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宣化上人開示錄(一)
Venerable Master Hua's Talks on Dharma Volume One 

化老和尚開示 Lectures by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

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剋期取證打禪七

Chan Sessions Are for Seeking Enlightenment in a Limited Time


要腳踏實地用功參禪,得到真本領那才算!
You must plant your feet on solid ground, and diligently work at meditation.
Only when you attain true skill will it count!

今天是禪七的開始,希望大家努力來參禪,不可錯過開悟的大好時光。

 

The Chan session starts today, and I hope everyone will work diligently and not pass up this marvelous opportunity to become enlightened.

打禪七就是剋期取證。不可坐在禪凳上打妄想,那就是辜負自己參加打禪七的初衷。打什麼妄想呢?妄想有種種不同,總而言之,都是異想天開、不著邊際。有的人打這種妄想:「我參加這次禪七,希望能開悟,得到大智慧,開悟之後,我將向世界宣布這個消息,令全世界的人都知道我是開悟的人,對我恭而敬之。」

 

A Chan session is held for the purpose of seeking to become enlightened in a fixed period of time. So don't sit on the meditation bench and indulge in idle thinking; that would not do justice to your purpose in attending the Chan session. What kinds of idle thoughts might you have? Delusive thoughts come in all varieties, but in general they are no more than flights of fancy and wishful thinking. Some people have the idle thought: “I hope I can get enlightened and attain great wisdom in this session. After I'm enlightened, I'll publicize it to the world, and everyone will know I am an enlightened person and treat me with great respect.”

各位想一想,有這種思想的人,他是否能開悟?我敢下斷語,絕對不會的!為什麼?因為這個人剛坐在禪凳上,妄想紛飛,不是為求名,就是為求利。在名利上打轉轉,焉能開悟呢?

 

All of you should consider this: can a person who thinks like that get enlightened? I emphatically declare that it's impossible. Why? As soon as that person sits on the meditation bench, his idle thoughts come in droves, and if he's not idly thinking about seeking fame, he's idly thinking about how to make a profit. How can a person who is spun around by fame and profit become enlightened?

   

有的人打這種妄想:「我在這次禪七中,一定要開悟,我要做這次禪七開悟第一人,人家不開悟,唯獨我一個人開悟,這是多麼光榮的一件事!」甚至根本沒有摸著開悟的邊緣,卻冒充開悟,到處宣傳自己開悟了,來欺騙大家,令大家對他另眼相看,來個魚目混珠的騙局,這種思想多麼幼稚,令人嗤笑!希望大家不要有這種妄想,要腳踏實地用功參禪,得到真本領那才算!

 

Some people have this idle thought: “In this Chan session, I definitely have to get enlightened. I have to be the first person to get enlightened in this session. I'll be the one and only enlightened person, and no one else will get enlightened. How glorious that would be!” Without even getting close to being enlightened, he feigns it and announces everywhere that he is enlightened. He cheats people because he wants them to show him special favor. His plan is to “pass off fish-eyes as pearls.” But his ideas are so childish that people will only despise and laugh at him. Hopefully no one will entertain such ideas. Rather, we should plant our feet firmly on the ground and apply our efforts in investigating Chan, so that we can attain real skill that counts!

 

有的人打這種妄想:「我要開悟,開悟就有人來供養我,我可以建個大廟,作為一方法主,信徒源源而來,親近、供養我,我成為大法師,名揚天下,婦孺皆知我是大名鼎鼎的法師。」可是大家要知道,不學無術,受人供養,是心不安理不得的。

 

Other people have this kind of idle thought: “I want to get enlightened, so people will make offerings to me. Then I can build a big temple, be the Dharma host of the area, and have lots of followers who come and make offerings. I'll be a great Dharma Master known throughout the world, and everyone will treat me as a high-class Dharma Master.” However, you must know that if you really aren't as proficient and knowledgeable as you make out to be, and you receive people's offerings, your conscience will not rest easy.

   

坐禪的姿勢要正確,對身心皆有益處,否則失掉坐禪的意義。坐禪時,先將身心放鬆,不可緊張,最好結雙跏趺坐,這是基本的坐法。

 

When sitting in Chan, make sure your posture is correct. A correct posture benefits both body and mind. Without it, sitting in Chan loses its meaning. When you sit in meditation, first relax the body and mind. Don't tense up. It would be ideal to sit in full lotus, which is the basic posture.

   

何謂雙跏趺坐?就是先把左腿放在右腿的上邊,然後將右腿搬到左腿上邊,這又叫「金剛座」,是堅固不動的意思。過去諸佛皆以金剛座而成佛。這種坐法,可以降伏天魔,可以制止外道,他們見到這種坐法,知難而退,不敢前來找麻煩。

 

To sit in full lotus, first put the left foot over the right thigh, and then move the right foot over the left leg. This is also called the vajra position, which means it is firm and unmoving. All the Buddhas of the past attained Buddhahood by sitting in the vajra position. In this sitting posture, one can subdue the demons from the heavens and counter those of other religions. When they see you in this position, they surrender and retreat, afraid to disturb you.

   

結雙跏趺坐之後,眼睛觀鼻端,不可東張西望。所謂: 眼觀鼻,鼻觀口,口觀心。

 

Once you are sitting in lotus posture, your eyes should contemplate your nose, and not look left and right.

The eyes contemplates the nose;
The nose contemplates the mouth;
The mouth contemplates the heart.

   

這樣才能攝持身心,將心猿意馬拴住,不令它們向外奔馳。所謂:

專一則靈,
分歧則弊。

 

This way, you can gather in the body and mind. The mind is like a monkey or a wild horse, and you must tie it up so it won't run away. It is said,

When one is concentrated,
there is an efficacious result.
When one is scattered, there is nothing.

   

要端然正坐,就是腰要直,頭要正,不可前俯,不可後仰;不要向左歪,不要向右斜;好像大鐘一樣,四平八穩,不動不搖。不可像鐘擺那樣,東搖西晃。雙跏趺坐才合乎坐禪的姿勢。

 

You should sit properly, with the back straight and the head up. Don't lean forwards, backwards, or to the left or right. Sit firm and steady like a large bell, not swaying or moving. Don't be like the bell clapper which swings back and forth. Full lotus is the proper posture for sitting in Chan.

   

初學禪的人,覺得不習慣,腿也痛,腰也痠,不要緊,咬緊牙關,忍耐一時,久了自然沒有這種現象,所謂「久坐有禪」,自然得到禪味。

 

Beginning Chan meditators who are not used to it may experience pain in their legs and soreness in the back. Don't worry. Just grit your teeth and be patient for a while, and these sensations will naturally subside. It is said, “With long sitting, there is Chan.” You will attain the flavor of Chan.

   

什麼是禪味?就是得到禪定的快樂,得到輕安的滋味。這種滋味奧妙無窮,不可以心思,不可以言議,得身歷其境的人,才能體會,才能領受,好像如人飲水,冷暖自知,只可意會,不可言傳。各位想要知道這種禪味是甜是苦?就要努力參禪,到了相當境界時,自然曉得其中之味!所以要參!參到水落石出時,就得到禪味。

 

What is the flavor of Chan? You attain the bliss of Chan samadhi, and taste the flavor of light ease. This flavor is inexhaustibly subtle and wonderful, inconceivable and indescribable. Only those who have experienced it will understand and know, just as a person who drinks the water will know its temperature. This can only be experienced by the mind, and cannot be communicated by mouth. If you want to know if the flavor of Chan is sweet or bitter, work hard at investigating Chan, and when you reach a certain stage, you will discover the flavor yourself! So, you must investigate! Investigate until “stones peep out from the receding water” (the truth is brought to light), and then you'll know the flavor of Chan.

   

「禪」不是說的,而是參的,所以禪宗是不立文字,教外別傳,直指人心,見性成佛的法門。

 

Chan must be investigated, not discussed. That's why the Chan School is not based on language. Transmitted outside the teaching, this Dharma-door points directly to the mind, so that one sees the nature and attains Buddhahood.

   

參禪的人,參到火候的時候,絕對不發脾氣,不與人爭論,到了無諍三昧的境界。也不求名,也不求利,看富貴成為花間的露水,看功名成為瓦上的霜片,頃刻就消逝無蹤。真正修行人遠離名利,不為名利動搖其心。

 

When Chan cultivators have achieved a certain amount of skill in their investigation, they definitely will not lose their temper or argue with people, because they have reached the state of the samadhi of non-contention. Nor will they seek fame or gain, because they will regard wealth and honor as being like dew, and fame and position like frost, disappearing in an instant. Real cultivators keep their distance from fame and gain, and don't let their minds get influenced by them.

   

若想測驗人是否有修行?就看他所行所為是不是在名利上動腦筋?如果求名得不到就發脾氣,求利得不到也發脾氣,那個無明火,老虎神,比誰都厲害,這個人,不問可知,一定是名利中人。

 

If you want to evaluate a person's cultivation, see if his every move is motivated by the desire for fame and profit. Is he someone who seeks fame, and gets mad when he cannot obtain it? Does he lose his temper if his pursuit of profit is frustrated? Does the fire of his ignorance and his tiger-like spirit make him the toughest one around? If so, then you know without asking that this person is after fame and profit.

   

清朝乾隆皇帝到鎮江金山禪寺欣賞長江的風光,他問法磬禪師:「長江一日有多少船往來?」禪師說:「只有兩條船往來。」乾隆不解地問:「你怎知道只有兩條船呢?」禪師說:「一條船為名,一條船為利。」

 

When the Emperor Qianlung of the Qing Dynasty went to Gold Mountain Chan Monastery in Zhenjiang to view the scenery of the Yangtze River, he asked Chan Master Faqing, “How many boats come and go on the Yangtze in one day?” The Chan Master replied, “Only two boats.” Qianlung was puzzled, and asked him, “How do you know there are only two boats?” The Chan Master said, “One boat is out for fame, and the other boat is out for profit.”

   

由此可知,凡是乘船的人,不是為名,就是為利,但不知求名者死在名上,求利者死在利上,最後兩手空空去見閻羅王,所謂:

萬般帶不去,
只有業隨身。

 

From this, we know that anyone who takes a boat is either out for fame or for profit. What they don't know is that those who seek fame die for fame and those who seek profit die for profit. In the end, they go to see King Yama empty-handed. As it is said,

You can't bring anything with you.
Only your karma will follow you.

   

修道人,若是沒有脾氣,能忍辱,能耐苦,始堪成法器,能為佛教棟樑之材,將佛教發揚光大;凡是愛發脾氣的人,就是破壞佛教,成為害群之馬。

 

If a cultivator has no temper, and can endure insult and suffering, he can be a Dharma vessel and a pillar of Buddhism who can help Buddhism to expand and prosper. But if he likes to lose his temper all the time, he will only harm Buddhism and be the black sheep of Buddhism.

   

佛教剛在西方清淨之土種下菩提種子,現在已經萌芽,生出幼苗,希望大家做個好園丁,勤灌溉,常施肥,令它欣欣向榮,令它蒸蒸日上,將來開菩提花,結菩提果。

 

Buddhism has just planted the seeds of Bodhi in the pure soil of the West, and now they have already sprouted and put forth tender shoots. I hope everyone will be a good gardener and diligently water them and fertilize them often, so that they thrive joyously and grow more flourishing every day. Then eventually the Bodhi blossoms will open and bear the fruit of Bodhi.

   

住在萬佛聖城堛漸|眾,對於講話要特別注意,不可信口亂講,不可任意講是講非。萬佛聖城是修道清淨的聖地,不可有旁門左道的言論,大家要知道,面對萬佛,怎可以亂講話?謹記!

 

The four-fold assembly of residents at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas should be especially cautious in their speech. Don't talk recklessly, and don't gossip about the faults of others. The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is a pure and holy place for cultivation, and will not tolerate heterodox teachings. Right in front of the ten thousand Buddhas, how can people speak so carelessly? Take heed!

   

病從口入,禍從口出。

 

Sickness enters through the mouth;
Calamity comes out of the mouth.

   

這是至理名言,說話要三思而後說,免得錯因果。說出的話,不但要負法律的責任,也要負因果的報應。

 

This familiar adage holds a lot of principle. We should think thrice before speaking, to avoid making mistakes in cause and effect. Not only are we legally responsible for what we say, we must also undergo the retribution according to the law of cause and effect.

   

佛教是提倡「無我」的宗教,不允許相面、批八字的存在,更不相信風水,這些技倆與佛法相違背,背道而馳,所以禁止流通。如果相信這種法,那就「有我」的存在,一切為我所有,一切為我打算,有我無人,不合乎佛法。

 

Buddhism is a religion which teaches selflessness, so it prohibits fortune-telling, whether by looking at facial features or hexagrams. Even less should we believe in geomancy. Since these skills go against the Buddhadharma and oppose the Way, their propagation is curtailed. If you have faith in these dharmas, you still have a notion of self. You will think of things as being “mine” and always be thinking on behalf of “myself.” But considering only yourself and no one else does not accord with the Buddhadharma.

   

佛教是教人不爭、不貪、不求、不自私、不自利、不妄語的宗教。可是看風水是教人爭、教人貪、教人求、教人自私、教人自利,甚至妄言,在一百天之內能發大財,能做大官。貪心的人,便相信他的話。可是大財未發之前,先破小財,送紅包作謝禮,這種說法不如叫人去搶銀行,馬上發大財,不需要一百天以後再發財。

 

Buddhism is a religion which teaches people not to contend, not to be greedy, not to seek, not to be selfish, not to pursue personal benefit, and not to tell lies. Geomancers, on the other hand, tell people to contend, to seek, to be selfish, and to pursue personal benefit. They may even lie by telling people they will strike it rich or be promoted to a high rank in the next hundred days. Greedy people believe their words. But before they strike it rich, they first have to make a donation to the geomancer as a token of appreciation. The geomancers might as well tell people to rob a bank and get rich instantly, without having to wait a hundred days.

   

再者,他知道有好風水,可以發財,可以陞官,為什麼自己不用,等你去用?豈有此理!希望聰明人,千萬不要上迷信的當,被老千所騙。

 

Moreover, if the geomancer really knows of some favorable geomantic features conducive to striking it rich or getting a big promotion, why wouldn't he use them himself? Why would he want to wait for you to use them? That makes no sense! I hope intelligent people will not let themselves be swindled by superstition or cheated by these old crooks.

   

「醫卜星相」在佛教中是五邪命之一,不受歡迎。「醫」是醫生,替人治病。「卜」是算卦,預知休咎。「星」是觀星,觀星宿知吉凶。「相」是相面,知命運順或逆。這是迷信,要知道「人定勝天」的道理。

 

Doctors, diviners, astrologists, and physiognomists belong to one of the five types of livelihoods which are improper (for left-home people). Doctors treat sicknesses, diviners forecast good and ill, astrologers tell fortunes by looking at the stars, and physiognomists look at facial features to predict whether one's life will be smooth or difficult. These are all superstitions. We should understand that “human determination can overcome fate.”

   

出家修道人,生死大事都不怕,何況這些小事?更不足為奇。出家人是超出數外,所謂:

超出三界外,
不在五行中。

 

Cultivators who have renounced the home-life are not afraid of the great matter of birth and death; how much the less are these small matters worth their interest. People who leave the home-life can transcend their fate.

They transcend the three realms and
are no longer in the five elements.

   

這種批八字、看風水,是俗不可耐的人才相信,要曉得人一生的命運,由業力所感。我們人不要被氣秉所拘,不要被物欲所蔽,要自己創造命運,把握命運,命運可以改造,多行功德事,自然遇難呈祥,逢凶化吉,所謂:

但行好事,
莫問前程。

 

Only people who are strongly attached to the world believe in such things as horoscopes and geomancy. We should know that a person's destiny is the result of his karma. We shouldn't let our temperament restrict us, or let our physical desires obscure our purpose. Instead, we ought to create our own destiny and take control of our destiny. We can change our destiny. If you do many meritorious and virtuous deeds, hardships will transform into auspiciousness. There is a saying,

Just practice good deeds,
And don't ask about the future.

   

我們現在打禪七,就是創造自己的新生命。不迷信,而正信;不要人云亦云,以訛傳訛,不要跟著人家後面跑,這是大錯而特錯。要有擇法眼,知道是非,明白善惡,黑白分析清清楚楚,就不會顛顛倒倒了。

 

Now as we attend the Chan session, we are establishing a new life. Get rid of superstition, and believe in what's proper. Don't just repeat what you hear and go around spreading lies. Don't blindly follow behind others─that would be a great mistake. You must have the Dharma-selecting Eye so that you can tell right from wrong, understand what's good and what's evil, and distinguish clearly between black and white. Then you won't be turned upside-down in confusion.

   

參禪的人,對於自己的生死能做主宰,來去自由,不受任何限制,所謂:

性命由我不由天

 

Those who investigate Chan can be the masters of their own birth and death. They can come and go freely without any restriction. As it is said,

My destiny is determined by myself,
not by heaven.

   

就是閻羅老子也管不了,對你無可奈何!為什麼呢?因為你已經出離三界的緣故。

 

Even Old Man Yama has no control over you. He cannot touch you! Why not? Because you've already transcended the Three Realms.

   

何謂來去自由?也就是生死自由,愛活就活,愛死就死,遂心所欲。可是要注意,這種死並不是自殺,也不是服毒。

 

What is meant by being free to come and go? It is the freedom to be born and die. If you want to live, you can live; if you want to die, you can die, as your heart desires. But take note─this kind of death doesn't mean committing suicide or taking poison.

   

我們的身體,好像房子,願意出外旅行,到什麼地方去,都是自由。願意化身千百億,盡虛空、遍法界去教化眾生,任運自如。不願意旅行,就在房子住,沒有人來干涉。要曉得盡虛空、遍法界,都在法身中,沒有跑到法身之外邊。

 

Our body is like a house, and if we want to go out and travel, we are free to go wherever we want. If we wish, we can have a hundred million transformation bodies to teach living beings throughout empty space and the Dharma Realm. If we don't wish to travel, we can stay in the house and no one will disturb us. We should know that everything in empty space and in the Dharma Realm is included within the Dharma-body. Nothing can go outside the Dharma-body.

   

大家辛辛苦苦來參禪,晝夜不停來用功,就希望生死自由,能控制自己的生命,對生死有把握,能做得主,那才是得到生死自由的境界。

 

All of you have gone to a lot of trouble to come attend the Chan session, and to work non-stop day and night, because you hope to gain freedom and security over birth and death, to control your own life, and to be your own master. That is truly the state of freedom over birth and death.

   

參禪的人,參到上不知有天,下不知有地,中不知有人,與虛空合而為一,到了這種境界,便有開悟的曙光了。行行坐坐,坐坐行行,便是開智慧的鑰匙。

 

In investigating Chan, when you reach the state of not knowing that there is the sky above, the earth below, and people in between, and you become one with empty space, there is some hope for enlightenment. Walking and sitting, sitting and walking─these are the key for opening our wisdom.

   

參「念佛是誰?」念佛是哪一個?哪一個在念佛?打坐是哪一個?哪一個在打坐?吃飯,是哪一個吃飯?睡覺,是哪一個睡覺?要來找這個人,找就是參,參到山窮水盡,一轉身便是開悟時,所謂:

山窮水盡疑無路,
柳暗花明又一村

故云:

百尺竿頭重進步,
十方世界現全身。

 

Investigate “Who is mindful of the Buddha?” Which person is mindful of the Buddha? Who is sitting in meditation? Which person is sitting in meditation? Who is the one eating? Who is the one sleeping? We must search for that person. To search, we must investigate. When we investigate to the point that the mountains disappear and the waters vanish, all we have to do is turn around and we'll be enlightened. There is a saying,

When the mountains disappear and the waters vanish,
you doubt there is a road ahead.
Beyond the dark willows and the bright flowers is another village.

It is also said,

If you can climb to the top of a hundred-foot pole and then take another step,
The worlds in the ten directions will appear in their entirety.

   

如果不參禪,不打坐,生從何處來?死往何處去?他說不知道。不知道,就糊糊塗塗生來,又糊糊塗塗死去,這樣一輩子,多麼可憐!

 

If you don't investigate Chan and sit in meditation, where do you come from when you are born? Where will you go when you die? You don't know. Not knowing, you are born in a muddle and you die in a muddle, and you spend your whole life the same way. How pitiful!

   

用功參禪的人,開了悟,認識父母未生之前的本來面目。豁然貫通,則眾物之表媞貒妗L不到,而吾心之全體大用無不明。得到大造大化的境界,將來能成就佛果,無上正等正覺的地位。

老子曾經說過這兩句話:

天下皆知美之為美,斯惡已。
皆知善之為善,斯不善已。

 

If you work hard at investigating Chan, then when you get enlightened you will recognize your original face before your parents gave birth to you. You will suddenly fathom everything; you will know all the internal and external details and general and subtle aspects of all the myriad phenomena, and you will thoroughly comprehend the total functioning of the mind. Having attained the state of great creation and great transformation, you will eventually accomplish the Buddha fruition and attain the highest proper, equal, right enlightenment. Laozi once said,

When all the world knows what is fine,
then what is bad already exists.
When they know what is good,
then what is not good already exists.

   

世界的人,都知道做美好的事情是好的,可是到做的時候,就不美了。人人都說做善事是對的,可是境界來了,受不住考驗,被境界所誘惑,就不做善事, 而去做惡事。

 

The people of the world all know that it is good to do fine, wholesome deeds, but when it comes time to do them, they are no longer fine. Everyone says it's right to do good deeds, but when states come, they can't pass the test. Confused by states, they do evil deeds instead of good ones.

   

學佛法的人,明知「慈悲喜捨」四無量心,是行菩薩道的基本法,可是不去行。那麼,明白道理又有什麼用處?天天學「六度」法,等到境界來了,布施也不布施,持戒也不持戒,忍辱也不忍辱,精進也不精進,禪定也不禪定,智慧也不智慧,你說有什麼用?

 

Students of the Buddhadharma know the Four Boundless Minds─kindness, compassion, joy, and giving─are fundamental to the practice of the Bodhisattva path, yet they don't practice them. What use is it if you just understand the theory? Every day you study the Six Perfections, but when the situation comes, you don't practice giving, you don't hold the precepts, you aren't patient, you aren't vigorous, you don't cultivate Chan samadhi, and you don't use wisdom. Tell me, what use is that?

   

(一)布施:是用財法布施於人,可是境界來了,就不布施了,相反叫人布施給自己,越多越好。我不布施於你,你要布施於我,要佔便宜,不想吃虧,這種人比比皆是。

 

1. Giving: You are supposed to give wealth to others, but when you're in a situation to do so, you don't give. On the contrary, you demand that others give to you, the more the better. “I won't give you anything, but you should give me something. I should gain the advantage, not take a loss.” That's the attitude everyone has.

   

(二)持戒:天下人皆知持戒為持戒,可是境界來了,不但不能持戒,反而毀戒。守戒就是不動心;無論什麼境界來了,無動於衷,就是「泰山崩前心不驚,美色當前心不動」,有這種的定力,就能轉境界,不管善惡順逆的境界,皆處之泰然,不生分別心,自然風平浪靜。

 

2. Holding Precepts: The whole world knows that holding precepts means holding precepts, but when states come, people break the precepts instead of holding them. Holding the precepts means not letting one's mind be moved. No matter what state you meet, your mind does not move. Even when Mount Tai has a landslide, you are not startled. When a beautiful woman passes in front of you, you are not affected. With that kind of samadhi, you can turn states around. Whether the state is good or bad, pleasant or adverse, you remain calm and composed. When you don't give rise to discriminations, the wind calms down and the waves naturally subside.

   

(三)忍辱:忍受一切不如意的事,這就是考驗。經得起考驗,便能過關;經不起考驗,就過不了關。人人皆知忍辱能到彼岸,可是境界來了,就忍不住,無明火高三千丈,將多年來所積聚的功德,燒得一乾二淨。

 

3. Patience: You have to patiently endure the things which don't turn out the way you wish them to. This is a test. If you pass, then you have jumped over the hurdle. If you fail, then you haven't made it over the hurdle. Although we all know that patience can take us to the other shore, when we meet a difficult state, we cannot be patient. Then the fire of ignorance blazes up and burns away all the merit and virtue we accumulated over the years.

   

(四)精進:打禪七就是精進。人人想精進,到了精進的時候,就不精進。躲懶偷安向後退,跑到一邊去泡茶,或者故意到廁所方便,或者故意到廚房飲茶,這都是藉口混時間。在沒有打禪七之前,說得很好聽,我一定要好好打這個禪七。等到禪七開始,就不聽話了,把以前自己所立之誓言,都推翻了,為什麼?明知故犯。知道參禪是好,可是還要懶惰,你說有這種矛盾的心理怎麼辦?禪堂的規矩,不守規矩,打香板,打!打!打到開悟為止。

 

4. Vigor: Attending the Chan session is being vigorous. Everybody would like to be vigorous, but when the time comes, you aren't vigorous. Trying to be lazy and take a break, you slack off in your cultivation and run outside to make some tea. Or maybe you go to the restroom or to the kitchen to drink tea─these are all excuses to waste time. Before the session started, you say, “I'm going to work really hard in this Chan session.” But after the session starts, you don't act that way. You overturn all your former resolves. You deliberately break them. You know investigating Chan is good, but you still want to be lazy. How should we deal with such a contradictory mind? Anyone who doesn't abide by the rules of the Chan Hall will be beaten with the stick─bam! bam! bam!─until they get enlightened.

   

(五)禪定:現在參禪,正是用功的好時光。為什麼要打禪七?就是教你精神集中,心無妄想,令智慧現前,所謂「智慧解脫」,也就是剋期取證的法門。

 

5. Chan Samadhi: Now you are investigating Chan, and you should make full use of the time to apply effort. Why are you attending the Chan session? It is because you want to concentrate your mind until there are no more idle thoughts, so that your wisdom can manifest. This is known as the “liberation of wisdom,” and in this Dharma-door you aim for achievement in a limited time.

   

(六)智慧:也能到彼岸,也能了生死。可是剛剛要開智慧,他就懈怠了,而錯過開悟的機會,所以參禪要分秒必爭,不知在哪一分鐘就開悟。有人打妄想,我不要智慧,我的愚癡很好啊!不明白一切事理,就算了嘛!這是掩耳盜鈴,自己騙自己,到了死的時候,才覺悟白來世間一趟,悔之晚矣!

 

6. Wisdom: Wisdom enables you to reach the other shore and end birth and death. But if a person gets lazy right at the point when his wisdom is about to come forth, he'll miss the chance to become enlightened. In the investigation of Chan, you must apply effort in every minute and every second, because you don't know which particular instant you might get enlightened. Someone is thinking, “I don't want to have wisdom; my stupidity is just fine. If I don't understand anything, so be it!” You are just trying to fool yourself. When it's time to die, you'll realize you've wasted your whole life, but by that time it's too late for regret.

   

佛教在這個國家(美國)正是開始的時候,需要有真真實實的修行人,要躬行實踐。要專一其心地修行,要改過自新地修行,要破除習氣地修行,為旁人的榜樣,這樣佛教的前途就光明。如果一開始,就沒有真正修行人作為模範,沒有發大菩提心者,那麼,佛教在西方也不會興盛起來。所以佛教興衰的責任,要你們青年人負起這個重擔。

 

Buddhism is just beginning in this country (United States), and needs to have true cultivators, people who really practice. We must cultivate by concentrating single-mindedly; we must cultivate by changing our faults and renewing ourselves; we must cultivate by smashing through our bad habits and being a good model for others. If we can do that, Buddhism is sure to have a bright future. But if at the start there aren't any true cultivators who can serve as good models, and no one makes a great resolve for Bodhi, Buddhism will not be able to prosper in the West. So the prosperity or failure of Buddhism is a great burden which all of you young people must bear.

   

現在三步一拜果真(恆實)和果廷(恆朝)這樣誠心地修行,給佛教作為開路的先鋒。他們在路上三步一拜,不是為自己求福報,而是為世界求和平。兩年多以來,忍飢忍渴,忍寒忍熱,忍風忍雨,這樣地苦修,非一般人所能做到的。他們能忍人所不能忍的,能讓人所不能讓的,能吃人所不能吃的,能穿人所不能穿的,不管颳風下雨,照拜不誤,不管寒暑飢渴,不休息不懈怠,每天照常做早晚課,一時一刻也不躲懶偷安。他們這樣地發奮,就想將佛教推行到全世界去,令它發揚光大。這兩位行者,如此辛苦,不是圖名,不是貪利,而是以發展佛教為己任。這種精神可嘉可勉!

 

Guo Zhen (Heng Sure) and Guo Ting (Heng Chau), who are now sincerely cultivating on a “three steps, one bow” pilgrimage, are the trailblazing pioneers of Buddhism. They take three steps and bow down on the road, not seeking blessings for themselves, but peace for the world. For more than two years, they have endured hunger, thirst, cold, heat, wind and rain. This kind of bitter cultivation is not something most people can do. They endure what others cannot endure, yield what others cannot yield, eat what others cannot eat, and wear what others cannot wear. Even in the wind and rain, they never miss a bow. In spite of the heat, cold, hunger, and thirst, they never stop to rest. Every day they do the morning and evening ceremonies as usual, not allowing themselves to be lax at any moment. The reason they are so energetic is because they wish to spread Buddhism and make it flourish all over the world. These two cultivators are working so arduously, not out of greed for fame or profit, but because they feel personally responsible for propagating Buddhism. Their spirit is truly commendable, and should be encouraged.

   

你們應該向三步一拜二行者看齊,作為借鏡。照照自己,反省一下,對佛教有什麼貢獻?我所行所作是為自己還是為佛教?如果為自己,就應該生大慚愧心,立刻糾正這種不當的行為;若是為佛教,更要努力,再接再厲,推行佛教,維護佛教,要認真發菩提心,無企圖行菩薩道,一切為人得安樂作前提,不為自己利益作打算,這才是菩薩的精神。

 

All of you should strive to be like these “three steps, one bow” cultivators. When you see their example, you should ask yourself, "What have I contributed to Buddhism? Do I do everything for my own sake, or for the sake of Buddhism?" If everything I do is for my own sake, I ought to be greatly ashamed and immediately correct my improper behavior. If it is for Buddhism, I should work even harder, and make a determined effort to propagate and support Buddhism. I should earnestly make the resolve to seek Bodhi, and practice the Bodhisattva Way without any expectations or desires. In everything I do, I should make the peace and happiness of others my top priority, and not scheme for my own benefit. That's the true spirit of a Bodhisattva.

   

你們在禪堂堙A跑跑坐坐、坐坐跑跑,覺得很辛苦,若和三步一拜他們的辛苦來比較,那是自在多了。關於這一點,要深深地體會,不要當面錯過,交臂失之。這兩位行者,若是不發菩提心,不行菩薩道,根本就不能堅持拜到底。

 

You are walking and sitting, sitting and walking, and you think it's very grueling, but it's much more comfortable than the toil of bowing every three steps. You should deeply realize this, and not let this opportunity go by in vain. If those two cultivators hadn't made the Bodhi resolve to practice the Bodhisattva Way, they would find it impossible to persist and bow to the very end.

   

你們在禪堂堙A不要打妄想,身在禪堂中,心到世界去觀光,這樣胡思亂想,會影響修道之心。切記!不要把光陰空過,要把握時機,迎接開悟來臨!這樣的準備,才能對得起自己;否則,一切空談。

 

While in the Chan Hall, don't entertain any idle thoughts. If you do, then although your body is in the hall, your mind is out sightseeing in the world. Those reckless and confused thoughts will affect your resolve to cultivate. By all means, don't waste time. Use your time well and draw closer to enlightenment. If you prepare yourself in this way, you won't be sorry. But if you don't, it's all just empty words.

   
   

一九七九年八月二十日開示於
萬佛聖城

 

A talk given on August 20, 1979
in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

 

法界佛教總會 • DRBA / BTTS / DRBU

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