法王新闻 | 2008年12月

第三期華人宗門實修─第二天下午 宗門實修第四堂課 法王教導「生活裡的實修」

The Second Day of Gyalwang Karmapa’s Lineage Practice Teachings 2

点击图片切换大图/小图

地點:印度 菩提加耶
時間:2009年01月01日下午 Thursday January 1, 2009
報導:黃靖雅
攝影:噶瑪善治、噶瑪諾布、鄭履中、潘士偉

宗門實修第二天,元旦下午的課程,法王從開放提問的問題箱中選取其中一個具共通性的問題:我們平常工作已經很累了,怎麼還有時間修行?如果降低工作品質,在這個不景氣年代,很可能會被裁員,請問法王如何在日常生活中修行?

法王針對這個問題回答說,這是個常見的問題,可見得提問的人重視修行和上師的交代。法王說:「一般人常把修行留在佛堂裡,佛堂門一關,修行就沒了。」這樣的修行是不夠的。

法王舉自己的修行經驗說:一開始,一般人為什麼要修行?有兩個原因──
一是順緣造成的壓力,一是逆緣造成的沮喪。有些人很能幹,上司喜歡交給他一大堆事,他對自己要求也高,沒日沒夜的做,結果引起家人抱怨。而有壓力的人忙起來,一遇到挫折,就容易被激怒、有情緒,就會越來越不喜歡這樣的工作、生活和自己,結果身體病了、心理也病了、得憂鬱症,最後是自殺「乾脆不要這個不能帶給自己幸福的自己」。像這些,就要靠修行的方式解決。

法王進一步開示,「所謂修行,就是修心,然後放到行為上用。」「心需要一個家,這個家不在外面,如果心裡有個家,無論外在發生什麼事,都會覺得滿足、安定,內在有個家,心就可以休息休息、輕鬆輕鬆。」法王說,在藏文裡,修行有兩個意思,「修」是指心中的慈悲、關愛,「行」是付諸身語的行動。要注意的是,這兩個字,都是「動詞」,就是要付諸實際行動。有行持,就會牽動整個社會,引起改變。「只有發願是不夠的,要展現於行為,修行的力量才會顯現出來。」

你的心,聽話嗎?

「修行,就是要管好自己的心,如果我們不適時叫回外馳的心,久了它就會不聽話。」法王說,如果修行、有光明的心,就算明天會死,光明的心也不會死,死亡時也許會失去一切,色身、財物都會消失,但光明的心和寧靜會一直陪著你;而如果不修行、沒有光明的心,看待世界都是負面的,就會覺得什麼事都衝著你來,連看自己也都只看到負面的,生命就會變成一場自己和自己的戰爭。

生命中難免有逆緣,法王說,消除逆緣最好的方法,就是心的光明。「心的本質,是清涼、透澈、喜樂,具有光明的覺照力量,有種內在的寂靜(此處法王說英文inner peace)。」即使在死亡時,有了心的光明,就不會看到死亡的黑暗,心的清涼、喜樂、寧靜,是不會和我們分離的。而所謂修行,就是恢復心的光明、清涼、溫暖。問題是,怎麼做呢?

避免三種錯誤的修行觀念

此處,法王提到,要避免三種錯誤的修行觀念──
一 不要把修行當成有時間性;
二 不要把修行當成功課;
三 不要把修行當成儀式。

對這三點,法王進一步開示──

第一點,修行不應該有時間性:不要把它當工作,有上班、下班時間,法王半開玩笑說:「像我就是整天在『工作』。」

修行有「時間性」、有「下班時間」的人,平常不修,進了佛堂,勉強去修也行,但會覺得不舒服,一坐上座墊,發覺和菩提心、慈悲心都不熟,就在那裡想:「菩提心你在哪裡呀,快過來快過來…」平常生活中不觀修,進了佛堂就要開始修行,就像沒有暖身,就要開始激烈運動,是會傷身的,「不要用修行傷自己的心,修行要自然、平靜、習慣,心不是犯人,不要用暴力解決!」「修行,是慢慢熟練的過程,不要很暴力的,希望啪一下解決。」

譬如觀修慈悲,平時不修,修法念誦法本到「願眾生皆具足一切樂及樂因,願眾生皆淨除一切苦及苦因」時,就會覺得很奇怪,連小慈悲都沒有了,又如何能對一切有情眾生自然生起慈悲心?所以,我們就要有次第、由近而遠的,從自己的母親開始觀修起,而後漸漸擴及有情眾生,這就是一個自然開展慈悲心的過程。

第二點,不要把修行當功課:法王說,譬如做四不共加行,有些人太在意數字,連做大禮拜也去找一塊比較滑的板子,心想這樣滑得比較快,趕快做完,我就可以去領受什麼特別本尊法,上師也會覺得我好棒。這樣拚命趕功課的結果,數字是進步了,但心卻一點都沒有改變,「重點是信心的增加,而不是數字的增加。」

「功課不是給上師看的,是給自己看的,功德是要獻給自已的。」法王提醒,「重點是心性」,有些人太在意數字,譬如做十萬遍四加行,累積了很多個「0」,心性上卻沒改變,結果還真是個「0」。

第三點,不要把修行當儀式:法王說,不要把珍貴的法寶變成鄉下的祭祀儀式,觀修本尊時,重點是去思維特殊法相或法器內在的涵意。

譬如四臂觀音,華人都覺得很奇怪,觀音菩薩怎麼會有四條手臂?法王用中文開玩笑說,是不是觀世音菩薩「幹得不錯,所以佛陀就『欽此』,多賜給祂兩條手臂?」多出來那兩條,「也不是藏人裝上去的,那不是藏人幹的」……光這四臂就有這麼多妄念,「那觀修千手觀音時怎麼辦?」重要的是,要想這四臂代表的功德特質是什麼,那是「慈悲喜捨」四無量心的象徵,要思維這四無量心的功德。

你看到生活裡,熱呼呼、香噴噴的佛法嗎?

如果避免了上述三種錯誤的修行狀況,接下來要怎麼做呢?

就是直接去觀修生活裡、人世間熱呼呼、香噴噴、活生生的佛法,而不只是去修持那些乾乾的文字。「所謂佛法,不只聽到,還要看到,要有直接體驗」,就像釋迦牟尼佛成道前,出王城四門看到的生老病死苦和修行寂靜之樂,那就是悉達多王子直接體驗到的「法」,那種對生命本質的直接體驗,對修行歷程是相當重要的。

至於在生活裡怎麼修呢?法王說,「修行就在你的工作裡,就看你用不用。」當你設計或販賣一樣東西時,可以帶著「布施之心」,讓它的品質更好一點。「布施,不一定要真的給一樣東西」,帶著善意努力工作,本身就是對社會的布施,這是真正的菩薩行,真正的布施。就像佛陀圓滿了布施波羅蜜,但世間還有那麼多貧困的人,他到底給了什麼?法王說:「佛陀給了他的未來,他的證悟是未來眾生無盡的資糧。未來無量,眾生也無量,豈不剛剛好?」

所以我們每天早上一起來,要憶持皈依戒,思維諸佛菩薩的功德,發願「今天的一切身語意,都要利他,不傷害任何眾生」,這就開始了「美好的修行的一天」。

有工作的人,要發願我們的工作帶給別人快樂,幫助別人,讓辦法讓品質提高,這就是工作裡的修行和布施。

有孩子的人,努力把孩子教養成慈悲利他的人,「這樣養孩子本身就是一項修行」。

有伴侶的人,擴大對伴侶的感情,就成為對眾生的愛和慈悲,「真正的慈悲,是有感染力的」會自然影響伴侶,法王說,當一個太太非常慈悲,他先生即使只是到花園裡澆水,都不知道為什麼會覺得很溫馨呢。

The afternoon session focused on a question from the audience: how could lay practitioners combine busy lives with dharma practice.

His Holiness began by saying that this was a frequently asked question. People wanted to make progress in their practice, yet work often drained them of physical and mental energy. Practising in the shrine room was not enough; often we left our practice behind there! A new way was needed which brought work and practice together as complementary. People suffered from internal and external pressures, which could place them under such severe stress that they felt they were going crazy or they became sick or even committed suicide. It was important to be able to distance ourselves from such emotional pressure, so the question was how to use our practice to achieve this.

The word ‘practice’ (the Tibetan word is nyamlen) means a ‘feeling in the mind’, but it is more than a feeling; it has also to manifest through body and speech. Practice means to transform our minds and hence change our conduct and our speech. In this way we can also change the environment around us and our relationships with our families and friends. If we pray for world peace we need the impetus to work for world peace.

We all need a home; if someone is under a lot of pressure at work, returning home to a loving family, where they can relax, have a cup of tea, talk with the family, makes them feel relaxed and at ease. We also need a home for our minds: a place of contentment and rest. We have to build this for ourselves.

If we fail to give our minds a place to stay, they become like a street child – neglected, troubled, sad and getting into trouble. The nature of mind is clear and knowing, not ignorance, and we use these characteristics of the mind – its luminosity – to recognize its inner peace. When we die we lose all our possessions but we are not separated from the nature of the mind. When we look at our minds, we often just see discord and forget that the true nature of our mind is virtuous and good. In order to develop peace of mind we have to practice, but there are some mistaken views about what practice is.

First of all practice isn’t like a job. Usually when we have a job there are fixed working hours. If we treat practice like a job we go to the shrine room, do our practice, but there is no habituation, no transference into our lives beyond the shrine room. To get rid of large obscurations we needed to start removing small ones, step by step, every day, all day The Tibetan word for ‘meditation’ is related to the word which means ‘to become accustomed to’, or making something a habit. If we don’t train ourselves in compassion, how can we sit in the shrine room and say, “May all sentient beings be happy.”?

Secondly, practice isn’t like homework set by the lama for his students. An example of this is the Ngondro (preliminaries). Some people become very expert at prostrations. They use a smooth board and they prostrate really fast, as if they’re doing physical exercise. What’s the point of doing it like that? Practice is about transforming our minds not completing 100,000 prostrations. In the end some people look back and say, “All I did was count!” Nor is practice something to show to the lama, like showing the teacher your work. We have to own the practice. We are doing it for ourselves and not for someone else. Some people go to their lama and say, “I’ve done my Ngondro.” And when the lama says, “OK. Now you can practise a yidam deity” they mistakenly view it in the same way as if a teacher was giving them a good grade.

The third fault is treating practice as ritual – reciting mantras, visualizing the meditation deity, making the mudras etc. The point of practice is to transform our minds, so we need to constantly check if this is happening. We often miss the profounder meanings, for example, in the four-armed Chenresig, his four arms represent the four immeasureables.

We can extend our practice beyond the shrine room by observing and reflecting on the world around us. Consider the four seasons. At one level wintertime might just mean time to put on warm clothes. But when we practise we can see the changes as a manifestation of impermanence. In summertime there are wonderful flowers, but they die, so, reflecting on this, we can really begin to understand that everything changes and everything is destructible.

Work could become part of our practice too. Many people work in manufacturing companies, in which case they could think: we make high quality products that will benefit the world. This becomes a form of generosity because generosity is not just giving things away (when the Buddha completed the paramita of generosity there were still plenty of beggars) but rather a mindset which wants to give. Thus dedication could also be a form of generosity.

These teachings, sponsored and organized by the Hwa-Yue Foundation from Taiwan, are the third in a series of teachings entitled: Lineage Practice Teachings. More than one thousand five hundred people filled the main assembly hall at Tergar Monastery to listen to His Holiness deliver the teachings in a mixture of Tibetan and Chinese. Chinese devotees from Taiwan and Hong Kong formed the majority of the audience. However, there were also disciples from the Americas, from Europe and from other Asian countries including Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The morning and afternoon sessions began with prayers in Chinese, accompanied by traditional Chinese instruments – a wooden bell beaten to keep time, and a bronze bell. At the morning session, representatives from the audience prostrated along with the Gyalwang Karmapa.

His Holiness’ theme was teacher and student. He began by joking that these teachings, and the ‘English’ ones which would follow Monlam, were as much a test of his burgeoning linguistic skills as of his dharma knowledge and experience. He then congratulated the audience on attending the teachings in spite of the economic downturn and the recent terrorist bombings in Mumbai. Speaking confidently and fluently in Chinese, he proceeded to explore the concepts of teacher and student in Tibetan Buddhism, delighting his listeners with lively caricatures, humorous asides, and witty puns.

(Please note that what follows is a précis of the English translation of the teachings given in Tibetan, so that you can share some of the experience. We hope that a definitive translation from a full transcription of the Chinese and Tibetan will be possible later.)

Because so many different interpretations of the word exists, Gyalwang Karmapa began by clarifying the meaning of ‘lama’, the Tibetan rendering of the Sanskrit word ‘guru’, as meaning someone who is ‘heavy with good qualities’. Hence a lama was someone who possessed the qualities necessary to develop students. The characteristics of a spiritual friend and a lama were basically the same. They should be well-educated in the Dharma, able to teach the Dharma, hold Pratimoksha vows, and hold any other relevant vows, transmissions etc.

Gampopa mentioned three characteristics of a genuine lama. The first characteristic was to have cut the ties to this life. No attachment to this life meant being focused on more than this life and paying no attention to the eight worldly dharmas, but it was difficult to find someone who was completely free of attachment to this life. It was possible to talk of three types of worldly interests: the white worldly interest of the Bodhisattva, who could enjoy being praised; the mixed worldly interest when people sometimes focused on future lives, sometimes on this life; the black world ly interest when all activity was fixated on this life only. A person who could only focus on this life was not a genuine dharma practitioner. A dharma practitioner should think of future lives and the path of liberation.

The second characteristic was that they could guide their students with their great wisdom; without wisdom and intelligence a lama was unable to teach the dharma to a range of students with different needs. A lama needed to know what things to abandon and what to practise, and had to be able to teach in a way that students could understand.

The third characteristic was endowment with great compassion, so that a lama never gave up on their students, supporting them however bad they were. Without this great compassion, a lama might well abandon a very difficult student. The ideal was that a lama would want to keep their students from falling into the lower realms, even at the cost of his or her own life.

In short, a lama’s good qualities should exceed their faults. An uneducated person able to help students focus on the dharma and future lives, could be a lama, in the same way a mother who loves and cares for her children tries to pass on her best traits to them, in spite of her lack of education.

Then how could a student assess a lama’s qualities? Gyalwang Karmapa warned that, except for a few extraordinary individuals, it was very difficult to assess a person’s qualities, and impossible to know what they were thinking, so the only method was to observe the lama’s words, deeds and conduct, checking that they were in harmony, and that they did not contradict the dharma. Although a skilled imposter might fool people for a short time, they wouldn’t be able to fool all of the people all of the time!

In assessing a lama, we could also reflect on whether the lama was helping us, whether our minds were becoming clearer or calmer, whether we were engaging with the dharma more. If the mind of a student turned more to the dharma under a lama’s influence, then that was a genuine lama. A further sign was to feel joy at encountering a lama.

If a lama had only a few good qualities it was still possible to take them as one’s lama, because it might be that their qualities exceeded their faults, or that they held the altruistic intention. Gyalwang Karmapa referred to the First Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche who travelled across Tibet, receiving instructions from many lamas. Some of these were only village lamas, uneducated and illiterate, but he received transmissions and empowerments from them. In some cases he even had to teach them the alphabet first! So, although the rule was to find a lama who possessed more qualities than we did, this may not always be the case, if we had a special purpose.

Finally, there should be a mutual connection between the teacher and the student.

Gyalwang Karmapa then turned his attention to what it means to be a ‘student’.

According to Gampopa, a student should possess three characteristics: they needed to be able to ‘bow down to the lama with respect that has no pride’, the student must follow the lama’s instructions joyfully, and finally the student must engage in actions that are pleasing to the lama.

First, Gyalwang Karmapa explored what it means to be able to bow down to a lama with respect that has no pride. He reminded us that often, out of ignorance, we believe we have qualities that we do not possess, and this makes us vulnerable. We need to be protected from ourselves. The role of the lama is to teach us the path, otherwise we will be prey to our own afflictive mental states and emotions.

Our very birth is the product of these afflictive mental states, and our karma controls when we will die. The four sufferings of birth and death, ageing and sickness are beyond our control. What we often call happiness is not true happiness but only a change in the degree of suffering or a temporary relief, similar to someone going from extreme heat into a cool place. At first it is a great relief from the heat, and then you begin to feel cold, and finally you are freezing. Feelings of happiness end up as suffering. Thus, we have to rely on a lama to teach us the Four Noble Truths which will lead us on the path of liberation.

The Sutras teach that the lama is similar to or equal to the Lord Buddha. In the Diamond Vehicle teachings the lama is Buddha, and so we have to train our minds, like exercising the body, in order to habituate ourselves to see only the good qualities and not the faults of the lama. In the Sutras Buddha promised that he would appear as Vajradhara to help sentient beings, and the lama is the only one who can fulfill the activities of the Buddha.

All buddhas and bodhisattvas ‘woke’ out of the wish to help sentient beings, but sentient beings had to be open to this help, and the key was faith. Regarding an ordinary lama as Buddha was to treat the lama as the representative of the Buddha, in an unbroken lineage passed down from the Buddha. The lama was like a magnifying glass on a pile of cut hay in sunlight. Without it the hay would not catch fire, but if you used a magnifying glass to focus the sun’s rays, it would catch fire.

We had to be careful because we could not always see people as they really were. Naropa thought Tilopa was a fisherman when he first met him. Mila thought Marpa was a farmer. Appearances are deceptive, often affected by our karma. Even a street dog might be a buddha. We could never be sure.

The second requirement was to follow the lama’s instructions. Since the lama is the one who shows what is to be abandoned and what is to be adopted, it is important to put into practice whatever the lama says. However, if in some instances we are unable to do the practices given us, it is permissible to go to the lama and give clear reasons why one is unable to do it, and in this case there would be no degeneration of samaya. If, on the other hand, we knowingly decide not to do what the lama has instructed then there would be degeneration of samaya.

Finally, His Holiness commented on ‘actions that please the lama’. He explained that this did not mean praising the lama or making material offerings, as people sometimes seemed to think. Rather, it meant practicing the dharma teachings and oral instructions. That is an offering to the lama.