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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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妄想不斷不能開悟

We Won't Be Enlightened Until Our Idle Thoughts Stop!


一分一秒也不可空過,時時刻刻用功修行。
Not even a single minute or second should be wasted; we must cultivate vigorously at all times.

參禪的目的,就為著開智慧,求解脫。要專心致志來參「念佛是誰?」參到極點,就把一切妄想都忘得一乾二淨,吃飯、穿衣、睡覺都忘了,甚至大小便也忘了。這時候,風也吹不透,雨也打不漏,只是綿綿密密地念「誰」字。

 

The goal of investigating Chan meditation is to develop wisdom and to seek liberation. We must concentrate our minds and investigate the question, "Who is mindful of the Buddha?" When we can investigate this question to the ultimate point, then we forget all idle thoughts whatsoever. We forget about eating, sleeping, and dressing, even to the point of forgetting to go to the bathroom. At this stage, the wind may blow, but it won't touch us; the rain may fall, but it won't get us wet; we are intensely and unceasingly asking the question "Who?"

這一念,猶如金剛一樣堅固,什麼也破不了。這時上不知有天,下不知有地,中不知有人,到無人、無我、無眾生、無壽者的境界;也就是內無身心,外無世界的地步,與宇宙合為一體,打成一片了。

 

This single thought is just like vajra; it is so durable and solid that nothing can break it up. We are not aware of the heavens above, the earth below, or the people in between. Our state is free of the traces of self, others, living beings, and life spans. Then we reach the point of there being "no body or mind inside and no world outside." We have united in substance with the entire universe and have become one with all things.

古時高僧大德,他們修到一念不生的程度,所謂「終日吃飯,未吃一粒米,終日穿衣,未穿一縷紗。」到無人、無我的境界,哪有時間去打妄想呢?他們認為浪費一分鐘的時間,就會把開悟的機會錯過了,所以拼命地參「念佛是誰?」找不到「誰」字,就永不休息。找「誰」字,就是控制妄想最佳的辦法。

 

In ancient times there were lofty Sangha members of great virtue whose cultivation reached a level where "not even a single thought arose." A saying captures that state: "They eat all day long, yet don't know they have consumed a single morsel; they get dressed each day, but aren't aware of having put on a single stitch." They've arrived at a state of "no self and no others." Where is there any time left for them to indulge in idle thinking? They felt that if they wasted even a single moment, they could miss their chance to become enlightened. For this reason we must give our very lives to the investigation of "Who is mindful of the Buddha?" We should never rest until we find out who it is. Finding out "Who" is the very best method for controlling our idle thoughts.

   

在揚州高旻寺有一位妙度老和尚,當初他在參禪時,參到「行不知行,住不知住,坐不知坐,臥不知臥」的程度,什麼也不想,只想著「念佛是誰?」有一天,要去小便,因為專心參「誰?」綿綿密密地參,所以誤走到天王殿,在韋陀菩薩座前,當作廁所。正要小便時,抬頭一見韋陀菩薩瞪著眼睛,舉起寶杵,把他嚇得清醒了,知道自己走錯路了,急忙向韋陀頂禮,懺悔過錯,祈菩薩原諒。

 

In China's Yangzhou County, at Gaomin Monastery, there lived an elder monk named Miaodu, who cultivated Chan meditation to the point that, "When walking, he wasn't aware of walking; when sitting, he wasn't aware of sitting; when standing, he wasn't aware of standing; when reclining, he wasn't aware of reclining." He thought of nothing at all, except "Who is mindful of the Buddha?" One day, he needed to relieve himself. Because he was unceasingly investigating the question of "Who?" he walked by mistake into the Hall of the Heavenly Kings and assumed that the seat in front of Weitou Bodhisattva was the toilet. Just as he was about to relieve himself, he looked up and saw the image of Weitou Bodhisattva glaring at him with his Jewelled Pestle raised up high, and it scared him awake. Aware that he had made a mistake, he quickly bowed to Weitou Bodhisattva to repent and seek forgiveness from the Bodhisattva.

   

為什麼會有這種情形呢?因為妙度禪師用功專心,一心一意參「誰」字,別的一概不知,所以把天王殿誤做廁所。有人在打妄想,我也學妙度禪師,不去廁所小便,來到觀音臺上小便。你故意這樣做,那就離道十萬八千里了。要知道妙度禪師不是學某某人的行為,他是一心在想「念佛是誰?」精神集中在一個問題上,所以才有這種現象。你想故意學走錯路,那是大錯特錯的,連這種想法也不可以有的。

 

Why did this happen? Because Chan Master Miaodu had concentrated his mind and devoted his entire attention to investigating the word "Who." That was his sole concern, and as a result, he mistook the Hall of the Heavenly Kings for the bathroom. Someone may think, "I should imitate Chan Master Miaodu and not go to the bathroom to relieve myself, but instead go in front of Guanyin's altar." If you did that intentionally, you would be 108,000 miles away from the Way. You should know that Chan Master Miaodu was not imitating anyone else. Rather, he was single-mindedly contemplating, "Who is mindful of the Buddha?" Because his attention was devoted entirely to this question, he committed such an error. If you, on the other hand, set out deliberately to make that error, you are making a grave mistake. You shouldn't even think about doing such a thing.

所謂「差之絲毫,謬之千里。」在禪堂堣ㄔ峊\修行,卻坐在那堨揭k想:「引磬怎麼還不響呢?開靜可以伸伸腿,直直腰。」或者打吃飯的妄想:「怎麼還不到吃飯的時候?肚子餓得受不了了。」甚至有人在數時間:「已經過去十二天,還有九天就功德圓滿了,快點過去吧!免得受罪。」人家打禪七,希望時間越長越好,能有開悟的機會;他坐在禪凳上,好像坐在針墊上,時刻不安寧,不是換腿,就是伸腰。人家在入定,他在想入非非,妄想重重。既然是這樣,何必來打禪七,裝模作樣做什麼?乾脆不要來參加,免得自找苦吃。

 

It's said that "Being off by a hairsbreadth at the start will lead you astray by a thousand miles in the end." Some people are sitting in the meditation hall having idle thoughts: "How come the bell still hasn't been rung? When it rings, I'm going to stretch my legs and rest my back." Or we may wonder, "Isn't it lunchtime yet? I'm hungry as can be." Someone may even be counting the remaining time: "Twelve days have gone by, and we have nine more days to go until the merit and virtue is complete. I hope the time will pass quickly, so we can get this suffering over with." When people join a Chan Session, they ought to wish that the time would last, to give them more chances to get enlightened. Another person, as he sits, looks like someone sitting on a pincushion. He can't be still for a minute, but either changes his legs around or stretches them out to rest his back. Other people may be entering samadhi, but this guy is thinking up a storm; his idle thoughts are several layers thick. If one carries on like this, then what is the point of joining a Chan Session in the first place? Why maintain this pretense? It would be better off simply not coming in the first place; one would save oneself a lot of trouble that way.

   

可是你要知道,想了生死,應該把「生死」二字掛在眉梢上,睜眼看見生死問題,閉眼不忘生死問題。要念玆在玆用功修行,才能了生死。你在禪堂不是念玆在玆想了生死,而是念玆在玆打妄想,唯恐妄想打少了不夠本,這是多麼可憐啊!

 

Know, however, that we should hang the question of birth and death right between our eyebrows, so that when our eyes are open we are looking directly at it, and even with our eyes closed we cannot forget this question. We must work and cultivate in each consecutive thought; only then can we end birth and death. You, on the other hand, are not thinking about birth and death in each consecutive thought as you sit in the Chan hall. You're constantly indulging in idle thinking. You fear only that if your idle thoughts are too few, you'll take a loss! How pathetic!

   

用功修道的人,一秒鐘也不可以打妄想,所謂「大事未明,如喪考妣。」生死大事沒有了,好像死了父母一樣地悲哀。所以在參禪的時候,一分一秒的時間也不可以空過,也不放鬆,時時刻刻用功修行。用功到了爐火純青的時候,自然就有感應;有了感應,功夫才能相應。就算已經開悟,也要再接再厲向前進,不可以躲懶偷安,化城自困,到此為止,不向前走了。有這種思想,就是修道的絆腳石。

 

People who know how to apply themselves don't indulge in idle thoughts for even an instant. It's said that, "Until we actually understand the great matter, we should be as if attending the funeral of our parents." Before we have resolved the important matter of birth and death, we should be as sorrowful as if our parents had died. In the meditation hall, we cannot let the slightest fraction of time slip by. We cannot let up for an instant. We must work hard at our cultivation at all times. When we apply effort to an intense level, there will naturally be a response. When there is a response, our skill will touch the Way. Even if you are already enlightened, you must continue to persevere and advance. Don't be lazy; don't get trapped at the "Transformation City" and stop making progress. Such ideas are the stumbling blocks of cultivation.

   

明明知道辦不到,為何還要打妄想呢?明明知道是妄想,為何不收拾乾淨?這就是一般人的習氣毛病,明知故犯。說穿了,就是看不破,放不下,執東執西,著男著女,結果把寶貴的光陰都浪費了。

 

If we know clearly that idle thoughts cannot be realized, why do we still indulge in them? If we know very well that they are merely idle thoughts, why don't we simply clean them up? Most people have this problem of knowing something is wrong but going ahead and doing it anyway. The truth is that we still can't see through things or put them down. We are attached to this and that, attached to men or to women, and as a result, we waste all our precious time.

   

打禪七的時間是最寶貴的,因為這是不容易遇到的良機。在這個期間,把一切妄想都拋到九霄雲外,讓心清淨一下,專想「念佛是誰?」不要打閒岔,大家努力來參!參!參!

 

The time spent in the meditation session is most valuable; it is a rare opportunity that is hard to meet. During this retreat, I urge you to throw your idle thoughts out past cloud nine! Give your mind a chance to be clean and pure; concentrate on asking "Who is mindful of the Buddha?" without interruption. All of you should work hard and investigate! Investigate! Investigate!

     
     

一九八○年禪七 十二月開示

 

A talk given during a Chan session
in December, 1980

 

法界佛教總會 • DRBA / BTTS / DRBU

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