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 20180205《靜思妙蓮華》結跏趺坐 安穩不動 (第1277集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

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發表主題: 20180205《靜思妙蓮華》結跏趺坐 安穩不動 (第1277集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)   周日 2月 04, 2018 10:24 pm

20180205《靜思妙蓮華》結跏趺坐 安穩不動 (第1277集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

⊙「靜坐法中結跏趺坐,是最安穩,心不疲極。取正法坐,魔王見之,其心憂怖,不得安寧。見畫跏趺坐,魔亦愁怖,何況入道人,安坐不動。」
⊙作此坐者,身端而心正,結跏趺坐,其形方形。方形主不動轉德,故入道時殊用此坐法。
⊙「一一寶樹五百由旬,枝葉華果次第莊嚴。諸寶樹下皆有師子之座,高五由旬,亦以大寶而校飾之。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙「爾時、諸佛各於此座結跏趺坐。如是展轉,遍滿三千大千世界,而於釋迦牟尼佛一方所分身猶故未盡。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙爾時、諸佛各於此座結跏趺坐:既到此已,各坐寶樹下師子座。
⊙如是展轉,遍滿三千大千世界:如是展開,轉輾遍滿一化三千之界。
⊙而於釋迦牟尼佛一方所分身猶故未盡:但坐東方所分之身,遍三千界猶自未盡。猶故未盡:謂十方諸佛已坐遍三千大千世界,而釋迦牟尼一方分身佛之坐,猶未盡足。
⊙釋迦分身,喻如一燈,然百千燈,真應無盡,而器界有窮,故雖大千,不能容受。

【證嚴上人開示】
「靜坐法中結跏趺坐,是最安穩,心不疲極。取正法坐,魔王見之,其心憂怖,不得安寧。見畫跏趺坐,魔亦愁怖,何況入道人,安坐不動。」

靜坐法中
結跏趺坐
是最安穩
心不疲極
取正法坐
魔王見之
其心憂怖
不得安寧
見畫跏趺坐
魔亦愁怖
何況入道人
安坐不動

靜坐法中,跏趺,就是結跏趺坐,是最安穩,心不疲勞。這就是我們坐禪的方法。其實我們平常不說是坐禪,我們就說「靜坐」,將心靜下來,這個靜坐方法,那就是以「結跏趺坐」。平常就是這麼說,說:「靜下來,稍微靜坐一下。」因為我們大家忙忙碌碌,忙碌中,有時候我們心稍微靜一下,坐下來,坐下來的方式,要用什麼方式坐?能坐得身會安穩,心會平順,那就是「結跏趺坐」的方法,這叫做靜坐法。靜坐法,我們就是用結跏趺坐。看我們的習慣,有的都是單盤,也有的就是雙盤,也是坐的方法,看我們怎麼坐。我們能輕安自在,就能坐得安穩。所以「心不疲極」,若這樣坐下來,心就會跟著身就是這樣平順,心也不會很快這樣就讓它亂了,還是心不會疲極,坐著也不會容易打瞌睡,所以我們要很用心來體會,這個坐的方法。

所以「取正法坐」,我們若用正式的方法來坐,自然「魔王見之」,就「其心憂怖」。若是這樣,魔王看到一位修行的人在那個地方正法端坐,魔王看了,心,自然他就起了憂怖的心,心不安。有人這樣說:「邪不勝正。」既然我們取正法而坐,坐得身心輕安,就算魔王要來擾亂我們,他光是一看到修行者的端正,身行端正,心無雜念,自然魔王就心起了憂怖,魔王的心不得安寧。這就是表示我們要用心,用心在我們日常生活中,我們起居動作,我們的身心都是要如法威儀,不是坐的時候才是端端正正,心,身正心正,不是只有坐著的這個時間,是我們在日常生活中,起居動作,靜坐都是要一樣,心念,身心動念都要很端正,這就是我們要很用心。

魔王,哪怕他想,有了邪知、邪法要來對我們,看到我們的身心端正,他的心也會起了那個憂怖的心,他也會怕,自然地。這就是釋迦佛坐在法座那時候,很靜的時候,也就是有很多魔,心魔,境界浮現,好像外面的環境,有這樣這麼多的境界,幻境現前,他用正心念來鎮壓掉了,心外那個魔境。其實心外哪有魔境呢?其實都是從內心煩惱無明。釋迦佛靜坐下來時,同樣心很清淨,但是難免在這當中,虛幻的境界,心念從旁邊就會有這樣一動,那就幻化境界不斷浮現。好在就是正念,正知、正見、正念,我們前面說過了,琉璃為地,有寶樹,還有金繩界道。大家還記得嗎?金繩界道,這是表示我們要有八正道。八正道是正見、正念、正思惟等,這共有八項的正法,將我們的內心鎮住了,自然邪魔、虛幻的無明,就這樣,它就會斷除了,完全清淨了。斷除了一切,降伏了魔軍,斷除了一切惑,煩惱無明就再也不復,不會再復回回來,完全乾淨了,一片如琉璃一般清淨。在這種清淨如琉璃,心靈的世界,這些煩惱無明完全去除,那念心與天體合一,才會說睹明星而覺悟。

這就是我們打坐要很小心,凡夫動不動就說:「我要坐禪。」坐禪一坐下去,若有一點點境界浮現出來,我們少了正念、正知見,所以我們就以為那個浮上來的境界是真的,就這樣執著住,開始這念心要再回來正而靜,那就難了,就無法再回來了,就這樣隨著心的魔境,會一直趨向著:我要坐,我有境界。這樣一直深下去,執著下去,這叫做走火入魔。這種的心境如影隨形,哪怕你沒有在坐,同樣這種的境界,會幻聽,好像有人在向我說話,會幻境、幻影,這就會錯亂掉了。所以我們很期待大家,不是修禪法的人,若沒有很正確修禪的禪師,好好指導我們,我們若無法去體會,那是危險的事情,必定要很有經驗的禪師,專門在研究禪來指導我們。我們現在的社會忙忙碌碌,我們哪有辦法呢?所以我們只好就說靜坐,不是坐禪,靜坐。靜坐,就是這樣坐下來,煩惱的事情慢慢沒有了,我們的心會專。

曾跟大家說過了,若有時間,我們靜坐,用數息觀,就是隨我們的氣息,一出、一入,數為一,再一出、再一入,數為二,從這樣一直到十,可以再重新再來,一而十,這樣在這調氣、調息當中,我們的氣就會順。氣息順了,我們的心,心腦也一致,也不會這樣亂了,在這裡坐,想入非非,都不知道在想什麼。我們最重要的,就是要如何讓我們很調息,氣調得好。以及數息,就是算,算一、二、三、四,配合著我們的呼吸,從我們的丹田,這樣氣慢慢呼出去,出去,用心,也是到了我們的丹田,差不多,再吸回來,回歸丹田。這樣一出一入作為一數,若這樣,心念都是在這裡,沒有讓它跑走,這心與我們的身就會合一,這叫做心專,若這樣訓練得能專,很自然身心平靜。

若是我,是從年輕到現在就是這樣,一大早起來,時間若較多,就靜坐較久;若是時間較少,數息就較短一點。或者是若有空,有時間,若有一點點空間,幾個數息下來,也很好啊!這就是不論你有多少,只要一數為息,要十、二十、三十、四五十、上百都可以,總而言之,看我們的時間來調我們的身心。

若是沒空,就是沒空了,沒空的時候,這樣練出了我們做事的專心。忙碌,我們已經有在鍛鍊了,我們的身心專下來,自然在平常生活中也是能專心。何況心正、念正,自然調伏煩惱魔,其實身外無魔,是我們自己的煩惱作魔,雜念心,我們自己雜念心,自己的煩惱,自己的無明,就一而再來覆蔽我們的心。我們要調伏,調伏我們自己不要有煩惱,我們的心正、念正,自然外面有人事物,自然我們的分析就能很正確。因為心無雜念、心無煩惱,人家所在說的事情是真的嗎?是假的嗎?是正確,或者是偏差?我們只要我們身心端正,我們所分析的人間事物就不會糊塗了。這就是修行者最需要的。

不是說你修行,坐禪,禪有多深,這都沒有用。最重要的,讓我們的心不要亂,讓我們的心,見聞,我們全都用很正確的心態來分析。我們來看事情,我們用正心、正念、正思惟來分析這些事情,自然就不會人云亦云,所聽的,就是雖然不正確的事情,傳到我們面前,我們也用正念去分析:這不是真的,我不應該相信。知道這不是真的,不應該相信,要如何來處理,讓傳來虛妄消息的人,讓他能心服口服,我們要如何來降伏呢?不正確,能再將他矯正過來是成正確的念。這就要看我們的正思惟,要如何用心,來降伏這個不正確的,在我們面前,說的話都不是實在,但是無法一下子降伏他,但是在聽,可以可信的取幾分,不可信的有幾分,我們要能這樣將它過濾,過濾了,是真的,這個人還可以用;是不正確的,我們用人就要小心。要如何來改變他呢?這全都是做人的方法。

要如何能夠面對人間事物,不是說這個人很正確,若在他身邊的都是可信的,不敢這樣說哦!說不定八分可信,說不定六分可信,說不定是四分可信。要怎麼辦呢?總是佛陀說要慈悲納受啊!想辦法去調整他,若是沒有辦法時,就是默擯,總是期待他有機會能這樣,從四分而六分可信,而八分可信,而十分可信,這就是要用方法。總而言之,佛陀也是不捨眾生,這就是我們修行的方法,自己要自修,還要教人修,自利,還要利他,所以我們要先調整我們的身心。所以要降伏魔,降魔,魔王他見境,我們若好好取於正法,自然我們身心正確,魔王見之,魔王心也會憂怖。

所以有這樣一段的故事。魔王看到畫像,那個畫像,就是畫著佛在那裡靜坐,魔王乍見,就是這樣忽然間看到,因為那個畫像畫得很莊嚴,忽然間看到了,當作是真的,魔王也會嚇到。看到,遠遠看到,他怕了,他怖畏了。這就是一段故事,禪宗有這樣的一段故事,來形容魔王若看到端正的人,自然魔王他就會退失了。何況我們入道的人,已經心真心入道。佛陀向我們說法,「經者,道也;道者,路也。」向我們講解,無非就是要我們走入菩薩道,是菩提道,菩提道是正覺道。修行者,已經入正覺道的人,真實在那個地方安坐不動,這樣你們想,魔王當然也會退避,不敢再侵過來。這是在表示,譬喻我們若能好好地將我們的正念、正見、正思惟,這樣好好靜坐下來,我們的雜念不起,我們的煩惱無明不會靠近來,不會在我們心中作亂,這就是我們坐的方法。所以我們要學佛,要學在正思惟,念,要很正,靜坐的意思。

作此坐者
身端而心正
結跏趺坐
其形方形
方形主不動轉德
故入道時
殊用此坐法

「作此坐者,身端心正」。若能這樣靜坐,那就是身端心正,那就是結跏趺坐。這個形,這個形態這樣端端正正,坐得很端正。一個人坐下來,「坐如鐘」,坐下來,腳盤起來,坐起來像鐘一樣,很正。方形,就是表示不動。你若坐好了,人家推你也不會動,所以坐不動。不是圓的,圓的你若將它放下去,你稍微搖它,圓的就是這樣轉。我們若是四方形的,放下去,正正的,自然就是不會動,不是搖了就動,它會很穩定,不動。這就是德,表示我們坐著時,如不動轉的德,所以這樣靜坐下來。

所以入道時,那就是特別要用這樣的方法,若要靜坐就是這樣,好好坐下來。我看大家在坐,一小時都沒有動,你們現在的坐法就是單盤,一隻腳在下面,一隻腳在上面。不論你是右腳、左腳在上或下,坐習慣就好,是右腳在下面,左腳在上面呢?坐習慣就好。或者是左腳下面,右腳上面?也是習慣就好。或者是右腳在下面,左腳盤在右腳的腿上,右腳再盤上來左腳的上面,這叫做雙盤,若是習慣、自在,也好。所坐的方式,只要你是盤坐,這叫做結跏趺坐,盤坐起來,這樣我們坐得正正的,就很穩,不是圓圓,圓圓的,你稍微搖它一下,它就會轉。所以我們以不動為德,這也是表示不動轉的德。所以,「入道殊用」,我們要真正好好靜心下來,要用的方法就是這樣。

接下來,前面的經文就這麼說:「一一寶樹五百由旬。」

一一寶樹
五百由旬
枝葉華果次第莊嚴
諸寶樹下
皆有師子之座
高五由旬
亦以大寶而校飾之
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

因為釋迦佛的分身佛,就已經都到了,到達來時,就是「一一寶樹」,都坐在寶樹下,寶樹高五百由旬。寶塔有多高,寶樹就有多高。記得嗎?寶塔五百由旬,現在寶樹也是有五百由旬。還記得五百由旬嗎?五百由旬就是二萬里,就是表示「六度萬行」。我們要行菩薩道,我們要福慧具足才能成佛,福萬行、慧萬行。我們在人群中造福,六度萬行在人群中、煩惱無明中,我們能不受煩惱無明所污染,能在煩惱群中去開導,將佛的教法去教化眾生,這叫做修慧,所以,慧六度萬行。這樣兩個萬會合起來,具足,所以福慧具足,六度萬行,這就是五百由旬。

所以它的「枝葉華果,次第莊嚴」。這棵樹,這棵樹幹它向上分叉,開始分枝,展葉起來了,這就是表示萬行,不論你是福或慧。在這樹枝展起來,各各有次序,能遮蔭蔽影,能在那熱的當中,讓大家能乘涼,大地清涼。所以,諸分身佛,所有的真理、法,就是這樣,在這清涼中,在那個地方,分身佛都是在寶樹下,這樣坐下來。它不只是能遮風,小小的雨,也能遮雨,蔭影,也能遮日,也能擋風,這就是枝葉,樹的枝葉很莊嚴,知道這棵樹是什麼樹。「諸寶樹下皆有師子之座」。樹下都有鋪著師子座,所坐的位置,各座都有五由旬。前面也有說過,五分法身,戒等等,戒、定、慧、解脫、解脫知見,這是表示「五分法身」,這表示法。「亦以大寶而校飾之」。周圍就是很莊嚴。所以,希望大家聽過,這是以相來喻法,譬喻法,法就是這樣。

來,接下來這段經文,就是這麼說:「爾時、諸佛各於此座結跏趺坐。如是展轉,遍滿三千大千世界,而於釋迦牟尼佛一方所分身猶故未盡。」

爾時
諸佛各於此座
結跏趺坐
如是展轉
遍滿三千大千世界
而於釋迦牟尼佛
一方所分身
猶故未盡
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

用心聽清楚。「爾時」,就是諸佛已經從各方,這樣紛紛前前後後,這樣一直來了,來了,在各人各人的位置,這樣就坐下來了,這個法要歸位,所以既到了,那就是要各就寶座,法,開始歸位了。

爾時
諸佛各於此座
結跏趺坐:
既到此已
各坐寶樹下師子座

所以,「如是展轉,遍滿三千大千世界」。

如是展轉
遍滿
三千大千世界:
如是展開
轉輾遍滿
一化三千之界

像這樣,每一尊佛來,都是照這樣的次序規律,雖然很多很多佛來,他們就是照這樣,將他歸位。這「如是展轉」,就是「遍滿一化三千之界」。一是釋迦牟尼佛,在人間成佛,佛陀他成佛之後,所講說的法是遍虛空法界的道理,全都完全收納,收納在人間,為人間說法,不論是談空說有,所有一切的法,要歸納在人人的心裡,天地萬法在人間,所以遍三千大千世界。一千個小世界,歸納起來,就是一個中千世界。一千個中千世界再歸納起來,叫做大千世界。那就從我們的聲聞、緣覺、菩薩,我們的心能接受的範圍,我們發多大的心,能接受多少的法,要這樣一直擴大。「一化三千之界」,一尊佛將法,一直到讓人人發大乘心、修大乘法,這就是三乘教法。要如何去除眾生煩惱,去除無明,去除塵沙惑,(見思)煩惱在聲聞中,在緣覺中去除,塵沙惑,那就是在菩薩中去除。這麼多的無明煩惱,就要有這麼多的法來適應它,你們想,法多不多呢?真的是很多的教法。

一時要將它歸納來,所以「但坐東方所分之身,遍三千界猶自未盡」。

而於釋迦牟尼佛
一方所分身
猶故未盡:
但坐東方所分之身
遍三千界猶自未盡
猶故未盡:
謂十方諸佛已坐遍
三千大千世界
而釋迦牟尼
一方分身佛之坐
猶未盡足

就是雖然佛的毫光,照向東方去了,其實它就是四維八達都普遍,這樣就是三千大千世界了,那就是猶未盡。這樣,法,這些分身佛一直在回來,一直在歸納,這樣還未完全容納,所以「猶故未盡」。這就是說,「十方諸佛已坐遍,三千大千世界」,光是東方的四方,四維、上下,還不夠,還要南西北方的,四方,四維、上下,這樣十方分身佛全都到達。這三千大千世界,「釋迦牟尼一方分身之坐」,還是一樣,還不夠,所以光是娑婆世界,要來好好地容納這些人還不夠。

釋迦分身
喻如一燈
然百千燈
真應無盡
而器界有窮
故雖大千
不能容受

這就要譬喻。「釋迦分身」,「喻如一燈,然百千燈,真應無盡,而器界有窮,故雖大千,不能容受」。真如、應身,無限量啊!這一燈,記得有一個故事嗎?佛的弟子問:「我這盞燈若點起來,別人再用他的燭來點我的燈,我這盞燈會損了嗎?」佛陀就說:「一盞燈起來,千千萬萬的燈來引出去,這盞燈不但沒有損失,周圍增加光明。」同樣的道理,佛的覺悟,人人來聽,聽了之後,他成長的智慧與佛同等,這同樣的,覺悟的人愈多,人間就是覺者愈普遍,救度眾生愈多,所以,遍滿三千大千世界。所以「百千燈,真應無盡」,這個真如應身愈多。所以「而器界有窮,故雖大千,不能容受」。若要說在這個器世間,器世間就是娑婆世界,說要容納這些道理,要容納分身佛來,要用這娑婆世界來容納,還容納不盡。容納不盡要怎麼辦?佛陀就要再想辦法,讓更廣、更多的地方來容納,所以這就是佛要變穢土為淨土。

我們世間,器世間,就像我們娑婆世界,這顆地球有多大?現在的科學已經測出了,這個地球總共有多大,已經有數字了。這顆地球含蓋著是器世間,這個器世間有限量,但是,佛的世界,精神的理念,覺悟的理念是無窮盡,就如虛空法界,所有的道理是無形無體,所以他能含括無窮盡,能夠包容。

若說我們的器世界,是有形、有物質,所以它也有障礙。看看我們地球上,四季輪轉,在夏、秋,常常都會有颱風。前面這個颱風過去,今天又是一個颱風,到底今天,天會再變雨天,會再下雨嗎?會再颳風嗎?這也是我們要掛心、擔心的。這就是我們器世間,有器具的世間,有器具的世間,它有時歲,時、季節的輪轉,在這個大空間在輪轉。但是,法就是無形無體,真理,你說在這個娑婆世界,要容納起天地宇宙萬物真理,在一個覺悟者這樣將它會合,合為一體,覺悟。他的理念,「心包太虛,量周沙界」,佛的心境寬大,就不是這個器世間能來比擬,這就是表示佛智與天地,虛空法界包含在內。

所以我們現在在聽,用形象來比喻這個法,我們用心聽,就能體會了解,佛法乃是大覺者所能體會。大覺是人人本具,因為人人具有真如本性,只是我們無明煩惱覆蓋,我們就漸漸開,漸漸開,所以這就是包含在一切法中,所以我們要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Sitting Peacefully in the Lotus Position (結跏趺坐 安穩不動)
Date: February.05.2018

“Among the methods of sitting in meditation, sitting cross-legged in the lotus position is the most secure and stable, and our minds will not grow fatigued. If we adopt the right method of sitting, whenever King Mara sees this, he will become worried and frightened, unable to be at peace. Upon seeing a picture [of the Buddha] sitting in the lotus position, Mara will become worried and frightened, to say nothing of [seeing] someone who has entered the Path sitting peacefully without moving.”

Among the methods of sitting in meditation, sitting cross-legged in the lotus position is the most secure and stable, and our minds will not grow fatigued. This is the way we practice meditation. Actually, most of the time, we do not talk about “practicing meditation,” we just say “sitting in meditation,” in which we calm down our hearts. This method of sitting in meditation is to “sit cross-legged in the lotus position.” We usually say things like, “Let us calm down and sit in meditation for a little while.” Because we are always so busy, sometimes, we need to calm our minds and sit down. What method of sitting can we use that will make our body feel secure and stable and bring peace to our hearts? It is “sitting cross-legged in the lotus position.” This is the way to sit in meditation. The way we sit in meditation is to sit cross-legged in the lotus position. Depending on what we are accustomed to, some people will sit with one leg crossed, while some will sit with both legs crossed. These are both methods of sitting. If we can find a way to sit where we can feel peaceful and at ease, then we will be able to sit securely and stably, so “our minds will not grow fatigued.” If we sit like this, our mind will follow our body and be at peace. Our mind will not be easily disturbed, nor will it grow fatigued. As we sit [like this], we will be less likely to doze off.

So, we must mindfully seek to experience this method of sitting. Thus, “if we adopt the right method of sitting,” naturally, “whenever King Mara sees this he will become worried and frightened.” If this happens and King Mara sees a spiritual practitioner using the right method of sitting, after King Mara sees this, he will naturally become worried and frightened. He will feel uneasy. Some say that evil cannot triumph over righteousness. If we adopt the right method of sitting and our bodies and minds are at ease, then if King Mara wants to disturb us, as soon as he sees an upright spiritual practitioner, with upright body and mind, free of discursive thoughts, he will naturally become worried and frightened; King Mara will be unable to calm his mind. This requires us to be mindful; we must be mindful in our daily living. In our actions throughout our daily living, with our bodies and minds, we must have the correct demeanor. We should not be upright only when we are sitting. Our bodies and minds must always be upright. Not just when we are sitting, but our daily living must be the same as when we sit in meditation.

We must be very upright in our minds, in our bodies and our thoughts. This requires us to be very mindful. Even if King Mara wants to [distract us] with deviant views and practices, when he sees our upright body and mind, he will naturally become worried and frightened. This is just like the time when Sakyamuni Buddha sat upon the Dharma-seat, when He was very calm. Many maras, many maras of the mind, many mental obstructions, appeared before Him. It was as if in the external environment there were so many challenges and illusory states emerging. He used right mindfulness to suppress these appearances of maras from outside His mind. But is are there maras beyond the mind? In fact, all maras come from the afflictions and ignorance in our minds. When Sakyamuni Buddha sat in meditation, His mind was very clear. But, in this state, it was hard to avoid illusory conditions appearing. When our minds are disturbed by our surroundings like this, illusions will emerge endlessly. Fortunately, He had right mindfulness, had right views, right understand and right mindfulness. Previously we talked about how the ground was made of crystal. There were tress of treasures and golden cords bordering the roads. Does everyone still remember? Golden cords bordered the roads. This means we must have the Eightfold Noble Path.

The Eightfold Right Path includes right views, right mindfulness and right thinking. When these eight right practices in total can stabilize our hearts, then naturally, maras, that illusory ignorance, will be completely eliminated and [our hearts] will become completely pure. We must eliminate all [afflictions and ignorance], defeat the army of Mara and eradicate all our delusions. This way, our afflictions and ignorance will never come back again; [our hearts] will become completely pure, as pure as crystal. In this spiritual world as pure as crystal, when afflictions and ignorance are completely eliminated and our hearts become one with the universe, then we will see the stars and awaken.

So, we must be very careful about how we sit in meditation. Ordinary beings are quick to say, “I want to practice meditation.” But as soon as we sit down to practice meditation, as soon as the slightest mental states arise, if we lack right mindfulness and right views, we may mistakenly assume that the states that have emerged are real. If we become attached [to these conditions], returning our minds to an upright and calm [state] will be very difficult. We will be unable to bring ourselves back. We will follow the maras within our minds. We will become obsessed, [thinking], “I want to meditate. I am in a certain state.” Like this, we will sink deeper and deeper into our attachment [to this state]. This is called becoming obsessed. These mental conditions will follow us everywhere. Even when we are not practicing meditation, we will still be in this state. We will hallucinate as if someone is speaking to us. We will see illusions. This way, [our minds] will be disturbed. So, for those of us who do not regularly practice meditation, if there is no Chan (Zen) master present who is properly trained in meditation to guide us well, if we are unable to comprehend [the practice], this is a very dangerous thing. We must have a very experienced Chan master who has specialized in studying meditation to guide us. In today’s society, we are all very busy; how will we have time for this? So, we just talk about sitting in meditation; we do not say we are practicing meditation, but just sitting in meditation. As we sit down in meditation, matters that cause us afflictions will slowly disappear and our minds will become focused. We have talked about this before. If we have time, we can sit in meditation and practice “counting the breaths”. This means we follow our breath; after one exhale and one inhale we count one another exhale and another inhale makes it two. Like this, we count from one all the way to 10. Then, we can start over again from one to 10. As we do this, we regulate our breathing, and our breaths will become even. When our breathing is steady, our mind will become focused as one. This way, our mind will not run wild such that though we sit here, our thoughts are running over the place until we do not even know what we are thinking.

Most importantly, we must find the way to regulate our breathing. We should regulate our breathing well and count our breaths, counting one, two, three, four along with our breath. From our dantian (lower abdomen), we exhale slowly. As we exhale, we must be mindful, also reaching our dantian. Then, when ready, we inhale again and return to our dantian. One exhale and one inhale count as one. If we so this, our thoughts will all be here; we will not let them wander all over the place, and our mind and body will be unified as one. This is what it means to focus our minds. If we can train ourselves to be focused, naturally, our body and mind will be at peace. As for me, I have been doing this since I was young. Early in the morning, if I have more time, I will sit in meditation longer. If there is less time, I will count my breaths for a shorter time. Or whenever I have some time, even it is just a little bit of time, if I can do a few rounds of counting breaths, this is really great. No matter how many [counts] we do, as long as we count our breaths one by one, [we can do] 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50, or even a hundred [at a time]. In short, this all depends on how we use our time to regulate our body and mind. If we do not have time, we should train ourselves to focus while we are doing things. In our busyness, we will have trained ourselves. When we focus our bodies and minds, we can naturally be focused in our daily lives. Furthermore, with an upright mind and upright thoughts, we can naturally vanquish the mara of afflictions. Actually, there are no maras outside ourselves; it is our own afflictions that act as maras. It is our own discursive thoughts, our own afflictions and our own ignorance that enshroud our minds. We must train our [minds]. We must train ourselves to be free of afflictions. When our minds and thought are upright, whenever we are faced with people, matters, and things from the outside, we will naturally be able to analyze them accurately, because our minds will be free of discursive thoughts and afflictions.

Are the things that people say true? Or are they fake? Are they correct or are they biased? As long as our bodies and minds are upright, when we analyze the people, matters and things in this world, we will not get confused. This is what spiritual practitioners need the most. It is not enough to have simply practiced a lot of deep meditation. That will not be effective. What is most important is that our minds must not be chaotic so that for whatever we see and hear, we will analyze it with the right mindset. When we look at something, we must use the right mindset, must use right mindfulness and right thinking to analyze these things. Then naturally we will not simply say whatever others say. Whatever we hear, even if it is wrong, by the time it reaches us, we will use right mindfulness to analyze it. “This is untrue. I should not believe it.” Once we know it is untrue and that we should not believe it, how can we deal with this? How can we help those who spread untrue things to be fully convinced? How can we overcome this? When they are wrong, how can we correct them so that their thoughts will be proper? This all depends on our right thinking, how we mindfully overcome things that are incorrect. When speaking to us, everything they say may be false, but we will not be able to stop them right away. So as we listen, we must determine how much we can trust and how much we should not trust; we must be able to filter [ their information] like this. After we filter [the information], if it is true, then we can rely on this person. If the [information] is false, we must be careful with this person. How can we help this person change? These are all the methods of being a good person. How can we face the people, matters and things of this world? We must not say, “This person is always correct, so the people around her must be trustworthy.” We cannot speak and think like this! [These people] may be 80 percent trustworthy, 60 percent trustworthy or 40 percent trustworthy. So what should we do? The Buddha always tells us to embrace people with compassion. We must find ways to help them adjust. If we are unable to do this, then we can just ignore him. We always hope that there will be an opportunity to [help them go] from 40 percent trustworthy to 60 percent, to 80 percent until they are completely trustworthy. This requires us to apply [the right] methods. In summary, the Buddha will never abandon sentient beings. This is our method of spiritual practice; we must cultivate ourselves and also teach others to engage in spiritual practice. We must benefit ourselves as well as others. So, we must first regulate our bodies and minds. We must tame and overcome the maras. This is what King Mara will see; if we earnestly practice the right Dharma we naturally rectify our body and mind. When King Mara sees this, he will become worried and frightened.

So, there is such a story; once, King Mara saw an image. In the image, the Buddha was sitting in meditation. When King Mara saw this image all of a sudden, because this image was so magnificent, when he saw it suddenly, he thought it was real. This frightened King Mara. Seeing it from afar, he became worried and frightened. This is a story from the Zen School of Buddhism. This story shows how whenever King Mara sees a person with upright demeanor, naturally, King Mara will retreat. This is to say nothing of people who have entered the path with genuine hearts! The Buddha expounded the Dharma for us. “The sutras are a path; this path is a road to walk on.” The Buddha taught us all so that we can walk the Bodhisattva-path, which is the Bodhi-path, the path of perfect enlightenment. If spiritual practitioners, those who have already entered the path of perfect enlightenment, are sitting there peacefully and still, just think about it; King Mara will certainly retreat. He will not dare to come any closer. This is an analogy for how, if we can earnestly [maintain] our right mindfulness, right views and right thinking as we earnestly sit in meditation, we will not give rise to discursive thoughts; our afflictions and ignorance will not draw near and disturb our minds. This is the way we should sit. So, as we learn the Buddha’s teachings, we must learn to practice right thinking. Our thoughts must be upright. [This is what] it means to sit in meditation.

When we sit like this, our body and mind are upright. By sitting cross-legged in the lotus position, we are shaped like a square. A square shape indicates unwavering virtue. Thus, when we enter the Path, we must especially make use of this method of sitting.

“When we sit like this, our body and mind are upright.” If we can sit in meditation like this, then our body and mind are upright. By sitting in the lotus position, our appearance is upright. We will be sitting very upright. When a person sits down “still like a bell, sitting with their legs crossed, they are sitting very upright, like a bell. A square shape represents how we are unwavering. When we are sitting firmly, we will not move even if someone pushes us; we can sit still without moving at all. [This shape] is not round. If something shape is round, whenever we move it in the slightest, whatever is round will start to rotate. If our shape is square, as we sit down, we will be very upright, and naturally we will not move at all. We will be very firm and stable. This is virtue. This represents how when we sit, our virtue is unwavering. So, this is how we sit in meditation. So, when we enter the Path, we must especially use this method. To sit in meditation, we should do it like this. We must do it properly. I see how everyone is sitting; you have been sitting for an hour without moving. The way you sit now is with one leg crossed, with one leg underneath and another leg on the top. It does not matter whether you put the right leg or the left leg on top. Whatever is comfortable for you is best. If you want to put your right leg on the bottom and the left leg on top, as long as you are comfortable, it is fine. Or you can put your left leg on the bottom and right leg on top. As long as you are comfortable, it is fine too. Or you can put your right leg on the bottom, then cross your left foot on top of your right thigh, on top of your left leg again. This is called sitting with both legs crossed. As long as you are comfortable, it is fine. As long as your legs are crossed, you are sitting in the lotus position. When sitting with our legs crossed, we are sitting firm and upright. We are not sitting in a round shape, in which the slightest disturbance will easily cause us to waver. So, to be unwavering is a virtue. This also represents unwavering virtue. “Thus, when we enter the Path, we must “especially make use of this method of sitting.” To truly calm our minds, this is the method we should use.

Continuing on, the previous sutra passage states, “Each tree of treasures was 500 yojanas in height.” Each tree of treasures was 500 yojanas in height. Their branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. Beneath all these trees of treasures were lion’s thrones, five yojanas in height. They were also adorned with great treasures.

The multiple manifestations of Sakyamuni Buddha had already arrived. When they arrived, [they gathered under] “each tree of treasures”. They all sat beneath the trees of treasures. The trees of treasures were 500yojanas in height. The trees of treasures were as high as the stupa. Do you still remember? The stupa of treasures is 500 yojanas in height. The trees of treasures are also 500 yojanas in height. Do you still remember how tall 500 yojanas is? 500 yojanas is 20,000 li, which represents actualizing the Six Paramitas in 10,000 actions. If we want to walk the Bodhisattva-path, we must be replete in blessing and wisdom so we can attain Buddhahood. We must actualize blessings in 10,000 actions and wisdom in 10,000 actions. We create blessings among people and actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions. As we go among people, amidst afflictions and ignorance, we are able to not be defiled by afflictions and ignorance. We can go among afflicted people to guide them and use the Buddha’s teachings to teach and transform sentient beings. this is called cultivating wisdom. So, with wisdom, we actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions.

When these two merge together, we will be replete; we will be replete with blessings and wisdom. This is why [the trees] are 500 yojanas in height. Their “branches, leaves, flowers and fruits were [arranged] in magnificent sequence.” As for these trees, their trunks branched outward and began to grow branches and leaves. This represents all our actions, whether we cultivate blessings or wisdom. As the branches grow out on these trees there is a distinct sequence. They can provide shade for those who are hot. Everyone can all relax under the cool shade. So, the multiple manifestations of the Buddha, all the true principles of the Dharma, were all relaxing in the cool shade were all relaxing in the cool shade. In that place, the multiple manifestations of the Buddha all sat beneath the trees of treasures. Not only can trees block the wind, they can also protect us from the rain. They can block the sun with their shade as well as block the wind. This is what the branches and leaves do. The branches and leaves of these trees were so magnificent. We know what kind of tree this is “Beneath all these trees of treasures were lion’s thrones.” A lion’s throne was placed under each tree. The thrones They sat upon were all five yojanas [tall].

We talked about this earlier, about the Fivefold Dharmakaya, precepts and so on. Precepts, Samadhi, wisdom, liberation and liberation’s understanding and views are “the Fivefold Dharmakaya”. This represents the Dharma. “They were also adorned with great treasures.” These surroundings were very majestic. So, I hope that after hearing this, everyone will understand that this is using appearances to make analogies for the Dharma. The Dharma is like this.

The following sutra passage states, “At that time, each of those Buddhas sat upon these thrones, cross-legged in the lotus position. This continued on in this way, pervading the great trichiliocosm. Yet Sakyamuni Buddha’s multiple manifestations from just one direction had yet to be completely accommodated.”

We must listen mindfully. “At that time, all the Buddhas from each direction came one by one, one after the other. Upon arriving, They each had Their own place and each took their seat upon a lion’s throne. The Dharma was being returned to its place. So, upon arriving, They each sat upon Their jeweled throne the Dharma began to return to its place.

At that time, each of those Buddhas sat upon these thrones, cross-legged in the lotus position: Upon arriving there, each of Them sat upon a lion’s throne beneath the trees of treasures. “This continued on in this way, pervading the great trichiliocosm. This continued on in this way, pervading the great trichiliocosm. This process unfolded and continued in the same way, filling the words of the trichiliocosm transformed by the One.

In this way, every Buddha that came, came in a particular order. Although there were many Buddhas that came, each of them followed the same order to return to their [proper] place. “This continued on in this way, filling the worlds of the trichiliocosm transformed by the One. “The One“ is Sakyamuni Buddha, who attained Buddhahood in world. After the Buddha attained Buddhahood, the Dharma that He taught was the principles that pervade the universe, all brought back to the world. As He expounded the Dharma for the world, whether He taught about emptiness or existence, all Dharma must return to its place in our hearts. All Dharma exists within this world. So, when it comes to the great trichiliocosm, 1,000 small chiliocosms together comprise one medium chiliocosm. 1,000 medium chiliocosms together comprise one great trichiliocosm. For Heaters, Solitary Realizers and Bodhisattvas, what they take in depends on [their aspirations]. The greater our aspirations, the more Dharma we can accept. So, we must continuously expand [our hearts]. “[The Buddhas filled] the world of the trichiliocosm transformed by the One. One Buddha teaches the Dharma until everyone forms Great Vehicle aspirations until everyone forms Great Vehicle aspirations and cultivates the Great Vehicle Dharma. These are the teachings of the Three Vehicle. How do we eliminate sentient beings’ afflictions, ignorance and dust-like delusions? Delusions of views and thinking are eliminated by Hearers and Solitary Realizers, while dust-like delusions are eliminated by Bodhisattvas.

With so much ignorance and so many afflictions, we need this many teachings. Think about it, isn’t there a lot of Dharma? Yes, there truly are many teachings. He had to gather Them all together. So, “His multiple manifestations from the east alone pervaded the trichiliocosm, but had yet to be completely accommodated.”

Yet Sakyamuni Buddha’s multiple manifestations from one direction had yet to be completely accommodated: His multiple manifestations from the east alone pervaded the trichiliocosm, but had yet to be completely accommodated. Had yet to be completely accommodated: This means the Buddhas from the ten directions had already filled the seats throughout the worlds of the great trichiliocosm. Thus, for Sakyamuni’s multiple manifestations from this one direction, there were not enough seats.

Though the Buddha’s light illuminated the east, it actually spread throughout all the directions, to all the worlds of the great trichiliocosm. So, They had yet to be completely accommodated. Like this, the Dharma and the Buddha’s multiple manifestations continued to return and were continually accommodated, but they had yet to be fully taken in. So, “They had yet to be completely accommodated.” This means that “The Buddhas from the ten directions had already filled the seats throughout.” Just [Buddhas] of the east, in the four cardinal and intermediate directions and above and below, did not have enough [seats]. Then there were still [the Buddhas from] the south, west and north, from the four cardinal and intermediate directions and above and below. Then the multiple manifestations of the Buddha from all ten directions would have all arrived. Thus, throughout the great trichiliocosm, “for Sakyamuni’s multiple manifestations from this one direction, the seats” were still not enough. So, the Saha World alone was still not enough to accommodate all of them. This is an analogy.

“Sakyamuni’s multiple manifestations are like how one lamp can light hundreds of thousands of lamps. He can truly manifestations infinitely, yet the material world is finite, so even the great chiliocosm cannot contain this.“

With True Suchness, [the Buddha’s] manifestations are infinite! Do you still remember the story about the lamp? The Buddha’s disciple asked, “One I light my lamp, if someone uses my lamp to light theirs, will this lessen the light of my lamp?” The Buddha replied, “When one lamp is lit, it can be used to light infinite lamps. Not only will your lamp stay just as bright, but its surroundings will become even brighter.

By the same principle, after the Buddha attained enlightenment, people came to listen to Him. After they listened, with the wisdom they developed, they could be equal to the Buddha. Likewise, there were more awakened people. The more awakened people there are in the world, the more sentient beings can be delivered. Thus, this pervades the worlds of the great trichiliocosm.

“[There are] hundreds of thousands of lamps. He can truly manifest infinitely.” With True Suchness, His transformation-bodies were [countless] in number. And yet, “the material world is finite, so even the great chiliocosm cannot contain this.” If we are talking about this material world, which is the Saha world, to accommodated these principles, the Buddha’s many manifestations, the entire Saha world would not be enough to fully accommodated all of them. If it could not accommodate them fully, what then? The Buddha had to think of another way to find more space to accommodate [these Buddhas]. So, the Buddha had to turn this defiled land into a pure land.

In our world, in the material world, in our Saha world, the size of the Earth has already been measured by scientists. There is already a number for how big the Earth is. What this planet contains is the material world. This material world is finite. However, the realm of the Buddha, His spiritual and His principles of enlightenment, are infinite, just like the universe. All the principles are intangible and without substance, so He can accommodate them infinitely. In terms of our material world, it is tangible, and has substance, so there will be obstructions. Just look at how on our Earth, there is the cycle of the seasons. During summer and autumn, there are often typhoons. The previous typhoon passed us by; now today there is another typhoon coming. Will today be a rainy day? Will the typhoon arrive today? This is what we have to worry about. This is the material world, the world of material things. In the world of material things, there is the passage of time, the cycles of time and seasons, They cycle in this vast space. Yet the Dharma is intangible and without substance.

In this Saha world, to encompass the true principles of all things in the universe, for an awakened person to unite them all, become one, and attain awakening, He must have “a heart that encompasses the universe and the boundless worlds within it.” The Buddha’s heart is vast and open. It cannot be compared [to anything] in the material world. This shows that the Buddha-wisdom encompassed heaven and earth as well as the universe.

So, as we listen to the Dharma today, we use appearances as analogies for the principles. If we mindfully listen to the Dharma, we will be able to understand it.
The Buddha-Dharma is everything that the Great Enlightened One was able to comprehend. This great enlightenment is something everyone intrinsically possesses, because we all possess the intrinsic nature of True Suchness; it is just that our ignorance and afflictions enshroud [our True Suchness]. So, we must slowly clear them away. This [True Suchness] is encompassed in all Dharma. So, we must always be mindful.

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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