With You On The Path (2) 與你同行(2)

獄友信佛後最常問的問題及答覆

ATONEMENT 補償、贖罪:
Q: I’ve read that the most terrible thing one can do, the most evil action that will bring the worst reaction, is to kill one’s parents. I am guilty of killing my mother and father. I am not the person I was then, no, I wasn’t strung out on drugs at the time of this horrible incident. I wish it had never happened. My question is: Am I beyond repair? Will I forever be caught in the cycle of death, rebirth, death, and so on? What can I do to atone, if that’s possible?
問:我曾經讀過,一個人能夠做的最可怕的事情,會帶來最壞報應的最邪惡的行為,就是去殺了自己的父母。我有殺我母親及父親的罪名。我現在不是當時的那個人,不是的,在恐怖事件發生的當時,我並未因吸毒而神智不清。我真希望沒發生這種事情。我的問題是:我是否不能補救了?我是否永遠都要受到死、生、死這種不停的循環?如果有可能的話,我能夠做什麼來補償呢?

A: I can say categorically: put your mind at ease. No one is beyond repair.
What you did, Roy, is very, very serious, because no matter how gruesome anyone’s parents may be, it is they who give us all this human embodiment with which we can do such wonderful things as learning the Dharma. That alone is reason for gratitude. At the same time, there’s a saying in Tibetan to the effect that the one good thing about negative actions is that they can be purified. I also note that you express regret over what happened, and that’s half the battle. Many masters have stated that if one makes a sincere effort at purification of even highly negative deeds, one will not suffer such terrible karma. Also, it’s a fact that some of Buddhism’s greatest saints started out with very shaky pasts (to put it mildly!)
答:我絕對可以說:讓你的心放鬆一下,沒有人沒法補救的。
你所做的事,Roy,是非常非常嚴重的,因為不管任何人的父母有可能多麼可怕,是他們給了我們人身,我們才能夠去做像學習佛法那麼美妙的事情。光是這個理由,我們就應該感激。同時,在西藏有人說,對於惡行有一件好事,就是它們可以給淨化過來。我也注意到了你對所發生的事情表示後悔,這可以說是戰事過了一半了。有許多師父都曾經說過,如果一個人誠懇努力地去淨化甚至是極惡的行為,那個人將不會受到惡業的折磨。同時,一些佛教最偉大的聖者們,他們也是以很不好的過去起步的﹝說得溫和些!﹞,這也是事實。

I should additionally mention that I took your question to my friend who did a 12-year solitary retreat on the grounds of a Buddhist monastery in NY state (see my previous book, She Ate Snow) and she agreed with me that everyone is salvageable, so to speak. Further she said that since all sentient beings have been or will at some point in time be our parents, there isn’t so much different between killing a parent and killing anyone else. It’s all very negative, but one case is not that much more serious than another.
我應該再告訴你,我把你的問題給了一位我的朋友,她曾在紐約州一個佛教寺廟裡孤寂地閉了十二年的關﹝參閱我的前一本書,“她吃了雪”﹞。她大體上同意我的看法,每一個人都是可以挽救的。她又進一步說,因為所有的眾生曾經或在將來某些時候是我們的父母,殺父母和殺任何一個人是沒有很大區別的。那些都是非常負面的,只是每一個事件都有不同的嚴重性而已。

As to what you can do now, I would suggest several things: I would include in your parents in all your meditations, praying that they may now be in a good space, with good guidance, such that they are moving toward enlightenment. Also, it’s the custom always to end a meditation with a dedication of merit (see the Meditation section). In other words, you dedicate the merit you’ve acquired through meditation to all sentient beings, making sure you consciously include your parents in that dedication.
至於你現在可以做什麼來補償,我建議幾件事情如下:我會讓你在你的禪坐修行當中,把你的父母也包含進來,祈願他們現在在一個好地方,有好的引導,讓他們朝向解脫開悟。同時,禪修完後按照慣例來迴向功德﹝參看禪修章節﹞。換句話說,你把禪修所有的功德迴向給所有眾生時,要確定你有意地也包含你的父母親在你的迴向當中。

Another thing you can do is to benefit as many people as you can in as many ways as you can, given the limitations of your situation. I don’t know if there exists any opportunity for volunteer work where you are. If something is available, you could consider getting involved so your time is well spent. Also, you may have some skill – even one as simple as writing, reading or whatever – that you could put at the service of less educated inmates. For example, I know of prisoners who write letters for others who are illiterate, or who do legal research for others in the library. And depending on how much Dharma study you’ve done, you could perhaps set up a little meditation group for interested folks. You can figure these things out according to your circumstance.
另外你能夠做的事情,在你的情況限制下,儘所有可行的途徑去利益你可以利益的人。我不知道在你那地方是否有義工服務的機會。如果有機會,你可以考慮參與,以便善用你的時間。還有,你也許有一些技能 – 甚至簡單如寫、讀或隨便什麼 – 可以去幫助那些教育較少的受刑人。例如,我知道有一些犯人,有的替不識字的囚犯寫信,有的在圖書館裡替人研究法律問題。再者看你已學習了多少佛法,你也許可以為有興趣的人設立一個禪坐班。這些你都可以按照你在那兒的情況去規劃出來。

ATACHMENT 看不開、放不下、執著:

Q: Buddhism teaches that pleasure leads to unhappiness and therefore we should let it go. I personally would have a hard time with this because what is life without pleasure?
問: 佛法教導我們歡樂會導致不快樂,因此我們應該放下它。但我個人卻難以接受這個,因為沒有歡樂,生命又會是什麼樣子呢?

A: Your perception of Buddhist thought is a misinterpretation. I have been blessed to meet many highly realized Buddhist masters, and I can honestly say that the more evolved they are, the more joy they seem to have! That’s not to say they necessarily have a lot of stuff, but they are full of fun and smiles. They are not against pleasure, but against dependence on, attachment to, or addiction to pleasure. That’s a big difference. In fact, one could say they are not even “against” dependence on pleasure, in the sense of being moralistic. Rather, they (and the Buddha) have discovered that since the source of all unhappiness comes from being attached to or dependent on things outside ourselves, it makes sense to break ourselves of this attachment in the same way you’d break yourself of any habit that is causing you suffering.
答: 你對這佛法觀念的領悟有了誤解,我托福能夠遇到許多高度覺悟的佛教大師們,我可以老實地說,他們釋放的越多,他們看起來就越快樂。這不是說他們一定有許多料子,而是他們充滿了歡樂與微笑。他們不反對歡樂,而是反對依賴歡樂、執著歡樂或者對歡樂成癮。那是有大的區別。事實上,任何人在道學的意義上來說,都可以說他們甚至於不“反對”依賴歡樂,而是,他們﹝還有佛陀﹞已經發現到,由於所有煩惱的來源,都是來自於對我們身外事物的執著或依賴,那麼和破除任何讓你受苦的習慣一樣地來破除執著,就顯得有道理了。

Let’s investigate this further. Why would attachment or dependence cause suffering? Because all things are impermanent, such that if we are absolutely attached or glued to a person, place, or object, sooner or later when life parts us from that (and it always does!), we’ll experience immense suffering. So the trick is to have the good things, enjoy them, but at the same time work at not becoming too dependent on them. That’s a hard number, given that we’re all creatures of habit. Nevertheless, if we want to break the cycle of suffering, we need to start detaching ourselves from absolute emotional dependence on anything outside ourselves. It doesn’t mean you can’t have nice stuff, loved ones, and so forth, but that you start working on shifting your attitude toward those things.
讓我們再進一步審查一下。為什麼執著或依賴會帶來痛苦呢?因為所有的事物都是無常的,以至於如果我們極端地執著或黏著人、地或物,遲早當生命讓我們和那些分開時﹝它一定是那樣的!﹞,我們將會承受重大的痛苦。所以,要點是在有好的事物時,享用它們,但是同時也要訓練不會變成太依賴它們。那是很難的事情,因為我們都是習慣性的生物。然而,假如我們要破除這痛苦的循環,我們便需要開始從極端情感上依賴身外之任何事物,把我們自己分離開來。它並不意味著你不能有好的東西、關愛的人等等,而是你開始訓練自己轉移對待那些人事物的態度。

Q: How do you love someone in a non-attached way and not seem like you don’t care about them?
問:你如何以一種不執著的方式去愛某些人,而不會看起來你不關心他們呢?

A: Remember that non-attachment does not mean lack of love. Quite the opposite, one can be more warmly concerned about the other person the less one obsesses about oneself and one’s own reactions. One of the aspects of non-attached love is that its emphasis is on the other person rather than yourself. I noticed that in one part of your letter you remark on “the suffering I endure over my loss [of home and family because of incarceration]”. But you don’t say anything about your family’s suffering at being deprived of a husband and father. If you focused more on the latter, two things would happen: first, you’d soon forget about your own suffering in your concern for theirs; second, by focusing on their needs you’d be in best mental position to help them to the extent possible even while you’re behind bars. This concern would bring you all sorts of inspiration which could make you effective. For example, I know a man who, though incarcerated, is an inspiration to his son. His Buddhist studies are so transforming him that his son marvels at his peacefulness and wonders why Daddy is in jail at all. This shows what can be accomplished.
答:記住,不執著不是缺少愛的意思。剛剛好相反,一個人可以更溫馨地關切別人而心裡較少想到自己和自己的各種反應。不執著愛的一個性質之一是它所強調的是在他人而不是你自己。在你的信中我注意到了你說的:“我﹝因為監禁而喪失了我的家和家人﹞所承受的痛苦”。但是你並沒有提到任何有關你家人給剝奪了丈夫和父親後所受的痛苦。如果你多專注一下後者,會有兩件事情發生:第一,在你關心他們的痛苦時,你會很快地忘掉自己的煩惱;第二,由於集中心思在他們的各種需要上,你就是在監獄裡,你也能有最好的心理位置去盡可能地幫助他們。這樣的關心能帶給你各種各樣的啟發鼓勵,而可能讓你實際些。譬如,我知道一個人,雖然給監禁著,對他的兒子是一個啟發激勵。他的學佛大大地改變了他,以致於他的兒子對於他的心安理得感到奇蹟一般,也奇怪為什麼父親就會在監獄裡。這就說明了什麼是能夠給成就的。

Q: The death of my father was the worst thing I’ve ever gone through. It put me on the very edge and then shoved me off. When they turned the machines off and he started to die, I seriously and loudly freaked out. I ended up being physically removed and restrained by hospital security. It’s a sickening feeling to think that my reaction may have somehow affected the direction his consciousness took in dying. Please comment.
問:我父親的過世是我所經歷過最糟糕的事情。它讓我幾乎崩潰,然後我給推了出去。當他們把一些儀器關掉,開始讓我父親死亡的時候,我非常恐懼地大聲吼叫。結果我給醫院的警衛架走而且給關了起來。想到我的這種反應,可能多少影響了父親在過世時意識的去向,我感覺很不好。請告訴我妳的看法。

A: Your relation with your Dad was the very essence of attachment. And in a way attachment is the polar opposite of love. Why? Because real love thinks only of the good of its object, whereas attachment has to do with its own pleasure, comfort and satisfaction. Your mind may immediately deny this, and doubtless some aspects of your relationship with your Dad were genuinely altruistic. But let’s look at what happened: your Dad had a severe illness that culminated in a crisis. At that level of distress and pain, you may be sure that he was in the end ready to go. There comes a time when our body is so disease-ridden or weary that we simply want to be allowed to depart in peace. This will happen to you, it will happen to me. The really loving thing, therefore, is to allow the consciousness of our loved ones the same right to depart that we will one day want for ourselves. What’s done is done, no point in worrying. But you can examine this situation in the spirit of wanting to learn from it so as to become more skillful in the future. We can become like good scientists examining something under a microscope. The scientist does not go all emotional when he sees a cancer cell, for example; he just factors it in to his body of information and proceeds with his lab work accordingly. That’s how he saves lives.
答:你和你父親的關係是實質的執著,而在某一方面說,執著在極性上和愛是相反的。為什麼?因為真正的愛只想到對方的好處,而執著卻和自己的愉快、舒適及滿足有關。你心裡可能不會馬上贊同這個看法,而且不懷疑在一些方面,你和你父親的關係是對他有好處的。但是讓我們看看發生了什麼:你父親有了重病已非常危險,在那種困厄痛苦之下,你可能知道他到了生命的盡頭準備走了。有一天當我們的身體是那麼地病苦或疲憊時,我們就只希望能夠平安地離開人世。這會發生在你身上,也會發生在我身上。因此,真正有愛的事情是,讓我們所愛的人的神識能夠離開,就和我們有相同的權力,希望有一天我們自己也能那樣離開一樣。過去的已過去,不必再為此憂慮了,但是你可以以想要從此學習,以備將來能夠更為熟練的精神來檢討這種情形。我們能夠變成好的科學家在顯微鏡下觀察東西一樣,例如,當科學家發現癌細胞時,他不會完全情緒化,他只是把它包含進病人身體裡面的一個信息,然後按照他的實驗工作繼續進行而已。這就是科學家如何拯救生命的方法。

DEATH ROW 死刑排名

Q: It’s great to be off Death Row. I really didn’t think it would happen that suddenly I wouldn’t have to fight for my life anymore. Don’t you think that when we get bogged down with trying to avoid execution, we don’t stop to consider the things that show impermanence right in this life?
問:不在死刑排名裡真是好極了。我之前真的沒想到,竟然會發生突然間我不必再為我的生命去奮鬥的事情。當我們陷入試著去避免死刑的沼澤中時,你不認為我們不會停下來去思考這一生中一些無常的事情嗎?

A: What you’re in essence saying is that we’re all on Death Row because every one of us will die, sure certain; we just don’t know when that date will be. For example, you could have some kind of illness or accident such that you end up dying way before your former execution date! I’m not saying this to be pessimistic, but just to remind you not to take life for granted. We need to practice the Dharma NOW, not knowing how much study time we have left. Also, we need to be grateful for every day we’ve got. Each morning when I wake up, I’m tickled pink to find I’m still here! And I say, “Thanks you.” Which some folks say is the only really necessary prayer.
答:你實質上是說我們都是在死刑排名裡,因為我們每一個人都會死,肯定會死,我們只是不知道是哪一天而已。例如,你可能有某種疾病或事故,結果死得比你的正式死刑的日子還來得早!我不是說這個是悲觀的,而只是提醒你,不要認為生命就一定是好好的。我們必須馬上修行佛法,因為不曉得我們還剩有多少修行的時間。而且,我們需要感激我們所擁有的每一天。每天早上當我醒來的時候,我都很高興地發現我仍然還在這裡!同時我說:“謝謝你。”有些人說這才是僅有的真正需要的祈禱。

譯者註:Victoria Dolma 維多利亞‧都瑪居士,是一位虔誠的學佛者及作家,多年來從事寫作並自費發行“獄友通訊”Victory Banner,長期關心受刑人的心靈淨化工程,她把多年來獄友最常問的問題,結集成冊,自費發心提供獄友閱讀,深受歡迎,本書印製成本每本約美金三元,歡迎助印。支票抬頭請填Victoria Huckenpahler,並請直接寄至:
P.O. Box 53461
Washington DC, 20009

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