善知識的法語是我的寶

比丘尼恆優講於2015年2月5日星期四晚  萬佛城大殿

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諸佛菩薩、師父上人、各位法師、各位善知識:阿彌陀佛!今天輪到恒優上來跟大家分享佛法。我要給大家講的題目是:「善知識的法語是我的寶。」 繼續閱讀

禪七漫談

比丘近永講於2015年1月25日星期日晚  萬佛城大殿

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上人、諸位法師、諸位佛友:阿彌陀佛!今天輪到近永在這邊和大家結法緣。我們在萬佛城,每一年年底,都有至少一週,有時候是兩週的佛七。緊接著下來就是三週的禪七。所以,加起來的話就至少四週,有時候五週,這麼長的時間。四、五週的時間,約一個月左右;對一年而言,一年也不過才十二個月,所以這個時間是一段相當長的時間。 繼續閱讀

基礎禪七的經驗

葉親法博士講於2013年5月6日星期一晚 萬佛城大殿

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佛菩薩、上人、各位法師們、各位善知識:我是親法,今天晚上想跟大家分享一下我上個月在全法師教的基礎禪班的一些心得。 繼續閱讀

打七的經驗談

沙彌果正講於2013年2月13日星期三晚 萬佛城大殿

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諸佛菩薩、宣公上人、諸位法師、諸位善知識:今晚輪到果正練習報告,如有不對的地方,請多多包涵。 繼續閱讀

禪七考前大補帖

洪親慧講於2013年4月11日星期四晚 萬佛城大殿

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上人,各位法師,各位善知識,阿彌陀佛!今天輪到親慧上臺做學習心得報告,若有講得不如法的地方,還請各位法師及善知識們慈悲,能給親慧指導! 繼續閱讀

放下包袱,輕裝上陣

沙彌尼近紹講於2013年2月12日星期二晚 萬佛城大殿

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上人,各位法師,各位佛友,阿彌陀佛!今晚由沙彌尼近紹來練習結法緣。今天是農曆初三,所以首先向大家問一聲新年好! 繼續閱讀

佛七跟禪七的心得

比丘尼恆猷講於2013年1月24日星期四晚 萬佛城大殿

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諸佛菩薩、上人、各位法師、各位居士,我是恆猷。

今天有機會上來跟大家講講我們的「佛七」跟「禪七」;這是個人的心得。

首先,要感恩師父上人的恩德,還有天龍八部的護持,讓我們很安心,好好地用功。一個禮拜的「佛七」,然後三個禮拜的「禪七」,很快就過去了,現在我先談談「佛七」。

我個人在打「佛七」的時候,精神沒辦法集中,但是參加念佛的時候,雖然感覺精神沒辦法集中,但還是可以跟大家和合地念佛,妄想也少多了。這當中我感覺到我們在念佛的時候(這是個人的提議),最好大家聲音能夠出來;因為聲音出來是一種和合,可以提昇一種道氣的那種感受,所以說最好大家念的時候,能夠出一點聲音。 繼續閱讀

如來寺冬季禪七簡介

比丘近永講於2013年1月21日星期一晚 萬佛城大殿

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上人,諸位法師,諸位佛友,阿彌陀佛。

剛剛打完禪七,所以近永在這邊跟大家報告一下如來寺禪七的大致情形。雜亂地談一下,剛剛打完禪七,頭腦昏昏沉沉的,不太靈光,所以講些什麼也不是太清楚。

在如來寺參加的居士,去年來了很多,尤其第一天晚上,我們那個禪堂都坐不下了。所以今年我們就準備了很多位子給居士們來坐。不過出席的,並沒有像去年那麼多。想一想,一個原因可能是因為去年禪七起七是在耶誕節當天,因為去年阿彌陀佛聖誕來的比較早。今年已經到了年底,所以來的人不是像去年那麼多。 繼續閱讀

百尺竿頭更進一步

沙彌親光講於2012年3月7日星期三晚 萬佛城大殿   A talk given by Shramanera Chin Guang on March 7 (Wed), 2012 at Buddha Hall of CTTB

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諸佛菩薩、宣公上人、各位法師、各位善知識:今晚輪到沙彌親光練習講法。如有不妥,敬請指教。今天晚上講的,就是一樣的,今年年終大考的一些心得報告。

修行在聖城,需了知,除有宣公上人的「一切是考驗,看你怎麼辦」的時時考外,還有每一年年終大考。這些考都是叫我們時時刻刻不要忘記修行,並要積極承擔生命種種的考驗,來達到最後能夠了生脫死。這就是大家來聖城的主要目的。

假如沒有經歷過純青爐火的考驗,是打造不出名貴的金剛寶劍。如來寺禪堂有對聯,「大冶洪爐煉金剛,十方諸佛護道場。一切聖賢從此出,娑婆又增法中王。」真是要衷心感激宣公上人及道場的法師們,恨鐵不成鋼的慈悲心腸,給予佛弟子們修學環境及歷練的機會。

佛法之可貴之處,是在於能夠解決人類生命的困苦,並能夠教導如何離苦得樂,隨眾生根性,可參禪、念佛、持咒、經教等等法門。

末學是以念佛為主,但不幸最近因為膝蓋折傷,不但不能夠盤腿,連彎腿都像刀子割了的疼痛。因為這些疼痛,也促使末學更要積極用功修行,也深感念佛的需要以及逼迫性。就像蓮池大師他所說的這個偈頌,「疾病由來是藥方,深知生死是無常。念念彌陀休背覺,心心極樂願還鄉。」這就是鼓勵我們要能夠警惕生死無常的痛苦,所以勸我們趕緊念佛到西方極樂的故鄉。

在《虛空打破明心地》的書上,有宣公上人鼓勵我們參禪修行的,要百尺竿頭更進一步地,邁向十方世界。但是要如何去突破這一步呢?是末學極想知道的答案。在禪宗書上,末學讀過這樣的一個公案。

這個公案是發生在宋朝的臨濟宗第十一代祖師楊岐方會的時候。有一天,方會和尚到茶陵山的道場掛單。茶陵山就在現在的湖南衡陽縣。當時有一位茶陵郁禪師,他知道了這個臨濟宗的祖師大德來訪,就趕快去請法,請參禪的要旨。方會和尚就跟他說,過去,有一些弟子每次向法燈禪師請教,百尺竿頭要如何更進一步時,這位法燈禪師總是回答,「嗯。」只有「嗯」字,後面就沒有講什麼。今天你問我這個參禪的要旨,就是這個「嗯」。今後你要好好地用心參究,將會有好的消息。

所以這個茶陵郁禪師聽了以後呢,就守著這個「嗯」,在行住坐臥,二六時中,都未離開心念。這樣子就守了三年。有一天,外面的來請他去祈福,普照,就是做佛事。他騎著一只小驢,就前去。在路上經過一座木橋。這個小驢子走啊走,就踩到一個破洞。驢背上的禪師從驢背上摔了下來,跌了個滿天星斗。但這時候的一個剎那,他心還是緊扣著這個「嗯」的出來。

這時候的茶陵郁禪師如水清魚現,豁然大悟。於是他作了一個詩,說,「我有明珠一顆,久被塵勞關鎖。今朝塵盡光生,照破山河萬朵 。」他就回去請教方會和尚,給他印證。方會和尚印證,的確是明心見性。

茶陵郁禪師開悟了以後,他就專在廟上度眾生,收一些徒弟。其中有一位白雲守端禪師,就是他的剃度徒弟。白雲禪師也就是臨濟宗第十二代的接班人禪師。

這位白白雲守端禪師禪師,後來他也去方會和尚那裡去參學。有一天,老和尚問白雲禪師說,你的授業師,就是你的老師,剃度師是誰?他答說,茶陵郁和尚。他聽了以後就跟他說,我聽說茶陵郁和尚是有一天他過橋,摔了一跤,因此而開悟的。你記得他開悟的偈頌嗎?他的弟子白雲就把它誦出來。誦完以後,方會和尚不但沒有贊嘆他,就走到他面前,而且跟他笑了一下,「嘿嘿」,就走到他的禪房去。

這時候白雲禪師,真的是一頭霧水,不曉得是說錯了什麼,是怎樣子,這個老和尚怎麼嘿嘿地笑呢?白雲禪師就一肚子的疑惑,晚上也睡不好,一直捱到天亮,迫不及待地,就趕快去請教老和尚。老和尚就很正式地跟他說,你有沒有看到耍猴子把戲的小丑嗎?白雲說,我看過啊。那你根本就不能夠跟他比。

這時候的白雲更是不可思議,就問,你這個話是什麼意思。老和尚就跟他說,你看那個小丑啊,就是做出各種的動作或是聲音,都是千方百計要博得別人的歡笑;而你呢,卻經不起別人輕輕地一笑。

這時候,白雲禪師頓然地虛空粉碎,播雲見月一般地,無始來的根深柢固的我執跟我我見,都盪除乾凈。於是他說了一個偈頌,來贊嘆他的剃度師,就是茶陵郁禪師。是這樣寫的:

百尺竿頭曾進步,溪橋一踏沒山河;

從茲不出茶川上,吟嘯無非邏哩囉。

 這個是他的,也算是一個開悟的人。他後來就接第十二代臨濟宗祖師之位。

從以上的公案我們知道,關鍵人物就是臨濟宗祖師方會和尚,他使師徒兩個人都開悟。所以我們親近明師,善知識,是非常重要。還要加上自己用功,專心守一,即長遠心。最後還要加上成熟的機緣,好像摔跤啊,或是嘻嘻被一笑啊,都可以促成好消息,而成為歷史的公案。最後祝大家早日百尺竿頭更進一步的好消息,成為歷史的一個公案。阿彌陀佛。

從雲門三句說起

比丘近巖  2012年3月14日星期三 萬佛城  The article written by Bhikshu Jin Yan on March 14 (Wednesday), 2012 at CTTB


I.   引子

1) 雲門三句:「我有三句話,示汝諸人。一句涵蓋乾坤,一句截斷眾流,一句隨波逐浪。若辯得出,有參學分,若辯不出,長安路上輥輥地。」——文偃禪師 ,《五燈會元》

2) 雲門祖風:「忘餐待問,立雪求知,困風亡時於十七年間,涉南北數千裏外。」——文偃禪師致南漢王劉晟之《遺表》(節錄)

雲門先賢們繼承這種精神,奠定了雲門宗在中國禪宗中後期獨盛二百年局面,無怪乎民間有「雲門天子, 臨濟將軍, 曹洞士民」一說。

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 II.   禪一在大覺

雲門,對我來說並不是一個陌生的名字。

只是隱約記得——它,在廣東乳源,因參方而“被”跛腳的文偃祖師(864~949)曾於此大弘雲門宗風;記得宣公上人曾於此最後辭別虛雲老和尚; 亦記得一九五二年,雲門事變中虛雲老和尚與僧眾曾於此遭困罹難。

今年一月,從香港靈會山慈興寺打完三個星期禪七的我,從香港北上廈門;原本沒有打算的,不知是天意使然,還是事出偶然,途中竟繞經廣州、韶關曲江、韶關雲門,去參拜了神往已久的兩大禪宗叢林及千年古刹:六祖的南華寺,雲門的大覺寺。

我想可能是因為我在慈興寺打七期間,看虛雲老和尚以及聖一老法師的禪七開示,有一天晚上跟信眾們討論,引用了雲門三句的公案。幾天之後的我,就已經在奔赴雲門的路上。之前,因為讀虛雲老和尚的禪七開示與年譜,對雲門二字產生極為深刻的印象,但是未曾想到,亦沒注意到,虛老在上海的禪七開示,是佛源老和尚親手筆記整理出來的。另外,我亦沒有注意到這半個世紀多世紀裏,雲門,更多的是與佛源老和尚的名字聯繫在一起。

一月五日到深圳,六日抵廣州,七日就高速公路北上﹝一路上一個個的高速公路的收費點真多啊,有時開一段路就卡住收錢,收的費用已經不是三兩塊錢,而是論百的(105元人民幣), 如此之高的收費讓我相當震撼﹞。我們途經南華寺時,在素菜館用午齋——因為目的地是雲門,沒有通知客堂。在南華寺內竟然亦沒有遇上常住僧眾。齋後,我們拜謁了六祖、憨山、丹田三大師的真身,以及六祖大師卓錫浣衣的卓錫泉,亦參觀了陳亞仙居士的墓。 

午齋之後,我們匆匆趕路,三四點鐘,終於到了雲門。大覺寺坐靠觀音嶺,周圍古木參天,翠竹高挺;與之隔池(蓮花池)相望的是對面的「雲門佛學院」。上山的路上,兩邊修竹鬱密夾道,似乎在招手歡迎遠道而來的客人。山坡左上角有工人在施工加修佛源老和尚的靈塔。參拜完靈塔,到客堂報到,安排好雲水寮,已是下午五點多,我們就去拜會住持明向大和尚(適逢年底,廟上幾位當家師,那幾天都忙於開會,以及在籌備佛學院創辦二十週年的工作,那天他們是開完會趕回來的)。走在路上,剛好是僧眾去用藥石的時間,齋堂外有一群(二十多個)十歲到十六歲左右的沙彌,很有秩序的排隊打菜。他們樸素的衣著,充滿活力的身影,成為大覺寺的一道耀眼的風景線。相信他們有人好好調教的話, 一定可以成為佛教的棟樑之才;看到他們的莊嚴僧相,心中油然湧生一種欣慰:從他們身上,似乎看到佛教的希望。

這些沙彌們,在晚上的禪堂就與我坐鄰單;晚香一共坐了大約三炷香, 那天剛好是第五個七的最後一天,所以大和尚特地趕來給大眾開示,幾位班首師父也輪流給開示。大覺寺的禪堂很大,是個多功能廳,可以作開會典禮之用,禪七時候佈置成禪堂。去參加的不乏許多年輕的大學生。大眾一起參禪的那種氛圍很好 —— 幾乎使我動念,想說以後有機會再來參加他們的禪七。國內能有這樣規模的道場,這樣認真的僧眾在參禪打坐還真是不多見的。這很多是要歸功與佛老幾十年的心血,想當年,整個雲門只剩下三個僧人,一切的硬體設施都破壞得當然無存,是他領導大家,一磚一瓦的修復起祖師道場的。他老人家在臨終的時候,還讓人攙扶著去看望大眾打禪七,去與大眾做最後的告假。

打完那天晚上的七,大和尚提早放香,讓大眾早點回去休息。不知道是不是到第五個七大眾已經到了打持久戰的階段了。對於用功上路的人,這都不是問題;對那些功夫沒有辦法上路的人,還真是一種煎熬, 我可以從鄰單沙彌的「捱」中感受出來。大約十五六歲的他,不知是不是熬久了,有些坐不住的感覺:不是貓著腰在那邊耗時間,就是找個機會在巡香師不在的時候悄悄的與他人耳語。後來我問其他的常住法師,沙彌的禪七時間表是不是與比丘的不一樣。他們說一樣的。我感歎:是不是應該給沙彌們量身定做另一個禪七時間表啊?

一方面我回廈門的歸心似箭,另一方面陪我來的居士們也無心眷留——所以,一月八日下午,依依不捨中,我們辭別雲門,驅車南下, 結束了一天的參學之旅。

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III           典型在夙昔

平時對佛源老和尚知之甚少,到了大覺寺才慢慢的閱讀了有關他的一些生平傳記與言教。知他道出湘楚耕讀世家,圓寂於2009年正月二十九。屈指一算,歷時三年矣。

我對大覺寺的好感,大概是因為佛源老和尚的緣故,在這超過半個世紀的時間裏, 他賦予這座古廟新的靈魂與活力。茲舉所讀所聞有關其生平一二,聊表追緬之懷:

一)疾風知勁燭,烈火見真金

從虛老年譜中,1951雲門事變突發,我們可以體會當時時勢的險惡, 許多佛子惶惶然,有些人嚇破了膽,還俗的還俗,躲藏的躲藏。於是,人間茶飯僧家淡;在逆境中,佛源老和尚在1952年冒著生命危險,啣命往北京請周恩來、李濟深從中斡旋,從而解除雲門的一場法難。這一段故事一直深深的印在我的腦海中。

在那時的一波波的政治運動中, 虛雲老和尚是首當其衝的;有人昧著良心羅織虛老的罪名,但佛源老和尚是屬於死頑固的一個,就是斷頭,也不肯做那些傷天害理的事。這些事情想起來令人心酸。

二)十方翹首宗風振,第一功勞在樹人

上個世級八十年代,佛教界面臨百廢待興的時候,佛老事必躬親,農禪並舉,使得祖庭漸漸重光,四方歸仰;1986年,雲門重光,趙樸初老人贈如上贊言以旌其德。後老人又辦僧伽訓練班, 後來進而擴建為「雲門佛學院」。他選賢與能,為培養僧才嘔心瀝血, 使佛學院步上正軌。茲錄上佛源老和尚培養僧才中有關「三不三要」的開示(選錄) :

 一、    三不

(1)、不住城市∶

「在大城市許多時候都是人山人海,面多太多的財色名食等太多的誘惑,與人情應酬的干擾。對修行是不利的。修行中大部分的人在戒定慧上還是不牢靠的。大凡歷史上有成就而的高僧大德多數是在深山內的寺院修行悟道的。

(2)、不住小廟∶

老和尚有一次在禪七解七前開示說,「解七後,大家不要東跑西跑,這個回小廟,那個回俗家。人事如麻,要遠離俗家。小廟小廟,就是小還俗;小還俗,與在家人是一樣的。小廟是沒辦法的。接了七,每天還是要坐六炷香;剛用功用上了路, 不能把它丟了。心散了,放鬆了。好像燒開水一樣,燒不到水開你就不燒了,水始終不會開。 接了七,還是要好好用功。」……「住叢林有規矩,過去祖師為我們考慮得很仔細,安排得很清楚。一早起來上殿,誦楞嚴咒,十小咒,這是密宗;接著念佛,這是淨土宗。不殺盜淫妄酒是持戒,是律宗。參話頭是明心見性,是禪宗。這些都是圓圓滿滿的,處處如法。都是收攝這個心,從早到晚依照叢林規矩,這個心就不散亂了。」

(3)、不住經懺門庭

為了賺錢而不惜濫做經懺的寺廟,佛門稱之為經懺門庭。老和尚在一次禪七開示中說:
  「解放前在杭州,做一次經懺就發財囉。當時做經懺,齋主不給飯吃,不給茶喝,自己要把做經懺用的供桌、佛像挑到施主那裡,然後掛起。一掛就唸起 來,一部《梁皇懺》,一念就唸完、拜完。然後拜第二個齋主,一天拜兩堂《梁皇懺》。拜《梁皇懺》呢,就是拿個簽子翻就是了,有幾個人進去在那裡翻,幾翻幾 翻就翻完了。拜呢?拜就拜那些認得的佛,作個揖躬躬腰就了了。一天晚上還要放二三臺焰口。你看那有什麼用呢!」

 二)、三要

(1)、要將身心傾注在祖師道場

因為祖師道場多為名山叢林,「為宏道利生之法窟,為明心見性之佛場,如衣有領,如 網有綱。身心安樂,飲食調和,有道者慰以深嘉,無道者警以前進。如滿林之竹,比比爭高;如大園之松,雄雄上進,不負四恩,有光三有。誠為僧人之僧寶地 也。」 「如是非住叢林,不能培其佛因,非住叢林不能成其佛果;否則因地不真,果遭紆曲,要知道叢林為三寶主體,亦為辦道基礎。叢林衰,正法無從久住;叢林興,三 寶為世福田」。

(2)、要把禪風發揚光大

「要好好用功,不要偷懶!一心一意把書讀好,規矩法則學好。將來弘法利生,個個都去辦道 場,個個都去辦禪堂。禪堂,是中國的最上乘法」。

(3)、要把明心見性作為終身奮鬥的目標

有人就問,為何古人見性多而今人見性少及參禪要訣請益,老和尚開示說:「參禪無秘訣,只要生死切。古人與今人的根本區別不是悟性的高低,而是生死 心真切不真切。古人大多生死心切,把明心見性成佛作祖視為人生至高無上的大事,故能死盡名聞利養等世間心,一切放下,全力辦道。你看(虛雲)老和尚,出家 後立志剛猛,住禪堂、住茅棚,拜山、行腳參訪善知識,花了幾十年功夫,才能在高旻寺禪七中功夫用到得力處,萬念頓息,功夫落堂,一念不亂,護七的送茶水濺 到手上,茶杯掉落地『啪』,見性了。這是機緣,護念功夫到位,任何一個觸景都能開悟。關鍵是明心見性的心要切,用功就能得力。現在的人大多世間心不死,或學學唱念有點供養過日子了事,或學學經教講講經,甚至整天忙於應酬,熱熱鬧鬧,這樣子用功怎麼行?有這種思想功夫就用不上。出家人一定要明心見性,不說大徹大悟,最起碼小悟也要開一些,出為人師才具宗師手眼,才能避免依文解義,胡拈妄舉。所以出家人一定要發生死心,奮發大人志氣,真參實證,以明心見性成佛 作祖為終身奮鬥目標」。


 Starting from the Three Phrases of Yunmen 

I.    Preface
Yunmen said, “I have three phrases to reveal to you:  ‘to contain Heaven and Earth,’ ‘to sever the many streams,’ and  ‘to drift with the waves.’ If you can discern and understand these three, then you are ready to study. If not, then you are still traveling arduously along the road from Changan.”#—from The Five Lamp Compendium

The Tradition of Yunmen: “Waiting to inquire, I neglected to eat; seeking understanding, I settled in the snow; stranded in the wind, I lost the time. For seventeen years, my footsteps traced a thousand miles, north and south across the rivers.” — Master Wen Yan, A Bequeathed Report to the King Liu Sheng of Southern Han.

The worthy patriarchs of the Yunmen School carried on the spirit of Master Wen Yan, laying a solid foundation for the Yunmen School, which flourished in China for over two hundred years. It is no wonder that there was a saying at the time: “Yunmen is the emporer; Linji is the general; Caodong is the scholar.”

*********************************************

II.   A One-Day Chan Session in Yunmen

The name Yunmen, or “Gate of the Clouds,” was not at all unfamiliar to me. I had only a vague memory of the place — Located in Guangdong Province, it used to be the headquarters of the Yunmen Lineage, whose founder, Dhyana Master Wen Yan (864-949) had spread his teachings widely. I remembered that it was the place where the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua had bid his last farewell to the Elder Master Hsu Yun, where, in 1951 and 1952, Venerable Master Hsu Yun and other monks had undergone great ordeals of suffering, ordeals which history would later remember as the “Yunmen Incidence.”

In January 2012, after having completed three weeks of Chan Session in Cixing Monastery on Linghui Mountain of Hong Kong, I made my way northwards to Xiamen to see my parents. I had no plan or intention to go to Yunmen; I don’t know if it was the will of Heaven, or a mere coincidence, that my path was diverted from Shenzhen to Guangzhou, from Guangzhou to Qujiang of Shaoguan, and then to Yunmen. In Qujiang and Yunmen I had an opportunity that I had been longing for, to visit and pay reverence to two of the important Chan Monasteries in China, both of which have a history of over a thousand years:  the Sixth Patriach’s Nanhua, or “Southern Flower” Monastery, and the Dajue, or “Great Awakening” Monastery of Yunmen.

This opportunity was possibly due to my readings of Dhyana Patriarch Wen Yan’s stories and teachings. During the Chan Session in Cixing Monastery, I read books by Venerable Master Hsu Yun and Venerable Master Sheng Yi. At the evening discussion with the participants, I quoted from the stories that I read about Master Wen Yan and his biography. I did not forsee that I would embark upon a journey to Yunmen several days later. Long before this, after reading Venerable Master Hsu Yun’s Chan instructions and biography, the word “Yunmen” had left a deep impression upon my memory. Nevertheless, I did not notice that the famous Chan instructions given in Shanghai by Venerable Master Hsu Yun had been compiled by Master Fo Yuan, whose name means “Source of the Buddha.” I also had not noticed the fact that in the past half a century, Yunmen had been closely associated with the name of this eminent monk, the late Venerable Master Fo Yuan.

I arrived in Shenzhen on the 5th of January, and Guangzhou on the 6th. By the next day I was on the highway, traveling north to Yunmen. I encountered many tollgates on this highway; Every so often, I would find myself coming to a new tollgate. The charges were high, not two or three yuan (China’s currency), but hundreds (at one time 105 yuan). It was quite shocking for me to see charges so high.

When we passed by Nanhua Monastery, we had lunch at the Vegetarian Restaurant. Because our destination was Yunmen, we had not informed the guest department at Nanhua Monastery that we were coming. During our short stay at Nanhua Monastery, we never saw the resident monks there.

After lunch, we went to pay our respects to and worship the remains of the Sixth Patriarch Master Huineng, Master Hanshan (of the Ming Dynasty), and Master Dantian. We also paid a visit to the Sash Rinsing Fountain, and the layman Chen Yaxian, who was the previous owner of the property at Nanhua Monastery.

Afterwards we left for Yunmen, arriving at Dajue Monastery at about three or four o’clock. Dajue Monastery rests on Guanyin Mountain, where the ancient trees still reach upwards to the sky. Long and slender bamboo also towered above us. Across from Dajue Monastery was the Yunmen Buddhist Academy. As we made our way up the mountain paths, bamboo rose up on both sides, as if to welcome and greet these guests.

High up and to the left, we could see the remedial construction project to repair the sharira tower of Master Fo Yuan.

After paying reverence to the Sharira tower, we went to report to the Guest Department of Yunmen. It was 5:30 PM, and an audience with the abbot, Dharma Master Ming Xiang, had already been arranged for us. He had returned in haste to the monastery after having attended some end-of-the-year meetings in various places. The abbot and other key-positioned monks were busy preparing for the twentieth anniversary of the founding of Yunmen Buddhist Academy.

On our way to meet with the abbot Ming Xiang, I saw that a group of more than twenty young novices, ranging in age from about 10 to 16, were walking single file to the Dining Hall to have their meal. This dinner is called a “medicine meal” in monastic terminology. The wholesome demeanor and the orderly serenity of the group, together with their simple attire and energetic manner, were quite scenic, and became a highlight of my visit. If properly educated, I believe they will definitely become pillars for a future Buddhism. Seeing them, I have a sense of hope for Buddhism in the future.

These young novices were also attending the Chan Session. Some were sitting near me, or right next to me. It was Saturday, the last day of the fifth week of the Chan Session, so the abbot came to give a special instruction on Chan practice. A few other important monks, those who held key positions in the monastery, also took turns giving instructions that night.

The Chan Hall at Dajue Monastery was a large and versatile multi-purpose hall. When Chan sessions were not taking place, it could be used as an auditorium, and during the Chan Session, it could be quickly converted to a Chan hall.

Among the participants present were quite a few college students. When the whole assembly was participating in the Chan session together, the energy and feeling was very inspiring. It moved me to consider coming to some of their Chan sessions in the future. I had rarely seen such large Chan monasteries in China, with so many sincerely practicing monks. Much of this success can be attributed to Elder Fo Yuan, who put in many decades of effort. At one time in the past, there were only three monks at Yunmen. They chose to stay on despite the very harsh political climate. The temple facilities and buildings had been destroyed. Elder Fo Yuan overcame these difficulties and inspired the monks and lay people to rebuild the monastery gradually. Before passing away, he asked the monks to carry him to the Chan Hall, where he took the traditional leave of absence from the Sangha, and gave his last blessings to the Chan students.  

After the sit, the abbot announced that people could go back to the dorms and rest early. Perhaps this was because it was the fifth week of Chan and people were worn out. Sitting Chan can be like a kind of protracted warfare. What is a dauntingly long session for beginners is no problem for seasoned cultivators. I could sense from the novices sitting near me how they felt about the Chan Session.

A novice about the age of 15 or 16 was barely making it. He was crouched over, his posture bent, waiting for each second to pass quickly. He would try to whisper to his fellow novices whenever the monitors were not present. Afterwards I asked another bhikshu if they had created a different schedule for the young novices. He said the schedule was the same for everybody. I sighed, reflecting to myself that it would be wiser to tailor a schedule that met the novice’s experience and needs.  

I could not wait to go back to Xiamen to see my parents, and the lay people who accompanied me were eager to go back to Guangzhou. So on the 8th of January, we drove south, with a feeling of sadness at parting from Yunmen. This put an end to our day of study at Yunmen.

不缺香 ‧ 不放腿

張果星 講於2012年1月23日星期一晚 萬佛城大殿  A talk given by Guo Xing Zhang on Jan 23 (Monday), 2012 at Buddha Hall of CTTB

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諸佛菩薩、宣公上人、諸位法師、各位大德:阿彌陀佛!末學張果星今天練習結法緣。如有說錯之處,祈望法師及大德們慈悲,不吝指正。

今天是2012年,農曆的正月一日,農曆新年。末學在此向大家拜年,祝大家新的一年道業增長,吉祥如意。上人往昔新年的時候,對弟子曾開示,告訴大家新的一年不要發脾氣,不要貪心,不要買股票、彩券,不要到處去旅遊,這樣就能平安吉祥。末學今天談禪七的心得,很快地,三週禪七已經結束。當末學決定來聖城住的時候,就知道禪七很難捱;並且設定了一個目標,就是在禪七期間,不缺香,及雙盤不放腿。

為達成此目標,末學到聖城前半年,就開始每天練習雙盤兩個小時。並且在走路的時候,坐的時候,都調整自己的身體,保持正直。二○一一年八月二十二號,抵達聖城參加各項聖城的功課。晚間聽法的時候,也是保持一個半小時雙盤不放腿。但是在這個聽法的時候,覺得腿是很難捱的。到了基礎禪三,每支香一小時不放腿,覺得疼痛強度又增加了,但是勉強可以撐過。

在這個期間,有法師指正末學這個背部還是沒有挺直,頭還是太仰,就是仰得太高。方丈和尚在晚間聽法時間,開示打坐時雙盤,背部要挺直,就是腰部脊椎要挺直,頸部要貼到衣領上,呼吸要自然、綿長,吸到腹部。末學於禪三後就以這個方法在行坐上去挑戰這個姿勢,讓身體保持正直的習慣。於兩週彌陀七靜坐的時候,都能夠保持正直,覺得彌陀七打完了,打坐有進步。

三週禪七開始,就覺得腳的疼痛及身體所承受的壓力,比禪三及彌陀七大很多。開始幾天尚能勉強忍受,但是到了晚上最後兩支香,覺得體力、意志力、耐力都疲乏了,疼痛加劇,都靠著忍耐堅持,撐到最後。

到了第五天,打坐坐香時,氣都聚集到小腿,非常疼痛、脹痛。後來想到實法師開示說,打坐的時候右膝尚未著地,還談不上開始坐禪,當下就把右膝往下壓。果然氣就通過去了,但是還是勉強壓腿,所以非常疲勞。身體的姿勢也改變,不能正直。下支香就想把坐墊墊高,但是坐起來又不適應。所以後來幾天,為了調整坐姿,在那裡很煩惱。心想,禪七才開始一週,身體承受的壓力很大,現在才來調整這個坐姿,實在太遲了。

在雙腳相疊處都磨起水泡,破皮了,但是還是堅持目標不放腿。後來把右腿往下拉一些,才勉強解決問題。有一個同修告訴末學說,上人曾開示,再怎麼樣痛,也要保持正直姿勢。末學就依照保持身體正直,結果血氣就通暢些,腳就較不痛。但是身體還是很疲勞。

晚間,方丈和尚又開示,保持背部正直的方法就是吸氣的時候觀想,由背及外向內吸氣;呼氣的時候就保持放鬆,這樣子身體就不會太僵硬,也不會不自然。末學就依此方式,果然身體就較不疲倦,但是身體承受的氣,及腳上的疼痛更強烈。有時候血氣就一直在體內旋轉及在腿上,非常疼痛。

末學就觀察,發現自己背部、頸部沒有打直,頭太仰了,以至於血氣達不到頭上。當下就調整,放鬆,讓它調直了以後就可以到頭上,但是又下不去。就是我的舌頭雖然頂在上顎,但是沒有捲起來頂上顎;後來改正了,結果氣就通過了,從喉嚨到丹田。我發現,舌頭沒捲起來時,舌根會堵住氣管;把舌頭捲起來頂在上顎時,因為舌根會往前拉,就不會堵住氣管,但是血氣還是在身體一直旋轉,壓力一直增大。有時候脹得這個右腳都要掉下來,趕緊用手把它拉回來,非常刺痛。

後來發現,兩手相疊,放在兩腳相疊的地方,會造成血液通路不暢。那把兩手位置調整後,氣血的壓力就緩和了,血氣就順著兩手向著兩邊的腋下這邊上來;如果腋下肌肉拉緊的時候,氣血又不會過去,造成腳的疼痛。回想起來,這個真是摸石頭過河,遇到困難,一關一關去摸索。

如果沒有這些善知識來給我的開示,那這禪七的修行就很難克服。第二週身體壓力就更大了,就回想上人在禪七的開示。禪七第一週是修行;第二週開始要懺悔業障。末學想,要消業障念地藏王菩薩最好。所以在每支香開始的時候,就念幾句地藏王菩薩的聖號,並且調整呼吸,緩和情緒,果然這支香就好受些。後來每支香就用這個方法來做。

第三週禪七,血氣的壓力更大,疼痛更甚於前兩週,幾乎每支香都要放棄,放腿。全靠忍耐及意志力,放鬆全身肌肉來支撐,終於度過了三週禪七——不缺香,不放腿。

回想此次禪七的品質,先是沒有法子清淨下來參「念佛是誰」。腿痛的時候,只能這樣有一句沒一句地念。但是覺得自己忍耐力都有增強,身體能更正直了。本次禪七,末學認為晚間聽法及開示,對大眾非常有幫助。大眾聽上人歷來對禪七開示之書《虛空打破明心地》,四眾都參與討論,提出相關的問題來研究。蒙方丈和尚及法師們慈悲解釋,大家都覺得獲益良多,對身心幫助很大。

本書由上虛下雲老和尚開示作為代序。虛老開示參禪目的在明心見性,就是要去掉自心的染污,直見自性的面目。染污就是妄想執著;自性就是如來智慧德相,參禪先決的條件,就是要除妄想。妄想如何除法,佛說得很多,最簡單的莫如歇即菩提,一個「歇」字。達摩祖師和六祖大師開示學人,最要緊的話,莫若屏息諸緣,一念不生,就是萬緣放下,一念不生。這兩句話實在是參禪先決的條件。

因為時間已經到了,末學結法緣到此為止。阿彌陀佛。

從一個奇妙的咳嗽看修行

沙彌尼近廉 講於2012年2月28日星期二晚  萬佛城大殿  A talk give by Shramanerika Jin Lian on Feb 28 (Tuesday), 2012 at Buddha Hall of CTTB

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諸佛菩薩,宣公上人,諸位法師,諸位善知識:阿彌陀佛。今晚輪到沙彌尼親節近廉和大衆結法緣。如果個人有什麽講的不如法的地方,希望大家慈悲指正。

Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, VM, DMs and all good knowing advisors: Amitabha. Tonight is novice nun QinJie JinLian’ s turn to tie Dharma affinity with the assembly. If I say anything not according with the Dharma, please kindly correct me.

前幾個星期,有位講法者提到,她發現禪七期間灰塵比平時多。 想想也是,每天十多次的跑香,每一次都可以把地毯上最微小的灰塵都振出來,雖然有幾十台全自動人工空氣吸塵機馬上在禪堂裏吸灰,但是應該還是會有很多灰塵漏網,所以那位説法者在打掃的時候發現有那麽多的灰塵也並不奇怪。

Several weeks ago, a Dharma speaker mentioned that she found that during the Chan Session there had been much more dust in the Buddha Hall comparing with regular time. Actually that is not a strange thing, during the Chan Session, every day we had walking period for more than ten times, and in every running time our heavy steps could quake even the tiniest dust in the carpet into the air. Though after the running, dozens of automatic manual air-purifiers immediately sat in the Chan Hall to clean the air, it was no wonder lots of dust still could not be removed, so feeling much filthier in the Chan Session is not something unbelievable.

坐在滿是灰塵的禪堂裏,咳嗽當然是不奇怪的。再加上現代人的生活本來就匆忙,虛火、肝火都很旺,一旦坐下來打禪七,可以想像那些火直沖喉嚨,咳嗽那就更是很正常了。所以一般叢林裏的冬季禪期,在起七前都會有一段調養身體的時間。不過現代人什麽都要快的,哪有什麽時間調理身體呢? 能來禪堂就不錯了。所以在禪堂裏咳嗽那就更是很平常了。不過,今晚,個人想要講的是另外一種很有趣的咳嗽,是個人親身經歷的,很妙的咳嗽。

Sitting in such a Chan Hall filled with dust, you could imagine cough is common. Plus, now modern people’s lives are very busy, usually their temper and liver-fire are very strong. Once they sit down to meditate, all those fire rush to their throats, so coughing is not a surprise. That is the reason in ancient time lay people were required to live in monastery for a while to adjust their bodies before they started to attend the Chan Session especially for winter Chan Session. However, nowadays, who has such time to do that, coming to the Chan Hall to sit is already a wonder. So hearing the sound of coughing in the Chan Hall is usual. But tonight, I want to talk about another kind of coughing, a very interesting cough that I experienced during this Chan Session. I would like to share it with everyone here.

那個時候,已經坐了一段時間了,身體開始慢慢熱起來了,暖暖的很舒服,突然,喉嚨奇癢難忍。要咳嗽了。 不行,我對自己說,好不容易禪堂才安靜下來,大家終於可以專心用功,我怎麽可以在這個時候咳嗽呢。不可以咳嗽。我對自己說:「乖,放鬆,不可以咳嗽。」可是不行,喉嚨很癢,實在是忍不住了。 要咳嗽。不行,不許咳嗽!我命令自己。可是那個癢更厲害了,就在我要咳出來的時候,我在心裏對自己大吼一聲:「不准咳嗽!」就在那一瞬間,我看到了一個粘在我喉嚨上瑩白色的像蟲子一樣的水泡爆裂了,我甚至可以清楚地看到它爆裂「波」的聲音。就在它爆裂的時候,那影像也不見了,喉嚨也一下子不癢了。百骸調適,身心輕安。

At that time, already sitting for a while, gradually my body warmed up, very comfortable, but suddenly I felt my throat extremely itch. I wanted to cough. “NO Way” I told myself, finally, we got some peace after so many sounds of cough, now we could put effort in our meditation, how could I now make noise to cough? I told myself:”Behave, behave yourself, relax, no coughing.” But the itch became more and more serious. I could not hold it. NO Way, I ordered myself No Coughing.  But the itch got even worse. I could not stand any longer. Just before I lost my control I roared to myself, No Cough, suddenly I saw something on my throat, silver-transparent beetle-like bubble, burst. I even could see the sound of its break. As soon as it burst out, that vision also disappeared, the itch stopped, my entire body was at ease, and my mind was peaceful.

個人在那個瞬間真有點反應不過來。這是怎麽囘事?雖然也知道一切浮塵,諸幻化相,當處出生,隨處滅盡的道理,但是那個影像來得那樣的突然,消失得又那麽迅速,到底是真的還是假的? 假的, 為什麽那個水泡爆裂之後,喉嚨不癢了?真的, 真有東西在我的喉嚨上故意讓我咳嗽?那個東西是什麽時候進入我的身體的? 我保證那個時候我沒有睡着。我很清醒,那為什麽 我沒有發現它的進入呢?我到底坐在那裏幹什麽? 想不起來,我在事情發生之前究竟在幹什麽?沒有在念佛,沒有在念咒,沒有在背經,也沒有在發夢,什麽都沒有,那個時候在幹什麽,真的想不起來,腦子一片空白,這才發現,自己的念力是那樣的薄弱,竟然有那麽大一段的時候完全沒有防護,讓自己的業障有了可趁之機。

At that moment, I was so shocked that I did not know what was going on there. Though I knew everything is illusion: they come into being when both their causes and their conditions are present, and they cease to be when either their causes or their conditions are absent; however, the vision appeared in a sudden then disappeared in a second, then how could I tell it was true or false?   Is it False?  Then why after the burst my throat had no itch anymore?  True? Was there really something on my throat intentionally made me to cough?  Then when did it enter my body? I guarantee I was not sleeping at that moment. My mind was quite clear, and then how come I did not notice its entry?  What was I really doing sitting there? I could not remember. Not reciting Buddha’s name, not memorizing any sutra, not be mindful of any mantra, even not day dreaming, then what I was doing before the incident happened? I could not remember; my brain was blank. Finally, I realized that how weak of my mindfulness. My mind was wide open without any protection for such a long time, so my karmic obstruction took the advantage.

奇怪的喉嚨癢讓我提高了警覺,在那以後,真不敢有絲毫的懈怠,真像是貓捉老鼠一樣,一有念起,一有變化就問「是誰?」雖然那樣的奇怪的喉嚨癢又發生過多次,不過都順利化解。但是始終不明白那到底是什麽, 終於在一天的晚上,謎底揭曉了。

That strange itch make me bring forth my alert all the time after that. I dared not be slack any more, like a cat waiting for its mouse; I was checking my mind all the time. Once I found some false thought or something uncommon happened I ask” Who”. Though those strange itches happened several times later, I successfully conquered them all. But I still could not understand what that was. Eventually, I got the answer at the lecture time in one evening.

今年的禪期,我們是聼上人1976年的禪期開示。雖然錄音帶本身的年紀比個人都大了,但是,就在這古老的錄音帶裏,上人回答了我的問題。上人提到,所謂魔事,就像是一個餵貓的碗。你把那只碗放出去了,那貓自然就來了,想想也是,如果我的念力不是那樣鬆散的話,業障也沒法來,要不是在那一刻不要咳嗽的念力超過了那個讓我咳嗽的我的業力,也許我也就咳得稀里嘩啦,甚至以爲是自己感冒了,完全跟著自己的業障轉了。一切就都在那一念間,是邪勝正,還是正勝邪,勝負就在彈指間。

During this Chan Session, at the evening lecture time, we listened to the VM’s Chan Talk in 1976. Though those tapes are quite old, even older than my age, in the tape, VM gave me the answer. Master mentioned that what was Demonic Affair, it was just like a cat bowl. If you put out a cat bowl, then cats will come sooner or later. That is true, if my mindfulness was not that loose, then my karmic obstruction could do nothing to me; if that thought of not coughing was not that strong then the power of my karmic obstruction would have made me have a very bad cough, even made me to think that maybe I got cold. Then I would totally be turned by it. Everything depends on that one thought: the evil conquers the good or the good subdues the evil, victory or lose is just between the time of a snap of fingers.

今年的禪七,很有趣,真的學到很多。有些境界過關了,有些境界克服了,但是越是往上走,越是艱難。更多的境界,個人沒有辦法克服,更多的情況個人難以超越,個人選擇了逃避。自以爲很聰明,打不過可以跑嘛!但是,在這六道輪迴中,又可以逃到哪裏去呢?逃到哪裏又是安全的呢?

This Chan Session is very interesting, I learned a lot from it. Some states I passed, some I endured, however it becomes more and more difficult for me to progress further.  Lots of the states I could not pass, more and more states I could not transcend. I chose to escape. I thought I were clever, if I could not conquer it, why not just leave it and run away. But, in these six destinies, where could I run to, where is the safe place for me to stay?

禪期以後,一直在問自己,那個時候,為什麽要逃呢?每年的修行不就是爲了這年終的大考嗎?為什麽這次臨陣脫逃了呢?回答是,敵強我弱,猶如一人與萬人戰,真好怕自己會格鬥而死,所以就怯弱了,半路而退了。不過,那個時候雖然是逃掉了,但是我問自己,如果臨命終時,你還能逃得了嗎?

After the Chan Session, I ask myself all the time, why, why at that time you wanted to run away? The Winter Chan Session is always your most favorite session, you have been waiting for it for whole year, why this time you wanted to quit.  The answer is the enemies are too strong and I am too weak, like a soldier who goes into battle alone against ten thousand enemies. I was really afraid that I would be killed, so I was coward and retreated. Then I ask myself, OK, you ran away at that time, then could you run away again when you are on your death bed?

世尊曾經對阿難尊者說過,世人因諸愛染,發起妄情,情積不休,能生愛水,諸愛雖別,流結是同,潤濕不升,自然從墜。世人因諸渴仰, 發明虛想,想積不休,能生勝氣,諸想雖別,輕擧是同,飛動不沉,自然超越。臨命終時,未捨暖觸,一生善惡,俱時頓現,純想即飛;情少想多,輕擧非遠;情想均等,不飛不墜;情多想少,流入橫生;純情即沉,入阿鼻獄。

The World-Honored one once told the Ven. Ananda:” People, when they are influenced by emotional desire, and their feelings accumulate steadily, they generate fluids associated with emotion. Emotions differ, but all are alike in that they are associated with secretions, which may be exuded or may remain within the body. Moisture does not rise; its nature is to flow downward. People, when yearn for something higher, beings have uplifting thoughts, and when these thoughts accumulate steadily, they can generate a superior energy.  These aspirations differ, but all are alike in that they lead beings to soar upward by conferring either lightness or upward motion. It is their nature not to sink but to take flight and to transcend. At the moment of death, while some warmth remains in their bodies, all the good and all the evil that they have done during their lifetimes suddenly appear before them. If pure mental activity alone is present in their minds, they will soar upward and will be certain to be born in the heavens.  If pure mental activity is dominant in their minds but some emotion is also present, they will still soar upward, but not as far. If their pure mental activity and their emotions are equal in strength, beings will neither soar nor fall. If Beings have more emotion than pure mental activity, they will be reborn in the realm of animals. When they are ruled entirely by emotion, they sink into the Unrelenting hell.

為什麽逃,就是怕了,就是被自己的情控制了,被自己的想份所轉了。問自己,自己持戒的程度能不能讓自己擧身輕清?問自己,自己持咒的功夫能不能讓自己達到顧盼雄毅的境界?問自己,自己念佛的程度,能不能 達到聖境冥現的層次?自己修行的勝氣那麽弱,完全不能超越自己的業力,那從墜是很平常的了。

The reason why I ran away is I was frightened, totally controlled by my emotions, totally turned by my internal autonomic process. Asking my- self have I reached the level of following the precepts that could make I feel my body is serene?  Asking my-self has my skill of holding mantras attained the state that could develop a heroic and fearless air? Asking my-self has my recitation of Buddha’s name could make sacred visions appear to me privately?  The superior energy I generate from my cultivation is too weak to transcend my karmic obstruction, and then to sink is for certain.

回想出家的這一千多個日日夜夜,問自己有多少時間是放在道業上的呢?看看自己的功課量就知道了。從一開始的每天21遍,變成19遍,慢慢變成17 遍,15遍,11遍,7遍,3遍。最後就變成每天一遍——早課隨眾。每次的改變理由都是:我太累了,我太忙了,我身體太虛弱了,沒有氣了,我需要休息。放下了修行的我整天就在和藥罐子、藥瓶子打交道。愚蠢的自己以爲可以和自己的業障作交易。但是我的健康恢復了沒有?在和魔王的交易中,我似乎得到了虛幻的健康,但卻失去了咒力的護佑,失去了自己的定力,失去了作爲一個戰士的鬥志,更失去了作爲一個修行人的道心。

Recalling these more than one thousand days of my monastic life, I ask my-self how many of them I spent on my cultivation. Looking at my personal dharma work, from the very beginning of one set of 21 times a day to 19 times, 17 times, 15, 11, 7, 3 and eventually, it became one time in the morning recitation with the assembly. Every change my excuse was always: I am too tire, I am too busy, I am sick, I am too weak, I have no more energy, I need more rest. Put down my practices, I mingled with all kinds of medicines and diagnosis. How silly it was of me wanting to negotiate with my karmic obstructions. Have I regained my health? In the deal between the Demons, it seems that I obtained the illusory health, however, I lost the protection and blessing from the power of the mantra, lost my samadi power, lost my aspiration as a solder, and lost the most important thing, as a cultivator, the faith on the Dharma.

閲讀經典,研習經典,看了那麽 多的魔境,就好像一直在聼世尊講狼來了的故事,「狼來了,狼來了!」可是一直認爲那不是狼的事嗎?但是,如果哪一天狼真的來了。我輕聲地問自己:「你準備好了嗎?」

Reading the sutra, studying the sutra, like the World-Honored one has been telling me the wolf-coming stories all the time, but that is the wolf’s business, right?  However, if, if one day wolves truly came, I ask my-self in whisper:” what are you going to do?”