修行的動與在

楊定一在他的書 “無事生非:不同,甚至顛倒的生命與靈性觀” 裡寫道:

“你我這一生,都是透過「動」想得到什麼東西——也許是強化某一些價值觀,標榜自己的角色,取得怎樣的好處,改善這一生甚至下一生的命運,或得到什麼意義。就連修行,一樣你我這一生,都是透過「動」想得到什麼東西——也許是強化某一些價值觀,標榜自己的角色,取得怎樣的好處,改善這一生甚至下一生的命運,或得到什麼意義。就連修行,一樣離不開這種「動」或追求,都想在最後得到點什麼——領悟、開悟、頓悟或是「全部生命系列」所稱的「醒覺」。 我們都忘了,修行其實是「在」的觀念,倒不是靠「動」。”

楊定一所指出的“在”就是英文的being。 也有人將being翻譯為“所是”。原來修行的目的不是就是我們所“修”的“行”,而是透過修行來讓我們體驗和活在每一個當下裡。 原來尋尋覓覓,兜兜轉轉,我們才發現生命的寶藏和豐盛就在現在,就在這裡,就在我們裡面。不再活在“虛幻”裡,而是真實的現在當下,那就是我們修行的目標和目的。其實,我們並不需要去哪裡,就在“現在”。

等待我們尋求的又何止是佛法

在“因果,怎麼一回事?”裡,釋見介指出:

“佛法教導我們要思惟、踐行、印證,並非不加思索就去信仰,它可激發人內在力量。。。只要你有一絲絲想要改變自己生命的心,那麼,你將會啟程去尋找佛法,而佛法早在那兒等待你了。你必須自己發現它,而非等它向你走來,因為它從來就不曾離開過你。”

作為牧師,我以為又何止佛法是這樣,我們基督教也相信上帝和上帝的道也離我們不遠,在我們的心裡,等待我們去追求和發現。 只不過是我們是否去發現而已。

其實無論是何種的大智慧都要我們往心裡去。 不再停留在表面,而是要往深裡去。這是我們靈魂的需要和呼聲。

How do we read the ancient text about God by the ancient writers?

In his book, “The Bible Tells Me So…Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable To Read It”, Peter Enns wrote:

“Speaking for Christians, capturing land and holding on to it by violence is not a gospel way of living.  Christians today, therefore, have an obligation not to ‘follow the Bible’ here, not allow the ancient tribal description of God in the Old Testament to be the last word.  These ancient writers had an adequate understanding of God for them in their time, but not for all time – and if we take that to heart, we will actually be in a better position to respect these ancient voices and see what they have to say rather than whitewashing the details and making up ‘explanation’ to ease our stress.  And for Christians, the gospel has always been the lens through which Israel’s stories are read – which means, for Christians, Jesus, not the Bible, has the final word.  The story of God’s people has moved on, and so must we”.

Yes, I do feel the stress as I have had many conversations with people about the violence, the genocide, and many other topics we feel unacceptable.  In this book, Peter has offered many insights to help us to approach the Bible in a different perspective.

政治中的教會考慮

鄧紹光在他的書“政治中的教會”裡寫道,

“我們必須辨識清楚,我們在世上的生活,包括政治上、經濟上、文化上的參與,有沒有背叛耶穌基督,而不是教會與政府是否雙贏。教會只應考慮:是否忠於耶穌基督是一切的主”。

當我讀到這裡的時候,我不禁要為特別是在中港澳的教會禱告。 求主賜給他們只忠於祂的信心和力量。

church ministry’s repetition vs iteration

In her book, “How To Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going: Leading in a Liminal Season”, Susan Beaumont points out that:

“Unfortunately, communities of faith often behave as if past experiences are naturally repetitive.  ‘Out attendance was much higher when we advertised in the yellow pages.  We should advertise in the yellow pages again.’  In liminal seasons we need to learn new responses to changing conditions.  Instead of repeating the past, we must iterate.  Repetition is the recurrence of the same action or even in response to a stimulus.  Repetition is static.  If I do X, it will result in Y.  Unfortunately, repetition doesn’t yield much learning…Iteration also involves doing something again and again.  However, in iteration each new act is influenced by the previous experience and slightly adapted to learn something more.  We focus on incorporating the learning from the experiment and integrating what is novel into what is known”.

In the past, my intention of visiting churches, attending seminars, and reading books is to see how much I can “repeat”.  I also see churches trying very hard (I should say in their best) to “repeat” their work so that their “old glories” are able to be  “repeated”.  It often foreshadowed the decline of the churches.

After our intention of visiting, attending and reading is changed to “iteration”, we will learn and grow.