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Mindfulness In Plain English - Chapter 7: What To Do With Your Mind
 
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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 7: What To Do With Your Mind

第七章 如何调心

The meditation we teach is called Insight Meditation. As we have already said, the variety of possible objects of meditation is nearly unlimited, and human beings have used an enormous number down through the ages. Even within the Vipassana tradition there are variances. There are meditation teachers who teach their students to follow the breath by watching the rise and fall of the abdomen. Others recommend focusing attention on the touch of the body against the cushion, or hand against hand, or the feeling of one leg against the other. The method we are explaining here, however, is considered the most traditional and is probably what Gotama Buddha taught his students. The Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha's original discourse on mindfulness, specifically says that one must begin by focusing the attention on the breathing and then go on to note all other physical and mental phenomena which arise.

我们所教的禅修名为内观禅修。如前所述,可用作禅修对象之事物,其数目近乎无限,在过去漫长岁月中,人类使用过的真是多种多样,就算内观禅传统内也有很多:有些禅修导师教弟子们,通过观察腹部的起伏来跟随气息;其他导师则提议,专注身体与坐垫的接触、手与手的接触、腿与腿的接触等。可是,这里所述的方法是最传统的,可能是佛陀教他弟子时所用的。在佛陀最早详述内观禅的《念住经》中,特别说要从专注气息开始,进一步才留意观察其他生起的身心现象。

We sit, watching the air going in and out of our noses. At first glance, this seems an exceedingly odd and useless procedure. Before going on to specific instructions, let us examine the reason behind it. The first question we might address is why use any focus of attention at all? We are, after all, trying to develop awareness. Why not just sit down and be aware of whatever happens to be present in the mind? In fact there are meditations of that nature. They are sometimes referred to as unstructured meditation and they are quite difficult. The mind is tricky. Thought is an inherently complicated procedure. By that we mean we become trapped, wrapped up, and stuck in the thought chain. One thought leads to another which leads to another, and another, and another, and so on. Fifteen minutes later we suddenly wake up and realize we spent that whole time stuck in a daydream or sexual fantasy or a set of worries about our bills or whatever.

我们坐下来,观察着气息在鼻子进进出出,乍看起来,这做法似很古怪与毫无用处。在继续具体说明之前,让我们先检查一下其背后原因。首先要问的是,为什么需要一个专注对象?我们毕竟只打算发展觉知力,何不干脆坐下来,觉知心内正呈现的现象呢?事实上,这类型的禅修是有的,它们有时被称为「松散的、无特定结构的禅修(UnstructuredMeditation)」,那是相当难做的。心是诡计多端的,思想本质上又是一个复杂过程,因此,我们很易被困住、缠住或卡住于连串的思绪之中。一个念头会引生另一个念头,新的念头又会引生另一个念头…… 如是地相续发生,不知何时停止。大约十五分钟后,我们突然醒觉,这才发现自己竟花掉全部时间于白日梦、性幻想、或对帐单等事情的担忧上。

There is a difference between being aware of a thought and thinking a thought. That difference is very subtle. It is primarily a matter of feeling or texture. A thought you are simply aware of with bare attention feels light in texture; there is a sense of distance between that thought and the awareness viewing it. It arises lightly like a bubble, and it passes away without necessarily giving rise to the next thought in that chain. Normal conscious thought is much heavier in texture. It is ponderous, commanding, and compulsive. It sucks you in and grabs control of consciousness. By its very nature it is obsessional, and it leads straight to the next thought in the chain, apparently with no gap between them.

觉知到一个念头与想着一个念头是有分别的,那分别十分微妙,它主要是一种与感受或质感(Texture)有关的事情。你自然地以单纯的注意觉知到一个念头时,会感受到一种轻柔的质感,你会对念头与对它的觉知间有一种距离感,它像泡沫一样轻柔地生起,然后消失,不一定会引生出那串念头的下一个念头;平常有意识的思想,其质感较为粗重,它是笨重的、命令式的和强迫性的,它把你吸进去,要操纵你的意识,它本质上是强迫性的,而且一下子就会引生出下一个念头,当中明显地没有间隙。

Conscious thought sets up a corresponding tension in the body, such as muscular contraction or a quickening of the heartbeat. But you won't feel tension until it grows to actual pain, because normal conscious thought is also greedy. It grabs all your attention and leaves none to notice its own effect. The difference between being aware of the thought and thinking the thought is very real. But it is extremely subtle and difficult to see.

有意识的思想会令身体生起相应的紧张,例如肌肉收缩或心跳加快等;不过,直至它增长至疼痛之前,你是不会感到紧张的,因为有意识的思想亦是贪得无厌的,它会夺取你所有的注意力,让你忽视它本身的影响。觉知到一个念头与想着一个念头的分别是很真实的,可是也极为细微难察。

Concentration is one of the tools needed to be able to see this difference.

「定力(Concentration)」是看清楚这种分别的必备工具之一。

Deep concentration has the effect of slowing down the thought process and speeding up the awareness viewing it. The result is the enhanced ability to examine the thought process. Concentration is our microscope for viewing subtle internal states. We use the focus of attention to achieve one-pointedness of mind with calm and constantly applied attention. Without a fixed reference point you get lost, overcome by the ceaseless waves of change flowing round and round within the mind.

深厚的定力,有减慢思想与加速觉知念头的效用,最终可加强仔细观察心念的能力。定力好像一台显微镜,让我们可以察看细微的内部状态。我们利用注意力的集中,来成就具有平静与伺察(持续观察)的心一境性(One-pointedness of mind)(参阅第十四章)。如果没有一个固定的参考点,你会很易迷失,被心内旋转不息、变化多端的波涛所淹没。

We use breath as our focus. It serves as that vital reference point from which the mind wanders and is drawn back. Distraction cannot be seen as distraction unless there is some central focus to be distracted from. That is the frame of reference against which we can view the incessant changes and interruptions that go on all the time as a part of normal thinking.

当我们以气息为焦点时,心便有一个重要的参考点,在它游离时可以退回来。因为分心是不会被察觉到的,除非有一个中心点让心离开。凭藉此参考架构,我们才能在正常的思想中,观察到持续不断的变化与干扰。

Ancient Pali texts liken meditation to the process of taming a wild elephant. The procedure in those days was to tie a newly captured animal to a post with a good strong rope. When you do this the elephant is not happy. He screams and tramples, and pulls against the rope for days. Finally it sinks through his skull that he can't get away, and he settles down. At this point you can begin to feed him and to handle him with some measure of safety. Eventually you can dispense with the rope and post altogether, and train your elephant for various tasks. Now you've got a tamed elephant that can be put to useful work. In this analogy the wild elephant is your wildly active mind, the rope is mindfulness, and the post is our object of meditation-- breathing. The tamed elephant who emerges from this process is a well trained, concentrated mind that can then be used for the exceedingly tough job of piercing the layers of illusion that obscure reality. Meditation tames the mind.

古代的巴利文圣典,把禅修比喻为驯服一头野象的过程。当时的方法,是把新捉来的野象用结实的绳子系在柱上,你这样做时,象是不高兴的,牠会尖叫、踩踏、拉扯着柱子数天之久,最后牠垂下头来,自知无法逃走,便安静下来。这时,你可开始喂牠,在安全范围内去调教牠。最后,你可解开系住牠于木柱上的绳子,训练牠做各式各样的工作。现在你拥有一头训练妥当的象,可以为你做有用的工作了。在这比喻中,野象是你狂野的心,绳子是专注力(Mindfulness),而木柱是禅修对象── 气息,训练妥当的象是那训练有素的、有定力的心,此时,心才适用于下述的艰巨任务── 洞穿遮蔽现实相状之层层叠叠的错觉。禅修可以驯服自心。

The next question we need to address is: Why choose breathing as the primary object of meditation? Why not something a bit more interesting? Answers to this are numerous. A useful object of meditation should be one that promotes mindfulness. It should be portable, easily available and cheap. It should also be something that will not embroil us in those states of mind from which we are trying to free ourselves, such as greed, anger and delusion. Breathing satisfies all these criteria and more. Breathing is something common to every human being. We all carry it with us wherever we go. It is always there, constantly available, never ceasing from birth till death, and it costs nothing.

其次要问的是:为什么选择气息作为基本的禅修对象?选一较为有趣的东西不是更好吗?答案实在很多。一个有用的禅修对象必须能促进留意觉察力,它必须便于携带,容易得到,以及价格便宜,它一定不会令我们卷入那些我们正要从中解脱出来的心── 例如贪、瞋、痴等。气息可满足上述的标准绰绰有余,它是人类所共有的,我们可携带着它到处去,它亦随时可得,由生至死都不会停息,且不用花钱。

Breathing is a non-conceptual process, a thing that can be experienced directly without a need for thought. Furthermore, it is a very living process, an aspect of life that is in constant change. The breath moves in cycles--inhalation, exhalation, breathing in and breathing out. Thus it is miniature model of life itself.

呼吸是一个与概念无关的过程,一种可以不用思维就可直接体验的东西,此外,它是一个活生生的过程,有着生命中一种变动不停的性质。呼吸是周而复始地循环进行的── 吸入、呼出,吸入、呼出……。因而,它可算是生命的一个缩影。

The sensation of breath is subtle, yet it is quite distinct when you learn to tune into it. It takes a bit of an effort to find it. Yet anybody can do it. You've got to work at it, but not too hard. For all these reasons, breathing makes an ideal object of meditation. Breathing is normally an involuntary process, proceeding at its own pace without a conscious will. Yet a single act of will can slow it down or speed it up. Make it long and smooth or short and choppy. The balance between involuntary breathing and forced manipulation of breath is quite delicate. And there are lessons to be learned here on the nature of will and desire. Then, too, that point at the tip of the nostril can be viewed as a sort of a window between the inner and outer worlds. It is a nexus point and energy-transfer spot where stuff from the outside world moves in and becomes a part of what we call 'me', and where a part of me flows forth to merge with the outside world. There are lessons to be learned here about self- concept and how we form it. Breath is a phenomenon common to all living things. A true experiential understanding of the process moves you closer to other living beings. It shows you your inherent connectedness with all of life. Finally, breathing is a present-time process. By that we mean it is always occurring in the here-and-now. We don't normally live in the present, of course. We spend most of our time caught up in memories of the past or leaping ahead to the future, full of worries and plans. The breath has none of that 'other-timeness'. When we truly observe the breath, we are automatically placed in the present. We are pulled out of the morass of mental images and into a bare experience of the here- and-now. In this sense, breath is a living slice of reality. A mindful observation of such a miniature model of life itself leads to insight that are broadly applicable to the rest of our experience. The first step in using the breath as an object of meditation is to find it. What you are looking for is the physical, tactile sensation of the air that passes in and out of the nostrils. This is usually just inside the tip of the nose. But the exact spot varies from one person to another, depending on the shape of the nose. To find your own point, take a quick deep breath and notice the point just inside the nose or on the upper lip where you have the most distinct sensation of passing air. Now exhale and notice the sensation at the same point. It is from this point that you will follow the whole passage of breath. Once you have located your own breath point with clarity, don't deviate from that spot. Use this single point in order to keep your attention fixed. Without having selected such a point, you will find yourself moving in and out of the nose, going up and down the windpipe, eternally chasing after the breath which you can never catch because it keeps changing, moving and flowing. If you ever sawed wood you already know the trick. As a carpenter, you don't stand there watching the saw blade going up and down. You will get dizzy. You fix your attention on the spot where the teeth of the blade dig into the wood. It is the only way you can saw a straight line. As a meditator, you focus your attention on that single spot of sensation inside the nose. From this vantage point, you watch the entire movement of breath with clear and collected attention. Make no attempt to control the breath. This is not a breathing exercise of the sort done in Yoga. Focus on the natural and spontaneous movement of the breath. Don't try to regulate it or emphasize it in any way. Most beginners have some trouble in this area. In order to help themselves focus on the sensation, they unconsciously accentuate their breathing. The results is a forced and unnatural effort that actually inhibits concentration rather than helping it. Don't increase the depth of your breath or its sound. This latter point is especially important in group meditation. Loud breathing can be a real annoyance to those around you. Just let the breath move naturally, as if you were asleep. Let go and allow the process to go along at its own rhythm.

气息的感觉是微妙的,可是,当你学懂与它协调时,它是相当明显的,这当然要花点功夫才可,然而,人人皆可做到。你必须努力去做,但不可过分。由于所有这些原因,呼吸的确可以成为一个理想的禅修对象。呼吸过程通常是不随意的,而是无意识地(不知不觉地)随它本身的步伐进行,可是,稍为用意,它就会放慢或加快,使它变得深长和平稳,或是短浅而有起伏。不随意与刻意呼吸之间的平衡是相当微妙的,况且,在这里你亦可学到一些有关意志与欲望的性质。此外,鼻孔末端的接触点亦可视为内部与外部世界之间的一个窗口;它是一个连接点与能量交换处,于此,外部世界的东西迁入来成为所谓「我」的一部分,而「我」的一部分又流出去与外部世界混为一体。在这里,你又可以学到一些有关「自我」的概念,以及我们如何捏造它的过程。

呼吸是众生的共有现象,对此过程有一真实体会,可令你与众生关系密切,明白到你与众生的内在联系。最后,呼吸是当下的过程,意思是,它总是在眼前当下发生。我们通常不是活在当下,大多数时间不是追忆过去,就是憧憬未来,内心充满忧虑与计划。但呼吸从未脱离当下,若能真正如实观察呼吸,自可即时置身于当下,从念想的困境中解脱出来,进入当下的纯粹体验。就此意义而言,呼吸是一个活生生的现实切片。对此生命缩影进行片刻静观所产生的真知灼见(内观智慧),可广泛地应用于生活中的其他经验。

以呼吸作为禅修对象时,第一步是要找到它,你要找的是在鼻孔末端与气息出入时,那个物质性的接触感觉,一般在鼻孔末端内就可找到,精确的位置会因人而异,全取决于鼻子形状。欲找出自己的接触点,可快速地深吸一下,然后留意上唇与鼻孔末端内部之间,那个最明显的气息接触点就是;现在呼气,然后留意同一点的感觉;这一点就是你要用来跟随整个呼吸过程的地方。一旦清楚地找到那一点,就不可偏离,要利用那一点来令你的注意固定不移。如果找不出那一点,你就会发现自己在鼻孔管道中走上走落,不停追着那无法跟得上的气息,因为它一直在转变、迁移、流动。

如果你有锯木的经验,早已知道其中的奥妙了。作为木匠,你不会站着观看锯片的上上落落,那会令你头晕的,你会把注意力集中于锯齿正插入(接触)木料的那一点,这是唯一可锯成直线的方法。作为禅修者,你要集中注意力于鼻孔末端内的感觉点,在此有利情况之下,以清晰的专注力去观察整个呼吸活动过程。不可尝试去控制呼吸,这不是像瑜伽所做的呼吸练习,要集中于自然和自发性的呼吸活动,不要尝试以任何方法去调节它或加强它。大多数初学者在这里都会出现一些问题,他们为了帮助自己集中注意感觉,往往会无意识地(不知不觉地)加强他们的呼吸,结果是,强迫性和不自然的努力会阻碍多于协助定力的发展,不要增加呼吸的深度和声音,尤其是后者,这在集体禅修之中是重要的。大声呼吸会真的烦扰你周围的人,只须让呼吸自然流动,就像熟睡时一样即可,放开对呼吸的约束,让呼吸过程依自己本身的韵律前进。

This sounds easy, but it is trickier than you think. Do not be discouraged if you find your own will getting in the way. Just use that as an opportunity to observe the nature of conscious intention. Watch the delicate interrelation between the breath, the impulse to control the breath and the impulse to cease controlling the breath. You may find it frustrating for a while, but it is highly profitable as a learning experience, and it is a passing phase. Eventually, the breathing process will move along under its own steam. And you will feel no impulse to manipulate it. At this point you will have learned a major lesson about your own compulsive need to control the universe.

这做法听来似很容易,但事实上比你想像的更为难于捉摸。如果你发觉有刻意呼吸的情况时,也不用气馁,用之作为观察内心意图性质的机会吧!观察呼吸、控制呼吸的意念与停止控制呼吸的意念等之间的微妙相互关系。有短暂时间你会沮丧,可是,这种学习体验是极为有益的。它只是过眼云烟,最后,呼吸过程必会自行运作,而你将不会感到有刻意操控的意念。此时,你对自己欲控制宇宙的强迫性需求,将有重大的领悟。

Breathing, which seems so mundane and uninteresting at first glance, is actually an enormously complex and fascinating procedure. It is full of delicate variations, if you look. There is inhalation and exhalation, long breath and short breath, deep breath, shallow breath, smooth breath and ragged breath. These categories combine with one another in subtle and intricate ways. Observe the breath closely. Really study it. You find enormous variations and constant cycle of repeated patterns. It is like a symphony. Don't observe just the bare outline of the breath. There is more to see here than just an in-breath and an out-breath. Every breath has a beginning middle and end. Every inhalation goes through a process of birth, growth and death and every exhalation does the same. The depth and speed of your breathing changes according to your emotional state, the thought that flows through your mind and the sounds you hear. Study these phenomena. You will find them fascinating.

看来平凡没趣的呼吸,原来是如此复杂与迷人的一个过程,只要观察一下,你就会发觉它充满微妙的变化:其中有出入的气息,长短的气息,深浅的气息,畅顺与不畅顺的气息等,它们的相互组合又是错综微妙。仔细地和密切地观察它,认真地研究它,你就会发觉它变化多端,且有固定重复的循环模式,有如一首交响乐曲。不要只观察它的粗略相状,里面除了呼出与吸入外还有很多可看的东西。每个呼吸皆有一开始、中段和结尾,每次吸气都会经历一个出生、成长与死亡的过程,每次呼气亦是一样,而呼吸的深度与速度则会随着你的情绪、心念与声音等的出现而改变。你研究一下这些现象,自会发觉它们的迷人地方。

This does not mean, however, that you should be sitting there having little conversations with yourself inside your head: "There is a short ragged breath and there is a deep long one. I wonder what's next?" No, that is not Vipassana. That is thinking. You will find this sort of thing happening, especially in the beginning. This too is a passing phase. Simply note the phenomenon and return your attention toward the observation of the sensation of breath. Mental distractions will happen again. But return your attention to your breath again, and again, and again, and again, for as long as it takes until it does not happen anymore.

然而,这不是要你坐着,在心中自言自语:「这次呼吸短而不畅顺,这次呼吸深而长,下次呼吸会怎样呢?」不!那不是内观禅法,是思想而已。像这些现象是会发生的,尤其是在开始的时候,这也只是过眼云烟而已。只须在注意到此现象时,把注意力带回去观察呼吸时的感觉即可。内心的干扰会再次出现,你要一次、又一次、又一次地把注意力带回去观察呼吸时的感觉,直至它不再出现为止。

When you first begin this procedure, expect to face some difficulties. Your mind will wander off constantly, darting around like a drunken bumblebee and zooming off on wild tangents. Try not to worry. The monkey-minded phenomenon is well known. It is something that every advanced meditator has had to deal with. They have pushed through it one way or another, and so can you. When it happens, just not the fact that you have been thinking, day-dreaming, worrying, or whatever. Gently, but firmly, without getting upset or judging yourself for straying, simply return to the simple physical sensation of the breath. Then do it again the next time, and again, an again, and again.

刚开始上述的情况时,你要预期会遇上一些困难,你的心念会不断漂离,好像一只酒醉的大黄蜂,在周围飞跃、乱冲乱撞。不要担心,这猴子心现象已是众所周知,它是每一位禅修老兵都要应付的东西,他们都能够以某种方式去把它克服,你亦可以做得到的。当它出现时,只须注意到你在思想、做白日梦、或忧虑等事实,然后轻巧而坚决地返回到呼吸的感觉上来,当中无须因此不安或作出任何的自我评价,然后在下一次发生时再这样做,如是地重复、又重复、又重复。

Somewhere in this process, you will come face-to-face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are completely crazy. Your mind is a shrieking, gibbering madhouse on wheels barreling pell-mell down the hill, utterly out of control and hopeless. No problem. You are not crazier than you were yesterday. It has always been this way, and you just never noticed. You are also no crazier than everybody else around you. The only real difference is that you have confronted the situation; they have not. So they still feel relatively comfortable. That does not mean that they are better off. Ignorance may be bliss, but it does not lead to liberation. So don't let this realization unsettle you. It is a milestone actually, a sigh of real progress. The very fact that you have looked at the problem straight in the eye means that you are on your way up and out of it.

在这过程当中,你会突然惊觉,自己简直是个疯子,自心好像一座有轮子的疯人院,里面的人正在胡言乱语、大声尖叫,它正在跌跌撞撞地冲下山坡、完全失控、简直一点希望也没有。不用大惊小怪,你的心没有比昨天的心更为疯狂,它一直就是如此,只不过你没有注意到而已;你也不比周围的人更为疯狂,唯一确实的分别是,你已醒悟过来,而他们还没有。因此,他们仍觉舒适愉快,这不是说他们比较好,无知可能是一种福气,但它不会导致解脱。所以,不要因此体会而有所不安,实际上,它是一个里程碑,一个实质进步的征兆。你能直接看到此问题的事实本身,就说明你已走在向上和摆脱此困境的路上了。

In the wordless observation of the breath, there are two states to be avoided: thinking and sinking. The thinking mind manifests most clearly as the monkey-mind phenomenon we have just been discussing. The sinking mind is almost the reverse. As a general term, sinking mind denotes any dimming of awareness. At its best, it is sort of a mental vacuum in which there is no thought, no observation of the breath, no awareness of anything. It is a gap, a formless mental gray area rather like a dreamless sleep. Sinking mind is a void. Avoid it.

在默然地观察呼吸时,有两种状态要避免:一是乱想,二是昏沉。乱想心的表现,有如前述的猴子心现象,而昏沉心则刚好相反。一般而言,昏沉心显示觉察力的大幅减弱,它最多只是一片空白心态,内中没有思想、没有对呼吸的觉察、也没有对任何事物的觉知。它像一个空隙,一个无形无相的心理灰色地带,有点似没有梦境的睡眠。昏沉心空无一物,要避免它。

Vipassana meditation is an active function. Concentration is a strong, energetic attention to one single item. Awareness is a bright clean alertness. Samahdhi and Sati--these are the two faculties we wish to cultivate. And sinking mind contains neither. At its worst, it will put you to sleep. Even at its best it will simply waste your time. When you find you have fallen into a state of sinking mind, just note the fact and return your attention to the sensation of breathing. Observe the tactile sensation of the in-breath. Feel the touch sensation of the out-breath. Breathe in, breathe out and watch what happens. When you have been doing that for some time--perhaps weeks or months--you will begin to sense the touch as a physical object. Simply continue the process--breathe in and breathe out. Watch what happens. As your concentration deepens you will have less and less trouble with monkey-mind. Your breathing will slow down and you will track it more and more clearly, with fewer and fewer interruptions. You begin to experience a state of great calm in which you enjoy complete freedom from those things we call psychic irritants. No greed, lust, envy, jealousy or hatred. Agitation goes away. Fear flees. These are beautiful, clear, blissful states of mind. They are temporary, and they will end when meditation ends. Yet even these brief experiences will change your life. This is not liberation, but these are stepping stones on the path that leads in that direction. Do not, however, expect instant bliss. Even these stepping stones take time and effort and patience.

内观禅是一种主动、积极的功能,禅定(止禅)是对某一事物作强而有力的专注,觉察是清明的警觉。止与观(Samadhi and Sati)(参阅第十四章)是我们想要培育和发展的两种能力。昏沉的心并没有这两种能力的,它只会浪费你的时间,甚至令你昏昏入睡。当你刚发觉陷入昏沉时,就要在注意到这一事实时,把注意力带回到呼吸的感觉上来,观察吸入时的触觉,也感受呼出时的触觉。试试吸入与呼出,仔细看看有什么事情发生。当你已做上一段时间后,可能是几个星期、或几个月,你开始感到那个接触是一物质性的东西,继续如是简单的吸入与呼出过程,仔细看看有什么事情发生。随着你的定力加深,你也会越来越少心猿意马的散乱,你的呼吸会放慢下来,让你可清楚地、越来越少干扰地追踪到它,你开始体验到一极为平静的状态,享受到解脱烦恼的乐趣,当中无贪、无欲、无妒忌、无羡慕、亦无瞋,激动离开了,恐惧跑掉了,这都是美好、清晰、极幸福的心态,它们是暂时性的,待禅修完毕后就会完结。尽管如此,这些片刻间的体验将会改变你的人生。这不是解脱,而是解脱路上的一些踏脚石而已。然而,也不要期望此幸福感可以速成,这些踏脚石也是要时间、努力与坚忍始得。

The meditation experience is not a competition. There is a definite goal. But there is no timetable. What you are doing is digging your way deeper and deeper through the layers of illusion toward realization of the supreme truth of existence. The process itself is fascinating and fulfilling. It can be enjoyed for its own sake. There is no need to rush.

禅修体验不是比赛,它有确实的目标,但没有时间表,你要做的事,是不断向幻想与错觉中一层一层地深掘下去,直至体证存在的终极真理为止。这过程本身就很迷人和有满足感,足以使人为此走下去,匆匆忙忙地急进是没有必要的。

At the end of a well-done meditation session you will feel a delightful freshness of mind. It is peaceful, buoyant, and joyous energy which you can then apply to the problems of daily living. This in itself is reward enough. The purpose of meditation is not to deal with problems, however, and problem- solving ability is a fringe benefit and should be regarded as such. If you place too much emphasis on the problem-solving aspect, you will find your attention turning to those problems during the session sidetracking concentration. Don't think about your problems during your practice. Push them aside very gently.

一次良好的禅修体验,可令你有一愉快、清新的心情,它是一种平静、轻快、充满快乐的活力,可有效利用于解决你的日常生活问题,这回报已足够了。禅修目的不在于解决日常问题,但解决问题是它的附加利益,这是不能否定的;如果你偏重于解决问题方面,在禅修之中,你会自然地把注意力转向问题,从而偏离了原先要集中的目标。禅修时不要想着你的问题,应把它们轻轻地推开。

Take a break from all that worrying and planning. Let your meditation be a complete vacation. Trust yourself, trust your own ability to deal with these issues later, using the energy and freshness of mind that you built up during your meditation. Trust yourself this way and it will actually occur.

应暂时中止你的顾虑及计划,让禅修完全占用此休假时段。相信你自己,相信自己有能力于禅修后,可善用累积起来的活力与清新的心灵去处理那些问题;这样地相信自己,问题自得解决。

Don't set goals for yourself that are too high to reach. Be gently with yourself. You are trying to follow your own breathing continuously and without a break. That sounds easy enough, so you will have a tendency at the outset to push yourself to be scrupulous and exacting. This is unrealistic. Take time in small units instead. At the beginning of an inhalation, make the resolve to follow the breath just for the period of that one inhalation. Even this is not so easy, but at least it can be done. Then, at the start of the exhalation, resolve to follow the breath just for that one exhalation, all the way through. You will still fail repeatedly, but keep at it.

不要为自己制定高不可攀的目标,对自己温和一些。你要继续不停地跟随着你的气息,这看起来颇为简单,因此,你在开始时就想做到一丝不苟和精确无误,这是不切实际的。应细步而行,在开始吸气时,决定要在此吸气时段内去跟随气息,这样做其实也不容易,但至少可以做得到;然后,在呼气开始时,决定要在此呼气时段内,由始至终地去跟随气息。你将会一而再地失败,不要紧,继续坚持下去。

Every time you stumble, start over. Take it one breath at a time. This is the level of the game where you can actually win. Stick at it--fresh resolve with every breath cycle, tiny units of time. Observe each breath with care and precision, taking it one split second on top of another, with fresh resolve piled one on top of the other. In this way, continuous and unbroken awareness will eventually result.

要屡败屡战,做好每一个呼与吸,这是你可以获胜的游戏级数。要锲而不舍地在每一个呼与吸的细微步伐间,一个接着一个地重新努力;要在那剎那间,仔细而精准地重新观察每一个气息;这样,连续不断的觉知最终必会出现。

Mindfulness of breathing is a present-time awareness. When you are doing it properly, you are aware only of what is occurring in the present. You don't look back and you don't look forward. You forget about the last breath, and you don't anticipate the next one. When the inhalation is just beginning, you don't look ahead to the end of that inhalation. You don't skip forward to the exhalation which is to follow. You stay right there with what is actually taking place. The inhalation is beginning, and that's what you pay attention to; that and nothing else. This meditation is a process of retraining the mind. The state you are aiming for is one in which you are totally aware of everything that is happening in your own perceptual universe, exactly the way it happens, exactly when it is happening; total, unbroken awareness in the present time. This is an incredibly high goal, and not to be reached all at once. It takes practice, so we start small. We start by becoming totally aware of one small unit of time, just one single inhalation. And, when you succeed, you are on your way to a whole new experience of life.

静观气息是对当下的一种觉察,当你正确地做着时,你只会觉察到现正发生的事情。你不会回顾过去,也不会展望将来;你忘了刚过去的气息,也不期望快将要来的气息。当吸气开始时,你不会期望它的结束,也不会偷步跳到随后而来的呼气;你只会与现在真正发生的事情在一起。吸气现在开始,那正是你要注意的,除此之外,没有其他的东西了。这禅修是一种重新教育(调伏)心意的过程,你的目标境界,是要完全觉察到在你感知世界里正在发生的每一件事,如实地觉察到它的发生方式,就在当下,念念无间,完整无缺。这是一个难以置信的崇高目标,不是一下子就可以达到的,要不断修习始得。因此我们应从小处着手,从一短暂时间开始,只须完全觉察到当下的吸气(或呼气)即可,如果成功的话,你已迈向一全新的人生体验了。


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