讓生活更豐盛的五步曲 Five Steps to a Wealthier Life

Five Steps to a Wealthier Life 讓生活更豐盛的五步曲
We all want to lead healthy and prosperous lives. The news headlines in the UK and around the world, however, are firmly focused on the activities of banks and bankers and the weakness of our global economy. They paint a picture of wealth and prosperity defined by possessions and materialism alone. How do we lead wealthier lives, in ways that don’t just involve accumulating money? 我們都希望活得健康和富足。不過,英國及世界各地的報章都只顧大字標題報道銀行及銀行家的活動,以及全球經濟疲弱等問題,把豐盛富足等同於財富與物質主義。究竟我們如何才能不單以金錢掛帥卻仍活得豐盛?
From the Buddhist point of view the root causes for the current crisis are certain human faults – in particular greed – and therefore I believe that the solution to the challenges we are facing today equally lies within the mind, or the consciousness of each individual. 從佛教角度來說,眼前的危機源自人為過失-尤其是貪念。所以,要解決當下的種種挑戰,我認為關鍵同樣在於個人的心靈或意志。
If we ask ourselves what we, as individuals, can do to make a difference, I trust that change can be achieved by taking small steps to accumulate inner wealth. Fortunately, since there is a great number of human beings if we add up the small steps that each individual takes, then within a very short time it will make a big difference – therefore, the strategy of taking small steps is both doable and effective. 如果我們問自己可以做什麼來改變現況,我相信人人都可踏出一小步,改變自己來逐步累積心靈上的財富。幸運的是,人類數目眾多,只要人人都踏出一小步,在很短的時間內就能集結而成很大的改變。所以,人人一小步的策略不單可行而且有效。
First of all we have to be aware of the various types of means and resources that we have in our lives. Even ambition or desire can be used to develop inner wealth, if they are channelled in the proper way. For instance, if we have the desire and the ambition to generate contentment, then that is a good desire and a good ambition. So in this way we must make ourselves aware of various types of means at our disposal, and once we have done that, then an important method is that of comparing ourselves with others. 我們首先須明白自己在生活中可使用的各種方法及資源。只要用得其所,即使野心或欲望也可催生心靈上的財富。例如,砥礪自己知足常樂的欲望和決心,便是良好的工具。由此可見,我們必須首先認清可使用的不同方法,接下來另一重要法門便是把自己與他人比較。
If we know how to properly apply the method of comparing ourselves with others we can extract a lot of inner wealth from that, too.

 

我們如果懂得如何適當運用與他人比較這道法門,也可從中得到很多心靈上的財富。
Often, we tend to compare ourselves with those who are wealthier, healthier, better-looking and generally better off, which leaves us feeling underprivileged and at a disadvantage – feelings which then become fertile ground for greed and desire. 我們往往傾向與較自己富有、健康、好看及整體上優秀的人作出比較。這會令人感到自己處於弱勢和吃虧-這些感覺卻是催生貪婪及欲望的溫床。
If, on the other hand, we compare ourselves with those who are worse off, this will help us generate contentment and a sense of our own inner wealth and resources. Once again, in learning how to apply this method it is best to proceed step by step. 換個角度看,假如我們與比自己條件差的人作出比較,卻可有助我們知足和感到心靈上的富足。在此必須重申,學習如何運用這個方法時,最好按部就班。
1. Consider animals. We might even start out by looking closely at the situation and suffering of animals and the limitations of their mental and verbal resources, and thus make ourselves aware of how much more freedom and scope for action we have as human beings. 1. 我們可以先從動物入手,仔細觀察牠們身處環境和所受痛苦,以及在智力及語言上所受限制,從而明白到自己身為人類是多麼自由和活動自如。
2. Consider those less fortunate. The next step would be to compare ourselves with those who are worse off – those who are poor, deprived or sick, and once this step has been engrained, we can then go on to the next step, which is about learning how to compare ourselves with others who may not be sick or poor – maybe even healthier and wealthier than ourselves – but mentally unhappy or lacking in qualities such as compassion, courage or generosity. 2. 再想想比我們不幸的人:與比自己條件更差的人-窮困的、被剝削的、生病的-比較。當我們掌握這個方法後,下一步便是學習如何把自己與一些沒有生病或並不窮困的人比較-甚至是比我們更健康或富有的人-但他們卻不快樂或美德欠奉,例如缺乏同情心、勇氣或慷慨之心。
3. Question crisis. This training may lead us to a point where we might re-examine the very idea that we are in a crisis. Maybe it’s just a judgment on our part, based on the one-sided importance we have attached to material wealth. From our new perspective we may see that those who are poor in terms of material wealth might actually be quite wealthy in other areas. 3.質疑所謂危機:我們很容易會認為自己身陷危機,只要加以質疑便能讓我們重新審視這種想法。或許那只是一己之見,源於對物質財富一面倒的執着。若換上新的角度來看,便能發現那些在物質上窮困的人,或許在其他方面其實極為富有。
4. Question ourselves. We might be very critical of our own condition and think that we are very poor, but on closer examination this may not really be the case. Maybe we have been misjudging ourselves, but we will only realise that once we know how to compare. 4.質疑自己的既定看法。我們可能對自己的現狀非常吹毛求疵,覺得多有不足。只要細心檢視,就會發現事實並非如此。我們或許一直對自己判斷錯誤,只有在懂得比較後才會有所覺醒。
5. Be grateful. Finally, this way of training can bring us to a stage where when we feel that there is some sort of crisis, we can actually be thankful about it: it makes us think, it makes us reassess where we stand, and it can help us realise that we are being too judgmental about everything, especially ourselves, and make us appreciate that it wasn’t as bad as we thought. 5. 時刻感恩。這是最後一步的思考鍛鍊,可把心理質素提升至另一層次,就是每當覺得遇上危機時,便會心存感激。這是因為危機令我們再三思量,促使我們重新評估自己的處境,並幫助我們醒覺自己對所有事物-尤其自己-都太過武斷,從而明白到事情沒有想像中的差。
Therefore, I think that especially for us as “youth” it is important to constantly ask ourselves the question “How much is enough?”, both in relation to our material and non-material values. The world has come to a point where things are moving very fast, there is constant time pressure and we are often forced to grow up and mature very quickly and take on heavy responsibilities, and therefore it is all the more important to be very aware of our own state of mind as well as of our environment. 所以,尤其是對於我們這些「年輕人」來說,在物質及非物質的價值觀上,經常問自己「究竟多少才是足够」,至為重要。我們處身生活節奏極為急促的世代,每天都要面對與時間競賽的壓力,身心往往被迫早熟,且要肩負重大責任。所以,我們必須時刻留意個人心態和身處環境,這點至為重要。
I will be going to England in a few days’ time, and I look forward to meeting with young people and youth organisations during my visit there. The purpose of this blog is to share some of my thoughts with you, but also to improve my own understanding by learning about young people’s ideas and concerns. 我再過幾天便會到訪英國,希望屆時能與當地的年輕人及青年組織代表見面。這個博客旨在與你們分享一些個人見解,同時也希望藉此知道年輕人的想法和關心的事情,從而加深我對你們的了解。
Therefore it would be of great help if you could enlighten me with your thoughts by taking the Wealth of Europe Facebook poll. 所以,希望你們在Facebook的歐洲財富專頁作出投票,讓我了解你們的想法。謝謝!
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