Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Stranger(陌生人)


A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later. As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. Mom taught me to love the Word of God. Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spellbound for hours each evening. He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn't seem to mind, but sometimes Mom would quietly get up - while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places - and go to her room read her Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave. You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house - not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four-letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in his home - not even for cooking. But the stranger felt he needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man/woman relationship were influenced by the stranger. As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave. More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. But if I were to walk into my parents' den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name? We always called him TV.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


我們這邊分舵小孩子特別多(差不多佔一半人數),在下留意到他們大部份都很well behaved。我們平時集體靜坐或看錄影帶時,孩子們大都安靜地參與(或睡覺),與一些未開竅又坐不定的小朋友甚至成年人比較起來立杆見影,顯得很有深度。其中一對夫婦的三個子女,簡直是武林中的模範小學生,他們言行舉止都充滿純真、愛和智慧。姊姊看到弟弟睡著了,會提媽媽為他蓋被。有時他們會崩崩跳的跑來給你一個擁抱,有時又會以成年人的口吻跟你對話,簡直就同師傅所說的Shri Ganesha形相一個餅印!當在下向其母親請教他們教導子女的心得時,她說要耐心地跟孩子講道理。他們是realised souls, 都非常懂事的。還有就是盡量不要讓他們看電視。

最近這邊分舵開了一年一度的武林大會,討論如何引導下一代在霎哈嘉中健康成長,而不受外界的負面東西所影響。其中一項議題就是應否在分舵中讓孩子們看電視。有些父母覺得電視是唯一可以“賄賂”其孩子來聚會的“條件”,而另一些家長則認為這是靈性升進的地方,不應有電視來破壞集體注意力和影響能量。這實在是很難取捨,因為對於某些家長來說,電視和遊戲機就是他們的褓母,沒有它們“照顧”孩子,便無法放心做正經事。記得有一次去public program,一位女士帶了兒子來打坐。在下很驚訝那孩子居然可以一聲不響地坐了個多小時,而且十分專心。後來才發現原來該男孩一直在打機。有時在下駕車,也會看到旁邊的車輛後座設有電視屏幕,孩子們看著電視,沿途才會乖乖的坐下來讓家長專心駕駛。原來電視及遊戲機已不經不覺取代了人類,成了baby-sitter。難怪一些心理學家分析,新一代的年青人不懂得與人溝通,EQ過低。為人父母雖甚艱難,但也責無旁貸。


話說回來,原來師傅私底下也有提過看電視這個問題。一位師兄在武林大會中引述師傅的話,說兒童不應該看電視或打機,因為那會heat up他們的中脈(其實成年人也一樣,不過影響可能稍為輕一點),引起過度活躍症及attention deficit等問題。據師傅教導,要涼化中脈,可倒少許椰油在頂輪上,讓油慢慢從頂輪滲透入中脈內,有涼化和潔凈的作用。建議愛看電視的大/小朋友多做一點。在下由朝到晚在電腦上工作,今晚也得塗點椰油來潔凈一下中脈為妙!