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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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魔是來幫助你修道

Demons Help You Cultivate


少說話,多打坐,這是修道的基本大法。
Talk less and meditate more: this is the fundamental requisite of cultivation.

在前邊講「若人靜坐一須臾,勝造恆沙七寶塔。」你坐在禪堂堙A打這個妄想:「靜坐一須臾,就有勝造七寶塔的功德。」想來想去,連一須臾的時間也沒有靜坐,那麼你一點功德都沒有。為什麼?好像認指為月一樣,只見手指不見月,還說功德無量!無量!那只是坐在那堜懇L量!

 

Earlier I explained the verse that went:

If one can sit perfectly still for even a split second, One's merit surpasses that of building pagodas of the seven gems in number like the Ganges' sands.

If you're sitting in the Chan hall and you keep having idle thoughts such as, "I'm sitting still for a single second and gaining merit and virtue that surpasses that of building pagodas of the seven jewels," you haven't actually sat still for even one second, and you haven't the least bit of merit and virtue. Why not? It's just like when someone points at the moon and you mistake his finger for the moon. You only see his hand, but you never see the moon. And yet you claim to have measureless merit and virtue! Measureless? Hah! You're just sitting there having measureless thoughts!

又說:「我能毫光照大千!我能毫光照大千!」這種境界不是用想的,也不是用說的,而是去行的。你能真正清淨入定,那時才能毫光照大千。不能入定,胡思亂想是沒有用處的,想來想去都是妄想,和事實相差十萬八千里。

 

You also say, "I can emit light from my hair-mark that radiates throughout the entire cosmos! Hey! I can emit hair-mark light throughout the entire universe." But this state isn't something that you can think about, or talk about either. You must actually practice it. If you can be pure and truly enter into samadhi, only then can you release light from your hair-mark that radiates throughout the cosmos. If you can't enter into samadhi, and all you do is entertain these ridiculous thoughts that fly in all directions, then it's totally useless. No matter how much you think back and forth, it's all idle thinking, and it's a million miles away from reality.

又在想:「我怎麼樣能入定呢?我怎麼樣能開悟呢?」如果打這個妄想,怎麼樣都入不了定,怎麼樣都開不了悟。為什麼?你只在皮毛上用功夫,不在般若上用功夫,盡向外找,不向內求,永遠找不到的。

 

Someone else is thinking, "Well, how can I actually enter samadhi? How can I get enlightened?" If you're having idle thoughts like these, then there's no way for you to enter samadhi or get enlighten-ed. Why not? It's because you're working only on the surface of things. You're not using Prajna-wisdom. You're always seeking outside. Since you don't know how to seek within yourself, you'll never find what you are looking for.

   

各位,你們應該做電療醫生來幫助這個世界,拯救空氣污染中的眾生,成就空氣清潔中的佛。那麼現在大家要靜坐,不要打妄想,這一點,希望你們要明白,要了解。我已經把清淨空氣的電療法告訴大家,你們不妨試一試,看看效果如何?

 

All of you should be electrotherapists and help out this world. You should save living beings who are here in this polluted atmosphere so that they can become Buddhas in a pure atmosphere. Now when you meditate, please don't have so many idle thoughts. I hope you all understand this point. I've now told you this method of purifying the air using electrotherapy, and you might want to try it out to see what the result is.

   

今天是禪七第二天,你們所用的功夫有沒有上路?上路是上正覺的路,也就是菩提路。你們參「念佛是誰?」有沒有提起來?你們的妄想是不是放下了?若是沒有提起「念佛是誰?」趕快把它提起來。好像「貓捉老鼠」一樣,聚精會神在等待;又好像「雞孵卵」一樣,一心一意在想小雞;又好像「龍養珠」一樣,謹慎專一地保護,能念玆在玆來研究,才能有成就。

 

Today is the second day of the Chan session. Have any of you set foot on the right road? Are you on the road of proper enlightenment, the Bodhi path? As you contemplate the question, "Who is mindful of the Buddha?" do you actually bring it to mind? Have you put down your idle thoughts or not? If you haven't raised the question, "Who is mindful of the Buddha?" then you should do so in a hurry. It's just like a cat stalking a mouse. He gathers all his attention and focuses his energy as he waits for the mouse to appear. It's also like a mother hen sitting on her nest. She concentrates her thoughts on the little chicks about to hatch. It's also like a dragon guarding his precious pearl. He carefully concentrates on protecting it. If you can concentrate on your meditation in thought after thought, only then can you hope to have any success.

我們是持「日中一食、夜不倒單」的戒律。這種苦行,我敢說是世界第一家,尤其在打禪七的期間,每天坐十二小時,走六小時。這樣辛苦,需要營養,所以在中國,從前打禪七的時候,每天晚上每一個人可以得到兩個大菜包,皆大歡喜。我們這堥S有這種規矩,所以吃中飯時要加菜,叫大家吃飽一點,有力氣跑香。

 

We're maintaining the practice of eating one meal a day at noon and also the practice of not lying down at night to sleep. I believe no one else in the world undertakes these ascetic practices as we do, especially during a Chan session in which we sit for twelve hours each day and walk for six hours. This difficult regimen requires a lot of fuel. That's why, in the Chan sessions of the past, every participant would receive two big steamed dumplings to eat in the evening, and everybody was just delighted. We here don't have this policy, so when you eat your daily meal at noon, be sure to eat a little more. I'm encouraging you to eat a little fuller than usual so you'll have enough strength to walk or run in meditation.

   

佛教的戒律,規定「日中一食」,就是在正午的時候吃飯,一天只能吃一餐。到後來就改為過午不食,就是過了十二點鐘以後,不可以再吃飯;可是在早晨可以吃粥,這是因為沒有超過中午,所以不是犯戒。

 

The precepts of Buddhism specify that one should eat a single meal at midday. After the Buddha's time, this practice was changed to not eating past noon. That is to say, one may not eat anything after midday. But one is allowed to eat porridge, oatmeal, or cereal in the morning. Since one is eating before noon, one is not breaking the precepts.

   

在禪七期間,如果沒有吃飽,那麼跑香、行香、坐香,都沒有力氣,就會生退轉心。怎樣生的呢?參禪的人,到了晚上,肚子發牢騷,批評你太自私,只知道修行,只知道開悟,對它一點也不關心,令它受痛苦。說你修的是什麼道?一點慈悲心都沒有,於是乎就不和你合作,所以使你容易生出退轉心,不願意修行,前功盡棄了。所以在禪七的期間,一定要吃飽,才有精神求智慧解脫。

 

During our Chan session, if you don't eat your fill, then as you run, walk, or sit, you won't have enough energy and you'll decide to retreat. Where will the retreating begin? When evening comes, you'll hear griping in your belly. Your belly will criticize you, "You're too selfish! The only thing you think about is cultivating the Path. All you worry about is getting enlightened. You aren't the slightest bit concerned for your belly, and you're making it suffer. What kind of Path are you cultivating? You don't have any kindness and compassion." Then your belly won't cooperate with you at all, and you could very well have the thought of retreating. You won't want to cultivate any more. All of the work that you've done will be lost. So during our Chan session, it's important that you eat your fill. Only then will you have enough energy to seek wisdom and liberation.

   

今天講「打禪七吃包子」的故事,這是真人真事,不是虛構的。在中國寧波天童寺,該寺的方丈叫密雲禪師,他是個明眼善知識;該寺的維那師父,也是個明眼善知識。不過,這個維那的慈悲心太多,那個方丈的慈悲心太少。方丈和尚是「摩訶薩不管他」的作風,維那師父是「菩提薩埵愛管他」的作風,兩個人的思想不同,所以作法是對立的。

 

Today I will tell you a story regarding "eating steamed dumplings during a Chan session." This is a true story. It's not fictitious. At Tiantong (Heavenly Youth) Monastery in Ningbo, China, the Abbot was Chan Master Miyun (Full Cloud). He was a good and wise advisor who had his spiritual eyes open. The Ceremony Master at that temple was also a good and wise advisor who had use of his eyes. However, this Ceremony Master was a little bit too kind and compassionate, and the Abbot was a bit deficient in kindness and compassion. The Abbot held a policy of "Mahasattvas should not pay any attention to anybody else." And the Ceremony Master maintained the policy that a Bodhisattva should make it his business to watch over others. Because the thinking of these two individuals differed, their methods came into conflict.

   

在打禪七的期間,大家勇猛精進打坐,求智慧解脫。這位慈悲的維那師父,在晚上看大眾肚子餓,沒有食物吃,無精打彩地坐著;有的昏沉,有的掉舉,不是睡覺,就是坐小。本來坐時是三尺高,現在是一尺半,為什麼?因為肚子餓,挺不直腰,所以叫坐小。這種現象一旦發生之後,就沒有法子繼續維持下去。維那一看這種情形,便發慈悲,為照顧大眾的健康,所以用神通力,在定中到廚房偷鍋粑,每個人分一塊。等開靜時,大眾睜開眼一看,在膝上有鍋粑,就偷偷吃了。人是鐵,飯是鋼,馬上就有精神了,跑香時,也不覺得疲倦,不像餓的時候,跑也跑不動,要在旁邊休息。

 

During their Chan session, everybody was vigorously meditating, seeking wisdom and liberation. The compassionate Ceremony Master noticed one evening that they were all experiencing hunger pangs. Because they hadn't eaten, they didn't have enough energy to sit. Some were dozing off while others were restless. If they weren't sleeping, then they were "sitting short." When a person sits to meditate, he's about three feet tall, yet now they were only one and a half feet tall. Why is that? Because their bellies were hungry and they lacked the strength to sit up straight. This is called "sitting short." Once this phenomenon began, there was no way to continue their meditation. The Ceremony Master saw this taking place and sympathized with them. He wanted to nurture the health of the assembly. So within samadhi, he used his psychic powers to steal some rice crust from the kitchen and give a little bit to each person. As soon as the meditation period was over, everyone opened their eyes and saw a chunk of rice crust on their knee. Stealthily they gobbled it down. There is a phrase that goes, "People are iron, and food is steel." Immediately the group felt their energy returning and they were able to run and meditate without feeling tired. Before, when they were hungry, they had been unable to run a single step, and they were always trying to catch a rest on the side.

   

這位慈悲維那,偷了兩天鍋粑,給大眾當點心,不料在第三天,被方丈和尚發現他偷鍋粑,於是被遷單了。

 

The compassionate Ceremony Master stole rice crust for two days in a row, and he distributed it among the participants as a snack. Unexpectedly, on the third day, the Abbot of the temple discovered that he'd been stealing rice crust and threw him out of the temple.

   

事情是這樣發生的:在第三天早晨,管理廚房的和尚,發現鍋粑不見了,以為被老鼠偷去了,因為職責的關係,乃向方丈和尚報告這情形,請示方丈和尚。老和尚說:「那麼,就捉老鼠吧!」到晚上,方丈和尚在定中觀察,發現維那在定中又去廚房偷鍋粑,於是把維那的身體放在禪凳底下。等維那回來一看,自己的房子不見了,仔細尋找,才在禪凳下找到,於是就把身體拖出來。這時,方丈和尚說:「你在做什麼?你這個大老鼠,敢到廚房偷鍋粑,現在你犯戒,你知道嗎?犯戒是要被遷單的,明天你走吧!我們這堣ㄞd你了。」

 

Here's how it happened. On the morning of the third day, the monk in charge of the kitchen noticed that the rice crust from the day before was gone. He thought that perhaps a rat had stolen it. To carry out his duty, he went to report to the Abbot of the temple and ask his advice. The Abbot said, "Okay, catch the rat!" When evening came, the Abbot contemplated in samadhi and saw how the Ceremony Master was going to the kitchen in his samadhi to steal the rice crust. He grabbed the Master's body as it sat there meditating, and stuffed it underneath the bench. When the Ceremony Master came back from roaming in samadhi, he could not find his "house." He carefully looked around for his body and finally found it underneath the bench, and he pulled it back out. Just then the Abbot said, "What do you think you're doing? You're a big rat! You had the gall to go into the kitchen to steal rice crust? You've broken the precepts, did you know that? Anybody who breaks a precept must be thrown out! You must leave tomorrow. You can't stay here any longer!"

   

這位被遷單的維那說:「您遷我的單,是可以的。可是我有一個要求,請您答應我。」方丈和尚說:「你要走了,還要求什麼?」

 

The Ceremony Master had now been kicked out, and he said: "If you want to throw me out, that's okay. But I have one request that I hope you'll grant." The Abbot said, "Now that you're leaving, what do you still want to request?"

   

維那說:「參禪的人,一定要吃飽飯,才能用功修行;如果吃不飽,的確不能修行。所以我到廚房偷鍋粑,是為大眾,不是為我自己。希望方丈和尚發點慈悲,每天晚上,每人分兩個大包子,若能這樣做,我就向和尚叩頭頂禮。我走之後,也不會打妄想。」

 

The Ceremony Master said, "The people who are meditating here really should get a chance to eat their fill. Only then can they work hard at their meditation. If they don't eat their fill, they won't be able to cultivate. That's why I went to the kitchen to steal the rice crust. It was for the sake of the Assembly, not for myself. I hope that you, the Abbot, will be compassionate, and give two big steamed dumplings to each participant every evening. If you do that, then I'll bow in respect to you as Abbot; and after I go, I won't have to worry about it any further."

   

方丈和尚一想,這話很有道理,便說:「好吧!答應你的要求,滿你的願。」從此之後,每逢打禪七,晚上每人可得兩個包子吃。

 

The Abbot thought it over and decided that his request was reasonable. He replied, "Okay! I'll grant your request." Thereafter, every time they held a Chan meditation session, every participant got two steamed dumplings to eat in the evening.

   

這位維那師父問方丈和尚:「我應到何處?」方丈說:「你到四川去,到那堨h建道場,因為那地方的護法和你有緣。」於是他用神足力來到四川,看見有一個地方有兩棵大桂樹,枝葉長得非常茂盛,於是在樹下打坐。後來被當地的護法居士發現,認為他是老修行,是有德行的高僧,於是便在桂樹下建一所寺院,命名為「雙桂堂」。他就在此堂傳法授徒,後來有很多參禪者開悟,他也成為開山的祖師。

 

The Ceremony Master asked the Abbot, "Where should I go?" The Abbot said, "Go to Sichuan Province and set up a temple. The Dharma-protectors there have affinities with you." The Ceremony Master used his power of spiritual travel to go to Sichuan. Upon arriving, he saw two tall cassia trees. The leaves and branches were lush and abundant. He sat beneath the two trees to meditate. The Dharma-protectors and lay-people of Sichuan discovered him sitting beneath the tree and assumed he was an adept cultivator, a superior monk with real virtue. So they built a temple beneath the twin cassia trees and called it Xuanggui (Twin Cassia) Temple. That's where he transmitted the Dharma and took disciples. Afterwards, many Chan meditators got enlightened there and he became known as the founding patriarch.

   

參禪,好像人飲水一樣,冷暖自己知道,用功有上路自己知道,用功沒有上路自己也知道。用功上路的人,應該繼續努力;沒有上路的人,更不可懶惰。在打禪七的時候,要把一切放下,所謂「提得起,放得下。」提得起什麼?提得起「念佛是誰?」放得下什麼?放下所有的妄想。能把所有的妄想放下,智慧便生出來;若是放不下妄想,所用的功就不會相應。

 

When we meditate, it's just like drinking water. Only you yourself know whether the water is hot or cold. When you've made some progress in cultivation, you yourself know. If your cultivation hasn't progressed, you also know. People who've made progress should continue to work hard. Those who haven't made progress shouldn't be lazy. In this period of Chan meditation, we should put down everything. That is to say, "Be able to pick this up, and be able to put that down." What do we want to pick up? We want to pick up the meditation topic, "Who is mindful of the Buddha?" What do we want to put down? We want to put down all our idle thoughts. If we can put down all of our idle thinking, then our wisdom will come forth. But if we can't put down our idle thoughts, then there won't be any response to our efforts.

   

在這七天之中,應該勇猛精進,不生絲毫懶惰的心,不生絲毫懷疑的心。大眾一起用功,用功用到無人無我的境界時,便會得到自在。若能用功到非空非色,就和如來合而為一;若是沒有明白非空非色的境界,應當生大慚愧心。為什麼我用功得不到相應?這是無量劫的習氣太深的緣故,所以心中想向菩提路上走,事實上卻不願意向前走,總想向後轉。要知道習氣重、業障深,更應該把妄想放下。放下妄想,並不困難,只要把自己忘了,便沒有妄想。就因為有了自己,才忘不了自己。

 

Within this seven-day meditation retreat, you should be vigorous and courageous. Don't be the least bit lazy, and don't entertain even a shadow of a doubt. Let's work hard together and arrive at the point where there are no thoughts of self or others left. Right at that point, we can become free. If we can bring our skill to the point of realizing "no emptiness and no form," then we can unite with the Tathagatas. If we still haven't realized the state of no emptiness or form, then we should be truly ashamed. Why hasn't our skill elicited any response? Because our bad habits gathered from measureless eons in the past are simply too heavy. In our minds, we think we want to proceed on the road of Bodhi, but in reality, we don't really want to advance, and we're always retreating. We should recognize that since our habits are heavy and our karmic obstacles are deeply established, even more should we want to put down our idle thinking. It's not that difficult to put down our idle thinking. All we need to do is forget ourselves, and then our idle thoughts will be gone. It's just because we hang onto a self that we find the self so difficult to forget.

   

在禪堂堙A用功修行,修到上不知有天,中不知有人,下不知有地。天地人都沒有了,東西南北也忘了,這時候,一念不生,就全體現;全體大用,你都會得到。整天打妄想的話,功夫就不會相應。所以,要用功用到一念不生,行不知行,住不知住,坐不知坐,臥不知臥,行、住、坐、臥都不知道,所謂:

終日吃飯,未吃一粒米;
終日穿衣,未穿一縷紗。

 

Here in the Chan hall, as we work in our cultivation, we should apply effort until we are unaware of heaven above, people in between, and earth below. If heaven, earth, and people have all disappeared, and north, south, east and west are forgotten, then right at that point when not even a single thought comes forth, the entire substance can manifest. We'll obtain the great functioning of the entire substance. But if we indulge in idle thoughts all day long, there will certainly be no response to our efforts. Thus, we have to work to the point where not a single thought arises, and when we walk, we are not aware that we are walking. When we stand, we aren't aware that we're standing. When we sit, we're unconscious of sitting. When we lie down, we aren't conscious of lying down. We have no conscious awareness of walking, standing, sitting and lying down. At this point,

You eat, but you're not aware of
     consuming a single grain of rice.
You dress, but you are unaware of
     putting on a single stitch.

   

這時的你,就和太虛合而為一,能和太虛合而為一,才能豁然貫通,忽然明白過來,這就是頓悟的境界。

 

The "you" that exists at that point merges with space. When you can unite with space, then suddenly you penetrate right through and instantly understand all things. This is the state of sudden enlightenment.

   

頓悟,是平時用功用到相應,才能豁然開悟;如果平時不用功,就不會有頓悟。好像小孩子出生之後,天天被薰習,到時候就會說話,他說第一句話的時候,就好比開了悟;到時候就會走路,當他邁第一步的時候,也好像開了悟。他怎樣邁第一步呢?因為天天看大人走路,在這種環境薰習之下,他自然而然地會走路。我們用功也是這樣,今天用功,明天用功,用來用去,功夫相應了,一念不生,沒有妄想,就會開悟。

 

Sudden enlightenment is a result of daily cultivation. When you get a response from your daily efforts, you can suddenly be enlightened. If you normally don't cultivate, then you can never gain sudden enlightenment. Similarly, after a child is born, he is steeped in words and sounds every day. When the time comes, he is naturally able to talk. When he says his very first word, it's analogous to the enlightenment experience. When the time comes, he'll naturally be able to walk, and that first step he takes is like the enlightenment experience. How can he take his first step? Because he watches adults walking all day long, every day. Being steeped in that environment, very naturally he'll be able to walk. Cultivation works the same way. We cultivate today, we cultivate tomorrow, we cultivate back and forth until our skills elicit a response. Then, when not a single thought is produced and our idle thoughts are dispelled, we'll be enlightened.

   

這種開悟,或者是今生天天用功修行,時時用功修行,等到功夫成熟時,便開悟了,這是今生用功開悟。這時,有人說:「我看見一個人,他根本沒有用功修行,可是他到禪堂不久就開悟了,這是什麼道理?」這種情形是特殊的。今生他雖然沒有用功修行,可是他在前生是用功修行,不但修行,而且還是時時刻刻在修行。不過,只差一點點沒有開悟,等到今生他遇到這種境界,就開悟了。

 

Such an enlightenment may be the result of having worked hard at cultivation all the time, every day in this lifetime. When our skill is mature, we become enlightened. This enlightenment results from our cultivation in this lifetime. You may say, "I saw a person who hadn't been vigorous at all in cultivation, but he got enlightened as soon as he started to meditate. How do you explain that?" That's an exceptional case. Although he may not have been cultivating in this life, he did cultivate in previous lives. Not only did he cultivate, he cultivated ceaselessly. He was only a hairsbreadth away from enlightenment. In this life, as soon as he encountered this kind of environment, he was enlightened.

   

頓悟,雖然是即刻開悟,但仍須靠前生所栽培的善根。好像種田一樣,春天播種,夏天耕耘,秋天才能收穫。如果在春天不下種子,到秋天怎麼能收穀?所謂「一分耕耘,一分收穫。」我們修道人也是這樣,無論開悟或沒有開悟,都應該勇猛精進,努力向前,希望在最後一秒鐘得到收穫,認識本來面目。

 

Although sudden enlightenment is instantaneous, it depends upon all of the good roots one has carefully and continually nurtured in past lives. It is just like a farmer planting a field. In the spring, he sows the seeds. In the summer, he weeds and hoes. Then in the autumn, there are crops to harvest. If in the spring the seeds are not planted, how could there possibly be a harvest in the autumn? That is to say, one share of plowing and weeding yields one share of harvest. We cultivators of the spiritual path are the same. Whether or not we've become enlightened, we should still be vigorous and courageous in our cultivation. We should energetically stride forward. Then we have hope of gathering our harvest in the final moment. We can see our true identity-original face.

   

我們為什麼不認識本來面目?因為「我相」沒有去掉,「自私心」沒有去掉。如果沒有我相和自私心,就會認識本來面目。

 

Why haven't we seen our original face? Because the trace of self has not been cast away. Our thoughts of selfishness haven't been discarded. If we have no trace of self and no selfish thoughts, then we can recognize our original face.

   

你若想不認識本來面目,當然沒有什麼問題,修也可以,不修也可以,因為沒有什麼希望。但是我們修道人一定要有一種希望,希望明白人是從什麼地方來?又到什麼地方去?想知道生從何處來?死往何處去?要把這個本來面目認識清楚,就要不怕苦不怕難,才能返本還原,也就是得到金剛不壞身。

 

But if we don't want to recognize our original face, then of course there's no problem. Whether we cultivate or not doesn't make much difference, because we have no hope of success. But we cultivators of the spiritual path want to preserve a certain amount of hope in our hearts. We have hope of understanding where people come from and where they go. If we want to know where we came from at birth and where we're going at death, if we want to clearly recognize our original face, then we cannot fear suffering, pain, trouble, or difficulty. Only then can we "regain the source and return to our origin" and obtain our "vajra-indestructible body."

   

我們在禪堂堸竣偵礡H就是鍛鍊金剛不壞身。既然是金剛不壞身,那麼就應該不知道苦,不知道疼;要是怕苦怕疼,便不能成就金剛不壞身。這個金剛不壞身是由鍛鍊而成的,我們現在就是鍛鍊金剛不壞身,把身體鍛鍊得堅堅固固,永遠不壞。

 

What is our purpose in the Chan hall? We are smelting and forging our "vajra-indestructible body." Once our body is made of vajra and is indestructible, then we won't be aware of pain and suffering discomfort. If we fear both pain and suffering, then we certainly can't achieve a vajra body. This vajra-indestructible body comes about through tempering and perfecting our skill. Enduring that tempering process is our current work. We're forging our bodies to make them extremely durable and tough, so they'll never go bad.

   

這時候,有人在打妄想說:「我修行又不是為了這身臭皮囊,鍛鍊它不壞有什麼用呢?」不錯!你的理論很正確。可是我說的「金剛不壞身」,不是你說的那個臭皮囊。那麼它是什麼?就是「自性的金剛不壞身」,也就是法身和慧命,以及自性清淨本源的金剛不壞身。

 

As soon as you hear this, you may be thinking: "Well, I'm not cultivating for the sake of this stinking bag of skin. Where is the sense in refinng this thing so it will not go bad?" Right you are! There's a lot to what you say. However, the vajra-indestructible body I am talking about is not the stinking skin bag that you are referring to. What is it then? It is the vajra-indestructible self-nature. It is the vajra-indestructible body of your "Dharma-body and your wisdom-life." It is the purity at the source of your self-nature. That's the vajra-indestructible body I'm referring to.

   

各位要知道!修道不是容易的事,你想修道,就會有魔來。這種魔不是從一個地方來的,而是從四面八方來的,有的是病魔,有的是煩惱魔,有的是天魔,有的是人魔,有的是鬼魔,有的是妖魔。魔是從你不認識的地方來的,令你道心不堅固,令你修行不進步,他們用種種方法來誘惑你,威脅你,令你生退轉心,令你無定力而退失道心。

 

All of you should realize that cultivating the spiritual path is not an easy matter. If you decide to cultivate, then demons will come around. They'll not come from only one direction; they'll come from all directions at once. There are demons of sickness, demons of vexation, demons in the heavens, human demons, and also demonic ghosts. There are demonesses as well. Demons appear, from places you don't expect, to disturb you so that your resolve will waver and your cultivation will falter. They use many tricks to seduce and tempt you. They also threaten you so that you'll retreat in fear. They hope your samadhi-power will vanish and your resolve for the spiritual path will disappear.

     

坐禪到了相當程度時,就有魔來考驗你的道力如何?或者化現為美貌的男女來引誘你。你不動心便過關,如果動心就墮落,這是緊要的關頭,切記切記!一失足成千古恨!境界來考驗我們修道人,我們也要考驗境界是假是真。用什麼方法呢?這方法非常簡單,就是念「阿彌陀佛」,一心不亂、一念不生地念。是假的境界,便會慢慢消失了;是真的境界,越念便越清楚。坐禪人不明白這個方法,有許多人走火入魔,喪失道業;又有許多人認為自己入了魔,而放棄開悟的機會。

 

Just about the time you've meditated to the point of success, the demons appear to test your resolve and to challenge your work in the spiritual path. They may appear as a very beautiful woman or a handsome man who comes to seduce you. If the sight doesn't disturb you, then you pass your test. But if you're distracted by this illusion, you'll fall. Right there is the critical moment; just that is the test. So I exhort you at all costs, don't fail this test; because once you fall, you'll regret it forever. When states arise to challenge your resolve, you should test the state to see whether or not it's true. What's your method of testing? It's very simple. Just recite the name of Amitabha Buddha. Recite with single-minded, unwavering concen-tration. If it's a false state, then gradually it'll disappear and then vanish. If it's a true state, then the longer you recite, the more clear the state will grow. Chan meditators who don't understand this method will fall into the demons' traps. They'll fall among demons and their work in the spiritual path will be scattered and lost. Some cultivators will lose their opportunity for enlightenment after they join the demons.

   

在我年輕的時候,聽人說:「修道就有魔。」我不相信,還驕慢地說:「什麼魔我都不怕,妖魔鬼怪我都不生恐懼心!」自己以為沒有什麼關係,哪知道沒有多久,魔果然來了。什麼魔呢?是病魔,這場大病害得我七、八天人事不省,什麼也不知道。當時,自己知道功夫不夠,所以經不起考驗。妖魔鬼怪、天魔外道我都不怕,就怕病魔,還是降伏不了,還是忍受不了。所以修道人,不能說自滿的話,說自己什麼都不怕。如果你自滿,麻煩就來了。

 

When I was young I heard someone say, "As soon as you cultivate the spiritual path, demons will appear." I didn't believe it and arrogantly said, "I'm not afraid of demons at all! Witches, ghosts, and goblins don't frighten me in the least." I thought that it didn't matter what I said. Who could've guessed that soon after my boast, a demon would show up? What kind of demon was it? It was a demon of sickness, which made me so ill that I lost consciousness for seven or eight days; I lapsed into a total coma. Only then did I realize that my skill was far from the mark and that I'd failed my test. Maybe I wasn't afraid of witches, ghosts or goblins, or even celestial demons and heretics. But I was afraid, as it turned out, of sickness demons. I couldn't subdue them; I couldn't handle them; I couldn't endure their attack. So we cultivators of the spiritual path cannot claim proudly that we fear nothing. As soon as we become self-satisfied and arrogant, troubles come seeking for us.

   

那麼修道人要怎樣呢?要用戰戰兢兢的心情來修道,如臨深淵,如履薄冰,時時刻刻要謹慎,要注意,提高警覺,這樣才可以修道。一言以蔽之:「少說話,多打坐。」這是修道的基本大法。

 

Well, how should cultivators of the spiritual path be, then? We should maintain a humble and circumspect attitude, and be as cautious as if we were treading the brink of a deep abyss, or as if we were standing on thin ice. At all times we should be prudent and careful. We should pay attention and stay alert. Only then can we really cultivate the spiritual path. To sum it up, talk less and meditate more. This is the fundamental requisite of cultivation.

   

修道人的道業有所成就,是誰幫助的呢?就是魔來幫助的。好像一把利刀,是在石頭上磨利的;修道人開了智慧光,也就是魔來幫助你開的。這個魔,應該把他當做護法看,所謂:

見事醒事出世間,
見事迷事墮沉淪。

 

When cultivators of the spiritual path actually gain some accomplishment, they get it with someone's help. Who helps them? Demons bring cultivators to accomplishment. This is just like a knife being honed on a whetstone so that it becomes very sharp. When a cultivator realizes the light of wisdom, it is with the help of the demons. These demons can be regarded as Dharma-protectors. There is a saying:

If we see things and awaken to them, we can leap out of the mundane world.
If we see things and they confuse us, we'll fall back on the wheel of transmigration.

   

你若能覺悟,對境能明白,這就是超出世界;你若不能覺悟,遇著事就迷了,就會墮入地獄。所以修道人不怕有魔,只怕沒有定力。魔是來幫助你,考驗你,來看你有沒有功夫?有沒有定力?你要是有功夫、有定力,無論什麼樣的魔,也不能動搖你。

 

If you can awaken to and understand states as they appear, then you can leap out of the world. If you do not awaken and are instead confused by states as they occur, then you may fall right into the hells. So cultivators of the spiritual path shouldn't fear that demons may come forth. Only be afraid that your own concentration power will be insufficient to withstand them. The demons come to help you along. They test you to see whether or not your spiritual skill is genuine, to see whether or not your samadhi-power can endure them. If you have skill and samadhi, then no matter what demon comes, he won't be able to shake you.

   

修道人時時刻刻把「生死問題」掛在眉梢上,時時刻刻都要了生脫死。要知道無論什麼事情,都沒有「生死大事」來得重要。這個生死問題沒有解決,所以不知道怎麼樣生?不知道怎麼樣死?所以在沒有真正了解之前,應該努力用功,否則永遠要受生死束縛,而得不到解脫。

 

A cultivator of the spiritual path should at all times hang this question of birth and death right between the eyebrows. At all times you should seek to liberate yourself from birth and death. You should realize that nothing else is as pressing as the single concern of birth and death. If you haven't resolved this question, then you won't know how you were born, nor will you understand how you're going to die. Right now, before you really understand it, you should work very hard in cultivation. Otherwise you'll be forever bound up in the inexorable rounds of birth and death, and you'll never get free of them.

   

在修道時,要想這個「生死的問題」,把什麼魔都當做護法,他是來幫助你修道。有人罵你、打你,他是幫助你修道;有人說你的是非,找你麻煩,也是幫助你修道。總而言之,逆來順受,都把他當作幫助你修道的朋友,那麼煩惱就沒有了。沒有煩惱,便生出智慧。有了真正智慧,那個時候,一切魔都沒有法子來動搖你的心。

 

When we cultivate the spiritual path, as we contemplate this matter of birth and death, we should see all demons as helpers, as our Dharma-protectors. They're coming to help us to cultivate the Path. If somebody scolds you or hits you, he, too, is helping you cultivate. If somebody gossips about you or gives you trouble, he's also helping you cultivate. In general, whatever adversity arises, you should endure it gracefully; you should just flow with it. Regard all such adverse states as friends that aid your cultivation, and then these troubles will soon be gone. When you have no more troubles and afflictions, then you can bring forth wisdom. Once you have real wisdom, the demons will have no way to disturb your mind.

   

為什麼會被魔的境界轉呢?因為我們的智慧不圓滿。智慧不圓滿,遇事就迷惑,認識不清楚,我相、人相都生出來,眾生相、壽者相也生出來,煩惱相也跟著跑出來;如果有智慧,就沒有這些問題。

 

Why are we turned by demonic states? Because our wisdom isn't complete. Before our wisdom is complete, we are confused by anything that comes. We won't recognize situations clearly. The view of self, the view of others, the view of living beings, and the view of a lifespan will all come forth. And afflictions will follow as well. Yet, if we have wisdom, then none of these aspects will trouble us in the least.

 

法界佛教總會 • DRBA / BTTS / DRBU

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