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Mindfulness In Plain English - Chapter 15: Meditation In Everyday Life
 
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Mindfulness In Plain English

佛教禅修直解

by Mahathera Henepola Gunaratana

德宝法师著作
梁国雄居士译

Chapter 15: Meditation In Everyday Life

第十五章 在日常生活中的禅修

Every musician plays scales. When you begin to study the piano, that's the first thing you learn, and you never stop playing scales. The finest concert pianists in the world still play scales. It's a basic skill that can't be allowed to get rusty.

每一位音乐家都会练习弹奏音阶,这是你开始学钢琴时首先要学的,也是你永远不会停止练习弹奏的东西。世界上最好的钢琴家仍然在练习弹奏音阶,那是一种你不能让之生疏、荒废的基本技巧。

Every baseball player practices batting. It's the first thing you learn in Little League, and you never stop practicing. Every World Series game begins with batting practice. Basic skills must always remain sharp.

每一位棒球手都会练习打棒球,那是你在少年棒球队首先要学的,也是你永远不会停止练习的东西。每一次的世界棒球锦标赛都是从练习打棒球开始,基本技巧必须不断保持在顶峰。

(禅修不是游戏,而是练习)

Seated meditation is the arena in which the meditator practices his own fundamental skills. The game the meditator is playing is the experience of his own life, and the instrument upon which he plays is his own sensory apparatus. Even the most seasoned meditator continues to practice seated meditation, because it tunes and sharpens the basic mental skills he needs for his particular game. We must never forget, however, that seated meditation itself is not the game. It's the practice. The game in which those basic skills are to be applied is the rest of one's experiential existence. Meditation that is not applied to daily living is sterile and limited.

坐禅是禅修者练习其基本技巧的舞台。禅修者所玩的游戏是其自身生命的经验,而他所使用的器具则是自身的感官。即使最老练的禅修者亦会继续练习坐禅的,因为要藉此调整好与磨练好他玩这特殊游戏时所需要的基本技巧。不过,我们千万不要忘记,坐禅本身不是游戏,它是练习。禅修以外的生活方式,其中需要运用这些基本技巧于个人经验上才是游戏。若禅修不能运用于日常生活之中,它是枯燥无效的、或其效果是十分有限的。

The purpose of Vipassana meditation is nothing less than the radical and permanent transformation of your entire sensory and cognitive experience. It is meant to revolutionize the whole of your life experience. Those periods of seated practice are times set aside for instilling new mental habits. You learn new ways to receive and understand sensation. You develop new methods of dealing with conscious thought, and new modes of attending to the incessant rush of your own emotions. These new mental behaviors must be made to carry over into the rest of your life.

内观禅之目的,就是要从根本上永远转化你的整个感觉与认知经验,亦即是要革新(彻底改变)你的整个人生经验。那些坐禅练习时间,就是为了灌输新的心理习惯而设的,你学习用新的方式来接收和了解感觉,你发展新的方法来处理意识思维,以及采用新的方式来照顾自己不停涌现的情绪。这些新的心理习惯,一定要被带入到你个人生活的其他部分之中,否则,禅修仍是枯燥无效,只算是个人生活方式的一个理论上的环节,查实与其他部分毫无关连。为了连系这两个环节而要付出一些努力是必要的,因为,若不精进,某程度的禅修技巧转移到日常生活之中亦会自然发生,但这过程往往缓慢和不可靠,你亦可能生起一事无成的感觉,乃至放弃这个似属无益的训练过程。

(练习做个局外人)

Otherwise, meditation remains dry and fruitless, a theoretical segment of your existence that is unconnected to all the rest. Some effort to connect these two segments is essential. A certain amount of carry-over will take place spontaneously, but the process will be slow and unreliable. You are very likely to be left with the feeling that you are getting nowhere and to drop the process as unrewarding.

然而,上述可喜的体验尚未算完善,除非你能积极促进前述的转化过程。坐禅最重要的一刻,就是在你离开坐垫时那一刻。结束禅坐后,你可以很快地站起来,然后把禅修抛诸脑后,你亦可随即把禅修技巧趁机带进生活的其他活动之中。

One of the most memorable events in your meditation career is the moment when you first realize that you are meditation in the midst of some perfectly ordinary activity. You are driving down the freeway or carrying out the trash and it just turns on by itself. This unplanned outpouring of the skills you have been so carefully fostering is a genuine joy. It gives you a tiny window on the future. You catch a spontaneous glimpse of what the practice really means. The possibility strikes you that this transformation of consciousness could actually become a permanent feature of your experience. You realize that you could actually spend the rest of your days standing aside from the debilitating clamoring of your own obsessions, no longer frantically hounded by your own needs and greed. You get a tiny taste of what it is like to just stand aside and watch it all flow past. It's a magic moment.

在你的禅修经历中,其中一件最令人难忘的事,就是当你首次发现自己,在某项甚为平常的生活活动中正在禅修的那一刻。例如:当你在高速公路上驾驶时,或往倒垃圾的途中,禅修竟然自动地开始了。你小心培育的技巧,在没有预先计划下流露出来,实在令人欣喜异常,它给你开了一个可以看到未来的小窗,令你瞥见修行的真正寓意。这种意识转化能成为常态经验的可能性,令你感到震撼,你认识到在余生之中,你是可以安静地旁观着强迫性观念(obsessions)的刻意扰攘与喧闹,不必再受自己的需求与贪欲之疯狂困扰;你浅尝法味,开始知道站在一旁,静观一切现象流逝的体验滋味,那是神奇的一刻。

That vision is liable to remain unfulfilled, however, unless you actively seek to promote the carry-over process. The most important moment in meditation is the instant you leave the cushion. When your practice session is over, you can jump up and drop the whole thing, or you can bring those skills with you into the rest of your activities.

然而,上述可喜的体验尚未算完善,除非你能积极促进前述的转化过程。坐禅最重要的一刻,就是在你离开坐垫时那一刻。结束禅坐后,你可以很快地站起来,然后把禅修抛诸脑后,你亦可随即把禅修技巧趁机带进生活的其他活动之中。

(任何时候都可以禅修)

It is crucial for you to understand what meditation is. It is not some special posture, and it's not just a set of mental exercises. Meditation is a cultivation of mindfulness and the application of that mindfulness once cultivated. You do not have to sit to meditate. You can meditate while washing the dishes. You can meditate in the shower, or roller skating, or typing letters. Meditation is awareness, and it must be applied to each and every activity of one's life. This isn't easy.

了解禅修是什么对你很重要,它不是一些特殊姿势,也不是一套心灵体操;禅修是静观的培育及对刚培育出来的静观之运用。你不一定要坐着来禅修,你可以在洗碟时禅修,可以在洗澡时禅修,也可以在溜冰或写信时禅修。禅修即是觉察或觉知,它必须被运用于人生的所有活动之中,这并不容易。

We specifically cultivate awareness through the seated posture in a quiet place because that's the easiest situation in which to do so. Meditation in motion is harder. Meditation in the midst of fast-paced noisy activity is harder still. And meditation in the midst of intensely egoistic activities like romance or arguments is the ultimate challenge. The beginner will have his hands full with less stressful activities.

我们选择在安静的地方用坐姿来培育觉察力,是因为那是最容易修习的情境。在行动中禅修则较难,在节奏快速、热闹嘈杂的活动中禅修则更难,而在极度自我中心的活动中,例如:谈情说爱或激烈争论中禅修,那真是测试极限的挑战。事实上,初学者在低压力的禅修活动中已忙得不可开交。

Yet the ultimate goal of practice remains: to build one's concentration and awareness to a level of strength that will remain unwavering even in the midst of the pressures of life in contemporary society. Life offers many challenges and the serious meditator is very seldom bored.

可是,禅修练习的终极目标依然是:建立起定力(集中力)与觉察力至足够的强度水平,好让禅修者能在现代的社会的生活压力下,仍然可以屹立不摇。对于生活中源源不绝的挑战,认真的禅修者是极少会感到厌烦的。

Carrying your meditation into the events of your daily life is not a simple process. Try it and you will see. That transition point between the end of your meditation session and the beginning of 'real life' is a long jump. It's too long for most of us. We find our calm and concentration evaporating within minutes, leaving us apparently no better off than before. In order to bridge this gulf, Buddhists over the centuries have devised an array of exercises aimed at smoothing the transition. They take that jump and break it down into little steps. Each step can be practiced by itself.

把禅修带入你的日常生活之中,决不是一个简单的过程,试一试你就会明白。从坐禅结束到「现实生活」的开始之转捩点是一大跃进,对大多数人而言,那个距离实在太长了。我们发觉在几分钟之内,我们的平静与定力被蒸发得无影无踪,接下来的状态并不比以前好。为了跨越这道鸿沟,佛教徒在过去多个世纪以来,已设计出一系列的练习方法,以便顺利促成这个转移。他们成功了大跃进,然后把它分成几个小部分,每一部分都可以单独练习。

1. Walking Meditation

(1) 在行走中禅修(行禅)

Our everyday existence is full of motion and activity. Sitting utterly motionless for hours on end is nearly the opposite of normal experience. Those states of clarity and tranquility we foster in the midst of absolute stillness tend to dissolve as soon as we move. We need some transitional exercise that will teach us the skill of remaining calm and aware in the midst of motion. Walking meditation helps us make that transition from static repose to everyday life. It's meditation in motion, and it is often used as an alternative to sitting. Walking is especially good for those times when you are extremely restless. An hour of walking meditation will often get you through that restless energy and still yield considerable quantities of clarity. You can then go on to the seated meditation with greater profit.

我们的日常生活充满各式各样的动作与活动,要连续端坐几小时不动,实与平常的经验相反,我们经过不动地坐禅所培养出来的清明(清醒明智)与平静心态,一动就会很快消失。故此,我们需要一些过渡性练习,使我们在活动中仍能保持平静与觉知。行禅就是这样的一种过渡性练习,它有助我们从静态的禅坐过渡至日常的生活,它是在动中修禅,且经常与坐禅交替地运用。行禅在你非常烦躁不安时特别好用,大约一小时的行禅往往可化解你的不安情绪,还可带来相当可观的内心清明,好让你在接下来的坐禅中得到更大的利益。

Standard Buddhist practice advocates frequent retreats to complement your daily sitting practice. A retreat is a relatively long period of time devoted exclusively to meditation. One or two day retreats are common for lay people. Seasoned meditators in a monastic situation may spend months at a time doing nothing else. Such practice is rigorous, and it makes sizable demands on both mind and body. Unless you have been at it for several years, there is a limit to how long you can sit and profit. Ten solid hours of the seated posture will produce in most beginners a state of agony that far exceeds their concentration powers. A profitable retreat must therefore be conducted with some change of posture and some movement. The usual pattern is to intersperse blocks of sitting with blocks of walking meditation. An hour of each with short breaks between is common.

佛教的禅修传统,一般都会建议你要经常进行密集禅修(闭关),以弥补平日坐禅之不足。密集禅修鼓励人们用一段较长的时间来专心修习,在家人一般用最少一、两天的时间,至于出家人或老练的禅修者,往往每次用上几个月的时间来专心修习的。这样的密集修行是严格的,对身心的要求都相当高,除非你已有多年经验,否则,长时间的修习对你未必有好处。整整十个小时不动的禅坐姿势,对初学者产生的极大苦痛,是他的有限定力所难以应付的。因此,一个有效益的密集禅修,必须安排一些姿势改变与活动,通常会采取间隔的坐禅与行禅方式,一般的安排是轮流地坐禅一小时和行禅一小时,其间可休息片刻。

To do the walking meditation, you need a private place with enough space for at least five to ten paces in a straight line. You are going to be walking back and forth very slowly, and to the eyes of most Westerners, you'll look curious and disconnected from everyday life. This is not the sort of exercise you want to perform on the front lawn where you'll attract unnecessary attention. Choose a private place.

行禅需要一个没人干扰的隐蔽地方,且有空间可直线行走至少五至十步。你将要缓慢地来回走动,这在大部分的西方人眼中,你是古怪的与日常生活脱节的。这些练习不是你会在家中前园的草地上做的,那只会引来不必要的注目,因此,要选择一个较隐蔽的地方。

The physical directions are simple. Select an unobstructed area and start at one end. Stand for a minute in an attentive position. Your arms can be held in any way that is comfortable, in front, in back, or at your sides. Then while breathing in, lift the heel of one foot. While breathing out, rest that foot on its toes. Again while breathing in, lift that foot, carry it forward and while breathing out, bring the foot down and touch the floor. Repeat this for the other foot. Walk very slowly to the opposite end, stand for one minute, then turn around very slowly, and stand there for another minute before you walk back. Then repeat the process. Keep you head up and you neck relaxed. Keep your eyes open to maintain balance, but don't look at anything in particular. Walk naturally. Maintain the slowest pace that is comfortable, and pay no attention to your surroundings. Watch out for tensions building up in the body, and release them as soon as you spot them. Don't make any particular attempt to be graceful. Don't try to look pretty. This is not an athletic exercise, or a dance. It is an exercise in awareness. Your objective is to attain total alertness, heightened sensitivity and a full, unblocked experience of the motion of walking. Put all of your attention on the sensations coming from the feet and legs. Try to register as much information as possible about each foot as it moves. Dive into the pure sensation of walking, and notice every subtle nuance of the movement. Feel each individual muscle as it moves. Experience every tiny change in tactile sensation as the feet press against the floor and then lift again.

至于行禅时身体上的指示则很简单,选一没有障碍的地方,从一端开始,在那里站着,并留意着自己的站立姿态一分钟,手臂可随意放在身前、身后或身体的两侧;接着,一面吸气一面提起一只脚的脚跟,然后一面呼气一面放下那只脚的脚指在地上,然后再吸气,同时提起那一只脚,然后一面向前一面呼气,然后放下那只脚在地上;接着,对另一只脚重复做这个动作。就这样慢慢地走至另一端,然后在那里站立一分钟。接着慢慢转身面向另一端,在走回另一端前再站立一分钟,然后再重复整个过程。

行禅时要保持头部平正和颈项放松,眼睛要张开来保持平衡,但不可注视任何特别的景物。自然地行走,维持最慢而又舒适的步伐,不可注意周遭的环境,留意身体上是否有紧张,一发现到就要随即放松。不要为了优雅而作某些特别尝试,也不要尝试令自己走起来好看。这不是一项体育练习或舞蹈,它是一种觉知的练习,你的目标是要达致完全警觉、高度敏感,以及对行走动作的无阻塞体验。把所有注意力都放在腿和脚生起的感觉上,尽量留心记录每一只脚移动时的所有讯息。深入觉知行走时的纯粹感觉,要注意到活动中难以捉摸的细微差别。感受一下个别肌肉活动时的感觉,体验一下当脚接触地面后,随即提起时的触觉微细转变。

Notice the way these apparently smooth motions are composed of complex series of tiny jerks. Try to miss nothing. In order to heighten your sensitivity, you can break the movement down into distinct components. Each foot goes through a lift, a swing; and then a down tread. Each of these components has a beginning, middle, and end. In order to tune yourself in to this series of motions, you can start by making explicit mental notes of each stage.

Make a mental note of "lifting, swinging, coming down, touching floor, pressing" and so on. This is a training procedure to familiarize you with the sequence of motions and to make sure that you don't miss any. As you become more aware of the myriad subtle events going on, you won't have time for words. You will find yourself immersed in a fluid, unbroken awareness of motion. The feet will become your whole universe. If your mind wanders, note the distraction in the usual way, then return your attention to walking. Don't look at your feet while you are doing all of this, and don't walk back and forth watching a mental picture of your feet and legs. Don't think, just feel. You don't need the concept of feet and you don't need pictures. Just register the sensations as they flow. In the beginning, you will probably have some difficulties with balance. You are using the leg muscles in a new way, and a learning period is natural. If frustration arises, just note that and let it go.

注意一下这些看来流畅的活动,是如何由一连串复杂的细微推拉活动所组成,不可遗漏任何细节。为了提升你的敏感度,可以把动作分拆为几个截然不同的部分。每一只脚都会经过「提起」、「向前摆动」、然后「放下踏地」等阶段,而每一部分都有开始、中间和完结。为了让自己与这些连串动作能调适,你可以在开始时,心中明确地默念(默记)每一个阶段。心中明确地默念:「提起、向前摆动、放下、接触地面、压下」等等。这是一种练习程序,好让你熟悉那些连串动作,以及确保不会遗漏任何细节。当你更能觉知正在进行的各式各样微细的事件时,就再不会有时间顾及文字了。你将发觉自己正热衷于流动、无间隔的觉知活动上。脚将成为你的全世界,如果你分了心,要像往常一样觉察到自己的分心,然后再回来注意行走动作。当你做着这些事时,不要看着你的脚,也不要一面来回走动,一面在心中观看着自己走动的画面。不可思想,只须感受(体验)!你不需要脚的概念,也不需要图画,只须在感觉流动时当即用心记下即可。开始时,平衡上你可能有些困难,因为你正以新的方式来运用你的腿部肌肉,自然需要一个学习阶段。如果有挫败感生起,只须注意到它,然后让它离开即可。

The Vipassana walking technique is designed to flood your consciousness with simple sensations, and to do it so thoroughly that all else is pushed aside. There is no room for thought and no room for emotion. There is no time for grasping, and none for freezing the activity into a series of concepts. There is no need for a sense of self. There is only the sweep of tactile and kinesthetic sensation, an endless and ever-changing flood of raw experience. We are learning here to escape into reality, rather than from it. Whatever insights we gain are directly applicable to the rest of our notion-filled lives.

设计内观的行禅技巧,是为了以单纯的感觉像洪水般淹没你的意识,且要彻底地做到可以排除一切其他东西,不留任何空间与思想或情绪,不容许有时间去执取、或为活动营造一系列的概念,也不必有自我的感觉,有的只是掠过的触觉与动感(肌肉运动的感觉),一股无止境的、千变万化的、处于自然状态的感受洪流。我们在这里学习逃往现实,而非逃避现实。我们在这里所获得的任何洞悉,皆可以直接用于其他充满概念、想法及主张的日常生活上面。

2. Postures

(2) 在其他姿势中禅修

The goal of our practice is to become fully aware of all facets of our experience in an unbroken, moment-to-moment flow. Much of what we do and experience is completely unconscious in the sense that we do it with little or no attention. Our minds are on something else entirely. We spend most of our time running on automatic pilot, lost in the fog of day-dreams and preoccupations.

我们的禅修目标,是要念念绵延不断地知道我们自身感受的一切方面。我们的许多活动和感受都是完全无意识的(不知不觉的),那是说,我们没有、或很少注意我们的活动,我们的心全放在其他事情上,我们把大部分时间花在机械式的反应上,迷失在白日梦与成见的迷雾之中。

One of the most frequently ignored aspects of our existence is our body. The technicolor cartoon show inside our head is so alluring that we tend to remove all of our attention from the kinesthetic and tactile senses. That information is pouring up the nerves and into the brain every second, but we have largely sealed it off from consciousness. It pours into the lower levels of the mind and it gets no further. Buddhists have developed an exercise to open the floodgates and let this material through to consciousness. It's another way of making the unconscious conscious.

在生存之中,最常被我们忽略的其中之一是身体,脑子里面诱人的彩色漫画影片,常令我们的注意力离开了触觉与动感,这些讯息每秒钟都不停地流入我们的神经系统与脑袋,但大部分都被封锁在意识之外。它流入心的底层后,就不可再前进了。佛教里面有一种方法可以打开闸门,让这些东西可流进意识层面,这是另一种让「无意识」变成为「意识」的方法。

Your body goes through all kinds of contortions in the course of a single day. You sit and you stand. You walk and lie down. You bend, run, crawl, and sprawl. Meditation teachers urge you to become aware of this constantly ongoing dance. As you go through your day, spend a few seconds every few minutes to check your posture. Don't do it in a judgmental way. This is not an exercise to correct your posture, or to improve you appearance. Sweep your attention down through the body and feel how you are holding it. Make a silent mental note of 'Walking' or 'Sitting' or 'Lying down' or 'Standing'. It all sounds absurdly simple, but don't slight this procedure. This is a powerful exercise. If you do it thoroughly, if you really instil this mental habit deeply, it can revolutionize your experience. It taps you into a whole new dimension of sensation, and you feel like a blind man whose sight has been restored.

每一天,你的身体都会经历各式各样的扭转动作,如行住坐卧、弯腰伸展或爬行走动等。禅师们都会激励你,要觉察到这些持续进行着的身体舞动。你在日常生活中,应隔几分钟就要花几秒时间来检查一下自己的身体姿势,不可以批判的方式来做,这不是一个用来改正姿态或改善外貌的练习。用心由头到脚扫描整个身体,感受一下你保持身体姿势的方式,心中默念(默记):「行走」、「坐着」、「躺下」或「站着」。这做法听起来实在简单可笑,然而,不可轻视这个步骤,这是一个很有效用的练习,如果你做得精确、透彻,如果你能令此心理习惯根深柢固,它可革新你的体验,带你进入一个全新的感觉领域,令你有如盲者突然重见光明之感。

3. Slow-Motion Activity

(3) 慢动作的禅修

Every action you perform is made up of separate components. The simple action of tying your shoelaces is made up of a complex series of subtle motions. Most of these details go unobserved. In order to promote the overall habit of mindfulness, you can perform simple activities at very low speed--making an effort to pay full attention to every nuance of the act.

你的每一个行动都是由很多个别成分所组成的,像绑鞋带那么简单的动作,就是由一连串复杂的细微动作构成,而大多数这些细节都是没有被察觉到的。为了促进整体的静观(留意觉察)习惯,你可以尽量放慢速度来做简单的活动,同时奋力全神贯注于每一动作的微妙之处。

Sitting at a table and drinking a cup of tea is one example. There is much here to be experienced. View your posture as you are sitting and feel the handle of the cup between your fingers. Smell the aroma of the tea, notice the placement of the cup, the tea, your arm, and the table. Watch the intention to raise the arm arise within your mind, feel the arm as it raises, feel the cup against your lips and the liquid pouring into your mouth. Taste the tea, then watch the arising of the intention to lower your arm. The entire process is fascinating and beautiful, if you attend to it fully, paying detached attention to every sensation and to the flow of thought and emotion.

另一个例子是:坐在桌子旁边喝一杯茶。在这活动之中,你可以体验到很多东西,例如:你可以体验到坐着时的姿态、感受到手指与杯子把手的接触、闻到茶叶散发出来的芳香、留意到杯子、茶叶、你的手臂及桌子的放置方式,接着,你会察觉到内心欲提起手臂的意向、感受到手臂提起时的感觉、感受到杯子与嘴唇的接触、以及液体注入口中的感受,你会品尝茶的香味,然后察觉到欲放下手臂的意向。如果你能完全投入,以超然的态度来注意每一个感觉、想法和情绪的流动,那么,整个过程将会十分美好和引人入胜。

This same tactic can be applied to many of your daily activities. Intentionally slowing down your thoughts, words and movements allows you to penetrate far more deeply into them than you otherwise could. What you find there is utterly astonishing. In the beginning, it is very difficult to keep this deliberately slow pace during most regular activities, but skill grows with time. Profound realizations occur during sitting meditation, but even more profound revelations can take place when we really examine our own inner workings in the midst of day-to-day activities. This is the laboratory where we really start to see the mechanisms of our own emotions and the operations of our passions. Here is where we can truly gauge the reliability of our reasoning, and glimpse the difference between our true motives and the armor of pretense that we wear to fool ourselves and others.

同样的策略亦可被运用于你的许多日常活动之中。刻意放慢你的思想、说话与动作速度,有助你比以前通达它们更深一个层次,你会发现,那里充满令人惊讶的现象。在开始时,要在平常活动中保持这种刻意的慢速,是十分困难的,不过,随着经常的练习,技巧自会改进。深切的领悟会在坐禅中发生,然而,当我们在日常的活动中,能认真地仔细检查一下我们自身的内部运转,就算更加意义深远的启示亦会出现的。就好像在实验室之中,我们真的开始看到自己本身的情绪机制,以及强烈感情的运作方式;在这里,我们可以真确地估量我们的推理(论证)可信程度,以及瞥见自己的真实动机与自欺欺人的伪装两者之分别。

We will find a great deal of this information surprising, much of it disturbing, but all of it useful. Bare attention brings order into the clutter that collects in those untidy little hidden corners of the mind. As you achieve clear comprehension in the midst of life's ordinary activities, you gain the ability to remain rational and peaceful while you throw the penetrating light of mindfulness into those irrational mental nooks and crannies. You start to see the extent to which you are responsible for your own mental suffering. You see your own miseries, fears, and tensions as self-generated. You see the way you cause your own suffering, weakness, and limitations. And the more deeply you understand these mental processes, the less hold they have on you.

你会发觉,这些讯息大部分都很令人惊讶,有很多更令人烦扰不安,但全部都是有用的。纯粹的注意,可为隐藏在内心小暗角的一团杂乱带来秩序,当你在日常生活之中能实现到清楚的觉知、在投入有通达力的专注之光于那些非理性的心灵暗角或裂隙时,便有能力保持理性与安宁。你开始了解自己对内心痛苦应负的责任程度,你察觉到,自己的苦难、恐惧与压力皆是自己引起的。你察觉到,自己是怎样造成自己的痛苦、缺点与局限,而当你越深入了解这些心理过程,它们就越来越无法控制到你。

4. Breath Coordination

(4) 协调呼吸与活动的禅修

In seated meditation, our primary focus is the breath. Total concentration on the ever-changing breath brings us squarely into the present moment. The same principle can be used in the midst of movement. You can coordinate the activity in which you are involved with your breathing. This lends a flowing rhythm to your movement, and it smooths out many of the abrupt transitions. Activity becomes easier to focus on, and mindfulness is increased. Your awareness thus stays more easily in the present. Ideally, meditation should be a 24 hour-a-day practice. This is a highly practical suggestion.

在坐禅时,我们的主要禅修对象是呼吸。全神贯注于千变万化的呼吸上,能带领我们直达当下。同一原理亦适用于活动之中,你可把呼吸与正在从事的活动协调起来,这样做,可为你的动作带来流畅的旋律,以及令许多转变顺畅无阻;你更易集中于活动上,专注力会增长,而觉知力更易保持在当下。理想上,禅修应是每天二十四小时都在修习的,这很实际有效。

A state of mindfulness is a state of mental readiness. The mind is not burdened with preoccupations or bound in worries. Whatever comes up can be dealt with instantly. When you are truly mindful, your nervous system has a freshness and resiliency which fosters insight. A problem arises and you simply deal with it, quickly, efficiently, and with a minimum of fuss. You don't stand there in a dither, and you don't run off to a quiet corner so you can sit down and meditate about it. You simply deal with it. And in those rare circumstances when no solution seems possible, you don't worry about that. You just go on to the next thing that needs your attention. Your intuition becomes a very practical faculty.

留意觉察的心态,是一种准备就绪的心态。内心没有成见、偏见或烦忧的包袱,对出现的任何事都可立即应对。当你确实在留意觉察时,你的神经系统就会充满朝气与弹性,很容易培育出内观智慧。若有问题出现,你会率直地处理它,迅速、有效而不忙乱。你不会站在那里犹豫不决,也不会逃跑至安静的角落,好让你坐下来思考着它。你只率直地处理它,在极少数看似不能解决的情况下,你也不会为之担心。你只会进行下一件要你关注的事情,你的直觉将成为一种非常有用的能力。

5. Stolen Moments

(5) 善用零碎或空闲的时间来禅修

The concept of wasted time does not exist for a serious meditator. Little dead spaces during your day can be turned to profit. Every spare moment can be used for meditation. Sitting anxiously in the dentist's office, meditate on your anxiety. Feeling irritated while standing in a line at the bank, meditate on irritation. Bored, twiddling you thumbs at the bus stop, meditate on boredom. Try to stay alert and aware throughout the day. Be mindful of exactly what is taking place right now, even if it is tedious drudgery. Take advantage of moments when you are alone. Take advantage of activities that are largely mechanical. Use every spare second to be mindful. Use all the moments you can.

认真的禅修者是不会有「浪费时间」这一概念的。你日常生活中的许多零碎时间都可以被善用的,你可以拿每一个零碎时间或闲暇来禅修。例如:坐在牙医诊所内忧虑地等候时,可以利用忧虑为缘来禅修;在银行站着排队感到烦躁时,可以利用烦躁为缘来禅修;在巴士站等车时感到烦闷、玩弄手指时,可以利用烦闷为缘来禅修。总之,即使是冗长乏味、或单调辛苦的工作,整天都要尝试保持警惕与觉察,以及静观当下正在发生的事情。要善用独处的片刻,要善用大半是机械化的活动,要利用闲暇的每一刻来静观,要利用全部你能拿取的片刻来禅修。

6. Concentration On All Activities

(6) 对所有活动保持静观

You should try to maintain mindfulness of every activity and perception through the day, starting with the first perception when you awake, and ending with the last thought before you fall asleep. This is an incredibly tall goal to shoot for. Don't expect to be able to achieve this work soon. Just take it slowly and let you abilities grow over time. The most feasible way to go about the task is to divide your day up into chunks. Dedicate a certain interval to mindfulness of posture, then extend this mindfulness to other simple activities: eating, washing, dressing, and so forth. Some time during the day, you can set aside 15 minutes or so to practice the observation of specific types of mental states: pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral feelings, for instance; or the hindrances, or thoughts. The specific routine is up to you. The idea is to get practice at spotting the various items, and to preserve your state of mindfulness as fully as you can throughout the day.

每一天的活动与知觉,由觉醒时的首个知觉,到入睡前的最后一念,你都要尝试对它们保持当下的留意觉察。这是一个非常高远的目标,不可预期能一步登天,要慢慢来,让你的能力与时俱增。最可行的方法,是把一天分为几个时段,把一个时段致力于静观姿势,然后把静观伸展至其他的简单活动,例如:进食、清洗、穿衣等。你亦可在一天之中,拨出大约十五分钟来修习观察特定的心态,例如:适意的、不适意的、以及中性的;或者是障碍禅修的五种盖障(贪、瞋、昏沉、掉举(散乱)或疑)、其他的思想等。具体程序可自行决定,重点是要你练习识别上述的各个项目,同时要在一天之内,尽量保持完满的静观状态。

Try to achieve a daily routine in which there is as little difference as possible between seated meditation and the rest of your experience. Let the one slide naturally into the other. Your body is almost never still. There is always motion to observe. At the very least, there is breathing. Your mind never stops chattering, except in the very deepest states of concentration. There is always something coming up to observe. If you seriously apply your meditation, you will never be at a loss for something worthy of your attention.

努力建立起你的日常程序(习惯),使坐禅与其他生活经验之间的差别,可减至最低,让它们能彼此间自然磨合。整体而言,活着的身体是永难静止的,你总会观察到它的活动,至少它会呼吸,而内心也会念念不停。除非你正处于甚深的禅定境界,否则,总会有些事物出现给你观察的。若你认真致力禅修,一定不会因缺少值得你注意的事物而感到困惑的。

Your practice must be made to apply to your everyday living situation. That is your laboratory. It provides the trials and challenges you need to make your practice deep and genuine. It's the fire that purifies your practice of deception and error, the acid test that shows you when you are getting somewhere and when you are fooling yourself. If your meditation isn't helping you to cope with everyday conflicts and struggles, then it is shallow. If your day-to-day emotional reactions are not becoming clearer and easier to manage, then you are wasting your time. And you never know how you are doing until you actually make that test.

你必须运用禅修于你的日常生活情境之中。生活中的禅修就好像你的实验室,它提供你所需的磨练与挑战,令你的修持能深化和名副其实。它如炼火,能净化你的欺诈与谬误,又如严峻的考验,能显示你在进步之中、还是在自欺欺人之中。如你的禅修无法帮你应付日常的冲突与挣扎,那么,它是浅薄的;如你的日常情绪反应,未能越来越被察觉与容易被处理,那么,你是在浪费时间了。可是,如你还未做实际测试,你是永远不会知道自己做得如何的。

The practice of mindfulness is supposed to be a universal practice. You don't do it sometimes and drop it the rest of the time. You do it all the time. Meditation that is successful only when you are withdrawn in some soundproof ivory tower is still undeveloped. Insight meditation is the practice of moment-to-moment mindfulness. The meditator learns to pay bare attention to the birth, growth, and decay of all the phenomena of the mind. He turns from none of it, and he lets none of it escape. Thoughts and emotions, activities and desires, the whole show. He watches it all and he watches it continuously. It matters not whether it is lovely or horrid, beautiful or shameful. He sees the way it is and the way it changes. No aspect of experience is excluded or avoided. It is a very thoroughgoing procedure.

留意觉察的修习必须普及于生活之中,不能一时修习、一时又置之不理,那是你随时都要做的修习。要躲在象牙塔里修习才能成功的禅修,到现在还未被开发出来。内观禅修是一种时时刻刻皆在静观的修习,禅修者要学习纯粹地注意心内一切现象的生起、增长与衰亡,不可逃避,也不可遗漏任何一个现象。对所有思想、情绪、活动、欲望等展示,他全部都要留意观察,而且要持续不断地观察,不管是可爱的、可厌的、美好的、或是羞耻的,他都要即时知道它的现状及转变方式,不回避、亦不排除经验的任何方面。

If you are moving through your daily activities and you find yourself in a state of boredom, then meditate on your boredom. Find out how it feels, how it works, and what it is composed of. If you are angry, meditate on the anger. Explore the mechanics of anger. Don't run from it. If you find yourself sitting in the grip of a dark depression, meditate on the depression. Investigate depression in a detached and inquiring way. Don't flee from it blindly. Explore the maze and chart its pathways. That way you will be better able to cope with the next depression that comes along.

在日常活动之中,如果发觉自己处于厌烦的状态,那就专注自己的厌烦,看看它是一个怎么样的感受,它是怎么样运作的,它是由什么构成的。如果你在愤怒,那就专注自己的愤怒,探究一下愤怒的运作方式,不可回避它。如果发觉自己陷入沮丧的深渊,那就专注自己的沮丧,以超然、好奇的态度来审查此一沮丧情绪,不可盲目地逃避它,要仔细探究此迷宫,并记下它的路线图,如此才能在下次沮丧出现时,让你能处理得更好。

Meditating your way through the ups and downs of daily life is the whole point of Vipassana. This kind of practice is extremely rigorous and demanding, but it engenders a state of mental flexibility that is beyond comparison. A meditator keeps his mind open every second. He is constantly investigating life, inspecting his own experience, viewing existence in a detached and inquisitive way. Thus he is constantly open to truth in any form, from any source, and at any time. This is the state of mind you need for Liberation.

内观禅修的重点,在于贯彻禅修于日常生活的起起伏伏(盛衰沉浮)之中,这类修习非常严格,且要求苛刻,可是,它所练成的心理变通性,却是无与伦比的。禅修者分分秒秒均保持内心开放,他持续不停地探究生活,检视自己的经验,以一种超然、好奇的方式来观察生命。因此,无论真理来自何时何方、或以何形式出现,他都能以开放的态度接触得到,这正是解脱所需的心理状态。

It is said that one may attain enlightenment at any moment if the mind is kept in a state of meditative readiness. The tiniest, most ordinary perception can be the stimulus: a view of the moon, the cry of a bird, the sound of the wind in the trees. it's not so important what is perceived as the way in which you attend to that perception. The state of open readiness is essential. It could happen to you right now if you are ready. The tactile sensation of this book in your fingers could be the cue. The sound of these words in your head might be enough. You could attain enlightenment right now, if you are ready.

据说,若人内心能维持在准备就绪的禅修状态,此人随时随刻皆有开悟的可能。最微细、最普通的知觉都可以引发开悟,例如:看到月亮、听到鸟语风声等。知觉到什么并不重要,更重要的是你照顾那知觉的方式。开放的准备就绪状态是必须的,你若准备好,马上就有可能发生,而引发的因缘可以是:你手指与此书的触觉、或是这些文字在你脑中的声音。如果你准备好,现在就有可能开悟!


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