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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

小乘、大乘、金剛乘和大道(續)
The Lesser, The Greater, The Diamond and The Way (continued)

比丘阿摩羅講於1991年7月萬佛城禪修期中 A talk given on a retreat held at the City of 10,000 Buddhas, July 1991, by Bhikkhu Aiahn Amaro
王青楠博士 中譯 Chinese translation by Qingnan Wang, Ph.D.

如如想要尋求做人,到某處、某時的確 定性,生活就會使我們沮喪痛苦。只有當我們放下「我見」、「人見」,要去這兒、去那兒的觀念時,才能清楚地安住於覺悟之上。

心總習於將事物概念化。你說,「好,我會留意。」你視之為一種理想,並將心中塞滿了念頭,接著我們就將這個想法當成一個目標,而不只是在覺知而已,我們想要知道甚麼是覺知。

這就同阿姜查有時說的一樣——你騎著馬找馬。我們好奇,「誰是那覺知覺知者?」「覺知、覺知,又是誰在覺知著?」人會覺得有種在無限地退縮的印象,就如同從懸崖上向後落下似的,其實並非如此。因為我們放下我見後,所餘下的只有清楚的覺知;心安住於明亮,無私、覺知、永恆的境界。這時「這就是覺知」的念頭升起了,我們就不再安住於純粹的覺知,而去執著於有個東西叫「覺知」的想法;我們固定在這種想法上,邁步走進了有為界。我們一有任何執著,就離開了純粹的覺知境界;純粹覺知境界,就好像面對著牆壁,我們一旦執取任何念頭,就離開了牆壁,進入了一種執著於某些有為法的境界。

如果我們內心放鬆就安住於覺知之上,在這種純粹的狀況中就具有解脫,自由就存在於其中。這時內心覺悟到一體性、如性,在基督教中稱為至福。這種喜樂的境界是個完整的,隔離完全消除了的境界,在這種現責當中沒有自我。它並不是說我們和絕對真理在一起,而是說只是「這個」,內心處於純粹覺悟的境界,法覺悟到其自身的屬性。

在五十、六十年代佛法來美之初,有種理解非常流行;人都說,「人人都是佛」、「我們都是佛」、「人人都是完美的」,可這種情形並未使人們具備佛謙虛、溫和、節制的行為,有時人們視之為一個判決的執照。他們所做的任何事都是完美的;頭腦清醒是完美,醉酒也是完美的;你發心想做的任何事都是空的,都是如如的。如果有人將最高原理視為一種固定立場或個體而加以執著,你就會發現僅有信念是不夠的,這樣會使Beat那一代最聰慧的佛學人士死於醉酒。

「人人都是佛」和「一切都是完美的」的觀念,會給人帶來極大的自由感,可這與直接的證悟並不完全一樣。心安佐於這種證悟時,其中流露出的的是純淨的言語和行動,是柔和、無害、簡樸。佛證悟後,他完全沒有,也超越了一切苦惱;他不追求肉體快樂、吸毒。他對生命是極為小心謙虛的,使用物品也極為節省。他可以隨心所欲得到任何東西,可他卻寧可赤腳捨棄一切財產,過寧靜不傷害其他眾生的生活。

有些佛教傳統經過數世紀之後已經產生了這個問題,人們執著於法的道理,視之為一個個體——「我是大乘佛教徒」、「我是上座部佛教徒」,或「我是金剛乘佛教徒」,好像是帶上了表示某種資格的徽章,而沒有看到這些術語僅是在表示某種態度觀念。例如英格蘭佛教協會每年的夏季學校中,都有一個團體性的傍晚聚會,脫離大眾而舉行;表面上是因為他們已經「無相」,所以他們就可以傍晚離開大眾去討論佛法。這還沒關係,他們有行動的自由。上座部的佛教徒就圍坐著談天、喝茶,可你能從中看出一種心態——「我們屬於最上乘,不用去管那繁瑣的戒條,我們要尊敬一切眾生最究竟的佛性。」可以看到他們的願望和精力,有許多都用偏了,用分別心來對待一些簡單的特性。他們喜歡去喝一兩杯,不受約束地幌上一段時間,他們當然有行動的自由,可稱這種行為叫佛法卻是可悲的。

待續

Life is going to be frustrating and painful if we are looking for certainty and definition in terms of being a person, being some place, being in time. It's only when we let go of the sense of I... me ... and mine ... , of the sense of there being a person here who has anywhere to go to, or anywhere not to go to, that there is the clear abiding in awareness.

The tendency of the mind is often to conceptualize that. You say, "OK, I'm just going to be aware," and you take that as an ideal and try to fill the mind with that thought. What will happen then is that the thought turns into an object, so rather than just resting in being, the knowing, we try to see what it is that is knowing.

As Ajahn Chah would sometimes say—you're riding a horse and looking for the horse. We wonder, "Who is it that knows the knower?" "Who is it that knows the thing that's knowing the knowing?" One can get the impression that there's some sort of infinite regression happen­ing here, and that it's like falling off a cliff backwards. But it's not, because what happens is that when we let go of our sense of identity, then there is just the clear knowing. The mind rests in the bright, selfless, knowing, timeless state. Then the idea arises, "Oh, there is knowing." So rather than just resting in that pure knowing, we attach to the thought that there is something that is knowing. We're just fixing on that thought and then stepping out into the conditioned world. As we attach to any thought we're stepping away from that sense of pure knowing. If there is just pure knowing it's like being up against the back wall. As soon as we hold onto any thought we walk away from the wall. We're going out into experience, going out into attachment to some condition.

If we just allow the mind to relax and rest in that sense of knowing, in that purity of being, then there is liberation, there is freedom right at that point. At that point, the mind is aware of the sense of unity, of Suchness, there is the unifying vision which in Christian terms they call beatitude. The beatific vision is the vision of totality, of wholeness, the disappearance of any separateness. In this realisation there is no self—it's not you being with Ultimate Truth—there's just THIS, the mind in its pure awakened state, Dharma aware of its own nature.

With the early presence of Buddhism in America in the 1950s and early 60s, there was a tremendous amount of use of this kind of understanding; people were saying, "Everyone is a Buddha," "We're all Buddhas," "Everyone is perfect." And, instead of this giving rise to people having the conduct of Buddhas, which is modest, gentle, and restrained, this was sometimes taken as a justification of license. What­ever you do, it's perfect—sober is perfect, drunk is perfect, to do what­ever you feel like doing, whatever you're inspired to do—it's all empty. It's all Suchness. For people who took that highest principle as a fixed position or identity to hold onto—you can see that just the idea of it was not enough, and it caused some of the brightest Buddhist lights of the Beat generation to die as alcoholics.

There was a great sense of freedom of spirit that was inspiring it, but the idea of us all being Buddhas and everything being perfect is not exactly the same as the direct realization ... of that. When the mind truly rests with that realization, then what flows forth from it is a purity of conduct, a purity of speech and action, a gentleness, a harmlessness and simplicity. The Buddha's response to his enlightenment, being totally free and beyond any suffering, was not to pursue physical plea­sures or seek intoxication. His response was to live incredibly carefully and modestly, using the things of the earth with frugality. He could have conjured up anything he wanted, but he chose to live as a barefoot renunciant, a peaceful, harmless being.

One can see that some Buddhist traditions over the centuries have become caught up in this problem, whereby the principle is attached to and then taken as an identity—"I am a Mahayana Buddhist," or "I am a Theravadan Buddhist," or "I am a Vajrayana Buddhist." That's like wearing a badge that gives one a certain credential, rather than seeing that the terms referred to are attitudes of being. For instance in England, at the Buddhist Society summer school every year, one group would go and have their evening meetings down at the pub, ostensibly because they "had got beyond form." So, they would have their evening Dharma Discussions down at the pub, which is all right; they are free to do what they want. The Theravadans just sit around, chatter and drink tea. But you could see that the attitude was, "Well, we're of the Supreme Vehicle. We don't need to be bothered with the petty concerns of Sila [moral discipline]; we respect the ultimate Buddha nature of all beings." And one could see that a lot of their inspiration and noble energy was getting side-tracked into justifying the simple quality of preference: that they found it enjoyable to have a drink or two, fool around and have an unrestrained time. Again, they are free to do as they choose, but it's a sad mistake to label this as the practice of Buddha-Dharma.

To be continued

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