在三界火宅中化热恼得清凉
宽运法师

由于受到吹袭台湾超强热带气旋的影响,这两天香港气温上升至入夏以来最高点,14区空气污浊爆表,昨天35度,今天37度(7月9日);盛夏毒暑,热恼难耐,感觉就好像进入了一间着火的房子——「火宅」里一样;试问谁人不想快快地逃离?

这不禁令人想起了佛经中的一首偈:「三界无安,犹如火宅;众苦充满,甚可怖畏。」(《法华经卷二。譬喻品》)意思就是说,我们所处的、所赖以生存的环境,就像住在被烈火吞噬的火它中,充满各种难以忍受的苦楚,情状十分恐怖,令人畏惧。其中常有生、老、病、死等种种忧患,像烧得炽热、旺盛的火焰一般,没有片刻止息的时候。实在非常恐怖可怕。但是由于众生没有智慧,所以毫无警觉,每天生活在其中,醉生梦死,以苦为乐。

三界无安 犹如火宅

何谓「三界」?「三界」,是迷妄的有情众生,在生灭变化中流转,依其体验、感受和认识所分的三个阶级或范畴,分别为欲界、色界、无色界。「欲界」是五欲或俗语所谓七情六欲的层次;色界是禅定的层次,无色界则是只有自我执着,而没有意识活动的深定层次。欲界耽恋于官能的享受和追求;色界执着于生命的贪恋及对自我价值的追求;无色界已没有对于身心的贪恋和爱惜,心理活动已止息,但仍有潜在的自我中心意识,维系着对于「我」的执着。

以佛法来说,三界都是水深火热的环境。三界的果报虽然各有优劣、苦乐等差别,但是都属于「迷界」,难脱生死轮回之苦,因此为圣者所厌弃。若以一般人的认知,所谓眼不见为净,耳不闻为净;若到了色界、无色界的程度,已经是安乐的境界了,为什么还说是火宅?因为住在「定」中的人,人间的种种烦恼、社会的困扰,自然的灾害等等,都不会影响到他,好像已得到了解脱。但事实上,如果「我」执仍在,出定之后,仍在欲界,仍然还会受到人间种种恶劣环境的干扰,仍然有着水深火热似的烦恼。故云:「三界无安,犹如火宅。」

「火宅」就是失火的房子,充满了危险恐怖,但有幼儿、愚人及盲人,身陷火宅中,不知自己很快即将有丧失宝贵生命的危险。

《法华经》卷二〈譬喻品〉中所说的「火宅喻」里面说到:

从前有一个大长者,财富无量,一日,他的宅舍起了大火,长者忙着救火,但儿子们却在火宅内玩耍嬉戏,既不知也不觉;长者为救诸子出离火宅,于是便用种种的方便,在火宅外大声疾呼,叫唤孩子们速离险地。可是他们依旧充耳不闻、视若无睹,毫无警觉之心。为了劝诱这些无知的孩子们,出离火宅,就告诉他们说屋外有他们最欢喜坐的车子,有羊车、鹿车及牛车;等他们奔离火宅之后,长者会各赐一辆大白牛车。贪玩的孩子听说有更新鲜、有趣的玩意,这才冲出火宅,免于被大火吞没。

此譬喻中,「火」,比喻五浊、八苦等;「宅」,比喻三界;指出三界的众生为五浊、八苦所逼迫而不自知,不得安稳,犹如大宅被火所烧,而不能安居。羊车、鹿车、牛车,是藉以譬喻声闻乘、缘觉乘、佛乘这三乘解脱之法。儿子比喻众生,长者比喻佛。

出离五浊 勤求解脱

因此,三界即是「五浊恶世」;「五浊」又称「五滓」。据《悲华经》卷五、《法苑珠林》卷九十八的说法,五浊即指:

(一)劫浊,减劫中,人寿减至三十岁时饥馑灾起,减至二十岁时疾疫灾起,减至十岁时刀兵灾起,世界众生无不被害。因此,世界即是成住、坏、空,里面并不究竟,人在其中也不究竟。

(二)见浊,正法已灭,像法渐起,邪法转生,邪见增盛,使人不修善道。

(三)烦恼浊,众生多诸爱欲,悭贪斗诤,谄曲虚诳,摄受邪法而恼乱心神,心不能安定。

(四)众生浊,又作有情浊。众生多诸弊恶,有非常多的烦恼、欲望,不孝敬父母尊长,不畏恶业果报,不作功德,不修慧施、斋法,不持禁戒等。如是带来诸多的烦恼。

(五)命浊,又作寿浊。往古之世,人寿八万岁,今时以恶业增加,人寿转减,故寿命短促,百岁者稀。人的寿命减短,烦恼增多,所以世界称为「五浊恶世」;五浊之中,以劫浊为总,以其余四浊为别。四浊中又以见浊、烦恼浊二者为浊之自体,而成众生浊与命浊二者。

所以说,「众苦充满,甚可怖畏。」因为三界迷苦的领域有如大海的无边无际,因此三界又称苦界、苦海。一般常说的「苦海无边,回头是岸」,便是劝人出离三界,勤求解脱涅盘之乐。是故同经〈化城喻品〉中又说:「能于三界狱,勉出诸众生。」意思是劝导三界的有情众生,切莫以三界为安,当勤求解脱,早日出离。

文殊菩萨的故事——本来清凉

那么,我们要怎样才能获得真正的解脱与清凉?

唐朝有一位相国裴休,字公美,是河东人氏。他的学问极为渊博,通诸子百家之学,曾参学于黄檗禅师,复饱经圭峰禅师的教化,退隐以后,遂专志禅学,默契无生之理。

据传,裴相国于孩提时,曾遇到一位奇异的僧人,对他说道:

「到清凉寺来,我会送你三颗舍利子,并有一封简书要留给你。」

那封信是用天竺文字写的,没有人懂得其中的意思,裴休就把它随手放在竹筐子里面。

后来他长大成人了并做了官,参学于黄檗、圭峰两位禅门大德,乃志心于佛道,对于世上的功名利碌看得很淡,而且时时想要脱离尘缘俗网。有一天,他在整理旧信的时候,无意间发现了当年这封旧书简,于是就呈递给了圭峰禅师。

圭峰禅师令寺中的印度僧人翻译为汉文,成一首偈。

偈曰:「大士涉俗,小士真居,欲求佛道,岂离红尘?」

裴休看了偈文,心中暗喜,原来志求佛道并不一定要绝弃尘累啊!于是他打消了抛弃功名的念头,向道之心反而较从前更为热切。

他曾为圆觉经作序,提及:「血气之属必有知,凡有知者必同体。

所谓真净明妙,虚彻灵通,卓然而独存者也。」从文字中,可知他的卓越见解与睿智。

广德年间,河东节度使李诜奉旨进谒五台山请观国师入京,

李诜回到京城以后,裴休问他:「节度使!您奉了圣旨作清凉山之游,此行快乐吗?」

「到处都是风沙,有什么快乐可言的呢?我实在是受到禅家的虚诞不实拖累了啊!我听说清凉山是圣者文殊大士驻锡之处,风火不侵,到了那儿,热恼痛苦都会消除的。可是我五月间到达清凉山以后,猛烈的风沙飞扬着,暑热扑身,使得我从仆的儿子患热症死了,而山里面的僧人们,又常常殴打诤讼,像这样的过咎,真是数也数不清!哪里像传言中所说的那么清凉无恼呢?」李诜答道。

裴休马上对他说:「错了!您这番话错了!您怀着热恼的心,想入清凉之境,就好比披上了麻袋想要越过火堆一样,怎会不燃火上身呢?须知所谓清凉的境界,不在外有,不离当下所处的地方,也不是任何外在之物所能遮挡得住的,非冷非热,无形无碍,风吹不入,雨淋不湿,不是用眼可见、用耳可听闻的。所以说,真正的清凉,劫火不能烧,毘岚之风也不能坏,无热复无灾,就是清凉的境界。这实在不是分别思量所能契入的啊!而您持着『有』的心来到了清凉山,

就好像蚊子去叮铁牛,苍蝇投入火堆,这不是很可悲的事吗?」

听了裴休用心良苦的一番说话以后,李诜问道:

「那么我还能在清凉山见到文殊菩萨吗?」

「文殊就是大智,智慧广大,能从生死烦恼此岸到达清凉涅盘彼岸,证得离心念的妙智,也只有离开一切妄念的智慧,才可契入文殊大士的境界。所谓大智光明,即是清凉不变,清凉不变,也是大智光明,并不是有两样不同的东西。您想文殊进入您的心:当离心意识,绝修证之路,不要以眼入,乃至不要以意入,要以无生入(有生即有灭、生灭是分别),无相入,无我入,无人入,无一人,无多人,无间入,无人入。这样子契入,即使银山铁壁,都可穿透无碍,到了妄心去尽,求个人的人,也了不可得(已无个人的我执),到了这个地步,才知清凉本具,不是今天才契入的啊!」

李诜听了以后,恍然大悟地说道:「现在听了您这一番话,我心里面顿时觉得清凉无比了哩。」于是辞谢而退。

结语

由此可见,一切境界,出于心造,源于心受。心境烦恼,便处于火宅之中;心境清凉,便生于佛国净土。境随心转,环境就没有一定的安危;若是心随境转,则人心浮动,环境便会混乱,便成三界火宅;若是人心安定,环境自然太平,那么处处都能见到世外桃源。

因此,佛法教我们要「以清净心看世界,以欢喜心过生活」;清净心,即无垢无染、无贪无瞋、无痴无恼、无怨无忧的清凉自在、纯净喜悦的心。「拥有清净心的人,失意事来能治之以忍,快心事来能视之以淡,荣宠事来能置之以让,怨恨事来能安之以受,烦乱事来能处之以静,忧悲事来能平之以稳。」以清净心看世界,有大因缘时,就做点大事;有小因缘时,就做点小事;没有因缘时,就做自己的事。生活中其实没啥事,一辈子也就这回事。如此,定能随遇而安,随缘自在。

「以欢喜心过生活」,「欢喜心」就是懂得转苦为乐;人生的境遇不可预料,心智却可以转化外在的环境;心有正念,自然一切欢喜;欢喜心是积极融入外境,保持对世界充满希望的活泼心情,时时能发射和接受幸福的信号。因此,有了「清净心」和「欢喜心」,自然能够化除世间种种热恼,平安自在,从而获得清闲、清净与清凉!

The most important thing is practice in daily life; then you can know gradually the true value of religion. Doctrine is not meant for mere knowledge, but for the improvement of our minds. In order to do that, it must be part of our life. If you put religious doctrine in a building and when you leave the building depart from the practices, you cannot gain its value.

— His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Thich Nhat Hanh: Be Beautiful, Be Yourself
by Andrea Miller

After Thich Nhat Hanh’s 2011 Vancouver retreat wrapped up, two nuns ushered me into the kitchen/living room portion of a student residence at the University of British Columbia. Inside — except for the pot of orchids on the table — it was all earthy brown: Thich Nhat Hanh, in his brown robes, sipped from a clear cup of golden brown tea, while other brown-robed monastics gathered on the brown sofa and floor. Sister Chan Khong introduced me to Thay, then, smiling, said what a surprise I’d been for them. When I’d requested this interview, via email, they hadn’t realised that “Andrea Miller” was a woman’s name, so they’d assumed I was a man, an older one at that. In the end, I was tickled to be something of a surprise. After all, at so many points during the interview, I was the surprised party. On life after death, on the pleasures of sitting, on being, not doing — Thich Nhat Hanh gave answers I wasn’t expecting. Always fresh, always wise, here is what he had to say. -Andrea Miller

It is very painful when someone we love has serious difficulties, such as mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, or addiction. Sometimes it feels like their problems are so big that we can’t really help them and so we may want to retreat from them and their problems. At other times, we try to help, and then get consumed by the other person’s struggles. What can we do to help in these difficult situations without getting overwhelmed?

When you feel overwhelmed, you’re trying too hard. That kind of energy does not help the other person and it does not help you. You should not be too eager to help right away. There are two things: to be and to do. Don’t think too much about to do — to be is first. To be peace. To be joy. To be happiness. And then to do joy, to do happiness — on the basis of being. So first you have to focus on the practice of being. Being fresh. Being peaceful. Being attentive. Being generous. Being compassionate. This is the basic practice. It’s like if the other person is sitting at the foot of a tree. The tree does not do anything, but the tree is fresh and alive. When you are like that tree, sending out waves of freshness, you help to calm down the suffering in the other person.

Your presence should be pleasant, it should be calm, and you should be there for him or her. That is a lot already. When children like to come and sit close to you, it’s not because you have a lot of cookies to give, but because sitting close to you is nice, it’s refreshing. So sit next to the person who is suffering and try your best to be your best — pleasant, attentive, fresh.

If I’m feeling a very difficult emotion, maybe anger, or deep sadness, and I try to focus on my breath, isn’t that a way of avoiding my emotions?

Usually people lose themselves in a strong emotion and become overwhelmed. That is not the way to handle emotion, because when that happens you are a victim of emotion. In order not to become a victim, breathe and retain your calm, and you will experience the insight that an emotion is only an emotion, nothing more. This insight is very important, because then you are no longer afraid. You are calm, you are not trying to run away, and you can deal better with emotion. Your breath is you, and you need alliance with your breath to be more of yourself, to be stronger. Then you can handle your emotion better. You do not try to forget your emotion; instead you try to be more of yourself, so that you are solid enough to deal with it.

It was heartwarming to see so many children at the retreat.

I feel comfortable with children. I have never been cut off from the younger generation. Whether they are monastic or lay, communication is always “on” with the younger generation. That is one of the elements of my happiness.

Sometimes young mothers bring their children into the meditation hall because they don’t want to miss the dharma talk. That’s very nourishing for everyone. The babies don’t know what’s happening, but they feel the peaceful atmosphere. That energy of peace is rare in society — it’s very rare to have fifteen hundred people sitting and producing mindfulness and peace. If you offer children a glimpse of peace and love, even if they are very small and they don’t know language yet, that does not mean that they don’t feel it. Try to imagine a young mother feeding her baby during the retreat. She is listening to the dharma, she’s consuming the dharma, and the baby is consuming both the milk and the dharma at the same time. It’s very beautiful.

Later on, when the children encounter the cruelty in the world, they will remember that there was a time when they had the opportunity to encounter the energy of peace. When a sangha, a Buddhist community, comes together and practices, it can always produce that kind of peaceful energy, and young people can experience it and start planting the seeds for the future. Engaged Buddhism tries to bring this peaceful energy into many different situations. In schools, in hospitals, in town halls, in congress, the practice of mindful breathing is possible.

Is living in the present moment at odds with enjoying the media? Can we be mindful and still enjoy the internet and TV and movies and books?

There are good books and movies that you can enjoy. That’s okay — it’s good to enjoy them. But sometimes the quality of the film or book is not good at all, yet you don’t turn it off because if you do, you will have to go back and experience the suffering inside you. That is the practice of many people in our society. Many people cannot be with themselves. They have pain, sorrow, or worries inside, and they read or watch or listen to cover this up, to run away from themselves.

Consuming media like that is just running away and it doesn’t have a lasting effect. You can forget your suffering for some time, but eventually you have to go back to yourself. The Buddha recommended that we should not try to run away from ourselves, but learn to take good care of ourselves and transform our suffering.

What would you say to someone who finds sitting meditation painful and difficult and they struggle to do it?

Don’t do it anymore.

Really?

Yes, yes. If you don’t find it pleasant to sit, don’t sit. You have to learn the correct spirit of sitting. If you make a lot of effort when you sit, you become tense and that creates pain all over your body. Sitting should be pleasant. When you turn on the television in your living room, you can sit for hours without suffering. Yet when you sit for meditation, you suffer. Why? Because you struggle. You want to succeed in your meditation, and so you fight. When you are watching television you don’t fight. You have to learn how to sit without fighting. If you know how to sit like that, sitting is very pleasant.

When Nelson Mandela visited France once, a journalist asked him what he liked to do the most. He said that because he was so busy, what he liked to do the most was just to sit and do nothing. Because to sit and to do nothing is a pleasure — you restore yourself. That’s why the Buddha described it as like sitting on a lotus flower. When you’re sitting, you feel light, you feel fresh, you feel free. And if you don’t feel that when you sit, then sitting has become a kind of hard labour.

Sometimes if you don’t have enough sleep or you have a cold or something, maybe sitting is not as pleasant as you’d wish. But if you are feeling normal, experiencing the pleasure of sitting is always possible. The problem isn’t to sit or not to sit, but how to sit. How to sit so that you can make the most of it — otherwise you’re wasting your time.

You put a lot more emphasis on enjoyment — on enjoying breathing, sitting, walking, enjoying life altogether — than many other Buddhist teachers do.

In the teachings of the Buddha, ease and joy are elements of enlightenment. In life, there’s a lot of suffering. Why do you have to suffer more practicing Buddhism? You practice Buddhism in order to suffer less, right? The Buddha is a happy person. When the Buddha sits, he sits happily, and when he walks, he walks happily. Why do I want to do it differently from the Buddha? Maybe people are afraid that others might say, “You are not very serious in your practice. You smile, you laugh, you are having a good time. To practice seriously you have to be very grim, very serious.” Maybe the people who want to get more donations put it like that — to leave the impression they practice more seriously than other people. Take the practice of sitting all night. You aren’t allowed to rest and you think that is intensive practice, but you suffer all night and drink coffee in order to stay awake. That’s nonsense. It’s the quality of the sitting that can help you transform, not sitting a lot and suffering while you do. Sitting and walking meditation are for enjoying, and also for looking deeply and developing insight. That insight can liberate us from fear, anger, and despair.

I really enjoyed the outdoor walking meditation we did on this retreat.

Usually in the Buddhist tradition, you sit, and then you stand up and do slow walking in the meditation hall, and then you sit again. We don’t do that here. Instead, we do outdoor walking. That practice is helpful because you can apply it in your daily life. You walk normally — not too slowly — so you don’t look like you’re practising and people see you as normal. And then when you go home, when you’re going from the parking lot to your office, you can enjoy walking.

The basic practice is how to enjoy — how to enjoy walking and sitting and eating and showering. It’s possible to enjoy every one, but our society is organised in such a way that we don’t have time to enjoy. We have to do everything too quickly.

What do you think makes someone a Buddhist?

A person may not be called a Buddhist, but he can be more Buddhist than a person who is. Buddhism is made of mindfulness, concentration, and insight. If you have these things, you are a Buddhist. If you don’t, you aren’t a Buddhist. When you look at a person and you see that she is mindful, she is compassionate, she is understanding, and she has insight, then you know that she is a Buddhist. But even if she’s a nun and she does not have these energies and qualities, she has only the appearance of a Buddhist, not the content of a Buddhist.

Can a ceremony make someone a Buddhist?

No, it’s not by ceremony that you become a Buddhist. It is by committing to practice. Buddhists get caught in a lot of rituals and ceremonies, but the Buddha does not like that. In the sutras, specifically in the teaching given by the Buddha right after his enlightenment, he said that we should be free from rituals. You do not get enlightenment or liberation just because you perform rituals, but people have made Buddhism heavily ritualistic. We are not nice to the Buddha.

Do you have to believe in reincarnation to be a Buddhist?

Reincarnation means there is a soul that goes out of your body and enters another body. That is a very popular, very wrong notion of continuation in Buddhism. If you think that there is a soul, a self, that inhabits a body, and that goes out when the body disintegrates and takes another form, that is not Buddhism.

When you look into a person, you see five skandhas, or elements: form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness. There is no soul, no self, outside of these five, so when the five elements go to dissolution, the karma, the actions, that you have performed in your lifetime is your continuation. What you have done and thought is still there as energy. You don’t need a soul, or a self, in order to continue.

It’s like a cloud. Even when the cloud is not there, it continues always as snow or rain. The cloud does not need to have a soul in order to continue. There’s no beginning and no end. You don’t need to wait until the total dissolution of this body to continue — you continue in every moment. Suppose I transmit my energy to hundreds of people; then they continue me. If you look at them and you see me, well, you have seen me. If you think that I am only this [points to himself], then you have not seen me. But when you see me in my speech and my actions, you see that they continue me. When you look at my disciples, my students, my books, and my friends, you see my continuation. I will never die. There is a dissolution of this body, but that does not mean my death. I continue, always.

That is true of all of us. You are more than just this body because the five skandhas are always producing energy. That is called karma or action. But there is no actor — you don’t need an actor. Action is good enough. This can be understood in terms of quantum physics. Mass and energy, and force and matter — they are not two separate things. They are the same.

What can we do about the high level of materialism in our culture?

You can set up an environment where people live simply and happily, and invite others to come and observe. That is the only thing that will convince them to abandon their materialistic idea of happiness. They think that only when you have a lot to consume can you be happy, but many are very rich without being happy at all. And there are those who consume much less, but who are happier.

We need to demonstrate that living simply with a practice of the dharma can be very fulfilling, because until people see it and experience it, they cannot be convinced. In Plum Village, we laugh all day long, yet not one of us has a private bank account. Not one of us has a private car or a private telephone. We only eat vegetarian food. But we don’t suffer because we don’t eat eggs or meat. In fact, we are happier because we know that we are not eating living beings and we are protecting the planet. That brings a lot of joy. We are fortunate to be able to live like that, to eat like that.

There is a belief that unless you have a lot of money, unless you hold a high position in society, you cannot be truly happy. It is hard to let go of that belief until you see the truth that happiness is possible in another way. Seeing that will make the future possible for our children. So I think in Buddhist circles we have to reorganise so that we can show people a way of living happily based on mutual understanding, not materialism. Just a dharma talk isn’t enough, because a dharma talk is just a talk. Only when people see such an unmaterialistic community, when they see such a way of life, will they be convinced.

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If you do not get a prudent companion who (is fit) to live with you, who behaves well and is wise, then like a king who leaves a conquered kingdom, you should live alone as an elephant does in the elephant forest.

— The Buddha

慈心
嘎玛仁波切

导语:慈心,是希望所有众生得到快乐。慈悲无界,慈心会对治我们的嗔恨心,能够让我们得到大圆镜智以及报身佛。我们要经常发出慈心:愿一切众生具足乐及乐因。

大乘佛教徒必须具备强大的菩提心,希望所有的众生,早日脱离轮回之苦,早日成佛,要拥有这种大心量,菩提心的基础,就是建立在四无量心上。我们看到四臂观音长了四个手,他不是怪物,也不是莫名其妙长了四个手,而是要告诉我们:你想要像我这样变成菩萨,先要拥有菩萨的心。菩萨的心,最基础的就是:慈、悲、喜、舍四无量心。

慈心,是希望所有众生得到快乐。谁会经常这样想?天下的母亲。一位慈悲的母亲,不管她的儿女对她是好是坏,她永远是不变的慈悲。除非她自己往生了,要不然对儿女会一辈子牵挂。从怀孕前、怀孕中就一直牵挂,孩子生出来后,伴随着他长大成人,学业、恋爱、结婚、生小孩,总是牵挂,期待孩子越来越好。在母亲眼中,孩子永远是孩子,害怕他们受到伤害,遇到困难、痛苦与挫折,并想方设法帮孩子避免一切烦恼。

当儿女的往往最不能理解的就是母亲的牵挂,甚至会觉得她们这样招人讨厌,但是当你从一位母亲的慈心出发,这种希望孩子越来越好,一直快乐不要受伤害的心态,就是我们讲的慈悲心的重要基础。

慈心,能调伏嗔恨心。慈悲的母亲,对儿女就算有失望、绝望,也从不会放弃她的慈心,不会放弃儿女,她们恨不得将自己的棺材本也省下,全部留给儿女。这样的慈母,会对自己的儿女产生嗔恨心吗?不会。最多是嘴巴上发发牢骚而已。

慈心能对治嗔恨。要调伏嗔恨心,就要学着将所有一切众生,当成自己的孩子,学习一位慈祥的母亲对儿女的慈怀心态,那众生就没有不入眼的了。也许你曾看这个人顺眼,看那个人不顺眼,甚至很多人根本没惹你,你看到他就觉得讨厌。这是我们与生俱来的分别心,所谓的对亲人、仇人、非亲人和非仇人的分别心。当你能够一视同仁地对一切众生产生慈心之时,你就没有敌人了。

你对儿女会产生仇敌的心态吗?会产生强大的嗔恨吗?不会。当你有看不顺眼的人,当这个人让你生气的时候,你就当他是你的儿女,就不会产生嗔恨心了。慈心最大的功能,就是调伏我们的嗔恨,从此你看到谁都会觉得很欢喜。

心中有慈心的人,看谁都高兴,这并不是因为别人都做得好,而是他自己修得好。就像佛印大师看苏东坡是一尊佛,而苏东坡看佛印大师是一坨屎一样。心中有佛,看人是佛;心中有屎,看人就是屎了。如果你一天到晚看这个不顺眼,看那个不顺眼,就表示你心中真的有一驼大屎在那儿。当一个人具备了慈心,没有了嗔恨心,因为心善,见到所有人都会感到面善,智慧也就增长了,慈心的本质就是空性。

我们有个老弟子,一天到晚跟我讲,“上师,我好高兴、好欢喜。”有些人却问我,“这个人是不是有精神病,怎么一天到晚说好高兴、好欢喜。”当他心中有慈心的时候,他看所有人都很顺眼,有这种欢喜心的人,别人与他相处久了,会觉得特别舒适,越看这个人越顺眼,这就是慈心的感染力。

具有慈心之人,他的辨知能力并没有消失,他不树敌,没有敌人,但好人和坏人他分得清清楚楚,只是心中没有恶意,因此看到的都是善意。所以,佛陀看众生都是佛,我们看众生都是一身毛病,我们跟佛陀的一个差距就在这儿。

辩知一切的能力没有消失,内心又充满欢喜,这叫大圆境智。镜子光亮亮的在那儿,你把好看的脸、不好看的脸放过去,谁看镜子,镜子都不会有烦恼。猪照镜子,它没烦恼;蛇照镜子,它也没烦恼,但是从镜子里会透出猪的长相、蛇的长相、人的长相,了了分明又如如不动,最后会成就大圆镜智,一切庄严将在眼前显现。

带着慈心的人,就像菩萨们,无论谁看菩萨都觉得顺眼,哪怕是西方人或其他不信佛的人,看到释迦牟尼佛、观音菩萨等庄严的法相,也想把它放在家里当装饰品,每天看着高兴。如果他看着就不高兴,还会愿意把佛菩萨放在客厅吗?

总之,慈悲无界,慈心会对治我们的嗔恨心,能够让我们得到大圆镜智以及报身佛。报身佛有三十二大丈夫相,八十种随好,比如我们常讲的“八吉祥”就是佛身上纹路。我们要经常发出慈心:愿一切众生具足乐及乐因。

The whole thing, so many practices, all come down to live the daily life with bodhicitta motivation to put all the effort in that whatever you do. This way your life doesn’t get wasted and it becomes full of joy and happiness, with no regrets later, especially when you die and you can die with a smile outside and a smile in the heart.

— Lama Zopa Rinpoche

A Plea for the Animals
by Venerable Matthieu Ricard

Some people are born with a natural tendency to be compassionate. From an early age, they show spontaneous kindness toward those around them, including animals. This was not the case for me.

I was born into a Breton family, and until I was fourteen years old I often used to go fishing. I also remember when I was very young my friends from the local school and I once grilled ants by focusing the sun’s rays on them with a magnifying glass. Looking back, I am ashamed of this, but it upsets me even more that such behaviour struck me as normal.

When I was five, my father took me to see the bullfights in Mexico. It was a celebration. The music was exciting. Everybody seemed to feel this was a great occasion, that all of this was wonderful. Why didn’t I leave in tears? Was it a lack of compassion, of education, of imagination?

At the age of twenty I had the great good fortune of meeting Tibetan spiritual masters, who from that time on have inspired every moment of my existence. The central point of their teachings has been the royal way of love and universal compassion.

Although for a long time I had not been able to put myself in others’ places, by training with the masters, I learned altruistic love, doing the best I could to open my mind and heart to the plights of others. I trained myself in compassion, and I reflected on the human condition and the condition of animals as well.

It is far from my intention to rebuke people who in one way or another cause animals to suffer. They often do it without thinking, as I myself used to do. It truly is difficult to make the connection between the latest consumer items, including food and medicines that sometimes save our lives, and the suffering that is usually involved in their fabrication. Cultural traditions also play a major role in our perceptions of animals, our companions on this planet. Some societies have developed collective patterns of thought that encourage the view that animals exist to serve humans, although the outlook of other traditions has long been that every being, human or nonhuman, must be respected.

Certainly there is so much suffering among human beings that one could spend one’s whole life just alleviating a tiny fraction of it. Despite that, however, concern for the fate of the 7.7 million other species of animals that inhabit this planet is neither unrealistic nor misguided, because most of the time there is no need to choose between the well-being of humans and the well-being of animals. We live in an essentially interdependent world where the fate of each being, of whatever kind, is intimately linked to that of all the others. So what I am suggesting here is not concern for animals only but concern for animals also.

Such an approach does not involve humanising animals or animalising humans; rather, it is a matter of extending benevolence and kindness to all. Reaching out in this way is more about taking a responsible attitude toward all that is around us than about making choices concerning what we should do with the limited resources we possess for action in the world.

In spite of the sense of wonder the animal kingdom inspires in us, we are responsible for an ongoing massacre of animals on a scale equalled in the history of humankind. Every year, sixty billion land animals and a thousand billion marine animals are killed for our consumption. Moreover, this mass killing and its corollary — the excessive consumption of meat in the wealthy countries — is madness on a global scale. It perpetuates hunger in the world, increases the world’s ecological imbalances, and is even harmful to human health.

We continue to live in ignorance concerning the harm we inflict on animals — very few of us have ever visited an industrial breeding site or a slaughterhouse. We maintain a kind of moral schizophrenia that has us lavishly pampering our pets and at the same time planting our forks in the pigs that have been sent to the slaughter by the millions, even though they are in no way less conscious, less sensitive to pain, or less intelligent than our cats and dogs.

Starting with the era of the ancestors we share with other animal species, little by little, by a long series of steps and minimal changes, we arrived at the stage of Homo sapiens. In the course of this slow evolution, there was no “magical moment” that would justify our conferring on ourselves a special nature that makes us fundamentally different from the many species of hominids that preceded us. Nothing occurred in the evolutionary process that would justify our claim to a right of total supremacy over the animals.

The most striking quality that humans and animals have in common is the capacity to experience suffering. Why do we still blind ourselves, now at the beginning of the twenty-first century, to the immeasurable suffering that we inflict on animals, knowing that a great part of the pain that we cause them is neither necessary nor unavoidable? Certainly we should know that there is no moral justification for inflicting needless pain and death on any being.

The mind is a mere label, and it is nothing other than a label. Recognise awareness as a mere label. Moreover, a label has no intrinsic nature. The Jinas do not find it inside, nor outside, nor in-between those two. Thus, the mind is of the nature of an apparition, and the nature of the mind does not exist as any type of colour or shape, as something apprehended or as an apprehender, as a man, a woman, or a neuter, and so forth. In short, the Buddhas have not seen it and they will not see it; they accurately see it as having the nature of being without an intrinsic nature.

— Nāgārjuna

佛法帮你解决人生三大问题
净慧法师

人生所要面对的有三大问题,这三大问题对于每一个人来说都是不可回避的,都平等地存在着。这三个问题就是:生存问题、生活问题、生死问题。

这三个问题自有人类以来就存在着,也将伴随人类永远存在。虽然地藏菩萨的大愿是要度尽一切众生,但那只是地藏菩萨的慈悲心愿,实际上众生是度不尽的。说众生能度尽就是断灭法,众生度尽了就不存在有情生命了。当然有人会说,众生度尽是把我们这个苦难的娑婆世界转变成为人间的极乐净土,但是我相信,尽虚空遍法界的众生,每个众生的因缘果报都不同,不可能在某一天早上全部成佛。因缘果报,有的成熟早,也有的成熟晚,各有因缘,所以每一位有情即使可以成佛,但在成佛的时间上会有很长的距离,张三和李四不可能在同一天成佛。人类面临的问题,面临的痛苦,它将会伴随整个生命界的存在而存在。

所谓生存问题,就是说,我们从娘肚子一出生就开始了生存问题。从娘肚子出生来到这个人间,就有种种不适应,所以婴儿一产下来就啼哭。为什么呢?因为婴儿在母腹中从来没有经过风吹,没有适应过母腹以外的环境,有痛苦他才会啼哭,这就是生苦。生存从某种意义上来讲基本上是被动的,人要主动去适应生存的环境,所以有一句成语就叫“适者生存”,能适应环境就能生存下去,不能适应环境就无法生存下去,就会被环境所淘汰。

这一点提供给我们一个非常重要的启示。人生存于世,就要主动适应环境。如果不能适应,生存的痛苦就会加剧,生存的困难就会增多,生存的条件就很难得到改造和改善。人类生存是一种群体存在。从人到动物都表现为个体生命,但是任何个体的生命又都是在群体环境中生存。一个生命要适应生存的群体,每一个生命也都是如此,都要能够适应生存群体。要能彼此合作,要能认同,要能包容,要能成就。如果彼此处于对立状态,那就一定是非常恶劣的生存环境。

远古时代的人因为生活资源匮乏,生存条件有限,个体生命彼此间的仇恨很多,经常处于敌视仇恨的状态之中。为什么呢?因为都想要获取自己生存所需要的食物、居住环境,甚至包括配偶。原始人类就是在互相争斗打杀中慢慢发展起来,慢慢有了各种保护自己的工具,有了取得食物的工具,有了种植粮食蔬菜的工具。人类在物质生活逐步能够满足群体需要的前提下,才有所谓礼义廉耻等伦理观念。

那也就是说,人类是从最初的求生存,然后才进入到生活的状态。生存主要是对物质的依赖,完全是一种自然的满足。当我们真正有了生活以后,就不仅仅是物质的,也有精神的。生活可以分为两大类,一是精神生活,一是物质生活。人类进入到现代社会以后,一出世就跨越了几千年、几万年、几百万年以前那样恶劣的生存环境,一步就跨越到现代的生存环境。人类的福报一天一天大起来,人类生存的环境一天天在改善,生活一天天在丰富。

生活问题,不管物质财富多么丰富,法制观念多么健全,道德伦理的提倡多么有力量,但是人总在向社会的各种约束挑战。所谓的违法犯罪、所谓的不守规矩、所谓的争取自由,实际上就是在对规范化的社会生活进行挑战。人类总是不满足于现状,因为人类有种种的贪欲。贪欲过盛,就一定产生许多负面影响。

支持人类众生染污生活的动力就是三毒烦恼——贪嗔痴。贪是一种欲望。人类有无止境的欲望,这种欲望也有合理的成分。如果说所有的欲望都是罪恶的,世间就无所谓善法。佛教承认世间有善法,所谓修十善、止十恶、行布施、修福报等。如果能够把这些善法扩充到一定范围,就超越了个人的私欲,成为大众共享的福利、善举、善业。

佛教把善法分为世间善法和出世间善法。世间善法是以创造大众共享的物质财富和精神财富为主体的一切活动,出世间善法就是解决生死问题的无漏善法。也可以这样说,世间的善法是一切净化美化生活的积极正面的活动,出世间善法解决我们生死问题的一切无漏善法。佛教是把贪嗔痴三毒的烦恼与善法的追求欲分开来说的。佛教认为,人类对于积极利他行为的选择叫做善法欲,这种欲属于善法的范畴。佛教并不排斥人类对生活条件和生存环境的合理改善。

把善法分为世间善法和出世间善法两大类,这是佛陀大智慧的圆满体现。世间善法解决的是世俗生活方面的具体问题,出世间善法是解决生命的终极关怀的问题。人生面对这三大问题,佛教都提供给我们如何正确面对它、处理它、解决它的方法。人生所要解决的问题千千万万,每一个起心动念都是问题,归纳起来无非是这三个方面。

这三方面的问题要如何面对和解决呢?世间的学问,哲学、伦理道德,也都给我们提供了解决这些问题的方案。佛教作为历史最悠久的宗教之一,它的主要任务就是引导众生提升自己的生命,改善自己的生命,觉悟自己的生命,就是要解决生死问题。在解决生死问题之前也还有一个过程。我们人生在世,不可能不吃饭,不可能不住房子,不可能不与人交往,不可能没有种种社会活动。因此,佛教在解决生死问题之前,也还提出一个很重要的问题,就是如何安身立命。不知道安身立命,要解决生死问题谈何容易!

所谓安身立命,就是人生要有一个正确的生活取向,有一个正确的价值目标,有一个正确的生活理念。从佛教的角度来讲,我们究竟应该安身何处、立命何方呢?佛教首先告诉我们:一个人生存于世,有信仰最快乐,有信仰最自由最自在,有信仰就有归宿,有信仰就有了精神支柱。所以佛教主张,我们要将此生深深地植根于信仰,做人做事要严格遵循因果法则。有信仰、讲因果是我们安身立命的根本。因果法则是宇宙人生不可改变的真理,信仰是使我们立于不败之地的精神力量。精神有力量有支柱,就能在人生的征途中勇往直前,精进不息,克服种种困难。

我们能够将因果的道理了然于心,就能深刻认识到世间万事万物、人生的各种遭遇,无不是前因后果的连锁反应,无不是因果规律在起作用。因果从哪里来?因果就是种瓜得瓜,种豆得豆,善有善报,恶有恶报。只有当我们非常清醒地明白了这些朴素的因果道理之后,我们才会根据因果的原理,谨慎地有选择地去做那些对己对人都有益无损的事情。

对己对人都有益无损的事情,就是所谓的善法。善法一定要符合自他利益不受损害的标准。一切符合自他眼前利益、长远利益、根本利益的目标,才可以算是善法。佛教把眼前利益叫作“现善”,长远利益叫作“后善”,根本利益叫作“究竟善”。“现善”就是当生当世就能见到善的果报的善法,“后善”有利于他生他世善法的成就,“究竟善”就是有利于生死解脱、涅槃证得的无漏善法。佛教把善法归类为三大类,用通俗的话讲就是眼前利益、长远利益和根本利益。符合最广大的社会大众的眼前利益、长远利益和根本利益的根本利益,才是真正的根本利益。世间所说的根本利益虽然是以世善为主,作为一名佛弟子,能够圆满地实践世善,也是对自身福慧圆满、究竟善法成就不可缺少的条件。

佛教的理念,真是放之四海都能圆融无碍,是指导人生自他两利的实践原则。

在安身立命的问题上,除了建立信仰,坚定信仰,深信因果,按照因果的原则办事,还要有良心,以良心来保证因果理论的贯彻落实、信仰原则的坚定不移。然后,还要把所有这些都落实在人生的道德行为之中。信仰、因果、良心都不是空洞的,都是实实在在的。一个解决了安身立命问题的人,如果在道德行为上还有缺陷,那就说明信仰还有待进一步地坚定,因果的原则还有待进一步地落实,良心还有待进一步地扩充。把信仰、因果、良心,都变成实实在在的道德生活、道德行为、道德规范,那就是人生修为的真正落实。

要解决生存问题,要正确面对生活问题,就一定要积极解决安身立命的问题。把安身立命的问题解决好了,初步有一个明确的目标,生存问题就可以比较正确地面对,生活问题就可以比较积极地面对。

生死问题怎么解决呢?要解决生死问题,佛教提供了种种修行法门。佛教的一切修行法门,或者是世间善法,或者出世间善法,目的都是为了解决生死问题。从禅宗的角度来说,要解决生死问题,关键是要明心见性。自心不明,自性不见,枉谈生死问题。用禅宗明心见性的法门,来面对和处理生死问题,是解决生死问题最积极、最究竟的方法。一旦明心见性,了知一切万法缘生缘灭,自性本空,生死即涅槃,烦恼即菩提,此岸即彼岸。在生死中了生死,在尘劳中出尘劳,是一种最积极最稳妥地解决生死问题的法门。

烦恼即菩提,怎么即呢?我们现在坐在讲堂里面,每一位都在找答案。烦恼即菩提?好像烦恼与菩提两者之间这个等号划不下来!可见,烦恼即菩提,生死即涅槃,是一种大学问,是一种大功夫。所谓大学问,就是要有高度的智慧;所谓大功夫,就是要有踏实的实践过程。没有大智慧,没有踏实的实践过程,烦恼与菩提之间的这一条鸿沟不是那么容易就能填平。

但是也不要看得过分艰难,每个人都要有一种自信自肯的精神。禅宗告诉我们,只要敢于承当自己现在就是佛,对这一个念头不要有怀疑,不要有退却心,不要有下劣心,就把自己现前的身心看作与佛无二无别,并且不起任何杂念,一直这样坚持下去,只此一念,没有第二念,只此一念,做个三年五年的功夫,到那时再来相见,烦恼即菩提,生死即涅槃,就很有可能即得了了。可惜,我们的下劣心太重,烦恼太重!第一念能自信自肯现前的身心与佛无二无别,可是第二念就不能自信自肯了,又是众生了!所以众生与佛还有距离,众生与佛还有差距。问题很简单。古代的祖师一闻法就开悟,佛陀在世的时代,许多佛弟子见到佛就成为阿罗汉,见了佛就证得道果,为什么呢?他那种自肯的心不会改变,当下烦恼就断了。我们自肯的心不坚定,还等着回家呢!自己是佛了,明天就不要回家了。所以这个距离看起来很大,实际上就那么一点点,但是就是那么一点点解决不了。生死的根本就在那一点点。明心见性,见性成佛,这本来是很容易的事,却弄得很复杂。禅宗就是希望把很复杂的事情,用很简单的办法,一刀两断,解决得干干净净地,不要拖泥带水。

各位不辞远道来此共修,发心受八关斋戒,为了什么呢?就是在进行自我挑战,想尽一切办法来战胜自己的怯弱心、懦弱心、下劣心。为什么晚上不吃饭?一种自我挑战;为什么早上四点半起床?也是一种自我挑战。我想会有很多的人,早上听到板响了实在起不来,但是马上生起觉照,要对懈怠之心发起挑战,要对因循之心发起挑战,一定要坚持到底。如果真是功夫纯熟了,自觉性特别高,一切环境都能适应,自自然然就不存在勉强,就不存在不适应的苦恼。这些看起来是生活中一些很简单的自我挑战,实际上含有非常深刻的人生哲理,体现了人生战胜困难迎接胜利的精神意志。

人生的三大问题,用三种办法来解决来面对,就是所谓的安身立命,明心见性,了生脱死。不明心见性,了生脱死做不到。对于了生脱死我们也要有一个正确的理解。了生脱死并不是要在生死岸头当逃兵。在生死岸当逃兵是小乘境界,大乘境界是即生死而出生死,是了了生死又来度生死。在了生死中度生死,在度生死中了生死。度生死是什么?就是发菩提心,利益大众。我们千万不要把了生死理解为一种消极的理念。大乘佛教了生死以后所证得的涅槃叫做无住涅槃。所谓无住涅槃,就是证得涅槃而不住涅槃,要回入尘劳,广作佛事,广度众生。

这里有一个问题。辛辛苦苦了了生死,又还要在生死岸头广作佛事,那我们不了生死行不行呢?不行!因为不了生死是在迷惑中,在迷惑中不能够做出有觉悟的事。只有一个有觉悟的人,才能做出有觉悟的事。当我们了了生死,又在生死岸头广作佛事,那就不是随业迁流,那就是乘愿而来,那就是在愿力的支持下,自觉地、自在地、明明白白清清楚楚地来做有益于人天的善事——现善、后善、究竟善。所谓了生死就是求觉悟,觉悟了再来生死中教化众生,以觉者的身份广修自利利他的现善、后善、无漏善。所以不了生死和了了生死,二者绝对不能同日而语。了生死一定要了,了生死又不要逃避生死,这就是菩萨精神的圆满体现。

我希望我们每一个学佛的人,都要学大乘菩萨的精神,学佛的精神,学历代祖师的精神,在尘劳中找到安身立命处,在尘劳中明心见性了生脱死,然后又在生死岸头广作佛事,广度众生。

The buddha-essence is ever present in everyone because the dharmakaya of perfect buddhahood pervades all, the suchness is undifferentiated, and they all have the potential.

— Maitreya