2008年10月21日星期二

Nature of life

As fruits fall from a tree -- tender, ripe or old -- even so we die in our infancy, in the prime of manhood or even in old age. The sun rises in the East only to set in the West. Flowers bloom in the morning to fade in the evening. Inevitable death, which comes to all without exception, we have to face with perfect equanimity.

Venerable Narada Mahathera, The Buddha and His Teachings

世間萬物的法則就是這樣,你不願接受它還是存在,你不能改變它,只能認清。

2008年10月11日星期六

The Buddha's Thought

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Vicissitudes of Life

This ill-balanced world is not absolutely rosy. Nor is it totally thorny. The rose is soft, beautiful and fragrant. But the stem on which it grows is full of thorns. What is rosy is rosy; what is thorny is thorny. Because of the rose one will not meddle with the thorns nor will one disparage the rose on account of the thorns.

To an optimist this world is absolutely rosy; to a pessimist this world is absolutely thorny. But to a realist this world is neither absolutely rosy nor absolutely thorny. It abounds with beautiful roses and prickly thorns as well, from a realistic standpoint.

An understanding person will not be infatuated by the beauty of the rose but will view it as it is. Knowing well the nature of the thorns, he will view them as they are and will take the precaution not to be wounded.

Like the pendulum that perpetually turns to the right and left, four desirable and undesirable conditions prevail in this world which everyone, without exception, must perforce face in the course of one's lifetime.

They are gain (lābha) and loss (alābha), fame (yasa) and defame (ayasa), praise (pasamsā) and blame (nindā), happiness (sukha) and pain (dukkha).

Venerable Narada Mahathera, The Buddha and His Teachings

 

此是非顛倒的世間並非到處都是玫瑰,也非儘是荊棘。玫瑰花柔軟、美麗、芳香,但是,使其得以生長的莖卻佈滿了毛刺。玫瑰就是玫瑰,毛刺就是毛刺。因為玫瑰.人們就不多管毛刺,也沒有人因為毛刺而輕視玫瑰。

就樂觀主義者而言,這個世界是絕對是美好。就悲觀主義者而言.這個世界完全是痛苦。但是,對於一個真實主義者來說,既不是絕對的美好,也不是完全的痛苦。從現實出發,這個世界充滿了美麗的玫瑰和尖尖的毛刺。

聰明之人不會陶醉於玫瑰花的美麗,而是如實地認識它。明白了荊棘的本性,他將正確對待它,從而謹慎小心,不受其傷害。

如問鐘擺不停地左右搖晃,四對順逆之法充滿了這個世界。每一個人在此生命之流中都不得不面對它們。

它們是利(labha)衰(alabha),稱(pasamsa)譏(ninda),譽(yasa)毀(ayasa),樂(sukha)苦(dukkha)。

那爛陀長老(Narada Mahathera)/著 學愚 法師/譯, 《覺悟之路》

2008年10月9日星期四

廬山煙雨浙江潮

在北方一個偏遠的山區裡,有兩戶人家的空地上長着一棵枝繁葉茂的銀杏樹。秋天的時候,銀杏果成熟了就會落在地上。孩子們撿回一些,卻都不敢吃,因為人們都認為銀杏果有毒。

這棵樹不知道是屬於兩戶人家中的哪戶,這樣的日子過了許多年。

有一年,其中一戶人家的主人去了一趟城裡,才知道銀杏果可以賣錢。於是,他摘了一袋背到城裡,換回一大叠花花綠綠的鈔票。

銀杏果可以換錢的消息不脛而走。於是,另一戶人家的主人上門要求兩家均分那些錢。但是,他的要求被拒絶了。情急之下,他找出土地證,結果發現這棵銀杏樹是劃在他家範圍內的。對方當然不會認輸,他也開始尋找證據,結果從一位老人處得知,這棵銀杏樹是他曾祖父當年種下的。

兩家爭執不下,誰也不肯讓步,於是反目成仇。鄉政府也不能判斷這棵樹究竟應該屬於誰,一個有土地證,白紙黑字,合理合法;一個有證人證言,前人栽樹後人乘涼,理所當然。

於是,兩人訴訟到法院。法院也為難,建議庭外調解。兩人都不同意,他們認為這棵銀杏樹本應屬於自己,憑什麼要和別人共享呢?案子便拖了下來。他們年年為這棵銀杏樹吵架,甚至大打出手。

故事就這樣延續了十年。十年後,一條公路穿村而過,兩戶人家拆遷,銀杏樹也被砍倒了,這場歷時十年的糾紛才畫上了句號。奇怪的是,當時兩戶人家誰也不再要那棵砍下的樹了,因為樹幹是空的,只能當柴燒。

為了一棵樹,他們竟然惡鬥了十年!三千多個本來可以快快樂樂地度過的日子,難道比不上一棵樹重要?用來爭執的時間精力,去種一片銀杏林都可以了。仔細想想真的很可怕:有時候,我們會執著於某些東西;為了得到它,往往會犧牲掉許多其他的東西,包括健康、快樂、親情、友情等。等到真正獲得它的時候,卻發覺不外如是。就像蘇東坡的詩偈所說的:「廬山煙雨浙江潮,未到千般恨不消;到得原來無別事,廬山煙雨浙江潮」。

人生好比爬山。當你爬到一個高度的時候,總會憧憬高處可能還有更好的風景;然後你繼續往上爬,不斷地爬,直到自己爬不動為止。驀然回首,卻發現山下的人過着很不錯、很快樂的生活;山頂上卻是一片荒涼寂寞。高處不勝寒,想再回去,已是不可能了。

人之所以有痛苦,就是因為對慾望無休止的追求。如果我們只是忙忙碌碌地不斷追求而無視身邊的美景,那末幸福也會遠離我們而去。所以,我們如有時間靜下來的話,不妨想想,什麼才是自己生命中真正重要的東西呢?

李焯芬

(鳴謝: 本文由《温暖人間》提供)

http://www.buddhistdoor.com/DeerPark/iss23-Lee_interview.html

2008年10月7日星期二

質和量

一行禪師在Being Peace中說了一個有趣的故事,解釋了質和量的分別。

從前有個喜歡唸佛的女人,每日會唸「南嘸阿彌陀佛」三次,每次唸一千句,如是這過了十多年。雖然如此,但她對人仍是非常吝嗇,脾氣也十分暴躁。有次,她的一位朋友決定要給她一個教訓。在她唸佛時,這朋友便不停在門外大叫她的名字,設法令她不能集中精神。她開始感到煩躁,心想若他再叫下去她就會大罵他一頓。友人當然沒有停下來,她於是走出門外,大聲責罵他。友人笑着說:「我只叫了你名字十分鐘,你就這樣生氣。你可知道你唸阿彌陀佛十多年,他一定非常憤怒!」

《法句經》中有很多有關這方面的內容,如:

  • Better than a thousand utterances, comprising useless words, is one single beneficial word, by hearing which one is pacified
  • Better than a thousand verses, comprising useless words, is one beneficial single line, by hearing which one is pacified.
  • Should one recite a hundred verses, comprising useless words, better is one single word of the Dhamma, by hearing which one is pacified.

Dhammapada, Text and Translation by Ven. Nàrada

2008年10月6日星期一

鳩摩羅什

什為人神情朗徹傲岸出群。應機領會鮮有倫匹者篤。性仁厚汎愛為心。虛己善誘終日無倦。姚主常謂什曰。大師聰明超悟天下莫二。若一旦後世。何可使法種無嗣。遂以妓女十人逼令受之。自爾以來不住僧坊。別立廨舍供給豐盈。每至講說常先自說。譬喻如臭泥中生蓮花。但採蓮花勿取臭泥也。--《高僧傳 》

2008年10月2日星期四

Mind Consciousness

According to Buddhist psychology, our consciousness is divided into two parts, like a house with two floors. On the ground floor there is a living room, and we call this “mind consciousness.” Below the ground level, there is a basement, and we call this “store consciousness” in the store consciousness, everything we have ever done, experienced, or perceived is stored in the form of a seed, or a film, out basement is an archive of every imaginable kind of film stored on a video cassette. Upstairs in the living room, we sit in a chair and watch these films as they are brought from the basement.

Certain movies, such as Anger, Fear, or Despair, seem to have the ability to come up from the basement and open the door to the living room and pop themselves into our video cassette recorder whether we choose them or not. When this happens, we feel stunk, and we have no choice but to watch them. Fortunately, each film has a limited length, and when it is over, it returns to the basement. But each time it is viewed by us, it establishes a better position on the archive self, and we know it will return soon. Sometimes a stimulus from outside, like someone saying something that hurts our feeling, triggers the showing of a film on our TV screen. We spend so munch of our time watching these films and many of them are destroying us. Learning how to stop them is important for our well-being.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living