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Mindfulness In Plain English - Chapter 13: Mindfulness (Sati)
 
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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 13: Mindfulness (Sati)

第十三章静观(Mindfulness)的阐释

Mindfulness is the English translation of the Pali word Sati. Sati is an activity. What exactly is that? There can be no precise answer, at least not in words. Words are devised by the symbolic levels of the mind and they describe those realities with which symbolic thinking deals. Mindfulness is pre-symbolic. It is not shackled to logic. Nevertheless, Mindfulness can be experienced -- rather easily -- and it can be described, as long as you keep in mind that the words are only fingers pointing at the moon. They are not the thing itself. The actual experience lies beyond the words and above the symbols. Mindfulness could be describes in completely different terms than will be used here and each description could still be correct. Mindfulness is a subtle process that you are using at this very moment. The fact that this process lies above and beyond words does not make it unreal--quite the reverse.

Sati 是巴利文,它的英译多为Mindfulness,中文的古译为「念、念住、正念或观照」等,但今译则多为「观、静观、留意觉察、留意觉知、留意观察、专注、觉知、觉察、观察、注意」等。【译者注:Sati 与Mindfulness 皆有忆念、惦记、密切注意、觉知、专注等意思,但欲了解其禅修涵义,非参阅《念住经》[1]或《念处经》等经文不可。作者在本章中的阐释,可谓深入浅出,帮了我们一个很大的忙。译者为了方便读者理解,决定根据不同的上下文义,给Mindfulness 以适切的不同翻译。】Sati 是一种活动,它真实的意思是什么?确实的答案恐怕找不到,至少很难用文字来表达。文字是心设计出来的符号,它们描述的真实是符号思维要处理的东西,而静观所处理的,是在符号之前的真实,故不受符号逻辑所束缚。尽管如此,静观颇为容易被体验,亦可被描述,只须紧记,文字只不过像指着月亮的手指,文字不是其所指的东西本身。实际的经验皆超越文字与符号的范围。静观可以用全然不同于本书的术语来描述,而每一描述也可以是正确的。

Mindfulness is the reality which gives rise to words--the words that follow are simply pale shadows of reality. So, it is important to understand that everything that follows here is analogy. It is not going to make perfect sense. It will always remain beyond verbal logic. But you can experience it. The meditation technique called Vipassana (insight) that was introduced by the Buddha about twenty-five centuries ago is a set of mental activities specifically aimed at experiencing a state of uninterrupted Mindfulness.

静观是你在当下正在运用的一种微妙过程,它超越文字,但此事实不会让它变成不真实,正好相反,静观是引发文字的真实,随后而来的文字只是真实的影子而已。因此,重要的是要了解,以下所述的一切皆是比喻而已,并没有太大的意义。静观永远超越语言文字的逻辑,不过你可以体验它。佛陀在二千五百多年前所介绍的内观禅修技巧,是一套专门用来体验无间断静观状态的心理活动。

When you first become aware of something, there is a fleeting instant of pure awareness just before you conceptualize the thing, before you identify it. That is a stage of Mindfulness. Ordinarily, this stage is very short. It is that flashing split second just as you focus your eyes on the thing, just as you focus your mind on the thing, just before you objectify it, clamp down on it mentally and segregate it from the rest of existence. It takes place just before you start thinking about it--before your mind says, "Oh, it's a dog."

当你开始觉知某物,就在你将它概念化或确认之前,总会有一瞬间的纯粹觉知,那是一种觉知状态,通常历时短暂;就在你集中视力于某物,就在你集中心力于某物,就在你把它具体化(Objectify)、在心里锁定它、并从其他事物中抽离出来之前那一瞬间。它发生在你开始想它之前,就在你心里说:「啊!它是一只狗。」

That flowing, soft-focused moment of pure awareness is Mindfulness. In that brief flashing mind-moment you experience a thing as an un-thing. You experience a softly flowing moment of pure experience that is interlocked with the rest of reality, not separate from it. Mindfulness is very much like what you see with your peripheral vision as opposed to the hard focus of normal or central vision. Yet this moment of soft, unfocused, awareness contains a very deep sort of knowing that is lost as soon as you focus your mind and objectify the object into a thing. In the process of ordinary perception, the Mindfulness step is so fleeting as to be unobservable.

之前就发生了。那流动的、柔和聚焦的瞬间纯粹觉知就是静观。在那电光火石间的短暂时间里,你经验到的东西皆非实在的东西。你体验到一柔和流动的、瞬间消逝的纯粹经验,它与其他实际事物环环相扣,而非分离。静观好比以周边视觉去看,而非以正常的中央视觉去看。然而,此瞬间的柔和而非集中的觉知,包含着一种非常深邃的洞悉,那是当你集中心意和把事物具体化时即会消失的能力。在平常的知觉过程中,静观阶段瞬即飞逝,乃至常被忽略;

We have developed the habit of squandering our attention on all the remaining steps, focusing on the perception, recognizing the perception, labeling it, and most of all, getting involved in a long string of symbolic thought about it. That original moment of Mindfulness is rapidly passed over. It is the purpose of the above mentioned Vipassana (or insight) meditation to train us to prolong that moment of awareness.

于是,我们养成了只注意知觉过程其他阶段的习惯,把焦点放在知觉、认知到知觉、标签,以及大部分时间花在与之有关的符号思维之中,以致原来的瞬间静观一闪即逝。前面提过的内观禅修,其目的就是要训练我们去延长此瞬间的觉知时间。

When this Mindfulness is prolonged by using proper techniques, you find that this experience is profound and it changes your entire view of the universe. This state of perception has to be learned, however, and it takes regular practice. Once you learn the technique, you will find that Mindfulness has many interesting aspects.

利用适当技巧把静观延长后,你将有一深刻体验,它会改变你的整个世界观。然而,这认识层次必须通过学习与持续的定时练习始得。一旦学会此技巧,你将发现静观有很多方面都是非常有趣的。

The Characteristics of Mindfulness Mindfulness is mirror-thought. It reflects only what is presently happening and in exactly the way it is happening. There are no biases.

静观的特质

(1) 静观好像一面心镜。它只会反映当下正在发生的事情或现象,而且是如其实在的反映,没有任何偏见。

Mindfulness is non-judgmental observation. It is that ability of the mind to observe without criticism. With this ability, one sees things without condemnation or judgment. One is surprised by nothing. One simply takes a balanced interest in things exactly as they are in their natural states. One does not decide and does not judge. One just observes. Please note that when we say "One does not decide and does not judge," what we mean is that the meditator observes experiences very much like a scientist observing an object under the microscope without any preconceived notions, only to see the object exactly as it is. In the same way the meditator notices impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and selflessness.

(2) 静观是无判断的观察。它是内心那种不加批判的观察能力。凭藉此能力,人才可以没有责难、没有判断地来观看事物,他不会为任何事物而惊讶,他只是大公无私地、如实地看待任何事物的自然状态,他不判断,也不决定,只是观察。请留意,当我们说:「他不判断,也不决定」时,我们的意思是,这位禅修者在观察经验时,十分像科学家用显微镜观察物件,心中没有任何先入为主的想法,只是如实地观看那物件。禅修者也是以同样的方式来留意观察无常、苦及无我。

It is psychologically impossible for us to objectively observe what is going on within us if we do not at the same time accept the occurrence of our various states of mind. This is especially true with unpleasant states of mind. In order to observe our own fear, we must accept the fact that we are afraid. We can't examine our own depression without accepting it fully. The same is true for irritation and agitation, frustration and all those other uncomfortable emotional states. You can't examine something fully if you are busy reflecting its existence.

从心理学上来说,如果我们不能在事件发生时,同时接受内心生起的各种状态,要客观地向内观察自己是不可能的。此点对于不适意的心态而言尤其如是,例如,要观察我们的恐惧,我们必须接受自己恐惧的事实。假如不能完全接受自己的情绪低落,我们又怎么能审察它呢?这道理对于恼怒、激动、挫败感,以及其他一切令人不舒服的情绪来说,亦是同样适用的。如果你忙于排斥某些事情,你是无法同一时间去彻底检察它们的。

Whatever experience we may be having, Mindfulness just accepts it. It is simply another of life's occurrences, just another thing to be aware of. No pride, no shame, nothing personal at stake--what is there, is there.

我们现有的任何感受或经验,静观都会一概接受,它只不过是生命里发生的另一件事,另一项要被觉知的事而已。没有骄傲、没有羞愧、亦没有个人风险,那里出现什么,就是什么。

Mindfulness is an impartial watchfulness. It does not take sides. It does not get hung up in what is perceived. It just perceives. Mindfulness does not get infatuated with the good mental states. It does not try to sidestep the bad mental states. There is no clinging to the pleasant, no fleeing from the unpleasant. Mindfulness sees all experiences as equal, all thoughts as equal, all feelings as equal. Nothing is suppressed. Nothing is repressed. Mindfulness does not play favorites.

(3) 静观是不偏不倚的密切注意。它不会偏袒任何一方,它不会依恋执着所感知到的事物,它只是感知。静观不会迷恋那些美好心态,也不会尝试回避不好的心态。它不依恋乐事,也不逃避苦境。静观对所有经验、想法、感受等皆一视同仁,没有任何压抑或压制,静观不会搞个人偏爱。

Mindfulness is nonconceptual awareness. Another English term for Sati is 'bare attention'. It is not thinking. It does not get involved with thought or concepts. It does not get hung up on ideas or opinions or memories. It just looks. Mindfulness registers experiences, but it does not compare them. It does not label them or categorize them. It just observes everything as if it was occurring for the first time. It is not analysis which is based on reflection and memory. It is, rather, the direct and immediate experiencing of whatever is happening, without the medium of thought. It comes before thought in the perceptual process.

(4) 静观是非概念性的觉知。巴利文Sati 的一个翻译是静观,另一个翻译是纯粹注意。它不是思维,它不牵涉思想或概念,亦与意念、意见或记忆等无关,它只注视。静观会自动记下经验,不会比较它们,不会给它们标签或归类,对每一件事,它都会视之为第一次相遇那样来观察。它不是建基于反省与记忆之上的分析,刚好相反,它是对当下发生着的任何事物的直接体验,当中无须以思想概念等为媒介。在知觉过程中,它是先于思想出现的。

Mindfulness is present time awareness. It takes place in the here and now. It is the observance of what is happening right now, in the present moment. It stays forever in the present, surging perpetually on the crest of the ongoing wave of passing time. If you are remembering your second-grade teacher, that is memory. When you then become aware that you are remembering your second-grade teacher, that is mindfulness. If you then conceptualize the process and say to yourself, "Oh, I am remembering", that is thinking. Mindfulness is non-egoistic alertness.

(5) 静观是当下的觉知。它发生在眼前当下,它是对现正发生着的事件所作之观察。它永远逗留在现在,永远在时光流逝的波浪顶峰上滑浪。如果你想起二年级的老师,那是记忆;当你觉知到自己正在想着二年级的老师时,那是静观;如果你把这过程概念化,对自己说道:「噢!我正在回忆。」那是思维。

It takes place without reference to self. With Mindfulness one sees all phenomena without references to concepts like 'me', 'my' or 'mine'. For example, suppose there is pain in your left leg. Ordinary consciousness would say, "I have a pain." Using Mindfulness, one would simply note the sensation as a sensation. One would not tack on that extra concept 'I'. Mindfulness stops one from adding anything to perception, or subtracting anything from it. One does not enhance anything. One does not emphasize anything. One just observes exactly what is there--without distortion.

(6) 静观是不自私的警觉。它是在无私的前提下发生的。秉持静观去观看一切现象的人,是不会心怀「我」或「我的」等概念的。例如:假设你的左脚有些疼痛,一般人的意识会说:「我有些疼痛。」而运用静观的人,心中只知道那感觉就是感觉,不会再在上面附加「我」的概念。静观不容许任何人在知觉上增加或减少任何东西。静观的人不会增强任何事,也不会强调任何事,他只是在当下如实地观察,不作任何扭曲。

Mindfulness is goal-less awareness. In Mindfulness, one does not strain for results. One does not try to accomplish anything. When one is mindful, one experiences reality in the present moment in whatever form it takes. There is nothing to be achieved. There is only observation. Mindfulness is awareness of change. It is observing the passing flow of experience. It is watching things as they are changing. it is seeing the birth, growth, and maturity of all phenomena. It is watching phenomena decay and die. Mindfulness is watching things moment by moment, continuously. It is observing all phenomena--physical, mental or emotional--whatever is presently taking place in the mind. One just sits back and watches the show. Mindfulness is the observance of the basic nature of each passing phenomenon. It is watching the thing arising and passing away. It is seeing how that thing makes us feel and how we react to it. It is observing how it affects others. In Mindfulness, one is an unbiased observer whose sole job is to keep track of the constantly passing show of the universe within.

(7) 静观是变化的觉知。它观察着当下的流逝经验,它观看着正在变化的现象,它看着所有现象的生起、成长与成熟,它注视着现象的衰微与消逝。静观是时刻不停地、持续地观看事物。它观察所有现象,任何正在心中出现的身体、心理、或情绪现象,都包括在内,你只须坐下来观看表演即可。静观是观察眼前每一个流逝现象之本质,看到现象的生起与消逝,看到现象影响我们的方式,以及我们对它的反应,看到它如何影响其他人。在静观中,你是一个无私、公平的观察者,你唯一的工作是要清楚了知内在世界不断流逝的表演。

Please note that last point. In Mindfulness, one watches the universe within. The meditator who is developing Mindfulness is not concerned with the external universe. It is there, but in meditation, one's field of study is one's own experience, one's thoughts, one's feelings, and one's perceptions. In meditation, one is one's own laboratory. The universe within has an enormous fund of information containing the reflection of the external world and much more. An examination of this material leads to total freedom.

请留意最后那一点,在静观中,你要观察自己的内在世界,正在发展静观力的禅修者是不会关心外在世界的,它仍在那里,但在禅修时,你的研究领域是自己的经验、思想、感受、以及个人的知觉。在禅修中,你自己的实验室就是你自己本人。内在世界贮存着庞大的资料,里面不但包括外在世界的反映,还有很多其他的事物。仔细检查一下这个资料库,可令你达致完全解脱。

Mindfulness is participatory observation. The meditator is both participant and observer at one and the same time. If one watches one's emotions or physical sensations, one is feeling them at that very same moment. Mindfulness is not an intellectual awareness. It is just awareness. The mirror-thought metaphor breaks down here.

Mindfulness is objective, but it is not cold or unfeeling. It is the wakeful experience of life, an alert participation in the ongoing process of living. Mindfulness is an extremely difficult concept to define in words -- not because it is complex, but because it is too simple and open. The same problem crops up in every area of human experience.

(8) 静观是参与性的观察。禅修者在同一时间内,既是参与者、又是观察者。当你观察自己的情绪或感觉时,在同一时间内,你也在感受着它们。静观不是一种知识性的觉知(Intellectual Awareness),它只是觉知而已。心镜的比喻在此失效了,静观是客观的,但不是冷酷无情,它是对生命之醒觉体验,对进行着的生活过程的一种警觉性的参与。

The most basic concept is always the most difficult to pin down. Look at a dictionary and you will see a clear example. Long words generally have concise definitions, but for short basic words like 'the' and 'is', definitions can be a page long. And in physics, the most difficult functions to describe are the most basic--those that deal with the most fundamental realities of quantum mechanics. Mindfulness is a pre-symbolic function. You can play with word symbols all day long and you will never pin it down completely. We can never fully express what it is. However, we can say what it does.

(9) 静观是很难用文字来定义的。不是因为它很复杂,而是因为它太简单和开放。同样的问题,在人类经验的每一个领域也会出现,最基本的概念总是最难定义的。看一看字典吧,你会发现很明显的例子,长的英文字都有简明的定义,短的英文字如「the( 这)」和「be(是)」等,往往需要一页纸长的定义;在物理学中,越基本的现象,它的功能就越难描述,如量子力学所研究的现象就是。静观是先于符号与文字的功能,你就算整天玩弄符号与文字,也是无法完全掌握静观的。我们永远无法完全地描述它是什么,不过,我们可以说它做的是什么。

Three Fundamental Activities

静观的三种基本活动

There are three fundamental activities of Mindfulness. We can use these activities as functional definitions of the term:

静观有三种基本活动,我们可以用之作为这个专门名词的功能性定义:

(a) Mindfulness reminds us of what we are supposed to be doing; (b) it sees things as they really are; and (c) it sees the deep nature of all phenomena.

(一)静观提醒我们现在该做什么,(二)静观如实地观察事物,(三)静观洞悉到诸种现象的真实本质。

Let's examine these definitions in greater detail.

让我们在下面较仔细地探讨一下这些定义:

(a) Mindfulness reminds you of what you are supposed to be doing.

(一)静观提醒我们现在该做什么

In meditation, you put your attention on one item. When your mind wanders from this focus, it is Mindfulness that reminds you that your mind is wandering and what you are supposed to be doing. It is Mindfulness that brings your mind back to the object of meditation. All of this occurs instantaneously and without internal dialogue. Mindfulness is not thinking. Repeated practice in meditation establishes this function as a mental habit which then carries over into the rest of your life. A serious meditator pays bare attention to occurrences all the time, day in, day out, whether formally sitting in meditation or not. This is a very lofty ideal towards which those who meditate may be working for a period of years or even decades. Our habit of getting stuck in thought is years old, and that habit will hang on in the most tenacious manner. The only way out is to be equally persistent in the cultivation of constant Mindfulness. When Mindfulness is present, you will notice when you become stuck in your thought patterns. It is that very noticing which allows you to back out of the thought process and free yourself from it. Mindfulness then returns your attention to its proper focus. If you are meditating at that moment, then your focus will be the formal object of meditation. If your are not in formal meditation, it will be just a pure application of bare attention itself, just a pure noticing of whatever comes up without getting involved--"Ah, this comes up...and now this, and now this... and now this".

在禅修中,你把注意力放在某一对象上,当自心离开这个焦点时,是静观提醒你现正分心,以及提醒你该做什么,是静观把你的心拉回到禅修对象上,这一切都在瞬间发生,没有心内的自我交谈。静观不是思维活动。在禅修中不断练习,可令静观这一功能成为习惯,并可引进到生活的其他领域。一个认真的禅修者,不论在正式禅坐时或在日常生活时,都会日复一日地经常保持纯粹的注意。这是一个非常崇高的理想,往往需要数年、甚至数十年的日子才能成功。我们多年来忙于思想的习惯已是根深柢固,要摆脱它的唯一做法,就是要同样地坚持不断培育与发展无间断的静观力。当静观出现时,你会留意到哪个时候会陷于思维模式之中,正是这种觉察令你从思维过程中可抽身而出。然后,静观把你的注意力带回到正当的焦点上。如果那个时候你正在禅修,那个焦点就是你禅修的正式对象;如果你不是在禅修,那只是纯粹注意本身的一次简朴应用,即觉察到当下生起的任何现象,而没有参与其中──「呀!这个出现了…… 现在是这个…… 现在是这个…… 而现在是这个。」

Mindfulness is at one and the same time both bare attention itself and the function of reminding us to pay bare attention if we have ceased to do so. Bare attention is noticing. It re- establishes itself simply by noticing that it has not been present. As soon as you are noticing that you have not been noticing, then by definition you are noticing and then you are back again to paying bare attention.

静观是纯粹的注意,同时也是在分心时要我们专心致志的提醒功能。纯粹注意是一种觉察活动,它觉察到自己消失时能重新恢复过来。当你觉察到自己没有留意觉察时,根据定义,你是正在觉察,且同时已重新静观起来了。

Mindfulness creates its own distinct feeling in consciousness. It has a flavor--a light, clear, energetic flavor. Conscious thought is heavy by comparison, ponderous and picky. But here again, these are just words. Your own practice will show you the difference. Then you will probably come up with your own words and the words used here will become superfluous. Remember, practice is the thing.

静观在意识中创造出自己独特的感受,它的特色是:一种轻盈、清晰、且有活力的风味。相比之下,意识思维是沉闷的、好挑剔的。然而,这里要多说一次,这些都是文字,你自己的实践才能告诉你分别在哪里,到时,你可能会提出自己的用语和文字,而这里所用的文字亦会变成是多余的了。记住!实践才是重要。

(b) Mindfulness sees things as they really are.

(二)静观如实地观察事物

Mindfulness adds nothing to perception and it subtracts nothing. It distorts nothing. It is bare attention and just looks at whatever comes up. Conscious thought pastes things over our experience, loads us down with concepts and ideas, immerses us in a churning vortex of plans and worries, fears and fantasies. When mindful, you don't play that game. You just notice exactly what arises in the mind, then you notice the next thing. "Ah, this...and this...and now this." It is really very simple.

静观不会对知觉有所增加或减少,亦不会有所扭曲。它是纯粹的注意,只观察发生的任何事物。意识思维把一些东西贴在我们的经验上,以概念和观念来加重我们的负担,还要把我们淹没于转动不停的计划、忧虑、恐惧与幻想的漩涡之中。在静观时,你是不会玩这些把戏的,你只会精密地觉察着心内正生起的任何现象,然后再留意觉察下一个。「呀!这个……现在是这个…… 现在又是这个。」它实在很简单。

(c) Mindfulness sees the true nature of all phenomena.

(三)静观洞悉到诸种现象的真实本质

Mindfulness and only Mindfulness can perceive the three prime characteristics that Buddhism teaches are the deepest truths of existence.

静观,亦只有静观才能觉知到现象的三个重要根本特性,那就是佛教里有关现象的最深奥的道理(诸法实相)。

In Pali these three are called Anicca (impermanence), Dukkha (unsatisfactoriness), and Anatta (selflessness--the absence of a permanent, unchanging, entity that we call Soul or Self). These truths are not present in Buddhist teaching as dogmas demanding blind faith. The Buddhists feel that these truths are universal and self-evident to anyone who cares to investigate in a proper way. Mindfulness is the method of investigation. Mindfulness alone has the power to reveal the deepest level of reality available to human observation. At this level of inspection, one sees the following:

在巴利文中,这三个特性被称为Anicca(Impermanence)、Dukkha(Unsatisfactoriness)与Anatta(Absence of a permanent, unchanging, entity that wecall Soul or Self)。(即中文所称之无常、苦、无我等三法印)。这三个真理在佛教教义中并不是一些教条,要人盲目地去信仰,佛教徒认为只要人们肯适当地依法研究,自会发现这三个真理是不証自明的、万事万物皆有的实相。静观就是那个研究方法。单靠静观本身,就有能力揭露人类观察力所能达到的最深层次的实相。在这个视察层面,你可以了解到:

(a) all conditioned things are inherently transitory; (b) every worldly thing is, in the end, unsatisfying; and (c) there are really no entities that are unchanging or permanent, only processes.

(1) 一切因缘而生的事物其本性皆悉短暂无常,(2) 所有世间事物最终皆无法令人满意,以及(3)实在没有永恒、不变的(单独)实体,有的只是过程。

Mindfulness works like and electron microscope. That is, it operates on so fine a level that one can actually see directly those realities which are at best theoretical constructs to the conscious thought process. Mindfulness actually sees the impermanent character of every perception. It sees the transitory and passing nature of everything that is perceived. It also sees the inherently unsatisfactory nature of all conditioned things. It sees that there is no sense grabbing onto any of these passing shows. Peace and happiness cannot be found that way. And finally, Mindfulness sees the inherent selflessness of all phenomena. It sees the way that we have arbitrarily selected a certain bundle of perceptions, chopped them off from the rest of the surging flow of experience and then conceptualized them as separate, enduring, entities. Mindfulness actually sees these things. It does not think about them, it sees them directly.

静观的运作有如电子显微镜,那是说,它在极微细的层面运作,令人们能够直接、真正观察到那些实相。换取意识思维,充其量只能达致理论上建构的实相模型而已。静观真正观察到每一知觉的无常本性,它了解到知觉里一切事物皆瞬间流逝的本质,它也明白到一切因缘所生事物的内在不能令人满意的(苦的)本质。它领悟到抓取任何过眼云烟事物之不智,安宁与快乐是无法用此法获得的。到最后,静观了解到一切现象的内在无我本性,它知道我们的认知方式,是随意抓取一束感觉,把它们从汹涌的经验之流中切割出来,然后将之概念化成独立、持久不变的实体。静观真正了解这些事情,它不用思维,而是直接用心去觉察它们。

When it is fully developed, Mindfulness sees these three attributes of existence directly, instantaneously, and without the intervening medium of conscious thought. In fact, even the attributes which we just covered are inherently unified. They don't really exist as separate items. They are purely the result of our struggle to take this fundamentally simple process called Mindfulness and express it in the cumbersome and inadequate thought symbols of the conscious level. Mindfulness is a process, but it does not take place in steps. It is a holistic process that occurs as a unit: you notice your own lack of Mindfulness; and that noticing itself is a result of Mindfulness; and Mindfulness is bare attention; and bare attention is noticing things exactly as they are without distortion; and the way they are is impermanent (Anicca) , unsatisfactory (Dukkha), and selfless (Anatta). It all takes place in the space of a few mind-moments. This does not mean, however, that you will instantly attain liberation (freedom from all human weaknesses) as a result of your first moment of Mindfulness. Learning to integrate this material into your conscious life is another whole process. And learning to prolong this state of Mindfulness is still another. They are joyous processes, however, and they are well worth the effort.

当静观得到完满发展时,它能在剎那间直接体会到实际现象所共有的三个基本属性,完全无须依靠意识思维作中间媒介。事实上,这三者在本质上是一体而非分开独立的。它们的存在,纯粹是我们的努力成果── 努力地单纯静观,以及运用那累赘的、本质上并不适当的意识层面上的思维符号来表达出来。静观是一个连续过程,它并非逐步发生,而是作为一个单位发生的整体过程:你察觉到自己没有静观,这个察觉本身就是静观的结果;而静观是纯粹的注意,纯粹的注意是没有扭曲地、如实地观察事物,看到它们的实相是无常、苦和无我。这一切皆是在几个心念(剎那)之内发生的。不过,这并不表示,你在第一次生起完满静观(正念)的当下,就可立即得到解脱(摆脱一切人类的弱点)的成果,因为,学习把静观整合到你的平常意识生活,完全是另一个过程,而学习延长此静观状态又是另一个过程。不过,它们是令人高兴的过程,是十分值得你奋力做下去的。

Mindfulness (Sati) and Insight (Vipassana) Meditation

静观与内观禅

Mindfulness is the center of Vipassana Meditation and the key to the whole process. It is both the goal of this meditation and the means to that end. You reach Mindfulness by being ever more mindful. One other Pali word that is translated into English as Mindfulness is Appamada , which means non-negligence or an absence of madness. One who attends constantly to what is really going on in one's mind achieves the state of ultimate sanity.

静观是内观禅修的中心,也是整个过程的关键。它是禅修的目标,也是达致禅修目标的手段。你依赖不断增强静观力来达致静观。另一个巴利文被翻译为静观的是Appamada,Appamada 的意思是不放逸或不错乱。你若随时随地注意自己内心的当下实况,便可达致最高状态的健全心智。

The Pali term Sati also bears the connotation of remembering. It is not memory in the sense of ideas and pictures from the past, but rather clear, direct, wordless knowing of what is and what is not, of what is correct and what is incorrect, of what we are doing and how we should go about it. Mindfulness reminds the meditator to apply his attention to the proper object at the proper time and to exert precisely the amount of energy needed to do the job. When this energy is properly applied, the meditator stays constantly in a state of calm and alertness. As long as this condition is maintained, those mind-states call "hindrances" or "psychic irritants" cannot arise--there is no greed, no hatred, no lust or laziness.

巴利文Sati 还有「记忆」的含义。它不是储存及回忆过去的想法或图像,而是清楚、直接、无言地知道什么是事实、什么不是事实,什么是对、什么是不对,以及自己在做着什么和应该怎么进行等。静观提醒禅修者要在合适的时间运用合适的注意力于合适的对象上,以及精确地运用所需的精进力去完成任务。当这精进力被恰当地运用时,禅修者就会持续地处于一种平静与警觉状态,只要这种状态能够被保持,那些称为「五盖障」或「烦恼」等心态就无法生起,当下便没有贪、瞋、爱欲或懈怠。


But we all are human and we do err. Most of us err repeatedly. Despite honest effort, the meditator lets his Mindfulness slip now and then and he finds himself stuck in some regrettable, but normal, human failure. It is Mindfulness that notices that change. And it is Mindfulness that reminds him to apply the energy required to pull himself out. These slips happen over and over, but their frequency decreases with practice.

但是我们都是人,总会有时犯错的。其实大多数人都会重复犯错。尽管老实地精进,禅修者还是会久不久失念(分心),然后发觉自己陷入一些令人遗憾、却又是正常的人性上的失误。是静观觉察到那个改变,同样也是静观提醒我们实施足够的精进力,把自己拉出困境。这些失念情况会一再发生的,不过,它们的频率是会随着修习而递减的。

Once Mindfulness has pushed these mental defilements aside, more wholesome states of mind can take their place. Hatred makes way for loving kindness, lust is replaced by detachment. It is Mindfulness which notices this change, too, and which reminds the Vipassana meditator to maintain that extra little mental sharpness needed to keep these more desirable states of mind. Mindfulness makes possible the growth of wisdom and compassion. Without Mindfulness they cannot develop to full maturity.

一旦静观把这些烦恼(内心的污染)暂时移走,更为健康的心态就会取而代之,慈悲会替代瞋恚,离欲(Detachment)会替代爱欲(Lust)。同样也是静观觉察到这个改变,并提醒内观禅修者临时增多一点心灵敏锐度, 好让理想的心态能维持。静观能促进智慧与慈悲的生长,没有静观,它们是无法达致完全成熟的。

Deeply buried in the mind, there lies a mental mechanism which accepts what the mind perceives as beautiful and pleasant experiences and rejects those experiences which are perceived as ugly and painful. This mechanism gives rise to those states of mind which we are training ourselves to avoid--things like greed, lust, hatred, aversion, and jealousy. We choose to avoid these hindrances, not because they are evil in the normal sense of the word, but because they are compulsive; because they take the mind over and capture the attention completely; because they keep going round and round in tight little circles of thought; and because they seal us off from living reality.

我们的内心深处,埋藏着一个机制,它只接受内心认为美好和适意的经验(感受),拒绝被知觉过程认为是丑陋和痛苦的经验。这个机制引起的心态,如贪心、爱欲、瞋恚、厌恶与妒忌等,皆是我们在禅修中要训练自己去防止的。我们选择去防止这些障碍,不是因为它们是恶劣的,就如字面上所包含的意义;而是因为它们的强制性,因为它们把心整个接管过去,完全夺取了注意力;因为它们令思绪在小圈子内旋转不息;亦因为它们把我们封锁起来,与生动活泼的现实隔开。

These hindrances cannot arise when Mindfulness is present. Mindfulness is attention to present time reality, and therefore, directly antithetical to the dazed state of mind which characterizes impediments. As meditators, it is only when we let our Mindfulness slip that the deep mechanisms of our mind take over -- grasping, clinging and rejecting. Then resistance emerges and obscures our awareness. We do not notice that the change is taking place -- we are too busy with a thought of revenge, or greed, whatever it may be. While an untrained person will continue in this state indefinitely, a trained meditator will soon realize what is happening. It is Mindfulness that notices the change. It is Mindfulness that remembers the training received and that focuses our attention so that the confusion fades away. And it is Mindfulness that then attempts to maintain itself indefinitely so that the resistance cannot arise again. Thus, Mindfulness is the specific antidote for hindrances. It is both the cure and the preventive measure.

这些障碍在静观存在时是无法生起的,由于静观是对当下现实的注意,故此,它与障碍的迷乱心态特质是直接相反的。作为禅修者,只有当我们让静观走失,深埋的机制才会出来接管我们的心意,做着执取、依恋、拒绝等活动。跟着各种抵抗出现,令我们的觉知模糊不清,我们觉察不到当下发生着的改变,因为内心可能正忙于想着报仇、贪取、或是什么的东西。一个未经教导与训练的人会一直处于这种状态之中,一个已受训练的禅修者则会很快察觉到正在发生什么事情。是静观觉察到改变,是静观记得受训时的知识以及集中注意令纷乱消失,也是静观随之奋力地不断维持自身,令各种抗拒不能再生起。所以说,静观是各种障碍的特效解毒剂,它既能医治也能防止。

(静观能化解心中的烦恼)

完善发展的静观是一种不会执取或依恋世间任何事物的心态。如果我们能维持这种心态,就无须用任何方法或措施来让我们远离障碍、解脱人类的弱点。静观不是表面、肤浅的觉知,它深入地了解事物,到达比概念与意见更为底下的层面去了解。这种深入的观察可生起完全确知、没有丝毫疑惑。它表现出来的,主要是一种持续、稳定、毫不动摇的注意力,它不会退缩、也不会转移。

Fully developed Mindfulness is a state of total non-attachment and utter absence of clinging to anything in the world. If we can maintain this state, no other means or device is needed to keep ourselves free of obstructions, to achieve liberation from our human weaknesses. Mindfulness is non-superficial awareness. It sees things deeply, down below the level of concepts and opinions. This sort of deep observation leads to total certainty, and complete absence of confusion. It manifests itself primarily as a constant and unwavering attention which never flags and never turns away.

这纯粹、无染、爱好研究的觉知,不但能防止各种障碍,也能揭穿它们的机制与摧毁它们。静观能化解心中烦恼(污染),令内心保持不受污染、不受损害、完全不受人生的盛衰浮沉所影响。

This pure and unstained investigative awareness not only holds mental hindrances at bay, it lays bare their very mechanism and destroys them. Mindfulness neutralizes defilements in the mind. The result is a mind which remains unstained and invulnerable, completely unaffected by the ups and downs of life.

【注释】

[1]《念住经》:又称《念处经》,巴利文为Satipatthana Sutta,可参考南传《中部经》MN-10(Satipatthana Sutta)、南传《长部经》DN-22(Maha-satipatthana Sutta)、北传《中阿含经》第九十八经《念处经》、北传《杂阿含经》卷第二十四之605至639经等。


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