认识佛教与佛法
白云老禅师

今天本人从南部来到台北与大家结个法缘。离开台北快三十年了,这些年来一直都在南部,可以说跟各位在佛教方面的接触机会很少。今晚向大家介绍佛教的一些概念,尤其是关系到佛教与其他宗教的不同。

我们一般对宗教,都是以相同的概念来认识。一个宗教需具备教义、教主及教徒。在世界上所公认的五大宗教里,佛教唯一与其他宗教的不同之处在那里?佛教同样有教义、教主与教徒,但其特有的是统称三藏十二部的佛教经典-大藏经。以整个佛教精神来讲,它不止是仪式的表现,精神的寄托,更涉及到人在现实生活中,所关系到人与事太多的问题,而产生太多的烦恼与不自在。往往从宗教形态来看,我们只是去祈求、依赖,事实上,佛教除了同样有祈求、依赖的行为之外,还有更多的道理与方法帮助我们。大家都了解佛教的圣典-所谓「三藏十二部经」,如以经典的总纲而言,是戒、定、慧三学,若以佛法而言,又可做更多的细分。

由于佛教发源于印度,只是传到中国之后,历经中国文化、历史、族性及人文地理等种种关系,佛教慢慢调整到不同于原来的印度佛教。所以也有人这么认为,在印度原来的佛教是小乘佛教,在中国是大乘佛教;其实用这种方式区分,在经典上是不太理想的。我们只能说佛教,有少数人适合的法,也有大多数人适合的法,这关系到佛教本身,为何还有「法」的不同。

通常我们说有声闻法、菩萨法。所谓「声闻法」,以白话而言,就是只需管自己,不需管别人的修养方法。「菩萨法」,是自己除了从知见修养上下功夫,他所得到的好处,必须与更多的人分享。所以佛教有一个名词叫「回向」,凡所有功德要回向予众生,其实它的本义是-你得到好处后,要给更多的人分享。有时候佛教里有许多名词,很难去理解究竟是说什么,那是因为把「佛教」与「佛法」完全混合在一起,其实两者之间还是有所差别。

尤其近代在世界各国,佛教之兴盛,慢慢又造成另一个名词-「佛学」。其实在佛教或佛法中,并没有「佛学」这种名词,为什么?我们知道,学理往往偏于理论,在实际现象生活中,不一定能实践与实行。「佛法」不止是有其道理方法,还能告诉你如何着手,如何学习,而后得到利益,亦即是在现实生活中可以体验、证实的。我们从宗教的立场看,大部份是祈祷、仰赖,没有自我修养的道理方法。如何能自己度自己?如何解决自己的问题?要做到,是需要具备很多的知识经验。所以谈佛法,包括有很多的知识经验。概括的说,佛教是一种宗教,佛法是这一宗教里的知识经验,或是说释迦牟尼佛在人生现实的生命与生活相关条件下,所体证出的智慧。所以我们也可以这么说:佛法是智慧之法。

当然如果谈到智慧,常有人问:「学佛,有了智慧,又怎么样?」一般人会答:「有了智慧,修行就可以成佛、成菩萨。」又有人问:「成佛、成菩萨后,又怎样?」不晓得各位平常是否思考过这个问题?也有人回答:「成佛、成菩萨之后,就没有烦恼,自由自在了。」这是人人所希望的,可是究竟是什么现象?我们还是从佛教与佛法彼此之间去探讨这课题。

首先,从「佛」字上做认识。一般谈到什么是「佛」,就联想到释迦牟尼佛、阿弥陀佛、药师佛及其他诸佛。若只用这种观念去看佛,那只是佛教的样子。「佛」在梵文(印度古代文字)叫BUDDHA,中文叫「佛陀」,事实上这名词是经历多少年后,慢慢定型而成的。「佛陀」究竟是什么意思?若说是觉悟,看起来太简单了,在佛学辞典上,将佛诠释为「自觉、觉他、觉行圆满」,这个名词乍看,谁都看得懂,也似乎了解其意,可是这里有了问题:如何自觉?又如何觉他?怎么样才能达到觉行圆满的境界?若不以佛教,还有佛法来看,就会认为所谓自觉,发起菩提心,成为佛教徒,就是所谓「自觉」了;接引更多的人信佛教就是「觉他」;而所谓「觉行圆满」,就是我们大家一面学习,一面修养,最后得到某一种结果。其实这都不是佛陀的境界。

佛陀的境界不是以菩萨相同的方式去看,其境界是超越菩萨的,只是中国佛教把重点摆在菩萨修行上,而非佛陀的修行上。各位可能知道有位肉身不坏的出家人-慈航法师,若以佛教来讲,不能说他成佛了,只能说他成菩萨。因为成佛、成菩萨并不只是宗教形态,还涉及到太多的智慧及不可思议的修为,何况还要总揽无量无边难以计较的功德。

若以概念来看,佛不止是大慈大悲而已,他的愿力需在成就佛陀的结果后,还要建立起他的愿力世界,这世界就是他发愿去完成,依其愿力所建立起的一个环境,比如说:阿弥陀佛以极乐世界来行愿;像药师佛以琉璃世界来行愿;释迦牟尼佛以娑婆世界来行其愿。所以佛的境界,绝不是像现在有些人自认为是现在佛、在世佛,甚至活佛,这些名词几乎不能成立。因为一旦你真正证得佛的结果,就不应该同于可替代释迦牟尼佛来行愿,而且像释迦牟尼佛一样在娑婆世界以其愿力来接引众生;这都是平常对佛为何有其愿力世界,未作深入探讨所致。菩萨就完全不同,举例来看,观世音菩萨,本来就是佛-正法明如来,可是他在极乐世界是西方三圣之一,但他现菩萨相,绝不会标榜:「我可是正法明如来!」同时他也在娑婆世界帮助释迦牟尼佛,同样也不能强调说他是「正法明如来」,所以还是以菩萨的地位来帮助释迦牟尼佛。

从以上可见,即使已成就佛位,若要活跃于不属于他自己愿力所建立的世界,他就不能以佛的面目在此世界示现。基于这点,各位可体会目前不只在台湾,几乎在地球的全世界,凡是有佛教的地方,很少人去探讨这问题,也因这样,才会自诩为「现在佛」、「在世佛」、「活佛」。

娑婆世界,是以「人」为主题的世界。人的成就,不管他的修养多高,顶多只能达到十地菩萨位(即八地以上,入等觉后到达法云地、圆觉位),他不能达到妙觉位,因妙觉位是佛陀建立起世界的条件,才能以妙觉位表现。所以中国较强调所谓肉身不坏的菩萨、乘愿再来的菩萨,这都是我们在佛教与佛法上,先要能把握的。

至于谈到菩萨出现在娑婆世界或其他佛的愿力世界,都有其不同的道理与方法而行其愿,去辅助某一个佛世界那位佛陀的愿,不是他自己个人在这佛世界可以去行的愿。所以常看到凡所有菩萨,几乎都有其不同的愿-只限于辅助某一个世界里的佛陀,因为在那个世界以那位佛陀而言,是那一个世界的教主。

所谓「一花一世界」,并不是形容有一朵莲花,就有一个佛世界,不是这个意思。在座各位,只要你发起菩提心,就是菩萨,只是其地位、修养、功德力有所差异,所以就有等级。不管如何,只要发起菩提心,开始学习、修养佛法,你就是菩萨,但此时菩萨的地位并不是很高。所以有时会看到出家人称在家居士「大菩萨」,其实这并非是让你承受不了的称呼,因为佛法上,只要发起菩提心,且修学佛法,就可称为菩萨。

在中国,很少以罗汉的身分显现而来去世界。罗汉通常只管自己,不管别人,像泰国、缅甸等南传佛教地区,他们最高的成就只有罗汉。可是在中国,一千多年的佛教历史,成就的菩萨就难以计数了。为什么有这么大的差别?这关系到:一个只管自己,不管别人;菩萨是除了管自己,还要帮助别人。这其中的精神力量就不同了,何况它的道理方法,在知见修养上,均有差别。

中国历代以来,我们所知道的罗汉,几乎都是化身的,很少以真实的人-经由父母托胎而来到这世界成为罗汉。在中国不是不适合罗汉这种修养,其实修声闻乘的,还是很多,只是他不是以声闻乘所要求的道理方法修学,他只是能做到只管自己,事实上所修学的,还是菩萨法。

所以在中国除了化身罗汉外,均没有这种现象。例如早期的道济禅师(济公和尚)及清末民初的妙善禅师(金山活佛),这两位都是化身罗汉。为什么我这么肯定他们是化身罗汉?大家如果翻开中国佛教的高僧传记,会发现两个问题;一是道济禅师从那里来,出生在那里都有交待,但他圆寂后,不知去向,其二是妙善禅师,不知从什么地方来,但最后在那里圆寂却有个交待。这两位刚好一前一后,一个有来,一个有去(前面的一位有来,不知道去处;后面的一位没有来处,但最终有其去向。)所以都可发现其化身不同的地方。在中国还是比较强调菩萨的修行,也因此在佛教界常流行说:要发菩提心、修菩萨行;这刚好对照我们中国佛教所表彰的菩萨法。

「教」与「法」,现在我们做一个简单的认识。以佛教而言,是释迦牟尼佛所创;以佛法而言,亦是释迦牟尼佛所说;二者好像是同样的一个东西。这就要探讨到早期,在印度时代以教派而言,佛陀学派是最后一个学派。起先学派只有十一个(包括婆罗门教在内),但没有佛陀教派。当初悉达多太子是王储,本来可以继承他父亲的王位,由于他过去世经历了无量的劫波,早在然灯古佛时,就已授记为「释迦牟尼佛」,悉达多太子就是这位授记再来娑婆世界的人。

追溯当时在印度的环境,尤其是盛行探讨「人来到这世界是做什么?」这样的题目。在印度,那时候人的等级被划分得非常严格,有贵族身份的,一代代世袭都是贵族位;有钱的阶级,他一代代世袭都是商人;有属于农人;更有许多的是属于卑贱地位者。
  
那时释迦牟尼佛身为悉达多太子,他目睹这种情况,认为非常不平等,人的组成是以有钱、有地位,还有很多所谓「贱民」之类的,阶级意识非常浓厚。所以悉达多太子从人的生、老、病、死上,启发他想去探讨为什么会形成人世间诸般人与事、事与人的现象,因此他舍弃太子位而出家。

我们不谈他出家修行的过程,只谈他成就道业后,所建立起的佛陀学派,这在印度当时是最后一个,也就是第十二个学派。当初在印度学派中,大家认为释迦牟尼佛是人类的叛徒,也有比较冷静的说他是不满现实者。到后期,这些学术派系的领导者;给予取名为「印度社会学的革命学派」,这是早期的学派形态,而后慢慢演变为宗教形态。也就是佛教源自于释迦牟尼佛所创立起的学派。事实上,就是佛陀所创立起的教,我们称为「佛教」。这是教的缘起。

我们也知道,释迦牟尼佛以悉达多太子的身份出家后,曾参访许多善知识,也曾在现实生活中,非常刻苦的修行。以他贵为太子身,而能完全舍弃其娇生惯养的生活,去体验人生,发现人生,在现实生活中,得到很多的知识、经验,而后在修养的过程中加以实际体验。这一切完成后,释迦牟尼佛在世,讲经说法四十九年的历程,是「佛教」中「佛法」的缘起。

佛教与佛法来到中国之后,跟原来的佛教已经有很大的差别。我们翻开佛经,往往说佛陀来到这个世界,是为一大事因缘而来。但什么是「一大事因缘」呢?-生跟死的问题。可能各位会说:「您少谈两个字-病、老。」其实病、老还是属于生,所以真正说起来,只有生、死的问题。佛教到达中国后,早在唐宋时期,佛教最兴盛,也是佛法在中国传布最广的时代。除了有宗教形态外,还应用佛法使众生得到利益,帮助人去面对人生,化解烦恼,得以自主、自在。所谓化解烦恼得自在,就是「解脱」,可是有很多人误会,把解脱当成死,就像把「涅槃」误会成死一样。解脱、涅槃都不是死,以「解脱」来看,就关系到佛教与佛法。

「解脱」于佛教的精神,强调人来到这世界,是依于你自己过去所造作的好、坏、善、恶行为所完成的结果,这种结果称之为「业」。比如读书人的「学业」;从事某种工作称「职业」;从事某商业行为称「商业」,这些业,就是造作行为完成的现象。依其行为有好的称为「善」,不好的称为「恶」;所谓「善业」、「恶业」,是以宗教方式去看的。

佛教中有四句偈语:「诸恶莫作,众善奉行,自净其意,是诸佛教」。因此这是「佛教」而不是「佛法」。所以我们谈业、因果、报应、善恶、功德,甚至宗教里的仪式都是属于「教」。但我们往往把「法」的一面和「教」通通放在一起,认为这就是佛教,也是佛法。这样的认知,多少还是有所偏差,但我不能说完全错误。因为业是依于人的身、口、意,造作一切行为后,得到的结果来肯定它的好、坏,但是在行为中却不一定是好或不好。例如若干行为,可能起先看起来不好,可是结果却是好;也有的表面看起来好,但结果并不好。所以行为的中间与行为的结果是不尽相同的。为什么这么说?因为依于业而言,那是属于佛教的一种认知;若以佛法而言,就要以「道」来说。

所以佛教说有业,可是也必须有道。如何来化解业,所谈的就是道理方法,也就是佛陀所说的「戒、定、慧」三学,若说人有贪、瞋、痴,这是人的根本问题。以教的观点来看,分别有好、坏,有善、恶;若以道的修养来看,人本来就会如此,只是佛陀提出道理方法帮助我们,如何去面对人的本质问题,因此有戒、定、慧之说,这些都是属于法的范畴,也称之为「道」。

刚才谈到菩萨法,只要发起菩提心,就可称为「菩萨」,这里面就有教,也有道。「道」是依法而说。所以在佛教中很少谈到道的问题,是为了避免与中国道教的「道」混为一谈。所以通常在佛教只说有教、有法。事实上我们不可以把「道」归之于道教的「道」;同样如佛教之寺院的「寺」,也不能说是佛教的专利,为什么?

「寺」,在中国最早的寺庙是白马寺,可是里面住的并非出家人,供的也不是佛像。最早的白马寺,就像我们现在所说的大使馆(外国使节下榻之处)就叫做「寺」。可是我们不用这种方式去看,反而把白马寺说是天竺之摄摩腾、竺法兰二僧用白马载经运到我国寺内。这是另一种说法,我们不可混淆,此种说法好像涉及到寺,就是佛教的专利,并不是正确的说法。

其次我们看另一个名词「外道」,似乎只要一提到外道,我们都会联想到那是不好的。所谓「旁门左道」,或「邪魔外道」都用这类名词去说,同样也是错误的说法。外道,不只是宗教,假使在学术修养上,不同于你这一道,在你这道之外的他道都叫「外道」。即使佛教,以十大学派为例,狭义的来说,若是修学三论者而言,则修学其他学派的也算是外道,但这并不表示说:「不都是佛陀说的,怎么说是外道呢?」那是你把「外道」这名词分成正与偏邪了。

就像我在南部,大都与本省籍的学佛三宝弟子相处。有时,有人说我是外省人,其实这名词并没有什么不好听。若以籍贯来说,我是湖南人,当然不是台湾省人,是台湾省以外省份的人。我们再缩小一点,讲本地人、本乡人、乡亲,「乡」亦是很小的地方,外乡人、外地人不都是「外」吗?我们看到外国人,都叫「老外」,难道凡是「外」的都不好?那还有一个名词-外公、外婆,这也是不好吗?所以不能以这方式来看。

至于谈到业与道,我们必须先认识什么是业?刚才已说过业是如何形成的。可是「业」又是谁教我们造作的?这种造作行为是谁教我们去做的?是不是冥冥之间有人指使你,或者有个神,或是什么神秘的力量?以佛教的观点谈业,不是别人,这种造作是你自己身体、言语、思想的造作行为。所以说身、口、意是造作的工具,其过程很难辨别好、坏、善、恶,真正要确定它是在行为完成后,如果做完后是好的称之为「善业」;反之称为「恶业」。还有一种好、坏、善、恶分不清楚,难以界定归类的叫「无记业」。它之所以难分辨,比如这种行为若说它好,也不见得好;说它不好,其实也有好的地方。事实上这一切所做,没有别人教,都是自己;即使在现实中,若推托说是某人要我做的,可是冷静想想:「他要我做,我可不可以不做呢?」你应有自主能力。所以在佛法中谈「我」,不只是个人的样子而已。

在人的立场,「我」、「自我」是主宰者。我们常说:「这个人自我意识太强,自以为是……等。」总离不开自己,也就是那个「我」。所以业的本身是「我」去完成的,只是我们很难确定。明知是自己去做,可是为什么有人知道什么可以做,什么不可以做;为什么有人明知道不可以做,还是要去做,这是什么力量驱使?尤其常听人谈到这个人业障很重,那个人福报很大。

有时,也有人问我:「师父,我的业障那么重,该怎么办?」往往遇到这种情形,我会问他:「你所谓的业,究竟是善业太重或是恶业太重?」一般人会说:「当然是恶业。」就把业归之于不好,好像业中没有好的。也就因为这种误解,动不动就指责说:「你看,又再造业了。」就是意味你又在做不好的事。另一方面来看,那些善心人士从事社会慈善事业,社会公益事业的一份善心,其实也是在造业,只是他们造的是好的业,善的业。我们一般只要谈到业,就认定都不是好的,所以我才要问他:「你认为业障太重,究竟好还是不好﹖」一旦这么提醒,让他想到并不都是恶业,还是有善业。这些就是只知道「教」,不知道「法」的例子。

为什么我要这么强调、分别「教」和「法」?佛陀在世,以他四十九年所说的那么多的道理、方法,如果我们只把它当成是一种宗教的形态的话,那就像初一、十五去寺院拜拜、上香、做法事,然后跪着诵诵经,再不然就虔诚恭敬地拜拜经,但是这些都是仪式上的行为,都是属于宗教的形态,那不是佛陀对我们所真正希望的。

经典里有太多的道理方法,如果我们不能从中去理解它的道理,照着它的方法运用在我们现实中的话,结果就会变成「教归教、法归法」。往往学佛多少年后,把现实生活当成敌人,佛教当武器。比如做错事后,跪在佛前忏悔,忏悔完了就认为:「释迦牟尼佛原谅我所做的一切,您会去负责任的,跟我没有关系了!」

如此以宗教精神的寄托来讲,的确可以暂时缓和一下,但不能根本解决问题。因为你自己做的,还是需要你自己去承受。不可能自己做好的,自己就拥有它;做不好的,就归之于别人或者干脆交给佛菩萨,那是不可能的。尤其某些学佛者,往往只落在祈求,把希望、理想摆在遥远的未来的层次上,这话怎么说呢?

现在流行说:「这世界太苦,我们赶快到西方极乐世界吧!」听起来没有错,但思考一下,这世界太苦,你为什么来到这世界﹖你要到西方极乐世界,凭什么去﹖这一来一去,你若只是把希望摆在一个遥远的未来,而不管自己为何会来这世界受苦?又如何到极乐世界不受苦?而且是处在一个只有乐,没有苦的世界。

我们常说:「念佛求往生西方极乐世界」听起来像是有了佛教的雏型,只是你有所求,有所希望,请问怎么去﹖就必须要有「法」,没有道理、方法,你怎么去﹖所以我提到一个例证,目前台湾移民到国外的案例非常多,若想移民到美国,美国方面所提出的条件、要求,你都做不到的话,能去吗﹖这说明我们一般以念佛求往生西方极乐世界,总认为一句佛号「南无阿弥陀佛」,就保证一定可往生西方极乐世界,不是那么简单。

佛陀教化众生,不只是用这种方法(法门),更何况还有其他的方法,即使是这么一个方法,也不是那么简单。我们知道,阿弥陀佛四十八愿度众生,是有其条件、要求与方法,你都要照着做,才能去西方极乐世界,这一切并非是无条件的。我并不是反对修持净土法门,在座很多人都知道,虽然我是学禅的,说不定也看过我写的「弥陀净土简易修行法门」,这就证明我不是反对修净土法门。

佛法有八万四千法门,都是针对每个人不同的兴趣、条件,而以不同的方法修行。我只是提到在一个宗教形态下,必须要具备它的道理、方法,才能让人得到真正的利益。

举个例子,「烦恼」人人都有,身心不安就是烦恼的样子。甚至有人问我:「师父,我有这么多的烦恼,怎么办﹖你可否告诉我一个消除烦恼的方法。」我刚说过,一切的业是我们自己所造的,烦恼就是一种业报的现象,是你造作的,就要自己去受。若是告诉你一个方法,就能化解你的烦恼,那就不需要修行了;佛法是懂得道理、方法,还要实际去修养才行。以烦恼而言,也有很多于「理」方面的认知,如以烦身恼心,内外不安这些字句代表是烦恼的话,并不表示这就是佛法。以佛法来谈,包含教与法,把这两个名词放在一起,用一个代表性的佛法名词,就很容易认识-烦恼、菩提。

烦恼,是人的问题,人人都有,可是如何形成﹖如何化解﹖就必须要有佛法所提出的道理方法。若以概念来说,是要行于菩提道,这就是烦恼与菩提的关系。可是于下手与知解上的认识,修养上实际的体验要怎么做﹖「烦恼即菩提」是法的概念。若要进一步探讨法的真正面目-烦恼中有菩提,那才是法的重点指示。烦恼是人所为,烦恼中有菩提,但菩提并不是佛法。

可能各位听了不一定赞同我的说法。烦恼,大家认为是世间法,这点共识没有问题,因此往往说菩提就是佛法,事实上不能这么说的。烦恼,世间的人都有,所以说是世间法;可是菩提不是佛法,菩提只是帮助你达到觉悟境界的道路,这条道路不一定是什么样的道路,所谓八万四千法门就是八万四千个通往觉悟的菩提道。

那么什么是「佛法」﹖照我刚才说的,菩提在烦恼中就有,如何从烦恼中突破出来,显现你的觉悟,也就是必须把你的烦恼化解掉,没有烦恼了,那才是「佛法」。是不是只要烦恼一来,就用佛陀的方法,能够从道理方法上把烦恼化解掉,就是完成了佛法﹖那也不是,只是解决掉一个烦恼,显现了菩提而已,并不是化解一个烦恼,就表示所有的烦恼就必然能全化解掉了。

因为一个人在几十年的生命中,有太多的烦恼,而且不只是有相同的烦恼,还有更多数不清不同的烦恼。这种种相同与不相同的烦恼,即使你找到某一个菩提道,也不一定能在下一次相同的烦恼中,用相同的方法就可以化解。为什么﹖举个例子:「你为什么烦恼?」我们一般并不这么表示,而是:「我有好多烦恼,怎么办?」只是将一个问题摆着,希望求得一个答案而已。事实上,答案在那里?所以会有很多人告诉你:「去念佛号。」起初念一念有效,但念久了,烦恼还是存在。若想再求另一个解决烦恼的答案,又有人会告诉你:「那你持咒好了。」不错,持持咒也蛮有效,可是时间久了,烦恼依然存在。于是有的就教人诵经、礼忏,甚至参加法会功德,会有一个换一个的答案告诉你,可是到最后呢?开头是有效,过了一段时间,还是烦恼,也就是那个烦恼根本从来没有化解掉,有的只是暂时转移的精神现象而已。烦恼根本并没有解决,你的烦恼依然如故。

我们常说要「出离烦恼」,以烦恼而言,不是一个烦恼化解掉,我就见道、成道了。像有很多人,事业失败或情感受伤害时,在人生现实遇逢烦恼就说:「我这下子看透了人生,我觉悟了!」似乎一下子顿悟,就认为自己成佛,成菩萨了。若用这种方式,那释迦牟尼佛未免比我们还笨,为什么?我们只要觉悟一下,看透了从此就不再烦恼。请问真的可以看透吗?真的不再烦恼了吗?所以佛法中谈「烦恼即菩提」、「烦恼中有菩提」是有其道理与方法的依据。

刚刚我说,光是有了问题,寻找答案,并不能解决与化解烦恼;那如果我们针对烦恼去着手,就能发现烦恼中的确有菩提。举个例,假使有人问我:「师父!我有烦恼怎么办?」我一定会问:「你烦恼什么?」答说:「我自己也不知道为什么烦恼。」这不叫烦恼,只是妄想杂念。
  
烦恼的发起,不用别人问,自己可以探讨-我究竟为什么烦恼?假使因别人倒你的债而产生烦恼,我们可以发现,你烦恼的成因是什么。但有没有想过,你为什么要这么做呢?你说:「因为他是我的朋友亲戚。」那么彼此之间一定有情份在,我们会想到一个问题:当初你替他调支票时,有没有想过,他将来是否有能力还给你?你会说:「我信任他,他应该是个好人。」没有错,可能有许多人不是刻意要倒人家的债,而是处在某一种环境、因缘关系,使他实在没办法,而非刻意如此做,是有许多这种情形。
  
那我们更要想到,当你帮助别人时,先要想到自己能力够不够。若自己能力不够,还要去帮助别人,这其中已显出你会受到伤害,若无法承受伤害,就不能做;若认为这种伤害,我还可忍受,那就不应该烦恼。如果我们只是烦恼,而试图求得些什么?并不深入探讨为什么烦恼,那么可以肯定,你是自寻烦恼!

我们再用一个简单的方式来看-「你为什么烦恼?」有人回答:「因为别人毁谤我。」大家有没有考虑过,因毁谤而形成你的烦恼,其中是否存在予盾?可是人就是奇怪,明知道是毁谤,他还是烦恼。

我们应该知道,毁谤不是事实(毁谤并不是真实的事情),也就是他说的是一回事,而实际上我自己才不是如此。如果再进一步探讨:「他毁谤你什么?」答案是:「他说我是小偷。」若人家诬陷你是小偷,而事实你自己并不是小偷,这才是毁谤;若你真的是小偷的话,反正一人做事一人当(实至名归)那也算不上是毁谤。既然是事实而不是杜撰的毁谤,那你就不应该烦恼。「可是因为我不是小偷,受到不实在的毁谤,我才烦恼。」我们人就是这么去强调。假使再细究探讨,若别人认为你有小偷的行为,你是否曾经在有意或无心的情况下做过一些什么?多花点时间、仔细想一想,说不定到最后你真正不是小偷,而所形成的毁谤也一定是误会。若因烦恼别人毁谤你是小偷,而你不是,最后找出来是个误会,那么误会一经解释,不就没有烦恼了吗?可是误会 需要用知识、经验慢慢去探讨、追究才能化解。

若我们只是一味地烦恼,也不管为什么烦恼,一烦恼就找一个菩提,菩提在那里?菩提在佛法中。「烦恼即菩提」,就是人的问题,以佛陀告诉我们的道理、方法,探讨如何追究,把你的烦恼化解掉,那就是佛法;不能化解掉,即使你知道而做不到,纵使再好,都还只是世间法。所以一个完整的佛法,必须把你的问题化解掉,若还存在任何细节或是后遗症的,都不是佛法,也因此佛法本身不是一个问题,求得一个答案。我们一般初学佛者,大部份有了问题,都希望求得一个答案,就如我刚说的,有烦恼就去请教一个方法,教来教去,最后烦恼还是存在,到最后,被求教的这位说:「我实在没有办法,该教你的方法都教了,你居然还烦恼,那你的业障实在太重了!」

了别「佛法」与「佛教」,并不是要大家起分别心,而是提醒各位,佛教里面有佛法,它不止是个宗教而已。若只想成为一个佛教徒很容易-皈依三宝就是佛教徒、佛弟子。可是真正面对现实,如何珍惜你这短短几十年?那就必须要具足佛法,没有佛法,不管怎么做,还是在世间法中打转。跟各位讲句不太好听的话,即使是孔老夫子,还是世间人,他不是佛;孔子是至圣,也还是人,还是没有出离世间,同样在烦恼中过,还是有太多的问题不能解决。

佛法是究竟的,在所有的宗教中,只有佛教才有佛法。刚说过,从「业」上的认识,那么以八万四千法门(整部大藏经)来看「道」的话,当问题发生的时候,想寻找某一个法门来帮你化解问题,若以在家居士而言,尤其在今天这种忙碌的社会,是很难下手,无从找起,究竟需要用什么方法帮助你?如你要去翻大藏经,翻不完,因为藏经太多了。可是我们谈「业与道」,道在那里?在藏经里,那你会担心-我怎么办?所以佛陀在世时,为了所留下来的佛法,才建立起「僧伽制度」。

「僧伽」,不是一个出家人能代表的称呼,它是三个,以至四个人以上,离开(出离)了家庭,聚合在一起修学佛陀的道理和方法者,就叫「僧伽」。我们要把握一点,并非凡是僧伽都能讲经说法。因为僧伽的条件并不是很高,只要三至四个人离开家庭,舍弃世俗,聚在一起修养研习佛法,从而得到佛陀的智慧,除了解脱自己的生死,而且还要帮助别人(当然并不一定每个僧伽都要做到这样)。佛陀建立僧伽的本意,是希望出家弟子能荷担如来家业,把他的道理方法一直流传下去,可是并没要求每一个出家人都要做同样的事。

我们知道每一个人的出生、教育、根基、智慧都不相同,不可能把他们摆在同一定位上,更何况出家人,有的早出家,有的晚出家,但好像只要样子变了,他就应该什么都懂,所以常会说:「你看,这位出家人什么都不懂。」事实上这也要求过份。至少要了解,他出家多久了?修学佛法多久?在佛陀的智慧上,拥有了多少?

以出家人而言,荷担如来家业,普度众生,若认为自己可以这么做的话,的确,你应该为法之师(法师),否则只是比丘、比丘尼而已。佛陀为流传其道理建立起「僧伽制度」。有一种说法,出家人一旦出家,受了三坛大戒之后就称为「人天师范」,不但做人的老师,还要做天的老师。各位想想,是否每一位出家人都可以做得到?当然我不是说做不到,但是需要时间。

如幼稚园的老师要经过幼保教育;要想成为中、小学老师,现在几乎都要大学、独立学院毕业;要做个教授,甚至具有博士学位也不一定马上能当教授,即使副教授都不一定立刻做得到,说不定得从讲师做起。世俗教育如此,佛法的教育更不是那么简单,同样也需要历经很多时间,请益善知识来帮助他。我们所看到的,有很多观念,只是佛教的形态,并未从佛法上探讨,多做一些认识。

我从民国五十六年离开台北之后,这些年来一直在南部,也未曾在南部活跃,都是关起门来培养出家人、办佛学院及一些解行的工作,不管是知见上、经典法义或实际修养。既然已经关了这么久,照理说我现在应该可以退休了,只是在佛教里,释迦牟尼佛好像没有提及退休的制度。释迦牟尼佛交付出家人讲经说法,也只是对出家弟子的希望,不是人人一定非做不可;即使要做,也需要时间,慢慢经过几年知见的修养及实际体验。所以在佛教所看到的「佛、法、僧」包含了做法会、诵经、礼忏、超度……等,这都是佛教的行为,这行为若对死去的人有一份功德,对活着的人,只是一种精神上的依赖和安慰而已,于实际面上,要化解个人切身的问题,没有佛法,还是不能解决。

讲来讲去,大家还是会问,八万四千法门该如何下手去认识修养?我谈到出家人,重点在出家人是佛法的专业从业人员,在家居士在忙碌的现实生活中,要化解所谓「无始以来的业,所展现出来的感报」这些问题的话,需要有出家人介绍佛陀的道理、方法,才能得到利益。

佛教也好,佛法也好,有一个大前提,身为佛教徒只是个样子,一定是为了自己的生与死,才会谈修养,只是一味地依赖、祈求是不可能得到「解脱」的,要有佛法才可以。依于一般人而言,八万四千法门不易找寻,那么就有出家人可以帮你,所以我们称出家人为「僧宝」,宝在那里?珍贵何在?因为他是一位专业人员。当然出家有前后,不可能一出家就成为法师,就可以度众生,还是需要经过很长的时间、空间才有机会。我也不是强调只有出家人才了不起,因为这是个现实的问题;在座各位以在家居士而言,你每天必须为现实生活付出很多时间,能拥有的时间是有限的,若想要从大藏经中找到你所需要的,的确不太可能,所以才需要有出家人。出家人放弃一切世缘,专门在从事这方面的修养,只是也要提醒各位,有佛法还要有佛教,因为佛教上很多行为,同样要出家人去维护、延续它。

在概念上谈「业」,我们都知道了;谈「道」,就要看你本身的兴趣是什么,具备的条件如何。这其中跟各位提出一些要领,第一个,我们学佛,要有个宗旨去把握它。佛法、佛教它的宗旨和大前提-不伤害别人,自己也不受到伤害;不伤害别人很容易做到,自己也不受到伤害是很难的事,那么就需要佛法来帮助你。

第二个,如何进入到佛法?要具备三多-多看、多听、多问。所谓「多看」,不管你看任何一部经,要看很多种注解;所谓「多听」,同一部经,要听不同的人讲;若有了问题,同一个问题不只问一个人,要问不同的人,这样才能达到多看、多听、多问。在这三多之下,就可以搜集很多资讯,自己可以去比较、选择。若只是一本经看一个注解,有了问题,问一个人,你就没有选择的余地,没有比较的机会;若能多看、多听、多问则可搜集更多资讯去比较,然后得到你所需要的。

我说的「三多」,所谓比较、选择,不是一次的比较、选择,而是要不断的比较、选择;选择之后,还要把你所选择的再去比较,再去选择,最后才能肯定可以帮你化解问题。

第三个,我们不要一开始学佛,就要固定学一个方法一门深入,了生脱死,不要用这种方式。为什么?你看台湾这些年来,发起修习弥陀净土,大家就一窝蜂去念佛,念一念后,听说学密很好,又一窝蜂去学习。最近,大家说禅最好,一窝蜂又去学禅。不晓得再过一段日子,又要学什么?为何会有这种现象-人云亦云?人家说这个好,就跟着跑,究竟你自己的兴趣根器在那里?自己具备的条件适不适合?八万四千法门,难道这么几个就代表一切吗?

所以学佛、修行,不要一开始就想抓住一个方法,然后一门深入,这不是办法,还是要多看、多听、多问,在三多之下,慢慢发现自己喜欢什么,自己所具备的条件适不适合,如此才能得到实际的效益。否则,依我过去到现在的经验,有很多人学佛多少年后,还是不知道该怎么办,因为他一直没有认识清楚,自己的兴趣根器究竟在那里?喜欢什么?自己所具备的条件是否适合?是否相应于这一法门或这部经典?其实任何一部经典都有其道理与方法。

不管我们是从宗教的入门以至到佛法的修养,都要记取一句话「依教如法」-依于佛陀所教(所提出来的方法);「如」是适合于你自己,能相应,没有缺陷,只有这样才是如法。否则,只是盲修瞎练,学佛好多年,最后还是烦恼不断,也很难显现菩提,何况要谈解脱,还涉及到因果关系、因缘法则……诸多变数。

一百分钟的时间,想要把这么大的题目,讲得很详细并不容易,只是概要式的把一些现实生活中,人生道路上可能会遇到的问题,提醒各位去把握重点。

Ven Bai Yun (白云老禅师) 11.

I, Yeshe Tsogyal, am the sovereign of cyclic existence and its transcendence. If you recognise me, I live in the minds of all beings; I emanate as the natural elements and sense-fields, And I emanate further through the twelve links of dependent origination.

— Yeshe Tsogyal

Yeshe Tsogyal 13.

The Simplest Meditation
by Melvin McLeod

How can everything be perfect if it’s so screwed up?

That question goes to the heart of the situation we find ourselves in, which Buddhists call samsara. That’s the endless cycle driven by our struggle to try to fix what’s broken — in ourselves, in our lives, in our world.

But what if nothing really is broken? What if our problem is that there is no problem, but we don’t know it? What if all our efforts to solve our problems are what’s creating the problems in the first place?

Who knows when and how this trap was sprung, but we’re in it. How do we get out?

We just stop. We do nothing at all and see what we see. That’s what the four profound meditation practices taught in this issue help us do — stop and do nothing.

That’s what the Buddha did.

First, he stopped material struggle because he realised that wouldn’t fix the problems of birth, old age, sickness, and death. Then he embarked on a long spiritual struggle, but that didn’t work either. Finally, he just sat under a tree and stopped all his struggling. He sat there and did nothing, and enlightenment revealed itself like the morning star. No longer misled by the drive to achieve something, he realised that all beings are inherently enlightened, just as they are, and the universe is perfect, just as it is. There is nothing to fix. There is nothing we need to do.

This is simple — but not easy. Nothing is the hardest thing for us to do. Our entire existence is predicated on doing things. We think we need to do things to ensure our well-being, to make spiritual progress, to fix ourselves, to survive. Most of all, we fear that if we’re not doing anything we’ll discover we don’t exist. That’s called a glimpse of enlightenment.

Of course, this doing nothing is a little different from kicking back and relaxing. It means stopping what we’re doing at every level. It means not trying. It means not trying not to try. It means not philosophising about not trying, or setting the goal of not trying. Our minds are so subtle and tricky. We have to step completely outside our fun-house of infinite mental mirrors. We have to sit down and give it all up like the Buddha did.

Once we stop covering it over, even for a moment, it’s said that what we glimpse is the basic ground of reality — of ourselves, of all beings, of all phenomena.

In Buddhism, this is called many names — enlightenment, Buddha-nature, the true nature of mind, the Great Perfection, ordinary mind, or just plain “Buddha.” The description I find most helpful is “emptiness endowed with all the supreme aspects,” from the Vajrayana tradition. This means the basic ground of reality is empty — free of all our mistaken projections — yet replete with all good qualities: wisdom, joy, compassion, peace, enlightenment.

In other words, once we stop screwing everything up, it’s all perfect.

Melvin McLeod 1.

Your most important home is your own mind, more than any other. You’ve got to come back to that home, to get to know it a little bit better. And when you rest in your home, even for one moment, it might be the most beautiful rest you ever have. That is the beginning of finding meaning in your life. That is the beginning of making peace within yourself.

–17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

17th Karmapa 43.

藏传佛教和汉传佛教有什么不同?
多识仁波切

(1)藏传佛教和汉传佛教都是佛教,因此,都有佛教的共同特点,如承认四法印,皈依三宝,四众弟子都按律部规定受戒,发慈悲心,抑恶扬善,以正见破除三界烦恼,追求解脱苦与苦因等等。

(2)藏传佛教和汉传佛教同属大乘佛教,因此,都有大乘佛教的共同特点。如利益众生为目的的菩提心,受分别解脱戒和菩萨戒,以六度修福慧资粮,成就佛陀色法二身,以无二正见破障,追求不同于小乘教的不住二边涅等等。

但也有各自的不同特点和大同中的小异。主要有如下几个方面:

①藏传佛教是显教菩萨乘和密教金刚乘合二为一的教派,而汉传佛教是大乘显教。唐代虽然译过一些密经,但都属下部密,而且早已绝传。有人将净土宗划为密宗,但从教义上衡量,这种观点恐怕难以成立。藏传佛教四部密法俱全,但藏传佛教独有的密法是无上密,所谓即身成佛之法也只在无上密中才有。因为下三部密中虽有多种成就的修法,但都没有幻身和光明识的修法,而即身成佛却离不开这两种双运成就。

②藏传佛教各派都以龙树中观见为主,虽然各派对中观二谛义的理解有差别,但没有一个尊唯识见者。唯识学研究只是为了从反面认识中观真理。汉传佛教早期的天台、三论、华严、禅宗等教派都持中观见,唐玄奘师出唯识宗门,故在东土弘扬法相唯识学,对唐以后的汉传佛教影响极大。现在的汉传佛教大部分是净土宗,净土宗认为:理深解微,末世断惑证理甚难,乘佛愿力,往生净土为易行之道,因此,不习中观、唯识之理,只诵经典、佛号求往生。由于这些原因,藏传佛教和汉传佛教,在事理二谛的见解方面存在很大的差别。

③藏传佛教和汉传佛教,由于各自所处的历史文化、自然环境和信众的生存条件、生活习俗不同,因此,在饮食起居、典章制度、塔殿佛像的造型风格、信仰习俗、信众的心理素质等众多文化内涵方面形成了各自不同的特点。

总的来说,藏传和汉传佛教之间虽然有以上这些不同点,但二者既然都是佛教,在根本教义方面没有什么不同,也就是说它们在本质上没有什么不同。不同点,只表现在非本质的表面现象方面。

多识仁波切

To find a Buddha all you have to do is see your nature. Your nature is the Buddha. And the Buddha is the person who’s free: free of plans, free of cares. If you don’t see your nature and run around all day looking somewhere else, you’ll never find a Buddha.

— Bodhidharma

Bodhidharma 119.

The Obstacles to Happiness
by His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, Jigme Pema Wangchen

If there are so many benefits to being happy, why do we struggle with happiness? What are the obstacles that come between us and our happiness, that stop us from being our true, authentic, kind, generous and fulfilled selves? Where do they come from?

We cannot control the things that happen to us or outside of us: if we do not have enough money to keep a roof over our heads or food on the table, then our happiness will be affected; other people may harm or try to harm us, or we may become ill or injured in an accident and experience great pain.

There is a great deal, however, that is in our own hands when it comes to happiness and living the life that we know we want to when we listen to our hearts. The life we have is so precious, and each of us has so many things to contribute. So why do we bury ourselves under the mental weight of expectations, worries and misunderstandings, creating disharmony within ourselves and with others, making ourselves unhappy in the long run? How do these ‘happiness obstacles’ build up over time? Why are we so often our own worst enemy?

It is the barriers we create in our minds that get in between ourselves and our happiness; they are like invisible walls constructed from our fears, our impatience, jealousies, anger and all the opinions and ideas that we cling to for our sense of identity. We want and expect things to be a certain way – so much so that sometimes we ruin our chances for happiness before we have even begun. Or we fit our minds into a mould of what we think is ‘right’, becoming too solid, too inflexible. We weigh down our happiness and close up our minds, rather than letting them float and wander around freely so that they might open up to many inspiring new ideas and ways of seeing.

THE ROOTS OF OUR SUFFERING

It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are
or what you are doing that makes you happy or
unhappy. It is what you think about it. DALE CARNEGIE

Before we can truly begin to cultivate a happy state of mind, we need to understand the source of our suffering, the obstacles that come up between us and our happiness. It may be surprising, but when we begin to think through the things that we believe take away our happiness, it is possible to see how all suffering stems from the mind.

Of course, with physical pain, there is a sensation in the body which can be very intense. There is no questioning that pain feels very real. However, even with physical pain, the level of suffering we experience comes from within our minds – how we cope with it, how we react to it on an emotional level.

Likewise, when we lose a loved one, grief and sadness will become our companions for a time while we heal from the pain of the loss. But it is through this type of suffering that we are able to truly understand our joy and happiness too. We are reminded of the preciousness of life, how important it is to live for each day, to embrace the present, rather than living in the past or constantly being anxious about the future. Our grief shows us how much we love and how much we care; it is then up to us whether we hold on to that grief for too long, undermining our happiness and keeping us trapped in a very dark place or whether we have the courage to let our grief and sadness go.

CONDITIONAL HAPPINESS

So many people believe that if only they can achieve a particular goal – losing a certain amount of weight, perhaps, or getting top marks in an exam – they will be happy. Or they might think that if they can endure their job for now, it will bring them happiness through the money they can spend in retirement or through the security of knowing they can repay their mortgage. People are taught this way of thinking – of putting off happiness or imposing certain conditions upon it. But when we place conditions on happiness we are really limiting ourselves. What if we don’t lose that weight or we don’t get top marks? Does it really make a difference to who we are and should these conditions stop us from being happy? We don’t deserve to be happy – happiness is our nature, it is part of us, not an exchange. So don’t put your happiness in a box marked ‘only for special occasions’.

EXPECTATIONS

When I teach, I talk a great deal about expectations, and how they have become an epidemic that is putting off happiness for people all over the world. Expectations are considered by many to be a very good thing – they help people to strive for success, to make a good living for themselves and their families and to reach great heights. From my point of view, however, expectations are related to being overly outcome-driven, so again, it is a matter of creating a list of conditions or goals that have to be met before we can really say we have ‘made it’ and allow ourselves to be happy; and when we don’t reach all our goals we feel disappointed.

If you can practise being intention-driven, then you do not rely on one particular outcome, so long as you have tried your best. When you place too much emphasis on outcomes, you are too attached to an imagined future. If you focus on your intentions, you become more present – what matters is what you are doing right now. Your intentions are based on your values, they are connected with your heart. This isn’t to say that you abandon all goals, for example, goals like gaining an educational degree or a promotion at work can be very helpful in encouraging ourselves to grow and fulfil our potential, but that you put the emphasis on your intention, why you want to do these things, rather than being attached to specific outcomes. The irony is that the more you concentrate on your intentions and values, the more effective you become at fulfilling your goals, too, because what you do during the day becomes aligned with your purpose. Happiness becomes the journey, not the destination.

Here is an example. In the morning you may set your goals for the day, such as spending more time with your family or getting through your ‘to do’ list at work. And then at the end of the day, you become disappointed as you realise there are still so many things you wanted to do but weren’t able to. If you focus on your intentions, instead, you may begin the day with a simple desire to express your appreciation for the people close to you and to make the most of the day. You focus on what you do, rather than worrying about what you haven’t done. A moment spent with your loved ones might be fleeting but counts for so much because you are right there, happy in their presence. It’s a change in your perspective.

You can also be a much more flexible person in this way, open to all the possibilities of an uncertain future. Expectations come with the potential for much disappointment, whereas intentions simply get you into a good frame of mind, from which anything might happen and you no longer need to feel attached to one specific outcome. Life rarely goes according to plan, so why make a trap for your own happiness by placing the burden of expectation on it?

WHEN WE LOSE OUR WAY

One of the biggest obstacles to happiness is when there is a disconnect between what we know in our hearts is the right thing for us to do and what we actually do. It is not always easy to match up our purpose with how we think, speak and act, but the more we can do this, the more productive and connected we will be.

Many people feel that they would be much happier if they could strike the right balance between work and life. Sometimes I think we forget that work is life, rather than being something separate that we put up with so that we can have a comfortable life the rest of the time. How people feel at work becomes a barometer for happiness, a roller coaster of good and bad days with so many potential saboteurs, from bosses to feeling the weight of responsibility, to things going wrong or feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

If you ever feel that you have somehow lost your way, or you are not sure which direction to take, meditation and mindfulness can help you to see beneath the choppy surface to the clarity within. Have the courage to keep going and bring your attention right into the present moment to look around you and see what is really going on in your life. Resolve to sweep away your doubts and uncertainties and grab today for all it’s worth.

HABITS OF THE MIND

Our mental habits have a way of getting in between us and our happiness, especially if we are unaware of their strength. Over time we develop patterns in how we react to situations or people – we feel crushed by criticism, angered by people who bump into us, for example. We might wish we could react differently, but our habits are so entrenched that we fall back on them without thinking. We seem to follow the same negative patterns of thinking and behaving over and over again, and we’re not sure how to break the cycle.

By bringing our attention to the present moment we can see those habits and patterns as they happen and understand what triggers them; by developing self-awareness we can choose not to follow the same old ways of thinking and strike out on a new path.

NEGATIVE EMOTIONS

Anger and its relations – such as frustration, impatience, intolerance, shame and guilt – are very corrosive to our state of mind. They cause us pain in the moment because they literally burn us, and when we react very suddenly or without thinking, we may lash out with words that act like arrows directed at other people, objects or situations.

Unnecessary mental sufferings such as doubt, desire and greed take up so much precious space in the mind and can even make us small-minded. They also cause distance and separation; we want to get away from a person or situation we don’t like, or from ourselves. We may even take something that is happening in the moment and project it as a universal truth that is never going to change: I’m always going to be alone; I will never be happy like this.

When we are angry, we can’t see straight and we make rash interpretations and associations. If we are not careful of the anger that arises at the moment, it can become a more general anger towards life. Similarly, the other emotions related to it can become habitual, so that we may tend towards comparison and jealousy or being suspicious of the intentions of others. This leaves very little room for joy and happiness in our thoughts and our hearts.

This is why it is so important to become more aware of and friendly with all our emotions; to explore the source of any negative emotions or feelings and to practise their antidotes – patience, appreciation and acceptance. An angry or jealous mind can never be happy, so for the sake of ourselves and those around us we need to understand our emotions and learn how to let them go.

EGO-CLINGING

In our teachings, we talk a great deal about ‘grasping attachments’ and impermanence. The ego is a collection of all the stories and beliefs we have been told and have told ourselves about who we are over the course of our lives. When we become too attached to this identity, we limit ourselves and, as a consequence, we put limitations and conditions on our perception of happiness. And just as we cling to our egos, our egos cling to possessions and opinions in an attempt to feel secure. This creates an underlying sense of fear – fear that we might turn out to be ‘wrong’, fear that we might become losers in some way, fear of what others think of us.

If you are unhappy with yourself, then that is because you haven’t got to know your true self. You only know your ego, which right now is doing you a disservice and trapping you in unhappiness. The things that you do not like in your personality or about your actions are not you; and although it might seem impossible when you are consumed by feeling bad about yourself, you can begin to gently break free from the bonds of these labels. By taking care of your mind, you can transform your thoughts and your actions. In other words, you can transform your life.

RELATIONSHIPS

If you feel you are unhappy because of how people are treating you, the first thing to realise is that whatever others may say or do, you still have some degree of control over your reactions. If your happiness is within, then you don’t have to let external conditions have such a hold over it. Sometimes our perception of intention – behind harmful words especially – is entirely different from or an exaggeration of what someone else was thinking.

There may be times when it does seem as though someone truly wants to upset or harm you with their words or actions. It is very hard for this not to affect your sense of happiness, but it may help to understand that their motivation for engaging in harmful words or deeds says everything about them and nothing about you.

Although directed at you like a poisoned arrow, they have nothing to do with who you are, stemming rather from the person’s own misunderstandings about who they are. Contemplating and understanding this may help to reduce your sense of suffering and to see that other people don’t need to become a fixed obstacle to your happiness. You may focus instead on all the positive relationships and connections in your life and nourish them with your happiness.

FEAR AND UNCERTAINTY

We feel our fears and anxieties in our bodies; they are obstacles to happiness that sit in the pit of our stomachs or make our whole being feel agitated and uncomfortable. Fear in itself is not the problem here though; our fears are some of the best signposts towards growth, towards doing what we really want to do and being who we want to be. It is when you let fear and uncertainty about what may (or may not) happen to fester, rather than facing them, that they can get in the way, between you and your happiness. Your ego will cling on to fear, but your true nature is fearless and free. You just have to peel back the layers, look directly into your heart and see the courage and confidence that lie within.

If you feel unhappy because of the situation you find yourself in, you can begin to explore the feelings it brings up for you and see if you can look at them – and the situation itself – from different angles, rather than believing them to be only a source of unhappiness.

When it comes down to it, no matter how many self-beliefs, circumstances or people we feel are lessening our happiness, we do have a choice when it comes to how we cope or deal with them in our minds. Do we hang on to frustration experienced during a morning meeting all day, so that we end up taking it home with us? Do we always take on the blame or responsibility for situations when they could easily be shared? Do we even worry a little about letting ourselves be happy, fearful that we might hurt so much more if it is then taken away from us?

We human beings seem to find complication and even suffering to a degree easier to deal with than happiness: it is easier to complain than to celebrate; it is easier to list what we didn’t get done today than to acknowledge everything we accomplished. We wrap ourselves up in expectations and ideas about how we think things should be, and we worry that contentment and peace will bring laziness.

I believe it is time you freed your mind and let happiness back in – it’s been waiting patiently for you to open the door for long enough. The happier you allow yourself to be today the happier you’ll be tomorrow and for the rest of your life.

Gyalwang Drukpa 35.

Stop all physical activity and sit naturally at ease. Remain silent and let sound be like an echo. Do not think about anything look at experience beyond thought; open minded like space. Let go of control and stop and rest at ease in that state. Awareness without projection is the greatest meditation. Train and develop like this and you will come to the deepest awakening.

— Tilopa

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由無常義釋非四作的緣起甚深
文|無得

一、前言

佛法的主要方法,在觀察現象而探求他的原因。現象為什麼會如此,必有所以如此的因與緣。

依經說,釋尊是現觀緣起而成佛的,釋尊依緣起說法,弟子們也就依緣起(和四諦)而得解脫。

緣起甚深,卻是佛弟子見道、修道和證得無上菩提的樞紐,不可不知。《瑜伽師地論‧卷十》說:依無常義、苦義、空義、無我義的十種相,可以了知緣起甚深。

本文擬就前四相──(1)諸法從自種子生亦待他緣;(2)從他緣生亦待自種子;(3)又從自種子及他緣生,而種及緣於此生事,無作無用亦無運轉;(4)又復此二因性功能非不是有;從無常義略釋此非四作的緣生法,希望藉此一窺緣起的甚深義。

二、正文

(一)非自作

緣起甚深的第一相是:「依無常義者:謂從自種子生,亦待他緣。」

一切有為法都有生、住、滅三相,由無而有,由有而無叫無常。《顯揚聖教論》說:無常有六種:一、無性無常;二、失壞無常;三、轉異無常;四、別離無常;五、得無常;六、當有無常。無性無常的意思是性常無,是遍計相攝;其餘的無常都是依他起相攝;圓成實相中無無常義。

一切有為法都是無常的,這些無常法唯有無常法能為其因。作為無常法的因必須具備七種相:

1. 「雖無常法為無常法因,然與他性為因,亦與後自性為因」。

2. 「非即此剎那」。

種子生現行叫作與他性為因,果望於因並非單一可成,所以說「他」;種望於種,因性是一,所以叫作「自」,種子有恆隨轉的特性。種子生現行是同時的,若與自性為因,就不是同一剎那,而是前後相續,故說後自性為因。

3. 「又雖與他性為因及與後自性為因,然已生未滅方能為因,非未生已滅」。過去和未來的種子不能為所生法的因,必須是現在的種子才能為因。

4. 「又雖已生未滅,然得餘緣方能為因,非不得餘緣」。種子不能單獨生現行,還要其他助緣才行。

這四相可以解釋緣起非自作──從自種子生,亦待他緣;及非他作──從他緣生,亦待自種子。

十二緣起是怎麼而有的呢?就是「從自種子生」,由於無明,你創造了福業、罪業或不動業的種子,所以十二緣起就開始了。「亦待他緣」,但是自種子的力量不夠,還要借重其他的增上緣、所緣緣、等無間緣,十二因緣才能開始。有了種子和其他助緣和合運轉,十二緣起就由無而有,所以這是無常的相貌。

(二)非他作

緣起甚深的第二相是:「從他緣生,又待自種子。」

緣起法需要其他重要力量的幫助才能現起,但是如果沒有自種子還是不行。你自己若沒有熏習的種子,也是不能生起。心法的生起要具足四緣──因緣、增上緣、等無間緣、所緣緣,色法只要因緣和增上緣具足即可生起。

單獨是因不可以生,單獨是緣也不可以。

(三)非俱作

緣起甚深的第三相是:「從自種子及他緣生,而種及緣於此生事,無作、無用,亦無運轉。」

這一句話可以由無常法因必須具備的第五種相──「又唯得餘緣,然成『變異』方能為因,非未成變異」來解釋。

因和緣本身都是無常的,無常就是無實,就是無我,而所生法也並沒有如常人所遍計的有實在的法在主宰、運作和動轉,也沒有常恆住、具有實體性的法被生出來。 由此可以了知:無常的依他起法,其「性」無常──遍計性無,由依他起上遍計性相永無有性,就是圓成實相,這真是甚深、甚深、極甚深!所以《瑜伽師地論》卷九十三,彌勒菩薩讚歎佛善建立諸緣生法無作用說:「佛於其緣生法皆非自作、非他作、非自他作、非無因生,如是施設名善建立諸緣生法無作用故。……所以者何?無常諸行,前際無故,後際無故,中際雖有,唯剎那故,作用、動轉約『第一義』都無所有,但依世俗暫假施設。」

《雜阿含經》上佛說:「比丘!譬如兩手和合相對作聲,如是緣眼、色,生眼識,三事和合觸,觸俱生受、想、思。此等諸法非我、非常,是無常之我,非恆、非安隱,變易之法。所以者何?比丘,謂:生、老、死、沒,受生之法。

「比丘,諸行如幻、如炎,剎那時頃盡朽,不實來實去。是故,比丘,於空諸行,當知、當喜、當念:空諸行;常恆住不變易法空──無我、我所。」

果生時,無不變之因來到果中;果滅時,無不變之果復歸因。因果依緣變化無常,依緣相屬;因果之間不實來實去。

(四)非無因作

緣起甚深的第四相是:「又復此二因性,功能非不是有。」

因和緣對所生法雖然是無作、無用、無運轉,但是對於所生法還不能說沒有「功能」,因與緣和合,還是能生所生法。

依無常法因的第六相和第七相,可以解釋這一段文。無常法因的第六個相貌是:「又雖成變異,必與功能相應,方能為因,非失功能」;第七個相貌是:「又雖與功能相應,然必相稱相順,方能為因。」當種子和助緣有生此所生法的功能,而又沒有障礙時,所生法就生出來了。

所以,一切法的生起,並不是無因而生,還是由因緣和合而生。

三、結論

這樣看來,因緣和合不生──由依他起的無常性通達遍計性無,悟入第一義的圓成實相;因緣和合又生了──因緣具足時,如幻如化的法還是生了。所以說:

諸法不自生,亦不從他生,不共不無因,是故知無生。

Lotus 98.

The great perfection is the experience of the nature of emptiness, its radiant clarity, and its unobstructed compassion. When you sit in meditation, in the equipoise of the nature of the mind, that inexpressible, utterly open essence is emptiness. The measure of its radiant, natural clarity is the quality, and the nature of that quality is unobstructed compassion.

These three – emptiness, natural clarity, and unobstructed compassion – are the nature of the mind.

In the practice of dzogchen one must remain, naturally relaxed, in the uncontrived awareness. Simply remain in the equipoise of the nature of emptiness free from elaborations, limitations, or the conceptualising intellect.

One simply remains totally relaxed, expecting nothing in that state.

At the precise moment that concepts dissipate, rigpa, pure awareness, is there, and that is it. There is no experience of rigpa other than that. When the mind has dissolved, and the experience of the primordial wisdom dharmakaya arises, this is rigpa.

— Yangthang Rinpoche

Yangthang Rinpoche 5.