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在龙泉寺找事业灵感,即使你没在那里发明微信

更新时间:2016-9-9 10:17:29 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

China’s Tech-Savvy, Burned-Out and Spiritually Adrift, Turn to Buddhism
在龙泉寺找事业灵感,即使你没在那里发明微信

BEIJING — For centuries, Buddhists seeking enlightenment made the journey to Longquan Monastery, a lonesome temple on a hilltop in the hinterlands of northwest Beijing. Under the ginkgo and cypress trees, they meditated, chanted and pored over ancient texts.

北京——几个世纪以来,寻求启迪的僧人会前往龙泉寺,那是北京西北角一座小山上的冷清寺庙。他们在银杏树和柏树下打坐、念经,潜心研读古老的经文。

Now a new generation has arrived. They wear hoodies, watch television shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and use chat apps to trade mantras. Many, with jobs at some of China’s hottest and most demanding companies, feel burned-out and spiritually adrift, and are looking for change.

现在,新一代的修行者来了。他们穿连帽衫,看《生活大爆炸》(The Big Bang Theory)等电视节目,还会用聊天软件交流佛法。许多人供职于中国最热门、最严苛的一些公司,他们感觉身心俱疲,正在寻求变化。

“Life in the outside world is chaotic and stressful,” said Sun Shaoxuan, 39, the chief technology officer at an education start-up. “Here, I can be at peace.”

“外面的生活挺嘈杂,挺有压力的,”33岁的孙绍轩说。他是一家教育创业公司的首席技术官。“在这里,可以找到一点宁静。”

As a spiritual revival sweeps China, Longquan has become a haven for a distinct brand of Buddhism, one that preaches connectivity instead of seclusion and that emphasizes practical advice over deep philosophy.

随着一场精神复兴运动席卷中国,龙泉寺成为了一个静修之所。这里倡导一种与众不同的佛教,它宣扬与外界产生联系而非与世隔绝,而且重视为深奥的哲学问题提供务实的建议。

The temple is run by what may be some of the most highly educated monks in the world: nuclear physicists, math prodigies and computer programmers who gave up lives steeped in precision to explore the ambiguities of the spiritual realm.

这座寺庙的管理者,可能是世界上受教育程度最高的一群和尚,其中有核物理学家、数学天才和计算机程序员,他们放弃了讲求精确的生活,转而探索精神领域的奥义。

To build a large following, the monks have put their digital prowess to work. They have pioneered a popular series of cartoons based on Buddhist ideas like suffering and reincarnation (“Having a bad mood can ruin one’s good luck,” a recent cartoon said). This past spring, they introduced a two-foot-tall robot named Xian’er to field questions from visitors, the temple’s first foray into artificial intelligence.

为了吸引更多受众,这些和尚充分利用了自己的数码技能。围绕受苦受难和转世等佛教观念,他们创作出佛教主题的动漫作品(最近的一部中讲道,“坏情绪会毁掉好运气”)。今年春天,他们推出了一台两英尺高的机器人,名为贤二,用以回答访客的提问。这是龙泉寺在人工智能方面的首次尝试。

Traditionalists worry that Longquan’s flashy high-tech tools may have muddled the teachings of the Buddha, the dharma. They say its emphasis on practical topics like resolving family conflict and achieving success neglects more important philosophical questions.

传统主义者担心,龙泉寺花哨的高科技工具对教授佛法会构成干扰。他们表示,重视解决家庭冲突、如何获得成功等实用性话题,会忽略更重要的哲学问题。

But the leader of the monastery, the Venerable Xuecheng, who dispenses bits of wisdom every day to millions of online followers, has defended his approach, saying that Buddhism can stay relevant only by embracing modern tools. In a computer-dominated world, he has said, it is no longer realistic to expect people to attend daily lectures.

但龙泉寺方丈学诚法师为自己的方法进行了辩护,称只有欣然接受现代工具,佛教才能与时俱进。他每天都会向网上的数百万信徒传递自己的点滴智慧。他还表示,在一个由计算机主导的世界里,指望人们每天来听课是不现实的。

“Buddhism is old and traditional, but it’s also modern,” he said in an interview in March with the state-run news agency Xinhua. “We should use modern methods to spread the wisdom of Buddhism.”

“佛教是古老的、传统的,但佛教徒是现代的,”他在今年3月接受官方通讯社新华社采访时说道。“我们应该把慈悲、平等、圆融等佛教智慧,用适应现代社会的方式传递出去。”

On a recent Sunday morning, I stood outside Longquan’s gates, watching as hundreds of volunteers and tourists ascended to the temple. They bowed to one another and took turns sweeping cracked walkways. Some wandered through the organic vegetable garden, stopping to prop up unruly tomato plants.

在近日的一个周日早上,我站在龙泉寺的大门外,看到数百名志愿者和游客拾阶走进寺庙。他们相互鞠躬,轮流清扫崎岖不平的走道。有些人在有机菜园里漫步,偶尔停下来,扶起肆意生长在外的西红柿。

The modernity of the temple was inescapable. While it was first built in 957, many of its original structures were demolished by war. Only at the turn of the century was the temple salvaged and rebuilt by a Buddhist businesswoman, Cai Qun. It reopened in 2005, and it is now equipped with fingerprint scanners, webcams and iPads for studying sutras, or Buddhist texts.

这座寺庙走向现代性有着一些必然的因素。尽管始建于公元957年,但其许多原有的建筑都在战争中遭到毁坏。直到20世纪末、21世纪初,在一位名叫蔡群的从商女居士的倡议和资助下,这座寺庙才得以修复重建。它于2005年重新开放,现在配备有指纹扫描仪、网络摄像头,还有用来研习经文的iPad。

The state-run news media speaks of the temple in almost mythical terms. In success-driven China, many people marvel at the decision of the temple’s monks to leave behind lucrative careers in the tech sector to devote themselves to Buddhist study, rising at 3:55 a.m. each day for morning prayers.

一家官方媒体几乎是以谈论神话般的语气谈起这座寺庙。在追求成功的中国,龙泉寺僧人放弃在技术行业的赚钱职业,投身于佛教修行,每天凌晨3点55就要起床上早课,许多人都为他们的决定感到惊奇。

In addition to leading Longquan, the Venerable Xuecheng is the president of the Buddhist Association of China.

除了主持龙泉寺的工作,学诚法师还担任中国佛教协会会长。

In a kind of soft-power spiritual push, the Venerable Xuecheng has sought to turn the teachings of the monastery into a global export, translating his writings into more than a dozen languages. In July, he helped open a temple in Botswana for Chinese expatriates.

作为某种软实力的信仰推广方式,学诚法师还寻求把佛法传播到全球,将他的教诲翻译成了十多种语言发布。今年7月,在他的协助下,博茨瓦纳出现了一座为中国侨民开设的佛寺。

Longquan’s proximity to several of Beijing’s top universities and the city’s main science and technology hubs has made it popular among young people. Many of them are searching for deeper meaning in a society rife with materialism. Others seek an escape from grueling schedules, and tips on relaxation.

龙泉寺的地理位置靠近北京多所顶尖学府,离城内主要的科技中心也不远,使它在年轻人当中名气很大。许多人在充斥着物质主义的社会里寻求人生的深层意义,还有一些人是想逃避忙碌至极的日常生活,得到放松的诀窍。

The temple is renowned in start-up circles, in part because of a widely circulated rumor involving Zhang Xiaolong, one of the founders of WeChat, a popular messaging app. News articles have claimed that Mr. Zhang, having hit a stumbling block, attended a retreat at the temple, after which he gained inspiration for WeChat. (Mr. Zhang, through a spokesman, denied the reports.)

龙泉寺之所以在创业圈里出名,部分原因在于一则涉及张小龙的传言。他是热门即时通讯应用微信的打造者之一。有新闻文章宣称,张小龙遭遇瓶颈之际去龙泉寺清修了一次,之后便获得了做微信的灵感。(张小龙通过发言人否认了相关报道。)

To day, young entrepreneurs make the pilgrimage to Longquan in hopes of creative epiphanies. They work at some of China’s most prominent technology companies, including JD.com, an e-commerce giant, and Xiaomi, a smartphone maker.

如今,年轻的创业人士去龙泉寺拜佛是希望得到创意上的启示。他们效力的公司包括中国最出名的一些科技企业,比如电商巨头京东和智能手机生产商小米。

“Some of the people who come here may not actually be incredibly interested or believe in Buddhism,” said Rax Xie, a software developer. “But they will have a certain connection and receptiveness to the thought and culture behind Buddhism.”

“有些来这里的人对佛教可能并不是那么感兴趣,或者说是信仰,”软件开发者拉克斯·谢(Rax Xie)表示。“但他们会对佛学背后的思想文化有某种联系和接受度。”

On Sunday mornings, Mr. Sun, the technology entrepreneur, makes his way from his suburban apartment to Longquan. He slips on a maroon robe and begins to chant.

周日的早上,科技创业人士孙绍轩会从北京郊区的公寓来到龙泉寺。他会披上褐色的僧袍,开始诵经。

Mr. Sun was once a skeptic of religion. But after a spiritual awakening last year, he said he came to embrace Buddhism, eschewing meat and alcohol and persuading his wife to join him on his spiritual journey.

孙绍轩曾经对宗教持怀疑态度。不过去年有了醍醐灌顶的经历后,他说自己开始接纳佛法,舍弃了酒肉,说服妻子与他一道踏上信仰之旅。

I met Mr. Sun at a chanting ceremony one Sunday at Longquan. The meditation hall was covered in pillows decorated with lotus flowers; a large, gleaming Buddha statue rose from the front.

我是在龙泉寺一个周日的诵经仪式上遇到的孙绍轩。冥想厅里铺满了饰有莲花图案的枕头;前方树立着一尊锃亮的大型佛像。

A wiry man with soft, dark eyes, he sat in the first row of worshipers, a bell in his hand, and wore a golden sash reading, “Thanks to those who taught me salvation.”

孙绍轩体型精瘦,深色的双眼流露出柔和的光芒。他坐在第一排拜佛者当中,手中拿着一个铃铛,身披一条金色绶带,上书“感恩那些教授我救赎的人”。

After the ceremony, he told me about his transformation. As he saw it, he was once self-centered and angry, prone to barking orders at his family and co-workers. While his mother was a Buddhist, he saw the religion as “just a story.”

仪式过后,他向我讲述了自己的转变过程。在他看来,他曾经以自我为中心,脾气不好,喜欢对家人和同事指手画脚。虽然母亲信佛,但他以为佛教不过是“讲故事而已”。

Then, in the fall, he attended a three-day retreat at Longquan intended for information technology workers. He was forced to give up his cellphone and passed the time by meditating, listening to lectures and working in the garden. Almost immediately, he said, his mind felt cleaner and lighter.

去年秋天,他到龙泉寺参加了为期三天的针对信息产业从业者的法会。他被迫离开了手机,用冥想的方式打发时间,听佛法讲座,在花园里劳作。他表示,自己几乎立即就感觉到心灵更纯净、更轻盈。

Mr. Sun and his wife now attend services nearly every week. In the afternoons, he performs maintenance on Longquan’s websites and helps organize workshops on back-end programming.

孙绍轩夫妇如今几乎每周都会参加佛法仪式。在下午的时候,他会对龙泉寺的网站进行维护,并协助组织后端编程研讨会。

He said he had come to see the temple as a “small utopia, free of conflict,” in a society that could sometimes feel riddled with deception.

他说自己来龙泉寺,是为了在一个不时充斥着欺骗的社会里找“一个没有冲突的小世外桃源”。

“When you go to the mountain, you don’t need to think, ‘Who will trick me? Who will harass me? Who will think badly of me?’” he said. “Once you have a sense of security and trust, then you will want to open up, help others and explore your beliefs.”

“在山上的时候,你不用去想,‘有没有谁会骗我,有没有谁会骚扰我,或者谁对我有糟糕的评价,’”他说。“当你有了一种安全感和信任感的时候,你就会慢慢敞开自己,愿意帮助别人,也会愿意去探索自己的一些信仰。”

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