分享萬佛寶懺之經驗 Experiences of the Ten Thousand Buddha Repentance Sessions

葉親法 講於2011年6月6日星期一晚 萬佛城大殿  A talk given by Dr. Raymond Yeh on June 6 (Monday), 2011 at Buddha Hall of CTTB

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宣公上人、各位法師們、各位善知識:我是親法。今天晚上輪到我練習講法。我願意分享一點在這個萬佛寶懺我得到的經驗。

VM, DMs, and all the wise Advisors:This is Chin Fa. This evening is my term to practice Dharma talk and I would like to share some of my experiences during the 10k Buddha Repentance session.

我先想謝謝做維那的法師們,因為他們在三個禮拜這麼長的一個時間帶領我們大眾,讓大家都得到極大的好處。我從來沒有很正式的全程的參加過這個萬佛寶懺。所以今年年初的時候,我就把這三個禮拜全部劃下來,準備全部參加。可是不幸的是,在法會以前五個禮拜,我需要去開刀。這是我一生第一次在醫院住了五天。根據我的中醫跟西醫告訴我,在六個月之內開兩次刀,對我身體有很大的損失。譬如說,我開刀以後不能出汗,我全身的皮膚都變得非常非常的乾。然後突然間發現我有六個蛀牙,可能是因為在開刀時打的藥的後遺症。當然,我在這整個過程中精力全部掉下來。可是最壞的是,開完刀以後兩個禮拜,我試著去打坐,完全不覺得有任何感覺,沒有氣的感覺,火爐也沒有點燃。

Allow me first to thank all the Dharma Masters who led the recitation for such a long period of time which benefited all the participants tremendously. As I’ve never participated in the 10k Buddha Repentance session in any serious manner before, this year I made sure to allocate time to participate fully as part of my New Year resolution. However, just five weeks before the session, I had my second surgery in 6 months. It was the first major surgery of my life which required me to stay in the hospital for 5 days. According to both my Chinese medicine and Western medicine doctors, my two surgeries within 6 months caused a lot of damage to my body.  For example, I was not able to perspire, my skin became extremely dry all over, suddenly I had 6 cavities in my teeth, most likely due to chemicals they put into my body that caused dry mouth, and of course my dramatically declined energy level.   But worst of all is that I tried to meditate two weeks after my surgery, and there was neither the feeling of chi movement nor any warmth from the Dan Tien.

所以當第一天我走進延生堂去拜的時候,我不知道我是否有辦法拜,能拜多長。因為我開的刀是在丹田上面開了一個五寸的刀口。然後我拜了兩柱香以後就要回家睡覺,覺得累得不得了。

As I walked into the Long Life Hall on the first day of the bowing session, I was not sure that I could do much bowing, as the surgery resulted in a 5 inch cut right in my abdomen. I felt extremely tired after just a couple of hours and had to go back to sleep although I was able to do the whole session in the afternoon.

開頭兩三天對我是非常非常難。因為我拜完以後幾乎完全不能做任何事情。除了體力不支以外,我也發覺,當一尊佛的名字稍微長一點,有時候也不是很長,當我拜下去的時候我已經忘記了。我跟我自己說:「噢,年紀大了,所以這個短的記憶力沒有了。」可是對我來講還是很煩惱的事情。

The first 2 to 3 days were very hard for me physically and I was not able to do anything else after bowing. Not only I was physically exhausted, I also found that usually if a Buddha’s name was a bit longer, I simply did not remember it when I began to bow down. While I attributed this to my loss of short term memory, it bothered me a lot nevertheless.

法若正好開頭幾天在我邊上,看到我的掙扎。所以他非常慈悲的,在每支香中間,來教我他怎麼拜。他是教我一個重心轉換的原理,從一個重心轉換到另外一個重心。所以拜下去的時候可以根本不費力氣。當然這個方法很好,可是對我來說,速度還是很快。所以有時候我會覺得頭昏。所以在第一個禮拜的最後三天,我把法若教我的方法做了一些改進,我就慢慢地拜。就是說,像打太極一樣不停地在拜,慢慢地下去,慢慢地上來,完全不停的。最後一天,我也加了一點,就是不停地念佛。就是我拜下去的時候也在念。所以就是不停地念,不停地拜。那麼,那一天過得很快,然後也不覺得累。

My friend Andrew was next to me for those first few days and sympathized with my struggle. He kindly taught me how he bows effortlessly in making the transition from one center of gravity to another during the bowing movement. While that helped some, the relative fast transition sometimes caused me to feel dizzy. So, during the last 3 days of the first week, I modified what Andrew taught me and bowed slowly so that my bowing became a continuous movement rather than discreet steps. I was able to feel much more at ease and less physically tired. On the last day, I also decided to add continuous recitation, i.e. to also recite while bowing down, along with my Tai Chi style bowing, and that made the whole day zip by without me feeling tired.

很不幸的是第二個禮拜我沒辦法參加。因為有一位攝影師來要做一個學校的短片。可是我能夠全程參加最後八天。

Unfortunately, I needed to help a film maker, during the second week, interview people about the school. But I was able to fully participate during the last 8 days of bowing.

所以從第三個禮拜開始,我就用我第一個禮拜最後一天學的,就是不停地拜,不停地念。每一天過了以後,我覺得我越來越不累。然後我的精力慢慢地回復了。當我禮拜六去聽恆揚師講法的時候,我完全不知道我是不是可以盤坐九十分鐘。可是,我坐了九十分鐘。大概做了十幾二十分鐘以後,我的氣居然突然間回來了。

From the very beginning of this second round, I bowed and recited Buddha’s names continuously based on the experience of the first week. As each day went by, I was less tired and began to regain my vitality. When I went to DM Heng Yang’s talk, I was not sure I could sit on the floor even in half lotus for 90 minutes anymore, especially after a whole day of bowing. Not only was I able to sit, but I also felt the chi movement back for the first time since my surgery.

在這整個拜懺的過程裏,我得到很大的好處。我希望把它分成兩點來說明我得到的好處。

Over all, I benefited tremendously from the bowing session. I summarize them into two specific categories of benefits:

第一點,它幫助我回復了我的能力。就是說,我變成非常地專注。我能夠記住每一尊佛的名字,即使有時候很長,像一整行的時候,我都能夠記住,我每天拜的時候,我的眼睛幾乎是閉上的。我需要念一尊新的佛名字的時候,我就把眼睛睜開,瞄一眼,我就能記住。這個是我沒有想像到的。

有一天我突然發現我可以出汗了。本來我開了刀以後,我完全不能出汗。我的皮膚,整個都是很乾很乾。這次萬佛寶懺以後,我的皮膚也不乾了。

我的精力,幾乎回復到我沒有開刀以前的時候。然後打坐時,我的氣也回來了。

我的中醫跟西醫都對我講,我這次開刀需要六個月的回復時間。可是我覺得我拜完懺以後,我已經回復全部,假如不是全部也大概是99%。

1. It helped to recover my functions, for example:

  • It helps me to be mindful and I was able to remember the Buddha’s name in my recitation while bowing down, even if the name was long. In fact, usually my eyes were closed. When I need to recite a new Buddha’s name, I simply open my eyes and glanced at the Sutra, then I closed my eyes and would remember it when I began to bow;
  • One day during last week of bowing, I happily discovered that I perspired. Now, my skin is no longer very dry anymore;
  • My vitality is back, and
  • My chi flow is mostly back;

Although my doctors told me it will be a 6-months recovery process for my 2nd surgery, I felt that I’ve pretty much recovered after the repentance session, only 2 months after surgery.

第二點,就是說我第一次體會到什麼是身心柔軟。當然,在我這個不停慢慢地拜,不停慢慢地念佛的時候,我的身體是越來越柔軟。而我的心在這個過程裏面,把我周圍所有的事情,幾乎全部都忘記了。所以,當時間一分一分的過去,我的心越來越輕鬆,我覺得就像一片白雲,漂浮在空中。在第二個八天裏面,都好像覺得完全不費力氣。而每一尊佛的名字,好像都帶來一種極端的快樂跟意義。很多時候,眼淚就不停地流出來。每天我們在往生堂念「願生西方淨土中」的時候,我都不停的流淚。

2.  It enabled me to understand what it means to be supple both with mind and body. As I bowed and recited continuously, my body became supple and my mind simply lost track of almost all other things that’s going on around me. As time went on, my mind was so relaxed like a piece of cloud floating freely in the air. Every bow seemed effortless and every Buddha’s name brought out joy or meaning. Many times tears just flowed out. In fact, every time when we recite the verse “I wish to be born in the western pure land” in the rebirth hall, I could not stop my tears.

心柔軟的這個經驗,使我想到懺悔偈裏面幾句話,「心起罪亦起,心滅罪何存。懺後心自在,閒雲點太清。」

This experience of supple mind, as a consequence of deep repentance, reminds me of these verses:

When the mind moves, karma arises. But where is the karma if the mind does not exist? The mind is at ease after repentance, Like a piece of lazy cloud floating in the blue sky.

當然,在這個懺悔的過程裏面,我的心能夠變成柔軟是因為在這個過程裏面,我們能融入諸佛的大願海裏面。那麼對我來講,譬如我常常想到,我過去做一些錯誤的事情。譬如說,我年輕的時候,跟我媽媽的對話,有時候我覺得,我傷了她的心。當那這些過去的記憶起來的時候,它會帶給我很大的煩惱。可是在這個寶懺的過程裏面,當我的心變成越來越柔軟的時候,我覺得我已經能夠不再被這些過去的記憶所約束。所以,經過這個萬佛寶懺以後,我覺得,我能夠回到過去這種不愉快的時空裏面,就像跟我媽媽對話一樣,我可以對她笑,我們可以互相一起笑,雖然她已經不在了。這使我想到,這整個過程能夠把我們從一個歷史層面,帶進終極的層面。在歷史層面,我們有時空的限制,有不同的限制。可是在終極層面,這些限制都沒有了。

Of course, the reason why the mind could be at ease after repentance is due to the fact we connect with the great vows of Buddhas in the process. For me, as I bowed, I felt the cleansing effect on my whole being as my mind became suppler. For example, I often thought of things that I did wrong in the past such as saying something to my Mom when I was young that hurt her feelings. These memories would cause me a great deal of unease as they arise. But as my mind became supple during the repentance session, I no longer attached to these deeds of the past.  After the repentance session, I now can go back to these unpleasant moments and smile at my Mom and we will smile together, even though she is no longer alive. This is very interesting as the process can bring us from a historical perspective, where we face obstructions of space, time, and other factors, into an ultimate perspective, or eternity, where there is no obstruction.

所以從這個經驗裏面,我發覺,當心柔軟的時候,可以改變過去。那當然,一個柔軟的心也可以影響將來,因為將來是現在造成的。有一個柔軟的心,似乎是,至少我自己覺得,可以碰到終極,可以碰到永恆。所以,我覺得在這個拜的過程裏面,當我們流入了諸佛的大願海之後,不但使我們的心柔軟,也同時讓我們恢復許多我們本有的功能。讓我們能夠看到一點點這個終極的層面。當然每個人可能看到是不同的角度,因此每個人恢復的功能不一樣。所以這個經驗讓我想到,我兩年以前,突然間有了靈感,寫了幾句話,關於這個永恆。所以我現在願意跟大家一起分享。

As the supple mind can change the past, it can also influence the future as the future is made of NOW. With a supple mind, we may touch the eternity. In other words, the process of bowing allows us to flow into the ocean of vows of Buddhas, which helps to make our mind supple and may enable some our original capabilities.  This provides us a glimpse of eternity, although every one of us may have a different glimpse of it due to different functions we recover during the process. This reminds me of a riddle that came to me two years ago. Here it is:

永恆之謎

很久以前,我曾與永恆相遇。

自從那一次的邂逅,

一個看不見、摸不著的影子,

時時陪伴在我身旁。

往後在每一個生命中,

我全力衝刺,

要摘夢裡的花!

久遠前那偶遇的記憶,已逐漸模糊。

當別的記憶也變得迷濛時,

影子的腳步越來越響亮。

有一日,我的記憶烟消雲散,

億萬年來心田的負載,突然卸下。

我的心輕鬆得像一片閒雲,

點綴著湛藍的太清。

突然間,影子大聲快速的步伐,

打破了這難有的閒情逸緻。

驀然回首時,

我們已成為一體。

從甜夢中驚醒,

永恆正笑容滿面的凝視著我。

驚訝的張大嘴想說“他就是我”時,

我已融入了永恆

Once upon a time, eons ago,

I came face to face with Eternity.

Ever since that chance meeting,

A shadow seemed to follow me around,

although no one was in sight whenever I turned.

Then I plunged into life in full force,

taking everything in as real—

even flowers in a dream!

Life rolled by with increasing speed, and

The memory of my chance meeting blurred.

As my other memories also began to fade,

The footsteps of my shadow became distinctly louder.

One day, I saw all my memories went up in smoke, and

My mind, emptied of the load it carried for eons,

Relaxed like a piece of cloud, floating freely in the blue sky.

I suddenly heard the quickened steps of my shadow loudly approaching,

Before I had a chance to turn around, he merged into me!

Shocked and fully awakened, I opened my eyes,

The Eternity stands right in front of me, smiling broadly.

But wait a minute, “He is me!”

as I merged into him.

從這個寶懺以後,我就把我從寶懺裏面發現的,慢慢地拜,慢慢地懺,融入我在家裏面的實習之一。就是我每天拜阿彌陀佛的時候就用這個方法來拜。我覺得聖城是一個非常非常特殊的地方,因為一年到頭,不停的法會,不停的各式樣的講法,讓所有人都有機會來碰到或者摸到永恆。

Given the benefits I received from the repentance session, I’ve incorporated the process I learned into my practice at home each day. CTTB is indeed a unique place because it provides many Dharma events like the repentance session so that people have a chance to touch the Eternity in one way or another.

還有三分鐘,那我想講一下,我剛剛談到,在萬佛寶懺的第二個禮拜要陪一位攝影師訪問不同的人。就是說校友啊,學生呐,老師們,家長。這些訪問的結果可以從另外一個角度來看聖城是多麼的特殊,多麼的可貴。假如我把它變成一句話的話,就是幾乎所有的人都是「言行一致」。我們的義務老師,跟許多家長,他們把他們的事業放下,來到聖城,來做義工。所以我特別為我們這些學生高興。尤其是這些年輕的小朋友,他們跟他們父母一起來。因為他們不僅是在這個清淨的環境裏面長大,同時他們在這很年輕的時候,就開始發展一顆柔軟的心。所以就像古大德說的,「心淨則土淨。」我相信這一些學生,他們將來出去以後,都能夠在他們周邊創造一個淨土。他們可以有勇氣設定他們成功的標準,而不是隨波逐流。阿彌陀佛。

I mentioned that during the second week of the session, I needed to take off to accompany a film maker interviewing students, alumni, teachers, and old disciples about what makes the school special.  These interviews bear witness to the uniqueness of CTTB from another angle. To summarize it in one word of their collective thought, the word would be “embodiment”. The volunteer teachers and parents who gave up their career to come to CTTB to volunteer  all embodied the spirit of compassion in making this world a better place for all. I feel so happy for all of our students and especially the young children who moved here with their parents. Not only are they so blessed to be in such a pure environment now, but also because they begin developing a supple mind at such a young age. As the sages say: “when the mind is supple, the land is pure”, the students will be able to create “pure lands” around them and define “success” on their own terms wherever they will be in the future.  Amitabha!

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