to the environment, society, the family and environmentalists themselves. As a result, advocacy of green living will be more appealing to others, and will continue to spread.

把禪修融入生活——生活禪、工作禪

Integrating meditation into our lives and work

老師強調任何課堂所教授的知識、書本皆是外在的技巧,是停留在腦海中的資訊,也是被放在一旁的工具。通過先明白其道理,然後在生活中實踐、感受、體會,把道理內化,才能變成自己的一部分。老師經常叮囑我們不要只倚賴入營的時間去修心,就如同忙碌的在職人士,只求無止境的工作、假期,不斷的循環去紓緩壓力。要尋求終極解決辦法,其實應該學懂生活禪,在繁忙生活中也隨時懂得調適自己的心,無論對應什麼事情、處於何時何地,都能快活面對。

The teacher stresses that the lessons we learn and the books we study in class are external skills, that is to say, information that exists outside our heads. Without proper processing, the knowledge would be similar to unused tools in the tool box. Therefore, we have to process and internalize these principles through understanding, applying and experiencing them in our lives. Our teacher also reminded us that we should not consider the retreat as the only occasion for meditation. If so, that would be similar to people who repeat work-holiday cycles as the only means to relieve stress. Ultimately, the best practice to adopt is that of blending meditation into our daily life, so that we can learn to adjust ourselves to whatever trials and tribulations may present themselves along the way.

我所參加本地的靜修營中,都設有工作禪(Working Meditation)時段,有不同工作分配予營友,訓練大家在工作中培養覺知;而老師在斯里蘭卡的禪修中心,則沒有硬性規定參與否,或分配何種工作,一切皆以自發的心去做;這種自發的方式突顯發心為別人服務的精神,更難能可貴(所以我喜見由我發起的綠色生活地圖的參加者,很多都是自發地在社區內因應不同區域的需要及情況,在社區層面推廣綠色生活理念,效果更加深入人心。)

The local meditation retreat I joined had working meditation sessions, which assigned participants various different tasks to train them to cultivate mindfulness in their work. In contrast, at the teacher’s meditation centre in Sri Lanka, participants are free to join and to select their favourite tasks. There, they can take the initiative to do everything. This self-driven initiative truly embodies the spirit of encouraging participants to serve others. What is so valuable about this initiative is the chance to see participants of wherevergreen.hk take their own initiative to promote green living in the community according to the various needs and situations of different areas. This is what makes the results particularly impressive.

由於老師的禪修中心沒有電力供應,夜間使用蠟燭照明,我便在工作禪時段有機會學會蠟燭製作;原本看似付出的事,其實最後發現倒是自己得益。

Since there was no electricity in teacher’s meditation centre and we had to light candles at night, I learnt to create candles in the working meditation session. Originally, I had thought candle-making to be a laborious task, but in the end I realized the benefits I myself had gained.

工作禪中,最令人感受到背後意義的要算是「廁所禪」了。這有兩個層面—使用者及清潔者。

– 使用者:抱持感恩清潔者的心態小心使用。同時提醒自己,使用過後應當盡量保持同樣或比使用前更乾淨。

– 清潔者:清洗時專心工作,抱持為人服務的心,過程中觀想:能因自己的付出令別人有舒適乾淨的空間使用,那份愉悅的感覺實在令人高興。我在泰國的禪修中心也曾自發的清洗過多個邋遢的廁所,那份滿足感的確不能言語。這工作看似是犧牲自己,因通常清洗廁所是厭惡性、沒人願意做的工作,一般接受此任務的人,都學習把自己的地位放下;我反而覺得,能把自身的地位放到最低位置,豈不就是最高層次嗎?

如果人人都抱持這種心態過活,你能想像世界有多美好嗎?

The part of working meditation that I appreciate most was the so-called ‘toilet cleaning meditation.’ There were two levels to this: that of toilet users, and of toilet cleaners.

    Users appreciate the work of the cleaners, so are careful about how they use the toilet. They keep in mind that they should leave the toilet in the same condition or cleaner than how they found it.

    Cleaners do their job with a clear focus that they are serving others. Throughout their work, they feel satisfied that the effort they put in provides users with a clean and comfortable space.

I took the initiative to clean dirty toilets in the Thai meditation centre, which gave me a great sense of satisfaction. It is perceived to be a sacrifice to be a cleaner because toilet-cleaning is often a disgusting task that people are unwilling to do. Therefore, in order to take this job, the cleaners have to put aside their pride. In my opinion, whoever can put aside his pride in fact attains the highest status. Can you imagine how much better the world would be if everyone shared this attitude?

人類健康的障礙——與大自然疏離

An impediment on human health –distance from nature

生於這個年代的都市人,生活各方面都與大自然疏離,大部分使用的用品都是人造的。我們住在充滿空調的石屎森林中,以往日出而作、日入而息的自然規律,現正變得夜夜笙歌。我們的生活都充斥着高輻射量的電器設備及人造的化學品;食物都以人造方法製造,農產品加化肥農藥、肉食品是動物工廠出產添加激素的工廠肉、基因改造食品的出現,把從前農業agriculture都變成agribusiness。人類以為高科技可以改善生活,其實是製造更多問題。種種不順應大自然的生活方式,為人類健康帶來威脅,越發達國家均見更多病例。

Nowadays, people in cities are distanced from nature. Most necessities are artificial. We live in air-conditioned concrete jungles, choosing to stay up late instead of following the natural rhythms of sunrise and sunset, as was done in the past. Our lives are brimming with synthetic chemical products and electrical appliances that emit radiation. The food we eat has become artificial too. Food is made through artificial processes, and agricultural produce is full of fertilizers and pesticides. Factories that treat meat with hormones and the appearance of genetically modified foods have turned agriculture into agribusiness. People think that information technology improves their lives but the truth is it brings about many problems. We live out of sync with nature, and this actually threatens our health. This can explain why citizens in developed countries suffer more from health problems.

健康的生活和順應自然的法則其實不可分割,自然界中所有事物都需要時間醞釀。明白大自然的規律和重要,便會令我們的生活有所反思;開始嘗試放慢腳步,不要過度倚賴高科技,多接觸大自然,同時支持綠色理念的生活方式。如減廢、回收,支持本土製作友善環境的食品及產品、樸門理念(permaculture)、綠色消費等。生活中種種細節都不以方便為先,改善從生活細節開始。甚至可嘗試在自己專業的領域尋求改變。

A healthy lifestyle requires us to get back in sync with the laws of nature. It takes time to change our routines. If we recognize the laws and the importance of nature, we will reflect more on our lives. By slowing down our pace, we will become less dependent on high tech, and will connect more with nature. In addition, we will live greener lifestyles, for instance through reducing, recycling, purchasing local and environmentally friendly produce, abiding with the principle of ‘permaculture’ and consuming in a green way, etc. Furthermore, smaller details in our lives will improve, instead of simply putting a priority on convenience. We may even seek to make changes in our fields of specialism.

倚賴高科技的年代

The generation of high-tech dependence

都市人依賴高科技的情況好像不能逆轉,世上每個角落都看到人們手機不離手。時代進步,現代新發明,無疑是為人類帶來方便及好處,不過,如果我們缺乏覺知,便會被電子科技產品操控,迷失自己。現今手機的設計容易令使用者上癮,社會上種種因濫用手機所造成的問題隨處可見,也日益嚴重。可見培育覺知是多麼的重要!有了覺知便能在生活中有所選擇,善用高科技,有智慧的去生活,無形中心是自由的。試想像,如果有一天能源耗盡,而我們一直在倚賴高科技的生活,我們到時會怎樣呢?

It seems inevitable that people in cities will rely on technology, and people from every corner of the world are constantly glued to their mobile phones. Indeed, the advancement of modern inventions has brought its advantages and areas of convenience, but if we are unaware of our addiction to technology, we will be controlled by electronic products and lose track of ourselves. People easily get addicted to mobile phones because of their attractive designs but the problems caused by this addiction become more prevalent and detrimental. Obviously, it is vital to cultivate awareness, which can help us choose what is beneficial, and encourage us to use high technology sensibly, live wisely and ultimately enjoy more freedom without the control of electronic products. Let’s imagine that resources ran out; how would life be for those who are used to relying on technology?

既然生活上不能避免完全不使用手機,我們可以利用手機培育覺知。當手機響起時,不要急着反應,利用多幾秒的空間提醒自己回到當下,日積月累,這樣不單止令覺知增長,在我們通話時,更可以清晰及正面的表達自己。

Since it is hard to completely avoid the use of mobile phones, we can still develop mindfulness with them in our lives. We needn’t rush to answer the phone when it rings. Instead, we may leave it for a few seconds in order to focus ourselves on the present. This practice not only helps enhance our mindfulness, but also makes us able to express ourselves better and more clearly on the phone.

當我到外地時,在情況許可的時候,我盡量少用手機,讓自己清靜,同時更能投入當地的文化及環境去吸收新知識。

When traveling, I try to use a mobile phone as little as possible. In this way, I can avoid being disturbed and learn more knowledge by getting involved in the places and their culture.

籌備「擁抱自己、擁抱地球」靜修活動的過程及得著

“Embrace Yourself and Embrace the Earth” – preparations for the meditation activity and its benefits

今次專程申請老師過來辦一連串「擁抱自己、擁抱地球」靜修籌款活動可謂波折重重。由於綠活地圖是一間剛註冊的公司,老師初次入境申請被拒絕時,我當時實在驚惶失措,老師就在一旁提點我從容面對所有發生的事,順其自然去接受結果。加上朋友的話:如果再次申請亦被拒,證明這次不是老師來的好時機。這話更令我開始明白一些東西。最後老師的簽證當然順利獲批。

I faced a lot of difficulties when arranging for our teacher to come to Hong Kong to help organize our fundraising activity, “Embrace Yourself and Embrace the Earth”. Since wherevergreen.hk is a newly registered organization, the teacher’s first application for a visa was declined by the Immigration Department. When this threw me into a panic, the teacher reminded me to relax and accept the result. In addition, my friend told me that if the teacher’s second application was rejected, that might prove that it was not the time for him to come. His words were insightful. In the end, our teacher did get a visa.

另一方面,雖然我們已盡全力,招募參加者的人數一直未如理想; 我回想自己在籌備過程中,對於種種安排的過度擔心。例如我們花了不少精力去計劃壞天氣的應變措施。亦擔心參加者的數目未如理想,會令籌款活動虧本。我驚覺,原來自己越花精力、耗上能量去擔心,不想出現的狀況就會逐一呈現眼前,而自己的情緒亦隨之被牽動。當我明白這些道理,我學懂了只要盡了自己力量,就可以安心的把事情全都交托上天。就是這個明白,令我在入營當天突發的「黃色暴雨」臨危不亂,老師特意提醒我們輕鬆面對這突如其來的狀況:

「天氣不設預期,相信被安排出現的是最適合妥當的,其他就讓大家持續觀察,修習在這刻(未出發前)已經開始,請大家活在當下,接受所有看見的、聽到的、感覺到的。我們只可肯定這一刻,享受當下,提醒自己不要捉住過去及未來。」

Furthermore, although we had strived to promote the activity ahead of time, the number of participants was still below our expectations. During the preparation, we met with all sorts of logistical concerns. For example, we had spent a lot of energy coming up with contingency plans for bad weather, and were concerned about the financial losses incurred by low participation numbers. What shocked me was that the things that I had worried about a lot occurred gradually, and my emotions were adversely affected. This understanding taught me to try my best and let things go. Therefore, I tried to keep calm on the day we entered the retreat when the amber rainstorm signal was issued. Our teacher reminded us to face unexpected circumstances in a relaxed way,

“We cannot predict the weather, and should believe that whatever happens is the best possible outcome. Our training has started before the activities have even begun. Please be present, accept what we see, hear and feel. We have to enjoy the present, forget the past and not worry about the future.”

上天為我「悉心安排」的結果,令我明白最終參加者人數較少的原因,正是讓沒有經驗的我們先去實習及累積經驗。感謝上天的安排,雖然籌款數目最終不太理想,但起碼我們這次並沒有虧本。我便只好調整自己的心態,把籌款環節抱著「輸少當贏」心態;賺到的就是無價的經驗!

The result of the fundraising activity made me realize why our participation numbers were low. The activity was an opportunity for us to practice and build up experience. Although the money we raised was not as much as we had hoped, we didn’t incur any losses. I adjusted my attitude and felt content with what I gained. This itself was a priceless experience.

感謝一連串活動的場地都是一些支持推廣綠色生活的機構或團體提供。其中參加者得益最大的要算是荔枝窩四日三夜靜修營。

Some green living advocacy organizations and groups have been offering sites for us to organize activities, and for this we are extremely grateful to them. In particular, the retreat which participants benefited most from was most probably the four-day meditation retreat in Lai Chi Wo.

荔枝窩村是一條擁有三百多年歷史、本地其中一條保留得最完整的傳統客家圍村,由曾氏和黃氏兩個客家宗族所建立的。荔枝窩位於幽幽深山之中,被船灣郊野公園及印洲塘海岸公園包圍。因為地勢環境,這裡的村民自70、80年代起已搬走, 原本只剩下一條沒人住的鄉村;在2013年尾,香港大學嘉道理研究所、香港鄉郊基金、綠田園基金和長春社,聯同荔枝窩村民,由香港上海滙豐銀行有限公司旳支持下,在荔枝窩舉辦了"永續荔枝窩——農業復耕及鄉村社區營造計劃(計劃網站: http://www.kadinst.hku.hk/sustainablelcw/ http://www.hku.hk/press/c_news_detail_14539.html )",為荔枝窩帶來新氣象。

Lai Chi Wo Village boasts a history of over three hundred years, and is one of the best preserved Hakka villages in Hong Kong. It was jointly built by the Tsang and Wong Hakka families. Lai Chi Wo is situated inside the Plover Cove Country Park and Yan Chau Tong Marine Park. The departure of residents from the village since the 1970s and 1980s has left the place deserted, but the end of 2013 saw the launch of the “Living Water & Community Revitalisation – An Agricultural-led Action, Engagement and Incubation Programme at Lai Chi Wo”. This was undertaken with the support of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC), the Kadoorie Institute of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Hong Kong Countryside Foundation, Produce Green Foundation, the Conservancy Association and inhabitants of a traditional Hakka village in Lai Chi Wo. This programme definitely rejuvenated Lai Chi Wo. You may refer to the following website for details:

http://www.kadinst.hku.hk/sustainablelcw/

荔枝窩有山、有田、有林、有河、還有海! 就像一個與世隔絕的角落,正適合靜修生活。參加者被安排暫住村民簡樸的家中,由於生態古村不想被化學污染,事前我們叮囑參加者盡量使用環保清潔及個人護理產品、少製造垃圾。

Lai Chi Wo is nestled among hills, farmland, woods, rivers and the sea. It is like a quiet corner cut off from the outside world, and so is a perfect spot for meditation. The camp’s participants stayed in residents’ simple village homes. Since we did not want to pollute the natural environment around the village, participants were reminded to use environmentally friendly toiletries, and keep rubbish to a minimum.

最令人忘懷的,要算是多餐高質天然生態、幾乎是村內自給自足的有機膳食供應。村內能飲用山水已是得天獨厚的恩賜,為我們預備膳食的是幾家不同的村民,由於村內的復耕計劃,田中出產有機米及時令有機蔬菜(幸運地,有時我們還能看到村民們把從田中現摘的菜蔬送上餐桌的過程呢!),加上本土製的雜糧食品,現焗天然健康麵包,配以自家製的醃製醬料、果醬等。如果要計算,這多餐from farm to table的健康「串門餐」的食物里程之近,令參加者都感到今時今日享受到這頓豐富的「簡樸盛宴」,實在太不能令人相信能在本港發生!

The most unforgettable thing about Lai Chi Wo is its natural ecology, which yields organic and sustainable crops for residents. Mountain water is also a blessing. A few local families prepared meals for us. The programme enabled farmers to produce organic rice and vegetables, a variety of food, natural bread, home-made sauces and jam, etc. in their fields. Sometimes, we were fortunate enough to see the vegetables that had just been picked from the farmland. It was incredible that we could enjoy such rustic yet wonderful meals from farm to table in this day and age, and in such a modern environment such as Hong Kong.

有趣的狀況是,飯後大家都變成小村民蹲在屋前的水盤,清洗自用的食具的畫面,有種特別古樸的生活味道。

One interesting scenario was that we squatted on the ground and washed our own utensils after our meals. This gave us a real flavor of how life would have been for people in the past.

靜修營活動設計

The activities of the meditation retreat

為了讓大家能體驗付出的樂趣,活動被設計成參加者都可參與一些自己所長的任務(當然此舉同時能減輕我們的人手壓力)。有參加者預先入營負責營前打掃工作、負責安排物資或一些文書工作、有熟悉行山路徑的帶領入村;在營內參加者亦被安排任務:瑜伽老師帶領營內每天伸展運動環節,亦有參加者負責現場錄音及錄影等工作,同時亦設農務工作,為之工作禪;我們幾位主辦人其實也是參加者一份子呢!

To make the experience more fun for the participants, activities were planned according to each of the participants’ specific interests and strengths (which, of course, also helped solve our shortage of labor). The tasks were very diverse. Participants cleaned the campsite before the activities, delivered materials, did administrative jobs and escorted other members into the village. In the retreat, yoga tutors led members to do stretching exercises, while some participants were responsible for audio and video recording. Farming was regarded as ‘working meditation’. We were both the organizers of and participants in the activities.

營內禁用手機及止語,讓身心得以真正的休養,同時不影響其他人。止語旨在讓參加者專注於活動的每一細節,遠離外緣的干擾。

Using mobile phones and talking are prohibited in the retreat, so that participants could rest completely and did not disturb others. Keeping silent enabled participants to concentrate on every detail of activities and be free from distraction.

食禪強調在進食時保持覺知及專注,讓體會從心自然散發出來。老師提醒我們用餐前先不要急着開始吃。為了培養覺知,飯前先感覺胃部,問問自己有多餓?食物擺在面前的感覺怎樣?同時想像食物是吸收了陽光、水份、空氣、泥土養分等大地精華而成,也是很多食物生產及製造者辛勞和愛的成果。我們每刻以感恩的心生活和進食,好讓我們值得受用這些食物。進食時,全神貫注食物的色香味及它的餘温,有意識地逐一放進口中慢慢咀嚼、感受其味道。我們學習正確的進食方式,以避免因貪吃而過量進食、減少浪費和保護環境。我們接受這些食物,以滋養身體,維持健康,然後為別人服務和作出貢獻。

Eating meditation requires participants to be aware of and concentrate on their eating. Our teacher reminded us not to rush to eat before a meal. To be mindful, we should first feel our stomach and ask ourselves how hungry we are, and how we feel about the food. We should then consider food to be a gift from nature, formed from the elements of sunlight, water, air and soil nutrients. Food is also the fruit of hard work on the part of producers and manufacturers. Therefore, we have to eat with appreciation so that we deserve the food we have. When eating, we must pay full attention to the food’s flavors and temperature, chew it slowly and savor its taste. We should form correct eating habits too; that is to say, avoid binge eating, and reduce waste to protect our environment. By consuming this food which nourishes us and keeps us healthy, we can go forward to serve others and contribute to the world around us.

營內體驗跟隨大自然的作息時間。早起體驗晨曦的清新及寧靜。深度放鬆時段,通過催眠的指引令大家學習放鬆自己的身體。經老師指導,練習以靜坐、行禪、站禪的動作去觀照自己內心,在寧靜的環境下學習愛自己。

In the retreat, we followed the natural rhythms of work and rest. We woke up early in order to breathe in the refreshing air and enjoy the tranquility of the morning. In addition, we learnt to relax ourselves completely through hypnotism. Under our teacher’s instruction, we observed our mind and learnt to love ourselves through seated, walking and standing meditation in the tranquil environment.

營內最後一天的感悟

Reflections on the last day of retreat

由於營內頭幾天都下着雨,講授都一直是在室內進行,直至最後一天天氣放晴,一聽到老師叫大家到戶外的指示,大家都感到雀躍。我們以行禪的專注,慢慢走至室外的廣場。行禪後如常開始練習靜坐,當大家靜坐十多分鐘時,由於當天是星期六,開始有一隊隊的遊人魚貫湧至,有幾位領隊手持擴音器,叫著遊人分批進行團體大合照,同時有人偷拍我們靜坐的情景。幾天內好不容易累積下來心中的寧靜頓時被打破,內心180度轉變,我們覺得不耐煩、被滋擾等,感到無奈,甚至生起情緒來。老師讓我們多坐一小段時間後,便帶我們行禪回去。奇怪的是,當我們剛慢慢展步離開時,遊人便陸續散去,整個過程就像是為考驗我們而呈現。回到講堂後,老師解釋剛才的境況,遊人們當時在我們的角度是滋擾者,我們因他們生起不快的感覺,老師引導大家從另一角度了解這事;他們到來郊遊為的是和家人一起舒展身心,減輕生活所帶來的壓力,動機並不是想騷擾我們。大家聽從老師的道理後,學習從另一角度看事物,內心隨即釋懷。

Since it rained on the first few days, our course took place indoors. Fortunately, the weather became clearer on the last day and we were all thrilled once teacher asked us to go outside. We applied walking meditation and proceeded slowly to an open clearance. After the walking meditation, we sit still in meditation. But after around fifteen minutes, we noticed outside visitors coming. They visited this countryside because that day was Saturday. Tour guides asked tourists to gather together and take group photos with the aid of a speaker. Meanwhile, some visitors took pictures of us sitting still. The peace of mind that had come from the meditation over previous days was broken. In a total reversal from the previous days, we became impatient, irritated, helpless, or even let our emotions overcome us. Our teacher made us sit for a little longer before he led us back, still in meditation as we walked. It was surprising to see that the visitors dispersed as we left, as though their sudden appearance was a specific move to irritate us. Back at the retreat, the teacher explained that we felt irritated because we perceived the visitors as intruders. But he advised us to consider the event from a different perspective. The visitors came there with their families only to reduce the stress in their own daily lives. In other words, they did not intend to harass us. We were inspired by our teacher’s explanation, and so tried to see things from different perspectives, which relieved our negative feelings.

老師給綠色生活實踐者的提醒——覺知與環境問題

The teacher’s reminder to green living practitioners: mindfulness and environment

正是現代人生活沒有覺知,才會衍生種種環境問題。首先我們要清楚造成環境問題的主要因素,並投資時間去培養覺知(覺知是需要時間去鍛鍊,並非一朝一夕就能錬成)。有覺知則任何問題都可以迎刃而解;缺乏覺知,人會容易因應任何問題產生情緒,情緒下所作的行為都會變得不理智,令問題更複雜。針對環境問題,通過每個人有意識地生活,積極攜手作出改變;個人、機構、團體與國家層面都需要培養覺知,才能有效解決任何社會問題。

Since modern people lack mindfulness, many environmental problems come about. Hence, we need to identify the main reasons for the problems, and invest time to cultivate mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness cannot be achieved overnight, but really does take time to perfect. With mindfulness, every problem can be solved; without it, our emotions swing when we encounter any given problem, and we act irrationally under these emotional swings. As a result, the problems themselves become more complicated. Tackling environmental problems requires everyone to be aware of the life they are leading and make collective efforts. In fact, individuals, groups, organizations and countries all need to cultivate mindfulness, so they can effectively solve whatever social problems they may encounter.

什麼是優質生活?

What is ‘high-quality life’?

經歷了整個靜修營籌劃到實現,令我不斷反思何為優質生活?社會上的觀念,把優質生活塑造成與豪華、富有掛鉤。居住於金碧輝煌的大屋,飲食奢華,吃盡各地珍饈百味,付鈔換服務的被照顧周到,這些形象都是傳媒雜誌所鼓吹的所謂優質生活。而我心中對優質生活的想像郤全然不同,我認為簡樸生活可以是高質素的。擁有的物質不需要太多,反而對人付出越多,心中生起的滿足就可以很快樂。

From the planning stages to the implementation of the meditation retreat, I kept reflecting on what ‘high-quality life’ was. It is widely perceived that a high-quality life implies luxury and riches. It involves living in a luxurious house, eating expensive food, as well as receiving the best services that money can buy. All these definitions are peddled and spread by the media, but they stand in total contrast to what I interpret high-quality life to be. In my opinion, a simple life can be one of very high quality. If you have fewer ‘high-quality’ possessions, you will be more willing to give to others. Then, you will feel happier and more satisfied.

老師講解簡樸生活主要分為兩種:

第一種簡樸生活,主要是環境造就而成的。就像住在偏遠郊區的人,因為物資不太豐富,生活沒太多選擇。不過這與人的質素無關,假如這些人有更多選擇時,很可能他們亦會趨向複雜的生活方式。

第二種簡樸生活是一種人的質素,這種質素帶給環境、他人、自己及萬物慈愛。我們首先需要問自己是否願意過這種簡樸的生活。在選擇之前,應當明白複雜繁忙生活背後的害處,例如情緒上或關係上對生活的影響,為了追求我們自以為是的優質生活,我們犧牲家人、朋友,甚至和自己的關係。其實我們並非別無他選,我們可以把生活上的選擇權利歸還給自己,提醒自己不要被外在主流的資訊控制自己。例如我們應當如何消費,問問自己真的需要這些物質嗎?有意識地生活便可看清究竟我們為生存所需的物質原來這麼少,亦可以生活愉快。快樂的生活並非依靠我們擁有多少金錢,問題背後其實是人的心理作崇,我們經常想得太多,讓自己的心乃至生活都變得複雜。

According to our teacher, there are two types of simple life:

The first type of simple life is determined by one’s circumstance. For example, people living in the countryside, who have limited materials and choices in life, lead simple lives, irrespective of what quality it may be. If they are given more choices, they will probably choose to lead a more complicated life.

The second type of simple life is derived from one’s motivation. This incentive favors the environment, others, oneself, and all the myriad things in the world. It is important to ask ourselves whether we want to lead simple life. Before making a decision, we should understand the disadvantages of a complicated and hectic life, such as the bad impacts on our emotions and relationships with each other. In fact, we have choices and the right to choose. We have to remind ourselves not to be misled by the information circulated by the media. For example, we ought to ask ourselves if a certain item is really necessary before we go out and purchase it. If we are mindful, we will recognize that what we need for survival can be very little but we can still be happy with very few materials. Happy life is not dependent on how much you have. The problem is that we have thought too much and this makes our mind and life overcomplicated.

如果我們經常保持覺知,活在當下,慢慢鍛鍊,便能理解當中道理。有了內在的喜樂,便不需倚賴物質為我們帶來外在的快樂;培養覺知,就可看清人的本質充滿無止境的貪欲。修練能讓我們慢慢學習不倚靠物質也能擁有快樂。回看一些物質比較貧乏的地方,人們生活簡單,他們不是比我們生活得更愉快嗎?

If we keep being mindful, being present, and practicing, we will discover that happiness is internal, and does not come from external material items. In addition, humans are insatiably greedy. Meditation makes us learn not to rely on material items. When we think about poor places in the world, even though people’s lives are simple, do they not live happier lives?

我們先可學習與人分享,分享自己的物資、金錢、時間、知識、甚至愛及關懷,就會有更多快樂,這是別人不能拿走的。那什麼是快樂呢?當我們身心感到壓力時,是不能擁有快樂的。我們和自己及別人、外在環境和內心協調才能擁有真正快樂。如果我們害怕失去快樂,整天執取快樂,亦非真正的快樂。最重要的是「知足常樂」,不知足的人無論擁有多少物質,亦不感到快樂,知足能令人心中富有,不帶妒忌。有一種「後天下之樂而樂」,即使自己物質上並不太充裕,看到別人獲得足夠時,自己也能感到快樂,這種快樂可作為精神糧食,這是另一種層次的快樂。真正快樂的人並不需要太多食物及物質。

We will be happier if we learn to share our materials, time, money and knowledge with, and show love and concern to others. This kind of happiness will not be taken away by other people. So, what is happiness? We cannot be happy if we feel stressed. To solve this problem, we have to adjust ourselves, our mind and relationship with others as well as adapting ourselves to our environment. If we fear losing happiness and try to obtain happiness from external material possessions, then the happiness that we receive is not true. The most valuable quality is being satisfied with what you have. People who are not satisfied with what they have in life do not feel happy, no matter how much they possess. Instead, satisfaction with what we have makes us truly happy, but not jealous of others’ achievements. We will even be happy with others’ satisfaction. Although we may not be very rich, we can still be happy when other people are satisfied. This kind of happiness is spiritual. True happiness does not require us to own too much food or too many material goods.

後語

Endnote

雖說此刻能把老師的教導寫下和大家分享,慚愧的是知易行難,老實說,自己仍在練習階段,以上各點還未能一一做到。老師一直叮囑我們凡事要先把道理弄清楚明白,才努力實踐。

Although I have shared with you what I have learned from our teacher, it is difficult to put these teachings into practice. To be frank, I am practicing these teachings, and have not been able to put into practice each and every one of these principles. In fact, our teacher keeps reminding us that we have to understand the meanings of the principles thoroughly before putting them into practice.

這趟靜心之旅其實是一個漫長的旅程。對於最初沒有靜修基本認識如我,混混沌沌地開始,十年間反而更易點滴吸收,這正好是鍛鍊人的耐性。同時學習要不設預期進度(欲速則不達啊! ),順其自然,循序漸進便是。有幸借此機會把向老師多年學習所得整理出來,以感謝烏普老師一直對學生們的愛護!!

This road to meditation takes us on a long journey. Over ten years, I have gradually absorbed and learned the knowledge of meditation, which is a process that most certainly hones one’s patience. I tried to set no expectation for my progress (since I have not been able to progress as fast as I would have liked to) and studied meditation little by little. I feel fortunate to have been able to compile and share with you here what I have learned from our teacher, and would like to thank Mr. Upul for the care and love he has shown to his students.

經整理後道路更加清晰,現邀請你同行,一同學習,互相提點,同來建立慈心和諧的世界。

My mind has become clearer by compiling my experiences here. Now, I would like you to join together with us, and help us to learn and build a loving and peaceful world together.

林麗珊合十

2016年5月寫於青邁靜修時

Prayed and written by Lam Lai Shan in Chiang Mai in May 2016

 

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每天面對工作、家庭、人際關係等煩惱,不知不覺令自己的負能量累積起來,漸漸產生大小的情緒或身體毛病。

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愛地球、愛社區、愛身邊的人、愛動植物之餘,還要愛自己!
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Upul導師曾在2014年10月分替綠色生活地圖辨過「心靈綠色之旅」一日營
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於2010年接受本人主持的網上電台『綠活蹺蹺板』節目「 都市生活小休亭」的訪問,指導作為初學者可怎樣開始實踐綠色心靈於日常生活中
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