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PART 1 - 阿罗汉向:灭苦正道 The Direct Route to the End of All Suffering
 
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A FOREST DHAMMA PUBLICATION OF BAAN TAAD FOREST MONASTERY
 
PART 1

ARAHATTAMAGGA

The Direct Route to the End of All Suffering

阿罗汉向:灭苦正道*

A Compilation of Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa's Dhamma Talks
About the Development of His Meditation Practice.

阿姜摩诃布瓦尊者自身禅修经历的开示汇编

At present, all that is left of Buddhism are the words of the Buddha. Only his teachings—the scriptures—remain. Please be aware of this. Due to the corruption caused by the defiling nature of the kilesas, true spiritual principles are no longer practiced in present-day Buddhism. As Buddhists, we constantly allow our minds to be agitated and confused, engulfed in mental defilements that assail us from every direction. They so overpower our minds that we never rise above these contaminating influences, no matter how hard we try. The vast majority of people are not even interested enough to try: They simply close their eyes and allow the onslaught to overwhelm them. They don’t even attempt to put up the least amount of resistance. Since they lack the mindfulness needed to pay attention to the consequences of their thoughts, all their thinking and all they do and say are instances of the kilesas giving them a beating. They surrendered to the power of these ruinous forces such a long time ago that they now lack any motivation to restrain their wayward thoughts. When mindfulness is absent, the kilesas work with impunity, day and night, in every sphere of activity. In the process, they increasingly burden and oppress the hearts and minds of people everywhere with dukkha.

今的佛教,仅剩下佛陀的语言文字,只有他的教导——经文——还保留着。请注意这点。如今佛教界受到烦恼染污的侵蚀,已经没有真正的修行。身为佛教徒,我们一直让自己的心混乱和迷惑,沉没在烦恼中,被其全方位地痛击。这些烦恼已制伏我们的心,使到我们不管多么努力,都无法反抗它们的影响。绝大部分人甚至连尝试抵抗的意志都没有:他们只是闭上眼睛,任由烦恼的攻击落在身上,根本不愿作出任何的努力去抗拒。由于缺乏念住去观察心念的影响,他们的思想和一切行为语言都成了烦恼的表现。长久以来他们都屈服于堕落的力量,以至现在缺乏动力来制伏妄念。没有了念住,烦恼就放肆妄为,夜以继日地影响一切层面的行为。在这过程中,烦恼不断施加负担与压力,使人们的心识受苦。

In the time of the Buddha, his direct disciples were true practitioners of the way of Buddhism. They renounced the world for the express purpose of transcending dukkha. Regardless of their social status, age or gender, when they ordained under the Buddha’s guidance, they changed their habitual ways of thinking, acting, and speaking to the way of Dhamma. Casting the kilesas aside, the disciples ceased to follow their lead from that moment on. With earnest effort, they directed all their energy toward purifying their hearts and cleansing them of the contamination created by the kilesas.

佛陀时代,随佛出家的弟子是佛教真正的修行者,他们为了尽快超越苦而舍弃世间。在佛陀座下出家受教后,不管之前的社会地位、年龄或性别如何,他们都如法地改变旧有的思想、行为和语言习惯。那些弟子们从那时起就把烦恼舍弃一旁,不再受摆布。他们诚心诚意精进用功,消除烦恼染污,净化内心。
 
In essence, earnest effort is synonymous with a meditator’s endeavor to maintain steady and continuous mindful awareness, always striving to keep a constant watch on the mind.

从根本上来说,诚心修行的意思是修行者努力地保持稳定的念住觉知,不断地观察心念。当念住无时无刻不在觉察着我们一切的姿势、所有的思维与情绪活动时,这就是“正精进”。

When mindfulness oversees all our mental and emotional activities, at all times in all postures, this is called “right effort”. Whether we’re engaged in formal meditation practice or not, if we earnestly endeavor to keep our minds firmly focused in the present moment, we constantly offset the threat posed by the kilesas. The kilesas work tirelessly to churn out thoughts of the past and the future. This distracts the mind, drawing it away from the present moment, and from the mindful awareness that maintains our effort.

不管我们是否在进行正式的禅修,只要诚心地努力让我们的心专注于当下,就能持续制止烦恼发出的威胁。烦恼会无止息地炮制过去与未来的念头,扰乱心,把心拖离当下,拖离维持修行的念住觉知。

For this reason, meditators should not allow their minds to wander into worldly thoughts about the past or the future. Such thinking is invariably bound up with the kilesas, and thus, hinders practice. Instead of following the tendency of the kilesas to focus externally on the affairs of the world outside, meditators must focus internally and become aware of the mind’s inner world. This is essential.

因此,禅修者不应该让心游荡于过去与未来的俗念。这类妄念无疑会受烦恼控制,进而障碍修行。禅修者必须往内专注于觉知内心世界,而不是受烦恼影响往外攀缘注意外面的世界,这点非常重要。

Largely because they are not sufficiently resolute in applying basic principles of meditation, many meditators fail to gain satisfactory results. I always teach my pupils to be very precise in their pursuit and to have a clear and specific focus in their meditation. That way they are sure to get good results. It is important to find a suitable object of attention to properly prepare the mind for this kind of work. I usually recommend a preparatory meditation-word whose continuous mental repetition acts as an anchor that quickly grounds the meditator’s mind in a state of meditative calm and concentration. If a meditator simply focuses attention on the presence of awareness in the mind without a meditation-word to anchor him, the results are bound to be hit and miss. The mind’s knowing presence is too subtle to give mindfulness a firm basis, so the mind soon strays into thinking and distraction—lured by the siren call of the kilesas. Meditation practice then becomes patchy. At certain times it seems to progress smoothly, almost effortlessly, only to become suddenly and unexpectedly difficult. It falters, and all apparent progress disappears. With its confidence shaken, the mind is left floundering. However, if we use a meditation-word as an anchor to solidly ground our mindfulness, then the mind is sure to attain a state of meditative calm and concentration in the shortest possible time. It will also have the means to maintain that calm state with ease.

许多禅者修不到满意的成果,主要是因为他们对修行的基本原则不够坚持。我通常教导弟子们要有非常明确的修行目标,禅修要有个清晰具体的专注点,这样他们肯定会获得好成果。选择一个适合的专注对象,把心调整好来进行这类工作,是非常重要的。一般上我会建议藉着内心不断持念一个入门的念诵词,把它当作锚,那样禅修者的心会很快静下来入定。假如禅修者只是专注于心当下的知觉,没有以念诵词作为锚拴住心,那修行成果将会是时好时坏,这是因为心的知觉太微细了,无法成为念住稳固的基础,很快的心会受烦恼引诱,迷失于妄想与干扰。这样一来禅修就变得不一贯,有时它会进行得顺畅,不费吹灰之力,然后突然毫无预兆地困难起来,整个修行变得摇摆不定,所有表面的进展都消失无踪。此时信心会受到打击,心会陷入挣扎当中。但假使我们用念诵词作为锚来巩固念住,那么心就肯定能在最短的时间内静下来证入禅定,并能以这个方便轻易地保持住定境。

I am speaking here from personal experience. When I first began to meditate, my practice lacked a solid foundation. Since I had yet to discover the right method to look after my mind, my practice was in a state of constant flux. It would make steady progress for awhile only to decline rapidly and fall back to its original untutored condition. Due to the intense effort I exerted in the beginning, my mind succeeded in attaining a calm and concentrated state of samadhi. It felt as substantial and stable as a mountain. Still lacking a suitable method for maintaining this state, I took it easy and rested on my laurels. That was when my practice suffered a decline. My practice began to deteriorate, but I didn’t know how to reverse the decline. So I thought long and hard, trying to find a firm basis on which I could expect to stabilize my mind. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that mindfulness had deserted me because my fundamentals were wrong: I lacked a meditation-word to act as a precise focus for my attention.

我会从个人的经验说起。开始禅修时,我的修行缺乏稳固的基础。由于还未找到正确的方法守护我的心,我的修行一直漂浮不定。它会稳定地进展一阵子,然后迅速地退堕,掉回到原来还未修行的程度。由于我在开始阶段勤奋用功,心成功地进入平静专注的三摩地,感觉到像座山那么坚固稳定。尽管此时还未掌握适当的方法保持这个境界,我却漫不经心地满足于自己的成就了。就在这一点,我的修行遭遇退步了。虽然修行开始退堕,而我却不知道要如何扭转情况。这让我花了很长时间艰苦摸索,尝试找出一个坚固的基础来稳住我的心。最后我得出结论:念住弃我而去是因为基础打错了——我缺乏一个念诵词作为念住精确的专注点。

I was forced to begin my practice anew. This time I first drove a stake firmly into the ground and held tightly to it no matter what happened. That stake was buddho, the recollection of the Buddha. I made the meditation-word buddho the sole object of my attention. I focused on the mental repetition of buddho to the exclusion of everything else. Buddho became my sole objective even as I made sure that mindfulness was always in control to direct the effort. All thoughts of progress or decline were put aside. I would let happen whatever was going to happen. I was determined not to indulge in my old thought patterns: thinking about the past—when my practice was progressing nicely—and of how it collapsed; then thinking of the future, hoping that, somehow, through a strong desire to succeed, my previous sense of contentment would return on its own. All the while, I had failed to create the condition that would bring the desired results. I merely wished to see improvement, only to be disappointed when it failed to materialize. For, in truth, desire for success does not bring success; only mindful effort will.

我被迫重新开始修行。这一次首先打下一个坚固的桩,不管发生什么都紧紧抓着它,那个桩是“佛陀”——忆念佛。我把念诵词“佛陀”当作唯一的专注对象,我强迫内心重复持念“佛陀”,把一切排除在外。“佛陀”成了我唯一的禅修对象,同时我也确保念住一直引导着修行。把那些关于进步或退步的想法全都放在一旁,该发生什么就让它发生。我坚决不沉迷在旧有的思维模式里:回想过去——我的修行进展那么顺利——及其怎样崩溃;再幻想未来,期望通过强烈的意愿能成功,找回过去的满足感。一直以来我只是期望达到目标,却没有去创造实现目标的条件,结果当期望的目标无法实现时就感到失望。事实上,期望本身并不会带来成果,只有保持念住修行才会得到成果。

This time I resolved that, no matter what occurred, I should just let it happen. Fretting about progress and decline was a source of agitation, distracting me from the present moment and the work at hand. Only the mindful repetition of buddho could prevent fluctuations in my meditation. It was paramount that I center the mind on awareness of the immediate present. Discursive thinking could not be allowed to disrupt concentration.

这次我坚定地发愿,无论发生什么,我都不去管。担心进步退步正是烦燥的根源,它使我不能专注于当下和眼前的工作。只有保持念住重复“佛陀”才可以防止修行的波动。把心集中在觉知当下是我的当务之急,我决不再允许妄想妨碍禅修。

To practice meditation earnestly to attain an end to all suffering, you must be totally committed to the work at each successive stage of the path. Nothing less than total commitment will succeed. To experience the deepest levels of samadhi and achieve the most profound levels of wisdom, you cannot afford to be halfhearted and listless, forever wavering because you lack firm principles to guide your practice. Meditators without a firm commitment to the principles of practice can meditate their entire lives without gaining the proper results. In the initial stages of practice, you must find a stable object of meditation with which to anchor your mind. Don’t just focus casually on an ambiguous object, like awareness that is always present as the mind’s intrinsic nature. Without a specific object of attention to hold your mind, it will be almost impossible to keep your attention from wandering. This is a recipe for failure. In the end, you’ll become disappointed and give up trying.

诚心要熄灭一切苦而禅修,你必须在修行的每一阶段都全心全意地投入,要有所成就的话就必须竭尽所能而不可有丝毫的保留。要体验最高的三摩地、证得最深的智慧,你不能满不在乎或无精打采,没有捉紧修行原则将永远摇摆不定。不痛下决心修行的话你即使修一辈子也将一无所获。在开始阶段,选择一个适合的禅修专注对象,作为锚拴住你的心。不要只是随意地专注于不清晰的对象,比如内心一直存在的觉知。没有特定的专注对象来拴住心,你几乎不可能阻止心到处游荡,这是失败的祸根。最后,你会因失望而放弃修行。

When mindfulness loses its focus, the kilesas rush in to drag your thoughts to a past long gone, or a future yet to come. The mind becomes unstable and strays aimlessly over the mental landscape, never remaining still or contented for a moment. This is how meditators lose ground while watching their meditation practice collapse. The only antidote is a single, uncomplicated focal point of attention; such as a meditation-word or the breath. Choose one that seems most appropriate to you, and focus steadfastly on that one object to the exclusion of everything else. Total commitment is essential to the task.

念住一失去焦点,烦恼就会冲进来,把你的心不是拖向远古之前,就是未到的将来。心会变得不稳定,漫无目标地游荡在妄想梦境里,没完没了一刻也不能知足或安住下来。这是修行者眼睁睁看着自己的修行崩溃时的情形。唯一的对治法是用一个简单、可以专注的中心,比如念诵词或呼吸,选择一个看来最适合你的,然后排除一切,坚定地专注在这个对象上。重点是你必须竭尽全力地修。

If you choose the breath as your focal point, make yourself fully aware of each in-breath and each out-breath. Notice the sensation created by the breath’s movement and fix your attention on the point where that feeling is most prominent; where the sensation of the breath is felt most acutely: for example, the tip of the nose. Make sure you know when the breath comes in and when it goes out, but don’t follow its course—simply focus on the spot where it passes through. If you find it helpful, combine your breathing with a silent repetition of buddho, thinking bud on the point of inhalation and dho on the point of exhalation. Don’t allow errant thoughts to interfere with the work you are doing. This is an exercise in awareness of the present-moment; so remain alert and fully attentive.

假设你选择呼吸作为专注的对象,那就全然地觉知每一吸气和呼气,注意呼吸经过时产生的感觉,然后把注意力集中在感觉最明显的那一点,也就是感觉呼吸最敏锐的地方,例如在鼻尖。确保你觉知呼吸何时进与出,但不要跟随着它的过程——只是专注于它经过的那个点。假使你觉得有帮助,可以把呼吸与重复默念“佛陀”结合在一起,吸气时默念“佛”,呼气时默念“陀”。不要让妄想扰乱你的修行,这是觉知当下的修行,所以保持警觉和完全的专注。

As mindfulness gradually establishes itself, the mind will stop paying attention to harmful thoughts and emotions. It will lose interest in its usual preoccupations. Undistracted, it will settle further and further into calm and stillness. At the same time, the breath—which is coarse when you first begin focusing on it—gradually becomes more and more refined. It may even reach the stage where it completely disappears from your conscious awareness. It becomes so subtle and refined that it fades and disappears. There is no breath at that time—only the mind’s essential knowing nature remains.

念住慢慢建立起来之后,心就不再注意有害的念头和情绪,它会对之前的妄想失去兴趣,不受干扰地一步一步地在宁静中安定下来。同时,呼吸——开始专注时它是粗的——也逐渐转为细,甚至可能会微细到完全从你的意识中消失。它变得那么微细以至淡化消失,这时呼吸就停下来——只剩下意识知道的根本特性。


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