One Mind, Two States
by Kalu Rinpoche

ENLIGHTENMENT AND ILLUSION

Mind has two faces, two facets, which are two aspects of one reality. These are enlightenment and illusion.

Enlightenment is the state of pure mind. It is nondualistic knowing and is called primordial wisdom. Its experiences are authentic; that is, they are without illusion. Pure mind is free and endowed with numerous qualities.

Illusion is the state of impure mind. Its mode of knowledge is dichotomous or dualistic; it is the “conditioned consciousness.” Its experiences are tainted by illusions. Impure mind is conditioned and endowed with much suffering.

Ordinary beings experience this state of impure, deluded mind as their habitual state. Pure, enlightened mind is a state in which mind realises its own nature as free of habitual conditions and the suffering associated with them. This is the enlightened state of a Buddha.

When our mind is in its impure, deluded state, we are ordinary beings who move through different realms of conditioned consciousness. The transmigration of the mind within these realms make up their indefinite rounds in conditioned, cyclic existence, or the cycle of lives – samsara in Sanskrit.

When it is purified of all samsaric illusion, the mind no longer transmigrates. This is the enlightened state of a Buddha, which is experience of the essential purity of our own mind, of our Buddha nature. All beings, whatever they happen to be, have Buddha nature. This is the reason we can all realise Buddha nature. It is because we each possess Buddha nature that it is possible to attain enlightenment. If we did not already have Buddha nature, we would never be able to realise it.

So, the ordinary state and the enlightened state are distinguished only by the impurity or purity of mind, by the presence or absence of illusions. Our present mind already has the qualities of buddhahood; those qualities abide in mind; they are mind’s pure nature. Unfortunately, our enlightened qualities are invisible to us because they are masked by different shrouds, veils, and other kinds of stains.

Buddha Sakyamuni taught:

Buddha nature is present in all beings,
But shrouded by adventitious illusions.
Purified, they are truly Buddha.

The distance between the ordinary state and the “enlightened” state is what separates ignorance from knowledge of this pure nature of mind. In the ordinary state, it is unknown. In the enlightened state, it is fully realised. The situation in which mind is ignorant of its actual nature is what we call fundamental ignorance. In realising its profound nature, mind is liberated from this ignorance, from the illusions and conditioning that ignorance creates, and so enters the unconditioned enlightened state called liberation.

All Buddhadharma and its practices involve purifying, “disillusioning” this ·mind, and proceeding from a tainted to an untainted state, from illusion to enlightenment.

Kalu Rinpoche 14.

The Truth is realised in an instant; the Act is practised step by step.

— Zen Master Seung Sahn

Zen Master Seung Sahn 8.

Unless we practice the teachings through study, reflection, and meditation, we are stuck in the rut of being controlled by our thoughts and habits. The way we think of and perceive the world is mistaken. Our consciousness is structured such that no matter how carefully we may think, no matter how hard we may try to grasp the world around us, the conclusion we arrive at is always different from what things are actually like, and it is our acting upon this mistaken perception that leads to suffering.

— Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche

Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche 24.

Samsāra is nothing but imagination — the lack of imagination is liberation.

— Nāgārjuna

Nagarjuna (龙树菩萨) 62.

No Teacher of Zen
by Norman Fischer

One of my favourite Zen stories is about teachers. The great Zen teacher Huangbo strides into the hall and says to the assembled monastics, “You people are all dreg-slurpers! If you go on like this, when will you ever see today? Don’t you know that in all of China, there are no teachers of Zen?”

A monastic comes forward and says to him, “Then what about all those people like you who set up Zen places that students flock to like birds?” Huangbo replies, “I don’t say there is no Zen, only that there are no teachers.”

As an independent-minded (some would say stubborn) person, I find this story appealing. I have never been attracted to Zen masters or gurus, powerful and charismatic spiritual guides. There may or may not actually be such special people, but in any case, I have never been interested in them. I assume that I know what I need to know for living my life and that when I need to know more I will find it out for myself. No wisdom or experience that isn’t my own is worthwhile.

So I have asked myself, what’s the point of spiritual teachers? What benefit could possibly be gained from hanging around some supposed sage if somebody else’s enlightenment is never going to rub off on me?

When I began my Zen study, I wanted to learn how to do zazen so I could find out firsthand what Zen was all about. I was happy to listen to talks and instructions that might help orient me to the practice. But the idea that following a Zen teacher and hanging on his every word and deed (in those days, Zen teachers were men) would somehow help me become enlightened seemed not only unappealing but also wrong.

My thoughts resonated with Huangbo’s: there is Zen, but there are no teachers of Zen. Of course, people with credentials set up shop and welcome students. We all need some structure and a place to practice. But the teacher can’t teach you. Your practice is up to you. Good old American individualism. I believed it so much that I had no interest whatsoever in encountering teachers, though at the time there were several storied Asian Buddhist teachers in America. Though I first came to San Francisco Zen Centre in the summer of 1970, about a year and a half before the passing of the centre’s great founder, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, I made no effort to hear him speak, never saw him, and was not interested in attending his funeral nor the installation of his successor, the first American Zen master, that preceded it. Looking back at this now, I see it as a missed opportunity. But that’s how I was at the time.

All this might imply that I was a rebellious Zen student. But I wasn’t. I had no problem respecting my teachers, listening to their talks, going for regularly scheduled interviews. To reflexively rebel, challenge, or deny a teacher is to set up a teacher in your mind who fulfils the ideal requirements the teacher in front of you is failing to fulfil. If you feel compelled to rebel, it is probably because you actually do believe in an idealised almighty Zen master. I had no such belief and no such compulsion. I was at the Zen Centre to study Zen. I had my reasons for wanting to do that. Since the teachers were in charge, I would cooperate with them. But whatever benefit or understanding or enlightenment I got was my own affair. No one else could give it to me or even lead me to it.

I recount all this not because I entirely agree with it now, but to give a sense of how I was thinking about teachers and Zen practice in my early years. I certainly did not think that I would become a Zen teacher myself. My thought was simply to get what I needed from the practice and move on with my vague life as a poet, surviving somehow. My wife, Kathie, and I were ordained as Zen priests in 1980 because our teacher required us to either do that and continue to practice at the centre full-time or move on and get a life (we had two children by then). We weren’t ready to go, so we agreed to ordain, a step Kathie was much more ready for than I was, but I managed.

In 1988, when my teacher offered me shiho (dharma transmission), which would give me full ordination as a Soto Zen priest, I was surprised. In those days in American Zen, shiho was rare (though it was not rare in Japan). People presumed that only deeply enlightened people could receive it, which is why I was surprised. Nevertheless, I went ahead with the process and became a Zen teacher, a role I found at first disturbing, being so ill-prepared and ill-suited for it. But eventually, thinking of Huangbo, I came to accept the social designation “Zen priest” or “Zen teacher,” and since then I have done my best to try to help people practice.

There is more to “no teachers of Zen” than meets the eye. I still believe that students are responsible for their own practice and their own awakening. No one can communicate a truth worth knowing; the only worthwhile truth is the one you find uniquely, for your own life. On the other hand, Zen is not Lone Ranger practice. Zen teachers are important to the practice, as the tradition certainly indicates and experience proves. Yes, there are no Zen teachers because Zen isn’t a teachable subject matter or skill. There are things to be learned, such as Zen liturgy, how to comport one’s self in a zendo, and how to strike a proper bell at a proper time, but it is clear that Zen itself, while not exactly something other than these things, isn’t the same as them. Zen is much more slippery than that. The Heart Sutra says, “All dharmas are empty.” Zen is empty — empty of content, empty of doctrine, style, or faith that can be codified and defined. So what is there to teach?

But yes, there are Zen teachers because Zen practice is not nothing: real transformation occurs. Zen teachers can’t show you how to effect this transformation, they cannot cause it to happen in you, and they are not “masters” of it (no one could be a master of an indefinable, empty feeling for living). But they do play an essential role.

In the ordinary educational model, there are teachers who teach, students who learn, subject matter, standards of knowledge, and an educational institution that contains and certifies the educational process. While in some ways Zen might look like this, in fact, Zen is not an educational process but rather a transformational one in which both teacher and student fully engage, each playing his or her proper role. The process itself affects the transformation.

Think of it as a machine with many moving parts that interact in a complex system, each part affecting every other part. No one part “teaches” while another “learns.” Yet run the machine for a while and something happens: a product is produced, in this case, a seasoned Zen practitioner who embodies, in his or her own unique way, the values, the commitments, and, mostly, the feeling and vision of a life of practice. So it’s just as Huangbo says: there is Zen but, strictly speaking, no teachers, although yes, the machine won’t turn unless all the parts function fully in their proper places. The teacher, not actually teaching anything, must occupy his or her place in the process. Another analogy might be a mandala: each element has its crucial place in the overall design, but no element is sovereign. Only the overall design matters. So yes, in just this way, teachers are important.

In order to effectively take his or her place in the pattern, the teacher, ideally, has certain capacities. Faith in the practice, especially. And not just enthusiastic faith, but faith grounded in experience over time — faith that is not only spoken of but also demonstrated in action. Experience in the lived reality of the practice is the source of this kind of faith, that certain knowing, to the very bones, that the practice is the truest way to live. “Practice” doesn’t mean only formal practice that happens in temples and meditation halls. It means understanding and living a human life among others. Meditation is fairly new in Western culture, and naturally, we have over emphasised it, romanticising the mystical experiences intensive meditation can produce. Such experiences are just a matter of course. They are among the least important things for a teacher to have experienced, but any Zen teacher will have experienced many such things. Sit there long enough and everything is bound to occur. But it isn’t the experiences that matter as much as the folding of them into a whole life and a whole view.

But even this depth of faith, though essential and basic, is not sufficient. Ideally, a Zen teacher is also willing and able to share life completely with others. This takes a wide and deep acceptance of and interest in the many wily and wild manifestations of the human heart that arise in the course of practice over time. Practice with people for a while and you will bear witness to births, deaths, marriages, divorces, love affairs, enlightenment experiences, endless tears, tragic illnesses, angry feuds, breaches, collapses, and surprises of all sorts. A Zen teacher will eventually live through with others almost everything human beings perpetrate, so he or she needs long patience, deep forbearance and forgiveness, and a healthy sense of the immense tragedy and beauty of human life. The more the teacher has an idea of “Zen” that students must conform to, the more everyone (teacher included) will suffer, if not at first, then later on as people who were initially inspired by that idea come to feel oppressed or even betrayed by it. No doubt there are many important skills people would like their Zen teachers to have, but deep faith and a willingness to share your life honestly are the core of what I have come to feel is most important after having been in this business a long time. But I have also seen Zen teachers who seem seriously lacking in these capacities still be of benefit to others. There seem to be no universal prescriptions in Zen or in life.

Zen practice is dialogic, interactive. Compared to other forms of Buddhism it is, classically, “together practice.” In a formal Zen meal, for instance, everyone starts and ends together. In Zen walking meditation, everyone walks together in single file, evenly spaced. Meditation is done side by side, in a hall, with each period of meditation starting and ending with everyone together. The form of the characteristic literature is also dialogic, with short verbal or nonverbal encounters between teachers and disciples, or disciples and disciples, presenting rough-and-tumble back-and-forth conversations in which the teachings are explored not so much discursively but dynamically, using as few words as possible. And one of the characteristic and essential Zen practices is the one-on-one meeting with the teacher, which is viewed not as reporting in or asking for advice but as “dharma encounter” — a chance to meet oneself by meeting another.

Given this radical “together” style, it’s clear that a Zen teacher has to be ready, all the time, to let go of his life and enter the life of the other. This deep mutuality is the essence of the Zen process. It’s been wonderful training for a stubborn person like myself, softening me considerably over the years and expanding my horizons. But it took me a while to be ready for this or even to know that it was required. Soon after my shiho ceremony in 1988, I read a line in one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books to the effect that “if you can’t find a true teacher, it is best not to study.” This tangled me up for a while in the net of my unacknowledged preconceptions about Zen teachers. I found it very upsetting because it seemed to imply some exalted state of being a “true teacher,” a state unknown to me.

Yet here I was, one of the few American Zen people in those days with full dharma transmission, and what did I think I was doing? It took me a few uncomfortable years to finally catch up with Thich Nhat Hanh to ask him about this, and he told me something like, “Don’t worry, we all help each other. The one-day person helps the one who just came in the door. The five-year person helps the one-year person. Each one helps according to his experience.” That made me feel much better.

Still, it took me years to feel comfortable in the teacher’s seat. (And being a so-called Zen teacher is, in many ways, literally that, feeling comfortable in the seat you are sitting in, facing the altar, at the front of the zendo.) For a while, I was unconsciously caught by the idea that I was supposed to be someone that others expected me to be, and I couldn’t help but strain a bit to be that person. But the truth is, there was no one in particular I needed to be.

A formal Zen talk isn’t conceived of as a lecture on Zen; it’s called “presenting the shout” — that is, expressing the teaching just by speaking in your own voice. I have always appreciated the fact that when you give a Zen talk, you make three prostrations to the Buddha before and after the talk. These bows are meant to indicate that it isn’t exactly you giving the talk. The Buddha is giving the talk using your body and voice. Bowing is praying to Buddha to help you do as good a job at channelling him as you possibly can, with the faith that whatever you say, right or wrong, will be of some use if you are sincere and try your best. After some years I came to see that this applied to anything I did as a Zen teacher: if I was honest, tried my best, followed precepts, and didn’t pretend to be anyone, everything would be okay. This sounds simple-minded enough, and it is, but it is actually not so easy to do.

And what does “everything would be okay” actually mean? It certainly doesn’t mean that things won’t ever go wrong. In fact, things will certainly go wrong. Maybe another capacity a Zen teacher should develop is the resilience and breadth of view that will enable her to live with the fact that she is going to fail. At least, this has been my experience. Occupying the teacher gear in the whirling Zen machine requires that you receive everything with an open heart and have the willingness and stamina to take full responsibility for each and every relationship you enter, which means to care and try your best to help.

People come to Zen practice, as they do to any spiritual practice, with plenty of human needs. They come with trust, mistrust, and hidden expectations. Of course, the Zen teacher, an imperfect human being, is going to disappoint a fair number of them. Some will be disappointed on the first day, others only after many decades. You, the teacher, will misunderstand them and they will misunderstand you. You will say and do things that are hurtful, even if you never intended to. Meaning to straighten someone out (always a dubious proposition), you will completely botch the job, reinforcing the behaviour or view you were trying to soften. Students who have practised faithfully with you for years will realise it has all been wrong and leave, creating confusion and dissension. Your public words and actions will, in being variously understood and misunderstood, create confusion among sangha members who will act out their confusion in sometimes painful ways. You will have all kinds of complicated and contradictory feelings about people who come to practice with you — loving them, worrying about them, dreading them, seeing them make terrible mistakes you can’t prevent, watching as they manipulate you and set you up for all sorts of falls. In the end, you will realise you can’t help them at all and will have to watch them suffer or watch them make you suffer, and maintain your composure even so.

I have spoken to many Zen teachers who are trying hard to get better at what they do — to see where they make mistakes and to correct those mistakes, maybe even to get some psychological or other training so they can understand the various twisted ways students sometimes present themselves. I have learned from commiserating with other teachers (something I think is essential) and from my many mistakes. Ultimately, I think Zen teachers can no more learn than teach. Each situation, each person, is unique, and one’s own response, at that time, to that person, must and will inevitably be unique. I always trust my response and am, of course, willing to change or be corrected when proven wrong. But in the end, I know I’ll never get it right. Sometimes getting it wrong is the best thing anyway.

It’s true that everything always turns out okay. When you really trust the process of the practice more than you trust your limited self, the limited sangha, or what happens in the short run, you realise that the magic of the practice is much stronger than you thought. It is not limited to what you or anyone says or does; it is not limited to meditation or what takes place in meditation halls or on temple grounds.

I have seen how after leaving a place of practice in a huff or not in a huff, students’ lives miraculously turn around, sometimes five, ten, or twenty years later, because of unexpected circumstances that Buddha somehow placed in the middle of their lives long after they left. Sometimes the perfect priest you thought you were ordaining needs to fall apart, leave, and go through many ups and downs for decades before she finally emerges as the Buddha you always knew she was. Or the wreck of a human being who was so disruptive and annoying and hopeless comes back to visit you decades later shining with love. And the crazy mixed-up young woman who seemed headed for certain doom returns with her three lovely children, grateful for the practice she seemed to have resisted mightily at the time.

Seeing things like this happen over and over again, you do come round, finally, to trusting the practice — and life. This helps you trust yourself and the basic goodness of everyone you practice with. The secret ingredient in teaching Zen, it turns out, is the brilliant spark of human goodness in each person. Practice awakens it, and it does the rest on its own eventually. You, the teacher, just have to be willing to be there and be surprised.

Norman Fischer 20.

The Red Coat and the Teaching of Impermanence
by Reginald A. Ray

The Buddhist teachings on impermanence are usually considered primarily as an antidote to our attachment to samsara. But, as the following story suggests, when impermanence is deeply experienced it can give rise to genuine love for others and a sense of sacredness in our human existence.

Many years ago I knew a young woman who loved beauty. She was a quiet and shy person, perhaps because of much suffering in her childhood. But as a result, she had a tender regard for all those in pain and exceptional awareness, so that she could see exactly what was going on in other people, even if buried under layers of conditioning and pretence. She was so simple and unpretentious that most people who met her had no idea of the depth of her inner life.

My friend was striking, in fact, quite beautiful. Her eyes were extraordinary-dark, clear and highly intelligent. She loved clothes that were elegant and well-made, and she always made herself up with care. When she was dressed in one of her few beloved outfits you could-at least I could-feast your eyes on her for hours.

One of her favourite pastimes was leafing through catalogues, finding things of unusual beauty and imagining what it would be like to wear them. As she didn’t have much money, this was generally window-shopping, but it gave her much pleasure nonetheless.

One day, a few years into our friendship, she told me that she had not been feeling well. Fatigue and pains of unknown origin and significance had been growing lately. As was her way, humble, patient and a little too enduring, she waited some time before consulting a physician. But when she did, it turned out that she was very ill with a degenerative disease that at that time was not treatable. She received this news with a combination of acceptance and sorrowful resignation. She was not afraid of dying but she was terribly sad, for she was young and she felt she had only just begun to live her life. How could she so soon leave the beauty she saw all around her? How could she miss the experiences of marriage, children and family?

Still, as her health deteriorated she did not lose her love of beautiful clothes. In her last months in the hospital, she continued to receive her clothing catalogues and roam through them as if through paradise. When I would come to visit, which I did about once a week, there would be a little stack of catalogues on her bedside table. In each one, the corners of certain pages were turned down, marking a dress, a shawl or a jacket that she wanted to show me. She told me that she had been through many more catalogues and had saved “only the best ones” for me to see.

In the beginning, I would look at her prize discoveries somewhat perfunctorily, attempting to feign an interest that I did not feel. But as the weeks wore on, I gradually began to see them through her eyes. I found myself admiring the beautifully scalloped collar of a jacket, the gently flowing lines of a very feminine blouse, the outrageous burst of colour of a certain scarf, the delicacy of a sterling silver pin. I looked forward to leafing through newly arrived catalogues with her, delighting in whatever was perfectly fashioned, stunning and luscious. Together, we imagined how she might look in this or that outfit.

And then one day, we both discovered the red coat. It was in an otherwise unexceptional Bloomingdale’s catalogue. A spring offering, it was calf length, deep red with large black buttons, and made of a light suede. It appeared elegant and beautifully tailored, with a gently moulded collar, soft shoulders, and rounded lines throughout. We could both see that this was her coat. It had been made for her. We admired it, imagined it on her, and talked about what it could be worn with and on what occasions. The next time I came to visit her, she told me that, in spite of her limited funds and medical bills, she had ordered the red coat.

We both awaited its arrival with anticipation. One day I came in to find her sitting up in bed, her eyes glowing with anticipation. There on her bedside table was a box marked “Bloomingdale’s.” She had been waiting for me so that we could open it together. She handed me the scissors she had placed neatly by the box and I cut through the wrapping tape. She lifted out the coat, a deep, elegant Chinese red far more striking and beautiful than the catalogue picture. “Let me try it on for you.”

By this time she had become very weak, and I had to help her out of bed. Young and beautiful a few months before, she now looked like an old woman. Her skin was grey and wrinkled, her hair had lost its sheen, the classical definitions of her face were now puffy and misshapen. There was something heartbreaking in this worn and haggard woman, near death, trying on this new coat so that I could “see how she looked.”

As she shook out the red coat, the physical pride and presence of her former person animated her briefly. Over her wrinkled, sweaty nightgown she slipped the red coat. And I promise you, for one moment, she was the most beautiful woman in the world. I know that she felt it too. For a moment, she admired herself in the small hospital mirror and I could now see, perhaps for the first time, that it was the beauty of the red coat that held her attention and that gave her brief joy. I finally understood that all those years it was not her own beauty at all but the beauty of the wonderful clothes she wore that brought her such happiness.

And then the red coat was hung in the closet at the foot of her bed, never to be worn again. Now she got out of bed only to visit the bathroom; the effort was so great it was unthinkable to add the extra step of putting on the coat. But each time I would visit her after that, she would ask me to open the closet door so that we could see the coat hanging there. And then she would ask me to take it out and hold it up for her so that we could admire it together one more time.

Not long after, she died. I was not with her in her final moments, but when I heard that she had died, I thought of her and of the elegant red coat, hanging in the closet at the foot of her bed, which had brought her such happiness in her final days. I remembered how beautiful she had looked when she had put it on for me that one time.

Later the day she died, a female relative of hers and I were in the hospital room packing up her belongings. When we came to the red coat the relative commented, “What a waste that she spent money on a coat she never even wore!” But she did wear it and perhaps with more elegance and flair, for that one moment, than such a coat has ever been worn. If that is a waste, then it must mean that everything in life is a waste, which in a certain sense it may be.

A few weeks after she died, recalling the moment when she put on the red coat, I realised something about her life. Her beauty, her love of elegant clothes and the devotion with which she made herself up were her generous and selfless gifts to all of us who knew her. I also realised something else, about how brief and fragile, and also daring and fearless, life can be. How bold and brave to put on such a red coat in the face of death, to delight in it even if for only a moment, when everything is slipping away into darkness. But maybe that is what we all do, all the time, without knowing it.

It is said that the Buddha taught 84,000 gates to the dharma, to ultimate reality. For me, the experience of my friend and her red coat was one of those 84,000 gates. As long as my friend was firmly in the land of the living, I took her existence for granted. I didn’t really look at her. Instead, I experienced her through the veil of my own self-satisfied concepts and I was unable to appreciate who she was, in her own right. Yet when I realised that our time together was limited and our friendship would soon meet its end, only then was the veil stripped away.

In that moment, I saw my friend with a new and shocking nakedness. I discovered a love and appreciation for her that had nothing to do with my own personal values and preconceptions. Somehow the experience of impermanence momentarily shattered my habitual grasp on things and I was able to experience the beauty of what she was, of what is, and its sacredness. I came to a deeper understanding of why Buddhism, in every school and orientation, has always placed such a premium on realising impermanence: while it is the thing we human beings most dread, it is the most compassionate gift life has given us and our greatest resource. For, as is said in another context, only those who are fortunate enough to find their life slipping away, have any hope of finding it.

Reginald Ray 11.

If your fears are never
faced and transformed,
they will always haunt you.

Paradoxically, you continue
to attract what you fear
by retaining aversion to it.

— Shilashanti

Lotus 261.

言之無物
文|定盤星

一、立題由來

「言」者:尋思言語乃至書寫之篇章也。不論古今、貴賤、凡聖,皆須假名句文身,以發自意、達己思;藉眾名言語辭以為溝通傳達。「之」者:因緣和合生法;即當抒言時,所緣之境也。「無物」:依所發出名句文身之所詮表,錯以為真、為實,縱萬馬千軍亦不動;依諸聖言,乃知一切皆出自虛妄分別耳。 於日日生活之際,人人莫不依以名言活動行事,今依聖教取揀名言義理之實貌,以警自他勿墜名言霧中,徒入教人生死相許之歧路。於昔未值三寶、未學聖言,聞「風」即思「雨」,沉陷於言語戲論,普遍計執,無智慧眼,愚因果、昧正理,以無始來受累至今;尚稱有幸,雖時稍晚總還入列,亦願依聖開制,好自習學亦兼通有緣。祈不唐捐!

二、引經正述

諸經論中,多議名、事關係,總思其要,應言有二:初者,若當言說之際,必依因緣生法之事為先,方可種種言說。次者,若以名詮事之義,無有決定實體相隨。

《攝大乘論》依三義證成依他起性與遍計所執自性非是稱體:「一、由名前覺無,稱體相違故;二、由名有眾多,多體相違故;三、由名不決定,雜體相違故。」約此三種,推演論證名與事之互不稱合。

若依《瑜伽師地論.真實義品》,可彙成四:

一、「若於諸法諸事隨起言說,即於彼法、彼事有自性者,如是一法一事應有眾多自性。何以故?以於一法一事制立眾多假說而詮表故。」此謂多體相違失。

二、「亦非眾多假說詮表決定可得,謂隨一假說於彼法、彼事,有體有分有其自性,非餘假說,是故一切假說若具、不具,於一切法、於一切事,皆非有體有分有其自性。」此屬雜體相違失。

三、「又如前說色等諸法。若隨假說有自性者,要先有事然後隨欲制立假說;先未制立彼假說時,彼法彼事應無自性,若無自性,無事制立假說詮表,不應道理。假說詮表既無所有,彼法彼事,隨其假說而有自性,不應道理。」此為無體相違失。

四、「又若諸色,未立假說詮表已前,先有色性,後依色性制立假說攝取色者,是則離色假說詮表,於色想法、於色想事應起色覺,而實不起;由此因緣由此道理,當知諸法離言自性。如說:其色,如是受等,如前所說乃至涅槃應知亦爾。」此指稱體相違失。

總上所言,略彙為二:「名與事體不稱」及「名義無決定論」;於諸經論中採擷而思,為能詮名言、及所詮諸事義性,唯是妄想之境而分敘如下。

(一)、名與事體不稱

「名與事體不稱」者:如上引《攝大乘論》之第一及《瑜伽師地論》之第三、第四;總謂為一。「不稱」含義有二:凡立言發表之前,定先依於緣生事,方能言說。 例如,世間極成所立之種種物名,若未有彼物,定不能言出彼物之名;若不者,當諸法、諸事未現之前,而能言稱彼名,則犯妄言胡語之失,故云「不稱」。另意指,當能緣心觸對緣境,所生之影像,非即如緣生事性之境體,彼影像唯是相似境界顯現而已;此亦有不稱之義。

《顯揚聖教論》亦云:「若義自體如名有者,未得名前,此覺於義應先已有。」意謂若諸法、諸事依名而有,則在此法未現之前,即應有對其事之覺受;然約實際,則不能也。蓋若有所思惟,皆以事性之先有,再依世所立名,對其多諸思量、得種種義覺。舉一例之,若最初未見「桌」時,不能於此物之義起覺受、思考,或若強予言說,亦唯能以先前所熏習──相似於此桌之名言而加諸其義,心隨增益之義而轉;即便欲於世俗法相似此物件之名而思惟作意,亦決不能無事而制立假說。

上示依名而有諸法不成之義;再簡取應當細思之處。唯識分一切法以三相;平時見色聞聲、根塵相觸之際,不過相似顯現之影像而已。《解深密經.分別瑜伽品》中,世尊告慈氏菩薩言:「……此中無有少法能見少法;然即此心如是生,即有如是影像顯現。善男子!如依善瑩清淨鏡面,以質為緣還見本質,而謂我今見於影像,及謂離質別有所行影像顯現,如是此心生時相似有異……」此中言「質」,可謂自心也。如於鏡前見己之像;鏡喻虛妄分別心,所見影像則指依此妄心現起相似於境界之義相。若聖,已除虛妄計度,通達一切法真實相,了緣生諸行如幻如化,一切唯心所現;於凡,則依緣名為境,認所取貌為真實不虛、種種執著,成眾苦生因。「無有少法能取少法」雖唯證方知,今依無倒聖言思量,應當了知,諸事色性與妄現之像非相稱。

名言唯假,是中無物。然吾輩凡夫,常起堅固不動之妄想心而自損害,以一切法一切事,隨言說有實自性,具此執著,苦緊相隨。若依正教,唯取正用,依世所極成之名起立言論,趣聞思修,漸與實際相應;如《摩訶止觀》云:「今人意鈍,玄覽則難;眼依色入,假文則易。」依文正思,能正趣向、能正通達。

莫言此極平常普見之事,何用多文冗述?如《瑜伽師地論》,云:「若不起言說,則不能為他說一切法離言自性,他亦不能聞如是義;若無有聞,則不能知此一切法離言自性;為欲令他聞知諸法離言自性,是故於此離言自性而起言說。」諸佛聖者大慈悲也!

(二)、 名義無決定論

名義無決定論者:如前引《攝論》之後二,及《瑜伽師地論》之前二:「多體相違」與「雜體相違」之失。

1、多體相違失

多體相違者:若「名」具「義」之體性,能詮之名與所詮之義彼此一致,則世所見彼法彼事,將有諸多體性容於一法一事,而致多體入一物之失。如說某甲,有稱彼為法師、有名苾芻、又呼為沙門,且是上座之耆舊長老、亦更同得大德、和尚之名。

言「法師」謂指能精通佛法,為人之師也;「苾芻」意出家為佛弟子,受具足戒者之都名也;「沙門」通說佛法修梵行及外道眾者;「大德」特指行滿高德之人;「和尚」是親教師,弟子依之隨學,得以增長道力。彼彼諸名,各有其含意。若名所言義,有決定真實之體性,則約此某甲之人,將有如上諸多名所詮實義之眾多體性集於一身,而成多體之過;但現見世間未曾有因多名於一體而令此人生出障礙,唯因此名與義互不決定、皆無作主權,唯是假借暫做呼招之用而已。故此得證名義不決定之一。

2、雜體相違失

雜體相違者:仍依前例,以明此失。「苾芻」一名,具乞士、破煩惱、除飢饉、怖魔等義,亦指雪山之香草;若每義皆實有其體,究認其為人或為草?此錯計何能不犯雜體之過。

再舉「沙門」以明。修諸無漏法是沙門,以能勤勞息煩惱故;另舉凡出家者,遑論外法邪眾、或佛法正修,皆屬此範疇。約此則既為具正智見者,同時亦是於法外妄解、心行理外之徒,豈不大犯於一法一事,體相雜亂之訛乎?

心麤者或反曰:「此乃慣見常事,何來怪哉?所舉之事例,比比可見,未見能礙於人」。吾意:「然也!所見有同。正因執著之心遮天蓋地,如此平常之事,卻不見有所謂世間聰叡之德,提出省思,卻更入中而執迷。於世求好名聲、求大事大業,莫不個個劬勞非常,不論所付之功多少,不計當得之果何也?盡是一頭衝栽!甚而遍體受損之際,亦在所不惜,繼續伺機捲土。未得聖教慧語,視此為常,今時此刻,濫觴於浩瀚佛法,於外於內、於自於他,遇觸境界,皆應置此繩墨於心。」

(三)再引經成

《攝大乘論》頌示:「名事互為客,其性應尋思;於二亦當推,唯量及唯假。實智觀無義,唯有分別三;彼無故此無,是即入三性。」即明名事二者都無決定之義。又如《瑜伽師地論》(T30.501a) 云:「名為先故想,想為先故說。」吾等能起言說,必以名句文身為依,再藉虛妄分別增上力,方現種種差別事義。實則,名之於義、或義之於名,絲毫無決定性可言。

若善以致用,依名起如理作意趣往菩提;反之,則依此諸名起彼眾執,墮生死流際。如《顯揚聖教論》頌云:「五三法真實,彼復四應知,及四種尋思,四種如實智。」於中含指,由名、相──一切言說所依止處及其增語境界,勤修尋思名義之自體假立及差別假立觀法,思惟盡是虛妄不實,唯名、唯義矣!欲入勝義諦理,此即所入事,及能入之因也。

非但唯識作如是語,《大般若經》亦處處可見此義。如卷四九六云:「如一切法名唯客所攝,於十方三世無所從來無所至去亦無所住;一切法中無名,名中無一切法,非合、非散但假施設。」又云:「如色蘊乃至識蘊名唯客所攝。」

自謂佛子者,何以不視、不察?久遠以來不能須臾離卻之名句文身,其真實面目原是如此虛妄空洞,如何還常是熱切以待、求之唯恐不及?受累之深,何時能覺?

三、藉假遙寄

前敘名假之義,應易可解;今再以喻顯之。如說「高寒」,此假說之詞,亦唯暫立,若聞言隨起涼意,即自應知屬於妄想。「寒」亦作清涼之義,清涼約勝德解,如《廣清涼傳》所引。名言句身所依不實、虛妄,道理顯明!若真有一地處高寒之剎,若為修持且應依習教之慧,隨經如理引思:「行者求道,當忍十事:一蚊虻侵害。二蛇蚖毒螫。三者毒獸。四者罵詈誹謗。五者打擲加害。六者病痛。七飢。八渴。九寒。十熱」。

於契經中佛又云:「人為道亦苦;不為道亦苦……」避苦絕非究竟,何以求道之心,還忌憚苦?引此「高寒」,具二深意:主敘名義唯假, 兼弘道上見、法上會之用。名義唯假,業用還具;今依此假,遙以寄真。世人關係,有依法門成眷、有依血緣成族者;今祈統以智而成朋,以慧而更屬。願同梵行者,委以慧揀!

若親情難捨者,且思洞山禪師與其母書,字字以道相牽,不以情見。《辭北堂書》:「……若把世賂供資,終難報答,作血食侍養,安得久長,……良价捨今世之身命,誓不還家,將永劫之根塵,頓明般若;伏惟父母心開喜捨,意莫攀緣,學淨飯之國王、效摩耶之聖后。他時異日,佛會相逢,此日今時,且相離別,……此身不向今生度,更向何時度此身……。」

其母回書:「……吾與汝夙有因緣,始結母子恩愛情分,自從懷孕禱神佛,願生男兒,胞胎月滿,性命絲懸,得遂愿心,如珠寶惜;糞穢不嫌於臭惡、乳哺不倦於辛勤。稍自成人,遂令習學;或暫逾時不歸,便作倚門之望。來書堅要出家,父亡母老,兄薄弟寒,吾何依賴,子有拋孃之意、孃無捨子之心。一自汝住他方,日夜常洒悲淚,苦哉苦哉!今既誓不還鄉。即得從汝志……。」

一代大禪師,所行非等常人!世人或見為無情,但長時生死流轉,何方何法能靠?吾輩雖根遲意鈍,亦應自勉力效於此。真欲報答深恩,莫求形影不離、莫羨膝下承歡;仿彼微少之堅心,專志習學名義不實之尋思,契無上旨趣。蓋蘊身緣父母而有,應思更深遠之答酬途徑,向出輪迴、脫苦海而勤行。

四、結定盤語

決除「瞎卻頂門眼,認錯定盤星」之況,取揀超越、心定之義,應省思於「言說安立之一切法畢竟空」;學佛道上,如何可避過免失?若尋隨古仙人道跡,顯而易從,何有所疑?何須再思別創?浩浩三藏,皆聖所示,如理思惟名義互為客,於日常依之而修,時久功成。且莫盲隨,人云亦云;當心於語辭之處、留意於物動之機,以智擇、以慧揀,莫徒具釋子之稱,空仰三寶恩德。心中定盤星,確切把捉,不再隨他人舌頭轉;同梵行者,共齊此志、互惕互勵!

Lotus 105.

The difference between the two bodhichittas is like wanting to take a journey and actually being on a journey.

— Shantideva

Shantideva (寂天菩萨) 8..

修学净土法门,不可以少善根福德因缘(二)
达照法师

多因缘的标准

因缘也同样,世间一切万法都是由因缘和合而生。善因善缘得善世间,恶因恶缘得恶世间,这是六道轮回的善恶因缘。三恶道的因缘是属于恶因缘。三恶道没有好因缘,就是你每天被贪欲、嗔恨、愚痴所困了,那你确实因缘不好。由于自己的因不好,因此你内心一直不满足,一直有仇恨,一直傻乎乎的,被贪嗔痴一直充斥着心间;由于你的因不好,缘也不好,你也没有遇到好的老师,也没遇到好的朋友,也没有人告诉你要把自己变得更好,你都不懂。如果因和缘都不好,那这个生命就只能堕落,没办法了。

你要把自己管好,不以三恶道而是以三善道作为自己生命的方向。传统文化里面告诉我们要追求人生的真、善、美、慧,世间的很多知识学问、哲学艺术都是告诉我们要去追求真善美。你知道追求真善美,知道改善自己,你身边也遇到了这样的同道中人,这算是好因缘,但只能算是少因缘。

什么是多因缘呢?就是你具足了生死的因,发菩提心,想了生死,有出离心;你还具足了有地方可以听经闻法、修行,或者说你在家里,周围的人和你家里人还支持你在用功修行。当然有些人不支持,但是你的内因很强,他不支持你,你也在用功,顺境来了你也用功,逆境来了你也用功,在什么地方都能用功。虽然是逆缘,但是对你来说又变成了一个好的增上缘,这也叫多因缘。什么是多因缘?就是能够生起解脱烦恼,普度众生的这样的因缘。这样的志愿有了,你有了这样的因,别人还真的有这样的缘告诉你了。就像我们大家自己想要了生死,想要成佛,结果我们就有机会学习佛法,学习成佛的法门。这个内因和外缘都有了,这叫多因缘。

按照净土法门来说,你信愿具足,自己知道念这句佛号的这三资粮具足了。念这句佛号,什么时候能念呢?随时都能念。你从现在开始到死到临终,每一秒钟其实都可以念。不管你是生也好、老也好、病也好、死也好,都可以念;甚至你梦境当中也可以念,有些人在做梦,梦境里面害怕了,他马上就念佛念醒了,这样的情况也很多,所以这个佛号是最容易修行的法门。当你生起这样的一个求生净土三资粮具足的时候,你的内因外缘都圆满了,这叫多因缘。所以佛告诉我们说“不可以少善根福德因缘得生彼国。”换句话说,在这个世间就算你做了最大的好人,能够生到天上去,四禅八定呱呱的什么都好,但是你也算是少善根福德因缘。因为你没有想求生净土,没有能力自我解脱。能够生起信愿恳切的人,他一定能够生到西方极乐世界,所以说“不可以少善根福德因缘,得生彼国。”

祖师大德告诉我们,我们大家学净土的人,不要看到少善根福德因缘,很多人就想:哎呀,我业障深重啊!你看我还有很多烦恼。我打坐念佛的时候妄想还有那么多,想念到一心不乱还念也念不到,看来我没善根;每天还要上班、还要做很多事情,孩子还不听话,看来我还是没福德;想用功的时候,想打坐、想打七的时候,这里又要上班,那里请假又请不到,看来我因缘也不好,所以想想觉得自己福德善根因缘不好,没信心了。祖师大德告诉我们不是这个意思,是你能够有信愿行三资粮具足的时候、你真想求生净土的时候,你就不是少善根福德因缘,你就是多善根、多福德、多因缘,这个大家要明白这个道理,这是前因。

多福德的标准

什么是多福德?福就是你自己感觉到在生活中已经很满足了,不能对世间的五欲六尘还贪得无厌,还觉得自己缺衣少食。如果哪怕缺衣少食,你也觉得轮回就这么回事,你也能堪忍,那就说明你的这个福已经够了。衡量这个福够不够的标准是:你有没有满足。如果你不满足就算天下都给你,把地球都给你,你还觉得不够,你还想马上要去抓月球,这说明你没有福。没有福,你就没有福去享受你的人生。你已经拥有了,你感觉很满足了,这就福。

什么是德呢?就是有了这个福,你表现出来的是不伤害别人的、不占有别人的、不给别人麻烦的。这个时候,你的内心不想麻烦别人、不想让别人为你辛苦的这个想法生起来,这就是福德。你把这个心交给极乐世界交给阿弥陀佛的时候,你其实对娑婆世界已经不再有想法了,这就是最大的福德。福德也是有多有少。世俗当中的人,衣食住行都能满足这叫少福德;不但衣食住行满足,而且生活所需都自在,一生无忧,如果觉得这个人一生无忧已经不错了,这还是少福德。

多福德是什么?是你对死亡的时候已经心里有数了,已经不再恐惧了,死了以后到哪里去自己清清楚楚,这叫多福德。善导大师说“能够相信净土,发愿求生净土西方的人是多福德,不是少福德。”因为你想往生,就算你现在穷困潦倒饿死在深山里面,你心里也想“反正娑婆世界早晚有一天死,我也心甘情愿。”当然不是他故意跑到深山里面饿死哦,那是环境所迫让他受尽折磨、受尽痛苦,他也认了,他也心甘情愿,也不再抱怨了。这么苦的时候,他心里还想到“我终于可以解脱了,我可以往生净土了”,所以他这种人还是属于多福德,不是少福德。少福德的人是他没有想求生净土,死了以后不知道哪里去,但是他活也能活得很好,这种人也是有少福德;如果我们活都活得不好,那你是没福德—福也不够、德也不够。

你活着天天为了一点生活当中鸡毛蒜皮的事情还在那里着急,在那里生气,在那里生烦恼,福德全没有,连少福德都没有。所以,没有福德、少福德、多福德这是有很大的区别。有些人不知道“了生死”他知道“了生活”也没错,但是你只知道“了生活”不知道“了生死”,你就少福德。生活问题你已经解决了叫“了生活”,生死也能解决了那叫“了生死”。因为我们的生命就是生死和生活两部分构成,所以能够求生净土确信无疑,这种人在面对死亡的时候绝对没有任何恐惧。他知道娑婆世界终于可以告别了,就好像从监狱里终于可以出来了,就好像暗无天日的生活终于结束了,所以他的内心反而充满了光明,那这样的生命就属于多福德。

Ven Da Zhao (达照法师 ) 12.