捕捉爬蟲類的老爺爺 Lizardman

快要離開美國前,趕緊到家附近的山上再享受一次春光明媚的大自然。

Went hiking again before leaving US and ran into an interesting fellow hiker with vast knowledge of wildlife. Felt very safe to walk with him as according to him, this is the mating season of rattlesnake and king snakes. Thank goodness I haven’t came across any snake so far.

山上滿是黃色的小黃花。今年雨水多,野草長得比人還高。

路上遇見一位老爺爺,按南加禮俗得打個招呼。順口問了一句他背包上插的一支竿子是魚竿麼?竟然是抓蜥蜴用的,說蜥蜴腹部會有很漂亮的紋路,抓起來好照相,也會帶回家院子裡養。

無獨有偶,還碰見另一個騎自行車的老頭說他太太也在自家後院裡馴化了一隻大蜥蜴,訓練到蜥蜴會爬到他們手上吃東西。好吧,澳洲人在院子裡喂鸚鵡,上紐約州人在院子裡喂蜂鳥,我們南加人在院子裡喂蜥蜴⋯⋯

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老爺爺還試著表演給我看,還好沒抓到。我實在也沒有特別想看蜥蜴,不過跟他走在一起很安心,因為他會徒手抓蛇。他說這兩個月是響尾蛇和大王蛇的交配季節,所以蛇類很活躍。

他身上帶的這個放小刀的皮套就是他抓的蛇做的——萬幸我們路上沒看到蛇,阿彌陀佛。

本來只是想稍微轉轉,連瓶水都沒帶。不知不覺,也走了快兩個小時。春天上山實在好。

順便貼一下上週去Lake Elsinore那邊山上看到的野罌粟花。

元宵節、擦燈日

元宵節,認真把家裡的水晶燈擦得亮亮的。適逢神變日,當作燈供🏮

然後賞自己一碗酒釀桂花芝麻湯圓😋

Cleaning the chandelier as lamp offering on this auspicious day, followed by some traditional rice ball desert for the Chinese Lantern Festival (also today) .

跟我旅行過的人都知道我很能搬東西。這個燈和另一個水晶燈是eBay上買的,從紐約運到矽谷,在eBay總部一個慈悲同事的辦公桌下塞了一週,然後跟我一起出差的開發部同事跟我一起在開完會的深夜、憂心被保安警衛當賊的情況下把這兩個碩大的箱子📦搬上車(想那會兒我還不會開車呢),然後搭著當時還不錯的美聯航來到魔都上海。現在那些同事應該都前程萬里,在中國互聯網的熱浪中遍地開花去了。

一邊擦燈一邊想,為什麼水晶燈是奢侈品呢?買燈不難,麻煩的是日後得有傭人三不五時地經常清理。就像Hermes的包,心一橫也可以買得下手,問題是那包那麼重,只適合有司機給妳開門,兩步路坐下喝個下午茶,再姍姍回車上的日子,完全不適合工薪階級拿著筆電、文件的到處奔波。

不過,擦燈挺有療癒效果。看到東西變清淨,心也跟著輕快起來。

在台灣上過的最讚瑜伽老師

真的沒見過這麼龜毛的印度人,也是我在台灣上過的瑜伽老師裡最操也最爆笑的。

在Royal Yoga上完一節頗有趣的「瑜伽椅」(這個課很好,以後熟悉了,回家看電視可以繼續做),想說接著上一節「療癒瑜伽–排毒與循環機能」放鬆一下(因為之前上過一堂背部的療癒瑜伽,就是很療癒、拉拉筋、很放鬆的那種),結果變成最近上過最操的課。

首先,雖然是上班時間,但是全滿。我心想「大家都來放鬆吧。」一開始是挺放鬆的,呼吸練習、伸展,然後開始全套拜日式時就不輕鬆了。

Soni老師算是很慈悲,估計也知道台灣人不可能去記那一個個動作的名稱,所以拜日式的動作就用中文1、2、3⋯⋯(對,中文唷。沒上過印度老師整節課講中文的瑜伽課吧?)然後大概怕你不專心,可以4567、4567的不做整套的。接著我就開始被抓包了,因為真的還不習慣用中文上課,我的左右經常就是做反的⋯⋯別的老師睜一隻眼、閉一隻眼,反正我左右都有做到啊,但是他不行,就是得做對😭

這時我就想到,為什麼滿班的情況,我慢悠悠地走進教室,結果落在老師正前面第一排唯二的位置呢?同學們是故意的吧⋯⋯😭

「為什麼別人都在做動作,妳沒有在做?」咦,瞄一下旁邊的,真的耶,別人有腳的動作,我只有手的。「我沒聽到⋯⋯」「大家都聽到了,為什麼只有妳沒聽到?」再左右瞄瞄,真的全班只有我(總不能跟你說,因為你講話太好笑,我滿心想著要記下來po文,於是就走神了⋯⋯)

但是旁邊另一個唯二位置的大媽他就不調。這位大媽害得我可慘了。幾次老師來調我,剛好我只能往右看大媽,一緊張會忘了動作、只能跟著看到的人做,大媽老做錯,害得我錯上加錯,老師沒準覺得我是來鬧場的。😈

然後有那種兩隻手前伸的伸展動作,我伸得很爛,他過來幫忙加深,「是妳要用力,不是老師要用力!」真的耶,我以前沒想過,每次有老師來拉的時候,真的是會自動偷懶讓老師拉。不過細想,確實應該自己做,這樣才有鍛鍊到,而且也只有自己知道到底能再前伸多少,老師硬拉的話拉傷了怎麼辦⋯⋯有在反省。

不是只有我,幾乎每個人都被調過(除了大媽)。做warrior 3之類的動作時(那種單腳站立,彎腰90度,兩手前伸,另一隻腳往後伸,全身呈T字型的動作),老師去調最後一排的同學,「妳的手要用力」——我心有戚戚焉,因為像我這樣手臂沒力的人,真的要使出吃奶的力氣,才可能把兩臂貼在耳邊伸直的——「妳的手沒有用力,臉太用力!」撲哧,害我一笑差點摔倒⋯⋯🤣

然後細緻到什麼程度?就像上面那個動作,「兩邊髖部要平的」,我加州瑜伽館的老師算很挑剔的了,也就只講這樣,「妳現在右邊長、左邊短,還要練,練到兩邊一樣長才對」,意思好像是一邊從手指到髖部的距離和另一邊不一樣,因為整體平衡不夠好,所以會用上半身的某一側去補足平衡。第一次聽到這個竅訣。(下課後去查了老師的履歷,師資班的老師,這是平常要求師資班的吧?感覺這類高深提示都是賺到了)

還有一些很基礎的事情也會不斷提醒。「要呼吸,不可以憋氣。」這句話至少聽了快20遍。

他中文都學會了,應該教了不只一兩年,還這麼認真、敬業真的是不容易。我上過德國、中國、美國、泰國、尼泊爾、印度的瑜伽課,老師從印度人、美國人、中國人、德國人、南非人、義大利人、泰國人、俄羅斯人都有,這位Soni老師真的是名列前三的好老師。

順便再吐槽一下上海的Y+。收費那麼高,瑜伽墊排的密密麻麻的,老師上課只動口不做動作,一節課完全不幫人調姿勢,真的不是我不續會員。這家有開去上海就好了。

在美國洗證件照巨貴

忍不住吐槽一下。

護照照片用完了,需要洗兩張。

先去了Costco,可以幫你照新的,但是不給洗2×2的照片,4×6的就可以洗。5美金,價格可以,但是我剛做完熱瑜伽,怎麼樣也不是適合照相的時點。

再去了UPS Store,結果他們機器剛好壞了,在等零件,不知猴年馬月才會送到。店員很好,直接叫我去同一條路上的CVS。

CVS裡面放的是柯達的機器,是可以洗2×2的,但是要$14美金。我發神經嗎?洗兩張照片,花台幣四百多元!

回家上了Walmart網站,價錢是好點,但是洗兩張證件照也要$8元錢。

然後很節儉的我發現,洗4×6的相片只要$0.25,於是我剪輯後,一張$0.25的照片可以洗出6張證件照。只有傻子、懶人、富人和不用電腦的老人家才會去花那麼多錢在美國洗證件照吧。

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車苦 🚗 auto suffering 


一個多月沒開小灰,出門覓食時發現,發不動了!😱

果然,電子寵物也需要主人的關注。

My beloved car has been idle for over a month so it wasn’t completely a surprise when it couldn’t be started. 

保險公司派了個大帥哥來「救援」。帥哥啥也沒幹,猛踩油門幾下,就搞定了。讓我非常之囧囧囧

GEICO service is pretty good. Just by sending a request via their mobile app, I had them dispatch a roadside service agent at my door within 30 minutes. 

And, without doing anything else, he just took my key, started the engine and hit the gas pedal making those noises, then voila! 

I don’t know how many idiots like me he had to encounter everyday. Hopefully I’m not the only one. 

於是腦海中浮現了:

沒錢時,賺錢是苦;有錢時,守護錢財是苦;最終錢財耗盡時,也是苦。

同理:沒車時,哪裡都去不了是苦;有車後,發不動是苦,不會停車是苦,花錢買汽油喂它也是苦⋯⋯雖然守護不易,還是有了感情,等要和它分別的時候,應該也會是苦。

再次稱讚一下:CRV真是好車!

Lesson learned: Living in Southern California without a car is suffering–literally legless. Having a car is also a suffering–the maintenance, parking, tickets, even mistakened tickets! Parting with the car will most likely also be a suffering. As the teaching said, these material possession is a suffering in the beginning, middle and end. 

藏曆猴年的最後一天 Last Day of the Monkey Year

奔波的猴年到了最後一天,還是很折騰。1323453334

先是出於各種因緣,昨晚只睡了三小時。

然後,開車本來就已經很不行了,睡眠不足的情況下還要飆一小時的車去聚會,完全是一路自己嚇自己,搏上性命去念經的感覺。

In short, the very end of the monkey year is as unsettling as the 2nd half of the year. With only 3 hours of sleep and then 2 hours of driving for the sutra resounding, it was such a stretch.

還好這是猴年的最後一天,要是大年初一這個光景,就太悲催了。

晚上再衝回家繼續爬格子,終於完成了今年的主要工作。從不丹布姆塘的庫傑寺開工,到猴年的最後一天收工,非常珍惜有機會和這部教法結緣,過程中還有諸多順緣助益,感謝師兄們。

Fortunately, safe travel marked the end of the day. And just now I completed the major translation project of this year! It started in Kurje Bumthang and got completed on the last day of the Monkey year. What a blessing to be able to connect with Guru Rinpoche in this way. May the seed blossom and soon bear fruits. May Guru Rinpoche’s blessings shower on all beings at all times.

今天讀了一部《觀世音菩薩授記經》與半部的《集一切福德三昧經》。

《授記經》的內容非常有意思,有一段講說一位威德王問一童子名字,那個童子慧根十足,尚未發心入佛道就這麼回答了:

一切諸法空 云何問名號 IMG_8424
過去法已滅 當來法未生
現在法不住 仁者問誰名
空法亦非人 非龍非羅剎
人與非人等 一切不可得

後來這位童子,也就是觀音菩薩的前世,發菩提心時又說了一段:

當發菩提心 廣濟諸群生
是則供正覺 三十二明相
設滿恒沙剎 珍妙莊嚴具
奉獻諸如來 及歡喜頂戴
不如以慈心 迴向於菩提
是福為最勝 無量無有邊
餘供無過者 超踰不可計
如是菩提心 必成等正覺

當然,後來觀音菩薩就不得了了,還獲得佛的授記會在阿彌陀佛入滅後成佛。

願大家雞年報曉,共同發心,證悟菩提。

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Love these verses read during today’s sutra resounding. Share with all for the new year:

The Illusory Absorption
སྒྱུ་མ་ལྟ་བུའི་ཏིང་ངེ་འཛིན།
Māyopamāsamādhi:
http://read.84000.co/#UT22084-055-004/title

King Glorious Splendor asked two boys of their names. And even before they entered the bodhisattva path, one boy replied:

Name is empty of name;
In names there are no names.
All phenomena are devoid of names,
And still they are described using names.

Later, the two boys generated bodhichitta with these verses (one of the boy became the utterly famous Avalokiteshvara in later lives):

If you give rise to the mind of awakening
In order to help all embodied beings,
You will be venerating the buddhas
With their thirty-two major marks.
A being may make offerings
By filling as many buddha realms
As there are grains of sand in the Ganges River
With flowers for the protectors of the world.
Yet if a person joins his palms
And bows to the mind of awakening,
His merit will be much larger
And know no bounds.
The one with superior intelligence has shown
The mind of awakening, precisely as it is.
There is no other comparable offering,
And no other similar glory.’

In the presence of the protector of the world,
We make a firm commitment.
Gods and men, listen
To this unsurpassed lion’s roar.

However long it may have been
Since saṃsāra’s unknowable beginning,
For that long, even if it takes many eons,
We shall act for the welfare of beings.

For as many eons as have passed
Since the very beginning, for that many eons
We shall act as you have taught
In order to help beings.

May all generate bodhicitta like these Maha-Bodhisattvas!

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(Thanks to whoever put such lovely food on my plate today. And Tara, the youngest participant in our Tsog gathering.)

A Key 一把鑰匙

IMG_0725去年年底在錫金秋殿寺,一個人來人往的主要過道上,有人在正中間掛起了一把鑰匙。

第一天看到,想說喇嘛很有意思,要給人鑰匙就這樣隨手一掛麽?

第二天看到,還在那裡,就琢磨著難道是有人撿到了鑰匙,不知如何物歸原主,於是就掛在那裡,希望失主回來能看到?

第三天還在那裡,我就反反覆覆地設想各種情景……

這麼大一座寺廟,這麼多事物可以觀看,我就不知為何地盯住這把小小的鑰匙,在大家頭上晃動的鑰匙。

就像一個小石子,撲通一聲落進水裡,然後帶來了一圈又一圈的遐思。

Last November at Sikkim’s Chorten Monastery,on a main passage leading to the office and monks’quarter, someone hung this key.

I somehow became obsessed with this key. It simply appeared at such an abnormal place to me. I walked below it everyday during that period, thinking all sorts of possible reasons why it was there while all other people did not seem to care about it at all.

It feels like all a sudden there is someone walking around with horns but nobody makes a fuss about it.

Today, seeing this picture makes me start wondering again.

大舅媽

第一次見到大舅媽是在她的婚禮上。她很美,濃眉大眼,輪廓很深,黝黑濃密的頭髮長時間都是大波浪的長髮造型。當然,那時年紀很小,不明白這些,只記得她來我身邊時,身上很香,手上戴著白色的手套,有一個戒指戴在手套外。

後來的印象就不是婚禮那個形象了,不覺得她是會花很多錢打扮自己的人。每年初二媽媽回娘家時,她和舅舅會把自己的小孩全部搬到臥房裡住,擠出房間來讓我們一家五口住。過年很期待的事情之一,就是去台中吃她做的炒米粉和其他好吃的菜,以及看外公種的蘭花。她非常溫暖,不管我們什麼時候去外公家,都會覺得很受歡迎,我想這也是妹妹在台中讀大學時常往他們家跑的原因。小時候跟表弟鬧著玩,也從來沒聽她說過一句重話,而是自然而然地就不會想惹她不高興。

等到再大點時,看她會去接一些手工活拿回家做,貼補家用,常常覺得她都能找到很有意思的事情,經常央著她讓我也試試。之後她幫鄰居帶小孩,即使我只是偶爾去台中一天半天的,也能覺得他們一條街的鄰居全都很愛她,大家感情很好,彼此相互照應,不像我連隔壁鄰居姓什麼、長什麼樣都不知道。

2008年剛學佛法時,去了台中一趟。那時,大舅媽在門口養了一盆臉盆大小的蓮花,每一朵都只有半個巴掌大小。我頭像上的那朵白蓮花,就是那天中午照的。就像她人一樣,靜靜地開在那裡,但是看了就很安心,就有了陽光。0803 Taiwan 010_LR1聽說前天她出門時被車撞,傷勢太重,昨夜過世了。剛聽到時有點麻木,太突然,不像真的。後半天,一想到她的好,就開始掉眼淚。

祈禱她早日往生淨土。願與她結下善緣的一切眾生,也都因為結識她而種下長久安樂的種子。願家中有長輩的人都能珍惜自己跟家人在一起的時光,不要忘記:分離是必然的結果,現在能做的只有努力不要留下遺憾。

雨後的蝸牛 Snails after Rain

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連下了一週大雨後,車道和花園步道上滿是逃離水災的迷你蝸牛,成千上萬的。車子一進出就橫屍遍野;走在步道上,再怎麽小心,還是每走幾步就「喀嚓」一聲……

Countless mini snails came to the drive way and paved garden areas. Literally hundreds died when driving in and out of garage. Though small, they are still lives – actually very cute lives in close look.

雖然小,卻也是生命。

湊近一看,還是非常可愛的生命。

IMG_4768 IMG_4771

弟弟也很感興趣,還好它沒把蝸牛當食物。

Didi was also very interested in them. It is fortunate that he is a British breed instead of a French breed. Otherwise, he might have enjoyed them as a big feast.

IMG_4763IMG_4764

於是花了很長時間,邊掃邊念「嗡瑪尼唄美吽」,把這些小小蝸牛一一掃回花圃裡。

IMG_4772So while Didi is taking his walk, I swept these tiny creatures back to the meadow while chanting Mani for them. May the diseased be cared for in Sukhavati and the alive ones enjoy a live without sufferings. 

掃的時候,不小心又踩死幾隻。這就是想做善事又缺乏智慧的寫照吧。

Happy Losar at Chorten 美好的藏曆新年從見多智欽仁波切開始!

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A beautiful sunny day for Losar (the Tibetan New Year)  at Chorten Monastery, Sikkim, with presence of Dodrupchen Rinpoche. What a great start of joyful blessings for the new year!!

Today is also the last day of the Vajrakilaya Drupchen. Rinpoche was in the main shrine hall for about two hours in the morning, granting blessings to the participants.

Despite of all the crowds flooding the monastery, I coincidentally ended up sitting in a place almost identical to where I sat throughout the Sakya Center’s Kilaya puja,  hence being able to take some pictures.

第一次在錫金過藏曆新年。今天是藏曆新年初一。一大早,不到四點就有人開始電話拜年。

早上大家一起和酥油茶,吃麻花,老人家給大家加持和贈以吉祥語。今天還收了好幾個紅包(不過是在白信封內)。然後就出發到廟裡。

今天也是秋登寺普巴金剛竹千法會的最後一天,很多人從昨晚就待在廟裡,滿滿的人潮把大殿外那一大塊地方都佔滿了,完全擠不進去。其實穿着新衣服又帶著相機,也沒那本事去擠。一開始就在外面轉轉,還作為寺廟商店今年的第一個客人,請了幾個保佑健康的護身符預備帶回台灣給長輩。後來因緣巧合,混進了大殿,落腳在和德拉敦普巴法會一樣的位置,於是才照了些相片。

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After Rinpoche left, a lot of devotees came paying homage to his throne.
多智欽(多竹千)仁波切離座後,大批信徒前來頂禮他的法座。
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Tea and sweet butter rice for all. This was taken before the crowds spotting these goodies. Non-stop of hundreds of people around within 10 minutes afterwards. This may well be my expertise – subconsciously drawn to where good food is before anybody else.
寺廟提供給所有人的茶和酥油飯,照相時才剛擺出來,沒一會兒又人山人海了。我的特長似乎是能領先所有人找到好吃的。
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And the beautiful flowers at Chorten! It is orchid season now. I so worship the senior lama who takes care of all these flowers now.

May all sentient beings find beauty, purity, peace and happiness in all their perceptions.

進大殿前,主要就是在外面賞花。現在是錫金蘭花的季節,負責照顧花的老喇嘛實在太厲害了。

願一切有情眾生都能在自己的一切感知中,安住於美好、清淨與安樂。

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Sarva mangalam.