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《上人法雨》

 

VENERABLE MASTER'S DHARMA RAIN

宣公上人禪七開示(7)

CHAN SESSION INSTRUCTIONS BY THE VENERABLE MASTER HUA(VII)

行的時候還是禪
Even Walking Is a Time for Chan

 

我告訴你們,這跑香你若會跑的,不是說跑得快,那就是跑香;也不是說跑得慢,那是跑香,要怎麼樣子呢?要很如法、很自在的。行的時候,還是參「念佛是誰」,不是參我跑得快,我和你比賽,我比你跑得快。那簡直地,就是跑到天涯海角去,也找不著這個「誰」。你要跟著大家的次序跑,現在我們是跑一行,有的時候是跑三行,三個人併在一起跑,因為我們這兒沒有那麼多空間,只跑一行。這跑一行,一開始不是跑的,一開始只是走,走了十五分鐘,或者到二十分鐘左右,這時候才開始跑。跑時,只跑一圈或者兩圈,最多三圈就打香板。這跑,不能跑得時間太久,跑的時間太久啊,把人又累得氣喘呵呵的,那又不能用功了。只跑一兩轉,或者最多三轉,覺得跑得稍微一熱了,身上一熱就可以打香板了。一聽打香板,就停止,就坐那個地方,因為周身氣血都活起來了,活起來,再坐著。著呢,你能以禮互雙跏趺坐是最好的,容易入定。這雙跏趺坐,天龍八部都來護持著你,一切的魔王都遠避。能雙跏趺坐已經就功德無量了,你可以看看那佛的坐姿,都是雙跏趺坐。那麼雙跏趺坐,你若受不了,沒有法子,或者腿硬得像鐵那麼硬,盤不上,若用燒鐵爐燒一燒呢,那太費事了,你就馬馬虎虎地用單跏趺坐了。單跏趺這麼著,這是沒有那麼容易入定。並且我跟你們講那鬼逼禪師,雙跏趺坐,就是個金塔;單跏趺坐呢,就是個銀塔;你沒有跏趺坐,就普通坐呢,就是個泥巴。所以要把這腿盤好了,把褲子也往上提一提,它就沒有那麼緊了。沒有那麼緊呢,坐著它比較舒服一點,然後用這個或者氈子啊,或者你穿的那個棉袍子,把腿包起來,包得那麼嚴一點。

這時止靜的人,看大家都把腿包好,坐好了,沒有人再那麼搖搖動動的,發出吵聲了,然後才止靜的。就是看著大家都坐好了,沒有人打其他人閒岔了,不是看著人家那兒還沒坐好,「啪啪啪啪」,不是這個樣子的。止靜不是打得很快的,要慢一點,「啪!啪!啪啪!」我在三樓聽到了你們下面止靜止得太快了。不是這樣子的,你不是放原子彈嘛!要看大家都坐好了,才能止靜,有一個沒有坐好,都要等一等他,所以大家不要叫止靜人等著,也就是這樣子。

到打香板了,大家坐下就趕快把腿子包好了,因為坐禪腿不要凍著;若凍著,就用功不容易上路,所以必須要把腿包好了它。這個腿你把它凍著,它就不幫你忙了,不單痛,甚至於你邁步都邁不動了,跑香也跑不動了。這個上身,有的我看見包得把頭都包上了,坐禪不是這樣子的,頭絕對不能包的,頭一定要露出來,才那麼冷一點你都受不了!甚至於身體也都不能包的,只可以包腿子。若上身冷,你可以穿多一點衣服,你穿多一點衣服它就不冷了嘛!你包上,說這樣暖,暖了你就會睡著覺了,也用不上功了。這上身冷一點,它不會出汗,是比較好。

坐呢,我看那個果逾,我常常來觀查,有的時候看見他就這麼樣子!這個是幹什麼呢?這不是坐禪哪!你不可以這樣子的,不可以把腿弄起來這麼樣子,不可以的。這樣子,若在禪堂裡就會被打香板的,這一定挨打的。也不可以把腿伸到這個凳子底下那麼樣子坐,不可以的。這簡直都是懶蟲,懶得再不能懶了!這樣的人一點出息都沒有,這樣的人,才沒有意思呢!你不能那麼隨便的,不能這麼我願意低低頭就低頭,我願意這樣子就這樣子,不可以的。什麼時候都要這麼孤炯炯的,都像個金剛似的在那個地方,沒有任何人有我這麼樣子有力量的。(上人並非自稱,而是勉勵大家要有力量。)不要:「哎唷……唉唷……!」這個簡直……有什麼意思?你這還能修道嗎!真是倒架子!或者這麼樣子:「啊……!」這種怪現象呢,太奇怪了!我到你們美國這兒,看著你們參禪,這真是……像個怪物,太奇怪了!我從來都不好意思講,在天后街我也不講,到這兒我也不講。」沒有人披個毯子在這兒跑香的,沒有的!這簡直是太奇怪了,真是像到荒野沒有人的地方了。所以我今天呢,向你們稍微講一講,沒有人披個毯子來轉的,在中國沒有的。所以我到這兒一看:「這是個什麼?」我都不認識了,這個奇怪的樣子。

沒有人這麼披著一個毯子在身上,沒有的。在禪堂裡頭,沒有人這樣的。大家都一樣,都是穿著一個棉袍子,把腿包好一點,一點也不可以有妨礙旁人的情形,不能弄得奇奇怪怪的樣子。你怕冷可以穿多一點衣服。尤其果法,本來他不怕冷,他一定要包個毯子;我對果法,講真話,我很愛惜他,所以他做這個怪樣子,我不講他,那麼今天才講一講。還有其他人,你怕冷,就可以穿多一點衣服。我也怕冷、也怕熱,所以我就在禪堂裡坐了這麼多年禪,沒有用個毯子披上的。就是在禪堂裡睡覺,我在湖北正覺寺給做門頭,晚間很冷的,我都不把被往身上披,只蓋在腳上。因為你這麼坐著,冷了,它就睡不著覺,更好嘛!你暖了,它就睡覺了,睡覺就不能用功了。

所以我在湖北那地方,每一天都聞到那異香撲鼻,那一種異香是特別地和人間這種香味不同的;但是它香就香,我也不聞的。雖然不聞,可是知道有這股異香,這大約是天上的天神,他看「啊!這個比丘在這兒是很可憐的,他冷得這麼樣子。」那時候正是冬天呢,也是穿三層布,沒有這麼多的毛線衣,有這麼多的衣服我到美國這兒,因為年紀也大了,不願意那麼樣子逞剛強,所以多穿一點衣服。那時候冷得很厲害,我也是那樣子,褲子也是三層布,上身也是三層布,下身也是三層布。湖北下雪,那兒冬天都下雪,有那麼冷,就是在那個鐵鬍子那兒––那個鬍子長老,就是在他那兒。我那時候一天到晚,沒有一個人睬我的,所以沒有一個朋友,沒有一個人拿著我當一個人來看的,就是拿著這個人說:「這是廢人。」這樣子。他們想不到這個廢人會跑到美國來。

那麼說:「一個朋友沒有,是不是自己很孤獨的,不願意和人做朋友呢?」不是,我對於任何人都恭敬,和他們和平共處,和任何人我也不打架。不是說:「噢!你怎麼要管我啊?」不是這樣子。誰願意管我都可以的,那麼沒有一個人不可以管我的,這麼大的那個小沙彌,他願意叫我做什麼我都做的,絕對不反對的。叫我去在地裡拔菜我就拔菜,拔回來把它洗得乾乾淨淨,每一棵都洗乾淨的。那時候我做門頭,在那兒看門口;又做園頭,去種菜,管理菜,到時候拿回菜給大家吃;又做水頭,要水挑,人不太多,有的時候二、三十個人,都是我來挑水給大家喝;又收拾廁所。好像我們三樓的廁所那股味道太「香」了,沒有一個人去把它清理清理,本來有一天我想自己去清理那個廁所,但我怕你們看見呢,覺得:「這個師父太不守規矩了,應該我們做的事情,他來幹。」所以我就等一等。你們這也都不垢不淨了!所以廁所有味道也不要緊似的。

在中國的廁所,不是這種抽水的馬桶,是地上挖一個糞坑,等裡頭的糞滿了,要把它拿出來倒到另外一個地方,那個樣子!那簡直地,那個味道是很「好」的,可是在糞坑裡的蟲子呢,牠覺得更不錯。我那時候,就認識糞坑裡這些蟲子,說:「哦!你怎麼跑到這個地方來呢?原來你是盡妒忌、障礙,你又自私又自利,願意吃好東西,不願意做工,所以現在跑到這個廁所裡頭來做蟲子,『吃』這麼好的東西。」那時候我就對牠們非常了解,所以我給你們講,叫你們不要妒忌,這是很危險的。你一妒忌人,你就會跑到那糞坑裡頭,去盡吃那種東西,這是一定的。

你們坐在這兒要平心靜氣,眼觀鼻,鼻觀口,口問心,這麼樣子。這個舌頭呢,最好捲起來,舌尖頂上顎,那麼有口水就把它嚥到肚裡頭去。這個口水,這叫自家水,自家水這是一個藥子,就是一個甘露水,也叫長生不老藥。你常常用這個功,你就什麼病都會沒有的,沒有什麼病的,你常常自己有這個口水,時間久了,它就會變成甜的,就是好像甘露水似的。那麼這一種的功夫,你要長了,不是用三天、五天就有所成就,要時間久。時間久,那麼就身體健康了,要這樣子。你舌尖頂上顎,也不講話了,就參「念佛是誰」,這樣子。時間久了,就會覺得很自在的,若多參加,打幾個七就會開悟的。

那麼跑香的時候,不是說像發狂了、發癲了那麼跑,不是那樣子的。跑是跑,但是還是要用功。在這跑香的時候也用功,坐香的時候也用功。不是說我跑一個特別的樣子,我跑出一朵花來,這個蓮花就在我腳底下,我這麼一轉,就生出一朵蓮花來,這簡直地發神經!

I will explain to you about the period of walking. If you know how to walk, you won't race. That is not walking. Nor is that to say that a slow pace is walking. How should you do it? You should be very orderly and yet at ease. During the walks you should still be investigating "Who is mindful of the Buddha?" You shouldn't be investigating how fast you can run, or who you are competing with. "I can run faster than you!" If that's how you go about it, you can run to the ends of the earth, but you will never find out "who?" You should follow in an orderly fashion and run at the same pace as everyone else. Right now we are walking in single file. Sometimes the walking is done three abreast. But because we don't have that much room here, we are using single file. When we start the walking period in single file, we should not be running. We should walk first. We walk for about fifteen to twenty minutes. The runs should be once or twice around the hall--three times at most--and then the signal to stop should be given. The runs cannot last too long. If the runs last too long, people get tired and winded, and then they won't be able to apply their effort. Just run for one or two laps, three at most. Run until you feel that people are just beginning to get warm. As soon as the body heat rises, hit the fish to stop the run. Then start the sitting period. Once the circulation of blood and qi has come alive, the sit should begin. hen sitting, if you can sit in full lotus posture, then that is best. It is easy to enter samadhi that way. When you use full lotus posture, the gods, dragons, and others of the eightfold division will come to protect you. The demon kings will stay far away from you. By sitting in full lotus position, you are already amassing infinite merit and virtue. Notice the way Buddhas are seated--they are all in full lotus posture. But maybe you simply cannot bear full lotus posture or you have no way to get up into it. Perhaps your legs are as stiff as a board and you can't pull them up into that position; perhaps your legs are as hard as iron so that it seems you would have to fire up the furnace and smelt them before they will bend. If it's that difficult, then you'll have to compromise a bit and use half lotus posture.

Sitting in half lotus posture, it is not as easy to enter samadhi. Besides, haven't I told you before about Dhyana Master Gui Bi ("Pressured by Ghosts")? From his story we know that sitting in full lotus creates a golden pagoda; sitting in half-lotus creates a silver pagoda; and that normal sitting--without any lotus posture--creates a pile of mud. And so, pull yourself up into full lotus! Adjust your clothing so it does not bind you. When your clothing isn't too tight, then you will feel more comfortable. When you are sitting comfortably, you may use a light blanket or your padded robe if you are wearing one to cover your lap and tuck in around your legs.

When you see that everyone has wrapped his legs well and is settled into the sitting position, and no one is moving around or making noise, then you may start the sitting period. That means everyone should be sitting quietly and no one should be making any disturbance. It shouldn't be that before people have even sat down you "Pa! Pa! Pa!" [hit the fish to begin the sit]. That's not the way to do it. The strokes on the fish should not be rapid. Hit it more slowly "pa--pa--pa--." I could hear you when I was on the third floor--hitting the fish very fast to begin the sits. That's not how it should be done. You are not setting off atomic bombs. You must watch to see that everyone is seated. If even one person is not yet seated, then you should wait for him. By the same token, participants in the session should not make the person responsible for starting the sit have to wait for you. That's not the way it should be done.

When the fish is hit to stop the running period, everyone should immediately sit down and place a blanket or robe over his legs. That's because when sitting in meditation, you should not let your legs get cold. If they get cold, then it's not easy to work on your skill. And so you should wrap up your legs. If your legs get cold, they won't cooperate with you. Not only will they hurt, you may be unable to walk at all and you won't be able to join the walking periods. As to the upper part of your body, I have noticed that some of you wrap up your heads. That's not appropriate when sitting in meditation. You absolutely should not wrap up your heads. Your heads must be exposed. You can't even take it when your head gets a little cold? You shouldn't wrap the upper part of your body at all--only your legs. You can wear more clothes on the upper part of your body to keep from being cold. If you wrap the upper part of your body so that you're cozy and warm, you will fall asleep and you won't be able to apply effort at your meditation. It doesn't matter if the upper part of your body is a little cooler; in fact it's better.

As to sitting, I have noticed Guo Yu's way of sitting and I am always correcting him. Sometimes I see him sitting like that and I wonder what he is doing. That's not sitting in meditation. You can't pull your knees up like that. If someone does that in the Chan hall, he should be beaten with the incense board. That certainly merits a beating. Nor can you stretch out your legs down in front of the bench. That's the behavior of a lazy worm! Incomparably lazy! Anyone who acts like that is domnright shiftless. Anyone like that is not worth much. You cannot be so casual. You can't put your head down just because you feel like it or do anything else just because you feel like it. At all times you must be solid and strong. Just at that point you must be like vajra. no one else has the strength that you have. Don't moan and groan and say, "Ultimately what's the meaning in all this?" You really make a fool of yourself.

Some people sit like this [demonstration] Ah! These strange styles are too weird. Coming to America I see the way you meditate and I think, "Really! That's just too much! A bunch of freaks! Too weird!" But I've never said it aloud before. I never mentioned it while we were at Tianhua Temple on Waverly Place and I never said anything when we came here. Nobody--absolutely no one--ever wraps a blanket around himself during the walking periods. That's really too strange. It's really a sign of having come to the wilderness where no human beings can be found! And so today I'm mentioning it to you: no one ever wraps a blanket around himself during the walking periods in China. And so when I came here I asked myself: "What is this?" I'd never seen such a weird style. No one ever wraps a blanket around his torso. Never! In the Chan halls that would never happen. Everyone is the same. Each person wears a padded robe and tucks it in around his legs. No one does anything to bother anyone else. You can't come up with some weird style. If you are afraid of the cold, you can wear more clothes. Especially Guo Fa, who basically isn't afraid of the cold and yet insists on wrapping himself up in a blanket. To tell you the truth, I am very fond of Guo Fa. And so when he used this strange style, I didn't say anything to him. But today I'm mentioning it. There are others who do it too.

If you feel cold you can put on more clothes. I too am afraid of cold and afraid of heat. And yet in all the years I've sat in Chan halls, I've never wrapped myself up in a blanket--even when I slept in the Chan halls. At Zhengjiao (Proper Enlightenment) Monastery in Hubei, I was assigned to be door-keeper. At night it was very cold where I sat. But I never pulled my blanket up to wrap around the upper part of my body. I only wrapped my legs. When you sit in the cold, you don't fall asleep. That's what's great about it! If you are too warm, you will sleep; and if you fall asleep, you can't work at your skill.

Every year when I was in Hubei at that monastery, a very rare fragrance would fill my nostrils. That rare fragrance was quite special--not like the fragrance that others smelled. However, although it was fragrant, I didn't pay any attention to the smell. Although I didn't intentionally sniff it, nonetheless I was aware of that rare fragrance. Probably it was a heavenly spirit who saw the Bhikshu there and felt sorry for him enduring such cold. At that time I wore only three layers of clothing--even in the winter. I didn't have a sweater--I didn't have on many clothes.

After I came to America, because I'm getting older, I didn't want to be so stubborn, and so I wear a bit more clothing. At that time the cold was fierce, but I still was like that: three layers of pants and three layers on the upper part of my body. Hubei has below-zero weather. In the winter it snows. It was so cold there at "Iron Beard's" place. I was at the Bearded Elder's place. At that time, from morning to night, no one paid the least bit of attention to me. I didn't have a single friend. No one even considered me to be a human being. They treated me like a totally useless person. They would never have thought that this useless person would go to America!

Was it because I was a loner that I didn't have any friends at that time? No. I was respectful toward everyone. I got along well with them all. I didn't fight with anyone. It's not that I said, 'Oh, what are you doing trying to order me around?" I wasn't like that. Anyone who wanted to order me around could do so. There wasn't anyone who couldn't boss me around. Even that little novice who liked to tell me what to do--I did what he wanted. I never refused. When I was told to pick vegetables, I picked vegetables, brought them back and washed them clean--every single leaf.

At that time I was the door-keeper, and so I watched the door there. I also served as the gardener, and so I would go out to plant vegetables, take care of them, and when the time came, pick them and bring them in for everyone to eat. I also served as the water-carrier. Sometimes there weren't very many people--only twenty to thirty, but I carried the water that all of us drank. I also cleaned toilets. By the way, the odor from our third floor toilet is quite strong, but no one goes to clean it. One day I thought I would go clean it myself, but I was afraid if you saw me you would think, "This teacher is really out of hand. He's doing what we are supposed to do!" And so I waited. But you are all "not defiled and not pure," and so if the toilets smell it doesn't bother you.

In China, the toilets were not porcelain flush toilets. They were pit toilets. When they became full, you had to dig them out and remove the filth to another location. In doing that, the odor is positively too fine! However the dung beetles enjoy being in the cesspool. At that time when I encountered dung beetles I told them, "Aha! How did you get here? You used to be jealous and obstructive. You were selfish and pursued self-benefit. You liked to eat good things and didn't like to work. And so now you have become dung beetles in a toilet. You get to eat this good stuff!" I was extremely clear about their situation and so I am telling you: Don't be jealous, it's extremely dangerous! If you are jealous of others, you will end up as a worm in a cesspool. Once you get there, you'll have to eat that stuff! That's a certainty!

While sitting here you should calm your minds and quiet your energy. The eyes contemplate the nose. The nose regards the mouth. The mouth inquires into the mind. That's the method. It's best to curl your tongue back on the roof of your mouth. Swallow your saliva. Saliva is called the "water of your own home." That's the name of a medicine otherwise known as "sweet dew." It's also called "the elixir of immortality." If you continually apply effort in that way, you won't have any illnesses. If you do that all the time, eventually your saliva will become sweet. It will be just like sweet dew. But you must apply this effort for a long time. It's not something you can accomplish in a few days. It takes a long time. After a while the body becomes healthy. That's the principle involved. Curl your tongue back on the roof of your mouth and don't talk. Investigate "Who is mindful of the Buddha?" Doing that for a long time you will come to very comfortable. By participating in many Chan sessions, you can become enlightened.

Also, during the walking periods you aren't supposed to run like crazy--as if you were possessed. That's not how it's done. When you're walking or running, you should still be working on your skill. You work on your skill while walking and running, and you work on your skill while sitting. Don't develop some special style of running--hoping to run until lotuses spring up from beneath your feet. "If I whirl around like this, lotuses appear." Really, that's just crazy!

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