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艾德:老师

缅怀南师

艾德:老师

编者按:本文源自刘雨虹先生编辑、台湾南怀瑾文化事业公司2018年3月出版的《百年南师》一书。转载请注明出处。
作者Marshall P. Adair,中文名字:艾德,1948年生于美国,任职美国外交官35年,曾任美国驻中国成都领事馆总领事,美国国务院欧州事务副助理国务卿。1999-2001年,担任美国退休外交官协会主席。退休后两年,作为退休外交官代表任职于美国外交协会理事会。目前居住在华盛顿特区。已出版著作:《Watching Flowers from Horseback》《55 Years in the Service》。
为便于中文读者阅读,英文原文附于每段中译文之后。照片由作者提供,编辑插图。
 
 
老 师
作者:(美国)Marshall P. Adair(艾德)
中文译者:乌慈亲
 
    1987年南老师在美暂居期间,我有幸认识了他。我当时刚从驻亚洲的外事职位卸任回到华盛顿特区,任职亚洲的六年中,一年是在台湾,三年在香港,两年在北京。我本人当时对南老师一无所知,但是我太太陈纯芝自从1981年开始便在寻找他。她曾经告诉我和她的朋友,她曾在梦里见到一位老者,试着教她什么,但是她在梦里听不懂他的意思,也不知道他是何人。然而,1987年的一天,她在纽约的朋友打电话告诉她,有一位跟她描述的梦中老者相符的一位老先生,最近从台湾搬到了华盛顿特区,他的名字叫南怀瑾。对我太太来讲这是个非常令她激动的消息,她很快找到一位送人南师著作的人,问此人是否南老师就在附近,是否可以见到他?这位送书人就是阿福哥,他确认老师就住在弗吉尼亚州的McLean,并答应下午致电老师询问是否可以见面。
    I had the good fortune to meet Professor Nan Huaijin in 1987 when he was living temporarily in the United States.  I was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer (Diplomat) who had recently returned to Washington, DC after six years in Asia - one in Taiwan, three in Hong Kong and two in Beijing.  I personally knew nothing about Professor Nan, but my wife Ginger (Chen Chunzhi) had been searching for him since 1981.  She had told me and friends that an old Chinese man had appeared in her dreams, trying to teach her something.  However, she could not understand him, and she didn’t know who he was. Then, in 1987 she received a call from a friend in New York who told her that a man fitting her description had recently moved to Washington, DC from Taiwan and his name was Nan Huaijin.  That was very exciting news for her.  She soon found a distributor of Professor Nan’s books, asked if it was true he was nearby and if we could visit him.  The distributor, a man named A Fu Ge, confirmed that Professor Nan was indeed living in McLean, Virginia, and offered to call him that afternoon.
 
    南老师很亲切的答应了,并邀请我们参加当天在他住处举办的李慈雄(南师学生)女儿的满月宴。当我们到达时,已经有很多客人了,我们带了年幼的儿子立宇同去,同其他客人一起在室外聚会。有人带纯芝进屋去见南老师,不久后她带着欣喜如狂的表情出来,她说:“是的,我终于找到我梦里见到的人了,他甚至还穿着同一件中式长衫!”
    Professor Nan graciously agreed, and invited us to join him at his home that same day for a Manyue ( 滿 月) celebration he was hosting for the daughter of one of his students, T.H. Lee.  There were many people there when we arrived.  I took our young son, Charles (Ai Liyu), and joined the guests outside, while someone escorted Ginger inside to meet Professor Nan.  After a short while, Ginger rejoined us with an ecstatic look on her face.  “Yes,” she said, “I finally found him, the man in my dreams.  He is even wearing the same Chinese-style clothes as in the dreams!”
 
    之后我们就被邀请到客厅,南老师身边围着很多人,他看到我进来,朝我微笑着说:“欢迎,我研究你了!” 尽管我不太明白他的意思,但是我也朝他笑了笑。第一次的见面他对我们非常友善,并邀请我们随时来,我们也打算常来。
    Soon after that we were all invited to go into the living room.  Professor Nan was surrounded by a number of people.  He looked up as I entered, smiled at me and said, “Welcome, I have researched you (我研究你了)”  I smiled, too, though I didn’t really understand what he meant.   He was very kind to us during that first meeting, and invited us to return anytime, which we proceeded to do.
 
 
    接下来这一年,我们几乎每周都去拜访南老师和他的大家庭。大家庭包括了他的学生和其他一些程度不同的修行者。老师的家里总是有很多来自四面八方的拜访者,有些是带着禅修问题来的,有些是带着个人问题来的,也有一些是带着政治或者外交问题的。我大概能听懂大多数来访者的问题,但是由于我有限的中文水平,以及对修行方面的无知,还有南老师浙江口音,他的回答我几乎不能理解。
    For the next year we made weekly visits to Professor Nan and his “extended family” of students and individuals who had committed themselves (in varying degrees) to personal cultivation.  The house was always busy with visitors coming to see him from many different places.  Some came with questions about Zen Buddhist cultivation, others with personal issues and still others with political and diplomatic questions.  I was able to understand most of what the other visitors were asking.  However, I had tremendous difficulty understanding Professor Nan’s replies - due to my more limited Chinese, to some of the cultivation subject matter, and to the challenge of Professor Nan’s Zhejiang accent.
 
    南老师看出我的困窘,问我是否愿意跟他学中文。我当然是非常兴奋。接下来的几个月,老师每周都教我《千字文》,一千个字没有一个重复的。他通过《千字文》让我更全面的了解了中国语言文字、文化和历史。 我非常享受那一段和其他同学一起围坐在大圆桌旁,跟老师学习的时光。我并不是一个好学生,我的中文水平并没有大幅进步,但是南老师成功的让我对中国文化的博大精深有了深刻的印象,也让我对这个世界的观感和其他方面有了深刻的改变,这个变化也包括我对老师的尊称从“南教授”到简单的“老师”。
    Professor Nan saw my difficulty and asked if I would like him to teach me Chinese.  I was elated, and for the next several months, once a week he tutored me on the Chinese “Thousand Character Classic” (Qian Zi Wen) – a poem of 1,000 characters, none of which is repeated.  Using that poem he introduced me to a wide variety of Chinese language, culture and history.  It was fascinating and I loved the time I was able to spend with him and all the others who joined us at that big round table.  I was not a very good student, and my Chinese language skills did not markedly improve.  However, Master Nan did succeed in impressing upon me the extraordinary depth of Chinese culture and experience, and he began the process of changing how I observed the world and everything in it.  That change included him: to me he ceased being Professor Nan, and became simply “Laoshi.”
 
    后来我意识到,由这样一位可能是这个世界最古老最完善的文明的集大成者,来教我这样一个中层美国外交官读书是多么不相称的事情。之后我花了很久的时间才意识到,对老师来讲,他有教无类,这样根本就没有不和谐。
    Later, I realized how incongruous it was for a mid-level American diplomat to be tutored by a man who was perhaps the most knowledgeable and accomplished individual in the oldest and most accomplished civilization on the planet.  It took me still longer to realize that for Laoshi that was not incongruous at all, and in fact around him the word “incongruous” lost its meaning.
 
    《妙法莲华经》中有一章叫<方便品>,描述了佛陀和菩萨们以无数方便、种种因缘、譬喻言辞、为众生演说诸法。老师也是如是对待很多来找他寻求帮助的人们。他身边有各色人等:比丘,比丘尼,政客,商人,学者,淘金者,记者,病人,医生等等。他能教化和谈论的主题非常广泛,我无法一一列举,他能聆听他们的问题,让他们开心,挑战他们,有时候甚至呵斥他们,但是却让他们入迷。他能够告诉他们怎么治疗他们的疾病,如何使企业成功,怎么夫妻和睦相处。他可以是朴素的,严格的,保持距离的,但他又是随时可以接触到的,慈悲的和令人安慰的。
    There is a chapter in the Lotus Sutra (Kumarajiva translation) entitled “Expedient Means.”  It describes how the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas infinitely adjust their appearance and method of teaching to the needs, preferences or limitations of the sentient beings they are trying to save.  Laoshi did that all the time with the many people who sought his help.  There were so many different kinds of people around him: monks, nuns, politicians, businessmen, academics, fortune hunters, journalists, sick people, doctors, etc.  He could teach and entertain on more subjects than I could list here.  He could listen to people, amuse them, challenge them, sometimes scold them and always fascinate them.  He could tell them how to cure their infirmities, how to make their businesses successful, or how to get along with their spouses.  He could be austere, strict and distant; and he could be immediately accessible, compassionate and comforting.  
 
    对于我,他通过介绍中国文化,为我开启了认知深奥中国文化的一扇门。他会问我的工作经验和对工作过的地方及事情的看法,但是他从来不曾涉密。他总是会给我另外一个我未曾想到的角度,给我指出一条更有效率达到目的的方法。在他直接或间接鼓励我的过程中,他总是让我仔细观察自己的内心,对别人更多些慈悲。
    With me, he started out offering a deeper introduction to Chinese language and culture.  He asked me – but never pried - about my experiences and opinions on places and subjects that I was working on.  He could always add a dimension that I had not thought about, and show me avenues to pursue my goals more effectively.  All the while he was encouraging me – directly and subtly - to look more closely at myself and to be more compassionate towards others.
 
    1988年老师从美国移居香港,我和我的家人也返回亚洲工作,先是在缅甸的仰光,然后是中国成都(编者按:作者时任美国驻成都总领事)。后面四年中,我们能够和老师通过电话联络,他也邀请我们去香港住在他的住所。在个人修行上,他对我们进行指导,也帮助我看到中国的历史文化、军事、经济对亚洲其他国家的影响,增进缅甸和中国的发展空间。他给我解释了几个世纪以来,东南亚华裔的非官方的金融关系,到现在还在以合法或非法的途径影响着香港的经济政治,几个世纪以来的文化和社会习俗,导致了极其复杂的政治经济现状,没有任何成功的商人或政界领导人能够忽视或者置身事外,这和美国的环境有着根本的区别。当然美国有它自己的法律规定,社会习俗和“政治正确”;但它也培养和激励了对既有秩序敢于挑战的人们的勇气,我个人也钦佩这种勇气,所以也使得我学会在亚洲环境事务中能够客观分析和判断诸多因素。
    In 1988, Laoshi moved from the United States to Hong Kong.  My family and I also returned to Asia, first to Rangoon, Burma and then to Chengdu, China.  During those four years we were able to communicate with Laoshi by telephone, and also visited him in Hong Kong where he invited us to stay with him.  He continued to help us with our cultivation, and he helped me to see the developments in both Burma and China in the broader historical context of China’s cultural, military and economic influence on the region.  He explained to me the informal financial links that had operated between Southeast Asian Chinese communities for centuries, and how they still influenced the economy and politics of Hong Kong both legally and illegally.  He showed me how centuries of cultural and social tradition had created an incredibly complicated fabric of political and economic realities that no successful businessman or political leader could ignore or act independently of.  This is fundamentally different from the American environment.  While the United States has its own legal requirements, social mores and political correctness; it also fosters an admiration of individuals who flaunt the established order.  I personally shared that admiration, and therefore had to learn to analyze and judge differently the actors in these Asian environments.
 
 
    我们抵达缅甸后不久,就经历了民众抗议和军队镇压的纷乱阶段。在这段困难时期,美国和中国驻仰光大使馆存在严重分歧和不同的利益。中国支持缅甸军事政权,而美国公开对大众需求更多民主的愿望表示同情。时任美国驻缅甸大使,具有在中国和中国周边工作多年的丰富经验,他鼓励美国和中国外交官之间建立诚恳友善的关系,我从老师那里学到的很多经验也让我在这个过程中受益匪浅。
    Soon after our family arrived in Burma, the country went through a chaotic period of popular uprising and military suppression. During that difficult period, the American and Chinese embassies in Rangoon had different perspectives and different interests.  The Chinese supported the military regime, and the Americans were openly sympathetic to the popular demand for more democracy.  But the American Embassy was also led by an Ambassador who had spent his career working in and around China, and he encouraged the Chinese and American diplomats to develop cordial and friendly relations.  The insights that I received from Laoshi were very helpful to that process.
 
    民众抗议开始后不久,纯芝和立宇就随着其他外交官家庭一起被疏散到曼谷,而我依旧留在缅甸。当时情形非常危险,压力很大,不仅仅因为家人不在身边,而且我们的行动也受到缅甸政府的严格限制,所以使得我有很多独处的时间。这是我第一次用老师教我的准提咒开始实验。
    Shortly after the popular uprising began, Ginger and Charles were evacuated with other embassy families to Bangkok, while I remained in Burma. There was some danger and lots of stress.  I had plenty of time to myself, because not only was my family away for six weeks, but our movements and activities became strictly curtailed by the Burmese regime.  That was when I first began to experiment with the mantra of the Zhunti Bodhisattva that Laoshi taught.
 
    当我第一次去弗吉尼亚McLean 拜访老师时,我没有像其他同学那样参与在禅堂唱诵的课程,我当时对咒语并没有什么特别的兴趣,而且当时我的自我意识也很强。但当我独自一个人在缅甸,面对无数个长夜,我开始从另一角度来看咒语了。我开始在我空闲时、来回上班的路上持咒。当我再次去香港拜访老师时,他说我变化很大,鼓励我继续持咒,说这是我所需要的。当我熟悉咒语后,我开始在不需要很费神专注的工作时也持咒,最后做到能够在任何时候,不管做什么情况下都能自如持咒。
    When I had first visited Laoshi at his house in McLean, Virginia, I did not join those who gathered in the meditation room and chanted the mantra out loud.  I was not particularly interested in mantras, and I was self-conscious.  However, when I found myself in Burma, alone with very long evenings, I took another look at it.  I started doing it in my spare time, and on my way to and from work.  When I next visited Hong Kong, Laoshi told me I was changing rapidly, and he encouraged me to continue.  That was all I needed.  As I got used to the mantra, I began doing it anytime heavy concentration was not required of me; and eventually all the time, regardless of what I was doing.  
 
    结果不总是我所期待的,但是我的期望似乎也很模糊。我从来没问过老师持咒能做什么。老师有时也会很随意的告诉我可以求求菩萨金钱或者升职什么的,试试看咒子是否灵验。但是我觉得老师在考验我,这么做应该是不合适的。所以我就单纯的继续持咒,并认为对我有帮助。但是刚开始事情进展并不顺利。在一次去缅甸伊洛瓦底江三角洲的途中,我试着用咒语来缩短返程时间,我们的车子很快就抛锚在路边,长达八个小时之久,最后只能搭乘一辆皮卡车坐在货箱回到仰光。
    The results were not always what I expected, but then my expectations were rather vague.  I never actually asked Laoshi specifically what the mantra was supposed to do.  Laoshi would casually mention from time to time that I could test it by asking for things like money or promotion.  However, I thought perhaps he was testing me and that was probably not appropriate.  I just accepted that it was somehow good for me, so I continued.   Not everything went smoothly at first.  On a trip far into the Irrawaddy delta area of Burma, I tried to accelerate our return.  Our vehicle promptly broke down and we were stuck on the side of the road for 8 hours, only making it back to Rangoon by hitchhiking in the back of a pickup truck.   
 
    尽管不便的事还是会发生,但是自那以后我和我的家人也都很平安,没有不好的事情发生。所有我心里想要的,在以后的日子里慢慢都成为现实,我也是事后才意识到,这些都和我专心持咒有关系。1981年我开始学习中文时,我就一直希望,有一天能够被派到中国人口最密集的成都领事馆工作,但是在候补申请名单中,有很多都是比我经验丰富的“中国通”。持咒后一年,我接到一通来自华盛顿的电话,问我是否愿意离开缅甸,去接替因个人原因即将离任的成都总领事的职位,一个月后我便抵达成都。从我二十多岁时起,我就对神秘的西藏充满好奇,突然间我能够一年去西藏数次。我到成都后不到一年就升职。之后我被委任参与华盛顿的一项非常重要的项目,负责东南欧的事务,后来又升职到副助理国务卿,分管十七个国家的事务。小的方面来讲,满座的飞机突然会有空位出来给我坐,大到本应该我去而没去的行程中政府专机失事,机上所有人遇难。老师听到这些后并没有表现出惊讶,只是简单的告诉我菩萨保佑了我。
    Inconveniences continued, but from that time on nothing seriously bad happened to me or my family, and everything that I wanted to have happen gradually came to pass, though I only slowly recognized the sweep of events and the connection to my concentration on the mantra.  Since I had studied Chinese in 1981 I had always wanted to be assigned to the Consulate General in Chengdu, which had the largest and most populous consular district in China; but there had always been a long list of more experienced “China Hands” ahead of me for the job.  One year after I started the mantra, I received a surprise call from Washington saying the Consul General in Chengdu had to return to the United States for personal reasons, and asking whether I would be willing to leave Burma early and replace him.  One month later I was there.  I had also been fascinated with Tibetan mysticism since my early twenties, and suddenly I was traveling to Tibet several times a year.  I was promoted less than a year after I arrived in Chengdu.  After that I was given an assignment to a prestigious study program in Washington, given responsibility for the southeastern corner of Europe, then promoted to Deputy Assistant Secretary with responsibility for 17 countries.  Little things went my way such as seats becoming available on fully booked airplanes, and much bigger things such as being prevented by circumstance from taking my place on a government plane that subsequently crashed killing all on board.  Laoshi evidenced no surprise at any of these events, simply commenting that the Bodhisattva was protecting me.
 
    当然不只是我持咒,我太太纯芝在我还未开始前就已经在持咒。当她被疏散到曼谷后,她还在和我的电话通话中教了我咒语。 我们的儿子还是幼儿时在McLean时跟宏忍师父就学会了念阿弥陀佛,后来到了成都后他才学会准提咒。我永远都不会忘记立宇五岁时在香港,老师邀请一众的同学们安静的围坐着,听立宇给大家唱诵准提咒。
    It wasn’t just me, of course.  Ginger had been doing the mantra for years before I started, and she taught it to me in telephone conversations between Bangkok and Rangoon during the evacuation from Burma.  Our son Charles had been taught the Amitofo mantra in McLean by Hong Ren Shifu when he was a baby; and he learned the Zhunti mantra when we were in Chengdu.  I will never forget the scene in Hong Kong when Laoshi invited all of his assembled guests to listen in hushed silence as Charles, at age 5, chanted the Zhunti mantra. 
 
    我花了很多年才渐渐意识到老师鼓励我们持咒,并不仅仅是,或者主要是让持咒人自身受益,更应该是帮助他人。我确定他曾经多次用不同的方式告诉我这个道理,但是我们往往在没有准备好之前,是听不进去的。当我最后意识到时,我开始注意到一旦我开始持咒,周围的气氛都会变化。艰难的会议变得轻松;那些注意力不集中的人开始关注手头的事情。可能听上去有点疯狂,有时候我甚至可以感觉到整个美国国务院内部的气氛轻松起来。
    It took me years to realize that Laoshi encouraged the mantra not just – or even primarily – to benefit those doing it, but to help others.  I’m sure he told me many times in many ways; but somehow we often don’t hear until we are ready.  When I finally did realize it, I began to notice how the atmosphere around me would change as I concentrated on the mantra.  Difficult meetings became more relaxed; and people who seemed distracted at first would become more focused on the business at hand.  As crazy as it sounds, sometimes it seemed like I could feel the entire environment within the State Department relax.
 
    当我们一家从仰光搬去成都后,跟老师的联系和见面就比较容易和频繁了。他对成都非常了解,他曾在成都度过了他的军旅生涯,四川也是他禅修最重要的地方。他向我介绍了四川独特的历史对中国文化和政治的贡献,他也在极大程度上改变了我对西藏历史的政教合一,以及与历代中国皇帝之间复杂关系的看法。
    When our family moved from Rangoon to Chengdu we were able to have much easier and more regular contact with Laoshi.  He knew Chengdu well, having spent most of his military war years in Sichuan, and also having done his most important work Zen Buddhism there.  He introduced me to Sichuan’s unique historical contributions to Chinese culture and politics, and he substantially changed my perspective on Tibetan history, its unique mixture of religion and politics, and its complicated relations with a long succession of Chinese emperors.
 
    作为驻成都总领事馆总领事,我经常前往美国驻香港领馆,对中国西南市场有兴趣的美国商人提供咨询服务。在那段时期,我有机会看到老师能够满足来自不同地域、不同背景人们不同需求的非凡能力。每晚至少有8-10人来吃饭,有些人是长居香港的,其他一些人来自中国大陆、台湾、东南亚、美国、拉丁美洲国家、欧洲、印度,等等。老师会和大家一起晚餐,并回答个人或者专业的问题,也会邀请客人跟大家分享他们的经验和故事。餐后,他常会传授中国历史、文化、哲学、佛教和道教,以及其他国家的文化,主要包括亚洲国家。他知道他的客人们对什么感兴趣,甚至在他们提问之前就知道他们的问题。对于这种多层面的话题,我还是很难完全了解。但即使我不完全明白他在说什么,我也能看出他对听众的影响。有些人能理解他的话,有些人听不懂,也有些人觉得好奇,有些人感到惊讶,而其中某些人的生活就在餐桌边发生了改变。
    As Consul General in Chengdu I made frequent trips to Hong Kong to consult with the U.S. Consulate General there and to meet American businessmen with interest in southwest China.  During that time I had the opportunity to watch his extraordinary ability to respond to the different needs and interests of people from diverse places and backgrounds.  Every night at least 8-10 people came to dinner.  Some were regulars from Hong Kong.  Others came from the China mainland, from Taiwan, Southeast Asia, the United States, Latin America, Europe, India, etc.  At dinner, Laoshi would socialize, answer personal and professional questions and invite his guests to share stories of their experiences.  After dinner, he would often teach about Chinese history, culture and philosophy; about Buddhism and Taoism; and even about other cultures, primarily Asian.  He knew what his guests were interested in; and even seem to know their questions before they asked.  I still had great difficulty following the multifaceted conversations, but even when I didn’t understand what he was saying, I could see some of the impact he had on his listeners.  Some understood, some did not; some were intrigued; some were surprised; and some had their lives changed right there at the dinner table.
 
    他在回答某些个人的问题的同时,会尽量使得其他人也能从中受益。他会让每个人在和自己以及他人的相处中感觉自然舒服,也能让众人在有强烈分歧或敌意时,求同存异。
    He answered the questions of individuals, but usually did it in a way that helped others as well.  He was able to make people feel comfortable with themselves and with others as a group.  He was able to show people their common cause even when strong differences or hostility existed.
 
    有一次,我从成都打电话给老师,告诉他我很快就要去香港,并问他我是否方便和他待几天。起初,他说可能有点困难,因为届时会有一些重要人物来讨论敏感话题。但很快他就改了主意,说“来吧,我们会想办法解决”。当我几天后到香港时,我才知道,那一晚将会有来自北京和台湾的官方资深代表来老师这里。老师对于开启大陆和台湾方面的最初阶段的接触,并使双方达成一定的共识起到了很重要的作用。他告诉我,他的客人不知道我会在那里,我可以留下来吃晚饭,但我需要饭后离开,好让他们继续谈话。客人们看到有一位美国外交官坐在老师左边,非常惊讶。但是晚宴的会谈既亲切又轻松,在我看来甚至是非常友好的。也许局外人的出现使得双方更容易找到共同点。饭后我起身告辞并回到自己房间,会谈继续顺利进行。一些年后,当老师说到这段故事时,还特别表扬我有外交手腕和懂得谨慎处理,在适当时候离席。而我的记忆是,当时我太累了,几乎睁不开眼睛,回到房间后几乎马上就睡着了。
    One time I called Laoshi from Chengdu to say I would visit Hong Kong soon and to ask if I might be able to stay with him for a couple of days.  At first, he said that might be difficult, because there were some people coming to discuss some sensitive issues at that time.  Then he quickly changed and said, “Come.  We will work it out.”  When I arrived a few days later, I learned that two small delegations of very senior people from China and Taiwan were coming that evening.  Laoshi was instrumental in helping the governments in Beijing and Taipei to find common ground and begin their earliest talks, and his was one of them.  He told me his guests did not know that I would be there; that I could stay for dinner, but then I would need to slip away to let them talk.  They certainly seemed surprised to see an American diplomat there, seated just to Laoshi’s left.  But it worked.  The dinner conversation was cordial and relaxed – to my eyes even friendly.  Perhaps the presence of an outsider made it easier to find common cause.  After dinner, I excused myself and retired to my room, and the meeting proceeded successfully.  In later years, when Laoshi told the story he would generously emphasize how diplomatic and discreet I had been in slipping away.  My memory was that I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, and I fell asleep immediately after I retired.
 
    老师的学问、经验和修行帮助他理解、同情和帮助他人,也给了他展望未来的远见。当我父母来成都来看我们时,我们顺道陪他们去了香港,并与老师共度一晚。当时我父母都是相对年轻和健康的;但后来老师私下简单地跟我说了一句:“他们都老了,你必须做准备。”我回答老师:“是的,我明白了”,但其实我根本没有明白。几年后我的父亲患上了老年痴呆症,之后我的母亲癌症,诊断后不到一年就去世了。我父亲不能独自生活,所以我们带他过来和我们一起生活,直到他要求搬到附近的养老院。这反过来又是改变我职业生涯的一个主要因素:从此结束了我们家庭的海外服务,迫使我重新定义自己的职业和个人生活。我不能说我没有被事先提醒过。
    Laoshi’s education, experience and cultivation helped him to understand, empathize with and help people in the present, but it also gave him the ability to look beyond the present.  When my parents visited Chengdu, we took them to Hong Kong, and spent an evening with Laoshi.  My parents were both relatively young and healthy; but afterwards Laoshi told me quietly and simply, “They are old, and you must prepare.” I replied, “Yes, I understand” - but I had no idea.   Just a few years later my father developed Alzheimers, and then my mother developed cancer and was gone in less than a year.  My father could not live by himself, so we brought him to live with us until he asked to move into a retirement home nearby.  That in turn was a major factor in changing my career: ending our family’s overseas service, and forcing me to redefine my professional and personal life.  I cannot say I was not warned.
 
    在职业方面老师也有提醒过我,1991的秋天的一天,我和老师在他香港寓所的起居室,一起看电视上对第一次海湾战争的新闻报道。他转过头来对我说:“当这一切结束时,美国应该退出对世界其他国家的干涉。美国应该认真地评估自己需要什么,是什么,以及想成为什么。只有这样,它才能与其他国家重新建设关系。”我的回答是,“我们不能那样做。我们有责任与世界其他国家保持联系。太多的人依赖我们的参与。”他只是说了句“嗯”,然后点了点头。二十五年后,随着美国总统竞选活动的展开,可悲的现实清楚的印证了老师在1991年说的话。美国已经失去了任何表面上的社会或政治共识。今天,我们只希望还能有时间听从他的建议。
    Laoshi had professional warnings for me as well.  In the fall of 1991, I was watching news coverage of the First Gulf War with him in his living room in Hong Kong.  He turned to me and said, “When this is over, America should withdraw from its involvement with the rest of the world.  It should seriously take stock of what it needs, of what it is, and of what it wants to be.  Only then should it re-engage with the rest of the world.”  My response was, “We cannot do that. We have a responsibility to remain engaged with the rest of the world.  Too many depend on our involvement.”  He just said, “Hmm” and nodded his head.  Twenty-five years later, as the American presidential election campaign unfolded, it became tragically clear how right Laoshi had been back in 1991.  The United States had lost any semblance of social or political consensus.  Today, we can only hope that there is still time to follow his advice.
 
    我现在才清楚地看到,老师有渊博的知识、理解力和智慧,能知道对美国和中国这样的大国来讲,什么是最好的政策策略。当我问他问题时,他总是非常慷慨地与我分享他的知识,但除非我请教他,他很少对我说教或鼓励我执行某项特定的政策。他会问我对不同问题的看法,但他从不多打听,他也从不会置我于任何与我工作职责相冲突或妥协的立场。用英语词汇来形容他的话,他既是一个“renaissance man”(多才多艺的人),他已熟悉了人类知识体系的所有分支;他又是一个“perfect gentleman” (完美绅士),不仅把握了自己的行为,并对他人具有完美的礼仪和慷慨之心的人。
    It is clear to me now that Laoshi had the knowledge, the understanding and the wisdom to know what the best policies were for major players like the United States and China.  He was very generous in sharing his knowledge with me when I asked, but he rarely lectured me or encouraged me to pursue a particular policy unless I asked.  He would ask my opinion on different issues, but he would never pry, and he would never put me in any kind of compromising position with regard to my government responsibilities.  In English terms he was both a “renaissance man”, someone who has mastered all branches of human knowledge, and a “perfect gentleman,” someone who has mastered himself and behaves towards others with perfect decorum and generosity.  
 
    他经常引用这句话:“儒者以一事不知为耻”,他对自己的成就总是很谦虚,但在我看来,他的学问是无限的。除了中国历史、文化和哲学之外,他还精通中国武术和医学。有好几次,我看他都建议学生和老师们学太极拳。我曾经很难理解“气”的概念,他向我示范了使用肌肉和使用“气”的区别。当他用肌肉的力量伸直手臂时,它尽管牢固,但我能移动它。当他用“气”来做同样的动作时,我却无法挪动它。如果不是因为我和老师身高的差别,我想我甚至可以悬挂在他胳膊上!
    He often cited the quote, “If there is one thing they don’t know, Confucians are ashamed.”  While he was always very humble about his own accomplishments, it seemed to me that there was no limit to his knowledge.  In addition to Chinese history, culture and philosophy, he also had mastered Chinese martial arts and medicine.  On several occasions, I watched him advise both students and teachers of Taijiquan (太極拳).  Once, when I was having difficulty understanding the concept of “qi,” he offered me a demonstration of the difference between using muscles and using “qi.”  When he held his arm straight out using his muscles it was firm, but I was able move it.  When he did the same using “qi,” I could not budge it - and could have hung from it except for the difference in our respective heights!  
 
    还有一次在香港,我肩胛骨之间突然异常疼痛,几乎不能呼吸。担心是不是心脏病,所以我告诉了老师。他告诉我不要担心,原因可能是由于气候的变化导致,他给了我一些中药服用,服用后疼痛就像来的那么突然一样,很快消失了。之后,每当我有不适,我都会寻求老师的医疗意见,甚至很多时候是通过长途电话询问。有时候,我能看得出他是如何做出诊断的,但很多时候我无法了解。有一次,我太太纯芝问老师,为什么我会老想着事情消极的一面,而且没有耐心?老师答复她说,是身体原因导致,因为我的腰椎比正常人少一节。他从来没有对我进行过身体检查,从来也没有其他医生跟我提到过这一点。我因为腰椎疼痛,曾经看过很多正骨医生。当我之后再次去看医生时,医生检查了才很惊讶的发现老师所说的竟然是真的。
    Another time in Hong Kong, I experienced an unusual sharp pain between my shoulder blades and difficulty breathing.  Fearing a heart attack, I told Laoshi.  He told me not to worry, the cause was a change in the weather, and he gave me some Chinese medicine that restored me to normal as quickly as the problem had started.  After that, I often sought his medical advice, even long distance by telephone.  Sometimes, I thought I could see how he made his medical diagnoses, but other times I had no idea.  Once, Ginger asked him why I so often seemed to dwell on the negative side of things and to have so little patience.  He replied it was physical – because I had one less lumbar vertebra than normal.  He had done no physical examination of me.  No doctor had ever mentioned this to me, and I had seen many chiropractors for lower back pain.  When I next saw my back doctor, he checked and expressed astonishment that Laoshi was in fact correct.
 
    有时,老师所能做的似乎超越了科学的范畴。有一次,我看他测试一位善于利用能量技术诊断身体疾病的年轻女士。她为老师做了检查,并把诊断告诉了老师,老师说都很对。然后老师说还有一个测试给她做,请她再给他做一次检查。几分钟后,他问她是否注意到了什么,她犹豫了一下,然后很惊讶地回答说,他似乎让血液反向流动了。老师微笑着只说了一句“很好”。
    Sometimes, what Laoshi was able to do seemed to go beyond the boundaries of science.  Once, I watched him test a young woman who was adept at diagnosing physical afflictions using energy techniques. She examined Laoshi, told him her findings and he said they were correct.  Then he said he had another test for her, and  asked her to examine him again.  After a few minutes, he asked if she noticed anything.  She hesitated, and then replied with some surprise that it seemed he had reversed the flow of his blood.  He smiled and simply said, “很好”.
 
    这种试验有时会让人产生“神通”或“超能力”之说,但是老师却自始至终坚持认为,这种事情并没有比原子能或激光来的更神奇。所有他关于个人修行方面的教导都是严格科学的。他常说,古代中国和印度文明已经发展了的知识和理解,现代科学才刚刚开始涉足。他在庙港建立的太湖大学堂的目的之一,就是去鼓励重新发现这些知识,并应用于解决当今中国和世界所面临的挑战。
    These kind of experiences sometimes generated talk of “magic” or “superpowers;” but Laoshi firmly insisted that such things were no more magic than atomic energy or lasers.  They, and all of his teachings about personal cultivation were strictly scientific.  He taught that ancient Chinese and Indian civilizations had developed knowledge and understanding that modern science was only just beginning to touch on.  One of his objectives in establishing the Taihu Center for Great Learning in Miaogang was to encourage the rediscovery of that knowledge and its application to the challenges facing China and the world today.
 
    看到老师在离开祖国这么多年后逐渐回归大陆,对我来讲也是非常激动的事情。老师的耐心、远见以及慷慨最最令我印象深刻,尽管有时候我私底下也很自私的担心以后见到老师就更困难了。开始的时候并没有任何问题,他在上海的寓所比香港和美国的小很多,气氛也比较私密,也很容易见到老师。但搬到庙港后就不是很容易见到他了。
    It was exciting for me to watch Laoshi make the gradual transition back to mainland China after so many years away from his homeland.  I was enormously impressed by his patience, his vision and his generosity in doing so, though I did selfishly worry that it might be more difficult for me to see him.  In the beginning that was not a problem.  His apartments in Shanghai were smaller than Hong Kong or the U.S.; the atmosphere was intimate and Laoshi was easily accessible.  When he moved to Miaogang it became more difficult.  
 
 
    我们照例是每年一次从美国来中国看他,通常呆一周左右。由于太湖大学堂的建筑项目巨大,非常耗时;来自全国各地来拜访的客人也非常多。几年后,我们几乎只能在晚餐时见到老师,和他单独相处的机会非常之少。讽刺的是,我退休后,当老师邀请我搬去太湖大学堂,继续我的禅修时,我却因为自己的原因而留在美国,没有与他在一起。
    We continued to travel once a year from the United States to see him, usually for a week at a time.  However, building the Taihu Center for Great Learning was an enormous and time-consuming project; and more and more people from all over China were seeking access to Laoshi.  After a few years, we saw him almost exclusively at dinner, and moments alone with him became very rare.  Ironically, after my retirement, I imposed my own degree of separation from him by remaining in the U.S. when he invited me to move to Miaogang to continue my cultivation there.  I was unable to make the break with my existing concerns to join him.
 
 
    另外,当然老师也逐渐老去。我违反了他最基本的教义之一,坚持认为他是一个超越生命的人,通常的自然法则并不适用于他。我可以看到他的身体越来越老,但他的头脑还是非常清醒的,他对周遭发生的一切也知道得比别人多。他甚至向我们描述了衰老的过程,他到了什么程度,以及它有多么困难和痛苦。他一再告诉我们,他不会永远陪在我们身边——事实上,真的没有很久。然而,我总是说服我自己,这只是他修行和教化的一部分,他永远都会和我们在一起。在他去世前的最后几个月里,我只是对时间越来越短的警告置之不理。
    Additionally, of course, Laoshi was getting older.  I violated one of his most fundamental teachings by insisting on seeing him as someone who was bigger than life and to whom the normal laws of nature did not apply.  I could see his body getting older, but his mind was still clear and he still always knew more about what was going on, around him and beyond, than anyone else.  He even described to us the process of aging, where he was in it, and how difficult and painful it was.  He told us repeatedly that he would not be around forever – and, in fact, not much longer.  However, I actually convinced myself emotionally that this was just part of his practice and part of his teaching, and that we would always have him with us.  In the final months before his death, I simply dismissed all the warnings that time was getting short.
 
    很难用这样一篇短文来形容老师在我生命中是多么的重要。他不只改变了我看中国的角度,也改变了我整个生命的意义和使命。他使我相信人类历史是相关的,我们永远都可以从中学习。过去的智慧并没有被现在的发现所取代,或使之与现在无关。事实上,今天所发现的很少是古人不知道的,过去教过的东西可以帮助我们更好地理解今天科学所发现的东西。他向我展示了,我以前从未想象过的中国历史、文化和成就的深度;人类文化、社会组织和政治领导的使命,应该比追求个人欲望的自由更重要。
    It is difficult in a short space like this to sufficiently describe how important Laoshi was to my life.  He changed my perspective not only on China, but on the meaning and purpose of life in general.  He convinced me that human history is relevant and we can always learn from it.  The wisdom of the past has not been superseded or made irrelevant by the discoveries of the present.  In fact, there is little that is being discovered today that has not been previously known; and what has been taught in the past can help us to understand better what is being discovered by “science” today.  He showed me there is a depth to Chinese history, culture and attainment that I previously did not even imagine; and there is a purpose to human culture, social organization and political leadership that is more important than freedom for individuals to pursue their own desires.
 
    他教化我们,并通过自身做示范来教育我们--人类最重要的品质应该是慈悲、纪律、决心和智慧。他因材施教,而不管我们来自何处。尽管这些年我错过了很多他的课程和教化,但我还是从老师那里受益良多,我想因为他对我的改变,我身边的很多人也间接受益。我会永远感激和老师相处的时光和在老师身边的人们。
He taught – and demonstrated through his example – that the most important human qualities are compassion, discipline, determination and wisdom.  He taught all of us according to our abilities and without regard to where we came from.  I missed a great deal during those years, and I failed to heed many of the lessons he gave.  Nevertheless, I benefitted immeasurably from my association with Laoshi; and I think others around me benefitted from how he changed me.  I will be forever grateful for that time with him and with the people around him.  
 
    我承认,我依然非常的想念他。
    I confess that I still miss him very much.
 
 
(文章来源:南怀瑾学术研究会)
 

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