解脱的原理
慈诚罗珠堪布

一、闻思修三,不可脱节

对每个希求解脱的修行人来说,闻思修三者,是不能相互脱节、有所偏废的。其中第一步,是闻思学习。因为初学者的知识不够、经验不足,很容易出偏差。如果没有闻思,根本不懂修法,仅仅是烧香、拜佛、念经,就无法真正解脱。刚学佛法的时候,可以先暂时不修,等学了一段时间以后,就要开始修行。小乘戒律也规定,凡是没有窍诀的人,都不允许修行,因为没有窍诀的指导,修行不会有什么结果。如果时间不多,就根据自己的情况,选择听闻目前最需要的法,有剩余的时间,再听另外的课程。当然,如果时间充裕,肯定是学的越多越好。

但仅仅听闻还不够,在学理论的同时,更要学习如何实践这些理论,以指导下一步的修行。佛教不像其他宗教,不是硬性规定必须盲从、迷信,而是要求后学者要智信。佛经中的很多内容,都是经得起考验,证据确凿、颠扑不破的真理,都是自己可以思考、推导并亲自证悟的。通过思考与推导,更能坚定信心。信心坚定以后,不但可以帮助其他人,同时对自己的修行更有用。所以,佛要求大家尽量学会思考,思考得越深越好。当然,如果信心很足,认为佛说的不会错,也可以不加判断、不予分辨地照搬照学,这样不思维也可以。但一般情况下,对大多数人而言,最好还是通过思考、讨论来建立正见。

二、什么是修行

修行有两种:一种是闭关打坐,不一定是一个月或者一个星期,只是每天保持两三个小时的简单闭关,也很不错。严格地说,如果不闭关,在内心散乱放逸不专注的情况下,是没有办法修习任何佛法的。所以,修行的时候,至少要闭关一两个小时。修行不是用钱可以解决的,放生、做功德,可以积累福报,但修自己的心,就和金钱没有任何关系了。苦行、磕头等等也是修行的一部分,但不是最重要的修行。真正的修行,是用心去修。

另外一种修行,就是把闭关修行时思维、感悟到的佛法,应用到日常生活中。如果没有修行,生活中的很多烦恼根本解决不了。虽说闻思也会起到一些作用,通过佛陀的理论,能看清整个世界与人生的真正面目,就容易看开、想通,但却不能彻底解决烦恼。所以,在闻思修当中,最重要的是修行。

三、修行的目的

修行的目的,可以从两个角度来讲。第一,追求幸福;第二,脱离轮回、断除痛苦。人天乘佛教,是追求现世或生生世世的世间幸福;小乘佛教,是追求个人的幸福;大乘佛教,是追求所有众生的、绝对、永恒的幸福,也就是佛的智慧。《中观四百论》里讲得很清楚:“胜者为意苦,劣者从身生, 即由此二苦,日日坏世间。”社会底层的人,会遭受肉体上的痛苦,因为温饱问题没有解决;上层人士,又面临着更严厉的精神压力或痛苦。两种痛苦,每天都在折磨、毁灭着所有的世间众生。

四、轮回的根源

就像去正规大医院治病,先不吃药打针,而是检查身体、查找病源,然后才打针吃药一样。同理,要断除轮回、消灭痛苦,就要查找痛苦的根源,要对症下药。

让我们不能解脱的原因有三:第一,是对身外之物、对世界、对轮回的贪欲心;第二,是对我们自己的执着,也就是我执、爱我执或自私心;第三,是对一切事物的实有执着。

很多穷人以为,因为没有钱,所以会痛苦,如果有一天发财了,就不会痛苦了。但是,如果有一天真的发财了,我们会发现,痛苦不但没有因此而消失,更多的痛苦又在等待着我们的光顾。所以,生活艰苦不是痛苦的根源,因为很多生活艰苦的人,可能比有钱人过得还幸福。

佛陀告诉我们:痛苦的真正根源,是执着——对金钱、对人、对事物的执着。执着有很多种:对自己的执着,叫我执;对身外之物,比如金钱、名利的执着,叫法我执。如果没有执着,就不会有任何痛苦。与执着对立的,就叫放下。佛经中经常讲的放下。

如何证明执着就是痛苦的根源呢?比如,假如自己非常喜欢一块手表,就会经常担心失去它,如果有一天这块表真的丢了,我们会感到巨大的痛苦。如果对这块手表抱着无所谓的态度,则不会有什么痛苦了。再比如,假使一个人非常执着另外一个人,对方的一举一动、一颦一笑,都会让执着者时而欢喜时而忧愁。其中绝大多数时候,都是处在担心、害怕丢失、在乎、痛苦的状态下。如果有一天真的失去对方,就会痛不欲生。假如一开始根本无所谓,或中途与对方变成了普通关系,就不会带来后面的痛苦。虽然执着的对象在本质上没有什么变化,仅仅因为执着的存在与否、程度大小,便导致了相应的苦乐与平庸感受。因此,痛苦快乐的根源,不是上帝的安排,也不是无因无缘,就是执着。

佛经上说,因为阿罗汉已经断除了贪嗔痴,没有取舍执着,所以无论给他身体的左边用檀香水沐浴,同时用刀去砍他身体的右边,他都一视同仁,精神上没有分别。本来阿罗汉的身体和普通人的身体一样,也是由血、肉、骨骼、神经等等组成,不是金刚,也不是磐石,更没有虹光身,但却不会像我们一样有贪执、有痛苦,喜欢檀香水沐浴,不喜欢被刀砍。因为我们还没有放下,还有贪、嗔、痴,就会有相应的喜乐与厌憎。可见,世间所有的痛苦,都来自于无明执着。

从百姓大众,到世人羡慕钦佩的所谓名人、伟人等等,没有一个不以追求幸福、摆脱痛苦为目标,但很多不学佛的世间人,却因为不知道幸福的原因,所以会南辕北辙——为了生存而杀死敌人,为了食欲而屠杀动物,为了发财而偷盗欺骗等等,结果奋斗了一辈子,走到生命尽头的时候,只能以失败而告终,没有一个人能脱离生死轮回,而且绝大多数都会去往恶趣。

《中观四百论》中说得很清楚:“众苦俱因缘,终无回转者。”一切苦难都源自因缘,如果没有找到痛苦的根源,其他的任何努力,都只能解决暂时问题,而不能摆脱痛苦。譬如,虽然欲界、色界、无色界的天人寿命很长,禅定力量也不可思议,但因为他们没有找到痛苦的根源和解决痛苦的方法,所以也脱离不了轮回。

世间众生的欲望,总是在无限膨胀,但欲望越多,痛苦就越大。若在欲望上面,再加上愚昧,就导致了我们今天所有的痛苦。

飞蛾为什么挡都挡不住,一定要去扑火?第一是因为对火光的贪欲;第二是因为愚昧,不知道投火的结果是自焚。如果飞蛾在扑火之前,知道结局的残忍性,或消灭了对火光的贪欲,它就不会自取灭亡。

佛经,尤其是中观、《俱舍论》等论典中都讲过,无明是轮回的根源。因明认为,欲望是轮回的根源。实际上,无论无明还是贪欲,都是轮回的根源。为什么树木花草不会轮回,因为它们没有贪欲、没有无明。因为愚昧,就产生了贪欲。因为不懂得事情的真相,所以对事物产生了贪欲。所有的痛苦,都是这两个原因导致的。也可以说,欲望就是轮回的根源,因为有欲望,肯定就有愚昧。如果想要即生成佛,必须断除愚昧与贪欲;如果能断除愚昧与贪欲,就不会流转轮回。若用一个词来概括这两个原因,那就是前面所说的“执着”。

五、解脱的原理

(一)寻找正确的解脱良药

就像治疗疾病的药物,一定要有杀灭病菌的能力,才能治好疾病。否则,服用再多不对症的药,都是没用的。同样,既不想成佛,也不想成为阿罗汉,只想生生世世在人间或者天界当中享受人天福报,为此目的而作的持戒、忍辱、修行、念经、拜佛等一切善根,都与我们的贪欲、愚昧没有冲突,故而与解脱也没有关系。只会让我们更好地流转轮回,享受短暂的幸福而已。

当年达摩祖师来中国传法期间,梁武帝询问达摩祖师:我像出家人一样吃斋念佛,做了很多善事。这有多大的功德呢?不料达摩祖师却甩出一句话:没有功德!为什么?因为梁武帝所做的一切善根,可能和轮回没有冲突,和解脱也没有关系。

如何与轮回或痛苦的根源发生冲突呢?生起出离心,就是冲突的开始;生起菩提心,就是冲突的加剧;有了证悟空性的智慧,就逐渐到了冲突的高潮与结尾。

该怎么去放下呢?放下和放弃是有差别的:悲观、厌世、看不惯,日子过不下去、难以为继,所以被迫暂时放弃。如果有一天诱惑出现,还是会重操旧业,这是放弃,不是佛教讲的放下。比如说,如果有一天,我有了一块更好的手表,所以对旧的手表没有贪欲了,这不是放下,只是将执着转移到新手表上面而已。佛教讲的放下,是对任何事物,都没有贪欲心。要放弃所有世俗的东西,是不可能的,在家人要生存,要养家糊口,不能一学佛就不工作、不要家庭、不挣钱了。

(二)医治轮回顽疾的手段

但是要学会放下的心态,具体有两种方法:

首先,在对一个东西产生贪欲时,要扪心自问,是这个东西本身很有魅力,还是自己内心产生了幻觉,把一个普通的东西看得很有魅力呢?

世俗人在追求幸福的过程中,肯定会造作杀、盗、淫、妄等很多恶业。即使有一些世俗的善根,也脱不了流转之因。其结果,就是飘落轮回、惨堕三途。

总的来说,从天界到地狱之间,任何一道都充满了痛苦。即使轮回当中有一些短暂、相对的幸福,但永远不会有真正绝对的、纯粹的幸福。佛陀通过深层次的思考探索,最后得出结论,这个世界不能用“幸福”这两个字来形容,这是人生的真理。其实、任何人只要能深层次、全方位地去思考人生、思考世界,他一定会和佛的观点一样。

当我们明白,这个世界真的没有什么幸福可言的时候,我们的贪欲心就受到了破坏。如果此见解持续下去,贪欲就会日益降低,直至为零。什么时候降到零点,要看我们自己的修行力度和精进程度。

用四外加行或小乘佛教的观点去观察,可以得到万法无常、痛苦、有漏的结论。能够产生各种各样的烦恼,叫做有漏。中观的观察方法,又教会我们观察今生来世与外在的各种事物。龙树菩萨的《中论》有二十七品,其中绝大多数的内容,就是观察精神以外的物质,从而得知万法之空性,发现世界原来根本就是不存在的幻觉。

这样一来,我们的贪欲和愚昧都受到了破坏,不会再往前发展了。《中观四百论》当中有一句话:“薄福于此法,都不生疑惑,若谁略生疑,亦能坏三有。”福报浅薄的人,不会对空性生起疑惑。不论是谁,只要对空性稍稍生起一点正面的怀疑——“有可能一切法都是空性的哦!”即使没有证悟,也能破坏三有轮回的根源,不会在轮回中流转很长时间了。

另一个方法,是往内观察:虽然我觉得这个世界很美丽,所以对她产生了执着或贪欲。但究竟是什么东西在贪恋、执着这个世界呢?当然不可能是我的肉体,因为肉体本身是没有思维的东西,所以只可能是精神或意识。

但意识到底是否存在呢?它到底是什么样子呢?有一种观察方法,是中观和唯识修法的结合——唯识的世俗观点和中观的胜义观点结合起来,去观察自己的意识。另外像大手印、大圆满等密宗修法,就无需观察其他的东西,直接往内去寻找贪欲者或愚昧者。通过这些方法最后看到的,就是如来藏光明。如来藏光明从来都不会愚昧,永远不会有贪欲心。所谓的“贪欲心”,只是突然间产生的一种幻觉。

我们可以轮番运用上述两种方法,先往外面去找,确定这个世界是痛苦、无常、有漏的,从而产生出离心。

发菩提心的时候,就要设法打击我们最大的一个执着——爱我执。从无始以来直至没修菩提心之前,爱我执都是我们心中的统帅、胜利者,它把菩提心、利他心都消灭得一干二净,这也称之为利己主义。在我们的意识领域中,“我”对一切起着决定性的作用。若能跟着菩提心走,到一定时候,菩提心一定会打败爱我执或贪欲心,成为最后的胜利者。当然,在修行之初,在我们不小心的情况下,贪欲心随时会复发,因为爱我执的市场份额太大,实力太雄厚,但渐渐地,就会鸣锣收兵。最后的执着,可以通过空性的见解来斩草除根。

上述内容,即修行能够得到解脱的原理。就像学机械,首先要学习它的工作原理一样。懂得原理后,就从现在开始努力,支持出离心、菩提心、空性见,不支持贪欲、自私心与实有的观念,修行打坐是最根本的方法,同时借助于念佛、烧香、拜佛等助缘,就能获得最终的胜利。

如果想解脱,就不能急于去修什么大圆满、时轮金刚等等,因为没有基础的时候修这些法,根本不起作用。佛说过一句话:想解脱或者想修大乘佛法的人,不需要学修很多法,只需要修一个法,那就是大悲心。佛的意思不是说,只要有大悲心,就可以解决所有问题。仅仅有大悲心,如果不修其他法,那也不行。但在没有大悲心之前,却不需要修其他的法,修了法都没用,根本不能成为大乘佛法。如果没有出离心、菩提心,修行的动机肯定就是为了世间的幸福、人天的果报。以这种发心所修的法再高深,都会成为世间法。

想解脱的人,不需要学很多法,只需要学出离心和菩提心,也可以说,只需要修一个法,那就是菩提心。因为菩提心当中,包含了出离心。如果能生起真实无伪的世俗菩提心,以后修什么法都可以。

学佛的方向很重要,一旦方向错了,只能离解脱越来越远;假如方向正确,那就是走一步,离解脱更近一步。

什么样的人叫做高尚呢?是不是做一点善事叫做高尚呢?不,不是!是不是少许的帮忙别人叫做高尚呢?不,不是!怎么样的人叫做高尚呢? 再讲一遍:内心不嫉妒他人,也绝不贪婪任何的事物,没有任何自私的欲望。在任何的时光、所有的状况之下,内心都保持有那分宁静,这就是高尚的人格,这真正的一个伟大的人!

— 慧律法师

Dreaming Asleep and Awake
by Venerable Sheng Yen

The Buddha said that our consciousness of waking life is a dream. Especially if it offers contentment and happiness, perceiving life as just a dream may be difficult, No one wants to be awakened from a pleasant dream, let alone be told that life is an illusion. But how can we distinguish between dreaming and waking? According to the Buddha, sleep is made up of short dreams, whereas life is a long dream. You may awaken to the fact that you are living a dream, and then fall back into the dream once again. In Buddhism, awakening from the long dream of life means finally realising your self-nature. A sentient being who does not experience this realisation remains forever in a dream.

We think of our dreams as unreal and believe our waking moments to be reality. But when we recognise the illusory nature of the body, of the world, of life and death, we then see that both sleeping and waking are equally dreamlike states.

A famous Chinese photographer, Lang Jing-shan, takes pictures of the areas around the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers, and makes them resemble Chinese “mountain and water” paintings. The whole image becomes an impression built from fragments. This is how our minds work. Our experiences are stored as fragments in the subconscious mind. We never remember experiences in their entirety, but rather in bits and pieces. At a certain time or place, the fragments may reappear in our consciousness. And so it goes when we dream.

We all have experiences of déjà vu and thoughts that trigger feelings and responses. But like impressionistic photographs, these responses are merely fragmentary, illusory reflections of our experiences, thoughts, and fantasies. Few people know when they are dreaming; fewer still want to wake up from a pleasant dream. Someone who has not yet seen their self-nature may think they are very much awake, that life is real and without suffering. When they recognise the illusory nature of the self, they realise they have only been dreaming a very long dream, one that is marked by suffering. But relatively few people appreciate that recognising the illusory nature of everyday life requires serious daily practice. It is not enough to merely listen to my words, read a book, or reach an intellectual understanding of the concept. Many have heard about Buddhist practice, but few want to really commit to it. Still rarer is the person who practices, awakens from the dream, and, rather than falling back into the dream, comes to realize his self-nature.

A well-known Chinese folktale, Dream of the Millet, tells the story of a young man who travelled to a capitol city to take the civil examination to become a government official. On the road he met an old man who was cooking millet. The old man saw that the young traveller was tired, gave him a pillow, and told him to rest. The young man lied down and fell into a long dream in which he achieved the highest score in the examination. In the dream, he married a princess and became the prime minister at the imperial court. He kept many concubines, and by the time he reached his hundredth year, had too many children to count. He enjoyed his long life and even in old age he did not want to die. But when the time came for him to die, two demons took him to the underworld because he had abused his bureaucratic power and embezzled court funds. He was punished by the judge of the dead and made to climb a mountain of knives, after which he was thrown into a vat of boiling oil. He felt a tremendous pain and screamed. Just then the old man woke him up and told him that the millet was ready.

It had only taken two hours to prepare the millet, but in the dream the young man experienced the passing of a hundred years. Time passing quickly is a common experience, not only in dreams, but also in daily life. Sometimes we have dreams that seem very long but which really last only a few minutes of waking time. Differing perceptions of time also occur when we do sitting meditation. If your legs hurt and you can’t concentrate, the time seems to crawl, but if your legs feel fine and concentration is not a problem, the time flies.

Dreams are by nature illusory and passing, and our consciousness of time and reality also passes like a dream. But it is a mistake to think that our actions in waking life are as inconsequential as those in dreams. We may not have to suffer the consequences of our actions in dreams, but we cannot avoid those consequences in waking life. Our actions and speech create strong and lasting effects that do not fade away as easily as dreams do. This is the principle of cause and effect, or karma.

Most people think that they are not responsible for their thoughts if they do not act on them. All of us have bad thoughts we never actually act on. Even the most devoted mothers sometimes think harmful thoughts about their difficult children. For the most part, we do not believe these thoughts break the Buddhist precepts, but for a bodhisattva, harbouring evil thoughts is tantamount to breaking the precepts. Few people think about striking or killing someone when they sit in meditation. But in their sleeping dreams and the course of daily life, violent and murderous thoughts may arise quite often. Anyone who practices regularly, who adopts the attitude of a bodhisattva, needs to let go of such ideas both in sleep and in daily living.

In dreams people often think non-virtuous thoughts or do non-virtuous deeds because such thoughts already reside in their minds. But truly advanced practitioners do not dream of wrongdoing, just as they do not break the precepts while awake. This equivalence is called correspondence of thought and action. Non-correspondence, on the other hand, implies that a person does not break the precepts while awake, but still has wrongful thoughts when dreaming. An anecdote offers a useful analogy. Several years ago, an electrical blackout plunged one of my classes into darkness. The students all began to shout and laugh, because in the darkness, their hidden minds emerged. They exhibited self-control in the light, but felt free in the darkness.

Although we may understand that our lives are vain, unreal, and dreamlike, we still bear responsibility for this sleeping and waking dream. Just as the activity of the body creates karma, so does the activity of the mind. For example, if you do not know someone is behind you, you might accidentally step on his foot and then apologise. In such a case you would not feel as though you had done anything particularly wrong. Likewise, according to a bodhisattva’s perspective, the acts of the body are not serious, but those of the mind are. For ordinary sentient beings, however, the karma of the body is more serious than that of the mind.

Because the bodhisattva way is based on mental realisation, we should understand that karma caused by the body means little compared to karma created by the mind. So, we should pay attention to our mental behaviour and take responsibility for it. We must make our minds simple, peaceful and tranquil. Sincere and rigorous practice lets us calm both body and mind, which in turn allows us, day by day, to reduce our karmic obstructions.

Whatever obstacles we experience, if we can take them the right way, they won’t obstruct our spiritual path. Rather, they will become a tool to stimulate our advancement toward our destination: unconditional love and enlightenment.

So try to feel joy when facing difficulties, for they provide the chance to purify unvirtuous past deeds, the cause of ills, and infuse us with the inspiration to generate yet greater virtuous deeds, the cause of healing and enlightenment.

If your mental and emotional problems could become an inspiration for your spiritual progress, make a point to recognise them as such. That recognition will, in turn, fuel joy and inspiration in your mind. If you nurture and strengthen that joy by enjoying it again and again, you unleash the true healing energy of joy. With that, you can prevent anything from turning into an obstacle. But this is not just about averting challenges so they don’t harm you. It is about transmuting problems so that they fuel your healing momentum.

— Tulku Thondup Rinpoche

不昧因果· 勤修福慧
文|张瑞

百丈禅师每次上堂说法,有一老人都会前去聆听。一次讲经结束后,老人问百丈禅师说:大修行人还落因果吗?禅师答:不昧因果。老人言下大悟,告知自己在迦叶佛时,因学人问:大修行人还落因果吗?我说不落因果。以致五百世堕为野狐身,今禅师开导,我已脱去野狐之身。

因果,即因缘果报。佛教非常注重因果,种如是因,得如是果。人们的所作所为,必然要承担相应的后果。即使是超越三界六道乃至十法界的“大修行人”,也不能免除过去世中所造的业报,并且对于因果非常的清楚、明白,且自肯承担,因而叫“不昧因果”。而“不落因果”,则从根本上否定了因果,即认为当修行达到一定的果位时,就可以把过去世的所造诸业一笔勾消,不再承受果报,这分明是错误的,也正是因为这个缘故,那位老否定因果之断见,误导学人,断其法身慧命,所以受到五百世转生野狐身的果报。当百丈禅师为他说“不昧因果”时,告之因果不是空的,是实实在在,老人才获得正知正见,当下解脱。

所谓“欲知前世因,今生受者是。欲知来世果,今生作者是”。佛陀为度众生,应机设教八万四千法门,但归根结底,均离不开因果规律。就连佛陀本人也深信因果,并为弟子示现其虽然成道但是仍然要为前世的业因而受“头痛、食马麦、金枪刺足”等果报。

《瑜伽师地论》说: “ 已作不失, 未作不得。”即是说因在前,果在后,相应的原因,才导致了相应的结果。虽然佛已成道,获得解脱,但是由于过去世的业力所感,今世乃至后世,当因缘种子具足时,仍旧要感受到相应的果报。这便是因果业报法则,任何人都不可能例外,佛亦以此真实示现教化众生因果之真实不虚,所以我们要止恶行善,万不可造诸恶业,以免历劫受果报之苦。

佛的十大弟子中,目犍连尊者以“神通第一”而著称。但就是这样神通广大且已证得道果的佛弟子,依然逃脱不了业报之力。佛陀在《众经撰杂辟喻》中开示说:“不论是罪或福,业力因缘是无法逃避的,纵使拥有神通,依然也要偿还宿债。”

虽然因果报应在时间上有“现报、生报、后报”之分,但《华严经》中有语云“假使百千劫,所作业不亡,因缘会遇时,果报还自受”,不管时间的远近,只要因缘成熟,必定要受果报。“因”未得“果”之前,不会自行消失;反之,不作一定的业因,也就不会得到后面的果报。因果面前,人人平等,无有例外。

我们学佛,更应当深信因果,学菩萨行,一方面净化自己的身心,谨言慎行,善护意根,防非止恶,不再造下诸等恶因;一方面也要广结善缘,存好心,说好话,做好事,多多利人,为自己培植现在和未来的功德,最终离苦得乐,了生死,出轮回,成就福慧圆满的佛道。

Through realising that delusion has no ground, the water-moon of awareness is immaculate and clear. The cloudless sun of luminosity lights up the darkness of ignorance to its very brink.

— Milarepa

Communal Harmony – The Foundation of World Peace
by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s talk on Communal Harmony at the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on July 27, 2017. After his talk His Holiness answers questions from the audience.

Existence and Nonexistence
by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

If you believe there is a thing called mind, it is just a thought. If you believe there is no thing called mind, it’s just another thought. Your natural state, free of any kind of thought about it — that is buddhanature. Mind is similar to space, in that it is insubstantial, not material. Isn’t it quite amazing that something that is insubstantial is also able to experience?

Whatever practice you do, please do so while embracing it with the Three Excellences.

The first is the excellent preparation of bodhichitta [Skt., lit. “awakened heart”]. The bodhisattva resolve is to form the thought, “I will attain complete enlightenment for the sake of all beings.” Engendering that motivation is a superb way to begin one’s practice.

This excellent preparation is indispensable for all Buddhist practitioners, because we all have had many lifetimes other than this one. The pure vision of the fully enlightened ones sees that we have been through countless lifetimes. In every one of these, we had a father and a mother. We have had so many lifetimes that every sentient being, without a single exception, has been our own father and mother. Thus we are connected to all other beings, and to merely wish enlightenment and liberation for ourselves is far too limited. To achieve enlightenment in this way would mean abandoning all our parents.

Please understand that all sentient beings, all our parents, want nothing but happiness. Unfortunately, through their negative actions they only create the causes for further pain and suffering. Take this to heart and consider all our parents, wandering blindly and endlessly through painful samsaric states. When we truly take this to heart, out of compassion we feel motivated to achieve enlightenment to truly help all of them. This compassionate attitude is indispensable as a preparation for practice.

The excellent preparation also includes the taking of refuge. Do we actually have the ability to genuinely help other beings? Do we have the power, the wisdom, the boundless compassion to do so? At present we don’t. Who does? Only the fully awakened Buddha actually possesses the power to protect others, as well as the pure teachings on how to attain enlightenment. In addition to these two, there are those beings who uphold these teachings in an unbroken lineage. These three, the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, are the only true protection and rescue for unenlightened beings.

We should regard these Three Precious Ones as our shelter, our refuge and our escort, from now on until complete enlightenment. They embody a reliable and authentic source of protection. To entrust ourselves and place our confidence in the Three Jewels from this point until we ourselves become truly able to benefit others is called “taking refuge.” Together with bodhichitta, taking refuge is the excellent preparation. Taking refuge essentially embodies all teachings of the path of individual liberation, while all the Mahayana teachings are contained within forming the bodhisattva resolve.

The second of the Three Excellences is called the “excellent main part beyond concepts.” This has two aspects, development stage and completion stage. This excellent main part beyond conceptual focus is a synonym for Vajrayana, the vajra vehicle of Secret Mantra.

Development stage is usually understood as visualising the support, which is the buddha field and the celestial palace, and what is supported therein — the form of the deity. The palace and deity are considered to be the pure world and pure being. We may think that this is a product of our imagination, but in fact it is an exact replica of the original state of all things. It is how things already are in actuality — also called the great mandala of the manifest ground.

Thus, visualisation is ultimately not a matter of imagining something to be what it isn’t, but rather, of seeing it as it actually is. It is acknowledging things as they already are. This is the essential principle of vajrayana. Within this principle is contained both development stage and completion stage.

Development stage is not like imagining a piece of wood to be gold. No matter how long you imagine that wood is gold, it never truly becomes gold. Rather, it’s like regarding gold as gold: acknowledging or seeing things as they actually are. That is what is meant by training in deity, mantra and samadhi. The body, speech and mind of the deity is contained within the three aspects of vajrayana practice called development, recitation and completion.

All appearances are the mandala of the deities, all sounds are the mandala of mantra, and all thoughts are the mandala of enlightened mind. The nature of all apparent and existing things — of this entire world and all its beings — is the great mandala of the manifest ground, our basic state. These three mandalas are present as our ground. The practice of a sadhana is based on manifesting from this ground. Sadhana practice is also based on some very essential principles: that the tantras are contained within the statements, the statements within the oral instructions, and the oral instructions within the application of the sadhana itself.

Let me rephrase this vital point. In vajrayana, a sadhana is the act of manifesting what is originally present in the form of the threefold mandalas of deity, mantra and samadhi. When practicing a sadhana, we are not superimposing something artificial atop the natural state of things. Rather, it is a way of acknowledging our original state, in which the nature of all forms is deity, the nature of all sounds is mantra, and the nature of mind is samadhi. This is the basic principle of development stage. And the differences in profundity between the teachings of sutra and tantra lie in how close the teachings are to the original nature. The closest, the most direct, are the Vajrayana teachings.

What are the reasons for the development and completion stages? The profound development stage enables us to attain enlightenment in one lifetime and in one body through deity, mantra and samadhi. And completion stage means that the deity is none other than our originally enlightened buddhanature. Its essence is present as Body, its nature radiates as Speech, and its capacity is pervasive as Mind.

Our originally enlightened essence contains within itself the awakened state of all buddhas as the three aspects of vajra body, vajra speech and vajra mind. Training in these three vajras is intrinsically contained within the profound state of samadhi, which is none other than one’s own nature. That is the starting point or source of the excellent main part beyond concepts.

Deity, mantra and samadhi are the enlightened body, speech and mind. Vajra body means the unchanging quality which is the identity of the deity. The unceasing quality is the identity of the mantra, while the unmistaken or undeluded quality is the identity of the deity’s mind. These three vajras are complete in our buddha nature. They are also called dharmakaya, sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya [Skt.: the three bodies, or kayas, of the Buddha; respectively, the dharmakaya level of absolute, primordial mind; the sambhogakaya level of energy, emotions and symbols, and the nirmanakaya level of manifested form].

These profound methods of Vajrayana — practicing a sadhana, meditating on the deity, reciting its mantra, and training in samadhi — are called a quick path. The essence of this is the nature of mind. This is the unfailing, unmistaken vajra speech of the perfectly enlightened Buddha, which can enable us to attain complete enlightenment in one lifetime. This teaching has been passed through an unbroken lineage of great masters all the way down to my own root guru. While my ears have been very fortunate to receive this teaching, I myself am nothing special. Although I may take great words in my mouth, please understand that I am merely repeating what I have been fortunate enough to receive.

It is very difficult to really learn something or to be educated in it without a teacher. You probably all know this very well, having gone to school so many years. The education we have received is something that we can make use of our entire lives. Even so, our education has not brought us even one inch closer to the state of perfect enlightenment. Our years of effort in school are ultimately of no real benefit.

Because you are all intelligent, I think you can understand why I am saying this. No matter what we do in this life, all the information we gather and all the knowledge we accumulate and all the effort we make to amass wealth through work and business — when the time comes for us to leave this life, all of it is futile and in vain. It will not help us in any way whatsoever. I can easily say this since I am not educated at all! So I can smile and act big about this. Don’t be angry, please.

What I’m trying to say is that we may well succeed in becoming extremely rich and gain great material profit. We can buy the most expensive clothes or manage to be famous in this world so that everyone knows our name. That is quite possible. We can pursue these worldly attainments very enthusiastically and think that there is plenty of time to enjoy them while we are in the first half of our lives.

However, in the second half of our lives, as we age and become elderly, life starts being less fun. I speak from experience here. It begins to be difficult to stand up and to move around. You get sick more often and you start to ail in different ways. What lies ahead of you is only further sickness and finally death.

All these disasters are lined up in front of us, and we will meet them one after the other. What comes after death is not clear to us right now, because we cannot see our next rebirth. We cannot even see if there is anything after this life. When we look down at the ground we don’t see any lower realms; when we look up in the sky we don’t see any heavens or buddhafields. With these eyes we have now, we don’t see that much.

Please consider this: right now,you have a body, a voice and a mind, don’t you? Of these, mind is the most important. Isn’t it true that your body and voice are the servants of mind? Mind is the boss, and here comes more about mind. The five physical elements of earth, fire, water, wind and space do not perceive. Mind, in contrast, means that which can experience; that which perceives. The five sense organs of eyes, ears, tongue, nose and body do not perceive and experience. A corpse possesses the five sense organs, yet a corpse does not perceive, because it doesn’t have a mind.

The term corpse means that the mind has departed. We say that the eyes see, that the ears hear, that the tongue tastes, the nose smells and so forth — but it is only possible for this to happen when there is a mind to experience through the senses. The moment what we call consciousness, mind or spirit leaves the body, the five sense organs are still there; but there is no experience taking place through them.

Mind means that which knows pleasure and pain. Of all the different things in this world, only mind experiences and perceives; nothing else. Therefore, mind is the root of all states — all samsaric as well as all nirvanic states. Without mind there would be nothing to feel or perceive in this world. If there were nothing that feels or perceives in this world, the world would be utterly empty, wouldn’t it? Mind is completely empty, but it is at the same time able to perceive, to know.

The three lower realms are arrayed according to the degree of pain experienced in each, just as the three higher realms are arrayed according to degrees of pleasure. Everything is based on that which feels pleasure and pain, which is mind. In other words, mind is the basis or root of everything.

Mind is empty, and while being empty, it still knows or experiences. Space is empty and does not know anything. That is the difference between space and mind. Mind is similar to space, in that it is insubstantial, not material. Isn’t it quite amazing that something that is insubstantial is also able to experience?

There is mind, but it is not tangible or substantial. You cannot say that there is no mind because it is the basis of everything; it is that which experiences every possible thing. You cannot say really that there is a thing called mind, and yet at the same time you cannot say that there is no mind. It lies beyond both extremes of being and not being. That is why it is said, “Not existent, since even a buddha does not see it; not nonexistent, since it is the basis of both sam- sara and nirvana.”

If we were without a mind, we would be corpses. You are not corpses, are you? But can you say that there is a mind that you can see, hear, smell, taste or take hold of? Honestly, you can continue to search for it exactly like this, scrutinising for a billion years, and you will never be able to find mind as something that either exists or doesn’t. It is truly beyond both extremes of existence and nonexistence.

The absence of contradiction between these two is the principle of the Middle Way — that mind is beyond conflict between existence and nonexistence. We do not have to hold the idea that there is a concrete mind or that there isn’t. Mind in itself is natural “thatness,” meaning that it is an unformed unity of being empty and cognisant. The Buddha called this unformed unity shunyata, emptiness. Shunye means empty, while the -ta in shunyata, the ‘-ness’ in emptiness, should be understood as meaning “able to cognise.” In this way, mind is empty cognisance. Natural thatness means simply what is by itself. Our nature is just like that. Just recognise that fact, without colouring it with any kind of idea about it.

If you believe there is a thing called mind, it is just a thought. If you believe there is no thing called mind, it’s just another thought. Your natural state, free of any kind of thought about it — that is buddha nature. In ordinary sentient beings, this natural state is carried away by thinking, caught up in thought. Involvement in thinking is like a heavy chain that weighs you down. Now it is time to be free from that chain. The moment you shatter the chain of thinking, you are free from the three realms of samsara.

In this entire world, there is nothing superior to or more precious than knowing how to break this chain. Even if you were to scan the entire world, or piece by piece put it through a sieve in an attempt to find something more precious, you’d come up with nothing. None of the buddhas of the past, present and future have discovered an instruction that is more profound or more direct in attaining enlightenment. To ask for teachings on the nature of mind means to understand how to recognise mind nature.

The traditional way of receiving the instruction on how to realise the nature of mind involves first going through the training of the preliminary practices of the “four times hundred thousand.” After that, you would carry out the yidam [Tib.: deity] practice, staying in retreat and completing the set number of recitations.

Finally, after all this, this teaching would be given. But nowadays we live in different times. People are so busy that they have no time to actually sit down and go through all this training. My root guru told me once that different times were coming. He said, “If you happen to be in front of people who ask about and want to hear about the nature of mind, explain it to them. If they have the karmic readiness, they will understand, and if they do understand, they are benefited. To benefit beings is the purpose of the Buddha’s teachings. It’s all right.”

When I was young, I often tried to do that. It’s like someone pointing out the sunrise. Often people look towards the west and see that the sunlight has hit the mountain top; that’s how they know the sun has risen. But actually what they have to do is turn around and see the sun rising in the east. When someone tells them to do so, they turn around and say, “Well, yeah, the sun is actually rising in the east!” That is how I have been teaching, and that is how I will continue to teach now.

So you that our mind is actually empty, meaning it is not a concrete thing, and that at the same time it is able to perceive, to understand, to experience. When you hear this and think about this, can you trust it? Is it clear? Can you decide on this point?

Our mind is empty, and yet it does think. That it is empty means there is no concrete substance with any definable attributes. And yet, mind does think. Isn’t it true that we are always thinking about the past, present or future? And aren’t we so busy thinking that we have one thought after the other, day and night, incessantly?

This is not something that has suddenly happened. It has been going on for a long time, through countless past lives in samsara. We have been spinning around involved in one thought after another in different realms in samsara. That is the essence of samsaric existence. And if we carry on in the same way, we will be busy thinking one thought after the other until the very end of this life.

It doesn’t stop there. Of course there is no body in the bardo [Tib.: the intermediate state between death and rebirth], but mind continues churning out one thought after the other due to habit. After a new rebirth, regardless of whether it’s in the lower realms or the higher realms or the deepest hell, everything is simply one thought after the other. Yet all the time, the very nature of all this thinking is buddha nature — the enlightened essence.

Let me give you an example for the relationship between thinking and the nature of mind. The nature of mind is like the sun in the sky, while thinking is like the sun’s reflection in water. Without water, it’s difficult for the sun to reflect, isn’t it? Water here is the analogy for all perceived objects, for anything held in mind. If you drained the water from a pond, where does the reflection go? Does it run out with the water? Does it stay suspended in mid-air?

Holding subject and object, perceiver and perceived in mind, is symbolised by the reflection of the sun in the pond. Without the sun in the sky, would there be any light in this world? No, of course not. And yet, one single sun is able to illuminate the entire world. This single sun is like the nature of mind, in that it functions or operates in many different ways: it has great warmth and brilliance, and through its heat it sets wind in motion. In comparison to this, the reflection of the sun is nothing. Is the reflection of the sun able to illuminate the entire world? Can it even illuminate a single pond?

Our enlightened essence, the buddhanature, is like the sun itself, present as our very nature. Its reflection can be compared to our thoughts — all our plans, our memories, our attachment, our anger, our closed-mindedness, and so on. One thought arises after the other, one movement of mind occurs after the other, just like one reflection after another appears. If you control this one sun in the sky, don’t you automatically control all its reflections in various ponds of water in the whole world? Why pay attention to all the different reflections? Instead of circling endlessly in samsara, recognise the one sun. If you recognize the nature of your mind, the buddhanature, that is sufficient.

Understand the difference between buddhanature and its expression, which is thoughts. Thoughts appear in many types. There is attachment, anger and stupidity; there are the fifty-one mental events, the eighty innate thought states, the eighty-four thousand disturbing emotions.

No matter how many different types of content the mind can manifest as, they are all simply expressions of the nature of mind. The eighty-four thousand different types of disturbing emotions are like eighty-four thousand different reflections of the sun in different ponds of water. If you take the sun and put it in your pocket, you automatically control all eighty-four thousand reflections. Similarly, the very moment that you recognise your natural state, the buddha mind, your enlightened essence — in that same moment, all eighty-four thousand types of disturbing emotions are simultaneously vanquished.

All the different thoughts we can have are either of the past, present or future, so they can be called past thought, present thought, or future thought. The Tibetan word for thought is namtok. Nam means the perceived forms of the five senses and the mental objects. Tokpa means the concept formed about what is perceived. Sentient beings are constantly busy producing namick, making one idea after the other about what is experienced. This thinking of your own mind’s thoughts is exactly what hinders and obstructs liberation and enlightenment.

If we try to stop thinking it only gets worse. You cannot shake off or throw away the thinking. Can you throw away your shadow? Can you somehow cut the flow of thought created by your own mind, maybe by detonating a nuclear bomb? Will this stop the mind from thinking? It will kill you, sure, but your thoughts will continue in the bardo and into the next life. Is there anything else in this world that can stop the mind from thinking?

To stop thinking, you need to recognise your essence. It’s like seeing the sun in the sky just once — forever after, you know what the sun looks like. If you chase one reflection of the sun after the other, you’ll never be able to see all possible reflections. There is no end to that. The sun in the sky is the real sun, and without it, there would be no reflections. Its reflection in the water is only an imitation.

In the same way, all thoughts are only expressions or displays of your essence; they are not your essence itself. Without being free of thought, without the thinking having dissolved, vanished, disappeared, there is no way to be liberated or enlightened. There is a saying: “Use the thought as its own antidote.” In the same way, the reflection of all suns comes from the original, real sun. If you recognise the real sun in the sky, there is no need to chase around after all its reflections in this world in order to see the sun.

The most important thing is your empty, cognisant mind. Its natural emptiness is dharmakaya, also called empty essence. Your natural ability to know and to perceive is cognisant nature, sambhogakaya. This being empty and being cognisant are an original unity. The famous statement “unity of empty cognisance suffused with awareness” refers to your own nature, the essence of your mind.

After having been pointed out your nature and recognising your essence, you see that there is no “thing” to see. As I have repeatedly said, “Not seeing a thing is the supreme sight.” We need to see that. It is seen the moment you look, and in the moment of seeing it is free, liberated.

This seeing may last no longer than a few seconds, perhaps no longer than three snaps of your fingers. After that brief period of time, we either get carried away by the thought of something, or we become forgetful. This happens to all ordinary sentient beings. From beginningless lifetimes until now, we have been continuously carried away by forgetfulness and by thinking.

The moment you recognise, it is already seen. There is nothing extra remaining that you missed. This is not like space looking at itself, because space does not see anything. When your mind, which is cognisant, recognises itself, you immediately see that there is no “thing” to see. It is already seen in the same moment. At that very moment there is no thought, because the present thought has naturally vanished.

The moment of recognising mind nature is called ordinary mind, whether you talk about Mahamudra, Dzogchen or the Great Middle Way. When recognising, don’t do anything to it; don’t try to correct or improve it; don’t alter it by accepting one thing and rejecting another, motivated by hope or fear — don’t do anything to it. An ordinary person is involved in conceptualising with the present thought. Don’t conceptualise with a present thought. Present thought means wanting or not wanting, with hope or fear. Just disconnect from the present thought; don’t follow it up. The moment you are free from thoughts of the three times, that is the buddha mind.

You don’t have to try not to think the present thought. We need to train in just letting go of what is thought of; that is the practice. In this letting go there is not even a dust mote to imagine, so it is not an act of meditating. At the same time, do not be distracted from this for even one second. It’s like trying to imagine space, because there’s nothing that needs to be imagined or meditated upon. Do you need to imagine anything to imagine space?

When we hear “Don’t be distracted,” we may think that we have to do something in order to be undistracted. People usually think that trying to remain undistracted is some kind of deliberate act. This would in fact be so, if the aim was to maintain a particular state of concentration for a long time. Deliberate action would be necessary in that case. But I am not telling you to do that. The moment of natural empty cognisance doesn’t last very long by itself, but that’s perfectly okay. You don’t have to try to prolong that moment; rather, repeat it many times. “Short moments, many times” — this is the training in uncontrived naturalness. Uncontrived naturalness means you don’t have to do anything during that state. It’s like ringing a bell. Once you ring the bell there is a continuity of sound; you don’t have to do anything in order for the sound to continue. Simply allow that continuity to endure by itself until at some point the sound fades away.

At the moment of recognising your mind essence leave it in naturalness, simply as it is. If you keep striking the bell, the sound is interrupted by the effort. Just leave that recognition be without altering it. That is the way to not lose the continuity. Soon enough the recognition will vanish by itself. As beginners, naturally we will forget after a bit. We don’t need to try to prevent that or guard against it with great effort. Once distracted, again recognise. That is the training.

Every level of teaching has its own purpose, and even though the very heart of the Buddhadharma is to recognise mind essence and train in that, still, there are obstacles and hindrances that need to be cleared away and enhancement practices that need to be done.

An obstacle is something that prevents us from remaining in the natural state. These can be cleared away by certain practices. There are also ways to improve or enhance our practice and to deepen our experience. These two — clearing hindrances and enhancing — are extremely useful.

Outer obstacles are connected with our environment; inner obstacles with our physical body, and innermost obstacles with our thought patterns. To dispel these, it’s extremely beneficial to do the preliminaries and the inner practice of deity, mantra and samadhi. Hindrances need to be removed, as they are the result of negative deeds that obscure our nature. Relying on the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and on the guru, yidam and dakini as support quickly clears away hindrances.

Enhancement practices, for instance, are to develop devotion to the enlightened ones and compassion for sentient beings. Devotion and compassion strengthen the recognition of mind nature. Other practices also further enhance mind essence; however, the Third Karmapa stated the most essential point when he said: “In the moment of love, the empty essence dawns nakedly.”

In the moment that either devotion or compassion is felt sincerely, from the core of our heart, there is really nothing to obscure us any longer. The more we train in devotion to all enlightened masters, buddhas and bodhisattvas, the more our progress in recognising mind essence will be enhanced. In exactly the same way, generating loving kindness and compassion for all sentient beings will also help tremendously to enhance our realisation of buddhanature.

Let us conclude this teaching by engaging in the last of the Three Excellences, the excellent dedication. As a result of having studied these teachings, please dedicate the merit and make aspirations for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche 11.

As the darkness of night, even were it to last a thousand years, could not conceal the rising sun, so countless ages of conflict and suffering cannot conceal the innate radiance of Mind.

— Tilopa

念佛能治煩惱心病
地清法師

一般大眾生活中幾乎都跟著煩惱打轉,從家庭、事業、感情、人際關係、財富、教育、健康到生活品質的追求、個人相貌美醜胖瘦的要求,乃至對時事、政治立場角度的不同等等,在生老病死中所演生出來的種種哀怨情仇,無不充塞於胸,進而煩惱亂心,方寸失維。因此,今日要進一步跟諸位印證念佛對生活中一切煩惱有很大的幫助。

我們都知道,煩惱無明的來由大概都為業障所影響,相信大家都很清楚,煩惱無明現前幾乎沒人有定力放得下想得開,進而排解。可是大家卻不知道念佛的功德有此能力。

怎麼說呢?生活中若肯精進念佛,便可得到念佛的功德力,可是一般人並不了解念佛的利益,也不夠深入,更不肯念佛,因此無法得到念佛的功德。所以圓瑛大師告訴我們佛號能治一切煩惱病。

一代高僧圓瑛大師在其開示法彙中有講到念佛能治一切煩惱的方法。

一、「一句佛名,具有不可思議神力。能治一切煩惱心病。」

這段文讓我們聯想到《佛說阿彌陀經》中,釋迦牟尼佛跟我們介紹極樂淨土四種不可思議的功德莊嚴。第一、極樂國土依報莊嚴,不可思議。第二、極樂國土神通莊嚴,不可思議。第三、極樂國土法音莊嚴,不可思議。第四、極樂國土壽命莊嚴,不可思議。

佛陀告訴我們極樂國土有如是等不可思議的功德莊嚴,但凡夫心地粗劣,著境生相,難能信入,故一時無法接受一句佛號具有不可思議的威神力能治一切煩惱心病。

二、「當逆境之來,心生煩惱,遂即經行念佛,四步一聲佛號,循環往復,念之數匣,漸覺心地清涼,熱惱自息。

當我們逆境考驗,境界現前時,內心生起了煩惱,乃至火燒功德林,這時馬上生起正念,經行念佛,四步一聲佛號,來回反覆,念一段時間後,漸漸感到心地清涼,煩惱心自然消除。

說到這裡,讓我想到過去很容易起煩惱,當下爆發力非常激烈,有時甚至無法做主。有次我又起煩惱,這時一位居士取笑我說:「法師,枉費你那麼精進、用功又苦行,當煩惱生起時也如同魔鬼、煩惱鬼,你的煩惱這麼重,佛號還念得下去嗎?」

這句話如當頭棒喝,內心生起很大的感受,迴光一念,自己在台上每每鼓勵人家說念佛可以消除煩惱無明,結果自己煩惱生起,竟無法迴光返照,提不起這句佛號的正念。當下馬上生起了慚愧心。對啊!自己怎麼不懂得藉這句佛號消除煩惱心呢?

有了這次經驗,體悟善知識一句話的鼓勵,讓自己即時拉回正念很有幫助。一個人若是肯斷煩惱、除無明,肯消這些業障,會有很多好因緣,差別在你惜不惜這個緣。圓瑛大師說,假使我們煩惱生起,逆境障礙爆發,就要有一股正念持名念佛,慢慢透過念佛的加持,心地就轉為清涼,煩惱自然消除。

人難免有煩惱,難免有貪瞋痴細微的障礙,但若肯一念迴光返照,生起正念思惟,就像佛經所說的,煩惱化做菩提,所以菩提心的基礎肥料就是煩惱。一個人的菩提果要能開得漂亮、堅固,必得經過煩惱的酵素肥料灌溉,如同蓮花開在污泥上,外表生長在污泥中,但是自性、佛性、心地並沒有污染,所謂蓮花「吃」汙泥而不染。同樣,我們的菩提心經過煩惱的磨練後,方顯茁壯堅固。

三、「有時事多心憂,更深不能成寐,亦專稱佛號,歷時少頃,即心身安定,便能睡著,無諸夢想。」

人在世間過於追求生活享樂或優越品質,致生活負擔重,又俗事塵勞多如牛毛,難免影響心情生起憂愁煩惱,乃至於影響晚上無法入睡。圓瑛大師教我們生起正念,專稱專念佛號,經片刻後,絕對身心安定,一覺到天亮,不會顛倒妄想。

過去在外弘法因緣很不好,常影響到身心不平衡而生出諸多障礙,乃至顛倒,後來看到這些經法和高僧們的修行風範,繼而跟隨他們的腳步,學到很多好方法。每個人的業力因緣不同,有人善根福報俱足,有人業障重重,因此,我鼓勵他們發大願,將今日一柱香供養佛,一杯茶、一盞燈乃至讚佛恭敬禮拜的功德,利用晚上睡前迴向:

「弟子今日願供香、供茶、供水果、供佛、禮佛、念佛功德,所造一切隨喜功德,迴向給冤親債主、一切眾生及過去現在父母親眷屬,離苦得樂,業障消除。」因為我常在外弘法,受到法界眾生的護持,所以又多一句:「願以今日所做一切功德,至心懇切迴向所見護法者、護持者、布施者、發心者、事故者、病苦者、障礙者、亡者等,離苦得樂,業障消除,同生淨土。」

迴向是布施的一個根本,日積月累就會產生力量。

第二、你也可以這麼迴向:願菩薩加持,讓我晚上心得安穩,不顛倒,精神安樂,一覺到天亮。第三、有個加持的方法較少人知道,你可以持一杯大悲咒水擺在房間,有時房裡空氣乾燥也會令人難以入睡,也有可能你的業障,磁場不好,這時你可以持一杯大悲咒水,不要上蓋,放在房間的桌上,自然大悲咒水的水分會滋潤乾燥的空氣,並且無形中會昇華加持你。

台中有位蓮友,夫妻倆參加大陸旅遊,通常外地的房間乾不乾淨我們不知道,但是他知道我這要領,懂得去浴室拿杯子裝水持幾遍大悲咒,求菩薩加持。結果這趟大陸之旅,他們睡得很安穩,都沒什麼異樣,反觀其他團員好幾位都有夜不能眠被掐的情形。

這是我順便附帶說明的方法,假使你晚上不好睡,可以持一杯大悲咒水,喝一些也可以,但留一些擺在床頭,如果房內有盆栽也可倒一些到盆內,水氣中有大悲咒水就有加持,很好睡。諸位可以學著做看看,甚至如果有孩子或親朋好友住院,因為醫院較複雜,你也可以持一杯大悲咒水放在他身邊,以不打翻為原則,天亮起床可以將其喝下,非常不錯。

四、「當寫經時,一筆一句佛號,精神不散,妄念不起,寫久亦不覺辛苦。」

高僧很有經驗,實修的人、真正用功的人,行住坐臥都離不開佛號,連寫經書也離不開念佛。圓瑛大師告訴我們說,如果我們能夠相信念佛法門,專心稱念不間斷,念到心空境寂,煩惱自然不會生起。大師鼓勵我們一心念佛,專心念佛,堅持到底,自然中我們的心地意境就會愈來愈清淨,愈放得開,最後煩惱自然斷除,道業成就。

非常慈悲,無量壽佛這句佛號圓滿一切眾生,實在功德無量,但願諸位能夠依教奉行,精進念佛,共成佛道。

Ven Di Qing (地清法師) 1.