If all these things are empty [you object]
There’s no arising and there’s no cessation.
What has been relinquished and what ceases
Whereby nirvana, as you claim, occurs?

If all these are not empty
There is no arising, and there is no cessation.
What has been relinquished and what ceases
Whereby nirvana, as you claim, occurs?

No relinquishment and no attainment,
No permanence and no annihilation,
No cessation, no arising—
In these terms has nirvana been described.

— Nāgārjuna

8退法与8精进
文 |常静

在《长阿含经》卷九中,佛陀向弟子们分别介绍了懈怠比丘逃避修行用功为自己找的八种退失修行的理由,以及精进比丘在遇到各种逆缘时发愿精进用功的八种精进理由。佛陀将八种懈怠的理由称之为八退法,将比丘八种催自己精进的理由称之为八精进。佛陀之所以列举八退法与八精进,意在警示懈怠比丘慎勿放逸,鼓励精进用功比丘成就道业。

佛陀在《长阿含经》卷九中首先讲述了导致比丘产生懈怠心理的八退法。经云:“云何八退法?懈怠比丘,乞食不得,便作是念:‘我于今日乞食不得,身体疲极,不能堪任坐禅、经行。’即便卧息。得食既足,复作是念:‘我朝乞食,得食过足,身体沉重,不能堪任坐禅、经行。’即便卧息。设或执事,便作是念:‘我今执事,身体疲极,不能堪任坐禅、经行。’即便卧息。设欲执事,便作是念:‘明当执事,必有疲极,今日不得坐禅、经行。’即便卧息。设少行来,便作是念:‘我朝行来,身体疲极,不能堪任坐禅、经行。’即便卧息。设欲少行,便作是念:‘我明当行,必有疲极,今者不得坐禅、经行。’即便卧息。设遇小患,便作是念:‘我得重病,困笃羸瘦,不能堪任坐禅、经行。’即便卧息。所患已瘥,复作是念:‘我瘥未久,身体羸瘦,不能堪任坐禅、经行。’即便卧息。”

八退法是比丘为自己退失修行信心所找的八种理由。第一二两种退法是关于饮食的。其中第一种理由是比丘在乞食时,若是没有乞得食物,便会对修行产生抱怨情绪,认为身体疲乏,无力坐禅、经行,随之便休息。乞食是佛陀住世时的一种制度,目的是去除比丘的骄慢心,为信众种福田。乞食制度规定,比丘每天外出乞食,当次第乞食、平等乞食,也就是说,每次乞食应当挨家挨户乞食,不能隔家,而且还应当不分贫富,平等对待。乞食制度规定,比丘每次外出乞食,以七家为限,若化了七家仍然没有乞得食物,就只得挨饿一天,等到第二天再乞食。佛陀认为,比丘外出乞不到食物是一种正常现象,不能因此退失道心,更不能作为自己放逸懈怠的理由。第二种退失道心的比丘与第一种相反,他们则是饮食过足,导致身体沉重,昏沉欲睡。当他们昏沉之时,不是对治昏沉,而是为自己的懈怠懒散找理由,以躲避修行。佛教将饮食喻为药石,意思是我们对饮食不能有贪心,不得对好的饮食多吃,不好的饮食产生嗔恨心。要知道,对比丘而言,饮食是对治我们饥饿的药物,为了维持色身,更好的修行,我们应当进食。佛陀还规定,比丘进食之前当食存五种观想,若德行不够,不得进食。本经中的饱食比丘,则与食存五观的佛制要求向背而行,一旦饱食,不是精进用功,而是贪图睡眠,因而受到佛陀的批评。

第三四种是关于执事比丘的放逸懈怠。其中第三种懈怠比丘是正为大众服劳的执事比丘。百丈禅师在《丛林要则二十条》中指出,“丛林以无事为兴盛,执事以尽心为有功”,要则告诉我们,作为丛林的执事,应当怀着“甘为众生作牛马”的奉献精神,尽心为大众服务,不能有丝毫的懈怠和抱怨情绪。第三种执事比丘,一旦为大众做了一点奉献,便会计较得失,不愿从事坐禅、经行等修行活动。第四种懈怠比丘则是即将从事为僧众服劳的执事,若明天将要为大众服劳,他便会认为,明天自己将会很累,为了减少明天的劳累,今天便提前不再坐禅、经行,而是尽情地睡卧休息。

第五六种懈怠比丘是关于行脚参访的。其中第五种懈怠比丘则是自己刚刚从远处行脚参访归来,便以路途劳累为由,不愿再从事坐禅、经行等修行。行脚参访是古代祖师为究明佛法真谛,寻访名山古寺高僧指点迷津的方式。行脚参访的比丘,需要有忍辱负重的忍辱精神和坚韧不拔的求法毅力,若不能忍辱,到陌生佛寺挂单时,就会因受不了寺僧的冷眼退失参访信心;若没有坚韧不拔的毅力,行脚参访会因受不了各种磨难而退失道心。本经中佛陀所说的比丘,因为行脚受点苦,便为自己找理由多休息,是为修行人所不取。第六种懈怠比丘则是将要行脚参访便有了畏惧心理,为自己行脚参访寻找借口,借机放逸懈怠,贪图睡眠。

第七和第八种懈怠比丘,一种是遇到疾病,便为自己躲避坐禅、经行等修行找理由,认为自己病重,身体瘦弱,无力修行;另一种则是疾病刚愈的比丘,认为自己大病初愈,身体虚弱,不能坐禅修行。佛教认为,病苦是人生八苦之一,病苦使人能够认识到身是苦本,因为生病使我们认识到人生无常,从而在病苦中发愤用功修行。因为用功修道,若病至寿终,则能仰仗修行功夫往生西方。若病不至死,仰仗修行功德,则能疾病速愈。因此,生病比丘不能因为自己生病,或者疾病初愈便为自己懈怠放逸找理由。

《长阿含经》中所说的八精进法是与八退法向对而言的。比丘众中,有懈怠比丘,但更多的是精进修行的比丘。对于这些精进比丘,佛陀是赞许的。经云:“云何八精进?乞食不得,即作是念:‘我身体轻便,少欲睡眠,宜可精进坐禅、经行。’乞食得足,便作是念:‘我今食饱,气力充足,宜勤精。’设有执事,便作是念:‘我向执事,废我行道,今宜精进。’设应执事,便作是念:‘明当执事,废我行道,今宜精进。’设有行来,便作是念:‘我朝行来,废我行道,今宜精进。’设欲行来,便作是念:‘我明当行,废我行道,今宜精进。’设遇患时,便作是念:‘我得重病,或能命终,今宜精进。’患得小瘥,复作是念:‘我病初瘥,或更增动,废我行道,今宜精进。’”

八精进比丘中的第一二种乞食比丘,无论自己是否乞得食物,都应将此作为自己修行用功的增上缘。当他们没有乞得食物时,就应想到自己身体轻便,不会昏沉睡眠,正好精进修行;当自己饱食之后,则会想到自己饱食之后,气力充足,也正好精进用功修行。其实,佛教饮食制度要求僧众节制饮食。饮食制度要求僧众过午不食,也就是说在正午之后,不得再进食,其目的是为了悲悯饿鬼、畜生的痛苦。佛教苦行中有日中一食的制度,规定苦行比丘,每天只能日中一食,其余时间不得进食,其目的是为防止比丘对饮食的贪求,做到少欲知足。从经文精进比丘表白中,我们能够感觉到,对一个修行者而言,不论身处何种境况,都能成为他们精进修行的理由。

八精进比丘中的第三四种比丘则是执事比丘。这两种执事比丘,无论是正在为大众服务,或者即将为大众服务,他们都会珍惜当下时光,精进修道。如果自己从前或者现在为大众服劳,则会认为自己为大众劳作,耗费了很多时间,荒废了自己的道业,现在正好用功,追回失去的时间,弥补荒废的道业。这种精进比丘,若是在自己将要为大众服劳,他们则会想到自己为即将为大众劳作,会耗费很多时间,荒废道业,正好提前精进用功,将自己消耗的时间赶回来,使自己道业增长。

八精进比丘中的第五六种比丘是行脚参访比丘。对于那些发愿精进用功的比丘来说,如果自己外出行脚参访归来,他们会想:自己因为行脚参访,荒废了自己的道业,此时正好精进用功,弥补荒废掉的道业;如果是自己即将行脚参访,则会想到乘自己尚未行脚,乘此机会好好精进修行,将行脚荒废的道业提前加以弥补。

八精进中的第七八种比丘为生病比丘。对于那些希望精进修行的比丘来说,若是自己生了重病,他们会想到自己重病,可能会命不久长,要乘此机会精进修行,使自己免受三恶道之苦。若是自己大病初愈,又会想到自己的疾病有可能加重,会荒废自己的道业,因此,现在应当抓紧时间精进修行,使自己远离病苦。

佛陀在《长阿含经》中详细论述了八退法与八精进法,目的在于令那些放逸懈怠的比丘能够认识到自己思想上的错误,从而能够向八精进比丘那样,将自己修行中的各种因缘看作自己精进修行的助力,进一步克服修道过程中的懒散懈怠情绪,在精进修行中促进道业成就。

Whatever is realised with the intellect is a realisation that is no realisation. That is the arising of an illness, like before. Meditating on the referent of a realisation is to be deceived by ideation. Neither an object nor an agent is established. They are impermanent and false, so they are not truly existent. Therefore, that is a path of delusion.

— Mahasiddha Padampa Sangye

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

Latest Karmapa Chenno MV 新MV【 ཤེར་བསྟན། 2017 】噶瑪巴千諾

噶瑪巴Karmapa
(藏文:ཀརྨ་པ་,藏語拼音:Garmaba,威利:karma pa,THL:Karmapa),全稱為嘉華噶瑪巴(Gyalwa Karmapa),又稱大寶法王(為明成祖賜號),是藏傳佛教噶舉派中的噶瑪噶舉派之最高持教法王,並且也是最早開啟乘願轉世傳統的藏傳佛教領袖。藏傳佛教視他為金剛總持的化身。
—-維基百科

(法王是小編接觸藏傳的第二個上師,剪完這輯內心真是悸動不已。還記得九年前首次去尼泊爾、菩提迦耶見法王,博塔四周的所有的佛像殿都選遍了,就是看不上一尊喜歡,啥都不投緣!當時路進角落邊的一間小店,窗底小櫃的一尊“小菩薩”吸引了我的目光,初學朦朧不知….,原來當時有緣請回的,是一尊_金剛總持。)

World Peace and Harmony

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s address at an interfaith dialogue at the National Sports Council of India Dome in Mumbai, India on August 13, 2017.

The Practice of Loving-Kindness and the Greatest of All Offerings
by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Instead of self-importance, put others in the center. Do this at the aspirational level first. It’s not that you need to commit yourself to do anything outside of your mind. But, first get the priorities right.

A lot of people feel threatened by this, as if by aspiring they suddenly have to be engaged outwardly as well. That’s not true. Bodhisattvas are not allowed to do things like giving up their limbs for others until they arrive at the first bhumi, because they don’t yet have that strength. In the collection of advice to the bodhisattvas, the texts say to “act according to your capacity”. We shouldn’t always feel pressured to do something outwardly. First it’s important that we get it straight in the mind.

Once it is straight in the mind, then test it. Mind needs something to cling to, other than self-importance. Unless you are meditating in the view of emptiness all the time, your mind needs something to cling to, something to occupy it.

So here cling to all others as your ‘self’. Don’t cling to your own body, speech and mind as the self, but instead to all the others who actually desire happiness and freedom from suffering — just as you do. Then pour all this affection that you are used to pouring on yourself toward others instead — the love, the care, the kindness, and the compassion. Think kindly, feel kindly, think and feel compassionately, then see what kind of mental feeling is produced by doing this.

From the thoughts and feelings that you generate, what kind of mental feelings arise in your mind?

Notice that in this situation you will find your mind getting very calm, very settled down, with a deep sense of purity dawning in your heart; your heart becoming more and more like the crystal clear pond of a very soothing spring. Here again you will see that when there is self-importance present, it ruins this feeling.

Somebody asked me recently, when you do this practice how do you know you’re not deluding yourself and really just caring for you? When you’re really practicing the method explained here, this method of loving-kindess, or maitri in Sanskrit, to whatever extent you are free of discomfort is identical to the degree of your freedom from self-importance. The degree to which you feel deeply free, is the measure of your lack of self-importance. The presence of self-importance will affect your degree of satisfaction, the degree of your purity, the degree of your calmness, and the degree of your clarity.

So this way you can determine what to let go. You don’t make the practice pure by not letting go. You can only make it pure by letting go and thereby making the thoughts and feelings more genuine and more sincere.

When you make your thoughts and feelings more genuine and sincere, you must aim to let go of the self-importance involved, the clinging-to-self which is present there. Then in, let’s say, five minutes, if you’re able to do this maitri practice — regardless of whether you felt prior to that like you had a dagger in your heart, so volatile and confused that you were almost in a delusional state — see how your state changes through this method during just five minutes of your mind contacting your well-being.

In the beginning, people may have to practice longer than five minutes to get this effect, but as you do more of this, it will take less time to create that effect. People who are really good at doing this can just recall one line of thought and immediately feel a sense of deep peace and calmness, of deep sanity and clarity. This is just by reciting that one line: “May all beings be happy and have the causes of happiness.” You don’t have to do hours of meditation because there’s no obstacle present.

In a classical text there is a verse that says: “The opposition of light is darkness.” When there is no darkness, the light has no obstruction to go through. So when you remove what’s obstructing, then what is already there naturally will come through immediately.

This is called “the removal of obstacles”. For instance, in order to grow a seed we have to remove the obstacles. When the obstacles are removed, the seed grows very easily. Mental work is like that too when we do more and more meditation to remove the obstacles.

What we’re trying to cultivate is immeasurable loving-kindness and a calm-abiding mind, as well as a way of sustaining our mind in the peace and joy of its own positive qualities. That’s the objective goal. The obstacle here is self-importance and self-clinging with all the various ways that we have become habituated to our self-absorption. When that self-absorption is broken down over time, this positive side can then come alive without difficulty and manifest immediately in one’s mind. So try this.

Positive thought has the power to create positive feelings. Positive feelings have the power to counteract the negative feelings. When negative feelings are removed, you have also removed from the heart any kind of tendency, or opportunity, for negative feelings to arise. Then your mind is filled with positive feelings. These positive feelings include the happiness you feel right now as well as in the future. This leads to much greater things.

Not only does this sustain you right now, but by doing this practice your world becomes positive in the future. This world that we live in and the world of the next life become positive. Therefore this Four Immeasurables practice is known in Sanskrit as Brahmaviharas. It’s called Brahmaviharas because all the gods and goddesses in Brahma’s realm have been born through this method. I think this is a great way to find joy and happiness in one’s life.

Someone once asked me why this is so difficult for most people. It’s just that we’re so gullibly loyal to our self-importance. We’re so enmeshed in a deep passionate way with our self-importance. Shantideva speaks of remembering all the wrongdoings of your self-importance, and becoming vigilant to being less subservient to the self-importance and its reactions. This is what he suggests.

If the pain of our self-importance is not observed and experienced, it’s difficult for us to get untangled from it, and difficult to develop the mind’s freedom to respond according to our natural intelligence and wisdom.

So this is a sign of our offering to the wisdom mind. It’s actually a sign to the buddhas and bodhisattvas. It is said that being able to be patient in this way, to experience the pain that the self-importance has created and not react, is the greatest offering of all to the buddhas and bodhisattvas. Why? Because here you are beginning to honor their words, respect their words, and make sense of it for yourself rather than being subservient to the self-importance and the afflicting emotions.

Without this, despite how much the buddhas and bodhisattvas have said about the path of liberation, it remains only in the books, in someone else’s realisation. It doesn’t become part of your experience. Even if you have respect toward someone else who has thus gone beyond, you’re not necessarily going beyond yourself.

No matter how much respect you pour into them for going beyond, it will never be equal to you coming onto this path yourself. That you are on the path pleases them much more than any other offerings you could make.

Since they have gone beyond, the offerings of any number of wonderful things does not matter to them as much as you getting beyond. This is therefore the greatest form of offering, and the greatest form of accumulating merit.

We have gained a perfect human form with its freedoms and advantages, we have met the precious teachings of the Mahayana, and we have the freedom to practice the sacred Dharma authentically. So, at this time, let us not waste our lives in meaningless pursuits, but work towards the genuine, lasting goal.

— Longchenpa