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 20180813《靜思妙蓮華》心體寂靜 真諦覺道 (第1412集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

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發表主題: 20180813《靜思妙蓮華》心體寂靜 真諦覺道 (第1412集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周日 8月 12, 2018 11:54 pm

20180813《靜思妙蓮華》心體寂靜 真諦覺道 (第1412集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

⊙如來所修心體寂靜,正思惟定止心,一切勝行具足,種智圓明,非聲聞緣覺小乘所能及,是如來行處勝。
⊙謂人離眾憒鬧閒居獨處,厭世纏縛思滅貪欲苦本,而能斷除煩惱寂靜其心,清澄無染著念空諸無明。
⊙脫離一切之煩惱叫做寂;杜絕一切之苦患叫做靜;寂靜即涅槃之真諦覺道。
⊙「顛倒分別,諸法有無,是實非實,是生非生。在於閒處,修攝其心,安住不動,如須彌山。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙「觀一切法,皆無所有,猶如虛空,無有堅固,不生不出,不動不退,常住一相,是名近處。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙此頌中道實相觀,為菩薩之親近處。
⊙一切諸法有無、虛實、生滅之相,悉由因緣顛倒分別而生,而諸法之實體,唯是平等真如一真常住。
⊙菩薩惟修攝其心常住一相,即住無所住,亦無住而無不住。
⊙觀一切法,皆無所有:以智觀察,了法性空。智德不可思議稱為妙覺,證得此覺,人稱為佛。
⊙猶如虛空,無有堅固:猶如太虛,本來空寂,無有堅固,無硬體物,形相滯礙。故若了自心,則一切無有堅固之法,悉皆無有。
⊙不生不出,不動不退:本性自爾,不從因出,不從緣生,不從法起,不曾動搖,亦無進退。
⊙常住一相:前文中云,無有常住。今此又云,常住一相。其旨云何,今此常住,是住無相,一實相理。
⊙是名近處:謂諸菩薩,煩惱之惑已滅,則真常理方顯真常之理,不生不滅,不壞不變,是名為常。

【證嚴上人開示】
如來所修心體寂靜,正思惟定止心,一切勝行具足,種智圓明,非聲聞緣覺小乘所能及,是如來行處勝。

如來所修
心體寂靜
正思惟定止心
一切勝行具足
種智圓明
非聲聞緣覺
小乘所能及
是如來行處勝

用心啊!「如來所修,心體寂靜」,這就是修行,我們如何修?修行的方向到底是什麼?如何學佛才能成佛?那就是要,我們要以了解佛陀修行方向。修行是修心性,修我們的心,人人本具如來智性,只是我們凡夫,一直就是受無明覆蓋。常常說,常常在說,我們的心與如來性是本具,也是沒有增減,與佛同等,為什麼佛陀大覺大悟?為什麼凡夫還是迷茫不覺醒?那只是差在佛陀方向正確,佛陀就是長久以來,隨著那個方向追求,瞬時不間離。時間就是連連接接,長長久久,向那個正方向去追求。他保持著他的心清淨,了解他的方向,所以他一路向前走,這叫做「修」,所修的就是「心體寂靜」,方向正確,瞬息無間。

我們說過了「四修」──無間修、長時修、無餘修,還是恭敬修(又稱尊重修),就是這「四修」,沒有間息,沒有停息,就是不斷向前,所以他的心體寂靜。這念心已經很篤定,篤定了這個方向,沒有瞬間離開這個道,沒有離開這念心。所以,「心體寂靜」,心,就是非常的堅定向前精進。長時間就是這樣一個方向,這個方向是什麼啊?「正思惟定止心」。正確的思惟,沒有偏差,心一直就是正方向,沒有偏。思惟就是用功,我們常常說「思想」。思,就是我們內心的造作,所以一個「田」字,下面一個「心」,這就是在我們的心地耕作。我們心地在經營什麼呢?我們的心地,到底是普遍都是雜草嗎?雜草就是表示我們沒有勤耕耘。種田的人、務農的人都要勤。種田,插秧下去,水分要顧;秧苗插下去了,雜草、稗草不能讓它長出來。長出來,這個雜草長起來,就是搶掉了養分,所以,他就要去「挲草」、除草。一畝田要很單純,水分充足、養分足夠,稻穀、稻種,稻子才能飽穗垂下來。我們的心田也是一樣,需要農夫勤耕耘,同樣的道理。

所以,「思」就是「心」的「田」,若好好用心思考,我們的方向、我們的道路,「定止」。我們既然了解這個方向是正確,就不要偏差,惡的念我們應該都沒有了。這是佛陀長時修、無間修、無餘修,就是把握一切時間,很殷勤,正方向在實行。停止一切惡的行為、惡的思想,不該有的不能入我們的心來。這就是「止」,止一切惡,要行一切善,這就是我們的正思惟、定方向,是善的方向;止了一切惡,就是戒、定、慧。我們必定要很具足這念心,我們一定就是這片的心地,要好好勤耕耘,這是如來所修的行。不是一生一世,是長久以來就是這樣。所以,「一切勝行具足」。一切的勝行已經很圓滿了,圓滿了一切智、道種智、一切種智,這三智具足,三種智都具足。這我們都已經解釋過,這就是佛智,三智具足圓明。

就像在擦一面鏡子,磨一面鏡子一樣,這面鏡子,我們一定將它磨得清、擦得明,自然大圓鏡智現前,明朗起來。這就是佛長時間他的心念,這也叫做禪定。禪,「挑柴運水無不是禪,言語動作無不是禪,舉步動足無不是禪」,這一切一切生活中,無不都是在「正思惟定止心,一切勝行」。我們的心田好好耕耘,我們若能這樣,行一切善,止一切惡,這念心時時沒有雜念,就像田沒有雜草,同樣的道理。田要沒有雜草,就要種田的人要勤耕耘;心要沒有雜念,就是修行者要精進行。這是同樣的道理,這叫做勝行,很殊勝的行為,也是殊勝的生活。身是載道器,我們用我們這輩子這個身體,我們要好好把握時間,為我們的方向修行。所以,「一切勝行具足」,一切智,就是一切的智就圓明了。

要大家時時用心去體會,我們若能這樣,叫做行大乘行者,也就是如來所修的行。佛說《法華經》,無非是教菩薩法,成佛之道,最終就是成佛。所以,這樣的行,「非聲聞緣覺,小乘所能及」。這是一個大乘行,不是小乘行者所能夠做得到。小乘行者要回小向大,要去了解。所以,佛陀講《法華經》,循循善誘,最大目的就是要從開頭了解,「四諦」法、「十二緣」,轉為「六度萬行」。在《法華經》就是這樣在轉,希望人人從那個小乘法,轉為大乘行,假如還是在小乘,聲聞、緣覺,那就沒有辦法,去體會大乘行者的心境。所以,我們要修的方向,就是「如來行處」,很殊勝,這就是我們心所向,我們應該要去追求的行,我們要顧好「四修」法,往前走,長時間好好修,這就是我們人也是一樣做得到,只要我們發這樣的心。

謂人離眾憒鬧
閒居獨處
厭世纏縛
思滅貪欲苦本
而能斷除煩惱
寂靜其心
清澄無染著
念空諸無明

「離眾憒鬧,閒居獨處」。前面就有說過了,我們要知道,在嬉笑空空過日子,這就是對我們的生命,一直不斷地消磨,時日已過,我們應該借重這個身體,來增長我們的慧命。把握時間、借用工具,這個身體就是我們修行的工具,好好修大乘法,不要只是修小乘,「厭世纏縛,思滅貪欲苦本」。我們若是只貪在這個,在凡夫是貪欲,在修行者,修小乘法者,只是貪在我清閒就好,我解脫就好,我都不要去在人群中,不要去參與事情。若像這樣,都是獨善其身,忍心看到人間疾苦,忍心看到世間的濁惡,只是顧自己,不想要如何來滅人間的疾苦,要如何清除這種濁惡的境界。若這樣,這都是叫做獨善其身,只是這樣而已,要不然就是貪欲,還是纏在那個苦本之中。所以,知道這是苦,修行,我們應該心能夠寂靜。

我們還要時時「清澄無染著,念空諸無明」,連那個「獨善其身」,只想要取入滅的心態,我們都要把它去除。上次說的,一切有為法,有為法,對的方向,我們要去身體力行;力行中,我們要在無為法中。意思就是說,斷滅了煩惱,我們的心,要回歸那個寂靜的心境,在人群中付出無所求,回歸回來,那就是寂靜的心。這個心要像澄清,也就是清澄無染著。你在人群中並沒有受它染著到,因為我們了解了,無為法,一切法皆空。但是「空」,卻是有「妙有」存在,那就是行菩薩道終歸佛的境界,如來的境界。這就是我們要修,要很用心,要如何去脫離一切煩惱,這叫做「寂」。

脫離一切之煩惱
叫做寂
杜絕一切之苦患
叫做靜
寂靜即涅槃之
真諦覺道

我們常常說「寂靜」,「寂」的意思,就是要脫離一切煩惱,只是想自己,這也是煩惱,連自己也要脫離,這叫做「無人我相」。我們已經沒有我自己了,我們去付出,我們也沒有掛礙,「三輪體空」,付出無所求、無掛礙,哪還有什麼名相呢?沒有。哪還有什麼取入滅呢?也沒有。我們要趕緊把握這個時間,該做的我們去做,做了之後心無掛礙,就沒有煩惱,這叫做「寂」。所以,「杜絕一切之苦患」。外面的境界、內心的煩惱,我們都去除了,沒有在我們的心裡,叫做「靜」。我們的心很靜,無煩惱、無所求、無所得,所以我們就是寂靜,煩惱都脫離了,沒有煩惱。寂靜就是涅槃真諦的覺道,我們一切全都空了;空、寂靜,叫做「涅槃」。我們常常說「入涅槃道」,其實「入涅槃道」,是叫做「寂靜」,是叫做「清澄」,我們心全都沒有什麼樣的雜念,在我們的心裡,這叫做「寂靜」。

這不是到最後,我們現在就能夠入涅槃,就是寂靜的境界,這就是如來時時的心境,這叫做「大涅槃」。不是身體沒有了才叫做涅槃,其實是寂靜的意思。無生無滅,寂靜的意思,沒有所得,也沒有所失,無得無失、無生無滅,這全都叫做「寂靜」,這叫做「涅槃」,也就是佛他所修的,如來所修的行,是勝處,是所修的行處、勝處,這是殊勝的方向,這就是我們要修。

就像前面的文,就說:「顛倒分別,諸法有無,是實非實,是生非生。在於閒處,修攝其心,安住不動,如須彌山。」

顛倒分別
諸法有無
是實非實
是生非生
在於閒處
修攝其心
安住不動
如須彌山
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

其實人在人間就是這樣,「顛倒分別」,是我愛,是我不愛,這種分別心,就有爭取的心念。修行要離開這些心念,離開顛倒妄想這些心念。不只是外面的行為我們要善,向善、止惡,不只是我們的身體的行為,即使我們的心靈也是一樣,要好好,做對的事情,我們要認真去做,回歸回來我們一切放下了,那就是「諸法」。不用在那裡問有啊、無啊,心放下來,有、無都是平等。有為、無為,這是在我們的日常生活中,該做的我們做,做了之後放下了,這樣就一切心就是寂靜,不用再問是實,還是非實。在那裡起心動念,不如把心靜寂下來,放下了。

所以,「在於閑處」。我們在這樣很清閒、空閒,這個清閒,是事情都不必做了叫做清閒嗎?不是,是我們的心,不要在那個地方分別顛倒,心一切放下,我們了解一切真空,就像虛空一樣。一切的物質,昨天也說過了,沒有堅質的東西來障礙到,虛空很大,更高,你說污染,天空受污染了,天空怎麼會受到污染呢?是我們人所造作的髒污,在人間的範圍這樣罩著,這種霧氣、濁氣,在這個地球的周圍,這樣就是濁氣上升。它能夠升到多高呢?其實這高,無法去測量的高,但是濁氣能夠蓋到,能夠罩到的地方是有限量的高,沒有辦法污染到天空。所以我們的心就是像天空這樣,不會受到污染,濁氣就是在人間界,所造作的濁氣,這就是氣體,濁氣,它能夠浮升上去的高度,到底有多高?沒有多高,總是像煙霧一樣。它會煙霧起來,也有一個限度,沒有辦法很高。

同樣的道理,我們的心,要永遠就是這樣「閑處」,不受污染,要好好收攝好我們的心。所以,「安住不動,如須彌山」。這就是我們要很用心,我們的心靈的高度,不是這個濁氣污染得到我們,我們應該提升,我們的心靈的高度,心性的高度,我們應該要提升起來,不要一直沉淪,在這個凡夫濁氣中。我們若能夠這樣,就是空,就不受污染。

接下來這段文就說,:「觀一切法,皆無所有,猶如虛空,無有堅固,不生不出,不動不退,常住一相,是名近處。」

觀一切法
皆無所有
猶如虛空
無有堅固
不生不出
不動不退
常住一相
是名近處
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

好好用心來體會,這段文完全要跟我們說,「中道實相」。這還是在偈文,前面長行文解釋,偈文還有這麼多可以講,所以偈文,這段文,那就是完全要教我們行菩薩道,不要執「有」,也不需執「無」,所以我們要行在「中道」,這叫做菩薩應該要去,身體力行的一條道路。

此頌中道實相觀
為菩薩之親近處

那就是告訴我們,「一切諸法,有無、虛實、生滅之相」。是虛?是實?這個形相到底是有?是無?是生?是滅?這都是一個相,這「悉由因緣,顛倒分別而生」。

一切諸法
有無、虛實、
生滅之相
悉由因緣
顛倒分別而生
而諸法之實體
唯是平等真如
一真常住

兩三天前也向大家講出了因緣,因緣顛倒,也舉出了科學這個催眠,去探討他的靈魂,這個靈到底是延續多久?是不是像佛教所說的,有輪迴或是沒有?去探討,科學發現了,有這樣。人這個身體像一個軀殼,真正他的內心那個魂魄,就是靈,這個靈魂其實就是主宰者。我們大家,個人有一個個性,這個個性,你的習性、我的習性不同。因為你的習性,過去生中不斷熏習過來;我的習性,我也有過去。就像佛陀無始以來,他發現到,從十六王子那時候,塵點劫前就發這個心,講說《法華經》,就是修菩薩道,成佛為目標,就這樣從塵點劫一直來。

這是長時、無間、無餘,就是修這樣的行,所以他的習,這就是薰習過來的,所以他就是止一切惡、行一切善,所以他就沒有得失、生滅,這種的相。所以,我們凡夫就是這樣,在因緣顛倒中來起分別心,這樣生出了人間這麼多、這麼複雜,人與人的關係這麼複雜,這全都是這樣生起來。而諸法之實體,唯是平等真如,一真常住」。其實歸納回來就是這樣,真如平等,這諸法的實體回歸,它的名稱叫做「真如」,真如的名稱叫做「真諦」,就是真理。這就是如來藏,我們如來的本性,這就是道理,回歸這個道理,道理是常住,永恆常住,所以我們要發心。

菩薩惟修攝其心
常住一相
即住無所住
亦無住而無不住

「菩薩惟修攝其心,常住一相」。我們就要學佛,學佛就是這樣,永恆、永恆就是一個方向,修攝好我們的心。「常住」,只是一項——成佛,這就是我們的目標。所以,「即住無所住」。生生世世不用執著,我們方向就是這樣——成佛。不論來生來世什麼樣的形相,我們就是方向一條,住在菩薩行處。我們就是往如來的目標去,要「入如來室,著如來衣,坐如來座」,這就是我們要修行的方向。

「諸法空為座」,那就是真實法,「空中妙有」,那個「妙有」就是真理;空,空中妙有。所以雖然說虛空無頂相,虛空無頂,但是同樣它也有相,叫做「空」,這就是名詞「空」。我們抬頭看天空,濁氣若散開的時候,你就看到藍天白雲。這是真正藍色的嗎?藍色的天嗎?是因為它的距離,這個距離,形成了那個色的相出來。其實天空隨著這氣體,氣就是沒有的東西,合起來就有形色出來。彩虹,彩虹難道有「體」嗎?沒有,它有「色」,是啊,所以有很多種的彩色。

所以,真理也是這樣,人間就是活在這樣,在「空」中,卻是在真理的裡面。哪一項沒有道理?每項都有道理,這個道理,大地所有一切的物質,物理中有。微生物,到了微生物裡面,還是有它的物、它的理存在。所以生物學,它也是有道理,有它的真理,很微細微細,也有它的真理。總而言之,說不盡的空相,就是有無限的妙理存在,「空中妙有」啊!所以,「觀一切法,皆無所有」。

觀一切法
皆無所有:
以智觀察
了法性空
智德不可思議
稱為妙覺
證得此覺
人稱為佛

所以,來看一切法都是無所有,無,皆無所有,所以,「以智觀察」。用我們的智慧,好好來觀察,一切法,其實了解到最後,一切都是「空」而為「相」。在「空」,有空間才有形體,才有東西;沒有空間,你怎麼東西放得下去呢?沒有空間,你怎麼有大地呢?沒有空間、沒有大地,你哪有種子呢?你沒有種子,哪有天地之間的植物呢?所以就是要有空間,有空間才有山河大地。所以說起來,「空」就是無限量的空,無限量的空,就有很「妙有」的理,物理、生理,一切一切,都是在這個空中的裡面。所以說起來,「以智觀察」,用智來看,了解了,「法性空」,這個法性都是空,是「智德不可思議」。

我們要用智,修行就是要去了解這個智,所以智,有一切智、道種智、一切種智,三智合一,它能夠分析世間,人、一切萬有之法,就是因為有這個智,去將它分別清楚出來,這是所修的德。「德者,得也」,我們若沒有去修,哪有這樣的德行呢?這個「德」是修行得來的德,所以「德者,得也」,這就是所修,得到這樣一切智、道種智、一切種智。我們能夠體會了解,大空的境界、萬有的事物,我們全都體會了解了,這實在是不可思議啊!這是諸佛菩薩的智慧,諸佛菩薩也是凡夫用心去修,去得來的。所以,「智德不可思議,稱為妙覺,證得此覺,人稱為佛」。這就是修行,這樣的過程。所以,「猶如虛空,無有堅固」。

猶如虛空
無有堅固:
猶如太虛
本來空寂
無有堅固
無硬體物
形相滯礙
故若了自心
則一切
無有堅固之法
悉皆無有

其實,這個「一切智」,和這個「智德」,得到智德,回歸如虛空一樣,「心包太虛,量周沙界」,這個心完全開闊了,「如虛空,無有堅固」,意思就是沒有物質。所以,「猶如太虛,本來空寂,無有堅固」,無有硬體物,形相來滯礙。意思就是這個空間很大很大,你大地上有多少物,都是一樣,沒有去障礙到這個空間。如虛空,這種虛空之大,這麼的空寂,硬體的東西,不會障礙到這個虛空,所以沒有硬體,沒有物質,沒有形相能夠去礙到虛空。所以虛空本來就是很大,我們的心體就要像這樣,虛空,沒有東西能來障礙我們,「心包太虛,量周沙界」。它這個硬質的東西,有形體的東西多少,虛空就更大,所以永遠沒有東西,可以阻礙到這個「空」,虛空。

所以,「故若了自心,則一切無有堅固之法,悉皆無有」。所以「無有」,就是沒有了,沒有這個堅固的東西。一切,我們若能夠了解我們的自心性,自心性我們若了解了,與佛同等,開啟了我們的心胸,自然一切就沒有什麼東西,會來障礙我們。世間哪有什麼煩惱會來困擾我們呢?沒有了,所以「悉皆無有」,就是沒有。所以,我們「不生不出,不動不退」。我們的心就是這樣,住在虛空裡,所以沒有什麼東西,能障礙我們,自然我們就能夠不生不出、不動不退。我們凡夫很容易退道心,凡夫心多變。同樣的道理,我們若是已經能夠了解,透徹這一切法,自然心就沒有得失,就像虛空一樣,沒有什麼,能夠來障礙我們的事情。所以,本性也是這樣,「不生不出,不動不退」,我們的本性就是,「不從因出,不從緣生,不從法起,不曾動搖,亦無進退」。

不生不出
不動不退:
本性自爾
不從因出
不從緣生
不從法起
不曾動搖
亦無進退

我們能夠超越凡夫顛倒的事情,我們若能夠超越,自然我們自己能夠把握自己,我們不會受這個因來障礙我們。我們有一片的心地,我們就是認真耕耘好,我們這片心地,讓它清淨,雜草自然就不會入,這個心地來,所以我們的心就是一片的乾淨。

這面鏡子我們就是將它擦得清,自然污染,不會在這片鏡子裡面發生,同樣的道理。所以,「不從因出」,沒有種子來,也沒有污染來,來染污這面鏡子,沒有種子下心田,就不會了,因為我們自己保護得好。也「不從緣生」,既然沒有因,哪有緣呢?佛陀來人間,不是因為「因緣果報」來,不是,他是為一大事因緣來,他是借這個因緣來人間,不是就是隨因緣來,不是,他是借這個緣來人間,一大事,為眾生。這是他倒駕慈航來,而我們是過去生所做的,我們帶來的;過去生的財產,什麼都沒有帶過來,所帶的就是所造作的業力,帶過來的,這叫做「因緣」,隨因緣來。佛陀不是,他是一切無掛礙,但是不忍眾生苦所以倒駕慈航,借因借緣,一大事來人間,不是不由自己的因緣來。所以,不從因出,也不從緣生,不從法起,也不曾動搖。

他已經法都很清楚,不是受這個「有無」,或者是「虛實」困擾了,這樣來,不是。他已經很清楚,修行他已經都清楚了,再來施教,所以不是因為什麼來,他就是為一大事,所以不曾動搖,這念心都沒有動搖過。眾生就是他所要度的,這個方向在走,不受周圍的雜因、雜緣,將他誘惑了,沒有。這就是我們要學的方向。所以,「亦無進退」。當然,什麼叫做進和退?他如如不動,方向就是這樣。如來座,「諸法空為座」,「大慈悲為室」,這就是如來所住、所立的地方。

所以「常住一相」。前面我們說過的,「無有常住」,就是沒有常住,無常住就是生滅。無常住,世間就是這樣,生命就是這樣來去、來去,就是無常住。那麼,現在就說「常住一相」。

常住一相:
前文中云
無有常住
今此又云
常住一相
其旨云何
今此常住是住無相
一實相理

無常住,是對凡夫來說「無常住」,世間有形相的物質無常住。「今此常住,是住無相」。現在所說的「常住一相」,這就是要說「住無相」。住在無相,無相也是叫做「住」。「諸法空為座,處此為說法」,也有一個空,要住止在那個地方為眾生說法,所以這雖然無相,但是常住,「是住無相」,是住在那個無相,「諸法空為座」,就是在那個「空」,了解那個空,空中的妙理就是那個地方。

所以道理,常常提醒大家,道理是無形、無體、無相,這叫做「一實相理」。佛陀就是在這個真理中,我們修行就是要修這樣。「是名近處」,就是「菩薩,煩惱之惑已滅」。

是名近處:
謂諸菩薩
煩惱之惑已滅
則真常理方顯
真常之理
不生不滅
不壞不變
是名為常

我們修行,回小向大,向菩薩道「六度萬行」。我們已經向菩薩道走,在修行的過程中,就是要入人群,在人群中來修行。所以,「煩惱之惑已滅」,因為你要斷煩惱,不了解煩惱你要如何斷呢?煩惱就是要在人群中去體會,「當局者迷,旁觀者清」。眾生在當局中,他在迷,在爭得失,而我們呢?在旁觀者,入於這眾生群中,知道你這樣爭取,這是多餘的;你這樣執著,這是煩惱。我們在他們的人群中,我們很清楚,這叫做菩薩。入人群,「不經一事,不長一智」。你沒有看到人家這樣在煩惱,你怎麼會知道,有這個煩惱的形相呢?所以我們若入人群,減少了我們自己去煩惱,所以我們能夠在那個地方,增加智慧,能夠有很多煩惱讓我們去分別,分別之後就能升高我們的慧,平等。

智是「分別智」,慧就是叫做「平等慧」,我們要如何能夠將一切平等,到這個法,真理的裡面?那就是要有智慧,入人群中去分別一切相,然後我們體會到,增長我們的慧命。所以,「煩惱之惑已滅,則真常理方顯」。這樣真常的道理才能夠顯現,你若不了解,哪有辦法去體會呢?所以,「真常之理,不生不滅,不壞不變,是名為常」。

各位,佛法,我們就要好好用心去體會它,沒有體會,我們就無法了解。所以我們修行,從小乘而轉入大乘來,要好好修好,我們的「心體寂靜」,要正思惟,好好定止我們的心,不要再這樣心散亂,也不要再受外面來誘惑我們,起心動念。在不當,不應該有的觀念,再進來我們的心裡,不應該做的行為,又在我們的身體這樣去造作。不要,所以我們要學佛菩薩的行,要時時多用心!
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發表主題: 回復: 20180813《靜思妙蓮華》心體寂靜 真諦覺道 (第1412集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周一 8月 13, 2018 12:21 pm

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發表主題: 回復: 20180813《靜思妙蓮華》心體寂靜 真諦覺道 (第1412集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周三 9月 12, 2018 7:09 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: A Tranquil and Still Mind Awakens upon the Path (心體寂靜 真諦覺道)
Date: August.13.2018

“What the Tathagata cultivates is a tranquil and still mind. With right thinking, we settle and put a stop to our mind. He is replete with all superior practices and the perfect radiance of the [three] kinds of wisdom. This is beyond the reach of Hearers and Solitary Realizers of the Small Vehicle. This is the excellence of the Tathagata’s place of practice.”

Please be mindful! “What the Tathagata cultivates is a tranquil and still mind.” This comes from engaging in spiritual cultivation. How do we engage in spiritual cultivation? What is our direction in spiritual cultivation? How can we practice in order to attain Buddhahood? This requires an understanding of the direction of the Buddha’s spiritual cultivation. When we engage in spiritual cultivation, we are cultivating the nature of our mind. The Tathagata’s wisdom-nature is intrinsic to all, it is just that, as sentient beings, we are enshrouded by ignorance. We often say that our mind intrinsically has the Tathagata-nature that never increases nor decreases and is equal to the Buddha’s. Why, then, did the Buddha attain such great enlightenment while unenlightened beings are still lost in confusion, unawakened? The only difference is that the Buddha went in the right direction. For a very long time, the Buddha pursued that direction, never stopping even for a moment. Continuously, over a very long period of time, He kept striving in the correct direction. He maintained His purity of mind, understood what His direction should be, and just kept moving straight ahead. This is known as “cultivation”. What He cultivated was a “tranquil and still mind.” He went in the right direction, never stopping even for a moment. We have spoken about the Four Practices, uninterrupted practice, extended practice and practice with nothing further as well as practice with reverence. These are the Four Practices. Ceaselessly, unremittingly, He advanced forward without stopping, thus His mind is tranquil and still.

He became very sure of His aspiration, for He was sure of His direction. He never left His path, even for an instant. He never wavered from His aspiration, thus His mind is “tranquil and still.” Extremely resolute in His aspirations, He diligently advanced forward. For a very long time, He went in one direction. What direction was that? “With right thinking, we settle and put a stop to our mind.” When our thinking is right, free of deviation, our mind will keep moving in the right direction without deviating. Thinking requires effort. We often discuss the Chinese characters for “thinking”. The first has the meaning of “mental work,” so it is comprised of a “field” above with a “mind” below it. This implies cultivating the ground of the mind. What is happening in the ground of our mind? Is the ground of our mind overgrown with weeds? If weeds are present, we have not been diligent in cultivating the ground of our mind. Those who plow the fields and work the land must work very diligently. When planting the fields or transplanting rice seedlings, water is always a concern. When the seedlings have been transplanted, weeds cannot be allowed to grow alongside them. If these weeds grow, the weeds will steal their nutrients, so the paddies must be weeded. The paddy must be kept very neat, with sufficient water and plenty of nutrients; then the ears of rice will become loaded with grain. The field of our mind is much the same; it needs a farmer to diligently cultivate it.

The principle is the same. So, “thinking” means to “cultivate” the “field” of the mind. If we are really mindful as we think about our direction, our path, [then we can] “settle and put a stop” [to our mind]. Since we know that this is the right direction, we must never deviate from it and we must never [give rise to] any evil thoughts. This was the Buddha’s extended practice, uninterrupted practice and practice with nothing further. He diligently made the most of every moment to carry out His practice in the right direction and put a stop to all evil conduct and thoughts so that nothing entered His mind that should not have. This is “putting a stop” to all evil so that we will do all that is good. We will have right thinking, and we will be settled in our direction, the direction of goodness. Putting a stop to all evil requires precepts, Samadhi and wisdom. We must be replete in these thoughts, and we must put effort into diligently cultivating the ground of our mind. These are the practices the Tathagata cultivates, not just for a single lifetime, but for a very long time.

So, “He is replete with all superior practices.” All His superior practices are effect and complete. He has perfected the wisdom of all Dharma and the wisdom of all paths as well as all-encompassing wisdom. He is replete in all these wisdoms, these three kinds of wisdom. We explained them all before. This is the Buddha-wisdom; He is replete. This is just like polishing a mirror, like wiping a mirror [clean]. This mirror is something we must wipe until it is clean and polish until it shines. Then, our great perfect mirror wisdom will naturally emerge, bring and clean. This is he state of mind that the Buddha [cultivated] over a very long period of time. This is called Samadhi, meditation. Speaking of meditation, “carrying firewood and water is also meditation, our speech and actions are meditation and our conduct is also meditation.” This is absolutely everything we do in daily life. “With right thinking, we settle and put a stop to our mind” so that we will be “replete with all superior practices”. We must put effort into cultivating the ground of our mind, for when we do this, we can then practice all that is good and put a stop to all that is evil. A mind like this, without discursive thoughts, is like a field that is free of weeds.

This is the same principle. For a field to be free of weeds, the person tilling the field must diligently plow and weed it. For a mind to be free of discursive thoughts, the spiritual practitioner must diligently engage in practice. The concept is the same. These are called the superior practices. This is very superior conduct as well as a superior way of living. The Body is a vessel for spiritual cultivation. In this lifetime, we must use our body to earnestly make the most of our time and engage in spiritual practice in the right direction.

Then we will be “replete with all superior practices”. With the wisdom of all Dharma, our wisdom will be perfectly pure and radiant. We should always mindfully seek to realize this. By doing this, we engage in the Great Vehicle practice, the practices the Tathagata engaged in. The Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra to teach the Bodhisattva Way, the path which ultimately leads to Buddhahood. So, this practice “Is beyond the reach of Hearers and Solitary Realizers of the Small Vehicle.” This is the Great Vehicle practice. Small Vehicle practitioners cannot attain it. Small Vehicle practitioners need to turn from the Small toward the Great and understand this. This is why the Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra; He patiently guided them, for His greatest objective was to get them to turn from their initial understanding of the Four Noble truths and the 12 Links toward actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions.

The Lotus Sutra helps them transition like this. He hoped everyone would turn from the Small Vehicle teachings toward the Great Vehicle practices. If we remain in the Small Vehicle as Hearers or as Solitary Realizers, there will be no way for us to comprehend the state of mind of Great Vehicle practitioners. So, the direction of our practices should take us toward the “Tathagata’s place of practice”. This is excellent; this is where our minds must go and the practice that we must seek. We must keep the Four Practices in mind, advance forward and put effort into our practice for the long time. This is something that we can also accomplish, so long as we form the aspirations to do so.

This refers to those who leave behind the confused and noisy crowds of live alone in seceded places. They detest their worldly bonds and contemplate how to eliminate craving and desire, the roots of suffering, thus they are able to eradicate afflictions. They keep their minds tranquil, still, pure, clear, undefiled and unattached, with their thoughts empty of all ignorance.”

They “leave behind the confused and noisy crowds to live alone in secluded places”.
As we discussed previously, we need to know that if we idly fritter away our days, we will constantly whittle our lives away until our time has passed us by. We should make use of our bodies to develop our wisdom-life and make the most of our time with the tools at our disposal. The body is our tool for spiritual practice and for earnestly practicing the Great Vehicle Dharma’s. We must not cultivate the Small Vehicle alone. “They detest their worldly bonds and contemplate how to eliminate craving and desire, the roots of suffering.” We must not have such desires. Ordinary beings have cravings and desires. Spiritual practitioners who practice the Small Vehicle teachings only pursue one thing.“ I will just look for peace of mind. I just want to attain liberation without going among people or getting involved with any of those things.” If this is how we are, we are only seeking to benefit ourselves. We will be phased by human suffering and unparsed by the world’s turbidities and evils. We will only care about ourselves. We will not try to think about how to eliminate suffering in the world or how to eliminate the world’s turbidities and evils. If we are like this, then we will only seek to benefit ourselves. If this is all we ever do, that craving and desire will nevertheless remain, and we will remain bound by the root of suffering. So, knowing that this is suffering, we engage in spiritual practice. Our mind must be able to remain tranquil and still. We must always remain “pure, clear, undefiled and unattached with our thoughts empty of all ignorance.” We must even get rid of this mindset of only seeking to awaken ourselves and enter cessation. We spoke last time of “all conditioned phenomena”. We spoke last time of “all conditioned phenomena.” If it leads us in the right direction, then we should put it into practice. As we put it into practice, we must remain within unconditioned Dharma. What I mean to say is that once we eliminate our afflictions, our minds will return to a state of tranquility and stillness. When we are serving unconditionally among people, our minds will always return to this state of tranquility and stillness. Our mind will remain pure and clear, “pure, clear, undefiled and unattached”. When we are among people, we will remain undefiled. Because we understand the unconditioned Dharma, we know that all phenomena are empty. Yet, within this “emptiness, wondrous existence” is present nevertheless. This is why the practice of the Bodhisattva-path ultimately returns to the state of Buddhahood, to the realm of the Tathagata. This is what we must practice and be very mindful of in order to liberate ourselves from all afflictions. This is the meaning of “tranquil”.

To free ourselves from all afflictions is what it means to be tranquil. To completely eradicate all suffering is what it means to be still. Tranquility and stillness is the awakened path of the true principles of Nirvana.

We often speak of “tranquility and stillness”. “Tranquility” means liberation from all afflictions. If we think only of ourselves, then this too is an affliction. We must eliminate even [the idea of] “ourselves”. This is being “free of the appearance of self and other”. If we have no sense of self, then when we give to others, we will not have anything to worry about. Within the Three Spheres of Emptiness, we give without expectations or worries. How could there be any attachment to labels? There is none. Where is our desire to enter into cessation? It does not exist either. We should hasten to make the most of our time to do the things that we must do; once we have done them, we will be free of worries. Then we will have no afflictions. This is “tranquility”.

So, we must “completely eradicate all suffering”. Once we have eliminate木 the external states and internal afflictions from our minds, this is called “stillness”. Our mind will become very still, without afflictions, without expectations, without [the desire for] attainment. So, we will become tranquil and still and liberate ourselves from afflictions. Tranquility and stillness is the awakened path of the true principles of Nirvana. We have [let go of] everything.

Emptiness, tranquility, stillness; this is Nirvana. We often speak of “entering the path of Nirvana”. Actually, “entering the path of Nirvana” is becoming “tranquil and still, pure and clear”. Our minds will become totally free of discursive thoughts. This is the meaning of “tranquil and still”. This does not just happen at the very end. We can enter Nirvana right now. it is a state of tranquility and stillness. This is the mind state the Tathagata is always in. This is called Great Nirvana.

Nirvana is not something that happens only after the body is gone. Actually, it just means tranquility and stillness. It means neither arising nor ceasing, but being tranquil and still. Nothing is gained, nor is anything lost. There is neither gain nor loss, neither arising nor ceasing. All things are tranquil and still. This is Nirvana. This is what the Buddha cultivated, the practices cultivated by the Tathagata, His excellent place of practice. His place of practice is excellent. His direction is superior. This is what we must practice.

This is like the previous passage, which says, “It is through deluded discrimination that phenomena seem existent or non-existent, real or unreal, arising or non-arising. In quiet spaces, [Bodhisattvas] cultivate and collect their minds. They abide, peaceful and unwavering, like Mt. Sumeru”.

Actually, this is the way people are in the world; they engage in “deluded discrimination”. “I love this, but I dislike that”. A discriminating mind like this is a mind that is striving for something. Spiritual practitioners must distance themselves from deluded thoughts like these. This is not just about being well-behaved in the outside world, about doing good and putting a stop evil. This is not only about our physical conduct; we must cultivate our spirit as well. We must work hard to do the right thing, but ultimately, we must let everything go. With regard to all phenomena there is no need to ask, “Does this exist or not?” We are at peace. Whether existent or non-existent, it is all equal. Conditioned and unconditioned are [principles to be practiced] in our daily living. We must do what we should, and once we have done it, we should let go. In this way, our mind will remain tranquil and still. We no longer have to ask ourselves what is real or unreal. Instead of wondering about this, it is better to let it go and keep our minds tranquil and still.

So, “in quiet spaces…”. This is when we are at leisure or have free time. Does being at leisure mean that we do not need to do anything? No, what it means it that our mind has put a stop to deluded discrimination. Our mind has let everything go. When we understand that everything is truly empty, then our mind will become like an empty void. Then, as we discussed yesterday, no material thing can hinder us. The sky is immensely large and reaches even higher. When we talk about pollution, about air pollution, can the sky really become polluted? These manmade pollutants envelop the earth. The smog, that turbid air, surrounds the earth and rises upward. How high can it really go? Actually, there is no way to measure how high it goes, but there is eventually a limit to just how high the smog can go. It cannot pollute the entire sky.

So, our minds must be like the sky; they must remain undefiled. The smog remains in the atmosphere. The smog that we create, these gases, just how high into the atmosphere can it actually rise? It cannot rise too high. It is just like smoke; when smoke rises, there is a limit to how it can rise. It cannot go too high. By the same token, our mind should remain eternally in that “quiet place” where it cannot be defiled. We should collect and focus our minds well so that “They abide, peaceful and unwavering, like Mt. Sumeru”. This is why we need to be very mindful, so that our spirit remains at a height where the smog cannot defile us. We should raise the level of our spirit. We should elevate the level of the nature of our mind so that we do not keep sinking into the smog of ordinary beings. If we can do this, we will [abide in] emptiness and remain undefiled.

The next sutra passage says, “They contemplate all phenomena as being without existence, like empty space, with nothing firm or solid, as neither originating nor emerging, neither moving nor retreating, and permanently abiding in the one reality. This is known as the place to draw near to”.

We must mindfully seek to comprehend all that this passage tells us about “the ultimate reality of the Middle Way”. This is also in the verse. It was explained earlier in the prose, but there is still much to talk about in the verse. So, here in verse form, this passage is teaching us all about the practice of the Bodhisattva-path and how we should be neither attached to existence non-existence. This is why we must practice the Middle Way. This is the one open path Bodhisattvas must put into practice.

This expresses that contemplating the ultimate reality of the Middle Way is the place Bodhisattvas draw near to.

This tells us about all phenomena, “existent or non-existent, real or unreal and arising or ceasing appearances. Are they unreal, or are they real? Do these appearances actually exist, or are they non- existent? Do they arise or cease? All of these are just appearances. They “emerge due to discrimination that arises from confusion over causes and conditions.”

Regarding all phenomena, existent or non-existent, real or unreal and arising or ceasing appearances all emerge due to discrimination that arises from confusion over causes and conditions. The true essence of all phenomena is none other than impartial True Suchness, the one, permanently abiding truth.

Two or three days ago, I spoke with you all about causes and conditions, about confusion over causes and conditions. We also touched upon hypnosis, how scientists are using it to investigate the soul and how long the soul actually continues on. Is it like what the Buddha’s teachings have been telling us? Is there such a thing as cyclic existence? After making studies, some scientists [claim] this is the case. The human body is like a shell. The soul within, the spirit, is what actually drives us.

Each one of us has a personality, because of this personality, which are different from mine. Habitual tendencies from your lives constantly seep into this one. As for my habitual tendencies, they come from my past as well. This is like the Buddha who discovered that since Beginningless Time, since the time of the 16 princes dust-inked kalpas ago, He had formed these aspirations to teach the Lotus Sutra, which is about cultivating the Bodhisattva-path with the goal of attaining Buddhahood. He had been doing this continuously for dust-linked kalpas. He had engaged in extended practice, uninterrupted practice and practice with nothing further; these are the practices He had cultivated. So, His tendencies seeped over from the past.

This is why He could stop all evil and practice all that is good, and why He had no appearance of gain or loss, arising or ceasing. As for us unenlightened beings, amidst our confusion over causes and conditions, we give rise to discriminatory thoughts, and this is why so many complicated things arise in this world and why our interpersonal relationships. This is how all of this arises.

“The true essence of all phenomena is none other than impartial True Suchness., the one, permanently abiding truth.” Actually, it all comes down to this, that True Suchness is impartial. The true essence of all phenomena comes back to this, and the name we give to it is True Suchness. True Suchness is what we call the true principles. These are the true principles. This is the Tathagata-garbha, our intrinsic Tathagata-nature. These are the principles. Everything comes back to these principles. These principles are permanently abiding and ever-lasting. This is what we must form aspirations toward.

Bodhisattvas cultivate and collect their minds, permanently abiding in the one reality. They abide without abiding, and by not abiding, they abide everywhere.

“Bodhisattvas cultivate and collect their minds, permanently abiding in the reality.” We must learn from the Buddha. the Buddha’s teachings are ever-lasting and singular in direction, so we must cultivate and collect our minds well. We must be “permanently abiding”. We only have one [goal], attaining Buddhahood. This is our goal. So, “They abide without abiding.” Throughout our many lifetimes, there is no need to be attached. This is our direction, the attainment of Buddhahood. Whatever form or appearance we may take in our future lifetimes, our direction will always be singular; we will always abide in the Bodhisattva’s place of practice. In moving toward the Tathagata’s purpose, we “enter the Tathagata’s room, wear the Tathagata’s clothing and sit on the Tathagata’s seat.” This is the direction of our spiritual practice. “The emptiness of all phenomena is the seat.” This is True Dharma, “wondrous existence in true emptiness.”

This “wondrous existence” is the true principle. Within emptiness, there is wondrous existence. So, although we say that the sly has no limit, it nevertheless has an appearance. We call this “space”. This is the noun, “space”. When we raise our heads to look up at the sky, if the smog lifts, we can see blue sky and white clouds. Is the sky truly blue? Is the sky blue? This is because of its distance [from Earth]. This distance forms the appearance of this color. Actually, this is due to gasses in the atmosphere. Gas is not a solid object, but when gasses come together, they form colors. When you see a rainbow, what substance is this? There is none, there is simply “color”. That’s right! It is just a lot of colors! So, the true principles are like this as well. This is how we live in the human world, in the midst of “emptiness”.

Nevertheless, there are true principles within it. What is there that has no underlying principles? Everything has its principles. These principles [include] the physical principles of all the physical matter on earth. Within every microorganism, there is matter and principles that underlie it. Thus, biology has its principles, its true principles, even the tiniest things contain true principles.

In short, the appearance of emptiness are endless. The wondrous principles that underlie it are just as limitless. This is “wondrous existence in true emptiness!” So, “They contemplate all phenomena as being without existence.”

They contemplate all phenomena as being without existence: In observing with wisdom, they will understand that all phenomena are empty by nature. This inconceivable virtue of wisdom is called wondrous enlightenment. Those who realize enlightenment are called Buddhas.

So, they see all phenomena as being without existence. There is nothing that has existence. So, we must “observe with wisdom”. We must use our wisdom to earnestly observe. We must understand all phenomena fully, and we will find that all things are empty, yet they have “appearance”. It is only because there is empty space that there are things with form and substance. If there were no such thing as empty space, then where would we put things? Without space, where would Earth be? Without space, there would be no Earth, so how could there be seeds? If there were no seeds, then where would the world’s plants come from? So, there needs to be empty space; only then will there be space for Earth and its mountains and rivers. So, when we talk about emptiness, it is something that is infinite. Within this infinite emptiness, there are the principles of wondrous existence. All the principles of physics and biology, anything and everything, exists within this empty void. This is why we speak of “observing with wisdom”. By observing with wisdom, we will understand that “all phenomena are empty by nature”. [Realizing that] all phenomena are empty by nature is “the inconceivable virtue of wisdom”. We must apply our wisdom. We engage in spiritual practice so that we might realize this wisdom. So, it is through wisdom, the wisdom of all Dharma, the wisdom of all paths, all-encompassing wisdom and the union of these three wisdoms that we can analyze this world, its people and all its myriad phenomena. It is because of this wisdom that we are able to discern all of this.

This is the virtue that we cultivate. “The virtuous attain.” If we do not cultivate ourselves, then how will we have virtuous conduct? This virtue is attained through spiritual practice. Thus, “the virtuous attain”. This refers to the wisdom of all Dharma, wisdom of all paths and all-encompassing wisdom that we cultivate to attain. We are capable of realizing and comprehending the state of great emptiness and the myriad things that exist. The fact that we can comprehend all of this is truly inconceivable! This is the wisdom of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. They all attained it as ordinary beings who engaged in mindful spiritual cultivation. So, “This inconceivable virtue of wisdom is called wondrous enlightenment. Those who realize this enlightenment are called Buddhas.” This is the process of spiritual cultivation. “Like empty space, with nothing firm or solid….”

Like empty space, with nothing firm or solid: They are like the endless void, which is inherently empty and still, with nothing firm or solid; there are no objects of solid substance or forms and appearances that can obstruct it. Thus, if we understand our own minds, then there are no firm or solid phenomena; it is all non-existent.

Regarding this “wisdom of all Dharma,” when we attain this “virtuous wisdom,” it is as if our minds have returned to the empty void. “The mind encompasses the endless void and the boundless worlds within it.” This mind is completely open and spacious. It is “like empty space, with nothing firm or solid”. This means there is nothing of substance in it, so “it is like the endless void, which is inherently empty and still, with nothing firm or solid.” There are no solid substances or objects and no forms or appearances that can obstruct it. This is just like how space is so immense that no matter how many objects there are on Earth, it is all the same; nothing could possibly obstruct this space. This is like the empty void, the immensity of the empty void; it is so empty and still. Solid objects cannot obstruct this empty void. Nothing of solid substance, no material object, nothing with form or appearance can obstruct this empty void. So, the empty void is inherently vast. The essence of our mind should be like an empty void, which nothing can obstruct. “The mind encompasses the endless void and the boundless worlds within it.” No matter how many solid objects or things of form and structure there may be in it, space is so much bigger. Nothing at all could ever be able to obstruct this “emptiness,” this empty void.

“Thus, if we understand our own minds, then there are no firm or solid phenomena; it is all non-existent.” So, “It is all non-existent”. There is nothing there, nothing that is firm or solid, nothing at all. If we can understand the nature of our own mind and how the nature of our mind is equal to the Buddha’s, this will awaken our mind, and there will be nothing at all that can possibly obstruct us. How could there possibly be any afflictions to disturb us? There would be none. So, “It is all non-existent”. There is nothing that exists. So, we are “neither originating nor emerging, neither moving nor retreating”. Our minds are like this, abiding in the empty void. Since there is nothing at all that can possibly obstruct us, naturally, we are “neither originating nor emerging, neither moving nor retreating”. As ordinary beings, we are quick to retreat from our aspirations. Ordinary beings are very fickle.

By the same token, if we are able to understand, to thoroughly comprehend all Dharma, then our mind will be without gain or loss like the endless void; there will be nothing at all that can obstruct us in our endeavors. So, our intrinsic nature is also like this.

“Neither originating nor emerging, neither moving nor retreating,” our intrinsic nature “neither emerges out of causes nor originates out of conditions nor arises out of phenomena. It has never moved or wavered and neither advances nor retreats”.

We can transcend the confusion of ordinary beings, and by transcending it, we will surely gain control of ourselves so that no cause can obstruct us. Our minds are like a patch of ground. By earnestly plowing and weeding the ground of our mind and keeping it clear, weeds will be unable to take root or enter the ground of our mind. So, we must keep our minds completely clear. If we polish this mirror until it shines, then this mirror will surely remain undefiled. The principle is the same. So, [our nature] “does not emerge out of causes”. No seed can emerge, nor can anything emerge that might defile our mirror. If we do not plant the seed, it will not [sprout]. This happens when we guard ourselves well. Neither does it “originate out of conditions”. Since there is no cause, how could there be conditions? When the Buddha came to the world, it was not due to any “karmic retribution”. No. He came for the sake of His one great cause. He made use of causes and conditions to come to the world. He was not following causes and conditions. No. He took advantage of these conditions to come to this world. His one great cause was to serve sentient beings. He returned on the ship of compassion. We, however, come bringing whatever we did in our past lives along with us. We bring no wealth or property with us from our past lives, nothing except for the karma that we created. That which we bring with us is called “karma.”

We come following our karmic conditions. The Buddha was not like this. He was unhindered by everything. But because He could not bear for sentient beings to suffer, He returned out of compassion. By availing Himself of causes and conditions, He came to the world for His one great cause. He did not come to this world due to karma beyond His control.
So, He did not emerge out of causes, nor did He originate out of conditions. He did not arise out of phenomena, nor was He ever moved or wavered. The Buddha was clear on all of the Dharma. He was not disturbed by the “existent or non-existent” nor by the “real or unreal” and came for that reason, not at all. He already understood these very clearly. He also clearly understood spiritual cultivation. He had come again to teach, for no other reason than for the sake of His one great cause. So, He has never wavered. His mind never wavered. He had to transform sentient beings, so He proceeded in this direction. He was never distracted by the causes and conditions around Him, nor was He ever tempted by them, no. This is the direction that we must learn to follow.

So, He “neither advances nor retreats.” What do we mean by advance and retreat? He is unwavering; His direction is like this. The Tathagata takes “the emptiness of all phenomena as His seat” and “great compassion as His room.” This is where the Tathagata abides, the place He remains in. So, He “permanently abides in the one reality.”

We previously said that “[phenomena] do not permanently abide,” which means they are not ever-abiding. Not ever-abiding means that they arise and cease. In the world, nothing abides permanently. Life comes and goes like this; it comes and it goes. It never permanently abides. Now, it says that [Bodhisattvas] “permanently abide in the one reality.”

Permanently abiding in the one reality: In a previous passage it says, “[Phenomena] do not permanently abide." Now, here, it says that “[Bodhisattvas] permanently abide in the one reality.” What does this mean? "Permanently abide” here refers to abiding in non-appearance, the principle of the one reality.

“They do not permanently abide” refers to unenlightened beings. The world’s material forms and appearances do not abide permanently. Now it says that [Bodhisattvas] “permanently abide in the one reality." This means that “they abide in non-appearance.” They abide in non-appearance. We can talk about “abiding” in non-appearance. “The emptiness of all phenomena is the seat.” In this place, they teach the Dharma. In this emptiness, they abide to teach the Dharma to sentient beings. So, although this is non-appearance, this is where they permanently abide. "They abide in non-appearance.” They abide there in that non-appearance. "The emptiness of all phenomena is the seat.” It is in this emptiness, in their understanding of emptiness, in the wondrous principle of emptiness, that they abide. When it comes to the principles, I constantly remind everyone that the principles are intangible and without substance or appearance. This is “the principle of the one reality.”

The Buddha abides within these true principles. This is what we must cultivate through spiritual practice. “This is known as the place to draw near to.” This refers to when “Bodhisattvas have eliminated all delusions of afflictions.”

This is known as the place to draw near to: This means that once Bodhisattvas have eliminated all delusions of afflictions, the true permanent principles will be revealed. The true permanent principles neither arise nor cease, neither decay nor change. This is what it means to be permanent.

In our spiritual practice, we must turn from the Small to the Great, toward the Bodhisattva-path and “actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions.” As we walk along the Bodhisattva-path, part of the process of our spiritual practice is to go among people and engage in spiritual practice among people. We must “eliminate all delusions of afflictions.” We must eliminate afflictions, but if we do not understand them, how can we eliminate them? It is among people that we come to understand the nature of our afflictions, for “those who watch the game can see more clearly than those playing.” When sentient beings play their games, they are confused and struggle over loss and gain. What about us then? As bystanders who go among those people, we come to know the futility of their struggles. We come to learn that attachments lead to afflictions. When we go among people and come to understand things very well, we become Bodhisattvas. We must go among people. “Without experience, we cannot grow in wisdom.” If we do not see people with afflictions, then how will we understand the nature of these afflictions? So, by going among people, we can reduce our own afflictions, and it is in this place that we can increase our wisdom. By being able to discern these many afflictions, it is through this discernment that we can elevate our wisdom and impartiality. Wisdom is made up of “discerning wisdom” and “impartial wisdom.” How can we view everything with impartiality, according to the Dharma and the true principles? This requires wisdom. By going among people and discerning all appearances, we can thereby achieve realization, and this will increase our wisdom. So, once we “eliminate all delusions of afflictions, the true permanent principles will be revealed.” Only then will these true permanent principles be revealed. If we do not understand this, how will we ever achieve realization? So, “The true permanent principles neither arise nor cease, neither decay nor change. This is what it means to be permanent.”

Everyone, when it comes to the Buddha-Dharma, we must mindfully seek to realize it. If we do not realize it personally, we will be unable to understand it. So, as we go about our spiritual practice, as we turn from the Small Vehicle to enter the Great Vehicle, we must do our best to cultivate “a tranquil and still mind.” We should practice right thinking and settle and put a stop to our mind. We must keep our minds from being distracted so that we will not be tempted by external conditions or give rise to discursive thoughts. When it comes to views that we ought not to have, we must keep them from entering our minds again. As for the things we ought not do, we must not use our bodies to do them. So, we must learn the practices of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Therefore, we must always be mindful!

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