有勇气,就有希望!
法照法师

一、運氣不可強求,福氣却可培養

我們每個人都有欲望,但欲望太多,人生會變得疲憊不堪。所謂“謀事在人,成事在天”。此處我所謂認命,不是向命運消極低頭,而是認識、體認“冥冥之中,有些事情非個人力量能完全控制”,只有調整自己的抱負水準與價值判斷,才能心安理得。有時候我們遇到許多的挫折與困難,自然就會想到運气。事實上,運氣並不是完全不可掌握的,譬如說我們考試,雖然運气好的時候,考得很順利,但是如果準備充分,個人學力基礎好,對考試仍然有利。運氣是可以改造的,人可以為好運奠定基礎,例如你常常幫助別人,有一天別人也會來幫你。

佛家談到改運,種善因就會有善果。運氣雖然不可強求,但福氣却是可以培養的。所謂心靜自然涼。心清凈故,世界清凈,心雜穢故,世界雜穢。佛法认为,以心為主,一切諸法,無不由心。凡夫的心在六塵中迷失了自己,而悟者卻甘願絕塵世之歡,以自己的生命同化整個宇宙。

世人求法總在心外,眼睛追求好顏色,耳朵喜聽妙音聲,鼻子親近芬芳氣,舌頭愛嘗鮮美味,身體難離纏綿觸,心中執著於分別。一個人是否能擺脫煩惱的困擾,完全取決於自己的意志,只要內心清靜,無雜念介入,即使身居鬧市也空如一片凈土。

二、快樂來自於心靈的智慧

作為古羅馬斯多葛派哲學家,愛比克特德主張節制慾望,淡泊名利,隨遇而安,樂天知命。他的快樂不是來自於物欲的滿足,而是來自於心靈的智慧。這種智慧告訴我們,快樂其實是一件再簡單不過的事,只要腦筋稍稍轉一下彎就可以了。有人因遭詆毀而煩惱,愛比克特德告訴他,你應該這麼想,他一定還不知道我其他的缺點,否則我受到的傷害會更大。總有一些事值得慶幸,不論你頭頂的天空多麼陰暗。慶幸,就是看到事情光明的一面,而將不夠光明的一面忽略不計。

契訶夫說过:”火柴在你的口袋裡燃燒起來,你應該慶幸,幸虧你的口袋不是火藥庫。”能這麼想的人,永遠是快樂的。誹謗是誹謗者的過錯,如果你生氣或者憤怒,那是用對方的過錯懲罰自己。就像是別人傷害了你,你再給自己補上一刀那样愚蠢。有時候,真正將一個人置於絕境的不是別人,而是自己。也只有自己能夠拯救自己。“海納百川,有容乃大。”寬廣的心胸可以容盡世間難容之事,從而使傷害變得無足輕重,使快樂保持永恆。

三、庸人的快樂很遠,智者的快樂很近

有人問愛比克特德,智者的標誌是甚麼?愛比克特德回答說,不為自己沒有的東西沮喪,而為自己擁有的東西喜悅。一個人擁有的東西再多,也多不過沒有擁有的。所以,如果你的快樂建立在無限擁有的基礎上,那它就太脆弱了。為了不斷索取,你會勞碌一生,憂慮一生,根本顧不上快樂。相反,如果你對自己已經擁有的東西知足,快樂就會像陽光一樣將你的日子照亮。哲人無憂,智者常樂,並不是因為所愛的一切他們都擁有了,而是所擁有的一切他們都愛。庸人的快樂很遠,而智者的快樂很近,近在”一張琴、一壺茶、一溪雲”。

一對小狗在街頭愛撫嬉戲,有人感嘆說:”他們多麼友好啊!”愛比克特德卻說:”只要在它們之間扔一根骨頭,你就明白它們的友誼是怎麼回事了。”庸人看到現象,哲人看到本質。看到現象的人,他的快樂飄忽不定,因為現象隨時可能發生變化;看到本質的人,他的快樂恆久而穩固,因為本質是很難改變的。洞曉世道人心後的快樂是大快樂,因為境界寬廣。

四、找對希望的方向

有人問愛比克特德,事業成功有無捷徑可走?愛比克特德回答說,“不要試圖讓事情按照你所希望的那樣去發生,而要努力按照事情發生的方式去希望。這樣做的好處是,沒有得到時不痛苦,得到了就是一個意外的驚喜。”如果你買了一註彩票就以為會中100萬大奬,那你很難逃脫失落感的折磨。但如果你在八百萬分之一中奬概率的基礎上考慮這個問題,那麼,不中大奬就是正常的,中大奬只是一個意外。

成功不是一廂情願的事,如果說有甚麼捷徑的話,那就是調整好自己的心態,把期望值降得低些。我們只能盡力而為,希望可以成為快樂的理由,也會成為痛苦的溫床,因為它的背後就是失望。不在希望中喜,就在失望中憂,還是讓我們像愛比克特德所說的那樣,找對希望的方向吧。

五、天作孽猶可為,自作孽不可活

佛教有兩句老生常談的話“熄滅貪瞋癡,勤修戒定慧”。也就是說,想要消除貪瞋癡,就要常修戒定慧。戒能治我們的身;定能治我們的心;慧能判斷是非邪正。古人也有“三不朽”的名言 ── 立功、立德、立言。這“三不朽”名言也與佛教的戒定慧有關。希望莊敬自強,就要建立道德模範,在社會上待人處世,處處能做人的榜樣,能端正社會風氣,能改變世道人心,就是立德。立功,一樣事情的成功並不容易,要修人之難修,忍人之難忍,還要發長遠心。不怕挫折就要有定力,若沒定力就會被環境所轉。人家說好,你也說好;人家說壞,你也說壞;別人向東,你就向東;別人向西,你就向西,這樣搖搖擺擺的,像什麼?所以做人的根本第一要立德,第二要立功。立功就是對國家、社會、同胞,乃至對家庭要建立功德,這樣才不愧做一個人。

今天之所以會天災人禍不斷,就是因為人的心太浮動、太自私、太貪,瞋心、癡心太重所致,因此孔子也說:“天作孽猶可為,自作孽不可活”。為什麼天作孽猶可為,而自作孽就不可活呢?天指自然界。自然界的災害,例如颱風、地震、水災等等,雖然很兇,但只要預防得當,就可將損害減到最低,所以天作孽猶可为。

六、心靜自然涼

平淡品味出人生的意境,羨慕別人擁有的同時也要學會審視自己。好高鶩遠,想一蹴而就,達到自己心中的目的,是不現實的,也只會使自己失望,加深挫折感而己。所以,千萬不要好高鶩遠,以免收到相反的效果。正所謂:能休塵境為真境,未了僧家是俗家。“心靜自然涼”是一種境界,而要達到這種境界就要學會“放下”,即要達到解脫自在、了無牽掛的境界,便要把雜念與妄執等煩惱放下。

禪者有言:“靜中求靜未為貴,忙中取靜才是真”,要達到“心靜”並不一定要閉門靜坐或隱逸山林,而是要用“不休中亦能休,不閑中亦能閑”去制服“休而實不休,閑而實不閑”的心亂如麻的狀態。在滾滾紅塵、嘈雜人海中能留下一片“安心”,在寧靜祥和的光輝中,有一刻的物我俱忘、天人合一的感覺,那是何等愜意啊!佛法就是要我們明白人生道理,是教我們明白人生道理的方便之法。坦然面對生活中的失敗,反省失敗中的教訓,就能讓我們领悟到人生最大的財富。

七、有專才有恆,有恆才有成

社會不斷發展,知識不斷爆炸,一個人的精力有限,能專心把一門學問或事業搞好已屬不易。人人都有自己的弱點,人人都有自己的長處,只要你始終如一,專心致志,什么劣勢也可能轉變為優勢。法照給自己座右銘:有專才有恆,有恆才有成。人沒有笨的,只有懶的,我們要堅定自己的信念,“寧可辛苦一陣子,不能辛苦一輩子”。我個人認為,人生活在一個知識大爆炸的時代,如果你覺得自己是一個天才,不專心就成了自己的不幸。如果认为自己的資質平凡,不要悲觀,只要自己下定决心一輩子做好一件事,你就能成功。在實現目標的道路上,最忌諱的就是朝三暮四,做人做事也一樣。從實際出發,對自負責,不要强調任何客觀原因,踏實做好你的每一份工作,这样就可以給人留下一個實在的形象,給自己的成功增添一份夯實的基礎。

事實往往會証明:誰比別人多一些努力,誰就會擁有更多成功的機會。成功,不是借助于他人的權力和財富,而是從自我開始,擁有成功所需要的智慧、熱情與知識,再借助外部力量升華人生,掌握自己的命運,生活才能持久精彩。沒有什么東西像積极主動的態度一樣更能體現你自己的獨立人格。

“有勇气,就會有希望!”因此,當你感到力不從心的時候,就要好好調整自己一下,讓好心態激勵我們,鼓舞我們,鞭策我們繼續前進!

It’s easy to see the faults in other people. That is our main tendency. We should be able to see our own faults. Instead we’re always ignoring them. “I’m not like that.” We take our own faults and place them on an external object. If we want to practise dharma, we have to cease seeing the faults of others, and only look at your own mind.

— His Holiness Penor Rinpoche

The Three Vehicles in One Sitting
by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

Some people regard themselves as exclusively Mahayana or Vajrayana practitioners. Others say they follow only Theravada, that they don’t know anything beyond that. But talking in this way only exposes one’s lack of understanding. The three vehicles are not meant to be separated at all. We can practice all of them simultaneously — in fact, we need to in order to have a solid foundation. Without really applying ourselves to the four mind-changings and taking refuge, we have no real foundation from which to connect to the Buddhist teachings. Similarly, if you want to drink tea, you need a place to put the cup. You need a table, which is the same as the foundation of the Shravaka or Hinayana teachings. You also need the cup to contain the tea, which is the Mahayana attitude. And you need the tea as well — otherwise there is nothing to drink, and you do need a drink. Vajrayana teachings are like the liquid poured into the cup.

In the same way, in order to become enlightened we first need to connect to the Three Jewels. Taking refuge involves entrusting ourselves; this constitutes the Hinayana teachings. After that, what is the use of being the only one who is enlightened while all our mothers roam about in samsara? That would be totally shameless. It is said that the Hinayana orientation is like the little puddle of water contained in the hoofprint of a cow, while the Mahayana attitude is as vast as the entire ocean. Everyone needs to be enlightened — not only ourselves.

Third, without the very profound teachings of Vajrayana, including deity, mantra, and samadhi, there is no way we can achieve full enlightenment in this same body and lifetime. Thus, we need all three vehicles together: Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. There is no point at all in regarding oneself as some kind of superior practitioner who doesn’t need “low” or “inferior” teachings. Such an attitude would be very unrealistic.

It is impossible for compassion and hatred to arise in the mind together – one will always destroy the other. Therefore, remember that there is always a positive way to deal with every situation, no matter how challenging it may sometimes be.

— Chamtrul Rinpoche

不忘初心
文|常静

在《华严经》中有句经文:“不忘初心,方得始终。”这句经文的意思是说,一个学佛者,在修学过程中,只有不忘记自己的最初发心,才能持之以恒,坚持不懈,善始善终。对于学佛者来说,很多人在最初发心学佛时,都会勇猛精进,学修并重。但是,随着时间的推移,有的人在经过一段时间的修学之后,受不了修学苦行的痛苦,便渐渐退失了原本精进向上的心,变得懈怠放逸了。还有的最后索性放弃修学了。面对修学的艰难,在佛门中便有了“出家一年,佛在心中;出家两年,佛在眼前;出家三年,佛在天边”俗语。这三句俗语初心易忘,守道艰难。

在学佛过程中,一个人只有“不忘初心”,才能渐行渐远,最终实现自己的初发心的理想。《华严经》中的善财童子,就是一位“不忘初心,方得始终”的菩萨行者。善财童子五十三参,初参文殊菩萨,向文殊 菩萨请教如何学菩萨行、修菩萨道。经过文殊菩萨的指点,善财童子先后参礼五十三位善知识,最后终成正果。

善财童子在参访普眼菩萨时,普眼菩萨指点他到多罗幢城参访无厌足王,向无厌足王请教如何修菩萨行,行菩萨道。善财童子到多罗幢城之后,见到无厌足王正在处罚那些犯罪之人。这些犯罪人中,有偷盗他人财物的,有害他人性命的,有侵占他人妻子的,有起贪嗔痴心造作恶业的。这些犯了以上罪过的犯人被五花大绑带到国王跟前。无厌足王下令,根据每个犯人所犯罪过的大小加以严厉惩罚。犯人中有的被斩断手足,有的被割截耳鼻,有的被剜掉眼睛,有的被斩首,有的被剥皮,有的被肢解,有的以汤煮,有的被火焚烧,还有的被从高山上推下身亡,这些罪犯受尽无量苦楚,嚎叫声不断,如同在地狱中受苦。

善财童子见此情景,心中思维:“我为了利益一切众生,求菩萨行,修菩萨道。现在,无厌足王灭尽善法,作大罪业,逼恼众生,乃至断命,曾不顾惧未来恶道。我为何要向他求法,发大慈悲心救护众生呢?”

当善财童子如此想着,有点退失道心的时候,空中有天人告诉他说:“善男子!你应当忆念普眼长者善知识的教化。”

善财童子仰视着对天人说:“我常忆念,初不敢忘。”

天人说:“善男子!你不要厌离善知识的话语,善知识能够引导你到无险难安隐之处。善男子!菩萨善巧方便的智慧不可思议,摄受众生的智慧不可思议,护念众生的智慧不可思议,成熟众生的智慧不可思议,度脱众生的智慧不可思议,调伏众生的智慧不可思议。”

善财童子听了天人的教诫,于是信心具足地参礼无厌足王。无厌足王带领他参观了王宫,并向善财童子讲说了处置罪犯的缘由。无厌足王说,对待世间不同的众生,应当采取不同的教化方法。当一些众生,你采用慈悲宽容的教化方式起不到作用的时候,就应当采取“金刚怒目”式的残暴方式来加以教化。使众生对这种教化方式产生畏惧心理,从而改邪归正。无厌足王告诉善财童子,慈悲是教化众生的方式,惩罚同样也是教化众生的方式,只不过对待不同的众生应当采取不同的教化方式,才能达到最理想的教化效果。

听过无厌足王的解说,善财童子方才心悦诚服。同时,他还为自己的不忘初心,受到无厌足王的现身说法,善巧教化而倍感欣慰。

唐代高僧玄奘大师也是一位“不忘初心”的古代高僧的典型代表。玄奘大师13岁出家于洛阳净土寺,17岁跟随兄长居留长安,后来辗转到益州,跟从空、景两法师受学。武德五年(622),玄奘大师于成都受具足戒。此后游历各地,参礼名师,讲经说法。

在讲经说法过程中,玄奘大师深感异说纷纭,无从获解。为求取正法,正本清源,大师发愿从长安出发,西行求法。贞观元年(627),大师在请求政府批准西行无果的情况下,私自与同修一起从长安出发,西行取经。

大师一行先经兰州到凉州(甘肃武威),为了避免一路被人盘查,一行人昼伏夜行。后经过玉门关,越过五烽,渡过数千里的茫茫流沙,经过毒蛇虎狼出没的无人之境,备尝艰辛,后抵达伊吾(新疆哈密)。一行人稍作休息,继续前行,到达高昌国(新疆吐鲁番)。后经葱岭、铁门,到达经缚喝国(今阿富汗北境),经乌伏那国(巴基斯坦之斯瓦特地区),到达迦湿弥罗国(印度西北部)。在这里学习两年之后,玄奘大师又一路前行,于贞观五年(631),抵达抵摩揭陀国的那烂陀寺受学于戒贤论师,学习唯识学。玄奘大师在那烂陀寺留学十三年,学习大小乘经论。经过多年的修学,他不仅博通一切经典,通晓多国语言, 而且还在戒贤论师的指导下,登台说法,与当时的著名高僧论辩佛法,没有人能够辩过他。

玄奘大师在那烂陀寺留学,深得印度佛教的精髓。在学成之后,玄奘大师心系国内佛教发展,毅然于贞观十九年返回长安。他回国时,还带回了大量梵文经典。到达长安,玄奘大师受到了唐太宗的热情迎接。回国之后,即开始组织译经活动,他先后在大慈恩寺、北阙弘法院、玉华宫等处组织大型译场。至圆寂前为止,共19年,先后译出佛典75部,1335卷。玄奘大师为中国的佛典翻译和佛教发展,作出了重要贡献,他也因此被后人赞誉为中国历史上伟大的思想家、哲学家、翻译家、旅行家、外交家、中外文化交流的使者。

作为中国古代四大翻译家之一,玄奘大师为求佛法真谛,发愿前往印度求取原典佛经。为了圆满实现自己的最初发心,大师在途中虽然历经千辛万苦,有时甚至是生命危险,他从没有退却半步。特别是在穿越位于罗布泊和玉门关之间莫贺延碛大沙漠时,遭遇了难以想象的困难。大师传记中如是描述险恶环境:“上无飞鸟,下无走兽,草木不生,人迹罕绝;时而风卷沙石,时而暴晒湿蒸;时而见枯骨遍野,战场遗迹;时而见凶恶野兽,鬼魅影像⋯⋯”白天,沙漠在太阳的暴晒下,温度极高,无从落脚。大师无奈,只有将自己埋在沙间,等到夜间继续赶路。在茫无边际的沙漠中,大师还曾迷失方向。在迷途中,大师还不小心弄翻了随身携带的水袋。在沙漠中,失去了水,就意味着失去了活下去的希望。在这样绝境之下,随行的同修中,有的人由于不堪其苦放弃了西行,也有的因为环境险恶,客死途中。玄奘大师差点要放弃西行计划,但他最终“不忘初心”,怀着“宁向西天一步死,不向东土半步生”的决心,忍饥挨 渴,九死一生,最终到达印度那烂陀寺学习求法,从而最终圆满完成了西行求法的大愿。 “

不忘初心,方得始终”,不仅适合学佛修行,而且做世间任何事情都需要有这种信念。只有怀着这种信念,我们才能在遇到各种逆境之时,始终坚守自己的信念,最终取得事业的成功。如果忘记初心,就会见异思迁,半途而废,一事无成。

Beings evolve through karma, take birth because of karma, enjoy and (function) through karma.

— The Buddha, Karmavibhanga Sutra

From Seed to Bloom
by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

The Sanskrit term bodhichitta means “mind of enlightenment,” “seed of enlightenment,” or “awakened heart.” Fundamentally, bodhichitta is the aspiration for others to be happy, to be free from suffering. Absolute bodhichitta is the realization of emptiness, which happens fully at the first bhumi, the path of seeing. Relative or conventional bodhichitta is more immediate. Relative bodhichitta has two aspects: aspiration and entering. Aspiration is positioning ourselves to do something. Before we do something, there’s a thought process involved: we contemplate it. In aspiration, we contemplate all sentient beings having been our mothers, we vow to repay their kindness, and so on. Such thoughts are the heart of contemplative meditation.

We begin by doing sitting meditation until we experience some peace. Out of that we conjure up an intention: “Today I will try to be kind to others.” Then we actually enter, engage in the practice.

Traditionally, we are offered six quintessential instructions on how to generate bodhichitta, all rooted in the ground of equanimity. The point of first cultivating an attitude of equanimity is to open up our view. We tend to have fixed ideas of friends and enemies, and based on that view, we see the world through the lens of good and bad: sharks are bad and bunny rabbits are good; democracy is great and communism is bad.

Equanimity is a spacious, vast, and even state of mind; it does not take sides. It’s not about being untouched by the world, but letting go of fixed ideas. How else are we to develop compassion and loving-kindness for everyone and everything? Equanimity levels the playing field—we are not excluding anyone from our practice. It’s like dealing with two fighting children. Since we’re more experienced with all kinds of trials and tribulations, we know that what they’re arguing about is not really important. We enter with an unbiased view, which is equanimity.

Most of the time we’re trying to figure out a problem based on our attachment. We all believe that if it were not for that one particular person who really irritates us, we’d already be compassionate and understanding. If only that one person weren’t in our way! But she has our number and calls it a lot. Generating bodhichitta helps us deal with problems involving helping others. There are six ways in which we can cultivate this attitude.

The first way is to consider that all sentient beings have been our mothers. Basically, it is our mother who gives us unconditional love. She nurtures and supports us and takes care of us when we are weak. Traditionally, it is said that genuine courage is like that of a mother protecting her child from danger. Regarding all sentient beings as having been our mothers means that at some point, everyone has shown us love and care. The Buddha said that we have all experienced endless lifetimes. If we take this to be true, then every being we encounter has been our mother, father, brother, sister, enemy, friend—everything. If we don’t believe in life after death or rebirth, we can understand this in the context of our present life. From the moment we were born, we’ve had friends who have become our enemies. We’ve been in good situations that have turned bad. We’ve been in bad ones that have turned good. The point of this first instruction is to help support our equanimity by reducing our attachment to relative notions of good and bad.

The second way to generate bodhichitta is to think of the kindness of others. We can contemplate what others have done for us in great and small ways. If all sentient beings have been our mothers, they have, of course, all been kind to us at some point. Even that person who’s got our number has done something good for us—maybe just by passing the salt. Contemplating the kindness of others helps us see the positive aspects of any situation. These are often hard to see—sometimes we just want to stick with our negativity—but this instruction begins to loosen us up. With the budding view of bodhichitta, we begin to look at life and see what is good, even in a bad or chaotic situation. Trying to see things in a more positive light by thinking of the kindness of others churns up our mind and lets the bodhichitta come out.

The third instruction on generating bodhichitta is to repay the kindness of others. This is almost like taking a vow. If we have the view that those who have helped us includes everyone—that even animals have cared for us in some previous lifetime—every encounter becomes an opportunity for us to practice repaying their kindness. This contemplation is part of the aspect of the Mahayana school of Buddhism called the “great activity.” It’s called “great” because this attitude is so vast that it’s difficult to imagine. If we had this attitude even for a moment, we’d begin to see that everyone we meet has helped us, directly or indirectly, and we would want to repay his or her kindness. By taking this attitude in working with others, we could experience our lives in a completely different way.

The fourth way to generate bodhichitta is to develop loving-kindness by contemplating the delightful qualities of others. If we care for someone, we naturally find something delightful in him; that’s what draws us in. In the middle of a meadow, if we saw a mound of dirt with a single flower growing out of it, we would still be able to see the beauty of the flower. We wouldn’t think, “The flowers are beautiful except for that one, because it grew from that pile of dirt.”

So rather than contemplating the shortcomings of others, we see their good qualities and generate loving-kindness towards them. Loving-kindness is associated with wanting others to enjoy happiness. What generally hinders our wanting other people to be happy are heavy emotions such as anger, jealousy, and pride, which obscure our mind. Developing kindness towards others takes the energy out of this emotional confusion.

The next instruction is to generate bodhichitta by contemplating compassion, which is the desire that everyone be free from suffering. Compassion does not mean taking pity on others or having sympathy: “Oh, you poor thing!” Compassion is empathy based on understanding what suffering is. Not only do we see the suffering of others, but we also feel it directly. If we love and care for others, we do not want them to have a hard time. Seeing the suffering of someone who’s very close to us heightens our sense of compassion. We think, “This could happen to me.”

The final instruction on how to generate bodhichitta is to commit ourselves without question to following these instructions. Even though in postmeditation we may not be able to do the bodhichitta practice continuously, we keep our determination strong. We will be kind and compassionate and we will take delight in all beings, with the knowledge that they have helped us. Even if we are the only person in the entire world practicing in this way, we will not stop doing it. Such an adamantine commitment gives us the steadfastness and conviction of the Buddha sitting underneath the bodhi tree.