In Gratitude

On this beautifully warm November morning, I am sitting in the Hsu Yun Hall, on the ground floor of the Great Buddha Hall at Chuang Yen Monastery. I am here to write an outline for my upcoming class on Buddhism.

A Story of Master Xu Yun’s Disciple Ju Xing

During the era of emperor Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty (1871-1908), a plain and humble young man wearing ragged peasant clothes came to the Zhu Sheng Monastery in Jizu Mountain, Yunnan Province, to see Master Xu Yun. Upon his arrival, the abbot of the monastery met with him, and asked, “Who are you? Why do you want to see Master Xu Yun?”

慈悲喜捨四無量心禪修方法

慈愛禪修的目的,是要發展覺照力,將個人內心的瞋恨、怨懟、嫉妒等的惡心去除。所以,修學「慈心禪」的人要覺知自己身心:當瞋恚、怨恨心生起時,要覺察它們是怎麼來的—也就是生起時,要當下覺知自己身心起了這些意念及意念如何生起的。同樣的,當瞋恚、怨恨心消失時,也要覺察它們是怎麼去的;也就是滅除時,要當下覺知自己身心滅除了這些意念及如何滅除它們的。

危機即禪機

六根中的身觸遍佈全身,只要身體接觸外塵即產生觸感。例如,手突然被熱水燙到,電光火石之間未經思索,手,能即刻以最快的速度縮回,避免繼續被燙傷。此速度之快,快到不可思議,不可想像。

這個作用從何而來?

從《瑜伽師地論》〈菩薩地〉來看菩薩道

《瑜伽師地論》中,第35-50卷的〈菩薩地〉是印度本土有關菩薩道的集大成的要典,其內容談空不多,注重實踐細節則多!
  本文指出,想走菩薩道,就要先具有菩薩的種性,培養廣大的心胸,眼光放遠而實踐則要拉回當下。菩薩道的前階段,可以說是為了培養慈悲心(菩薩菩提,悲所建立),整個力氣皆以前五度為主,此所以〈菩薩地〉只略提般若也。

Reflections on the Four Abiding States Meditation Retreat

In May 2011, I participated in a five day retreat at Chuang Yen Monastery on the four abiding states of mindfulness: loving kindness (metta); compassion (karuna); sympathetic joy (mudita) and equanimity (upekkha). The retreat was led by Venerable Dhammadipa Sak. Like most participants, I began the retreat with minimal understanding of how to develop these qualities within my mind. I left the retreat with a re-orientation in how I engage in my practice as a Buddhist layperson- one which I have now incorporated into my daily life.

法隨, 法行

法隨法行是什麼意思呢?巴利經文說“Paripattia”,即“法隨法行”。前一個“法”字指的是佛陀的教法,而後一個“法”字表示通過禪修實踐佛陀的教法。簡單說,就是修內觀禪必須依據經典並遵循佛陀的教導。

經中進一步說,“法洲法依,自洲自依”。這是說在禪修中你應當暫時放下過去的學識和經驗,用開放的心態去經歷內在的身心過程,以此為師。傾聽自己的身心現
象並與之溝通,從而達到全然安住於當下,完全覺知此時此地的一切。究竟法的本質,或者說法的本質,是發生於當下每一刹那的,非常複雜身心現象的根本機制。
從內在去體證法,即培育正念以減輕憂悲苦惱。

探得脫苦的鑰匙—四聖諦的初轉

既然生命必有苦,於是人生過程就被迫是「離苦」的追求,一般人求學的目的是為有好工作,工作的目的為了吃飯,吃飯為了健康,健康為了不生病,不生病的目的為了長壽,長壽為了「繼續擁有」,不會有「愛別離苦」,都是為了離苦。

願您吉祥

出發前,接到羅城高岩佛學社林曉平師兄傳來的《吉祥經》。只看標題就滿心歡喜,而且我堅信,開照長老是講授此經的絕佳老師。時常會有這樣的尷尬:感受是那麼的濃稠,而語言卻單薄乏力。真的,一看到“吉祥”這兩個字,我就把它與長老的形象連在一起。該如何解釋呢?我無法言表。質樸地說,“吉祥”就是長老,長老就是“吉祥”。

佛教的世界生滅觀

前言
佛法的教導 :
我們所了知的一切法,都是依種種關係,因緣和合而成立,凡從緣生起,必依緣而滅;所以,一切因緣所生法都不是固定不變的。我們的生命,因父母的緣才可生起,而後由於各種的助緣才能長成,乃至於我們生存所依的地球、太陽系或三千大千世界,都是因緣所生法。人類的生、老、病、死,與這個物質世界經歷的成、住、壞、空,緣生緣滅,生也非實生,滅也非實滅,沒有不同。

Follow the Dharma to Practice Dharma

What does this mean? The Sutra states “Paripattia” in Pali, to “… follow the
Dharma to practice Dharma.” The former word ‘Dharma‘ refers to the Dharma
teaching of Buddha, and the latter word ‘Dharma’ denotes the application of
Dharma teaching via the practice of meditation. Put simply, the practice of
Insight Meditation must be in accordance with Buddha’s teaching and the
Sutra.

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness as Hermeneutical Approaches to Realization

All that we are is the result of what we have thought:
It is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts — The Buddha

Fa-Tsang’s (法藏) Four Stages of the Dharma Dhatu (四法界) and its Modern analytic view

The Avatamsaka Sutra (華嚴經) is a long saga that shows the tremendous scale of the Dharma Dhatu (宇宙法界) and emanates the immeasurable teachings of the Vairocana (毘盧舍那), so scholars often call it the Dharma Dhatu Sutra. Master Fa Tsang (法藏) and Master Ching Liang (淸凉) wrote that there are four stages of the Dharma Dhatu and these stages prove the law of the Universe and also mention the Sat-laksana-paripurna (六相圓融 / six phases of complete combination or harmony) and the Dasa-gambhira-paryaya (十門 / ten profound teachings), which support the Bhutatathata (眞如) theories.

最近淚水常常滋潤了我們的心

老菩薩掏心剖肺感動了我!
好久好久了,究竟有多久我也記不清了。
好久好久,我不再為自己的得失而雀躍或覺得失落。

佛教和平之概述

從根本上來説——通過以上的敍述來看—佛教的和平觀是可行的。和平要從慈悲、寬容、淨意開始。中國儒家對此亦有相同的期待,如孔子在《大學》中說:“古之欲明明德於天下者、先治其國。欲治其國者先齊其家。欲齊其家者先脩其身。欲脩其身者先正其心。欲正奇心者先誠其意。欲誠其意者先致其知。致知在格物。物格而後知至。知至而後意誠。意誠而後心正。心正而後身脩。身脩而後家齊。家齊而後國治。國治而後天下平。”而這一點,如果我們從道家的思想來實行,亦能如佛教,最終得長久和平之道!

Shunyata, the Emptiness

The teaching of emptiness largely occurred in India during the emergence of Mahayana Buddhism. For some contemporary scholars, the teaching can serve well as a significant signal for the rise of Mahayana Buddhism in India, which at times was considerably different from the previous schools. For instance, in his Shifting Words, Changing Minds: Where the Sciences and Buddhism Meet, Jeremy W. Hayward argues: “A key doctrine that distinguishes the Mahayana from the earlier schools is the direct realization expressed in the Sanskrit term shunyata [which is usually translated as emptiness, voidness, nothingness, or openness].”1 In his October, 2010 lecture titled “Emptiness as the Middle Path,” Dr. William Chu also argues that the Perfection of Wisdom, which marks the great teaching of Mahayana Buddhism, “was composed at a time when the folkloric Jātakas and Avadānas were increasingly becoming part of mainstream Buddhist belief.”2 Below, I shall not discuss whether or not the teaching of emptiness originally taught by Mahayanists during a specific time in India, but rather discuss: what the teaching of emptiness is about and aims at.

學修答疑

從內心深處一點一滴處著手用功,就是培福,在修持中得真實利益。 念佛人掌握用功的要領就是:念這句佛號時要由心發聲。

問:念佛是否到一心不亂才能往生?
答:藕益大師說:「往生與否全憑信願之有無、品位高下全憑念佛功夫之淺深」。又說:「信的決、願的切、雖散心念佛,亦必往生;信不真、願不猛、雖一心不亂,亦不得往生。」大師的話說得再透徹明瞭不過。能否往生,不要問別人,要問自己兩個字「信願」是否真切?省庵大師在《勸發菩提心文》中強調:「入道要門發心為首,修行急務立願為先。」念佛是方便法門,沒有什麼另外奇特,關鍵就是,要深信、切願、力行,若信願不真切,念佛實修功夫不得力,雖然佛有大慈悲方便之船,自己也登不上去。所以佛法如大海,「信為能入,智為能度。」有智之人,必具深信切願。

四大名山朝聖記實

籌劃了兩年的四大名山朝聖之旅終於成行了,朝聖至今已不是新鮮事,之所以遲遲未行,心裡總有這樣的矛盾:身為佛弟子,該去佛陀的聖跡接受洗滌,該去四大名山才叫做菩薩。但又知道國內的佛教還處於迷而不信的階段,四大菩薩的悲智 願行被眾生巧妙的販賣,寺院的商業氣息濃厚。行程前, 聽到這樣的批評,美名為朝聖;實際裡地是去散心遊玩。故動身前,一再交代:和合、融合、互相照應,古人朝山是為了了生死;今人行腳卻不知生死,反倒只注意寺廟中的粥米飯食是否可口,菩薩靈驗否,如此一來,朝聖看到的只是寺廟的樣貌而無法深入其個中精神。

念佛信願行

蕅益大師在《阿彌陀經要解》裡講《佛說阿彌陀經》有三大綱領:信、願、行。 這也是後人常常講到的淨土三資糧。“資糧”有“前備”的意思。就好比古代一個要出門遠行的人,行前要準備路上吃的乾糧。相同的道理,一個學佛修行的人,行走在成佛證悟的大道上,中途也需必備“乾糧”來資助道業,才能減少障礙,順利到達目的地。而這必備的乾糧就是:信,願,行—深信、切願、實行。三個條件具備了,學佛要有成就也就不難了。否則就像水中撈月,徒勞一場。

十種後悔

  有一學僧問雲居禪師道:「弟子每做一事,事後總不勝懊悔,請問老師,爲什麽我有那麽多的懊悔呢?

  雲居禪師道:「你且先聽我的十後悔:一、逢師不學去後悔;二、遇賢不交別後悔;三、事親不孝喪後悔;四、對主不忠退後悔;五、見義不爲過後悔;六、見危不救陷後悔;七、有財不施失後悔;八、愛國不貞亡後悔;九、因果不信報後悔;十、佛道不修死後悔;這以上十種後悔,你是哪一種後悔?

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