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Shaving my hair / 剃头

Ever since the day I shaved my hair for “Hair for Hope”, I have been shaving my hair regularly, keeping it as short as I can. And now I shave my hair every Saturday morning.

It is kind of funny that I will always feel peaceful as I look into the mirror and start shaving my hair. And when I finish shaving, I will use my hand to rub my bald head and smile, feeling satisfied, as if I have shaved away all my worries and problems.

I have had a few encounters when colleagues and friends started to ask me why did I shave my hair. I shrugged and smiled, and told them there’s no particular reason. Sometimes, I would crack a joke with one or two if that person asked me: are you facing some problems, that you want to become a monk? And my response to him or her would be: Yes.

Is there some truth in it? Certainly yes, but may not be because of the problems I am facing. It’s funny that people always think that a person will only become a monk when facing difficulties or after a great mishaps. They fail to see that a monk actually can live peacefully and joyfully in this sentient world.

Since a year back, I’ve always wanted to shave my hair and make myself look like a monk. Perhaps, after reading so much on Buddhism, I have been wanting to have a taste of monkhood, to feel how is it like to live life as a free soul, practising daily on liberation of my own soul.

I know I’m far from liberation, let alone being a monk. But watching movies about those renowned monks, tears always rolled down my cheek as I witnessed them going through the hardships as they walked towards their path with a heart full of compassion for mankind.

Their will were so strong that nothing can bend them from their belief. And in their hearts, peace lives within.

I’ve experienced some peace before, ever since I started practising. But I am after all still living in this sentient world (the red dust as it is called in Chinese), I have my own desires for other things. Much as I try to tell myself that impermanence is the only truth in this world, understanding it and practising it are two different matters at all.

I have my own anger, frustrations, disappointments and not forgetting joy (seeking joy in itself is a desire) and to liberate myself from all these is as good as letting go of all matters in this world. It is always easier said than done and when things that I hold so dearly in my heart begin to fall apart, I found myself feeling lost, not knowing which direction I should be heading.

As I was walking to the bus stop to go to office that day, I chanced upon a few beautiful flowers sitting among the leaves. I stopped for a moment looking at the flowers and thought how I could capture that moment. I took out my camera which I wanted to bring to office and snapped some pictures of the flower.

I angled it in such a way that there is only one nice purple colour amongst all the greens.

I didn’t know how it will turn out to be like but after editing it, I actually love the picture. It’s a simple portrait of a flower surrounded by a bunch of leaves, and the purple colour just stand out in the frame.

From the picture, I also saw the vulnerability of life, as I know that if I am to go back to the same spot, that flower that I snapped would have withered. Such is the life of a flower, blossoming for a short period of time and when the time comes, it will just fall onto the ground gracefully.

Just like my bamboo orchid, I see new flower blossom every day and I see existing flowers withering. Each bamboo orchid can last at most two days before I see its colour fading and the petals starting to form wrinkles.

Life is short and as Buddha has said it rightfully, life is just between an in and out breath. Who knows what will happen tomorrow?

If I’m not able to liberate myself from all the desires in this world, then I have to make sure I live my life fully, pursuing what really matters in my heart, and at the same time, learning how to flow with the water current, and not against it.

Letting go is the hardest part of life, and I’m learning it the hard way. Slowly and painfully, I begin to let go. I know I deserve more than that, and I know I need to love myself before I can love this world and many other things.

There is much to learn in life, and I want to make sure I live my life with no regrets.

Shaving my hair is just an indication of my desire to pursue liberation. Now that I’m more aware of what I truly want in life, I have to pursue it with will. It may be a hard decision but nobody knows what the outcome will be like until things truly happen.

I know I have to walk this path alone, be it liberation or fighting for my own destiny. After all, life is a lonely journey, the moment we came to this world, we are destined to leave this world alone.

Buddha has said, when we are happy, do not forget that it will not last. Similarly, when we are in pain or suffering, it will not last too.

Everything will be fine, for nothing last forever.

15.09.2018

Written with a confused heart

自从那次为Hair for Hope的项目剃头之后,我开始了经常剃头,时至今日,我每个星期六都会把头剃的清光。

不可思议的是,每当我自己剃头的时候,当我望着自己的手把那短短的似草丛的头发剃得更短事,我的心会涌上一份宁静,仿佛我在剪掉我的困惑与烦恼。

曾有数次,有人问我为何要剃头,我耸耸肩不置可否,以一句不为什么作为回复。偶尔有人会以疑惑的口吻问我:是不是遭遇了什么极大的困扰,让你看破红尘,想要出家?我的回复便是:是啊!

那其中是否真的有迹可循?或许是的,但也不完全是因为我所面对的困扰。许多人都误会一个人想出家,必定是因为遭受了极大的痛苦才想要遁入空门。事实上,出家人的生活看似艰苦平淡,却是在平淡中得到一份惬意与平静。

一年多前,我就有某种想法,想要剃头尝试出家人的生活。也许是在佛教的耳濡目染下,我也想体验一下日以继夜寻找解脱的日子。

我知道我离出家的事实还很遥远,更别说解脱。看了许多关于一些闻名天下的法师的故事,常常让我感动的泪眼婆娑。尤其是见证了他们以一颗大慈悲心去寻找解脱的心路历程,实在让我感动莫名。

他们对佛法的信心是那么坚定,牢不可破。因此,尽管路途艰辛,总还能从他们的事迹看出他们心里的那份安宁。

自从开始静坐,我也曾经体会过一颗平静的心灵。然而我毕竟还是凡夫俗子,在这五光十色的红尘里,始终无法摆脱七情六欲。即便知道人生是无常,可懂得与实践却是两回事。

我也有我的愤怒,烦躁,失望以及喜悦的情绪。若是真想把这一切都抛诸脑后,唯有学会真正的放下世间所有的一切。说易行难,当自己心里捉得最紧的一切出现了问题,忽然发现自己就此迷失了方向,不知何去何从。

那天上班时不经意看见几朵紫色的花儿静躺在一丛丛绿叶中,把我的目光吸引了。我停下脚步对之凝视,想象着如何把那一幅美景摄取。我尝试不同角度,最终决定只将一朵花放在镜框内,让它被无数的绿叶围绕,衬托它的鲜艳。

我实在不懂效果会如何,直至在电脑里编辑了之后,感觉异常喜欢这张照片。

从画面上,我也看见了生命的脆弱,因为我知道若是此刻再去找那朵花,它一定已经枯萎了。这就是花儿的生命——鲜艳灿烂却瞬间即逝。当花期一过,它便会优雅地坠落在地面上。

我几乎每日都会看见我的那盆竹叶兰花开花谢,每一朵竹叶兰花都只绽放了最多两日,便可看见它的颜色退化,花瓣皱褶,渐渐枯萎。

人生很短,就如佛所说的生命只在一吸一呼间,明天的此刻,谁又能说准是否我们开可以看见晨曦?

如果我无法放下我的所有欲望,那么我就得学会让自己活得更充实,去追求我心里真正想要的生活。于此同时,我更要懂得如何去随波逐流,以免逆水行舟而导致身心俱疲。

放下或许就是最难的一课,而我只能且行且学习。慢慢地,艰辛地把一切放下。我知道我必须自爱才能够真正地去爱这个世界或是以及其他的人、事、物。

人生有太多的东西要学,可我只想今生无悔。

剃头不过是想要得到解脱的一种迹象。此刻的我既然对自己的人生目标更明确,唯有努力不懈地去追求。尽管那是一个很困难的抉择,但不作出选择并且实行,又有谁能够准结局是好是坏,是对是错呢?

不管是寻找解脱还是追求目标,这条路我都必须自己去走。人生本就在我们降生在这个红尘时就注定了是一趟孤独的旅程,一个人来,一个人走,一个人去。

佛祖曾说,当我们快乐时,要记住,那不是永恒的,当我们痛苦时,也要记住那也不是永恒的。

因此,一切都会好的,一切都会过去的。因为,一切都是无常的……

15.09.2018

在一片迷茫中完稿

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