Good and Evil Are Not Beyond a Single Thought
善惡不離一念心


A thought of goodness increases the proper energy in the world; a thought of evil increases the world's bad energy.
一念為善,天地增加正氣;一念為惡,天地增加戾氣。

"Do no evil deeds; practice all good deeds; purify your own mind: this is what all Buddhas teach." This is the truth of Buddhism. The world is a mess because, although everyone understands the above statement, nobody puts it into practice.
諸惡莫作,眾善奉行;自淨其意,是諸佛教。這是佛教的真諦。人人都明白這個道理,可是人人都不能行這個道理,所以天下大亂。

In this meditation retreat, we are engaged in reforming our evil ways. This is a perfect chance to turn over a new leaf and start anew. A single thought of evil can cause gales, deluges, and tragic disasters. Yet if every person in the world could uphold the Five Precepts and practice the Ten Good Deeds, the world would enjoy seasonal rains and gentle winds, and all nations and their citizens would be at peace. To put it simply, if everyone from the national leader down to the ordinary citizens could observe the Five Precepts and practice the Ten Good Deeds, they would surely be blessed with ample clothing and sufficient food, and their lives would be satisfying and happy. But any country whose people break the Five Precepts and violate the Ten Good Deeds will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, be full of broken families and civil strife; it will be a poor and weak nation whose citizens suffer deprivation and hardship.
我們在打禪七,就是「改惡向善」,是「改過自新」最好的機會。一念惡,天地會有狂風暴雨發生,造成災害。如果全世界所有的人類,都能受持五戒,奉行十善,天地會風調雨順,世界會國泰民安。簡言之,上自元首,下至老百姓,守五戒,行十善,這個國家一定會豐衣足食,過著安居樂業的生活。若是犯五戒,造十惡,毫無疑問地,這個國家必定家庭不和睦,社會不安寧,國家不富強,百姓過著顛沛流離的生活。

Investigating Chan is simply a process of refraining from killing, stealing, lustful conduct, lying, and using intoxicants. In the meditation hall, we concentrate our minds on the investigation: raising a question, then letting it go. We busily ask the question "Who?" and look into it at all times, putting a stop to all other thoughts. Doing this is nothing less than holding the Five Precepts and putting into practice the Ten Good Deeds. Thus, as soon as we sit down in the meditation hall, we are replete with the Five Precepts and the Ten Good Deeds. For this reason we must not waste time on useless idle thoughts. We should instead seize the time and ask, "Who is mindful of the Buddha?"
參禪,就是不殺生、不偷盜、不邪淫、不妄語、不飲酒。在禪堂裏,專心參禪,拿得起,放得下,一念是誰?時刻在尋找,其他妄念就停止下來了,這就是守五戒,也是行十善。所以在禪堂一坐,五戒十善都具足了。因為這個,所以不要浪費時間,打一些無益的妄念,要把握時機來參「念佛是誰?」

During your meditation, you should work hard and advance with determination. Reflect inwardly, seek your true self. Ask yourself, "How many evil thoughts have I created? How many good thoughts? How many idle thoughts have I let arise?" Take an inventory.
Bring forth the good thoughts that have not yet arisen;
Increase the good thoughts that have already arisen.
Suppress the evil thoughts that have not yet emerged;
Wipe out all the evil thoughts that have already occurred.
This is the foundation of a beginner's career in cultivation.
參禪時,要努力用功,勇猛精進。要迴光返照,反求諸己,問問自己,生了多少善念?生了多少惡念?打了多少妄想?要統計一番。
未生善念,令生善念;
已生善念,令其增長。
未生惡念,令其不生;
已生惡念,令其消滅。
這就是修行初步的基礎。

The world faces imminent destruction because peoples' evil thoughts outnumber their good thoughts. A thought of goodness increases the proper energy in the world; a thought of evil increases the world's bad energy. We want to transform bad energy into auspicious, peaceful energy. Bad energy refers to noxious, toxic energy. Each thought of greed increases the harmful energy in the universe. Each thought of hatred increases the harmful energy in the universe. Each thought of stupidity increases the harmful energy in the universe. If we do things using greed, hatred, and stupidity, then the world will be a murky, dark place, and disasters will occur. If we use precepts, concentration, and wisdom to solve our problems, then heaven and earth will be pure and peaceful. That's why it's said that wherever evil people prevail, calamities will abound. Wherever good people prevail, good fortune will abound. In general, both disasters and good fortune are made by people.
世界為什麼會毀滅?因為人們的「善念少、惡念多」的緣故。一念為善,天地增加正氣;一念為惡,天地增加戾氣。所以我們要轉戾氣為祥和,戾氣就是毒氣,生一念貪心,宇宙間的毒氣就多一點;生一念瞋心,宇宙間的毒氣就多一點;生一念癡心,宇宙間的毒氣就多一點。如果用貪瞋癡三毒來處理事情,就會天昏地暗,發生災難。如果用戒定慧來處理事情,天會清,地會寧。所以說,惡人多的地方,災難就重;善人多的地方,吉祥就增加。總而言之,災難或吉祥,都在人為。

The ancients had a saying that goes, "Good and evil are two different roads; you cultivate the one or commit the other as you walk." People who cultivate goodness can leave the Triple Realm; evildoers can fall into the Three Evil Destinies. Both good and evil lie with a single thought. Wisdom is the occurrence of good thoughts; stupidity is the occurrence of evil thoughts.
古人說:「善惡兩條道,修的修,造的造。」修善者能出離三界,造惡者就墮落三塗。善惡只在一念之間,有智慧就是善念,有愚癡就是惡念。

All things in the world are constantly expounding the Dharma. Some things expound wholesome Dharma, while others expound unwholesome dharma. Some things speak of the deviant knowledge and views of heretics and cultists; other things speak of the proper knowledge and views of the Ultimate Meaning of the Middle Way. In other words, those that speak wholesome Dharma teach people to see through things, to let them go, to become free. Those that speak unwholesome dharma teach people to preserve their illusions and cling tightly to them. They do not allow people to get free. Why are people muddled and disoriented? It's simply because they're attached and unable to let go of things. An ancient verse reads,
How many of the great heroes from times past
Are lying in the mud beneath the mountains.
世間一切都在說法,有的說善法,有的說惡法,有的說旁門左道邪知邪見的法,有的說中道了義正知正見的法。換句話說,說善法,就是教人看得破,放得下,得到自在;說惡法,就教人看不破,放不下,得不到自在。人為什麼顛顛倒倒?就因為執著,所以一切放不下。古詩云:
古來多少英雄漢,
南北山頭臥土泥。

So think it over carefully, all of you, and take a good look: of all the people in the world, who can avoid entering the gate of death? Our lives are spent in seeking good reputations; but after we die, where does a good name go? We long for a powerful political office; but after we die, that position vanishes. Everything returns to the void. The First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty of China built the Great Wall to protect his descendants, so that they could continue as emperors for many generations. Unluckily for him, the rule passed only into the next generation, when his son Hu Hai lasted a mere three years as emperor before being murdered by Zhaogao, the Prime Minister. Wouldn't you call this a waste of effort?
你們想一想,看一看,世間所有的人,誰能逃出生死關?在一生之中,圖個好名,死了,名也沒有了!貪個大官,死了,官也沒有了!一切都成空了。中國有個秦始皇,他修萬里長城,為了保護子孫萬代做皇帝。不料才傳到第二代胡亥時,只做了三年的皇帝,就被丞相趙高所弒,這不是枉費一番心機嗎?

From ancient to modern times, from East to West, people who strike it rich or who occupy high status, for the most part, run through their lives in confusion, striving for name and gain and creating huge karmic obstacles in the process. But when they die, they go empty-handed to pay a visit to King Yama, Lord of the Underworld. When we look at it from this perspective, it compels us to work hard here in our Chan meditation. We must not be lax, nor can we be careless, or else we will miss our chance, and our regrets will come too late. It's said, "An instant of time is an instant of life." Someone may suggest, "Wait until I make a name for myself and get some success, and then I can put it all down and concentrate on cultivating the Way." Unfortunately, time does not wait for people; by then it will be too late.
古今中外,發大財、當大官的人,糊塗過一生,爭名奪利,造了多少孽障;等到死的時候,兩手空空去見閻王。由此觀之,我們參禪一定要用功,不可懈怠,不可放逸,錯過機會,就後悔莫及了。所謂「一寸時光,一寸命光。」有人說:「等我功成名就時,再放下一切,專心修道。」可是時光不等待人的,到那時就晚了。

Whether you practice Chan meditation or recite the Buddha's name, what matters is that you get serious about your cultivation: then any method can lead you out through the gate of birth and death. Then, when you approach your end, your body will suffer no sickness, your mind will not be fettered by craving, you'll be as if in Chan samadhi, and you'll go off to rebirth with a smile. That's called taking charge of your own birth and death!
參禪也好,念佛也好,只要認真修行,都能出離生死關。到臨終時,身無病苦,心不貪戀,如入禪定,含笑往生,這才是對生死大事有把握!

A talk given during a Chan session in December, 1980
一九八○年禪七 十二月開示


The Story of Great Master Hsuan Tsang, Who Went to India in Search of Sutras
天竺取經的玄奘大師


I would rather die while making one last step towards the West, than live by retreating one step towards the East.
寧向西天一步死,不願東土一步生。

Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang was born in the second year of the reign period Renshou of the Emperor Wen of the Sui Dynasty (a.d. 601). His home was in Honan Province, Chenliu County, and his lay surname was Chen. Even as a young boy, his wisdom surpassed his peers. At age seven, he began to study the Five Classics, and at age thirteen, he travelled with his second elder brother, the Dharma Master Chang Jie, to Pure Land Monastery in Luoyang to leave the home-life and study and recite Sutras. According to the laws of the Sui Dynasty, people who wished to leave the home-life had to pass an examination and receive certification before they could qualify to become Shramaneras (novice monks). The two of them reached Luoyang just as the clerks were enrolling candidates for Sangha membership. Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang was too young, and was not qualified to take the examination. He anxiously paced back and forth outside the door of the examination hall, sighing in consternation. But then he was discovered by the supervisor of the examinations, Mr. Shanguo Zheng. The man recognized the boy as a potential asset to Buddhism, and made a special exception to the standards, in order to admit him into the Sangha.
玄奘法師生於隋文帝仁壽二年(西元六○一年),河南陳留人,俗姓陳,幼年即有過人的智慧,七歲時便開始讀五經。在十三歲那年,隨其二兄長捷法師到洛陽淨土寺出家,誦習經典。隋朝制度,凡是出家修道之人,必須經過考試合格,頒發證書(度牒),才有資格做沙彌。當時正逢洛陽度僧,玄奘法師年幼,不能參加考試。他在考場門前徘徊,望之興嘆!而被主考官鄭善果發現,認為是佛門龍象,故特別破例度之。

After receiving full ordination at age twenty, Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang travelled about, learning from Good and Wise Advisors. He discovered that the teachings of the various masters differed in large measure from the Sutra texts in the Canon, and as a result, no one knew where to turn. This was especially the case with the Shastra on the Seventeen Stages, which produced many different opinions. Master Hsuan Tsang thus made a vow to go to India to investigate the Dharma, in order to resolve his doubts.
二十歲受具足戒之後,他就到處參訪善知識,發現眾師所說,與經典頗有歧異,令人無所適從。尤其《十七地論》,見解不同。乃發願到天竺(即印度)研究,以解其惑。

After receiving full ordination at age twenty, Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang travelled about, learning from Good and Wise Advisors. He discovered that the teachings of the various masters differed in large measure from the Sutra texts in the Canon, and as a result, no one knew where to turn. This was especially the case with the Shastra on the Seventeen Stages, which produced many different opinions. Master Hsuan Tsang thus made a vow to go to India to investigate the Dharma, in order to resolve his doubts.
由於赴天竺路途,要經過崇山峻嶺、崎嶇不平的山道,所以玄奘法師在未啟程之前,先練習爬山越嶺的技術,先用桌子、凳子之類物品,堆成假山,從這邊爬到那邊,再從那邊爬到這邊。這樣一天練習多次,後來自己感覺爬山的技術不錯,又到山上去實地練習,約有一年經驗,技術方臻熟練。

At this point, he applied for permission to travel to India to obtain the Sutras. As the laws of the Tang Dynasty forbade civilian travel across the border, the Tang Emperor Taizong (Li Shimin) refused his request. However, Master Hsuan Tsang was resolute. With or without permission, he was determined to make the trip to India. Finally he was forced to secretly cross the border.
於是上表,申請到天竺取經。當時(唐朝)的法令,禁止人民出境,所以未獲唐太宗批准。但是玄奘法師已拿定主意,無論批准與否,他決定赴天竺一行,所以最後不得不私自出境。

While heading west alone from the capital, Changan, Master Hsuan Tsang passed by a mountain cave with piles of bat-droppings by the entrance. It occurred to him that nobody lived in the cave, or else the bat-dung could not have piled up outside the cave entrance. Full of curiosity, he ventured into the cave to explore, and not far from the entrance, he discovered a monster. Its hair had been woven together atop its head, and birds had made a nest there. The baby birds were chirping and squeaking from the next. A thick layer of dirt on the creature's face gave it the look of a stone statue. Master Hsuan Tsang drew nearer for a closer look, only to discover that it was an old cultivator who had long since entered samadhi. Ringing a handbell, he brought the old cultivator out of samadhi. A moment passed, then the old cultivator began to stir a bit.
從長安出發,隻身向西行,經過一個山洞,見洞口有蝙蝠糞,當時玄奘法師想:「這洞中一定無人住,否則不會有這麼多的蝙蝠糞。」好奇的心理使他向洞中走去,在不遠的地方,他發現一個怪物,頭髮都結在一起,小鳥在上面做窩,窩中小鳥吱吱哇哇在叫,這怪物臉上的塵土很厚,好像石頭人一般。玄奘法師走近仔細一看,原來是位老修行,已經入定。玄奘法師用引磬給他開靜,令他出定,一會兒,這位老修行開始動彈。

The Great Master said, "Fellow cultivator! What are you doing, sitting here like this?"
玄奘法師便問他:「老同參!你坐在這裏做什麼啊?」

The old cultivator had to wiggle his jaw a few times before he could make any sound. He answered, "I'm waiting here for the Red Yang Buddha (Shakyamuni Buddha) to come into the world, so I can help him propagate the Buddhadharma."
老修行的嘴巴,動了幾次,才發出聲音來:「我等紅陽佛(釋迦牟尼佛)出世,我好幫他弘揚佛法。」

Master Hsuan Tsang replied, "Fellow cultivator! Shakyamuni Buddha has already entered Nirvana!"
玄奘法師說:「老同參!釋迦牟尼佛已經入涅槃了。」

The old cultivator was amazed by this news, and asked, "When did Shakyamuni Buddha appear in the world?"
老修行一聽,很驚訝地問:「釋迦牟尼佛在什麼時候出世?」

Master Hsuan Tsang replied, "He was born over a thousand years ago, and he has already entered Nirvana for quite a long time."
玄奘法師說:「在一千多年前,出現於世。佛滅度已經很久了!」

The old cultivator said, "In that case, I'll go back into samadhi, and wait for the White Yang Buddha (Maitreya Buddha) to appear in the world, and then help him to propagate the Buddhadharma."
老修行又說:「釋迦牟尼佛入涅槃,那麼我還是入定,等白陽佛(彌勒佛)出世,我再幫他弘揚佛法吧!」

"Fellow cultivator! There's no need for you to go back into samadhi and wait for Maitreya Buddha to appear in the world," said the Master. "You'll surely miss him, too. It'd be better for you to go with me to China, and when I return from my pilgrimage for Sutras, you'll be able help me propagate the Buddhadharma."
玄奘大師說:「老同參!你不要再入定了,等彌勒佛出世時,你又要錯過機會,不如現在跟我到震旦,將來我取經回來,你好幫我弘揚佛法。」

The old cultivator thought it over and decided that Master Hsuan Tsang's suggestion was quite reasonable, so he agreed to it.
老修行一想,言之有理,於是答應大師的要求。

Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang told him, "Your body is too old and decrepit; you should change it for a new one. Why don't you go to Changan, to the house with yellow roof-tiles, and be reborn there. When I return from my trip to India to obtain Sutras, I'll go to find you." The two of them said goodbye, one heading east and one going west, each of them on his mission.
玄奘法師對他說:「你的身體太舊了,你要換一個新的房子。你到長安去,看到黃色琉璃瓦的屋子,你就到那裏去投胎,等我從天竺(印度)取經回來,我再來找你。」於是老修行辭別玄奘法師,二人便分手,一向東走,一向西行,各自奔前程。

Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang scaled peaks and forded rivers, encountering numerous calamities and trials without losing his nerve. At one point he made a vow, saying,
I would rather die while making one last step towards the West,
than live by retreating one step towards the East.
玄奘法師經過跋山涉水,迭遭災難而不灰心。曾經誓言:
寧向西天一步死,
不願東土一步生。

His selfless courage in quest of the Dharma was truly noble. As a result of his momentous work, he made a magnificent contribution to Chinese Buddhism, and he established the Consciousness Only (Weishi) School. A maxim tells us to "Imitate worthy models." In our hope to accomplish our work of cultivation, we can take Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang as our worthy model and guide. We can measure ourselves by his example, uncover our inherent wisdom, and give our share of strength to Buddhism as he did.
這種為法忘軀的精神,實在偉大!所以他能完成偉大的事業,對中國佛教有所貢獻,並且創立了「唯識宗」。所謂「見賢思齊」,我們希望成就道業,應該以玄奘法師為寶鑑,做為模範,向他看齊,把本有的智慧現出來,為佛教貢獻一分力量。

From one day to the next, Master Hsuan Tsang endured the hardships of travel, eating and sleeping outdoors. He was constantly exposed to the elements on his journey to the West. His resolve was unshakable: until he reached his goal--India--he would never rest. As the motto goes: "Perseverance brings success." He underwent a myriad bitter hardships; and his pilgrimage took over three years, bringing him finally to India's Buddhist University, Nalanda Monastery, where he became a disciple of India's authority in Consciousness Only, Shastra Master Shilabhadra (Moral and Worthy). He specialized in the study of the two treatises, the Shastra on the Seventeen Stages and the Yogacharyabhumi Shastra, and other Sutras. After he finished his studies, on his way back to China, he passed through the city of Kanyakudja. At the invitation of King Shiladitya, he organized a great debate, the participants of which numbered over six thousand people. Among them were the kings of eighteen countries, monks of both Great and Small Vehicles, Brahmans, and externalists, all coming together in an unprecedented gathering. As the host of the debate, the Great Master praised and propagated the Great Vehicle, posting his treatise out by the main entrance. He challenged all comers, claiming that if anyone could improve his treatise by even a single word, he would bow to that person and become his disciple. Eighteen days passed, and no one could change even one word of the text. He won the great debate, and his name spread throughout India's five kingdoms. There was not a person who did not hear of his accomplishment. Such was the peerless reputation of the Great Master Hsuan Tsang.
一日復一日,玄奘法師餐風宿露,披星戴月,向西前進。他抱著堅忍不拔的意志,不到目的地(天竺),決不休息。所謂「有志者事竟成」,經過千辛萬苦,在路上行走三年,終於到達天竺的佛教大學(那爛陀寺),拜戒賢論師為師(當時天竺唯識學權威),專學《十七地論》及《瑜珈論》等經典。學成歸國,路經曲女城,為戒日王所請,在該城成立辯論大會,參加者有十八國的國王,以及大乘、小乘、婆羅門和外道等,約有六千人,盛況空前。大師為論主,稱揚大乘,序作論義,懸於會場門外,並言:「如改一字,願拜他為師。」經過十八天,無人能改,最後勝利,名揚五天竺,無人不知,無人不曉這位大名鼎鼎的玄奘法師。

In the nineteenth year of the Zhenguan reign period (a.d. 645) of the Tang Dynasty, on the twenty-fourth day of the first lunar month, he returned to Changan, and was welcomed by several hundreds of thousands of Sangha members and citizens. Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty sent high-ranking cabinet ministers Liang Guogong, Fang Xuanling, and others as representatives to welcome Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang. Later, he was taken to Hongfu (Vast Blessings) Monastery, where he began translating the Sutras.
貞觀十九年(西元六四五年)正月二十四日,玄奘法師回到長安,當時僧俗出迎者有數十萬人。唐太宗派相國梁國公、房玄齡等為代表,歡迎玄奘法師。後於弘福寺,從事翻譯經典工作。

Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang's pilgrimage to study in India took over twelve years, five of which were spent in the journey back and forth. He became the "patriarch" of all overseas students from China. The Sutra texts he brought back numbered five hundred and twenty cases and comprised over six hundred works. He offered all the Sutras as a gift to the nation. The Emperor summoned him for an special audience and conferred praise and favor upon him.
玄奘法師在天竺留學十二年(在路上往返耽誤五年),成為中國留學生的祖師。他取回的經典有五百二十篋,計有六百多部。他將全部經典貢獻給國家,特蒙皇帝召見,嘉獎一番。

Master Hsuan Tsang said to Emperor Taizong, "Congratulations, your Majesty!"
玄奘法師見到唐太宗便向皇帝賀喜:「恭喜陛下。」

The comment struck the Emperor as quite unusual "What am I being congratulated for?" he asked.
唐太宗覺得莫明其妙,就問:「喜從何來?」

"A son has been born to Your Highness."
玄奘法師說:「陛下得一位太子。」

The Emperor's face bore an expression of utter bewilderment. "No, that's not so!" he said.
唐太宗有丈二金剛摸不著頭腦的感覺,便說:「 沒有啊!」

Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang thought, "I told that old cultivator clearly to come be reborn here; how could he have gone wrong?" He promptly entered samadhi and perceived that the old cultivator had entered the wrong house and been reborn to the wrong family. He had accidentally been born to the family of Wei Chigong, the War Minister. Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang then reported this turn of events in full to the Emperor.
玄奘法師心想:「明明指示老修行來投胎,怎會沒有呢?」於是在定中觀察。哎呀!老修行搞不清楚,投錯胎了,跑到尉遲恭家裏去了。玄奘法師將這段因緣,向唐太宗報告。

"Oh, in that case," said Emperor Taizong, "Just go and save him."
唐太宗說:「原來如此,那你就去度他吧!」

Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang called on General Wei Chigong and explained the reason for his visit. When the Master saw Wei Chigong's nephew, he was delighted, because the young man's physique was quite imposing, and his countenance was dignified. He looked thoroughly talented, fit to be a vessel of the Dharma. Master Hsuan Tsang came right to the point and said, "Come and leave the home-life with me!" The nephew was astounded, and answered unhappily, "What did you say? Leave home? Impossible!" And he turned and left.
玄奘法師便去找尉遲恭,說明來意。他一見尉遲恭的姪子,心生歡喜,因為窺基的身體,非常魁偉,相貌堂堂,一表人才,是載法之器。於是他開門見山便說:「你跟我出家吧!」窺基一聽,莫名其妙,不悅地說:「你說什麼?叫我出家,豈有此理!」轉身就走了。

Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang had no alternative but to request Emperor Taizong to lend a hand in order to bring this event to a successful conclusion. Thereupon, the Emperor ordered Minister Wei Chigong's nephew to leave the home-life. When the Minister received this imperial order, he told his nephew to leave home. But his nephew defiantly refused, saying, "Ridiculous! How can the Emperor tell me to leave the home-life? I haven't played around enough yet. I'm going to have a talk with the Emperor." The next day, Wei Chigong took his nephew to see the Emperor.
玄奘法師只好與唐太宗商量,成就這段因緣。於是乎皇帝下旨,要尉遲恭的姪子出家,尉遲恭一接到聖旨,便叫姪子出家。窺基嚴辭拒絕,說:「豈有此理!皇帝怎麼可以叫我出家?我還沒玩夠哪!我要去和皇帝講道理。」第二天尉遲恭帶著姪子來見皇帝。

As soon as they arrived, the nephew said, "If the Emperor wants me to leave the home-life, I'll do it, but I have three conditions."
窺基一來便說:「陛下要我出家,可以!可是我有三個條件。」

The Emperor replied, "You can set as many conditions as you want."
唐太宗一聽就說:「你要多少個條件都可以。」

The nephew said, "I love to drink wine, and I can't live without it. Wherever I go, I must bring along a cart of wine."
窺基就說了:「我最歡喜喝酒,我不能沒有酒,無論我到什麼地方,都要有一車的酒跟著。」

Emperor Taizhong thought, "Monks are supposed to abstain from wine, but Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang told me to agree to any condition he set." So he said, "Fine. I grant your request. What is your second condition?"
唐太宗心想:「出家人是戒酒,可是玄奘法師告訴我,不管什麼條件都答應。」於是就說了:「好!我答應你。第二個條件呢?」

The nephew said, "I know that monks are not allowed to eat meat, but I like to eat meat, and I must have a cart of fresh meat to follow me wherever I go."
窺基說:「我知道出家人不可以吃肉,可是我歡喜吃肉,無論我到什麼地方,後面都要有一車新鮮的肉跟著。」

The Emperor said, "I will grant you this. What is your third condition?"
唐太宗說:「我答應你。第三個條件呢?」

The nephew hadn't expected the Emperor to agree to his demands. He continued, "Monks cannot have wives. However, I cannot renounce women. Wherever I go, there must be a cart of beautiful women to accompany me." He thought to himself, "The Emperor will never agree to this."
窺基沒想到皇帝會答應他的條件,於是他接著又說:「出家人是不可以有太太的,可是我離不開女人,無論我到什麼地方,必須有一車的女人跟著。」他心想:「這個條件,皇帝無論如何一定不會答應的。」

Emperor Taizhong thought, "Alas! How can I promise him this? Yet Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang instructed me to grant all his requests." Therefore he said, "Fine! I agree to everything! Now you can leave the home-life!"
唐太宗心想:「哎呀!這怎麼能答應呢?可是玄奘法師已經囑咐我,不管什麼條件一定都要答應。」所以就說了:「好!我完全答應你,你現在可以出家了吧!」

The nephew had no choice but to leave home. On the day that he went to Daxingshan Monastery to leave home[Note: This is where Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang translated the Sutras], he was followed by a cart of wine, a cart of fresh meat, and a cart of beautiful women. When the people in the monastery were told that the War Minister's nephew was going there to leave the home-life, they rang the bells and beat the drums. Hearing the sound of the bells and drums, Master Kueiji [the nephew's left-home name] suddenly had a great awakening: "Oh! So I was an old cultivator and now I've come to help Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang propagate the Buddhadharma." Thereupon he ordered the three carts to turn around and go back. He no longer wanted any of those things. Later generations dubbed him "The Three Cart Patriarch."
窺基沒辦法,就很勉強出家了。所以出家那天,後面有一車的酒、一車新鮮的肉、一車美女,陪著他一起到大興善寺出家(編按:大興善寺是玄奘法師的譯經場)。廟裏知道窺基要來出家,所以敲鐘擊鼓來迎接他,窺基一聽到鐘鼓的聲音,豁然大悟:「啊!原來我就是那個老修行,來幫助玄奘法師弘揚佛法。」於是乎把後面的三車遣回去,什麼都不要了。所以後人稱窺基為三車祖師。

The Thirty-stanza Consciousness Only Treatise that Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang brought back with him from India contained ten divisions, which he translated in their entirety into Chinese. He faithfully followed the original intent of the treatise, and neither deleted nor added as much as a single word as he translated it. Master Kueiji was in charge of the editing job, and after all ten divisions of the treatise had been fully translated by Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang, he made a request: "These ten divisions of the text all contain their strengths and weaknesses. If they fail to agree, it will certainly bring confusion and consternation to those who investigate Consciousness Only in the present and future. It might be better if we edit out the dross and keep the essentials, making just a single volume, so that future students of Consciousness Only will be able to come to the same conclusion. In this way they will not waste time in getting to the essentials of the Dharma." Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang agreed with his suggestion and produced the present version of the Thirty-stanza ConsciousnessOnly Treatise . He later transmitted the Logic School teachings to Master Kueiji, who became an expert in Consciousness Only and made it his aim to propagate the doctrines of that school. Master Kueiji became an eminently virtuous monk of his time and was the Second Patriarch of the Consciousness Only School.
玄奘法師取回的《唯識三十頌論》有十家,玄奘法師皆譯為華文,按照論中的意思,一字不減,一字不添,照原意譯出。此時窺基擔任整理論文,玄奘法師將十家之論譯完之後,窺基要求玄奘法師:「這十家的論,各有其長,各有其異,若不統一,令今後學者,有歧路亡羊之苦惱,不如去其糟粕,留其精華,合成一本,令今後研究唯識的人,獲得同一的結論,不用浪費時間,而能得到法要。」玄奘法師同意他的見解是正確的,所以合成一本唯識論,即是現在的《三十頌唯識論》。玄奘法師又傳授窺基「因明學」,後來他成為唯識專家,以宣揚唯識思想為宗旨,成為當代大德,為「唯識宗」第二祖。

Two years after his return to China, Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang accepted an imperial appointment to compile a twelve-roll work called the Great Tang Dynasty's Record of the Western Lands. At age 59, in the fifth year of the Tang Dynasty's Xianqing reign-period (a.d. 660), he began to translate the Great Prajna Sutra. The original Sanskrit version contained 200,000 stanzas. Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang translated them entirely, not daring to omit any part of the text. He relied faithfully on the Sanskrit version, and finished the translation of 600 rolls in four years. The following year, he planned to translate the Great Collection of Jewels Sutra, but unfortunately had to stop working because of illness.
以宣揚唯識思想為宗旨,成為當代大德,為「唯識宗」第二祖。 玄奘法師回國第二年,奉詔撰《大唐西域記》一十二卷。唐顯慶五年(西元六六○年),玄奘法師五十九歲時,開始譯《大般若經》。《大般若經》梵本有二十萬頌,玄奘法師廣譯,不敢刪略,一如梵本,經過四年的時間,譯成六百卷。次年,擬譯《大寶積經》,不幸患病而輟筆。

Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang entered Nirvana at age 64, in the second month of the first year of the Tang Dynasty's Lingde reign-period (a.d. 664). He was buried at Beiyuan (Northern Plain) near the Fan River. He had translated 75 Sutras, totalling 1,335 rolls, and thus qualified as one of China's four greatest translators of Sutras. His disciples were numerous, including Masters Kueiji and Yuance, who continued the transmission of the Consciousness Only School, and Masters Puguang and Shentai, who taught the Kosa Sect.
唐麟德元年(西元六六四年)二月,玄奘法師圓寂,年六十有四,葬於樊川北原。玄奘法師所譯的經典有七十五部,一千三百三十五卷,成為中國四大譯經家之一。其弟子甚多,以窺基、圓測傳承唯識,普光、神泰傳承俱舍。

During the Tang and Sui dynasties, known as China's Golden Age of Buddhism, many schools flourished. Patriarchs appeared in succession, each establishing different sects. The foremost among those at the time were ten schools, two of which were Small Vehicle (Theravada), and eight of which were Great Vehicle (Mahayana). Two of these schools, the Three Treatise School and the Consciousness Only School, preserved in its original purity the teachings and traditional thought of Indian Buddhism and transplanted them intact into Chinese soil. Of the rest, the Tiantai School, which centered around the Dharma Flower Sutra, and the Xianshou (Worthy Leader) School, which centered around the Flower Adornment Sutra, incorporated elements of traditional Chinese thinking in their teachings. These four schools specifically investigated the principles of Buddhism, and together formed the Teachings School. Buddhism as a whole evolved into the present Five Schools: the Teachings School, the Chan Meditation School, the Pure Land School, the Vinaya School, and the Secret School. Although their actual purpose is to take us to ultimate Nirvana, the methods used are slightly different.
隋唐二朝,是佛教黃金時代,百家爭鳴,祖師輩出,各創宗派,當時有十宗,小乘有二宗,大乘有八宗。其中「三論宗」和「唯識宗」,完全保存天竺原有的思想,原封不動,搬到中國來。另外「天臺宗」(以《法華經》為宗)和「賢首宗」(以《華嚴經》為宗)的思想就加入了中國的思想,這四宗是研究佛理的,成為教門。乃至後來中國演變出五大宗派:教、禪、淨、律、密,這些宗派其實目的都是同入究竟涅槃,不過修持方法有所不同而已。

A talk given during a Chan Session in December, 1980
一九八○年禪七 十二月開示


To Investigate Chan, We Must Look Within Ourselves
參禪要迴光返照


We must look within ourselves and clearly see our own faults. Then we need to earnestly repent of these past mistakes. We must not hold onto our stinking habits and fail to let them go.
要迴光返照,認清自己的過錯,痛改前非,不要緊抱著臭習氣而放不下。

A verse goes,
While walking, standing, sitting, and reclining,
Never stray from "this."
Once you stray from "this,"
You've gone amiss.
行住坐臥,不離這個;
離了這個,便是錯過。

What does "this" refer to? It's talking about the meditation-topic that we work at in our investigation. We use a true mind to practice the Way. Constantly and ceaselessly, we look into the topic and investigate it. In each successive hour, minute, and second, we allow no scattered or idle thoughts to occur. In thought after thought, we only investigate our meditation topic. Who has time left over to casually talk, or to disturb others? Even less are we at leisure to take a break, or gossip about people. We simply concentrate our minds and investigate the meditation topic, seeking understanding. There is a verse that reads,
Things pass by quite easily,
But a bad temper's truly hard to change.
If you can never get angry,
You've got a pearl beyond price.
Then, if you can never know hatred,
Everything will go your way.
Since afflictions never bother you anymore,
Your evil karma no longer comes to call.
But someone who knows only to criticize others
Is one whose own suffering has not yet ended.
「這個」是什麼?就是用功參悟的話頭。用真心來辦道,提起綿綿密密不斷的話頭來參悟,來研究。一時一刻,一分一秒,也不生雜念妄想,總是念玆在玆去參悟自己的話頭,哪有時間講話、打閒岔?也沒有時間躲懶偷安,更沒有時間說人家的是非,只是專一其心在參悟話頭。所謂:
事事都好去,脾氣難化了,
真能不生氣,就得無價寶。
再要不恨人,事事都能好,
煩惱永不生,冤孽從哪找?
常瞅人不對,自己苦沒了!

Only if you maintain these attitudes as you meditate, do you have hope of "entering the gate." People in the Chan Hall must reflect inwardly and seek within themselves. Introspect and ask, "Am I working hard, or am I engaging in idle thoughts?" Take a close look at yourself: are you reflecting the light inwardly, or shining it out to mirror the exterior surroundings? Pay especially close attention to this question.
參禪打坐,具有這種思想,才能入門。在禪堂裏,每個人都要迴光返照,反求諸己,問問自己,是在用功?還是在打妄想?看看自己,是迴光返照照自己?還是反光鏡照外邊?這一點要特別注意。

Remember this statement as you work in the Chan Hall:
Mahasattvas pay no attention to others;
Amitabha! Every man for himself!
在禪堂裏,要記住這兩句話:
摩訶薩不管他,
彌陀佛各顧各。

At all times watch over yourself, and don't supervise others. Even less should you disturb others, obstructing them from diligently cultivating the Way and denying them their chance to get enlightened. Such behavior is most despicable. As I often say to you all:
Truly recognize your own faults,
And don't discuss the faults of others.
Others' faults are simply my own faults:
Being one in substance with all is called Great Compassion.
時時刻刻管自己,不要去管他人。更不可打閒岔,障礙人家用功修道,耽誤他人開悟的時光,這種行為最要不得。我常對你們說:
真認自己錯,
莫論他人非;
他非即我非,
同體名大悲。

If we can all think this way, then everyone will work hard, with single-minded concentration. No one will have any interest in idle chatter or disturbing others.
People who practice Chan meditation should be clear about the basic problem. What is the basic problem? It is our bad habits and faults. When we attend a Chan meditation session, we aim to eliminate those bad habits and faults. Wash the mind clean and purify your thoughts. Purge yourself of jealousy towards worthy and capable individuals. Banish forever all thoughts of envy and obstructiveness, of ignorance and afflictions. If you can do this, then your true mind, your wisdom, will manifest, and then there will be good news.
人人有這種思想,就會一心一意用功辦道,並無二想,不會亂講話、打閒岔。 參禪的人,要把根本問題認識清楚,什麼問題?就是習氣毛病。我們打禪七,就是打掉惡習氣、壞毛病,洗心滌慮,解除妒賢嫉能的心理。把嫉妒障礙心、無明煩惱心,統統滅盡,這樣真心現出,智慧現前,才有好消息。

Why would people gossip? Only due to their stupidity. Why would they indulge in envy and obstructiveness? Because of stupidity. Why would they want to harm others? Because of stupidity. In fact, we do all sorts of unreasonable things because of our stupidity. Why are we stupid? It's because we lack the skills of Chan samadhi, and so we have no wisdom. We turn forever in the little sphere of self and others, rights and wrongs, and can't find our way out of that tight circle. This is the place where we must look within ourselves and clearly see our own faults. Then we need to earnestly repent of these past mistakes. We must not hold onto our stinking habits and fail to let them go.
人為什麼講是講非?因為愚癡。為什麼嫉妒障礙?因為愚癡。為什麼有害人心?因為愚癡。凡是做出不合理的事,都因為愚癡。為什麼愚癡?因為沒有禪定的功夫,所以沒有智慧,在人我是非圈中轉,跳不出圈外。對於這一點,我們要迴光返照,認清自己的過錯,痛改前非,不要緊抱著臭習氣而放不下。

Why do we fall asleep when we should be meditating? It's because we aren't sincere in seeking the Dharma. Someone who is sincere in seeking the Dharma would definitely not fall asleep. Why don't you all check this principle out and see if it is correct?
打坐的時候,為什麼要睡覺?因為求法心不真實;如果真心求道,絕對不會睡覺。大家不妨試一試這個道理正確不正確?

Chan Session Instruction in December, 1980
一九八○年禪七 十二月開示


The Meditation Hall Is a Way-place Where Buddhas Are Selected
禪堂是選佛的道場


If you always wear a phony mask to cover yourself, you'll never get selected to be a Buddha.
要迴光返照,認清自己的過錯,痛改前非,不要緊抱著臭習氣而放不下。

People who meditate in the Chan Hall are actually taking a test. They are seeing whether or not they qualify for Buddhahood. How can they pass this test? Reach the state where, "Inside there is no body or mind, and outside there is no world." It's a state of:
Looking, but not seeing;
Hearing, but not listening;
Smelling, but not noticing the scent.
Only a person who possesses this kind of skill can hope to pass the test.
大家在禪堂裏,參禪打坐,就是考試,看誰能考上佛的果位?怎樣才能考上呢?就要內無身心,外無世界,所謂:
視之不見,
聽之不聞,
嗅之無味。
有了這種功夫,才有被錄取的希望。

Why is it described as "looking, but not seeing"? Because the person is "returning the light to shine within," and introspecting. Why is it "hearing, but not listening"? Because he is "turning the hearing back to listen to his own nature." Why does it say, "smelling, but not noticing the scent"? Because he has gathered back his body and mind, and is not disturbed any longer by scents. At this time, the cultivator's eyes contemplate physical forms, but the forms don't exist for him. His ears hear sounds, but the sounds don't exist for him. His nose smells scents, but those scents don't exist for him. His tongue tastes flavors, but for him, those flavors don't exist. His body feels sensations, but does not attach itself to those sensations. His mind knows of things (dharmas), but does not attach to them. Only when one reaches this kind of state does one have any hope of being chosen as a Buddha. Before you reach perfection, before you reach the highest summit, before you "climb to the very top of a hundred-foot pole, and take one further step," you have no hope at all of qualifying. Therefore, don't waste your precious time here in the meditation hall.
為什麼說:視之不見?因為迴光返照。為什麼說:聽之不聞?因為反聞聞自性。為什麼說:嗅之無味?因為收攝身心,不為味塵所轉。這時,眼觀色而無色,耳聽聲而無聲,鼻嗅香而無香,舌嚐味而無味,身覺觸而不著觸,意知法而不著法。到了這種境界,才有被選為佛的希望。不到爐火純青的時候,不到登峰造極的時候,不到百尺竿頭更進一步的時候,那是沒有希望的。所以在禪堂裏,不要把寶貴的光陰空過。

Ancient cultivators had a proverb that goes,
An instant of time is worth more than an ounce of gold.
You can't buy an instant of time with an ounce of gold.
An ounce of gold, if lost, can be easily replaced.
But once time has gone by, you can't bring it back again.
古人說:
一寸光陰一寸金,
寸金難買寸光陰;
失落寸金容易得,
光陰過去難再尋。

We must make the most of our opportunity to work hard and diligently cultivate. There are many ways to cultivate, but Chan meditation is surely the most lofty and supreme Dharma-door. When your efforts in cultivating this Dharma-door reach maturity, you'll be able to turn around, so that you "turn your back on the dust and unite with enlightenment," and get selected as a Buddha.
我們要把握時機,認真用功修行。修行之法甚多,唯獨「參禪」這個法門,是最高無上的法門。這個法門,如果用功用到相當時,能回過頭來,能轉過身,背塵合覺,被選為佛。

People who cultivate the Bodhisattva Path are able to renounce their external wealth, such as their countries, cities, wives, and children. They're also able to renounce their internal wealth, such as their heads, eyes, brains, and bone marrow. Bodhisattvas are able to give people anything they need; they are never stingy. A Bodhisattva's sole concern is to aid people; he doesn't calculate on his own behalf. Only one with this kind of attitude has hope of being chosen for Buddhahood here in the "Buddha-selecting field." Everyone should know that the selection is done by the Buddhas, and they are completely unbiased and impartial. No one can hope to attain Buddhahood by chance or luck. The only criterion is true spiritual skill.
修菩薩道的人,外能捨國城妻子,內能捨頭目腦髓,只要有人需要,他一切皆布施,絕不慳吝,他只知道利益眾生,而不為自己打算。能有這樣的思想,在選佛場中才有希望被選中。大家要知道,這是諸佛來選拔,絕對是大公無私的,沒有人可以僥倖被錄取,這完全要靠真功夫的。

Buddhas select other Buddhas; demons don't select Buddhas. Demons, however, do help Buddhas. Buddhas teach living beings in a direct manner, while demons teach living beings indirectly, from the reverse side of things. From the flip-side they exhort you on, giving you a chance to bring forth great resolutions and to apply yourself to serious cultivation. Demons thus count as Good and Wise Advisors in an indirect way.
I've often said:
Demons polish the True Way.
Only when the Way is true do the demons come.
The more they polish, the brighter you get.
The brighter you get, the more they polish you;
Polishing until you shine like the moon in space,
Which glows in the sky and
Sheds light on the hordes of demons.
When those hordes retreat before your light
Your fundamental Buddha-nature appears.
佛來選佛,而不是魔來選佛,可是魔來助佛。佛是在正面教化眾生,魔在反面教化眾生,反面來鼓勵你,給你機會發大願力,用功修行。所以魔是反面的善知識,我常說:
魔是磨真道,
真道才有魔;
越磨越光亮,
光亮更要磨。
磨如空中月,
空中照群魔;
群魔照化了,
現出本來佛。

We needn't see demons as our adversaries. Treat them, rather, as our Good and Wise Advisors who aid us along the Way. If you can contemplate them from this viewpoint, then your mind will rest calm, and you'll be free of afflictions. People who slander us are really our Good and Wise Advisors. When we've performed correctly, but somebody finds fault with our job, then we should strive to further improve, and take one more step from atop the hundred-foot pole. "The person who finds my faults I will treat as my teacher." An individual who can point out our shortcomings is our teacher. We ought to show him gratitude and never feel antagonism or hostility towards him.
所以對魔不要有敵對的心理,要把他當做助道的善知識。如是觀想,便心安理得無煩惱。有人來誹謗我們,那是我們的善知識。我們本來做得對,可是有人批評我們不對,那麼就要往對的更進一步去做,所謂「百尺竿頭,更進一步。」「見吾過者是吾師」,能說出我們毛病的這個人,就是我們的老師,應該感謝他,不可對他仇視。

Buddhas would never be as muddled as we common people. If you always wear a phony mask to cover yourself, you'll never get selected to be a Buddha. You must be true within true, and truer than true. You have to be true, true, true, true, true, true, true! Seven times true! Then you can qualify. This is to be "seven times true and eight times correct" [an expression which means one must be thoroughly genuine and proper]. During the seven days of the Chan session, you genuinely cultivate, and on the eighth day you straighten out any crooked views. All bad habits and faults get swept away completely, and you are flawlessly pure, to the ultimate!
諸佛不像我們那樣糊塗,你若是總戴著假面具,是不會被選為佛的。你要真裏求真,真中更真,要「真真真真真真真!」有七個真,才有希望被選拔。所謂「七真八正」,在禪七中,七天要真修行,第八天就改邪歸正。這時,所有的習氣毛病都一掃而光,脫落淨盡了!

A talk given during a Chan Session in December, 1980
一九八○年禪七 十二月開示


What Is a "Person of the Way Who Is Without Thoughts"?
什麼是無心道人?


In cultivating the Way, actual skill is all that counts. Don't publicize yourself.
修道要憑真功夫,不要自我宣傳。

"Making offerings to all Buddhas of the ten directions and the three periods of time is not as good as making offerings to a single person of the Way who is without thoughts." What is a "person of the Way who is without thoughts"? This refers to anyone who is taking part in the Chan Session here in the meditation hall. These people have no thoughts of seeking fame and benefit, for they have already eradicated the five roots of the hells: wealth, sex, fame, food, and sleep. Because they are free of thoughts as they investigate Chan, they are called people of the Way who are without thoughts.
在《四十二章經》上說:供養十方三世諸佛,不如供養一個無心道人。什麼是無心道人?就是在禪堂打禪七的人。他們沒有求名求利的心,他們把財色名食睡地獄五條根,都拔出來,無心無念地在參禪,所以叫無心道人。

Here in the West, a person who truly wants to propagate the Buddhadharma must cultivate the Dharma-door of a "person of the Way who is without thoughts." In saying this, it's not that we're hoping somebody will come to protect or make offerings to these people of the Way who are without thoughts. If we craved offerings, we would not be free of thoughts. Therefore, as we meditate, we should honestly investigate Chan and cultivate our concentration. We must not let our idle thoughts arise in profusion, one after another, like a movie flashing scene after scene on the screen before our eyes. To do so is to leave the Way a million miles behind. The farther we run, the farther we are from home. We wind up like the prodigal son wandering in a foreign land. How pitiful!
在西方想要真正弘揚佛法,就要修「無心道人」的法門。說這個,並不是希望有人來護法供養無心道人;如果貪圖供養,那就是有心。所以我們在打坐的時候,要老老實實參禪習定,不可以妄想叢生,接二連三,像演電影一般,一幕一幕現在眼前,那就離道有十萬八千里了。你越走離家越遠,成為一個外鄉的遊子,這是多麼可憐啊!

People who cultivate the Way want to really do the work with effort; actual skill is all that counts. Don't crave fame and profits; don't publicize yourself. Follow the spirit of the Bodhisattvas Manjushri, Samantabhadra (Universal Worthy), Avalokiteshvara (Guanshiyin), and Ksitigarbha (Earth Treasury) as they guard the Way-place and teach and transform living beings. These Bodhisattvas feel that living beings' accomplishments are the same as their own accomplishment. They don't make distinctions between self and others. Bodhisattvas joyfully support the merit and virtue they see and hear others doing.
我們修道,要躬行實踐,憑真功夫。不要搞名搞利,不要自我宣傳。要學文殊、普賢、觀世音、地藏王諸大菩薩的精神,護持道場,教化眾生。菩薩認為眾生有成就和自己有成就是一樣的,他們沒有你我的分別,菩薩是見聞隨喜,來讚歎有功德的人。

There's a saying,
When the musk deer arrives,
We will naturally know because of its scent.
There is no need for fanfare.
When people of the Way who are without thoughts cultivate to the ultimate point, they naturally gain a response to their efforts. When one does what Buddhas do, one is a Buddha. When one does what Bodhisattvas do, one is a Bodhisattva. When one does what Arhats do, one is an Arhat. When one does what ghosts do, one is a ghost. These are all natural phenomena. There are no shortcuts in cultivation. You cannot cut corners and hedge bets. Success comes only after one does an honest job, proceeding step-by-step, sincerely and truly cultivating the Way.
俗語說:「有麝自然香,何須大風揚?」無心道人修到極點,自然有感應。做佛事就是佛,做菩薩事就是菩薩,做羅漢事就是羅漢,做鬼事就是鬼,這是很自然的現象。修道不可以找捷徑,投機取巧。要腳踏實地,按部就班,認真去修行,才能有所成就。

A talk given during a Chan Session in December, 1980
一九八○年禪七 十二月開示


Chan Meditation Involves Practicing the Six Paramitas
參禪是行六度波羅蜜


Haste will make you stumble; tarry, and you'll fall behind. Not too fast, and not too slow, you'll get there right on time.
緊了繃,慢了鬆,不緊不慢才成功。

Each of you who has the job of Ceremony Master, please note that when the meditation period is over, you should hit the handbell once to alert the sitters that it is time to stand up. When you see that they are all ready to stand, hit the bell again. At that signal, everyone will stand up together. The Ceremony Master then will strike the wooden fish two times to signal the beginning of the walking meditation period. During the walk, we should make two separate lanes: one for fast walkers, and one for slower walkers. The faster walkers should use the outer lane, and the slower walkers should use the inner lane. This is a way to ensure harmony, so that everybody can be free and at ease in their cultivation. Both slow and fast walkers are accommodated. A saying goes,
Haste will make you stumble;
Tarry, and you'll fall behind.
Not too fast, and not too slow,
You'll get there right on time.
做維那要注意,在開靜的時候,先打一下引磬,令大家準備站起來;看看大家準備妥當,再打第二下引磬。這時,大家一起站起來,然後再打兩聲木魚,大家就開始行起來。在跑香的時候,分為內外兩圈,跑快的人在外圈跑,跑慢的人在內圈跑,這是折衷的辦法。大家自在來修行,快慢均可,所謂「緊了繃,慢了鬆,不緊不慢才成功。」這是沒有定法。

This is the principle of there being no fixed dharmas. A line from the Vajra Sutra (Diamond Sutra) says, "There is no fixed dharma known as Unsurpassed, Proper, Equal, and Right Enlightenment (Anuttara-samyaksambodhi)." As soon as you want to determine a dharma absolutely, you'll create a problem right there.
在《金剛經》上說:「無有定法。名阿耨多羅三藐三菩提。」要是說一定,就會發生毛病。

Another line from the Vajra Sutra says, "The Dharma is equal and impartial; it has no aspects higher or lower than any other." Therefore, as we cultivate the Dharma, we want to be impartial. Even though the Buddha possesses the Three Bodies, Four Modes of Wisdom, Five Spiritual Eyes, and Six Wisdom Powers, he does not feel that he is in any way different from living beings. As it's said, "The mind, the Buddha, and living beings are one and the same, and are in no way distinguishable from one another." The mind is the Buddha, and the Buddha is living beings; living beings are the Buddha, and the Buddha is the mind.
《金剛經》又說:「是法平等。無有高下。」修行這個法,都要平等。佛雖然有三身、四智、五眼、六通,可是佛不覺得和眾生有什麼不同,所謂「心、佛、眾生,三無差別。」心是佛,佛是眾生;眾生是佛,佛是心。

You can investigate Chan while walking quickly; you can also investigate Chan while walking slowly. Set your own pace according to your own physical strength. Let your walking speed be completely natural; don't be artificial in the least. Avoid forcing it; just be vigorous as you work, and be patient. Even if your back hurts or your legs ache, pay them no mind. You should want nothing; just that is giving. When the body doesn't do anything bad, this is purity in physical karma. When the mouth doesn't say evil things, this is purity in speech karma. When the mind doesn't indulge in idle thoughts, this is purity in mental karma. When these three modes of karma are purified, then you are upholding precepts. If you can endure any kind of pain, then this is patience. If you can apply yourself without cease to the cultivation of the Way, if you never retreat regardless of the difficulties you encounter, then this is vigor. If you can sit down and become "Thus, thus unmoving, resolved, and always clear," then this is Chan samadhi. Wisdom is born of Chan samadhi, and this wisdom is Prajna. When these Six Paramitas are perfected, you can reach the other shore.
走得快也是參禪,走得慢也是參禪,隨自己的體力來決定。要任運自然,一點也不造作,一點也不要勉強,要這樣精進、用功、忍耐。腰痠腿痛,不要管它。什麼也不要了,這就是布施。身不去做惡,這是身業清淨;口不說是非,這是口業清淨;心不打妄想,這是意業清淨。三業清淨,就是持戒。能忍受一切痛苦,就是忍辱。能不斷地用功修道,無論遇到什麼困難,都不退心,就是精進。能坐下來,如如不動,了了常明,就是禪定。由禪定而生智慧,就是般若。六度圓滿,便到彼岸。

When it's time to end the walk, the Ceremony Master watches for the senior monk to return to his seat, then he strikes the wooden fish once. When everyone has returned to his seat, the Ceremony Master strikes it once more, and everyone sits upright and properly with a straight back, without letting the head droop or the back curve. This is called "sitting like a bell." This means the head is erect and the back is straight, just like a great iron bell, very stable and solid.
到止靜的時候,維那要看班首已經到了他的座位前,便敲一下木魚。每個人各自站在自己的座位前,等大家都站齊,再敲一下木魚,這時,要端然正坐,把脊背挺直,不可低頭彎腰,所謂「坐如鐘」,頭要正,腰要直,好像一個大鐘,四平八穩的。

Investigate the sentence: "Who is reciting the Buddha's name?" Don't merely recite the sentence, but investigate it, look into the word "who." Someone may say, "I know, the one reciting the Buddha's name is me!" That's wrong. If you really understand the answer to this meditation topic, then you can "understand your mind and see your nature." Then you have "penetrated to the the source of Dharma," and you have "found your way home." To understand is not as simple a matter as you make it out to be. "It's just me! I'm the reciter!" you insist. Well, after you die, is there anyone still reciting? No, there isn't. Since there isn't, how can you claim that you are there reciting the Buddha's name? You should realize that the person who recites the Buddha's name is a person who does not die. You, however, can die, so you can't be considered the one who is reciting. We recite the Buddha's name, and we can become Buddhas. But who is the one who becomes a Buddha? Who goes realizes Buddhahood? You've already died. This is what you must look into, and don't slack off even when "the ocean dries up and solid rocks fall apart." Investigate to the ultimate point; then you'll see the waters part and the rocks appear. Suddenly you'll enlighten to the truth that it was just this way all along!
參「念佛是誰?」不是念這句話,而是參這句話,研究這個「誰」字。有人說:「我知道,念佛是我。」這是不對的。這句話頭,若是明白了,就是明心見性,徹法底源,借道還家。不是像你所說那麼樣地簡單,那樣地容易,「就是我嘛!我在念佛。」你在念佛?那麼人死了之後,還有人在念佛嗎?說:「沒有了。」既然沒有,怎麼會是你在念佛?要曉得念佛的人是不會死的,你會死,那念佛的不是你。念佛成佛,成佛的又是誰?誰去成佛?你已經死了。所以就在這個地方要參,參到海枯石爛,也不放鬆,追根究底地參,終會有水落石出的一天––豁然大悟,原來如此!

A talk given during a Chan Session in December, 1980
一九八○年禪七 十二月開示


Cultivate Merit and Virtue without Marks
要修無相的功德


If you can stop your idle thoughts and cultivate the Way with your true mind,
then your merit and virtue will be measureless and boundless.
把妄心停下來,現出真心來修道,就有無量功德。

The Chan Hall is a place where Buddhas are selected; it's a field where we plant blessings, merit, and virtue. As the saying goes,
If a person can sit in stillness for even an instant,
His merit surpasses that of someone who builds as many stupas of the seven treasures as there are sand grains in the Ganges.
在禪堂裏是選佛的地方,是種功德福田的地方,所謂:
若人靜坐一須臾,
勝造恆沙七寶塔。

Why is this so? Because temples and stupas that are built outside are visible forms of merit and virtue.
為什麼要這樣說呢?因為在外邊所造的塔寺,是有形有相的功德。

The Vajra Sutra has a line that goes,
All appearances are false and unreal.
If one sees all appearances as no appearances, then one sees the Tathagata.
在《金剛經》上說:
凡所有相。皆是虛妄。
若見諸相非相。即見如來。

If a person can sit in stillness for the briefest time, he creates merit and virtue which will never disappear. At this, someone may say, "I won't create any more external merit and virtue; I'm going to have only inner merit and virtue from now on." It's also wrong to think that way. In fact, you must cultivate both kinds of merit and virtue. When your merit and virtue are perfected and your blessings and wisdom are complete, you will be known as the Doubly-Perfected Honored One.
若能靜坐片刻的時間,就有永不磨滅的功德。有人說:「那外邊的功德我不做了,我來修內邊的功德。」這種思想也是不對的。我們兩種都要做,既要修功,又要修德,到功德圓滿的時候,福慧具足,就是兩足尊了。

Know, too, that any temple you can build outside will surely decay over time. Any stupa that you can erect will be burned to ashes when the fires blaze at the end of the eon. Only through Chan meditation can you successfully cultivate the Triple Jewel-the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha-of your own nature. The merit and virtue of this cultivation is "merit and virtue free of outflows." It is not endangered by the wind, the floods or fires at the eon's end, or by anything else. This is merit and virtue that lasts forever. So this kind of invisible merit and virtue surpasses visible merit and virtue by a million times over.
當知外邊所造的寺廟,經過長時間,都會變壞;所建的塔,經過劫火,也會被燒空的。唯獨靜坐能把自性中的佛法僧三寶修行成功,這是無漏的功德,不怕風雨,不怕劫火,永遠存在,所以無相功德勝於有相功德千萬倍。

Here in the Chan Hall, if you can stop your idle thoughts and cultivate the Way with your true mind, then your merit and virtue will be measureless and boundless. But if you cannot do this, you'll have no merit and virtue to speak of. And so the saying goes, "If a person can sit in stillness for even an instant, his merit surpasses that of someone who builds as many stupas of the seven treasures as there are sand grains in the Ganges."
在禪堂裏,把妄心停下來,現出真心來修道,就有無量功德,否則就無功德。所以才說:「你能靜坐片刻的時間,就勝過造恆河沙數那樣多的七寶塔,比那功德還要大。」

All of us who have come to take part in this Chan Session have good roots. That's why we have the chance to come together to investigate Chan. Now we must make our minds clear and calm, and not let our thoughts run outside like mad monkeys or wild horses, or else we won't get even a moment of stillness. Then we won't have any response in the Way, and we'll have wasted seven days of time. We won't gain anything, and we will have failed to achieve what we initially resolved to do. So we must come up with a method to control our idle thoughts and settle our minds. It is said,
When the heart is pure, the moon appears in the water.
When the mind is in samadhi, then there are no clouds in the sky.
各位來參加打禪七,都是有善根,才遇到這種因緣,共同來參禪。現在要把心清淨下來,不可心猿意馬,時刻不安靜,總想向外跑。那就與道不相應,浪費了七天的光陰,一無所得,辜負當初的發心。要設法控制妄念,令心靜下來,所謂:
心清水現月,
意定天無雲。

For this reason we've already decided that next year (1982) we'll convene a ten-week Chan Session and sit in meditation for seventy days. In this day and age, I believe you won't find another Way-place anywhere in the world that holds ten consecutive weeks of Chan meditation.
因為這種原因,我們明年(一九八二年)準備舉行十個禪七,靜坐七十天。今時今日,在全世界可以說找不到連續打十個禪七的道場了。

Our goal at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is to turn the Dharma-ending Age into the Proper Dharma Age. That's why we cultivate as if our lives depended on it; that's why we work hard at cultivating the Way. If you truly want to cultivate the Way, you'll have the opportunity to do so only at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. At most other places, the cultivation is pretty superficial; they just go through the motions. Perhaps they say they're holding a Chan Session, but their schedules are quite different. At the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, the daily schedule of meditation during the Chan Sessions begins with walking meditation at 2:30 in the morning and continues without pause until midnight. In between, there's only one hour when we are not meditating. This is the rule at our Chan Sessions.
萬佛聖城要將末法改變為正法,所以我們拼命修行,用功辦道。如果有人想實實在在修行,只有到萬佛聖城來,才有機會真正修行。在外邊修行,不過在皮毛上打轉,敷衍了事。名義上說是打禪七,實際上時間有所不同。萬佛聖城打禪七,從早上二點半鐘開始行香,到夜裏十二點才休息,中間只有一小時的養息香,這是我們打禪七的規矩。

A talk given during a Chan Session in December, 1980
一九八○年禪七 十二月開示