Testimonials

The Practice That Gathers All Practices 普摄所有实践的实践

The Practice That Gathers All Practices
普摄所有实践的实践

My initial affinity with Pure Land practice started by attending Teacher Shi’an’s English Pure Land classes and our weekly Nianfo practice and discussions at Pureland Practice Fellowship.

我最初与净土法门的因缘是通过参加时安老师的英语净土课程,并参与每周和同修们的净土共修念佛实践和讨论班。

I came to be aware of the 4th Run of the Theory And Practice Of Pure Land Buddhism Course by Venerable Yanxu at Singapore Buddhist Lodge through recommendation of Teacher Shi’an and fellow Purelanders. I am glad that I enrolled for it, even though I was not proficient in Chinese. However, I am always filled with Dharma bliss whenever I listened to Chinese Dharma talks and when reading sutras with my limited Chinese understanding.

在时安老师和同修们的推荐才晓得延续法师在新加坡居士林的第四届净土教理班。尽管知道自己的华文程度不好,但还是很开心地报了名。然而,每当听到华文的佛法讲座,以及在我有限华文理解的情况下阅读经文时,我总是充满法喜。

I am really grateful for this course, as it definitely broadened my understanding, which also deepened my faith in Pure Land practice. After learning about the Patriarchs’ biographies, I am impressed by their profound wisdom, diligence in practice and earnestness in propagating the Pure Land teachings.

我非常感激延续法师的净土教理班,因为它确实拓宽了我的理解,也加深了我对净土实践的信心。在了解祖师传记后,我体会到祖师们深不可测的智慧,勤勉的实践和对宣扬净土教义的积极,这一切都给我留下深刻的印象。

During the course, I got to learn about Great Master Lianchi’s teaching on how the one Dharma practice of upholding the name of Amituofo completely gathers the ten thousand Dharma teachings, and Great Master Ouyi’s teaching on how the Dharma door of mindfulness of Buddha universally gathers all Dharma teachings. These deepened my understanding, and through the Patriarchs’ commentaries and Venerable Yanxu’s explanations, I realised the urgency of being constantly mindful of Buddha, to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death in this lifetime by being born in Amitabha Buddha’s Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss.

班上学到莲池大师的教理,如:持名一法,尽摄万法,和蕅益大师的教理,如:念佛法门,普摄一切诸法。这让我有更上一层楼的体悟。在通过祖师的讲解与延续法师的细解,我意识到时时刻刻念佛,并在此生了脱生死和愿生到阿弥陀佛的极乐净土的重要性。

I feel really fortunate and blessed to know of this precious and special Dharma door, which universally covers sentient beings of all three roots. I cannot thank Venerable Yanxu enough for his unrelenting teachings for almost every week for the last two years. Amituofo. (ML)

很庆幸能接触到这一个三根普被而宝贵又特殊的佛法门。也感恩延续法师在过去的两年中,几乎每周劳心劳力的教导。阿弥陀佛。

大菩萨和祖师们都求生净土

在还没上净土教理研修班前,我已念佛有七年了。本以为会念佛就够了,不必上课,况且上课又得作报告所以一直没报名。过后,看见莲友一位一位地欣然报名,就有点动心。最终觉得既然已经一心发愿往生极乐世界,为何不进一步修学并且了解更多有关净土的教理呢? 加上时安老师的鼓励, 我终于报名第四届净土教理班了。

上课后,发现课目编排的很好;从佛教如何从古印度传到中国、 经文被翻译的过程、净土宗祖师们生平的思想与贡献都又包含在内。教材内容相当丰富,只可惜愚钝的我不能好好吸收。不过, 我记得有一次在上完某堂课的隔天早上, 念佛念得特别摄心。这应该是因为懂了理就有助于行吧! 只可惜不是每次都那么摄心念佛。但我还是天天带着感恩,发愿和皈依心念佛。

最近学了彻悟大师的净土思想。大师有一论点令我颇有感触。论点大意是就连大菩萨和祖师们都求生净土, 何况我们这些业障深重的凡夫呢?

最后,我要感谢延续师父精心编排的课目,上课前播放的短片也相当有帮助。谢谢师父为同学们增长净土法门的知识,促进我们对往生净土的信心。阿弥陀佛。(LY)

从心出发

尊敬的延续法师,陈林长,各位师兄,阿弥陀佛。不知不觉中,我们已来到了第四届居士林净土班的毕业典礼。回想数年前,我犹豫着要不要报读这个课程。2014年,在第二届净土课程未结束前,我以旁听形式上了一两节课,一位朋友问要不要报读第三届的课程,我心想,两年多的课程,好长,还是来旁听就好。结果,我一节课也没出现,而在我以为那很慢长的时间内,突然传来第三届朋友们要毕业的消息!这时之前的那位朋友再次问,要不要报读第四届的课程,说来可笑,我依然犹豫了好一段时间,直到开课那天才报名。真不知该怎么说自己,实在可怕,我竟能花这么多年犹豫着要不要上课。

2016年至今,其实过得很快,老实说,快得令我觉得不真实,真的毕业了吗?我觉得我还没有资格毕业。前几届的一位师兄说得好:其实我们并没有毕业,只是结业,学佛是慢长的路,要修学成佛。我想也因如此,每节课,都能看到不少前几届的师兄们来听课。我想也没有什么课程,能让结业后的学生能继续听课。我们能来这里学习,都是我们的福气。其实我们做学生的,只要来听课,没有测验、考试,是很轻松的,幸苦的是师父。感恩延续法师慈悲,开办这个课程,让我们大家不但能循序渐进地学习,还能温故知新。

语言障碍? : 在某一次小组讨论中,有位前届师兄分享他在什么情况下加入课程与接触净土法门,看得出他不善于以中文表达自己,挣扎着说出自己的心情。顿时我心里也有几分激动,即使是不大会中文的,也如此恳切地来学习,我这个曾选修中文的,却觉得以中文学习佛教义理太艰难了,感动的心情同时夹杂着惭愧心。

记得中学时期最初接触佛法是大乘佛教,却因为经文都是中文字,所以也不是很感兴趣,而后来接触南传佛教,主要以英文学习,觉得学得较顺畅。或许也是因缘,所以觉得某些法门比较亲切,但我也未免躲在语言问题的借口太久了。曾经遇过不会中文的师兄们能念大乘佛经,甚至背诵,而我母亲虽然没念过几年的书,也能念《地藏经》,越想越觉得无地自容。只要有心,能有多难?我想,问题就出在有没有心。第一次得知佛教宗派里有净土法门,大约是在二十年前,有位朋友说她与丈夫修净土法门,或许看我好像没什么兴趣,所以只是浅浅地带过。从那时到几年前,我对净土与阿弥陀佛的印象都很模糊。一直到我父亲过世时,一群佛友来念佛助念,才启动了我对净土法门的兴趣。几个月后,我又凑巧看到时安老师的英语净土班,从那里我才跨出学习大乘佛法的第一步,而他又持续地鼓励我们这些比较“洋派”的来延续法师的净土班学习。

至今仍觉得很多深奥的佛教术语,艰深难解,即使字字会认,拼在一起时我却是摸不着头脑;真是得感恩师父的耐心教导。另外,通过录音与讲义,让学习变得很“方便”,纵使语言能力差,或是时而恍神,都能再复习。若再不明白,也可向自己的小组、师兄们与师父提出疑虑。我想,学习的唯一障碍,就是自己。

理想世界: 在净土班的其中一节课“寻找香格里拉”,谈到人们所憧憬的理想国,也带出了陶渊明的两篇诗——《饮酒》与《桃源行》,它们是我年轻时特别喜欢的两首诗。我想,因学生时代所接触的作品,害我潜意识中寻找这样的地方,好多年,每每去旅行,到陌生的地方,我都想,会不会就在此找到我心仪的生活环境?当然我没找到,即使在有人间天堂美誉的杭州西湖,我只觉得游人多得我想速速离开。日子久了,我也不做这种痴梦了。

开始接触佛法时,得知有天道,但我很清楚那不是我以后想去的地方,因为在天道中福报享尽,依然得轮回。生死大事,若没有净土这条路,即使是佛教徒,依然令我很茫然的。刚接触佛法时,我觉得自己找到了人生的意义——那即是走出人生,走出轮回。身为一个罪恶生死凡夫,这可谈何容易?接触净土法门后,才觉得自己看到了希望,不单是各人解脱的希望,更是有朝一日“学成归来”,能利益众生的希望。在仅剩的日子,我们务必好好学习。谢谢。阿弥陀佛。(TML)

Towards Our True Graduation
迈向真正的结业

Namo Amituofo. Dear Compassionate Venerable Yanxu, Chairman Chen, Fellow Classmates and Esteemed Guests, time flies. Almost two years have gone by. Or rather, if we think more positively, we are two years closer to the Western Pure Land. I certainly hope you have the same thinking as me. Having told myself that I do not wish to be ‘recycled’ in this Saha World any more, may all of us regularly reflect about our coming departure for Pure Land – calmly and clearly.

南无阿弥陀佛。尊敬的延续法师,陈林长,同学和嘉宾们,时光飞逝。接近两年就快过了。更积极的说,我们也向极乐世界迈进了两年。希望大家和我一样,持有不愿再轮回娑婆的想法。愿大家能经常以坦然与清楚的心态思维我们即将往生净土的这一庄事。

I would like to congratulate every one of us, for having taken diligent steps in learning, and persevering till today. Especially in learning from teachings in Chinese, it was not easy for me. In the past 20 months, I also had to juggle with family and work. I would imagine every one of us having had our own unique set of challenges and problems to resolve in our daily lives. But having made it here today, this is definitely an incredible achievement.

在此祝贺每一位同修。因为大家勤奋和坚持的学习,才有今天的结业典礼。特别是在学习中文教理这方面,对我来说并不容易。在过去的20个月里,我也不得不与家庭和工作之间找到平衡点。我想每个人都有在日常生活中需要解决的独特挑战和问题。所以,能坚持到这一天的确是非常难得的成就。

However, this joy we experience now is fleeting and impermanent. It will soon disappear once this celebration ends. So, what is next? I hope you will continue learning and practising the precious Pure Land teachings. I hope to see you here again. I, for sure, will continue to attend the class on Saturday because I learn something new each time, even if it is the same topic. There is so much to learn.

然而,此刻的快乐是短暂无常的。一旦庆祝会结束后,快乐也就会消失。那接下来呢?我希望大家能继续来居士林修学宝贵的净土教理,再次见面。我肯定会继续上课学习。即使是同样的主题,还是会学到新的教理,因为佛法即深即广!

Please continue this journey on earth with strong faith in Amituofo. We are able to experience the teachings on Amituofo through the Buddha and the 13 Pure Land Patriarchs, all because of our good karma. May we treasure our good karma, and make use of this great opportunity to be reborn in Pure Land. You have probably learnt from class, that from the 1st Pure Land Patriarch Great Master Huiyuan to the 13th Pure Land Great Master Yinguang, all the Patriarchs most compassionately remind us, that our limited time here as human beings is the most precious in the Saha World, the most conducive for attaining rebirth in Pure Land. Let us not squander away this precious opportunity.

在娑婆的旅程中,请继续对阿弥陀佛坚信不疑。我们能够通过本师和13位净土祖师的教导认识阿弥陀佛,全因为我们的善业所感。希望大家都惜福,善用在这生能往生净土的因缘。大家从课堂上也学到,历代祖师,从初祖慧远大师到十三祖印光大师,都慈悲提醒着我们,在人道的宝贵时间并不长,而最有利于往生净土。大家请别枉费这个宝贵机缘。

Speaking of our good karma, there are many fellow human beings who are not as fortunate as us. I would like to share a bit of what I experienced when I was away recently for work. I hope this sharing will inspire you to strengthen your resolve to give rise to stronger Bodhicitta, for the sake of helping one and all.

谈到善业,还有很多人不像我们一样有福报。请应许我分享最近出国公干的经历。希望能激励大家发大菩提心,为利益一切众生。

I travelled to a particular country in April. When I mentioned this place, many of my friends were envious, as it is a really beautiful place. They thought of beautiful beaches with soft white sand facing the ocean. It has much majestic-looking architecture, with plenty of history, as heavily influenced by the French. But behind this beautiful paradise, its people, from the young to the old, do not have the opportunity to be exposed to Buddhism. The law mandated it to be punishable by death if any person talks or shares about any faith apart from the state religion. It is that serious.

我四月份去了莫个国家。当我提到这个地方时,很多朋友都非常羡慕,因为这真的是一个很美的地方。他们连想到了美丽的沙滩,面向大海,有着柔软的白沙滩。它也具有受法式影响的雄伟建筑和丰富的历史。但在这片美景后的人民都没有因缘接触到佛法。如果有任何人谈论或分享国教以外的信仰,此事的严重性,在法律的眼里,是能判死刑的。

In my heart, I cannot and would not even dare to imagine if I am reborn in such a place, with no connections to Buddhism. It would mean my walk on earth as a human being will be squandered away. I probably would have to wait for countless kalpas before being able to be reborn human again, to even stand a chance to train for rebirth in Pure Land. My fellow classmates, we are indeed living in the Dharma-Ending Age. In the example of the country above, there is simply no existence of Buddhism. I did not see a single Buddhist temple there, let alone Buddhist texts. We are even prohibited to talk about, or even show the slightest gesture related to Buddhism.

我真的无法也不敢想象在一个没能和佛法结缘的地方轮转。这将意味着我这一趟的人生就白走了。也可能因此随业流转,浪费无数劫的光阴。即使能重获人身,也要有因缘才可以修学净土法门。同修们,我们确实已生活在末法时期。在以上的国家中,佛教根本不存在。那里没佛寺,更不用说佛经或佛书。在那里,我们甚至必须禁止谈论和展现有关佛教的手势。

As we have learnt in class, from the 2nd Pure Land Patriarch Great Master Shandao’s era onwards, our environment has been decaying rapidly, both physically and spiritually. The skills of ordinary people like us in learning and practice of the Dharma have declined along with the times, due to less and less favourable karmic factors. From being able to visualise Amituofo during the 1st Pure Land Patriarch Great Master Huiyuan’s era to ours, we can now only uphold Amituofo’s name – and even so, it is sometimes challenging.

正如我们班上所学,从第二代祖师善导大师的时代后,人间的环境和修行的道力都迅速衰败。由于福报的减少,凡夫的我们在修学佛法的能力也随着时代败坏。从第一代祖师慧远大师能观想而见佛,到我们连持名念佛都有时相当挑战的这一代,可想而知,真是一代不如一代。

I hope this little sharing will spur you to continue learning and practising the Pure Land teachings best you can, so as to be reborn in the higher grades of Pure Land! I hope to see you again on Fridays for sutra class, and Saturdays for the next round of this class, to continue learning and sharing together, even though you have graduated. As our true graduation is only after we have reached and completed training in Pure Land, may we strive on with diligence in our study and practice!

希望这份小小的分享能再次呼吁大家继续修学念佛,以便得生更高的品位!我们在周五听经与下一届周六的教理班再见!即使大家已经结业,也要不断学习、分享。因为得生净土并修学圆满后才是真正的结业。让我们继续努力!

As Great Master Yinguang taught:

‘The path of rebirth is dangerous,
And impermanence comes swift,
Earnestly recite “Amituofo”,
And do not change subject.’

Thank you.
Namo Amituofo (TNG)

切记印光大师所教:

轮回路险,
无常迅速。
老实念佛,
莫换题目。

感恩。
南无阿弥陀佛 (TNG)

Information On 5th Run Of Course
http://www.sbl.org.sg/img/poster/shichengchaoyin_issue52.pdf

第五届净土教理班 
Theory And Practice Of Pure Land Buddhism Course 
https://purelandclass.wordpress.com

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