歐洲財富 The Wealth of Europe

The Wealth of Europe 歐洲財富
The financial crisis in Europe, and the suffering caused by it, is something that has increasingly drawn my attention. The population of young people – my own age group – is particularly affected by it. I believe that in Spain, where I begin my third European tour this week, more than half of young people are unemployed. Therefore, I believe that questions such as “what is wealth?’ and “what makes us wealthy?” are more relevant today than ever before. 歐債危機及其帶來的傷害,越來越令我關注,與我年紀相若的年輕人尤其受它影響。我將於這個星期在西班牙展開第三次歐洲之旅,而我相信那裏過半數的年輕人都正在失業,所以我相信“何謂富有”及“什麼使我們富有”這類問題,現在比任何時候都更意義重大。
It goes without saying that a certain amount of material wealth – for example, those things related to food, clothing and shelter – is a necessity to sustain our life. Every individual has to work to survive, but when earning a living becomes the exclusive focus and priority of one’s life, problems can arise. When we live to earn rather than earn to live, there can be problems of excess and greed. 當然,某些物質財富,例如跟衣食住行有關的東西,的確是生活必須品。每個人都要工作以維持生計,可是當謀生成了生活唯一的焦點和首要考慮的事,問題便會發生。當我們活着是為了賺錢,而不是為過活而賺錢,放縱和貪婪這些問題便會出現。
However, there are also other forms of wealth, required not just to sustain the physical body, but to sustain and develop our mind. 我們其實還需要其他形式的財富,它們並非用以維生,而是支持和啓發我們的心靈。
In this perspective, it may be interesting to look beyond the traditional ideas of financial wealth and really reflect on why our human species, among the many different types of existence, is so special and valuable. 從這個角度來看,假如我們能夠超越傳統的經濟財富概念,認真反思人類在種種生物之中為何這麼特別和珍貴,或許會是一件有趣的事。
As a Buddhist practitioner and teacher it is my hope and belief that Buddhism may have some interesting and valuable input to offer in this area. First of all, when trying to identify the causes for the present crisis from a Buddhist perspective, the root problems are certain human traits such as greed and laziness, all of which arise on the basis of ignorance. 作為一個修行者和佛學老師,我希望並相信佛學在這個範疇能夠提供一些有意思和價值的觀點。首先,當我們嘗試從佛學的角度找出現存危機的成因,便會發現問題源自人類某些特性,例如貪婪和懶惰,而這些特性都是無明所致。
It is one thing to cultivate just enough crops for your day-to-day needs. But when you start to collect crops, and start to stock up with the idea that you’ll have less work and more money, this can sew the seeds of unchecked greed. So it is really important to be aware of certain human traits which bring a lot of unnecessary problems. Sometimes when we think we are getting richer, from a different perspective we are becoming poorer. 耕作適度以應付日常所需是一回事,為圖安逸、財迷心竅而收割屯糧又是另一回事,後者會種下難以抑制的貪念。所以,我們一定要注意這些帶來眾多不必要問題的人類特性。有時候我們以為自己越來越富有,但從另一角度來看,其實變得更加匱乏。
Though I never went to school myself (as the head of a lineage, I had a special type of education), I had the good fortune to learn about all this from my parents. Later on, when I got into Buddhist studies and teachings, I learned more and more about the faults and qualities of humanity, and that helped me to learn about life. 雖然我從未上學(作為一個宗教傳承領袖,我要接受特別教學),但有幸從父母那兒學到這些道理。後來當我接觸佛法,知道更多人性的弱點和特質後,我對生命的理解更深。
The inner wealth is our mind, our consciousness. I believe that this mind is like a wish-fulfilling jewel. If you know how to utilise this mind, it can produce the most beneficial effects. The best way to utilise and develop this mind is to absorb knowledge, and the most important kind of knowledge is the one that makes us a kind person, a decent person, a person worthy of respect. And the qualities which make an individual kind, decent, respectable are qualities such as patience, generosity, kindness. The good news is that we do not have to adopt or create these qualities, since they already potentially there in all of us. In this way, the Wealth of Europe lies latent within each and every one of us. 我們的心靈、意識就是內在財富。我相信心靈就像一顆如意寶,假如你懂得如何善用它,它可以帶來最有益的結果。善用和開發心靈的最佳途徑是吸收知識,而最重要的知識就是那些令我們善良、正直、受人尊重的學問。要成為這樣一個人則要具有忍耐、慷慨、仁慈等等的特質。好消息是我們無須吸收或創造這些特質,因為它們已潛藏在我們內心。歐洲的財富就是這樣藏在我們每個人的心內。
So all we need to do is give ourselves, every day, a bit of a reason to generate these qualities, bit by bit. If we do this, it will not make society perfect, but it will enable us to appreciate whatever circumstances we might face. 所以,我們要做的只是每天找出一點點理由來生起這些特質。這樣做不會令社會變得完美,但卻會令我們了解和欣賞每件遇到的事情。
I am particularly concerned with the young generation, because they will have a great say in the outcomes of today and tomorrow. In spite of all the negative news about the Wealth of Europe I do not think that we are living in the worst of times. Yes, there is a crisis, but the world is not at an end. If there is richness within each and every one of us – inner wealth – then there is an almost limitless supply in the vision and values of our young people. 我特別關心年輕一代,因為今天和未來的世界如何,將會由他們決定。雖然關於歐洲財富有很多負面的報道,但我並不認為我們正活在一個最糟的時代。無可否認,世界正面臨危機,但並不是到了末日。如果我們每個人都內心富足,那麽年輕人的視野和理想便會源源展開。
Yes, there is a crisis, but thanks to the new communication technologies we can be aware, share our knowledge, and put our heads together to find solutions. This is a great opportunity, and I am sure that something positive will come out of it. Every obstacle is always a turning point. It is a challenge, but it makes us think, forces us to come up with solutions. 雖然危機的確存在,但多虧通訊科技日新月異,我們可以認知和分享知識,並一起找出解決辦法。這是個大好機會,而我肯定這樣可以帶來正面的東西。每個障礙都是一個轉捩點,它帶來挑戰,但也叫我們思考,驅使我們尋找解決辦法。
From a Buddhist perspective, we actually have to be grateful for obstacles, because without them we never learn. It is thanks to difficulties and challenges that we can come up with solutions, some of which will work and some not. But even if they don’t work it doesn’t mean we should give up. It only means we should try again. 從佛教徒的觀點來看,我們實在應該為出現障礙而感恩,因為如果沒有障礙,我們便永遠沒有學習的機會。多得有困難和挑戰,使我們可以想出解決辦法,它們有些奏效,有些失敗。然而即使它們不奏效,也不表示我們應該放棄,這只是代表我們應該再作嘗試。
Ever since I first started travelling, the purpose of my travels has been to visit Buddhist centres around the world, and share Buddhist theories and ideas, and also to convey how we can contribute to the betterment of society and the world. 我從首次出遊至今,目的從未改變,那就是探訪世界各地的佛學中心、分享佛學的理論和觀念,以及傳揚改善社會和世界的方法。
During my European tour this year, I would like to learn more about how the financial crisis is affecting different groups and individuals in Europe, and understand what they feel about the true definition of wealth. That’s why we have created the ‘Wealth of Europe’ poll to see what the opinions and ideas of Europe’s young people are. Perhaps when we see the results, we might see that we are all wealthier than we might think. 在今年到訪歐洲各國期間,我希望多點了解經濟危機如何影響歐洲不同團體和該處的人,以及他們對財富真正定義的看法。我們進行“歐洲財富”的民意調查,就是想知道歐洲年青人的意見和想法。當我們看到結果後,或許會知道我們都比自己想像中富有。
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