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萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea

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三界火宅莫留連
DON'T LINGER IN THE THREE REALMS;THEY ARE LIKE A BURNING HOUSE!

比丘 果真 Bhikshu Guo Zhen

大約三十五年前,自女兒手中接過一本佛教雜誌––我此生的轉點。從此再也不沈溺於五欲,斷葷如素,早晚念佛拜佛;除了上班外,其他時間都用來參加佛事。四十五歲那年,又偕母受了菩薩戒。一九八一年,宣公上人來台,當場參加集體皈依,嗣後又在法界佛教印經會共修。並研讀上人各種開示錄。慈母往生後令我更深體悟到三界火宅、無常迅速,唯有勤修佛道,求生極樂,才是人生真義。一年後辭卻工作偕同道友三人入山清修。經半年出家生活之實習,在深思熟慮及長老們鼓勵下,發心出家。

老來學道難,因近古稀,對繁重的功課,常心有餘而力不足。幸賴上宣下化老和尚之微妙法語,得以觀照自心,如法薰修。法門無邊,唯選擇持名念佛,盼能仗彌陀四十八大願,現生即得念佛三昧;命終自在往生,花開見佛,再回娑婆,廣度有情。期報師恩及三寶恩。

歷境練心除習氣,順逆一如念不起。
緣起性空無實體,空有不二心無住。
隨緣任運修萬行,自心清淨佛土淨。
一真法界從心生,心佛眾生本不異。

修行心須去執;心若去執,常保清淨平等如明鏡,原有佛性自然漸現,人人成佛必定有份,誠願與讀者道友共勉之。

When my daughter gave me a Buddhist magazine about thirty-five years ago, it was a turning point in my life. I pulled myself out from drowning in the five desires, became a vegetarian, and recited the Buddha's name and bowed to the Buddha all day long. Aside from working, I spent all my time in Buddhist affairs. When I was forty-five, I received the Bodhisattva precepts along with my mother. When the Venerable Master came to Taiwan in 1981, I joined the Taking Refuge ceremony and later participated in the cultivation at the Dharma Realm Buddhist Books Distribution Society. I also read the Master's instructional talks on various topics. After my mother passed away, I deeply felt that the Three Realms are a burning house and life is brief, and that the only meaningful thing to do is to diligently cultivate to seek rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. A year later I quit my job and went with three friends to a temple to devote myself to pure cultivation. After six months' experience of the monastic lifestyle, I considered seriously and, at the encouragement of my elders, decided to leave the home-life.

It is difficult to practice the Way in old age. Nearing seventy, I often wish to do many ceremonies but cannot find the strength. Fortunately, the Venerable Master Hua's wonderful talks have taught me how to contemplate my own mind and cultivate in accord with the Dharma. Among the limitless Dharma doors, I have chosen the practice of reciting the Buddha's name. Relying on Amitabha Buddha's forty-eight great vows, I hope to attain the Buddha-recitation samadhi in this very life, and to be spontaneously reborn in the Land of Bliss, so that I can see the Buddha when my lotus opens, and then return to this Saha land to extensively save sentient beings. I hope to repay the kindness of the Master and the Triple Jewel.

Experiencing states, discipline the mind and cast out habits.
Whether the states are good or bad, let no thoughts arise.
Arising from conditions, all things are empty and insubstantial.
Emptiness and existence are nondual, and the mind has no dwelling.
According with the conditions of fate, cultivate all practices.
When the mind is pure, the Buddha land is also pure.
The One True Dharma Realm is created by the mind.
The mind, the Buddha, and living beings are originally not different.

In cultivation, we must first get rid of attachments. If the mind is free of attachments, it remains pure and impartial, like a clear mirror. Then our inherent Buddha-nature will gradually appear, and our aspiration for Buddhahood will not be in vain. This is what I wanted to share with my fellow cultivators as an encouragement.

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