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On Retreat

离开喇荣已经142天,临走之前,学院的360多位修行人共同发愿,在那具有殊胜加持的圣地闭关142天修持密法,每天按照闭关教言修习至少4-6座。当时我也曾有此愿望,但因公务繁杂、病魔缠身,而未能如愿。

It’s been 142 days since I left Larung Gar. Before my departure, 360 practitioners there vowed in unison that in the supremely blessed land of Larung, they would devote 142 retreat days to Vajrayana practice, following strictly the retreat manual to meditate at least 4 to 6 sessions every day. I had the same aspirations at that time, but alas, my busy administrative duties and illness thwarted my wishes.

几个月以来,我几乎是在病床上度过了这段宝贵时光。目睹过众多病人的痛苦,耳闻过无数患者的惨叫。昨日的病友已被死神唤去,今日的同室也不知有几人能享明日之春光。若不利用如今的大好时光苦修,在临死之时,终将不由自主地随业力流转,谁也不能救护。

Instead, I have been confined to a hospital bed for almost the entire three months, wasting this precious time period. I have witnessed the suffering of many patients, and listened enough to the horrible shrieks of the sick. Some fellow patients of yesterday were escorted away by the Lord of Death, and who knows how many of today’s roommates will still be able to enjoy the spring day tomorrow? Unless we take advantage of our excellent opportunity to practice, at the time of death we will be propelled by karmic force into the rounds of samsara; there will be no protector whatsoever.

今天,闭关共修已经圆满,世间的人们时常在毫无意义的日子大搞各种名目繁多的纪念活动。与他们的主题相比,此事就更应该纪念及庆贺。在此五浊兴盛之时,能以内观心的本性为日程的修行人是十分罕见的。不论他们的修行结果如何,都应该有很大功德。

As of today, the 142-day group retreat is completed; this occasion is indeed a feat to commemorate. Such celebration is far more worthwhile than those elaborate ceremonies carried out on worldly, meaningless days. In this period of five degenerations, there are very few people who meditate daily on the mind’s true nature. The retreatants, whatever their actual level of accomplishment may be, must have generated tremendous merit.

很巧,此时正翻开《宣说决定真如经》,佛于经中云:“舍利子,何人以守持十戒而听闻之功德,与此人于弹指间修习真如等持之功德相比,后者更为超胜。”经中所言,真实不虚,世间之人为了财色名食睡尚且“衣带渐宽终不悔”,更何况为了自他之解脱。如果实修之人能将闭关要诀再进行广修有多好啊!

“Sariputta, one practitioner, listens to Dharma teachings while upholding the 10 precepts; this same person also practices meditation on the mind’s true nature one-pointedly, just for one instant. When comparing the merits of these two activities, the latter is far more superior.” This is a saying from the scripture, an unfailing truism. For earthly wishes—wealth, sex, fame, food, and sleep—worldly people would strive until “pining away without regret”, how much more effort we should exert for the liberation of self and other beings! Wouldn’t it be great if practitioners were to continue to apply the retreat’s instructions to broader scopes!

壬午年正月初六  
2002年2月18日

6th of January, Year of RenWu
February 18, 2002


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