禪七心得

郭美伶講於2017年2月14日星期二晚 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!今天輪到美伶上來和大家結法緣;若我有講得不如法的地方,請慈悲指正我。

All Buddha, Bodhisattva, Venerable Master, all Dharma Masters, and all good wise advisors, Amitabha! It is Meilin’s turn to tie Dharma affinity with assembly. If I said something not according to Dharma, please kindly correct me.

這次在我回台灣後,我仍需要上網處理一些法大的工作。還好,我沒有收到email要我上網教中文,只是收到email 問我哪時候可以回來教課。所以即使我跑回台灣,法師也可以找到我,要我分享一些心得。讓我見識到現代科技的無遠弗屆。

This time, after my return back to Taiwan, I still need to online handle some works at DRBU. Fortunately, I did not receive email asking me to teach Chinese online, only received an email asked me when I can come back to teach. So, even I flew back to Taiwan, Dharma Master still could catch me and ask me to share some Dharma Reflections. It lets me see the power of modern technology can reach everywhere, no matter how far it is.

回台灣前,剛好打完禪七,因此,我決定分享一些禪七的心得。在我來聖城常住之前,我每年來參加各種法會,但就是不敢參加禪七。雖然我可以結雙盤看經書,但要我坐在那裡什麼事都不做,不要說三個禮拜,連一個禮拜,我都覺的不可能,我想這絕對不是我的法門!就像我剛學佛時,每次我看到經書標題,有「論」,「戒律」或「唯識」時,我一個頭就兩個大。我只能看經書有故事的。後來,比較精進學佛時,我覺的我需要有點長進,就請了一本「百法明門論」回家看。剛開始,讀世親菩薩和無著菩薩兩兄弟的故事,讀得津津有味 。然而,讀到心所有法五十一,我就睡著,我想也許我太累了。但隔幾天再拿起來讀,過沒多久還是睡著。我想我的程度還不夠,就放棄讀了。

Before I went back to Taiwan, we just finished 3 weeks Chan session,so I decided to share some Dharma reflections from Chan session. Before I lived at CTTB, I came every year to attend different Dharma session; the only session I dared not to try is Chan session. Though, I can sit in full lotus to read sutra, I think it is impossible for me to sit there and do nothing for one week, not to mention 3 weeks. I thought this is definitely not my Dharma door! Like when I was a beginner to study Buddhadharma, every time I saw the sutra with title of “Shastra”, “Precept” or “Consciousness-Only”, I felt my head is twice as big. I only can read sutra with stories. Later on, when I cultivate more vigorously, I feel I need to have some progress, so I take home the “Shastra on the Door to Understanding the Hundred Dharma” to study. At beginning, I enjoy reading the story about Heavenly Relative Bodhisattva and Asanga Bodhisattva; however, when I reached the part of The “Fifty-one Dharmas Belonging to the Mind”, I fell asleep. I thought maybe I am too tired. But, few days later, I picked up the book to read again, before long I fell asleep again. I thought probably it is not time yet and gave up.

但來聖城常住後,最先上的兩堂課,就是《百法明門論》和《戒律學》。《戒律學》是規定一定要上,而《百法明門論》,是我的時間只能上這堂課。《戒律學》課,老師講得很有條理,也不枯燥,內容豐富 ,我聽得津津有味。上了《戒律學》課,才知戒律的重要。從此,我經常鼓勵我認識的人去上《戒律學》。《百法明門論》這堂課,也是老師講得好,所以我沒有睡著。我哥哥知道我在學《百法明門論》,就拿了一本慈航法師寫的《相宗十講》要給我做參考。我一看標題,心想:這個大概沒故事,不怎麼有趣。但我還是收下,也居然打開來看,作為參考。

But, after I lived at CTTB, the first two classes I took were “Shastra on the Door to Understanding the Hundred Dharma” and Laity Precept class. Laity Precept class is requirement, and the reason I took “Shastra on the Door to Understanding the Hundred Dharma” was its time met my schedule. Our teacher of Laity Precept organized her lecture very well, and the content of lecture is rich and not boring. I enjoy the class very much. Only after I learn Precept, I know how important it is. Since then, I always encourage people to learn Precepts. “Shastra on the Door to Understanding the Hundred Dharma” this class,our teacher lectured very well too, I did not fall asleep. My older brother knew I was studying “Shastra on the Door to Understanding the Hundred Dharma”, he gave me a book about Yogācāra as reference. I took a look at the book title and thought in mind: This probably no story, not interesting! But I still took it, and also actually opened to read as reference.

同樣地,我也是來聖城常住後,才開始學坐禪。當我第一次參加基礎禪三時,我很擔心會坐不住。沒想到第一支香,我腿沒痛,時間也過得很快,好像才坐了一會兒就開靜,我信心大增,心想也許我可以試著坐禪。接下來的三周禪七,我就躍躍欲試,殊不知這次是玩真的。除了腿痛,背也痛,這裡痛那裡痛。雙枷換單枷,腿越換越痛,痛到拼命念觀世音菩薩。每次聽到引罄聲,就如釋重負。有時是妄想紛飛,想越多,時間過得越慢,腿也越痛。幾年下來,雖然還是這裡痛那裡痛,但我發覺常常再忍一下,就開靜了。我也覺得很奇怪,為什麼前一分鐘,痛不欲生,而開靜後,痛就消失了呢?這「痛」到底存不存在呢?我學會試著不把注意力放在「痛」上面。漸漸的,我就比較能忍耐,腿也就比較聽話了。

Similarly, I did not learn how to meditate until I live at CTTB. When my first time attended the three days basic meditation, I worried I could not sit. To my surprise, I did not feel any pain on my legs during the first incense, and time flies as if I was just sitting for a while. It gave me a lot of confidence, and I thought maybe I can try to meditate. I could not wait for the three weeks of Chan session, but I did not realize it is not that easy. I felt pain on my legs, my back, here and there. I switch sitting in full lotus to haft lotus, but only got more pain. It was so painful that I desperate reciting Gwan Shi Yin Bodhisattva’s holy name. Every time I heard the bell rings, I felt a great relief! Sometimes, I had a lot of false thoughts.  The more I had false thoughts, time crawled slower, and the more pain I got. After few years of sitting Chan session, I still have pain here and there, but I find out if I endure a little bit more, the bell will ring. And, I also think it is very strange why I feel a lot of pains in the previous minutes, but after the bell rings, the pain disappears immediately. The” pain” really exits or not? So, I try not to pay attention to the pain, and gradually I have more patience, and I get more cooperation from my legs.

上人說:只要努力過,雖然成果不明顯,但慢慢就會有成果。真的是這樣!因為除了每年的禪七,我平常也不常打坐。雖然,每年我還是要克服不一樣的問題,但我發覺每年都有一點點進步,多一分忍耐。上人也說坐禪就是要學忍耐,要忍痛,忍飢,忍寒。提到忍飢,我的作法是,不去理會一直跟我抗議的肚子。我跟我的肚子說:「你叫也沒有用,我現在沒飯給你吃。」漸漸地他就不叫了,我也不覺得餓了。 然而,曾經有一次,我看見食物及鍋碗瓢盆在我眼前飛來飛去。還有一次,我明明在持咒,但不知怎麼變成在唱臨齋儀?另外一次,我正要取食物,突然我的臉被東西輕輕拂過。回過神來,啊!原來我在禪堂,不是在齋堂。

The Venerable Master said,” If you put effort into, gradually you will get the result, though it is not obvious”. What Venerable Master said is true! Since except Chan session, I usually do not meditate. Though every year I still have to overcome different problems, I feel I got a little more progress every year and have more patience. Venerable Master also said sitting Chan is to learn patience, to endure pain, to endure hunger, and to endure cold. Mentioned to endure hunger, my approach is to ignore my stomach which keeps complaining to me. I say to my stomach “It is useless that you keep complaining since I have no food for you right now.”Gradually my stomach becomes quiet, and I do not feel hungry.  However, there is once I saw foods, pots and pans flying in front of my eyes. And, there is once when I am reciting mantra, but do not know how, become chanting lunch offering. And, another time, I am going to take food, suddenly my face is brushed by something, and I wake up and find out I am in Chan Hall, not in Dining Hall.

上人說,在什麼情況下都要忍耐。每年禪七,讓我學會多一分忍耐。曾經有法師問我說「美伶,妳有沒有覺得妳和剛來時,有沒有不一樣?」,我回答說:「當然有!」,法師繼續問我說:「那哪裡不一樣?」,我一時答不上來,但心裡想:「唉!不用說,當然是變老囉!視茫茫,髮蒼蒼!還好,齒牙還沒有動搖!」打完禪七後,我多了一個答案,那就是我由以前的「不忍耐」,學會現在的「要忍耐」。雖然我還是那種忍一次,忍兩次,第三次就忍不住的人。

Venerable Master said,” no matter under what kind of situation, you need to have patience”. Every year’s Chan session lets me learn more patience. Once, one Dharma Master asked me:”Meilin, do you feel any different from you just came here?”, I said ”of course!”, she said ”Then, what is it?” I could not speak out a word at that moment, but I thought in mind “Ugh, not to be mentioned, of course, I become older! My vision becomes blurred, my hair turns into gray, but fortunately my teeth have not been shaking yet.” After Chan session, I have another answer, and that is I change from a person who did not want to be patient, into a person who learns to be patient. Though, I am still that kind of person who can endure once, twice, but not the third.

上人說:打禪七就是要置自己的六根於一處。上人也說:「這個禪,不一定坐才有禪,行住坐臥,都有禪。」今年,我就發覺如果出了禪堂,就隨自己的六根亂跑,比如說講太多話,午齋吃太多,或者吃了不適合坐禪的食物,再回來打坐時,就坐不好。所以,不只在禪堂內,要管好自己的六根,在禪堂外也要。今年,我對這一點有一些新的體認,但仍然隨境跑,不能管好自己。上人在禪七的開釋,我們常常可應用在打坐上。但,我們不是沒聽進去,不然就是做不到。

The Venerable Master said, “Chan meditation is to constrain your six organs in one place”, and The Venerable Master also said, “Chan is not necessarily just sitting in meditation. One may practice Chan while walking, standing, sitting, and lying down”. This year, I found out if I did not control my six organs well after I leave Chan Hall. For example, I talk too much, or I eat too much for lunch, or I eat what is not good for meditation. When I come back to sit, I could not sit well. So, no matter in Chan Hall or outside the Chan Hall, we need to constrain our six organs. This year, I have some new understanding of this point, but still follow states and could not control myself well. We often can apply Venerable Master talk on the Chan session to our meditation. But, we either do not listen to it, or cannot follow it.

我剛開始讀《六祖壇經》時,也是把《六祖壇經》當故事書看,沒有注意其中的道理。來聖城後,在大殿聽上人講《六祖壇經》時,才仔細好好地再讀一遍。打完禪七,我又把《六祖壇經》拿出來看。上人在《定慧品》第四就說:「定,是由戒生出來的,由定才能發慧,這戒定慧是三無漏學。所以你想要得到定,首先要持戒」。六祖在《定慧品》說:「善知識。又有人教坐。看心觀靜。不動不起。從此置功。迷人不會。便執成顛。」意思是說,學打坐,要看自心,不要動,也不要起來。但,如果能這樣,就自認為有功夫,那就是顛狂。

When I first started to read The Sixth Patriarch’s Sutra, I read it as a story, did not pay attention to the deep principle inside. After living at CTTB, only when we listen the commentaries lectured by Venerable Master at Buddha Hall, I carefully read the sutra one more time. After Chan session, I read The Sixth Patriarch’s Sutra again. Venerable Master said in the Chapter 4 [Concentration and Wisdom]: “Concentration comes from holding precepts. With concentration, one can bring forth wisdom. Precepts, concentration, and wisdom are the three studies which have no outflows. If you wish to obtain concentration, you must begin by holding precepts.” The Sixth Patriarch said in the [Concentration and Wisdom]:”Good Knowing Advisors, there are those who teach people to sit looking at the mind and contemplating stillness, without moving or arising. They claim that it has merit. Confused men, not understanding, easily become attached and go insane.” It means if you want to learn meditation, you need to contemplate your mind, and try not to move or get up. But, if you can do so, and you think you have skills. That is insanity.

那什麼是真的「不動」呢?在《坐禪品》第五就說:「若修不動者。但見一切人時。不見人之是非善惡過患。即是自性不動。善知識。迷人身雖不動。開口便說他人是非長短好惡。與道違背。」。意思是說,真的「不動」是自性不動。那什麼是自性不動?自性不動,就是不見他人的是非過錯。

Then, what is real “non-movement”? In the Chapter 5 [Sitting in Chan], it said:”One who cultivates non-movement does not notice whether other people are right or wrong, good or bad, or whether they have other faults. That is the non-movement of the self-nature. Good Knowing Advisors, although the body of the confused person may not move, as soon as he opens his mouth he speaks of what is right and wrong about others, of their good points and shortcomings, and so he turns his back on the Way.” This means the real non-movement is non-movement of the self-nature. Then, what is non-movement of the self-nature? That means non-attention of right or wrong of other people.

《坐禪品》又說:「何名坐禪。此法門中。無障無礙。外於善惡境界。心念不起。名為坐。內見自性不動。名為禪。善知識。何名禪定。外離相為禪。內不亂為定。外若著相。內心即亂。外若離相。心即不亂。本性自淨自定。只為見境思境即亂。若見諸境心不亂者。是真定也。」我用兩個比喻來解釋。比如說,在禪七時,你剛坐定,覺得很舒服。突然,外面有人拼命敲門,拼命敲啊敲。你如果能不理會,心不亂,繼續打坐,就是禪定。如果,你生了煩惱,心想:這真是討厭!你就失去禪定了。又比如說,用午齋前,你本來打算不要吃太多。走到齋堂,一看,哎呀!怎麼都是我愛吃的菜?內心掙扎考慮一秒鐘,兩秒鐘。第三秒,好吧!決定吃了再說。那就完了!必須從頭練。我突然明白,唉!三個禮拜,我坐來坐去,還是經常在當迷人。

Again, in the Chapter 5 [Sitting in Chan], it said:”What is meant by ‘Chan concentration’? Being separate from external marks is Chan. Not being confused inwardly is ‘concentration’. If you become attached to external marks, your mind will be confused inwardly. If you are separate from external marks, inwardly your mind will be unconfused. The original nature is naturally pure, in a natural state of concentration. Confusion arises merely because states are seen and attended to. If the mind remains unconfused when any state is encountered, that is true concentration.” I will use two examples to explain the above. For example, during Chan session, you just sit well and feel comfortable. Suddenly, someone knock on the door, keep knocking and knocking. If you can ignore it and keep sitting, then you have Samadhi. But, if your affliction arises, and you think it is really annoying, then you lose your Samadhi. Another example, before lunch you plan not to eat much today. When you arrive at dining hall and want to take food, but find out how come there are many foods you like. You struggle one second, and two second. At the third second, you decide to eat first. Then, game is over. You need to practice from the beginning. I suddenly understand, in the past three weeks, though I sit and sit, I still often being a confused person.

這次禪七,雖然我沒每隻香都坐,但,是第一次坐滿三周。往年都只能坐約兩個禮拜,不是學校開學了,就是回台灣。雖然如此,我由一個不敢坐禪的人,變成一個喜歡坐禪的人。甚至希望有一天,有機會去一座山,沒有email,沒有電腦,只有山、有水,去那裡坐幾天禪。

This Chan session, though I did not sit every incense, it was my first time sitting three weeks. In the past years, I was only able to sit two weeks, either due to the school begins or I went back to Taiwan. Even so, I change from a person who dared not to sit Chan session to a person who loves to sit. I wish one day I will go to a mountain where there is no email, no computer, only the mountains and water, and I will meditate there for few days.

上人在禪七開釋也說:「禪七完,大家回家有時間時,要繼續坐一坐。」我回台灣,也試著坐一坐,但發覺沒辦法像在禪堂那麼專心,所以道場還是修行的好地方。《六祖壇經》,第四品是《定慧品》,第五品是《坐禪品》,第六品是《懺悔品》。所以過年時,我就好好地拜了幾天梁皇懺。以前,不忍心把我母親一個人放在家裡,自己跑去拜梁皇懺。現在,媽媽已經去很好的地方,我不用再擔心她。所以有機會拜了幾天的梁皇懺,滿了我自己的心願。不知為什麼,我突然想起古代一個挑母出家的高僧-自成和尚。他常肩上挑了一根扁擔,扁擔一邊擔著經書,一邊擔著他母親,托缽參學於天下。我除了感嘆這位高僧很孝順外,也很佩服他能一邊修行,一邊照顧母親。

Venerable Master talk on the Chan session said,” when the Chan session is over and everybody go homes, you shall find time to keep meditation”. After I went back to Taiwan, I tried meditation, but found out I cannot concentrate as well as at Chan Hall, so Way-place is the best place for cultivation. In the Sixth Patriarch’s Sutra, Chapter 4 is [Concentration and Wisdom], Chapter 5 is [Sitting in Chan], and Chapter 6 is [Repentance and Reform]. So, during Chinese New Year, I bowed few days of Emperor Liang Repentance. Before, I could not leave my mother at home to bow Emperor Liang Repentance. Now, my mother has been to a better place, and I no longer need to worry about her. So I have opportunity to bow Emperor Liang Repentance to fulfill my own wish. Don’t know why, suddenly I think of an ancient time high monk – Monk Zi Cheng, who carrying his mother and left home. He is often carrying a pole; one side of the pole is carrying sutras, and on the other side carrying his mother. I am not only moved by his filial piety but also admire he can cultivate and take care of his mother at the same time.

今天在此分享我個人的一些經驗,不怕大家笑,只希望我的經驗能給初學的人一些鼓勵。阿彌陀佛!

Today, I share some personal experiences with everybody. I am not afraid you will laugh at me. I only hope that my experiences will give the beginner some encouragement. Amitabha!

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