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宣化上人開示錄(三)
Venerable Master Hua's Talks on Dharma Volume Three 

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

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禪七的規矩

The Rules of the Chan Session


時刻用自己應該用的功夫, 時刻把功夫提起來。
Without wasting a single moment, I worked relentlessly at my investigation, constantly applying my efforts to it.

法界佛教總會,成立於一九五九年,該會的前身,就是中美佛教總會。自從成立之後,每一年都舉行佛七和禪七數次;但是都在無聲無息中過去了,很少人知道法界佛教總會所屬的金山聖寺在打佛七或禪七。因為我們對外不宣傳,不攀緣,而是老老實實在修行。假如有人知道我們打禪七,願意來參加,我們是歡迎之至!但是我們絕對不到外邊化緣,叫人幫助,對人家說:「我們金山聖寺在打禪七,有一些無心道人在那兒修行,你們應該來供養,那就功德無量了。」我們從來就沒有做過這樣的宣傳。

 

The Dharma Realm Buddhist Association was established in 1959. Its predecessor was the Sino-American Buddhist Association. Every year since its founding we have conducted Buddha Recitation Sessions and Chan Meditation Sessions. The sessions, however, have passed by without notice, and without fanfare. Rarely do people pay attention to the recitation and meditation sessions going on at Gold Mountain Monastery. This is because we don't advertise or exploit opportunities. We simply mind our own business and honestly cultivate. When someone finds out about the session and requests permission to join, he or she is certainly welcome! All the same, we resolutely do not beg, solicit offerings, or seek help. We don't say, "Gold Mountain is holding a Chan session. Several piritual adepts who have tamed their minds' will be attending. If you come make offerings to them, there will be limitless merit and virtue." We have never done any publicity to promote ourselves in this way.

在中國打佛七的時候,善男信女所樂捐的功德香油錢,足夠道場一年的開銷,有時還有盈餘。在打禪七時,有很多善士發心供養來結緣,所以這個法緣,源源而來,米、麵、油、醬等等,收入很多。

 

In China, when a Chan session was held, the donations contributed by the faithful laity during the session were enough to cover the monastery's operating expenses for an entire year. Sometimes the revenue exceeded a year's proceeds. During the session, the participants would often take the initiative to make offerings and establish good affinities with the assembly by donating great quantities of rice, noodles, oil, miso, soy sauce, dried foods and so forth.

在美國,佛教剛開始,一切要往好的方向去做,要將過去的陋習剷除,所謂「好的開始,就是成功的一半。」我們不採取任何方法來化緣,所以這種緣就沒有了。如果會用方法,也許會化得更多。

 

Now in America, where Buddhism has just begun, we want to reform the bad practices of the past. As the saying goes, "A good beginning is halfway to success." Because we refuse to employ any tricks to beg, we haven't created those particular affinities. If we had any schemes for bringing in offerings, it's likely we could improve on the situation in China and attract even more supplies and money than they did.

   

我們為什麼不去化緣?因為我們要老老實實認真修行,聽佛菩薩的安排。佛菩薩和天龍八部、護法善神,看我們用功修道,自然會有感應;如果我們不認真修行,就是有人來供養,也應該生大懺悔心。

所謂:

三心不了水難消,
五觀若明金也化。

 

Why don't we solicit offerings? Because our first priority is to genuinely and honestly cultivate the Way and, in so doing, to simply accord with whatever the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have arranged for us. When the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the gods, dragons, and the eightfold pantheon of Dharma-protectors and good spirits see us working hard and walking the Way, they spontaneously respond to our efforts. If we fail to sincerely cultivate, however, and donors still come to make offerings, we should feel deeply ashamed. It's said,

If you have not put the three thoughts to rest,
     then plain water is hard to swallow.
Yet if you can understand the five contemplations,
     then even gold will digest.

   

我們要是存有過去心、現在心、未來心,這三種心不能了,那麼施主即使只供養一杯清水,也難消受。如果能把五觀的道理明白了,就是吃金子(金,譬如珍貴的食物),也能消受得起。什麼是五觀?

 

If we hang on to thoughts of the past, the present, and the future and don't put them to rest, then if a donor offers us even a glass of plain water, we will find it difficult to drink. But if we can understand the principles underlying the five contemplations, then even gold (and this means the most delicious vegetarian delicacies) will be digested without problems. What are the five contemplations?

(一)計功多少,量彼來處。
(二)忖己德行,全缺應供。
(三)防心離過,貪等為宗。
(四)正事良藥,為療形枯。
(五)為成道業,應受此食。

 

1. Consider the effort it took to bring this food to where it is eaten.
2. Calculate your own merit and virtue. Are they sufficient for you to accept this offering?
3. Guard your mind against transgressions, of which greed is the major cause.
4. See the food as medicine, taken to prevent the body from wasting away.
5. Accept the food only so that you can succeed in your cultivation of the Way.

   

今天晚上開始打禪七,我們金山聖寺的禪七,和中國各大叢林的禪七不同。他們打禪七是「打食七」,在晚上一定要吃麻油包子,就是鎮江的金山聖寺和揚州的高旻寺也不例外。有很多禪和子,專門到有麻油包子吃的寺廟去打禪七,哪個地方包子好吃,就到哪堨h打禪七。他們不選擇寺廟而選擇包子的大小,所以有的寺廟以麻油包子又大又香為號召。並不是我毀謗出家修道人放不下吃,的確是如此。

 

Our Chan Meditation Session will begin tonight. The Chan ses-sions held at Gold Mountain Monastery are different from those held in the great Chan halls of China. Their Chan sessions were actually great feasts. Each night of the session, every participant ate a huge sesame-oil dumpling. Even the famous Way-places such as Gold Mountain Monastery in Zhejiang and Gao Min Monastery in Yangzhou were not exceptions to this rule. When it was time for the session, many of the old-hand meditators would show up only at the doors of the monasteries that were known to serve sesame-oil dumplings. Wherever the dumplings were the best, that's where they would go to attend the sessions. The criterion for choosing which session to attend was not the quality of the session, but the size of the dumplings! Some places earned a reputation based solely on their oversized, tasty, stuffed dumplings. I'm not slandering left-home cultivators by falsely making them out to be gluttons. This is a statement of fact!

   

我們金山聖寺沒有吃麻油包子的規矩,就是連小吃也沒有。

 

At Gold Mountain Monastery, we haven't established sesame-oil dumplings as the drawing card of our Chan sessions. We don't serve snacks at all!

   

在中國打禪七時,有很多居士來供眾:這一炷香,你供養四個桂圓;那一炷香,他供養兩個花生糖,或者餅乾,或者鍋粑。總之,每炷香都有人來供養,令無心道人生出貪吃的心來,吃得肚子滿滿的,無法靜坐。我們這堣偵繷ㄗS有,所以我們和他們不同。

 

At the Chan sessions in China, many laypeople made offerings to the assembly. After the first hour of meditation, one layman might give each participant four longan fruits. After another hour, another layman might distribute two pieces of peanut candy to each meditator, or maybe cookies or rice-crackers. There would be some kind of offering every hour. Those "spiritual adepts who have tamed their minds" became rather greedy for food. Their bellies were so stuffed that they simply couldn't sit still in meditation. At our place, you won't find such offerings; we are different from them.

   

我們從早晨兩點三刻開始行行坐坐,坐坐行行,到晚上十二點鐘休息。我們是修苦行,是苦幹,是苦煉,行人所不能行的事情。可是如果不將「生死」二字掛在眉梢上,反而覺得睡眠不夠,坐在那堙A正好入睡覺三昧;如果是這樣子,永遠不會有所成就。

 

Each day in our Chan sessions, we rise at 2:45 a.m. to begin our daily regimen of walking and sitting, sitting and walking, and we continue like this until midnight. This is an ascetic path; it's hard training. We call it "doing what people are unwilling to do." You must suspend the three words "birth and death" right between your eyebrows and forget that you haven't slept long enough. Don't enter the "sleeping samadhi" right there on the meditation bench, or else success in Chan will forever elude you.

   

我們要「捨死忘生」地來打禪七,要認真用功打七,必須要得到自己應得的才受用。不要隨波逐流,看人行我也行,看人坐我也坐,看人睡我也睡,這樣是不行的,徒然浪費時間,對自己毫無益處。

 

In this meditation session we must "renounce death and forget about life." We must truly and earnestly work hard at meditation. Make a determined resolve to get your rightful share of results from your work. Don't simply follow the crowd, sitting when you see others sitting, walking when your neighbors do, and sleeping when you see others sleeping. That kind of practice won't work. It will only waste your time, without bringing you any benefit.

   

我在以前曾經參加過幾個地方的禪七,在任何地方都沒有被監香者打過香板,為什麼?因為我不睡覺,白天在禪堂塈丑A晚上也在禪堂塈丑A一天二十四小時都坐在禪堂,也不知道什麼叫休息?什麼叫睡眠?就是一秒鐘的時間,也不隨便放過,時刻用自己應該用的功夫,時刻把功夫提起來。

 

In my younger years, I participated in several Chan sessions in a variety of places, but never once was I hit by the hall monitor's stick. Why not? Because I never slept during the entire session. I sat in meditation during the day, and I also meditated through the night. I sat in the Chan hall twenty-four hours a day. The words "rest" and "sleep" were not part of my vocabulary. Without wasting a single moment, I worked relentlessly at my investigation, constantly applying my efforts to it.

   

你們各位都是善根深厚的人,都是聰明有智慧的人,應該把這事情看重了,不可敷衍了事。尤其今年的禪七,一定要有人開悟;如果沒有人開悟,等打完禪七,每個人要打一百個香板。你們覺得能受得了一百個香板的話,就不要開悟;要是覺得受不了,那麼就要開悟。若是有人害怕被打香板,現在還沒有開始打禪七,可以退出。既然參加,一定要有始有終,不可以退出。禪堂的規矩是已經告了生死假,就是有人死了,只能將屍體放在坐單底下,不許往外抬。況且又沒有人死,那更不可以隨便退出去。

 

All of you have abundant and deep good roots. You are all clever and wise. You should give this matter serious consideration and not be casual in the least. In this year's Chan Session, there has to be someone who attains enlightenment. If no one is enlightened by the end of the session, then each of you will be dealt one hundred blows with the stick. If you feel you can take a hundred blows, then you don't have to get enlightened. If you feel that you can't endure such a beating, then you'd better get enlightened. If you fear the taste of the stick, you can still run away before the session begins. Once it begins, you must stay until the end. You can't withdraw early. According to the rules of the Chan hall, you've already said good-bye to birth and death. Even if someone dies during the session, we can only toss his corpse under the bench. No one is allowed to remove the corpse from the hall. And if nobody dies, then even less can you quit and skip out as you please.

   

我們在這堶n立生死的門庭,不是生就是死,不是死就是生。

 

We've built a "life and death" threshold to cross. If you don't live, then you'll die. If you don't die, then you'll live.

   

捨不了死,就換不了生;
捨不了假,就成不了真。

 

If you can't renounce death,
     then you won't experience real life.
If you can't renounce what's false,
     you'll never accomplish anything true.

   

這是金山聖寺的門庭。所以今年的禪七,大家要努力再努力,無論如何,要認清自己的本來面目。如果不認識自己的本來面目,那麼誰也不要想走出金山聖寺的大門,就把你關在監牢堙C這是今年大概的規定,希望大家遵守規矩。

 

This is Gold Mountain Monastery's threshold. And in this year's Chan Session, you all must be extra-vigorous. At all costs, you must recognize your original face. If you don't clearly recognize your original face, then you shouldn't dream of slipping out the front door of the monastery. If you try that, we might lock you up in jail instead. That sums up this year's rules, and I hope everyone will honor them.

   
     

一九七四年一月六日開示於
三藩市金山聖寺

 

A talk given on January 6, 1974,
at Gold Mountain Monastery, San Francisco

 

法界佛教總會 • DRBA / BTTS / DRBU

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