防著魔
懺雲老法師

发心真诚

现在是五浊恶世——劫浊、见浊、烦恼浊、众生浊和命浊,精神病太多。我们修行要发真诚心,为佛法,不离佛法才好。如果是“勤修善根供养,不舍菩萨业供养,不离菩提心供养”,就不会着魔。

精神宁定

世俗上所谓精神分裂,大多是这样的:爱其人以至于屋上之鸟,恨其人以至于他屋上之鸟,恨得那么厉害。一时爱、一时恨,精神就要分裂。要是能保持精神集中,就是戒定慧的定,宁静安定,就没有这些。我们由着心去,感情若是很猛烈激动,一贪一嗔、一憎一爱,就会精神分裂,所以要避免这些。

正当生活

还有,从事的职业要一定是正命。正命是正当的生活,也包括职业在内,要是不正当的生活就差。

行善积德孝顺仁厚

普通在世俗上,多做善事是阴德,不外显出来给人家看,外面显给人看是为了招名、招利,或是有什么作用。像谈虚大师扫厕所还不给人看。做善事、做阴德,可以消灾延寿。

再就是好好孝顺父母,多忠厚仁义,比较好。

大体上,这是在世俗上求不着魔、不得精神病的办法。这是有关世俗方面。

贪嗔妄想

在佛法中,要是打坐时尽打妄想,一边贪心、淫欲心,一边又念佛,这怕要着魔。一边打着罪恶的妄想,而又念着万德洪名,怕要着魔,这是贪心。其次就是嗔心,我想报仇,写暗信、给暗箭,教他不知道,让他吃亏受苦;这个信我怎么编、怎么写,或是我怎么报仇,这也是怕要着魔。在念佛的时候起这种心,也容易着魔。这是一贪、一嗔。

知相虚妄

还有呢?见了鬼、见了神、见了菩萨、见了佛,以为了不起,就是“见怪不怪,其怪自败”。事实上,“凡所有相皆是虚妄,若见诸相非相,即见如来”。所有一切的好相、瑞相我们不着,就不至于着魔。就怕说:“喔!可了不得了!佛来摩我的顶了!”以至于“佛对我说法了!”要是自己一着,马上就是着魔,这个经典里头有说明的。

还有呢?有过去世或今生死去的异性朋友来找了,或是异性的夫妇来找了,要是一认真,也会着魔。《华严经》说:“奇哉!奇哉!一切众生皆具如来智慧德相,但以妄想执着”——这个“着”(音啄)就是“着”(音招),“但以妄想执着,不能证得”。离了妄想执着,则“一切智、自然智、无师智自然现前”。这就是不着。

超出人我对待

在人事上,我们要看清楚,超出一等,不和一般人勾心斗角,起我相、人相对待;可是我都知道,也不是傻瓜。以至于我超出他们,看得清楚明白,可以说就说,不可以说就不说,躲着敬而远之。在人事上不去对待,不去纠缠。纠缠不清,也容易着魔。

不染名利五浊

再就是贪财、贪名这些事情。大家乐、飙车啊!都有点疯狂,有点着魔!按照现在的说法,这是社会病态;按《阿弥陀经》最后所说,就是劫浊、见浊、烦恼浊、众生浊、命浊,所谓“人心不古,世风日下”。我们认清楚了才好。这是讲到不着魔的事。

般若空观去恼障

倘使有点魔障的人,“不要”教他多拜佛、多打坐。拜佛多了、打坐多了,他不能用空观把那一切烦恼空去,而烦恼和佛号或持咒诵经搅在一起,乱糟糟的,精神也容易出毛病。要是能空出一切再去用功,比较好!

利众积德调身心

所以要是曾经有过精神病的人,或是现在多少精神有点异状的人,就告诉他,教他多作些功德、利益大众的事情;有这个德行,能调身心,这样才好。大体如此。

修持回向还冤债

还有,倘使着了魔睡不着,就吃安眠药、镇静剂,睡它几天;着魔的人大多数都不能睡。平常相反,睡不好的人也怕要着魔;最好能够睡,说睡就睡,不睡就不睡,这样比较好。不能睡好的人,尤其是长夜漫漫不能睡,时常发作,大体都是怕有冤家。一天、两天晚上睡不着,或者是因为喝汤、喝茶太浓厚,或者是在临睡前有什么事情,那就不必怕。如果常常这样闹,怕有冤家或者是魔障。

这时候就要用短期修持,好比持往生咒,跟冤亲债主回向;或者诵《金刚经》,十六分,十六分一半一半地诵,一切不必多;《地藏经》十三品,一品一品地诵,分开诵,不必太多。

此外,多做公益的事,多做阴德的事情,多做善事,慢慢就能调好。

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Even within Buddhism, there are various descriptions of this, but in the Mahayana tradition it [is] taught that the main criterion for an action being virtuous or non-virtuous is whether one’s intention is or is not virtuous. If you hold the motivation in your mind to be of benefit to others and that they may come to enjoy temporary and ultimate happiness and well-being, whatever actions of body, speech, and mind you may perform, they will all be on the side of virtue. But if you act with a negative mindset, out of a motivation that is afflicted by being jealous, malicious, competitive, and so on toward others, whatever you do will be non-virtuous. In brief, whether an action is considered as virtuous or non-virtuous depends mainly upon the underlying motivation or mindset either positive or negative. The results of good actions will also be good, while the outcomes of bad actions will be negative and painful.

— His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

How do we retain passion while accepting all of life equally?
by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Enlightenment is not a state of passivity or indifference. Equanimity involves seeing through your wisdom eye and not through your negative emotions, such as anger or attachment. It is important to understand that it’s possible to live life with equanimity as well as with enthusiasm, inspiration, and a loving heart.

It seems in the West we associate passion with uncontrolled emotion. Emotion drives us toward what seems shiny and promising. But it is possible to experience strong emotion, or strong enthusiasm, or inspiration, without being driven by emotion. You must guide emotion — You are the source of that emotion, and also the driver. You guide that emotion and live and act with it, but you are in control. Equanimity means total control of our emotions.

While we usually equate control with tension and effort, that’s not the case here. A good athlete will perform with grace and strength, with no extra tension. A confident and skilled driver will drive a car with good control, but not tension. If you drive too loosely, and without respect for the conditions of the road and the capacity of the vehicle, you will lose control of the car. But if you are a good driver, you are in relation to all conditions present and are not tense. The fundamental requirement for control is that you are open. You are open and you are aware in that openness.

In Tibetan Buddhism there is a saying that samsaric beings are controlled by their karma and their emotions, while enlightened beings are not. If we are honest, we cannot say we are not controlled by our emotions, but how much we suffer is a question of how much we are controlled by our emotions. Are you guiding your emotions, or are your emotions propelling you in certain directions? With open awareness, you are not the victim of conditions; rather, you are able to guide your emotional energies, and are therefore free to experience curiosity, enthusiasm, and joy in living.

You can be open and love someone and not be attached. You can be excited about something without being bound by the expectation of a specific outcome. Unfortunately, people often become excited about an imagined outcome rather than experience joy in the moment for its own sake. You can just be excited. Open excitement! Open joy! This very openness is what makes the experience of love strong. One might call it passionate, but it is open — and that is what makes the difference between love that benefits and love that causes us to suffer. When you are open, you have more ability to guide your love, and you are less a victim of the pain of love, because if something goes wrong, you easily let it go. Openness has a lot to do with letting go. When you let go, you reconnect with unconditional openness and discover love, joy, and compassion, which arise naturally.

Our equanimity comes from open awareness itself, and when we connect with that source again and again, our life is dynamic and alive — not passive, dull, or disconnected. Each time you let go of your attachment, you reconnect with open awareness. This is what is known as the path. We continuously recognise that the source of our love is not in the other person, and that the source of our enthusiasm is not in this job or that project. This frees us to engage fully in life and to allow our life to become our path.

Without an altruistic, compassionate, kind and righteous heart, even if one is extremely beautiful and attractive, or one’s wealth is comparable to the treasure of a country, or one’s name resonates in the entire world, the person is still not reliable. Inner nobleness far surpasses external gloss.

— Khenpo Sodargye Rinpoche

开佛知见 – 如何闻思修
慧门禅师

学佛首要听闻佛法、看经典,然后进入正思维,正思维之后,把它变成修行的方法,然后按照方法如实去修,修到有所开悟、修到能够证果。那么,到底在学佛过程中,我们有没有按这个步骤去修?应该怎么进入闻思修?如何从听闻变成实修?如何超越这些问题?可以说都是学佛过程中,从听闻佛法而进入思维,经由思维后,再去修行的经验累积。

外道吐痰

现在举例说明:

有一次佛陀升座说法时,突然来了一个外道,看到佛陀就很生气的”喀!呸!”把痰吐在佛陀的脸上,当时佛陀一点也没生气,只是把痰轻轻擦掉,然后问这位外道:”请问你还有没有更多的话要跟我讲?”这时,佛陀的弟子非常生气,要冲过去对外道报复,佛陀阻止他的弟子:”不可以这样!”外道看到佛陀被他吐痰后的表现,觉得很惭愧,什么话也没讲就回去了。

一、接受果报

外道回去后,弟子就问佛陀:”为什么我们要让他好看,你却阻止我们?”佛陀告诉弟子:”你们要想想,外道会来这里向我吐痰,一定是他对我所说的法,透过别人的转达而让他产生很大的误解,因而造成他的愤怒,愤怒到他没办法用语言文字来骂我,只好用吐痰来表达他的愤怒。所以,这是因为我过去生或者今生所造作的”没办法让他完全了解”的因,而导致他生气,来向我吐痰。既然这个不好的因,产生了不好的果,而显现在我的眼前,这时,我如果不这样思维,不穿透这现象,反而生气报复,这样,在因果报复下,我就不能欣喜接受果报,使我在承受果报的同时,又再造作了另一个新的恶因。这样这个恶缘就会越结越深,将来的果报就会越滚越大,越来越不好!”

经佛陀解释,弟子才了解。外道回去后,整晚翻来覆去的睡不著,一直在想:为什么佛陀能够修到我向他吐痰,他还问我:你还有什么话要讲?各位,假定现在有人向你吐痰,你是问他”你还有什么话要跟我讲?”还是,很生气地朝他的脸多吐几口痰呢?你一定是气得不得了,等他离开后,就像小学生一样,在地上画个圈,把他的名字写在圈圈里,然后吐口痰在那边拼命地踩!是不是?但是,佛陀没有这样做!佛陀知道要如何接受现前的果报,这样,才能够让过去造作的因和误会消除,这就是佛陀有办法从”闻”进入”思维”,佛陀具备了这种思维能力,可以穿透表相,看到外道吐痰的真正原因,而不是只看到吐痰的表相。

人之所以会烦恼痛苦,是因为只看到当下外表幻化的现象而已,而没穿透能力,去看到真正的原因,才会给自己带来很多的烦恼和痛苦。当你有”正思维”的时候,你就有办法穿透表相,进入事相真正的核心。

请问各位,假定现在有人打你一掌,你晚上睡得著吗?但是,佛陀就是在果报现前时马上接受,果报马上就消失,因为他没继续造作另一个新的恶因。因此,原来误会的因,在这个果报开花结果后就消失了。

为什么凡夫就不是这样?果报现前的时候,我们会继续造作恶因,因此把旧因和新造作的恶因结合起来,越滚越大,果报就越来越不好,而造成今天不高兴,明天不高兴;今天愤怒,明天更愤怒;今天的抱怨滚到明天,明天比今天更抱怨??。假定你一直恨一个人,本来只恨一点点,多讲给几个人听后,越讲情绪就越激动,说完你会更恨,因为,你一直在造作新的恶因,果报就会一直滚下去。然而佛陀没这样,他活在当下,当下的境界过去就没有了,因此,他睡得很好。

二、流水说法

第二天,外道来求见佛陀,希望佛陀原谅他。各位想想!假定人家打你一巴掌,第二天来跟你道歉,你会有什么反应?

佛陀静静地对外道说:”好!我带你去河边坐一坐。”到了河边,佛陀就对外道说:”你们就看著流水。”然后佛陀坐一边,外道也坐另一边,两个人一坐,从早上坐到夕阳西下,外道又对佛陀说:”请佛陀慈悲!原谅我向你吐痰!也请你收我为弟子!”佛陀对外道说:”你看!你早上看的流水和现在看的流水,一样吗?”外道说:”不一样!早上的水流过去,和现在的水不同!”

这时,佛陀就因机施教,趁机向外道说法。佛陀说:”没有错!早上的流水,跟下午的流水,已经不一样了。所以,昨天被你吐痰的那个人,跟现在站在你面前的这个人,已经不同了,现在站在你面前的这个人,已经没有权利,可以来原谅任何一个人;而现在站在这里的你,跟昨天吐痰的那个你也不一样,所以你也不必要请求原谅。”你看,佛陀就会掌握机会,马上藉流水教导外道佛法。

三、深信因果

听完这个故事,我们总是说:”啊!那只有佛陀才做得到!我可做不到。我又还没成佛,怎么做得到?在还没成佛之前,别人向我吐一口痰,我就向他吐三口;别人打我一下,我就打他十下。”大家都是这样,是不是?

听了这个故事以后,你有没有进入思维?你思维到什么?佛陀在宣示什么法?佛陀教弟子不可报复,从这一点,我们可以看到佛陀在讲一个很重要的因果关系。在这之前,因为佛陀说法没办法直接让外道听到,而是经过别人转述而让外道产生误会,所以造作了这个没办法让外道完全了解的因,有这个误会的因,然后才产生被吐痰的恶果报,这就是因果关系,这时候佛陀就告诉我们要深信因果。

听完这个故事,我们知道佛陀告诉我们:一要深信因果,二当果报现前,不管是好或是坏,统统要欢喜接受。

我们要穿透到,为什么会产生这种果报?要了解:过去讲了一句让人误解的话;或做了让人家不能谅解的事;有这种因,现在才会产生这种果。这时,我们要用欣喜的心来接受果报,接受之后才能让过去造作的因,因为接受果报而消散掉,这样,这个因才不会延续到将来,而滚出越来越大越不好的果报。

问题是,当过去造作的因现前的时候,我们往往逃避,不接受,要不然就是生气或抱怨,这时,就造作了另一个新的恶因。因上加因,恶因会加重,累积成更多不好的果报,于是果报就越滚越大,没完没了,只好轮回受生到三恶道去了!

在这个故事里,佛陀告诉我们要深信因果,之后又告诉我们如何消除果报,不再造作新因,才能消灾解厄。有人到寺院里,写个牌位超荐某人或超荐某人的冤亲债主,认为写了一个消灾牌位就会闪避灾厄,但是,当果报现前,如果没像佛陀这样去思修的话,就是让你闪一千年,让你写一万张牌位也没有用!我们听了这个故事,就要知道佛陀是在宣示如何把恶因消除,不让它继续产生恶的果报。

四、活在当下

故事里的外道回去睡不著,而佛陀睡得著,这是告诉我们–活在当下。不要活在过去,也不要活在未来,而是活在当下。佛陀被吐痰的时候,他活在当下,把痰擦掉以后就没有了,所以,他晚上睡得著。但是,我们都活在过去。譬如,先生一年前曾跟你吵架,现在两人又吵起来,你会把去年吵架的、前年吵架的旧帐通通翻出来,然后跟他”正面削”、”反面刮”,对不对?这样,你的恶果报就会越来越大,最后难以收拾。很多夫妻吵架,都不是为了什么了不起的原因,而是彼此翻旧帐,才会弄得很糟糕。

有一次,一位女众菩萨来参加禅修,我在讲开示的时候,她就一直掉眼泪,我觉得奇怪就问:”为什么你在流泪?”她答:”我想到我先生,越想越心疼,所以掉泪。”我说:”我在这里教你活在当下,你不好好观照自己的心,想你先生做什么?”她答:”我们结婚三十几年,两人没离开过,这次我来禅修,一直担心没人做饭给他吃,叫他一起来禅修,他又不肯,我真担心万一我成了佛,他要去轮回,怎么办?”她就这样,越想越难过,所以才掉眼泪。

人之所以会痛苦,都是因为活在过去,或活在未来而没活在当下!佛陀告诉我们:要修行,只能活在当下,不能忆念过去,不然就像在捡坟墓里的骨头一样,死都死了,捡有什么用?也不能想未来,想未来就是在做虚幻的白日梦。既然是虚幻的,想又有什么用?

禅修的时候,我会带学员去”墓仔埔”行禅,让他们看著坟墓,看著看著,我就问:”你看,坟墓里的人,以前也曾风光一时,现在躺在那里,不过是一堆骨头!能怎么样?我们人活著的时候自我意识强烈,因此一直制造是非,制造问题,为了要增强自我的存在,就一直在争夺!这样自己辛苦,别人也辛苦,大家都辛苦,这有什么用?都没有用的,死了以后只是白骨一堆!就是再给你几百万,又有什么用?死了,都没用了!”

佛陀告诉我们,要活在当下,人,若经常回忆过去,苦就会越来越多,甚至做白日梦也一样!当下活得很快乐,下一分才能快乐;当下活得不高兴,下一分一定更不高兴。所以,要活在当下!

五、体悟生灭

当外道来求佛陀原谅的时候,佛陀的表现是应机施教。但是,换上我们就不是了!我们会马上报复,报复的时候,你的怨气、对方的怨气都会加强。所以,佛陀就教外道看流水,这流水宣说著一去不复返的生灭法!而法,教我们要体悟生灭。但是,各位听完这个故事,有没有想到佛陀竟教导我们这么多法呢?都没有吧?所以,你们仍停留在”闻”的阶段,还没有进入”思维”!没进入思维,怎么修呢?

六、不动之动

不要小看流水,流水也可以告诉我们很多法。禅七的时候,我经常带学员到外双溪步道做山水禅,然后在溪边走来走去,再听瀑布的声音,教他们看,看流水在告诉我们什么?

你们有没有去过溪旁?有看过流水吗?有!你是否想到,流水就是法?没有!你是不是想,这有什么法?流水还不是和我家的自来水一样,只是哗啦啦的流!是不是?听瀑布的声音,也和上净房拉马桶的声音差不多!这样就不能让大自然来告诉我们法了。

事实上,流水也能告诉我们法!你注意看流水,流水是不屈不挠的,你在这里用石头阻挡它,它绕过石头仍继续地流,没地方绕就往地下渗透,即使渗透不下去,也会慢慢流,等到流满了,再满溢过去。这是不是在告诉我们,要以不屈不挠的精神来修持佛法?

流水一直流、流到水库里,水坝挡著流水,猛然一看,这流水怎么停在那边,好像不动了?别以为水挡在那边就没作用了。不是的!你注意看!它的不动,是在告诉我们,因为它的不动,是能够贮藏更多的能量,当贮存满了以后,可以用来发电、灌溉、提供自来水。所以,不要小看不动的水,它的不动是要让它产生更大的功能。

连流水都能教导我们许多重要的法,同样的,我们参禅打坐,静止,坐著不动,很多人说:”你们参禅打坐的人,整天坐在那边,就能开悟?”他不知道这个”坐著”不动,跟水库的水静止不动是同样的道理,会让你储蓄很大的能量,让你在生活中,运用这些能量来应付日常发生的事情。我们打坐要能把定力保任延续到日常生活里,要能在每一分每一秒的动态中,都能任运自如,这才真正有用,而不是打坐时有定力,下坐时就没定力。

我经常问跟我学打坐的人:”你最近有没有打坐?”

“师父,我现在好认真。”

“那你坐得好不好?”

“哇!我现在进步很多!”

“你怎么进步?”

“师父,我现在在家里打坐,儿子电视开得很大声,我也不会生气了!我先生看我在打坐,关门就关得碰碰响,我也比较不会生气了。我想我在打坐,是有定力的人,不能和他们生气,等我下坐,再找他们算帐!”。

你看,这样有没有定力?要知道,水贮存不动,是要发电、要灌溉、要做自来水,都很有用,要是水坝崩溃是会氾滥成灾,会淹死人的。打坐一下坐就没定力,后果就像水坝崩溃”做水灾”一样。所以,禅修是动静一如,要配合好。

从这个故事自我检讨一下,就知道当我们听到这个故事,有没有进入思维,佛陀要告诉我们什么法?这个思维出来的法,有没有在日常生活,在待人接物中显露出来?如实奉行、修行,到有一点悟境而证果?没有吧!现在很多人都知道要”闻、?思、?修”,但事实上都只是停留在”闻”的阶段,没进入”正思维”、没进入修行、开悟、更没进入证果,这样修行佛法,修再久也没有用!

野狐闻禅

再讲另外一个故事:百丈禅师经常讲经说法,有一位白发老人常坐在法堂后座听开示,每次听完,他都随大家离去。有一次,百丈禅师开示后,大家都散去了,但老人仍然坐在后座,百丈禅师就问:”大家都走了,你怎么不走?”老人答:”不瞒禅师,我是这座山的修行人,五百世以前就在这里修行。当时因为修行不错,已经修到有神通。有一次,我的弟子问我:”师父啊?你修得这么好,到底修到什么境界了?”我就回答说:”我已经修到不落因果!””

因为他把法教错了,以为自己的神通已经可以达到造作任何因,都不必接受任何的果报,所以他往生后就堕落到畜生道,变成一只狐狸–生生世世都是狐狸,轮回了五百世!你看,讲法说教只错了一点字,就堕落五百世,还好碰到百丈禅师在这里开山,升座讲法,他才有因缘请教百丈禅师,给他一个转语。百丈禅师就对他说:”不昧因果。”不昧因果的意思,就是要深信因果。他一听马上就开悟,一开悟就脱离狐狸身的束缚,接著他请求百丈禅师:”是不是可以把我当成一位修行人来做佛事?”禅师说:”可以!”老人就回去了。

第二天,用午斋的时候,百丈禅师向大众宣布,用斋后到后山替一位有修行的人做佛事。大众都觉得莫名其妙,心想:”如意寮没人生病,也没有病人来挂单,到底是谁往生了?”大众都议论纷纷。

大众到后山,拼命找尸体都找不到,百丈禅师就从草丛中挑起一只死狐狸,大众都很惊讶:”居然将一只死狐狸当做有修行的人!还要给他做佛事!”。这时,百丈禅师才把整个经过讲给大众听。

这个故事你们虽听过很多次,但是,请问各位,你们是否进入思维?是否按照思维出来的法去修?有没有?

一、神通有限

首先我们思维,堕为狐狸,为什么会变成老人在那儿?这位修行人是修到有神通,他的神通还在,但是,堕入畜生道后,他还是脱离不了畜生道,只是暂时化现为人的形貌,所以才能到法堂听百丈禅师说法,这就告诉我们,神通是有限的,只能做到如此而已,要了脱生死、开智慧是办不到的。

二、不昧因果

这个故事告诉我们,这位修行人只说了一句”不落因果”,就堕到狐狸身五百世。想想看,学佛的人假定不深信因果、不遵循因果的话,一堕落、一失人身后,不晓得要经过多少劫,才能再得到人身!这一点就在告诉我们,因果是很重要的,这也是在讲因果法!

三、六道可修

这位修行人虽堕为狐狸,化现为老人请法,听到”不昧因果”,马上能脱离狐狸身而转生,甚至都可以成佛。这就告诉我们:即使在畜生道,或任何一道,都一样可以修行,可以升华,也可以转化到人道再成佛,并不是畜生就不能修!畜生道可以修,地狱道也可以修!但是他们修得比人道慢,甚至要先恢复人身,才能修行成佛。这点就是告诉我们,如果从人道堕落下去,要先修到再得人身后,才有希望成佛,不然是很难的!

你看,任何一道都可以修行佛法,有些人就奇怪,六道怎么可以修?鸡、狗能不能修?你看到流浪狗,得皮肤病,脏兮兮的,在你家门口,你一脚就把它踢出去,这一脚啊,你造作的因,将来会怎样,你知不知道?这就很难讲了!是不是?

从狐狸闻禅的故事,我们知道,畜生道是可以修行佛法的,任何地方都可以修持佛法,甚至连地狱道也可以修行,因为,地藏王菩萨发愿到地狱去度众生–佛法是广大无边、是遍虚空、遍十法界的。

四、正念修行

百丈禅师给老人一个转语,让他脱离狐狸身。从这里我们可以知道,修持佛法最重要的是-正知正见正念,没有正知正见正念,不管你怎么修行,一定会走偏的,就像你在台中,说要去高雄,也买了往高雄的自强号车票,结果到了车站,你却上了北上的自强号,还说:”我有买票,为什么没到高雄?奇怪,怎么到了台北呢!”你没上正道嘛!因为你没有正知正见正念,没办法上正道啊!所以,走偏了自己还不知道!

五、无常转机

每次听法,老人都跟大家一起来、一起走,为什么那天不走?平时他和大一起来、一起走,就是告诉我们”常”,突然有一天他不走了,就是”无常”,对不对?这里就在告诉我们”诸行无常”。

大家都害怕”无常”,每个人一听到”无常”,都说︰”唉唷!我会死耶!无常实在很不好!”其实,这只狐狸就是因为”无常”才得到转机,才能脱离狐狸身再去转生。所以,无常是很好的,我们不要害怕无常。我们要去接受无常、体验无常,并且知道无常是佛法的真理、是佛法的奥义。

六、修行可贵

这个故事也告诉我们,只要能够修行,不管那一道,都会受到人人敬仰,得到人天护持。像老人一脱离狐狸身,百丈禅师照样以”最有修行的人”给他做佛事,并没因他前世一句话堕到畜生道,就否定他的修行。

七、了生脱死

百丈禅师给这只狐狸一个转语,它即刻可以脱离躯体的束缚,而脱离狐狸身。人也一样,要修到什么程度,才能不执著自己的身体–不执著身体的束缚才能了生脱死。

这个故事告诉我们,修持佛法最重要的,就是要了生脱死,能够了生脱死,才能打开般若智慧,否则在那边争夺,争得再多而生死未了,也是枉然;争得再多,死了以后,也装不进棺材、也带不走!

闻思修法

我们看故事、经典,要注意自己是否进入”闻、?思、?修”。我在学佛的过程中,不论是比喻的故事、或经典,我都用”闻、?思、?修”的方式去修持。听闻之后进入思维,思维出这个故事或经典,到底在宣示什么法?这个法我是否在日常生活中,在起心动念时拿出来用?为什么有时用得上,有时明明想用,却用不上?那就是定慧的力量不足、持戒的不够清净,才会用不出来,才会落入听闻的阶段,而没办法进入思维跟修行,更不必谈开悟了。连修行都不会修,怎么谈开悟?谈证果呢?

譬如说,以楞严经来讲,当你看完楞严经之后,你有没有思维为什么佛陀要讲楞严经?讲楞严经-是因为阿难发生什么问题,然后请示佛法?阿难是多闻第一,为什么境界现前,他没办法应付,仍然会被迷惑?因为阿难只停留在多闻的层次,所以佛陀才告诉阿难”行”的重要,告诉阿难如何克服修行的不足。如果没有从”闻思”进入”修”的话,根本没办法”行”,只停留在”解”而已,这样修持佛法是没有用的。

许多高僧大德的语录或经典,都是讲修行的结果,我们听闻了这些语录或经典,要能够进入思维,思维佛陀为什么要讲这部经?讲这部经的因缘,以及要对治什么困难?要用什么方法来修行?有多少人依法修行?修行中会遭遇到什么困难?你要思维,不要只看结果,要还原到最根本的地方,然后再依法如实的修,修到和经典所讲的”果证”一样,这时你才能是真正的”闻、?思、?修”。否则,都不是。目前很多人都落入一个”只要听闻就好,其他的通通不管。”这样就没办法进入”闻、?思、?修”。

听闻佛法就必须这样进入”闻思修悟证”,这才是真正学佛的正道,才能一路安稳地修下去,不然走偏了,自己都不知道,还坚持自己的法是最好的,这样就很难修了。所以,不能够只停留在听闻的层次,只听闻而不思修是一点用都没有的。

各位这么发心学佛,白天工作,还要操劳家事,再赶来这里闻法,实在很辛苦。但是要能在听闻后进入思维,并融入日常生活中,这样才会有小小的体悟,小小的体悟才能累积成为大开悟的资粮,才可能了生脱死,这样对生死才会有把握。

本期用这两个故事,向大家说明如何进入”闻思修悟证”,但是,本期讲的”闻思修”要领,只是脑筋层面的闻思修,也就是一般做学问的,有系统的逻辑分析方法而已,而真正的闻思修,是必须经过证悟并超越脑筋思维的层面,产生不思维的思维,这种思维才具备有穿透幻化表相的力量,才能证悟见实相。希望大家早日证悟。

Do not waste a single moment – Like a warrior who, pierced to the heart by an arrow, knows he has only few minutes to live – It is now, while we are in good health and in possession of all our physical and mental faculties, that we should practice Dharma.

— His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Take Charge of Your Practice
by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Nowadays, even older people in their seventies feel they have a lot of time to fool around. I don’t know where this comes from. Maybe it’s because in modern cultures people stay healthier, active, and mobile longer due to a better diet, more vitamins, and the latest medicines. Elderly people also have more things to distract themselves with: packaged holiday cruises, workshops, and different kinds of physical activities. You hear people say, “The forties are the new thirties, and the fifties are the new forties…” People put a lot of effort into staying and looking young. This kind of thinking changes our concept of aging and how we relate to growing old.

When I first came to the West, most of my students were quite young, except for a dedicated group of women who were forty and older. They started a dharma study group, which they affectionately called the old ladies’ group. I asked one of my older students in her seventies if she attended the old ladies’ group, and she got offended. People are a little eternalistic in this way.

In more traditional cultures, seventy is considered old, and people have no problem saying so. These cultures recognise old age as a time to prepare for death. People who in their youth engaged in naughty, unwholesome behaviour often start to soften and go in the direction of practice as they get older. Instead of being diligently naughty, they diligently dedicate their remaining years to saying mantras and doing prostrations and prayers. I see this happen all the time, even in myself.

In Tibet, as people age their children will say, “Mom, you’re getting old, go do some mantras and circumambulations!” This has a dual function: the children know this will get their parents out of their hair, but it is also a cultural push — a push to prepare for death. People expect this; it helps them get ready.

It’s good to look at life pragmatically, rather than as how we might want it to be. Taking care of our bodies is intelligent enough; we certainly don’t want to get old and infirm prematurely. We don’t want to lose our sense of curiosity and interest in life, our spark. But the focus on prolonging life rather than accepting death is futile. Youth goes by in a flash, and then we enter adulthood and old age. That’s about it. Patrul Rinpoche suggests we look at our life cycle as the length of a day: infancy at dawn, childhood and adolescence in the morning hours, adulthood at noon, and old age with the setting of the sun. If you want to prepare the mind for death, putting time into perspective is a realistic thing to do.

ORGANISING YOUR TIME

I’m not a planner by nature, but some years back I realised that if I didn’t take charge of my schedule, it would take charge of me. So now I fill my schedule with as much dharma practice and activity as I can. I fill the pages of my calendar — one year in advance — with my mind’s intention, then I follow and meet it. I know how many hours of practice I want to do each day, and I organise my time to complete that. I figure, this is my life, and if I don’t take charge no one else will. I find myself thinking a lot about time, how much I have, and what I want to do with it.

Practically speaking, there are only twenty-four hours in a day. How do we want to spend them? Some of that time we need to sleep. But how much sleep do we actually need? More than seven or eight hours usually doesn’t support us, unless of course we are a teenager. Most of us have jobs. We may work nine hours a day — that seems standard. This still leaves us with seven or eight hours of spare time. Then there are family obligations, and we need to tend to those with care. With our remaining hours, how can we fit practice time into our lives?

I am a night person, so I practice late at night. Some people prefer to start before dawn. These are quiet hours — guaranteed practice periods — because everyone else is asleep, or maybe practicing too. Sometimes at night I get sleepy, but when I stay with it for a bit, I find a whole new reserve of energy that sustains me throughout my session. Anything that brings our actions together with our intentions energises us and brings deep meaning to our lives. I used to have trouble sleeping, but now that I have a regular practice schedule, I have a restful unbroken sleep.

MAKING A CLEAR DECISION

If we have an aspiration to practice, we should make a clear decision to do so. It won’t help to have a “split mind.” In Tibetan there is a term: yi nyi te tsom. Yi nyi means that we have two minds, or in other words, conflicting interests. Te tsom means that we have doubts concerning which way we want to go. We may want to practice, yet somehow we fail to bring our aspirations together with our actions.

I see a lot of people wanting to practice yet not finding the time. It affects their self-esteem. We need to ask ourselves what prevents us from meeting our aspirations in life. Are we using our life well, or are we simply working to maintain it? How are we using our time? Are we considering what’s at stake? Are we tending to our desire for a meaningful life, or are we simply avoiding it? If so, why?

How we spend our time depends on how we organise our time, and how we organise our time depends on how we envision our lives. Once we have sorted out these questions and have made a clear decision to make room in our lives for practice, we have to exert ourselves rather than let the mind become too loose and unorganised, and just wait for something to happen.

BEWARE OF DISTRACTION

Distractions come in all sorts of disguises. Sometimes we feel we need to manage everyone else’s problems. If we have this tendency, there will always be someone who wants to pull us in, in some way. They want to consult, but they don’t necessarily want to hear what we have to say. They just want to vent. They feel stressed, and then we get stressed and no one profits in the end. Or, if in our work we are too meticulous and fixate on perfecting everything, we may never get anything done and run out of time for practice. We may also feel that we are the only ones who know how to do anything , so we end up doing everything. Some people can never say no. These kinds of distractions don’t even include the constant need for entertainment and fun, and all the foreign, high-maintenance elements we invite into our lives, such as puppies, personal-entertainment systems, and fancy computers.

Even in retreat, people can find all kinds of ways to occupy themselves and avoid practice, like spending hours each day pondering over their shopping lists. In India they say, “All you need are two chapattis a day.” I don’t think this means we need to subsist on two pieces of Indian bread a day, become a sadhu [an ascetic who renounces his body and all worldly things], or rough it. I think this is a metaphor for doing without. How much do we actually need? How often do we get distracted by what we want and figuring out how we can get it? Can we free ourselves from this kind of distraction through simply doing without? Whatever our tendency, it won’t do much good to blame anyone else for our distractions. Kunchyen Longchenpa said, “Distractions are limitless; only when you quit them will they leave.”

A RELAXED AND OPEN MIND

If we don’t have a focus, we meander around like a restless tiger, not finding any pleasure in anything. We find ourselves laying on the bed, then turning on the TV and flipping through the channels, eating when we’re not hungry, then picking up the phone. What are we trying to do? We are trying to connect with the phenomenal world. But how can we when we are not connected inwardly?

The times we don’t feel connected inwardly are the best times to practice. When our minds are restless, this might sound about as appealing as dental work. We are tormented and distracted by our thoughts, emotions, and fears. We come up with all kinds of physical sensations too. We have a pain in our neck, then it moves to our back, then our foot. All of a sudden we hear a ringing in our ears, or our eyes start to itch. It’s a little suspicious, don’t you think?

We need to give ourselves time to allow the nervous and restless energy to settle in our bodies. When the body rests, the mind rests. When the mind rests, the emotions rest, and we feel a profound sense of contentment and relaxation, or shenjong. When the mind relaxes in a state of shenjong, it is available to us, to serve us or at least help us understand what’s up. The space of shenjong means less vulnerability, so our thoughts and emotions cannot simply shove us around and rough us up as they usually do. All our fatigue falls away. The heart clears. The body lightens and feels as weightless as feather.

IT TAKES MIGHT AND CLARITY

We need a little strength to resist the habit of grasping at distractions, even if we are halfway in. We don’t want to be like a freshwater salmon that swims all the way upstream, and just when it is halfway into a bear’s mouth, rather than trying to wiggle out, thinks, “Oh well, I’m halfway in anyway.” Wiggling out of distraction takes some might and clarity.

I’ve heard people say, “I’m too lazy and love my ego too much to dedicate my time to practice.” That kind of laziness and lack of intention will never support realisation. The Buddha said that if flies, grubs, and bacteria had a capacity to aspire for enlightenment, they would attain it. That would be embarrassing, wouldn’t it? A grub attaining enlightenment before we did. In the sutra it says, “All things are circumstantial.” The circumstances we need are created by the might and clarity of our intention and how we carry it out in our lives.

It’s not as if we have no diligence. The alarm rings, it’s 4 a.m. The temperature has dropped into the single digits. We don’t want to get out of bed, but it’s Monday and there will be consequences. We get up. We scrape the snow off the windshield, heat up the car, and head to work for nine hours, maybe more. To do this every morning takes a little vision, a little might and clarity. Surely if we can do this, we can find a little time to practice.

A MODERN-DAY MANGO GROVE

If we can put time into perspective, organise our schedules, wiggle out of distraction with might and clarity, and think about what makes life meaningful, we will surely find time to practice, to relax the mind. Ordinarily, relaxing means taking our minds off our daily routine, laying on the couch, and watching a movie or going to sleep. Usually relaxing means distracting ourselves from the stresses of daily life. But we have spent half our lives sleeping without ever feeling rested. This is because we haven’t focused on relaxing the mind itself.

What could be more relaxing than letting go of preferences and worries? What better way is there to reduce our self-clinging than by contemplating bodhichitta? What can liberate our hopes and fears other than letting them arise and disassemble themselves naturally in the space of an open mind? Meditation leaves plenty of room for everything: all of our hopes, fears, and anxieties as well as our joys and aspirations. There is no need to control our thoughts, because when we practice we have committed ourselves to letting them be — not judging them as good or bad, spiritual or not spiritual, helpful or harmful. Is there any other activity that can accommodate the mind and its various arisings in this way?

The only thing we need to practice is a quiet place to sit: a room, a park bench, or our own bed. The sutras describe a peaceful mango grove as an ideal place to practice. The Buddha and his disciples practiced meditation in such a place. If you think about it, in the midst of our busy lives, any quiet place to sit can be our modern-day mango grove.