A Constantly Bubbling Spring Appeared by the Temple
金山聖寺的家風


Meditation starts at 2 a.m. and goes until midnight, at which time people can sleep. During the day there is only one hour of rest.
Now we come to the year of 1976.
The multitudes gather from the ten directions to investigate Chan.
Every hour, minute, and second must be cherished.
While walking, standing, sitting, and lying down, Investigate deeply and carefully.
Empty space is shattered, and you understand the Mind's Ground.
The Dharma Realm remains the same, yet you see the Nature's Sky.
Where can you find your original face?
Right here at Gold Mountain Monastery!

Today is December 15, 1976, and people endowed with good roots have come from the ten directions to the great smelting furnace (Gold Mountain Monastery) to investigate Chan. Investigating Chan is not a very fun affair; you must take a lot of suffering. Meditation starts at 2 a.m. and goes until midnight, at which time people can sleep. During the day there is only one hour of rest. That's the traditional practice at the Gold Mountain Monastery.

During the Chan session, you must forget the body, the mind, and the world. You must forget everything, which means you must have no “self” and see everything as empty. When you reach the state of true emptiness, wonderful existence comes forth. Everyone, pay attention! In cultivation, you must not chatter casually or have random thoughts. Even less should you be lazy and try to take it easy. Every minute and second must be cherished. It is said,
An inch of time is an inch of life.
Therefore, you should be investigating Chan while you are walking, standing, sitting, and lying down. In all of these modes, you should be investigating Chan. Your investigation should be penetrating and thorough, so that the deeper you go, the more you understand, and the more you look into it, the clearer you become.

This refers to investigating the meditation topic. Don't ever stop. Constantly investigate “Who is mindful of the Buddha?” or “What was my original face before my parents gave birth to me?” You must enter deeply and investigate in detail. One day, you will be able to shatter empty space, and at that time you will understand the mind. Even though empty space is shattered, the Dharma Realm remains intact. The ten Dharma Realms are still in order and not mixed up. At that point you will see your own nature, which is like the sky. Where can you go to search for your original face? You can come to Gold Mountain Monastery to look for it. If you go elsewhere, you won't find it.

This is an explanation of the eight lines of verse I spoke today. I hope each of you will remember it well, and cultivate according to it. Don't just swallow it without digesting it. That would be useless. Don't let it just go in one ear and out the other, without retaining any impression. That would be as useless as not hearing it at all.

A talk given on December 15, 1976, during a Chan Session at Gold Mountain Monastery in San Francisco


從早晨兩點鐘開始坐香,一直到夜間十二點睡覺,中間只有一個鐘頭休息。
今逢一九七六年,
十方大眾來參禪;
時刻分秒當愛惜,
行住坐臥細鑽研。
虛空打破明心地,
法界依然見性天;
本來面目何處覓,
直下承當金山寺。

今天是一九七六年十二月十五日,十方有善根的人,來到金山聖寺這個大冶洪爐參禪。參禪不是很好玩的一件事,要受很多苦。從早晨兩點鐘開始坐香,一直到夜間十二點睡覺,中間只有一個鐘頭休息,這是金山聖寺的家風。

在參禪的期間,要忘身、忘心、忘世,一切皆忘掉,也就是沒有「我」的存在,也就是一切皆空,到了真空的境界,便生妙有。大家要注意!在休息的時間,不可以隨便亂講話,不可以隨便打妄想,更不可躲懶偷安,就是一分一秒的時間,也要愛惜,所謂:一寸時光,一寸命光。
所以,行也參禪,住也參禪,坐也參禪,臥也參禪,行住坐臥都在參禪,要細心來鑽研,越鑽越透、越研越明。

鑽研,就是參話頭。不要停止,時時刻刻來參「念佛是誰?」或參「父母未生以前的本來面目?」所以要細鑽研。有一天把虛空打破,這個時候,就能明白心。虛空雖然破了,可是法界依然存在。法界還是十法界,井然不亂。這時候,見到自己的性天。你們的本來面目,要到什麼地方去尋找呢?你們到金山聖寺來找本來面目,到旁的地方是找不到的。

這是今天所說的八句偈頌,希望各位留心記住,依法修行,不可當飯把它吃掉,食而不化,這是無有是處;不可當作耳邊風,過而不留,聽了等於沒有聽一樣無用。
一九七六年禪七 十二月十五日開示於三藩市金山聖寺


Chan Sessions Are for Seeking Enlightenment in a Limited Time
剋期取證打禪七


A Chan session is held for the purpose of seeking to become enlightened in a fixed period of time. So don't sit on the meditation bench and indulge in idle thinking; that would not do justice to your purpose in attending the Chan session. What kinds of idle thoughts might you have? Delusive thoughts come in all varieties, but in general they are no more than flights of fancy and wishful thinking. Some people have the idle thought: “I hope I can get enlightened and attain great wisdom in this session. After I'm enlightened, I'll publicize it to the world, and everyone will know I am an enlightened person and treat me with great respect.”
打禪七就是剋期取證。不可坐在禪凳上打妄想,那就是辜負自己參加打禪七的初衷。打什麼妄想呢?妄想有種種不同,總而言之,都是異想天開、不著邊際。有的人打這種妄想:「我參加這次禪七,希望能開悟,得到大智慧,開悟之後,我將向世界宣布這個消息,令全世界的人都知道我是開悟的人,對我恭而敬之。」

All of you should consider this: can a person who thinks like that get enlightened? I emphatically declare that it's impossible. Why? As soon as that person sits on the meditation bench, his idle thoughts come in droves, and if he's not idly thinking about seeking fame, he's idly thinking about how to make a profit. How can a person who is spun around by fame and profit become enlightened?
各位想一想,有這種思想的人,他是否能開悟?我敢下斷語,絕對不會的!為什麼?因為這個人剛坐在禪凳上,妄想紛飛,不是為求名,就是為求利。在名利上打轉轉,焉能開悟呢?

Some people have this idle thought: “In this Chan session, I definitely have to get enlightened. I have to be the first person to get enlightened in this session. I'll be the one and only enlightened person, and no one else will get enlightened. How glorious that would be!” Without even getting close to being enlightened, he feigns it and announces everywhere that he is enlightened. He cheats people because he wants them to show him special favor. His plan is to “pass off fish-eyes as pearls.” But his ideas are so childish that people will only despise and laugh at him. Hopefully no one will entertain such ideas. Rather, we should plant our feet firmly on the ground and apply our efforts in investigating Chan, so that we can attain real skill that counts!
有的人打這種妄想:「我在這次禪七中,一定要開悟,我要做這次禪七開悟第一人,人家不開悟,唯獨我一個人開悟,這是多麼光榮的一件事!」甚至根本沒有摸著開悟的邊緣,卻冒充開悟,到處宣傳自己開悟了,來欺騙大家,令大家對他另眼相看,來個魚目混珠的騙局,這種思想多麼幼稚,令人嗤笑!希望大家不要有這種妄想,要腳踏實地用功參禪,得到真本領那才算!

Other people have this kind of idle thought: “I want to get enlightened, so people will make offerings to me. Then I can build a big temple, be the Dharma host of the area, and have lots of followers who come and make offerings. I'll be a great Dharma Master known throughout the world, and everyone will treat me as a high-class Dharma Master.” However, you must know that if you really aren't as proficient and knowledgeable as you make out to be, and you receive people's offerings, your conscience will not rest easy.
有的人打這種妄想:「我要開悟,開悟就有人來供養我,我可以建個大廟,作為一方法主,信徒源源而來,親近、供養我,我成為大法師,名揚天下,婦孺皆知我是大名鼎鼎的法師。」可是大家要知道,不學無術,受人供養,是心不安理不得的。

When sitting in Chan, make sure your posture is correct. A correct posture benefits both body and mind. Without it, sitting in Chan loses its meaning. When you sit in meditation, first relax the body and mind. Don't tense up. It would be ideal to sit in full lotus, which is the basic posture.
坐禪的姿勢要正確,對身心皆有益處,否則失掉坐禪的意義。坐禪時,先將身心放鬆,不可緊張,最好結雙跏趺坐,這是基本的坐法。

To sit in full lotus, first put the left foot over the right thigh, and then move the right foot over the left leg. This is also called the vajra position, which means it is firm and unmoving. All the Buddhas of the past attained Buddhahood by sitting in the vajra position. In this sitting posture, one can subdue the demons from the heavens and counter those of other religions. When they see you in this position, they surrender and retreat, afraid to disturb you.
何謂雙跏趺坐?就是先把左腿放在右腿的上邊,然後將右腿搬到左腿上邊,這又叫「金剛座」,是堅固不動的意思。過去諸佛皆以金剛座而成佛。這種坐法,可以降伏天魔,可以制止外道,他們見到這種坐法,知難而退,不敢前來找麻煩。

Once you are sitting in lotus posture, your eyes should contemplate your nose, and not look left and right.
The eyes contemplates the nose;
The nose contemplates the mouth;
The mouth contemplates the heart.
結雙跏趺坐之後,眼睛觀鼻端,不可東張西望。所謂: 眼觀鼻,鼻觀口,口觀心。

This way, you can gather in the body and mind. The mind is like a monkey or a wild horse, and you must tie it up so it won't run away. It is said,
When one is concentrated,
there is an efficacious result.
When one is scattered, there is nothing.
這樣才能攝持身心,將心猿意馬拴住,不令它們向外奔馳。所謂:
專一則靈,
分歧則弊。

You should sit properly, with the back straight and the head up. Don't lean forwards, backwards, or to the left or right. Sit firm and steady like a large bell, not swaying or moving. Don't be like the bell clapper which swings back and forth. Full lotus is the proper posture for sitting in Chan.
要端然正坐,就是腰要直,頭要正,不可前俯,不可後仰;不要向左歪,不要向右斜;好像大鐘一樣,四平八穩,不動不搖。不可像鐘擺那樣,東搖西晃。雙跏趺坐才合乎坐禪的姿勢。

Beginning Chan meditators who are not used to it may experience pain in their legs and soreness in the back. Don't worry. Just grit your teeth and be patient for a while, and these sensations will naturally subside. It is said, “With long sitting, there is Chan.” You will attain the flavor of Chan.
初學禪的人,覺得不習慣,腿也痛,腰也痠,不要緊,咬緊牙關,忍耐一時,久了自然沒有這種現象,所謂「久坐有禪」,自然得到禪味。

What is the flavor of Chan? You attain the bliss of Chan samadhi, and taste the flavor of light ease. This flavor is inexhaustibly subtle and wonderful, inconceivable and indescribable. Only those who have experienced it will understand and know, just as a person who drinks the water will know its temperature. This can only be experienced by the mind, and cannot be communicated by mouth. If you want to know if the flavor of Chan is sweet or bitter, work hard at investigating Chan, and when you reach a certain stage, you will discover the flavor yourself! So, you must investigate! Investigate until “stones peep out from the receding water” (the truth is brought to light), and then you'll know the flavor of Chan.
什麼是禪味?就是得到禪定的快樂,得到輕安的滋味。這種滋味奧妙無窮,不可以心思,不可以言議,得身歷其境的人,才能體會,才能領受,好像如人飲水,冷暖自知,只可意會,不可言傳。各位想要知道這種禪味是甜是苦?就要努力參禪,到了相當境界時,自然曉得其中之味!所以要參!參到水落石出時,就得到禪味。

Chan must be investigated, not discussed. That's why the Chan School is not based on language. Transmitted outside the teaching, this Dharma-door points directly to the mind, so that one sees the nature and attains Buddhahood.
「禪」不是說的,而是參的,所以禪宗是不立文字,教外別傳,直指人心,見性成佛的法門。

When Chan cultivators have achieved a certain amount of skill in their investigation, they definitely will not lose their temper or argue with people, because they have reached the state of the samadhi of non-contention. Nor will they seek fame or gain, because they will regard wealth and honor as being like dew, and fame and position like frost, disappearing in an instant. Real cultivators keep their distance from fame and gain, and don't let their minds get influenced by them.
參禪的人,參到火候的時候,絕對不發脾氣,不與人爭論,到了無諍三昧的境界。也不求名,也不求利,看富貴成為花間的露水,看功名成為瓦上的霜片,頃刻就消逝無蹤。真正修行人遠離名利,不為名利動搖其心。

If you want to evaluate a person's cultivation, see if his every move is motivated by the desire for fame and profit. Is he someone who seeks fame, and gets mad when he cannot obtain it? Does he lose his temper if his pursuit of profit is frustrated? Does the fire of his ignorance and his tiger-like spirit make him the toughest one around? If so, then you know without asking that this person is after fame and profit.
若想測驗人是否有修行?就看他所行所為是不是在名利上動腦筋?如果求名得不到就發脾氣,求利得不到也發脾氣,那個無明火,老虎神,比誰都厲害,這個人,不問可知,一定是名利中人。

When the Emperor Qianlung of the Qing Dynasty went to Gold Mountain Chan Monastery in Zhenjiang to view the scenery of the Yangtze River, he asked Chan Master Faqing, “How many boats come and go on the Yangtze in one day?” The Chan Master replied, “Only two boats.” Qianlung was puzzled, and asked him, “How do you know there are only two boats?” The Chan Master said, “One boat is out for fame, and the other boat is out for profit.”
清朝乾隆皇帝到鎮江金山禪寺欣賞長江的風光,他問法磬禪師:「長江一日有多少船往來?」禪師說:「只有兩條船往來。」乾隆不解地