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Mindfulness In Plain English - Chapter 11: Dealing with Distractions - I
 
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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 11: Dealing with Distractions - I

第十一章分心的处理(上)

At some time, every meditator encounters distractions during practice, and methods are needed to deal with them. Some elegant stratagems have been devised to get you back on the track more quickly than trying to push your way through by sheer force of will. Concentration and mindfulness go hand-in-hand. Each one complements the other. If either one is weak, the other will eventually be affected. Bad days are usually characterized by poor concentration. Your mind just keeps floating around. You need some method of reestablishing your concentration, even in the face of mental adversity. Luckily, you have it. In fact you can take your choice from a traditional array of practical maneuvers.

每一位修行者都会有时在禅修中遇到分心,到时总需要有方法来应付。有些优美的方法可帮你快一点重回正轨,而无须完全依靠意志力去突围。定力与静观力是手拉手一起行动的,它们互相补足,如果一方薄弱,另一方最终亦会受到影响。禅修时的坏日子往往与定力差有关,你的心在目标周围漂浮不定,这个时候,纵使你处于心理逆境,仍需用一些方法去重新建立起你的定力。幸运地,你已得到了。事实上,你可从下述一系列的传统实际策略中选取:

Maneuver 1: Time Gauging

策略一:时间估计

This first technique has been covered in an earlier chapter. A distraction has pulled you away from the breath, and you suddenly realize that you've been day-dreaming. The trick is to pull all the way out of whatever has captured you, to break its hold on you completely so you can go back to the breath with full attention. You do this by gauging the length of time that you were distracted. This is not a precise calculation. you don't need a precise figure, just a rough estimate. You can figure it in minutes, or by idea significance. Just say to yourself, "Okay, I have been distracted for about two minutes" or "Since the dog started barking" or "Since I started thinking about money." When you first start practicing this technique, you will do it by talking to yourself inside your head. Once the habit is well established, you can drop that, and the action becomes wordless and very quick. The whole idea, remember, is to pull out of the distraction and get back to the breath. You pull out of the thought by making it the object of inspection just long enough to glean from it a rough approximation of its duration. The interval itself is not important. Once you are free of the distraction, drop the whole thing and go back to the breath. Do not get hung up in the estimate.

这策略已在前面的章节中探讨过了。有分心的东西出现,令你的注意力离开了呼吸,你突然发觉自己在做白日梦。要诀就是从任何吸引你的东西之中完全抽身而出,彻底打破它对你的束缚,好让你重新全心全意地回到呼吸上来。你是靠估计分心了多少时间来实现的,没有必要作精密计算,粗略地以多少分钟来估计或以概念来描述即可。例如:只须对自己说:「唔!我已分心约两分钟了。」或是:「分心大约是从狗吠声开始的。」或是:「分心是从我想着金钱开始的。」初习用此技巧时,你要在脑中自言自语,熟习之后,就无须自言自语,即可无言地、迅速地做得到。要牢记,根本重点是要离开分心的束缚,重新回到呼吸上来。你以分心之念为暂时的禅修对象,约略估计一下分心的时间即可。分心的时间多少并不重要,只须离开分心的束缚,就可忘记整个做法,迅速回到呼吸上来,不要被估计过程所拖累。

Maneuver 2: Deep Breaths

策略二:深呼吸几次

When your mind is wild and agitated, you can often re-establish mindfulness with a few quick deep breaths. Pull the air in strongly and let it out the same way. This increases the sensation inside the nostrils and makes it easier to focus. Make a strong act of will and apply some force to your attention. Concentration can be forced into growth, remember, so you will probably find your full attention settling nicely back on the breath.

当内心兴奋激动,难于驯服时,只须深呼吸几次,就可重新建立起专注力。应强力地吸气、强力地呼气,这可增强空气与鼻孔内的接触感觉,使你更易集中心力;也要主动地运用意志力去加强注意。定力是可以运用身心力量来促使增长的,因此,你将会发觉,注意力很快便可重新安顿于呼吸之上了。

Maneuver 3: Counting

策略三:数息

Counting the breaths as they pass is a highly traditional procedure. Some schools of practice teach this activity as their primary tactic. Vipassana uses it as an auxiliary technique for re-establishing mindfulness and for strengthening concentration. As we discussed in Chapter 5, you can count breaths in a number of different ways. Remember to keep your attention on the breath. You will probably notice a change after you have done your counting. The breath slows down, or it becomes very light and refined. This is a physiological signal that concentration has become well-established. At this point, the breath is usually so light or so fast and gentle that you can't clearly distinguish the inhalation from the exhalation. They seem to blend into each other. You can then count both of them as a single cycle. Continue your counting process, but only up to a count of five, covering the same five-breath sequence, then start over. When counting becomes a bother, go on to the next step. Drop the numbers and forget about the concepts of inhalation and exhalation. Just dive right in to the pure sensation of breathing. Inhalation blends into exhalation. One breath blends into the next in a never ending cycle of pure, smooth flow.

心中默默地数着气息的出与入是一个非常传统的方法,有些禅修宗派以之作为基本法门来教授,内观禅则以之作为辅助手段,用来重新建立留意观察能力,或用来增强定力。在第五章中我们谈过,你可用不同的方法来数息,但记住要把注意力维持在呼吸之上。数息之后,你可能会注意到一种改变,气息减慢了或变得轻细了,这是一个生理上的讯息,显示定力已很好地建立起来。这个时候,气息多会变得那么轻快、柔和,乃至你无法清楚地辨认出呼气与吸气,它们好像混合在一起了,到时,你只须把呼与吸合而为一地数即可,但只可数到五便要回过来由一数起。如果数息变成一种烦扰,就要进行下一步骤,即停止数息,忘记呼出与吸入的概念,只管将心意直接潜入呼吸的纯粹感觉之中。出息与入息融合为一,每一个气息都与下一个气息融合起来,形成一种没有止境的、周期性的、纯粹的平稳流动。

Maneuver 4: The In-Out Method

策略四:出入息默念法

This is an alternative to counting, and it functions in much the manner. Just direct your attention to the breath and mentally tag each cycle with the words "Inhalation...exhalation" or 'In...out". Continue the process until you no longer need these concepts, and then throw them away.

这是数息的另一选择,它的功能与数息颇为相似。只须将注意力投放在气息之上,然后于每一个气息周期在心中默唸:「吸入…… 呼出。」或是「入…… 出。」如是地继续做,直至你无须采用这些概念时,便可把它们掉开,无唸地直接专注即可。

Maneuver 5: Canceling One Thought With Another

策略五:以一念消除另一念

Some thoughts just won't go away. We humans are obsessional beings. It's one of our biggest problems. We tend to lock onto things like sexual fantasies and worries and ambitions. We feed those though complexes over the years of time and give them plenty of exercise by playing with them in every spare moment. Then when we sit down to meditate, we order them to go away and leave us alone. It is scarcely surprising that they don't obey. Persistent thoughts like these require a direct approach, a full- scale frontal attack.

有些念头是怎么样也不肯离开的,我们人类是受情迷的众生(受强迫观念困扰的众生),这是我们的最大问题之一。我们习以为常地、自动地追逐某些东西,例如:性幻想、忧虑与野心等,多年来一直无时无刻滋养着这些错综复杂的病态想法,且一有空时就和它们玩耍,给予它们众多强化的锻鍊机会;到坐禅时,我们命令它们走开,好让我们可独处片刻,可是,它们不听命令,这是一点也不出奇的。像这样顽固的想法,要用一直接方式、全方位的正面突击始得。

Buddhist psychology has developed a distinct system of classification. Rather than dividing thoughts into classes like 'good' or 'bad', Buddhist thinkers prefer to regard them as 'skillful' versus 'unskillful'. An unskillful thought is on connected with greed, hatred, or delusion. These are the thoughts that the mind most easily builds into obsessions. They are unskillful in the sense that they lead you away from the goal of Liberation. Skillful thoughts, on the other hand, are those connected with generosity, compassion, and wisdom. They are skillful in the sense that they may be used as specific remedies for unskillful thoughts, and thus can assist you toward Liberation.

佛教心理学已发展了一套独特的分类体系,与其将想法分为「好」与「坏」,佛学家推荐用「善巧(Skillful)」[1]与「不善巧(Unskillful)」。不善巧的想法与贪、瞋或痴等相联系,这些想法就是心意最容易构造成的迷执(强迫性观念),说它们不善巧,是因为它们会令你偏离解脱的目标。至于善巧的想法,它们与布施、慈悲与智慧等相联系,说它们善巧,是因为它们可对治不善巧的想法,且会助你迈向解脱。

You cannot condition Liberation. It is not a state built out of thoughts. Nor can you condition the personal qualities which Liberation produces. Thoughts of benevolence can produce a semblance of benevolence, but it's not the real item. It will break down under pressure. Thoughts of compassion produce only superficial compassion. Therefore, these skillful thoughts will not, in themselves, free you from the trap. They are skillful only if applied as antidotes to the poison of unskillful thoughts. Thoughts of generosity can temporarily cancel greed. They kick it under the rug long enough for mindfulness to do its work unhindered. Then, when mindfulness has penetrated to the roots of the ego process, greed evaporates and true generosity arises.

解脱是无法用心理学上的条件作用(Conditioning)来达成的,因为它不是一种由思想所能建构成的状态,用心理学上的条件作用也无法构成那些在解脱后始有的性格特质,仁慈的想法可产生相似的仁慈外表,那不是真的,有压力时即会崩溃;同样,慈悲的想法只可产生表面上的慈悲。因此,善巧的想法本身是不能令你脱离陷阱的,说它们是善巧的,只不过是因为它们可作解药,用以化解不善巧思想之毒素。布施心可暂时消除贪念,把贪念隐藏片刻,好让专注力有足够时间去自由地发挥作用;等到专注力穿透,直达至「自我过程(EgoProcess)」的根源时,贪欲即烟消云散,而真正的布施心亦自会生起。

This principle can be used on a day to day basis in your own meditation. If a particular sort of obsession is troubling you, you can cancel it out by generating its opposite. Here is an example: If you absolutely hate Charlie, and his scowling face keeps popping into your mind, try directing a stream of love and friendliness toward Charlie. You probably will get rid of the immediate mental image. Then you can get on with the job of meditation.

这个原则可在你的日常禅修中运用,如果你被某种迷执(Obsession)[2]所困扰,可生起它的相反想法来消除之。举例来说:如果你非常憎恨查里,而他的阴沉愠怒面孔又不停出现在你的脑海里,试向他散发一股慈爱及友善之辐射流,你多数可令当前的心理影像消除,跟着,你便可继续你的禅修工作了。

Sometimes this tactic alone doesn't work. The obsession is simply too strong. In this case you've got to weaken its hold on you somewhat before you can successfully balance it out. Here is where guilt, one of man's most misbegotten emotions, finally becomes of some use. Take a good strong look at the emotional response you are trying to get rid of. Actually ponder it. See how it makes you feel. Look at what it is doing to your life, your happiness, your health, and your relationships. Try to see how it makes you appear to others. Look at the way it is hindering your progress toward Liberation. The Pali scriptures urge you to do this very thoroughly indeed. They advise you to work up the same sense of disgust and humiliation that you would feel if you were forced to walk around with the carcass of a dead and decaying animal tied around your neck. Real loathing is what you are after. This step may end the problem all by itself. If it doesn't, then balance out the lingering remainder of the obsession by once again generating its opposite emotion.

有时候,单靠这个方法仍是不行,因为那个迷执实在太强了。在这种情况下,就要先削弱几分它对你的操控力,然后才可有效地用此法去完全抵消它。这时内疚(Guilt)终于派上用场了,它是人类最拙劣的情绪之一。用心好好地看清楚你正想消除的情绪反应,认真地去考虑它;看清楚它给你的感受,看清楚它如何影响着你的生活、幸福、健康、以及你与别人的关系;看清楚它如何影响你在别人面前的形象;看清楚它阻碍你迈向解脱的方式。巴利文的佛教圣典催促你要非常彻底地去实践这些活动,圣典忠告你要逐步生起厌离心[3]与在众人面前受辱的感受,有如被迫要在颈项挂上动物之腐烂尸体去游街示众一样。你要追求的是真正的厌离(Loathing),这一步骤本身也许已能完全解决你的问题,如果还未解决,可再用它的相反情感来抵消仍逗留不散的残余迷执。

Thoughts of greed cover everything connected with desire, from outright avarice for material gain, all the way down to a subtle need to be respected as a moral person. Thoughts of hatred run the gamut from petty peevishness to murderous rage. Delusion covers everything from daydreaming through actual hallucinations. Generosity cancels greed. Benevolence and compassion cancel hatred. You can find a specific antidote for any troubling thought if you just think about it a while.

贪念包括一切与爱欲相应的东西,从对物质利益的坦率贪婪,一直到像有德行之人般那么受人尊重的隐微需求,都包含在内。瞋心的范围,由小气易怒到杀气腾腾的暴怒,都包括在内。痴念则包括白日梦乃至真的幻觉等一切东西。布施可抵消贪欲,慈悲可抵消瞋心,你只须考虑片刻,对任何烦扰你的妄念、恶念都可找到特定的适当对治。

Maneuver 6: Recalling Your Purpose

策略六:回想自己的禅修目的

There are times when things pop into your mind, apparently at random. Words, phrases, or whole sentences jump up out of the unconscious for no discernible reason. Objects appear. Pictures flash on and off. This is an unsettling experience. Your mind feels like a flag flapping in a stiff wind. It washes back and forth like waves in the ocean. At times like this it is often enough just to remember why you are there. You can say to yourself, "I'm not sitting here just to waste my time with these thoughts. I'm here to focus my mind on the breath, which is universal and common to all living beings". Sometimes your mind will settle down, even before you complete this recitation. Other times you may have to repeat it several times before you refocus on the breath.

有时候,一些东西好像随意地在脑中自动弹出。有些字、片语或完整的句子不知为何,忽然在「无意识」中冒出,一些物体出现了,一些图画断断续续地闪现,这都是些令人不安的体验,你感到自心好像风中飘动的旗帜,又好像海洋的波浪一样前后冲刷。遇到像这些情况时,只须回想一下自己为什么在这里,就足以解决了。你可对自己说:「我在这里坐着,不是为了花时间在这些妄念上;我在这里是要把心意集中于气息之上,而气息是众生所共同拥有的。」有时候,还未唸完此诵文时,你的心已安定下来了。有时候,你要唸诵多次,心才可重新集中于呼吸之上。

These techniques can be used singly, or in combinations. Properly employed, they constitute quite an effective arsenal for your battle against the monkey mind.

上述多种技巧可单独使用,亦可因应情况地互相结合使用,若能适当地运用,它们就是你与心猿意马搏斗时的有效军械库。

【注释】

[1] 善巧(Skillful):简称善。指顺于真理、有益于自他及有益于今生与后世的。用来形容有漏与无漏之身口意行为。反之则是不善巧,或称不善或恶。(漏,指烦恼)

[2] 迷执(Obsession):迷惑和固执。迷,指迷于事理,执,指生起迷情之思而念念不舍。是不健康的、困扰人的、不由自主的强迫性的思绪与随后出现的行为。有些似心理学上所说的情意结或情结(Complex)。佛教上所说的迷执,多特指对人生实相上的无常、苦、无我、不净等执迷不悟,偏执人生是常、乐、我、净等颠倒妄见,以致不断作业受苦而不自知。

[3] 厌离心:厌恶与舍离之心。佛教认为要去除迷执习气,必须勤习静观技巧,观生死之中,虚假不实,如水上泡,速起速灭,往来流转,犹如车轮。此身众苦所集,一切皆是不净,甚可厌离,始能获得解脱知见,克服迷恋之情思,成就解脱。例如《杂阿含经》在卷一之第一经有言:

「世尊告诸比丘:『当观色无常,如是观者,则为正观(正见);正观(正见)者则生厌离,厌离者喜贪尽,喜贪尽者说心解脱。如是观受、想、行、识无常,如是观者,则为正观(正见);正观(正见)者则生厌离,厌离者喜贪尽,喜贪尽者说心解脱。如是比丘!心解脱者,若欲自证,则能自证:我生已尽,梵行已立,所作已作,自知不受后有。』如观无常、苦、空、非我,亦复如是。时诸比丘闻佛所说,欢喜奉行。」


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