西方女性出家先行者之一「圖丹卻准」 法駕佛教學系

  • 2017-12-09
  • Ruling Digital

 西方女性出家先行者之一「圖丹卻准」 法駕佛教學系

 

(佛光大學佛教學院/報導)圖丹卻准(Thubten Chodron)法師,是首批在藏傳佛教體系出家的西方女性之一,在佛教學系的特邀下於1128日蒞臨佛教學系演講,分享她跨越藏、漢、美三地的學佛與弘法歷程。

 

「我為什麼出家?」法師講述過去一直在追尋宗教,希望從中找到生命的答案;由於擁有獨立批判的性格,導致她曾一度否定了宗教,「但是我始終堅信,生命最大的價值必定與『利他』有關係」。而後偶然參與由喇嘛指導的禪修課,詫異地聽見喇嘛說:「你們可以完全不相信我所說的,但要去思考,去實踐看看我說的是否對你們有益。」從此便投入佛教。

 

1975年,法師赴尼泊爾、印度學習藏傳佛教,並依止根本上師色貢千廈(Serkong Tsenshab)仁波切。1986年到台灣受比丘尼戒,並在一次研討會中與佛光山結下緣份。當時在印度達蘭薩拉,惡劣的學習環境讓她對學佛的機會更感珍惜,師徒間的情誼也有如父子般親密。

 

在求學過程中,法師曾試圖找尋女性的修行典範,但女性在西藏僧團中地位卑微,表現不甚卓越,難以覓得。此外,她也曾為自己的粗劣修行境界,頻生煩惱;透過不斷地學習「接受自己」,「學會取笑自己的不足」,思考所謂的煩惱過失在時間當中並無延展性,便能逐漸釋然。

 

當被問及是西藏佛教的哪一派系時,法師直言道,雖然自己出身西藏佛教的格魯派,但也是在漢地受戒,與漢傳佛教有親密關係;此外,自己更信仰著那不分畛域的大乘佛教,「因此我只想說,我就是佛教徒。」法師勉勵同學,大乘菩薩道極其長遠,要廣學多聞才能利益各種眾生。雖然不同佛教的傳承之間存在許多誤會,但是在這語言無國界的時代,歧異傳承間的誤解與衝突,將更有機會被消泯。

 

為了讓美國人有一個好環境學習佛法,法師在美國華盛頓州,建立舍衛精舍(Sravasti Abbey),該精舍只接受眾生慈悲的供養來維持一切經濟。雖地處偏僻,但卻從未因為供養的缺乏而面臨飢餓。後來一位記者造訪,並將精舍宣傳出去,便有更多人來精舍學習佛法。法師最後唱誦英譯版的三皈依,並開朗地邀請大家,「歡迎大家有機會就來舍衛精舍!」(文/知文 圖/劉育宏、知文)2017.11.28


One of the pioneering Western Buddhist nuns, Thubten Chodron, shares the Dharma with the Buddhist Studies Department

(Fo Guang University Reporting) Venerable Thubten Chodron is amongst the first generation of Western women who ordained in the Tibetan tradition. At the invitation of the Buddhist Studies department, she gave a talk on November 28 at the Buddhist Studies department in Yilan, sharing how her Buddhist education and efforts to spread the Dharma have straddled Tibetan, Chinese, and American cultures.

“Why did I decide to ordain?” Venerable spoke about how in the past she sought out different religions, hoping to find answers to her questions about life. As she has the character of an independent thinker, this led her to reject religion for a period of time. “However, I always believed that the greatest value in life must have something to do with ‘benefitting others’.” Later, by chance, she participated in a meditation class taught by Tibetan Lamas, and was astonished to hear them say, “You can completely disbelieve whatever I say, but you have to think about and practice what I have said, and see whether it benefits you or not.” From then on, she became interested in Buddhism.

In 1975, Venerable went to Nepal and India to study Tibetan Buddhism, and was ordained by Ling Rinpoche. In 1986, she went to Taiwan to take the bhikshuni ordination, and became connected to Fo Guang Shan through participating in a conference. The poor conditions that she studied in at the time in Dharamsala, India, made her even more appreciative of the opportunity to learn the Dharma, and the relationship between teachers and students was as close as that between parents and children.

In the process of learning, Venerable sought out female role models, but due to the lower status of women in the Tibetan sangha, they did not have the opportunity to develop their talents, and female role models were difficult to find. Aside from this, she often struggled with her afflictions when she perceived that she was not practicing well. Through repeatedly learning how to accept herself, to laugh at her weaknesses, and reflecting upon how afflictions and faults can be reduced over time, she was gradually able to release them.

When asked what school of Tibetan Buddhism she belongs to, Venerable replied directly that although she began learning the Dharma in the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism, she also received the precepts in the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya lineage practiced in the Chinese tradition, and thus feels a close connection with Chinese Buddhism. Furthermore, she believes in non-sectarian Mahayana Buddhism, “Therefore I only wish to say, I am a Buddhist.” Venerable encouraged students that as the Mahayana bodhisattva path is very long, they should study a broad range of Buddhist teachings in order to benefit all kinds of sentient beings. Even though there are misunderstandings between different Buddhist traditions, but in this age that is said to transcend national boundaries, there is greater opportunity to overcome these misunderstandings and conflicts between traditions.

In order to provide a conducive environment for Americans to learn and study Buddhism, Venerable established Sravasti Abbey in Washington State in America. The Abbey only accepts offerings from the kindness of others to sustain their entire economy. Although their location is rural, they have never gone hungry due to lack of donations. After a reporter visited and spread the word about the Abbey, then more people came to the Abbey to learn the Buddhadharma.

Finally, Venerable chanted the English version of the Three Refuges, and joyfully invited everyone, “We welcome everyone to visit Sravasti Abbey when you have the opportunity!” (English Translation by Ven. Damcho.)


圖丹卻准法師蒞臨佛教學系,分享她跨越藏、漢、美三地的學佛與弘法歷程


演講前,大眾一齊向佛像行問訊禮。


同學聆聽入神。


圖丹卻准法師的隨行翻譯Damcho法師。


課後同學積極向法師請益。


法師致贈本系其著作