Dharma for life
標題
Essentials of Lay Buddhist Practice
日期
2015-03-24
Essentials of Lay Buddhist Practice
 
By Cheng Chen-huang
 
(A speech delivered at the founding ceremony of Malaysian Buddhist Kulapati Association)
 
在家修行要旨
 
鄭振煌主講
 
黃亞瑞簡錄
 
(2013年3月16日講於馬來西亞佛教居士總會成立大會)
 
 
All Dharma Paths Are Equal
    Buddha dharma has numberless paths. Each path can make one achieve nirvana, and thus is worthy of learning. There is no such distinction as Hinayana and Mahayana.
法法平等
佛法法門無量,八萬四千法門每一個法門都可以讓人成就,每一個法門都可讓人學習,並沒有小乘、大乘之分。
 
The Southern Buddhism has also bodhisattva spirit, six paramitas and ten paramitas, thus cannot be called Hinayana Buddhism, and is equal to Mahayana Buddhism and Vajra Buddhism. However, some lay Buddhists make little progress even they have practiced Buddha dharma for many years. As a custom, they are on the path of Buddha dharma, why do they still encounter bottlenecks? The problem is not that any Buddhist path is wrong, but their understanding about the Buddha path is not sufficient.
南傳佛教有菩薩道的精神,有六波羅密、十波羅密的法義,並不能把南傳佛法當作是小乘教,跟顯教、密教也是圓融相通。可是有些在家學佛者學佛了好多年,一點消息都沒有。照道理大家都在學佛,為什麼會遇上瓶頸呢?不是法門不對,而是自己對法門的瞭解不夠。
 
In Samyukta-agama-sutra, the Buddha’s teaching is very short and simple. He only taught the disciples to contemplate on the teachings logically and to observe objectively all conditioned things including five aggregates (material things, sensations, perceptions, volitional actions, and consciousness), twelve entrants (six sense organs and their objects), 18 realms (six sense organs, six sensual objects, and six kinds of consciousness), etc. as impermanence, affliction, and insubstantiality, the listeners were liberated from afflictions and obtained fruitions of holy man immediately.
在《雜阿含經》當中,世尊只要簡單的講幾句話,如理的思維,如理的觀照五蘊(色,受,想,行,識)、十二處(六根、六塵)、十八界(六根、六塵、六識)等一切萬法都是無常、苦、無我,聽法的弟子即解脫煩惱、證悟聖果。
 
Three Characteristics of Conditioned Things
Practice of Buddha dharma is actually very simple. If one can see the ultimate reality of all conditioned things, i.e. impermanence, affliction, and insubstantiality, and abide one’s mind in these three characteristics, one will emancipate from affliction and sufferings, and attain nirvana.
三法印
修行其實是非常的簡單,只要觀一切法的實相,亦即觀現象界的一切都是無常、苦和無我,起心動念不離這三法印,就可以解脫煩惱痛苦、證入涅槃寂靜。
 
Impermanence gives us full confidence. Affliction makes us detach from external things. Insubstantiality frees us from ego-centeredness. Aren’t the Three Characteristics the state of nirvana which is emancipated and free of mind? 
無常,讓我們充滿信心;苦,讓我們不貪戀、放下;無我,讓我們心包太虛,不自我中心。三法印不就是解脫自在的涅槃境界嗎?
 
Great masters of later generation divided the Buddha dharma into five paths: the path of preparation, the path of expedient means, the path of seeing, the path of cultivation, and the path of culmination.The Five Paths were designed according to the spiritual ability of human beings. People of low capacity should start from the path of preparation, i.e. cultivating merits and generating wisdom. Merits are cultivated through giving, altruism, and doing good deeds. Wisdom is generated from right understanding and right view.
後代大師把佛法分成五道:從資糧道到加行道、見道、修道,而後究竟道。五道是根據眾生根機而安立的。如果眾生是下根器者,一定要從資糧道開始,即培福生慧。福資糧從佈施、利他、行善開始,慧資糧即是正知見。
 
Right understanding and right view are very important. If one has right understanding and right view, all mundane things are Buddha dharma; if one has no right understanding and no right view, all Buddha dharma will become mundane things. Mundane things are originally Buddha dharma. Mundane things have the nature of impermanence, affliction, insubstantiality, and impurity which are exactly revealed by Buddha dharma. Therefore, all mundane things are Buddha dharma. On the contrary, if one has no right understanding and no right view, the upside-down and delusive ideas will lead one to mistake mundane things as permanent, blissful, substantial, and pure, and thus suffer and take rebirth again and again. Without right understanding and right view, even if one practices a lot and knows plenty of Buddhist theories, one is still doing the mundane things.
正知見太重要了。若有正知見,一切世間法即是佛法;若沒有正知見,一切佛法卻是世間法。本來世間法即是佛法,世間法是無常、苦、無我、不淨的,而佛法所證知的世間法正是無常、苦、無我、不淨的,所以一切世間法都是佛法。但是沒有正知見的話,顛倒妄想,把世間法當成常、樂、我、淨,必然輪迴痛苦。沒有正知見,搞再多的佛教修持或佛教理論,都是世間法。
 
Understand Rightly that Mundane Things and Buddha Dharma Are Non-dualistic
“Buddha dharma is in the mundane world, and not apart from the mundane awakening.” But, if Buddhists have no right understanding and no right view, although they have got involved in Buddhist circle for decades or chanted sutras by heart, the Buddha dharma will become mundane things, being unbearably vulgar, degenerated, and disgusting.
正知世間與佛法不二
「佛法在世間,不離世間覺。」但佛弟子如果沒有正知見,在佛教圈子打滾了幾十年或讀經讀得滾瓜爛熟,結果佛法都變了世間法,佛法變得俗不可耐和墮落可憎。
 
Why do lay people make no progress in spiritual cultivation? It is not the problem of Buddha dharma, but because they possess no right understanding and no right view. The five paths are established for different spiritual abilities. Those who are of low spiritual ability should start from the path of preparation, i.e. the accumulation of merits and wisdom. The accumulation of merits is done by means of confession of karmic obscuration, and creation of worldly good things. And, the accumulation of wisdom is for the establishment of right understanding and right view. When the path of preparation is completed, one can walk further onto the path of expedient means which include samatha (concentration meditation) and vipassana (insight meditation) to see the impermanence, affliction, and insubstantiality of conditioned things. Then, one can go through the path of seeing the truth and the path of cultivation to reach the final path of culmination.
為何在家居士修行不成就?不是法門有問題,而是不具正知見。五道的安立,下根器者一定要從資糧道開始,即是積聚福慧二資糧,從福資糧來懺悔業障、安立世間善法,從慧資糧來建立正知見。資糧道圓滿後,進修止觀的加行道。從禪修中見到諸法的無常、苦、無我。然後經見道位、修道位,到達圓滿的究竟位。
 
Those who are of medium spiritual ability can start from the path of expedient means. They can fulfill the path of preparation immediately once they hear the discourse on the essence of Buddha dharma, and go straightly onto the path of expedient means, i.e. Samatha and Vipassana.
中根性者,可從加行道入手。他的資糧很快就具足,只要聽聞善知識開示佛法要義,就可以直修止觀,即奢摩他(Samantha)和毗婆舍那(Vipassana)。
 
Cultivate the Five Paths According to One’s Spiritual Ability
Those who are of high spiritual ability can cultivate the wisdom of emptiness directly, and enter the path of seeing the truth. The Sixth Patriarch Platform Sutra records that HuiNeng got sensual enlightenment when he heard the reading of the Diamond Sutra at a guest house. Then, he went to the Fifth Patriarch Hong Jen’s monastery, and heard the reading of Master ShenShiu’sgatha, i.e. “Body is the Bodhi tree, and mind the bright mirror stand. Clean the mirror diligently from time to time! Don’t let it get dust.” He understood that this indicated not yet seeing the mind nature. He asked somebody to write down his realization: “Bodhi has no tree, and mirror is not a stand. Originally there is nothing. Where is the place to get dust?” This is the rational enlightenment of seeing the emptiness in the nature of all conditioned and unconditioned things. Then, when he listened to the Fifth Patriarch’s discourse on the Diamond Sutra, and heard the sentence of “generating one’s mind without abiding on anything,” he was totally enlightened that all things are not apart from one’s innate nature: “How amazing it is that one’s innate nature is pure! How amazing it is that one’s innate nature was not born and will not decay! How amazing it is that one’s innate nature is inherent! How amazing it is that one’s innate nature has no movement! How amazing it is that one’s innate nature can generate all things!” At that time he reached the path of seeing the truth. “One should generate one’s mind” is the manifestation of loving-kindness and compassion while “without abiding on anything”the wisdom of seeing the emptiness of innate nature in all conditioned things. Emptiness and existence are not dualistic. One should do all virtues but with no attachment. Therefore, he started the cultivation from the path of seeing the truth. Then he was conferred the patriarchal robe, bowl, and dharma teaching by the Fifth Patriarch, and followed the latter’s advice to flee to the south in midnight, and hid himself amid the hunters in the mountains of Shih-huifor 15 years“to train his mind and to increase his ability.” This is his path of cultivation. After 15 years, when he felt that the time was ready, he left mountains to give dharma teachings to people.
上中下根機適性修五道
上根器者,可以直修空性智慧,入見道位。《六祖壇經》記載,惠能在客棧聽客人誦《金剛經》,即有所感悟。前往五祖弘忍大師處,聞大眾讀誦神秀大師偈:「身是菩提樹,心為明鏡台;時時勤拂拭,莫使惹塵埃。」知道尚未見性,乃託人寫下:「菩提本無樹,明鏡亦非台;本來無一物,何處惹塵埃。」即是見到諸法空性的理悟。而後他再聽五祖弘忍大師講解《金剛經》,至「應無所住而生其心」,言下大悟:一切萬法不離自性。遂啟祖曰:「何期自性本自清淨,何期自性本不生滅,何期自性本自具足,何期自性本無動搖,何期自性能生萬法。」這時候可說是他的見道位。「應無所住」是空性的智慧,「而生其心」是慈悲的展現。空有不二,行一切善而不執著。因此他是從見道位下手。等到他蒙五祖授衣鉢和法,並遵咐囑寅夜南逃,在四會山區隱居獵人隊中十五年,「動心忍性,增益其所不能」,這是他的修道位。十五年過後,他覺得時機成熟了,才下山度眾生。
 
    Therefore, it is not the problem of dharma, but the Buddhists’ understanding and view. They are prone to attach to a dharma teaching or a teacher. For example, our teacher asks us to cut off all desires in order to cultivate the path of liberation. But, cutting off all desires is the first monastic request only. If lay people also cut off all desires, many problems will happen in one’s family, society, country, and the world. Not to mention the sexual desire, if the desires of learning new knowledge and achieving successful business are also cut off, how can the civilization of mankind make progress?
所以不是法門有問題,而是學佛者的知見有問題,執著一個法門或執著一位師父。比如師父要我們斷欲來修解脫道,但斷欲是出家眾的第一個修行要求,如果在家眾也斷欲的話,家庭、社會、國家、世界一定出狀況。不要說斷男女的情慾,如果連求知、求事業成功的欲也斷,人類文明豈能進步?
 
Lay People Should Have Desire for Good Things
Lay people have to work to earn living, and have to run business, if they don’t have such a desire, how can they run their life well? Therefore, lay people cannot cut off desires, should have desire for good things, should cultivate the Eightfold Noble Paths, and should base on the Right View to practice right thought, right speech, right action, and right livelihood. Lay people should also develop the wisdom of inter-dependent origination and emptiness of innate nature to purify their bodily, verbal, and mental actions.
在家眾要有善法欲
在家居士要工作要上班討生活,要經營企業,如果連這個[欲]也沒有,如何將生活經營得好?所以在家眾是不能斷欲的,在家眾要有善法欲,要有八正道,依正見而正思維、正語、正業、正命。依緣起性空的正見智慧修行,清淨身、口、意三業。
 
Lay people still need desires. The problem is that they should not be enslaved by desires, and drowned into the great ocean of birth and death of affliction and ignorance.
在家眾還是要有欲,問題是不讓欲困住,淹沒於煩惱無明的生死大海,這就要依般若智慧。
 
All Buddhist scriptures aim to develop our prajna or transcendental wisdom. The Heart Sutra focuses on the non-duality of emptiness and existence, and that both the mundane and the supra-mundane are emptiness in innate nature. Meanwhile, the Diamond Sutra concentrates on no abiding in generating one’s mind, generating one’s mind with no abiding, being detached from the four marks (of me, other, all beings, and longevity), and being detached from both existence and emptiness. Master Kumarajiva’s Chinese version of the Diamond Sutra has only 5,176 or 5,180 characters while Master Hsuan Chuang’s Chinese version of the Heart Sutra 268 characters. Therefore, many Buddhists chanted them daily.
一切佛典都在啟發吾人的般若智慧。《心經》專講空有不二、世出世間法都是空性的智慧;《金剛經》專講生心無住、無住生心、離四相、雙離法相非法相的智慧。鳩摩羅什的《金剛經》譯本只有5,176字或5,180字,玄奘大師的《心經》只有268字,故以之為日課的佛弟子甚多。
 
Three Contemplations in One Thought and Three Truths in One Thing
Lay people should apply prajna to integrate the phenomena and the noumena, benefit oneself and others in mundane world, and consider all things as having no obstruction. Knowing that all conditioned things have the innate nature of impermanence, affliction, and insubstantiality, they find no obstruction in everything; Master Chih Yi of Tien-tai School called it pseudo-name or pseudo-contemplation. All things are generated because of the integration of causes and conditions, and extinguish because of the disintegration of causes and conditions. Moving from having no obstruction in phenomena to having no obstruction in noumena, i.e. realizing that all phenomena are empty in substance because of inter-dependent origination, one will have no obstruction in noumena. Master Chih Yi of Tien-tai School called it emptiness of innate nature, or emptiness contemplation. When one understands that all phenomena are illusory, one will detach from all phenomena. When one detaches from all phenomena, one will attain enlightenment and understand that all phenomena are emptiness in innate nature. Therefore, one can detach from worldly things while engage in worldly things, and no more feel affliction about worldly things. The Sixth Patriarch HuiNeng called it “No Thought (detach from thought whenever thought arises), No Phenomena (detach from phenomena whenever sense of phenomena arises), and No Abiding (the essence of mind).”Inter-dependent origination is exactly emptiness in innate nature, and emptiness in innate nature is exactly inter-dependent origination. Pseudo is exactly emptiness, and emptiness exactly pseudo, Master Chih Yi of Tien-tai School called it Madhyamika (Middle Path) and Madhyamikacontemplation. Pseudo is exactly emptinees, and exactly Madhymika. There are three contemplations in one thought, and three truths in one thing.
一心三觀,一法三諦
在家居士應以般若智慧來圓融事理,在世間自利利他,事事無礙。了知一切法無常、苦、無我,因此能事無礙,天臺智者大師稱此為假名、假觀。一切法緣起緣滅,唯假名有。萬法的本質是無常的。從事無礙到理無礙,了知一切法緣起故性空,在理上就沒有障礙,天臺大師稱之為空性、空觀。知幻即離,離幻即覺,知一切法空,故能即世間法離世間法,不再以世間法為苦。六祖稱為「無念:於念離念;無相:於相離相;無住:心之本體」。緣起即性空,性空即緣起,即假為空,即空為假,天臺智者大師稱此為中道、中觀。即假即空即中,一心三觀,一法三諦。
 
Work Is Exactly Cultivation of Buddha Dharma
I have a student who is working in a company as a clerk. He is very busy every day. His boss assigns him many works. Every morning, he is very reluctant to get up until the last moment, stuffs a few loaves of bread into his mouth, and takes bus to the office in a hurry. He opens the computer, and finds that about 50 emails are there for him to answer. Besides, the telephone rings incessantly one by one. Every day he is under very heavy pressure, and his emotion always falls down to the bottom.
工作即修行
有一位學生是上班族,每天都很忙,老闆交代的事情很多。一大早,很不情願的起床,一定要賴床賴到不得不上班時,才匆匆起床,口中塞了幾塊麵包,搭公車到辦公室,打開電腦,四五十封電郵,電話一通接一通,每天都處在高壓之下,情緒低落。
 
He tells me from time to time that he wants to quit the job or changes to a lighter job so that he can have time to cultivate the Buddha dharma. However, he has no good fortune, and still has to work to earn his living. I tell him that what needs to be changed is not his job, but his mind.
他老是告訴我,很想辭職或換輕鬆的工作去修行,可是沒有福報,沒有資糧,每天還是得工作賺錢。我勸他要改變的不是他的工作,而是他的心。
 
I say to him, “Regard work and living as cultivation of Buddha dharma. Buddha dharma is not the chanting of dharani or sutra in Buddha hall, but seeing the nature of work, living, and encountering. Following the Eightfold Noble Paths to benefit the living beings will free one from affliction and suffering.”
我告訴他:「把工作和生活當作佛法來修,佛法不是在佛堂裡面持咒唸經,而是在工作、生活、遭遇當中,看透它的本質。只要依八正道、利益眾生,就可以解脫煩惱痛苦。」
 
Today I am very happy to receive his email. He tells me that he finally sees his misconception, and realizes that all depend on one’s mind, and work is exactly the cultivation of Buddha dharma. Now he can work happily every day. What is not right is not the work and the environment, but the mind.
今天我接到他的電郵。他說,他終於想通了,原來一切都是心,悟到工作就是修行,現在每天都能愉快地工作。不是工作不對,不是環境不對,而是心不對。
 
If one has no right understanding and no right view, one will produce perverted thoughts, and make discrimination all the times. As a result, Buddha dharma may turn out to “harm” us.
一個人若沒有正知正見,就會顛倒妄想,分別執著一切萬法。沒有正知正見,佛法可能會反過來「害」你。
 
5W1H
When a layman cultivates Buddha dharma, he should understand his identity clearly. Why? (Why do I cultivate Buddha dharma?  Why do I promote Buddha dharma and benefit the living beings?)  It is for ridding our afflictions and gaining happiness as well as for breaking perplexities and developing enlightenment. Who? (Who am I?) I am a layman, not a monk.  Whom? (Whom should I learn with? Whom should I promote Buddha dharma to?)  I should learn Buddha dharma with the learned practitioners, and promote Buddha dharma to all beings. What? (What Buddha dharma should I cultivate?) I should cultivate the Buddha dharma which fits my spiritual ability and the Buddha’s teachings. When? (When can I practice Buddha Dharma?) I practice Buddha dharma not at daily fixed timeonly, but at every moment to experience the three characteristics of conditioned things, i.e. the truth of all phenomena. Where? (Where can I cultivate Buddha dharma?) I can cultivate Buddha dharma everywhere. How? (How will I cultivate Buddha dharma?)  I should follow the learned practitioners of Buddha dharma, listen to the teachings on right Buddha dharma, think according to the truth, and practice according to Buddha dharma.
5W1H
居士修行,要清楚自己的定位。Why?(為什麼修行?為什麼弘法利生?)為著離苦得樂、破迷啟悟。Who?(我是誰?)我是在家居士而不是出家眾。Whom?((向誰學習?向誰弘法?)向善知識學習,向一切眾生弘法。What? (該修何種法門?)契機契理的法門。When? (何時修行?) 不是只每天抽出固定時間來修行佛法,而是每時每刻都在體會三法印--諸法實相。Where? (何處修行?)處處都是道場。How? (怎樣修?) 依止善知識,聽聞正法,如理思維,如法修證。
 
It is not easy for lay people to practice Buddha dharma. Sakyamuni Buddha said in the UpasakaSila Sutra, “There are two kinds of bodhisattva: One is laity, and the other is monk. The monastic bodhisattvas are the bodhisattvas of true significance,it is not difficult for them to practice Buddha dharma. But, it is difficult for lay people to practice Buddha dharma. Why? It is because that lay people are entangled in many bad conditions.” It is very rare for the lay people to practice Buddha dharma only because that they are entangled in many bad conditions, and encounter many challenges. Therefore, their wisdom is very special because they can obtain the wisdom which is difficult to obtain.
在家修行不容易,世尊在《優婆塞戒經》說;「菩薩有二種:一者在家,二者出家。出家菩薩為實義菩薩,是不為難。在家菩薩,是乃為難。何以故?在家之人多惡因緣所纏繞故。」出家學道不難,在家學道是為甚難,何以故?多諸惡緣故。正因為有很多的惡緣,有很多的挑戰,所以在家人修行特別難得,難得能得的智慧特別殊勝。
 
The Prajna of Lay People Is Very High.
Day before yesterday, I was in Singapore. A friend asked me, “How can lay people practice Buddha dharma?” I answered that lay people should practice bodhisattva path. The prajna of lay people is very high because they not only practice Buddha dharma but also know mundane knowledge such as modern scientific technology, sociology, politics, economics, and etc. The propagation and support of Buddha dharma needs lay people, although it is mainly the monastic sangha to lead the public to learn Buddha dharma.
在家眾的般若智慧甚高
前天我在新加坡,有朋友問我你覺得在家人修行如何?我說在家人修行要修菩薩道。在家人的般若智慧是非常高的,因為我們除了修學佛法之外,也瞭解現代的科技、社會、政治、經濟等等世間法。正法的弘揚護持需要在家眾,雖然出家眾領導大眾學佛。
 
It is not difficult for the lay people to attain Buddhahood once they live up to prajna, great loving-kindness and compassion, and expedient means.
在家居士成佛不難,只要他們肯學般若智慧、大慈大悲、方便善巧。