The States of Chan



The States of the Four Dhyanas


The process of investigating Chan is similar to studying. You go from primary school to secondary school, to college and then to a research institute. After passing these four stages, you can then obtain a doctorate. The Dharma-door of Chan investigation is also like that. It is divided into four steps, that is, the four states of Chan. These are briefly described below:

1. The First Dhyana. “The Stage of Happiness That Leaves Beings Behind.” This means that we depart from our relationship with all beings and obtain another type of happiness. This happiness is different from that of ordinary beings. It emanates from within the skill of our self-nature. When we reach the state of the First Dhyana, our breathing stops. The external breathing stops, while the internal breathing comes alive. This phenomenon is like what happens during winter hibernation. It defies description. At that time, our mind is as clear as water and as bright as a mirror. It illuminates the fundamental substance of our self-nature, even as we are aware that we are sitting in meditation.

2. The Second Dhyana. “The Stage of the Happiness that comes with Samadhi.” In samadhi, we experience happiness beyond compare. This has come to be known as,

The joy of Chan being as food,
The bliss of Dharma filling us up.

When we experience such happiness, we will not feel hungry. That is why people can go without food or drink for many days and still be all right. But we cannot be attached to this state. If we become attached, all our efforts will be wasted. It is even possible to enter a demonic state because of attachment. We must be very cautious. At the stage of the Second Dhyana, not only does our breathing stop, but our pulse stops as well. When we leave this state of concentration, our pulse returns to normal.

3. The Third Dhyana. “The Stage of the Exquisite Bliss that Comes with Transcending Happiness.” Here, we leave the happiness of the Second Dhyana and reach a level of exquisite and subtle bliss. We will feel that everything is the Buddhadharma and that all things are blissful. In this stage of the Third Dhyana, when we enter the state of concentration, not only do our breathing and pulse stop, but our thoughts also stop. At that time, we have no thought of good or bad and no thought of right or wrong. In short, we have no more idle thoughts at all. However, we must not think that we are very special, for this is just part of a process. We are still a long way from ending birth and death.

4. The Fourth Dhyana. “The Stage of the Purity of Dispensing with Thought Entirely.” At this stage, even the thought of happiness is gone, as we have already discarded it. We have reached the pure state of nothing whatsoever, in which things are neither conditioned nor unconditioned. The Fourth Dhyana is a stage that we who investigate Chan must experience. There is nothing special about this. We should not make the mistake of assuming that we have achieved the fruition of the Way. If we think like that, then we are making the same mistake as the unlearned bhiksu and will fall into the hells.

The state of the Fourth Dhyana is still at the stage of a common mortal. If we make vigorous progress, we will certify to states that enable us to enter the Five Heavens of No Return. Only then will we have actually reached the level of a certified sage. However, even at that stage, we will have still not ended birth and death. We have to transcend the Triple Realm in order to end the cycle of birth and death. You have to be clear on this point and not be confused.

An Arhat of the First Fruition is free of idle thoughts, not only when in samadhi, but also when walking, standing, sitting, and reclining. At the First Fruition, they have ended attachments left, but they must still pass through seven more births and deaths.

Do not assume that the First Fruition brings one to Nirvana. Those sages have merely cut through eighty-eight levels of delusions of views in the triple realm. The minds of Arhats of the First Fruition are not swayed, no matter what sight meets their eyes. They do not indulge in superfluous thoughts when facing situations. They have only the thought of the Way as they cultivate Chan single-mindedly. Even if very attractive states appear to them, such as a lovely woman or a handsome man, their minds will not be moved.

At this level, they experience no greed for wealth, sex, fame, food, or sleep. They are indifferent to all of these desires. Only those who reach this level of skill can be called, “One who has realized the fruition”. An Arhat of the First Fruition makes no sound with his feet when he walks. His feet are an inch or so above the earth. Why? People who have attained the fruition are possessed of kindness and compassion. They are extremely concerned about not harming small insects as they walk, so they prefer to travel in the air.


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Merging with the great void, we have a sudden breakthrough


Here in the Chan Hall, we should work at our cultivation to the point that we are unaware of the heavens above, people in between, and the earth below. If heaven, earth, and people have all disappeared, and north, south, east, and west are forgotten, then right at that point, when not even a single thought comes forth, the entire substance can manifest. Then, we will obtain the great functioning of the entire substance. However, if we indulge in idle thoughts all day long, there will certainly be no response to our efforts. Thus, we have to work to the point where not a single thought arises, and when we walk, we are not aware that we are walking. When we stand, we are not aware that we are standing. When we sit, we are unconscious of sitting. When we lie down, we are not conscious of lying down. We have no conscious awareness of walking, standing, sitting, and lying down. At that point,

We eat, but are not aware of
consuming a single grain of rice.
We dress, but are unaware of
putting on a single stitch.

The ego merges with space itself at that point. When we can unite with space, then we can have a sudden breakthrough and instantly understand all things. That is the state of sudden enlightenment. Sudden enlightenment is a result of daily cultivation. When we get a response from our daily efforts, we can suddenly become enlightened. If we normally do not cultivate, then we will never gain sudden enlightenment.

Similarly, after a child is born, he is steeped in words and sounds everyday. When the time comes, he is naturally able to talk. When he utters his very first word, it is analogous to the enlightenment experience. Then when the time comes, he will naturally be able to walk, and that first step he takes is also like the enlightenment experience. How can he take his first step? It is because he has been observing how adults walk everyday. Being steeped in that environment, very naturally he will be able to walk.

Cultivation works the same way. We cultivate today, we cultivate tomorrow, we cultivate on and on until our skills elicit a response. Then, when not a single thought is produced and our idle thoughts are dispelled, we will be enlightened. This form of enlightenment may be due to cultivating diligently every day for every moment in this lifetime. When your skill matures, you will be enlightened. This enlightenment is due to diligent cultivation in this lifetime.

At this point, someone might say, “I have seen a person who did not cultivate hard at all, and yet not long after coming to the Chan hall, he became enlightened. What is the reason?” That case is unique. Although the person did not cultivate hard in this lifetime, he had been cultivating hard in his previous lives. Not only did he cultivate, but also he had cultivated in each and every moment. However, he was just a little short of enlightenment. In this lifetime, when he encountered this state again, he became enlightened.

Although sudden enlightenment comes in a moment, it still depends on all the good roots one has carefully and continually nurtured in past lives. We are like a farmer planting a field. In the spring, he sows the seeds. In the summer, he weeds and hoes. Then in the autumn, there are crops to harvest. If he does not sow the seeds in spring, how can he reap the harvest when autumn comes? As the saying goes,

“One share of plowing and weeding done yields one share of harvest”.

We, cultivators of the Way, are the same. Regardless of whether we are enlightened or not, we should still be courageous and vigorous in our cultivation. We should energetically stride forward. Then we have hope of gathering our harvest in the final moment and recognize our original face.


When sitting in meditation, do not seek for spiritual penetrations


When sitting in meditation, do not seek for spiritual penetrations or for any efficacious result. First, make your body clean without any sicknesses. In this way, no deviant energy will be able to penetrate your boundary. If you are constantly filled with great proper energy and have an indomitable spirit, you will naturally give rise to proper knowledge and proper views. Your conduct and actions will accord with principle. This is the benefit of sitting in meditation.

If, in every instant, your state of mind does not give rise to ripples such that you are without afflictions, without mark of right and wrong, and without mark of people and self, then you are applying effort and this is the efficacious result of sitting in meditation.

As for the efficacy of investigating Chan, you can experience it for yourself. You can return the light and illuminate within and ask yourself, “Am I still as gluttonous as I was before practicing Chan sitting? Am I still as materialistic as before? Have I corrected my improper habits and shortcomings? If I meet with unreasonable circumstances or matters that go against my wishes, do thoughts of affliction still arise?” If the answers are “yes”, then I can tell you that you have not progressed much from sitting in Chan. If you can reduce past bad habits and shortcomings, then you have some good news in your cultivation skill. You can examine yourself as follows:

1) Let us take a look at eating, for instance. If you could eat both tasty and non-tasty food with the same state of mind, then you would have chased away the greedy ghost.

2) Performing tasks: Is it the case that we will do anything that is beneficial to us and that we will not do anything that does not benefit ourselves? Are we very lazy, always seeking ease and comfort? If so, our skill in Chan samadhi has not improved. If you could change and be willing to do whatever might benefit others, and focus on being of service to the multitudes while not paying attention to your own personal matters, then you could get rid of the lazy ghost. If you could become more energetic day by day and were not always in a daze, then you could chase away the sleepy ghost. If you can chase away the greedy ghost, lazy ghost and sleepy ghost, then you gain preliminary skill in Chan meditation.

In this way, your spirit and temperament will definitely be quite different from the past and you will undergo a great change in personality. As the saying goes, “In the same temple but a different god”. It can also be said “In the same temple but a different ghost”. In the past, you were a ghost king, but now you are a Bodhisattva. Perhaps, you had an evil heart in the past but now you have the heart of a Bodhisattva.


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Demonic power causes you to think of retreating


All of you should realize that cultivating the spiritual path is not an easy matter. If you decide to cultivate, then demons will come around. They will not come from only one direction, they will come from all directions at once. There are demons of sickness, demons of vexation, demons in the heavens, human demons, and also demonic ghosts. There are demonesses as well. Demons appear, from places that you do not expect, to disturb you so that your resolve will waver and your cultivation will falter. They use many tricks to seduce and tempt you. They also threaten you, trying to get you to retreat in fear. They hope your samadhi power will vanish and your resolve for the spiritual path will disappear.


States may be false or true


Just about the time your meditation is starting to have some success, the demons appear to test your resolve and to challenge your work in the spiritual path. They may appear as a very beautiful woman or a handsome man who comes to seduce you. If the sight does not disturb you, then you pass your test. But if you are distracted by this illusion, you will fall. Right there is the critical moment. Just that is the test. So I exhort you at all costs, do not fail such tests. If you fail, then once you fall, you will regret it forever. When states arise to challenge your resolve, you should test the state to see whether or not it is true.

What should your method of testing be? It is very simple. Just recite the name of Amitabha Buddha. Recite with singleminded, unwavering concentration. If it is a false state, then it will gradually disappear until it vanishes completely. If it is a true state, then the longer you recite, the clearer the state will grow. Chan meditators who do not understand this method will fall into the demons’ traps. They will fall among the demons and their work in the spiritual path will be scattered and lost. Such cultivators will lose their opportunity for enlightenment after they join the demons.


As soon as you cultivate the spiritual path, demons will appear


When I was young, I heard someone said, “As soon as you cultivate the spiritual path, demons will appear.” I did not believe it and arrogantly said, “I am not afraid of demons at all! Witches, ghosts, and goblins do not frighten me in the least.” I thought that it did not matter what I said. Who could have guessed that soon after my boast, a demon would show up? What kind of demon was it? It was a demon of sickness, which made me so ill that I lost consciousness for seven or eight days. I lapsed into a total coma. Only then did I realize that my skill was far from the mark and that I had failed my test.

Maybe I was not afraid of witches, ghosts or goblins, or even celestial demons and heretics. But I was afraid, as it turned out, of sickness demons. I could not subdue them. I could not handle them. I could not endure their attack. So we cultivators of the spiritual path cannot claim proudly that we fear nothing. As soon as we become self-satisfied and arrogant, troubles come seeking for us. Well, how should cultivators of the spiritual path be, then? We should maintain a humble and circumspect attitude, and be as cautious as if we were treading on the brink of a deep abyss, or as if we were standing on thin ice. At all times, we should be prudent and careful. We should pay attention and stay alert. Only then can we really cultivate the spiritual path. To sum it up, talk less and meditate more. This is the fundamental requisite of cultivation.


If we awaken to what we see, we can transcend the mundane world


When cultivators of the spiritual path actually gain some accomplishment, they get it with someone’s help. Who helps them? Demons bring cultivators to accomplishment. This is just like a knife being honed on a whetstone, so that it becomes very sharp. When a cultivator realizes the light of wisdom, it is with the help of the demons. Thus, we can look upon demons as Dharma-protectors who help us in reverse. There is a saying:

If we awaken to what we see,
we can transcend the mundane world.
If we are confused by what we see,
then we will continue to transmigrate.


With samadhi power, we need not fear demons


If we can awaken to and understand states as they appear, then we can transcend this mundane world. If we do not awaken and are instead confused by states as they occur, then we may fall so far that we end up in the hells. Cultivators of the spiritual path should not fear the presence of demons. We need only fear that our own concentration power will be insufficient to withstand them. We should realize that demons can help us along. They test us to see whether or not our spiritual skill is genuine and to see whether or not our samadhi power can endure them. If we have skill and samadhi, then no matter what demon comes, it will not be able to shake us.


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By neither hurrying nor slacking off, we will succeed


When practicing Chan meditation, we must not be too hurried. But we must also not slack off. If we are too hurried, we run the risk of overdoing it. If we slack off, we will fail to apply enough effort. Cultivating the spiritual path requires holding to the Middle Way. There is a saying,

Hurrying makes things too tight.
Slacking off lets things get too loose.
By not hurrying and not slacking off,
We can succeed at what we do.

If we apply effort in this way everyday and in every moment, without hurrying or slacking off, eventually our skill will generate a response. When this happens, we will achieve an inconceivable state. Those of you who have attained this state should not be overly happy, and those who have not, should not be unduly sad. If a practitioner becomes overly happy, demon of happiness can come and disrupt his samadhi power, causing that person to laugh and smile unnaturally all day long. If somebody asks him what he is laughing about, he will not know.

If he does not even know why he is laughing, then basically he has lost his senses. He has gone mad. A demon of madness has already possessed him. Conversely, if a practitioner becomes excessively sad, worried, or depressed, a demon of sadness can come and disrupt her samadhi power, causing her to sob and cry unnaturally all day long. If someone asks her why she is crying, she may reply, “Beings are suffering so much! They are so pitiful! I wish to cross over all beings.” However, if she cannot even cross over herself, how can she possibly save others? Excessive displays of sorrow are an indication that a person has been possessed by a demon of sadness.


Do not be moved by sounds


When we sit in meditation, we should not be moved by sounds or be turned by forms. Some people may have cultivated for a long time, but when states arise, they attach to them. We should not do that. We should hear without listening. We should see without perceiving. Not listening and not perceiving, we will not be moved by states.


Do not harbor thoughts of hatred and love


As all dharmas are the Buddhadharma, how could there be some dharmas that we like and some that we dislike? In investigating Chan, we should work on this very thing. We should not harbor thoughts of hatred and love, but should instead bring our minds to a state of equanimity. In a still spring pond, undisturbed even by ripples, silt will naturally settle to the bottom and the water will become clear. Investigating Chan is also like that. If no ripples of false thoughts stir in our minds, then the Dharma-body will manifest. The Dharma I have just spoken is very important. I hope that all of you will cultivate according to this principle, for if you do, you will very quickly open your wisdom.

What is spoken is the Dharma.
Practice of it is the Way.

If we understand the Dharma and yet do not cultivate the Way, we will not make any progress.


No matter what happens, remain in unmoving suchness


When we sit in meditation, all kinds of different states may arise. Regardless of whether a state is wholesome or unwholesome, we should not pay too much attention to it. If we pay attention to it, we will be turned by the state. If we can just ignore it, then we will not be turned by it. Sometimes, Chan cultivators may feel as if they are as large as empty space. At other times, they may feel that they are even smaller than a speck of dust. There are occasions when they feel as though their bodies no longer exist, and they do not know where they have gone. Sometimes, they may feel unbearably cold.

At other times, they may feel unbearably hot. Sometimes, they feel that their bodies are harder and stronger than vajra. At other times, their bodies may feel as soft and light as cotton. Sometimes, they may feel their bodies charged with energy akin to electricity. At other times, they may feel that they are emitting bright light. In a nutshell, such states are boundless and endless, but we should not become attached to any of them. If we become attached to them, then we may enter a demonic state. As long as we remain unattached, we will not have any problem.

The Shurangama Sutra says that whatever states arise, if we do not discriminate and instead act as if nothing is happening, then we will be fine. However, if we decide that we must be special to be able to experience such a terrific state, we will fall and become possessed by a demon. Whatever states we encounter, we must remain unmoved.

Eventually, we will enter unmoving suchness and gain samadhi power that is perfectly clear and constantly bright. Then, no matter what happens, we will be able to turn the state around instead of being turned by it.


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禪的境界



四禪的境界


參禪的過程好像讀書一樣,由小學進中學,進大學,進研究所,經過這四個階段才能獲得博士學位。參禪這個法門,亦復如是,分為四個步驟,也就是四禪的境界。簡略述之如下:

初禪名為離生喜樂地。就是離開眾生的關係,得到另外一種快樂。此非凡夫所得的快樂,而是在自性功夫裏邊。到初禪定中,呼吸停止;外邊呼吸停止,內邊呼吸活動起來,好像冬眠一樣的道理,不再贅言。這時,心清如水,明如鏡,照了自性的本體,而知道自己在打坐。

二禪名為定生喜樂地。在定中出生一種無比的快樂,所謂「禪悅為食,法喜充滿。」得到這種快樂,不知道飢餓,所以可以多日不食不飲,沒有關係,但是不可執著。如一執著,前功盡棄,即入魔境,吾人不可不謹慎。二禪的境界,在定中不但呼吸停止,而且脈搏也停止。出定時,又恢復正常。

三禪名為離喜妙樂地,就是離開二禪之歡喜,得到妙不可言的快樂,覺得一切都是佛法,一切都是快樂。三禪的境界,在定中呼吸脈搏停止,意念也停止。這時候,不念善、不念惡,不念是、不念非,也就是一念不生,但不要認為了不起。這僅是一個過程而已,離生死還有十萬八千里。

四禪名為捨念清淨地。在此境界連快樂的念也沒有了,已把它捨棄,而到達清淨無所作為的境界,也就是到了無為而無不為的地步。到了四禪,乃是參禪功夫所必經之路,沒有什麼不得了,不要誤認是證果。如果這樣想,就和無聞比丘犯同樣的錯誤,而墮地獄。

四禪的境界還是凡夫的地位,如果精進向前,證到五不還天的境界,才是證得聖人的地位。但此位尚未了生死,非得超出三界,才能了生脫死。這一點要弄清楚,不可混為一談。

證初果羅漢,不但在定中沒有妄念,就是在行住坐臥中沒有妄想,也沒有執著。到初果的境界,還有七番生死。並不是證到初果,就入涅槃,只是斷了三界八十八品見惑而已。到初果時,無論見到什麼境界也不動其心,所謂「對境無心」,只有道心,專一修禪。外邊境界如何莊嚴,如何美好,或者是美女,或者是俊男,也不動搖其心。這時候不貪財,不貪色,不貪名,不貪食,也不貪睡,一切無所謂。到這種境界,才可以說是證果。證初果的羅漢,走路沒有聲音,因為腳離開地面約有寸高。為什麼?證果人心懷慈悲,深恐踩死小蟲等,所以在虛空走路。


太虛合一豁然貫通


在禪堂裏用功修行,修到上不知有天,中不知有人,下不知有地;天地人都沒有了,東西南北也忘了。這時候,一念不生,就全體現;全體大用,你都會得到。整天打妄想的話,功夫就不會相應,所以要用功到一念不生,行不知行,住不知住,坐不知坐,臥不知臥。行、住、坐、臥都不知道,這時候,所謂「終日吃飯,未吃一粒米;終日穿衣,未穿一縷紗。」這時的你,就和太虛合而為一,能和太虛合而為一,才能豁然貫通,忽然明白過來,這就是頓悟的境界。

頓悟是平時用功,用到相應才能豁然開悟;如果平時不用功,就不會有頓悟。好像小孩子出生之後,天天被薰習,到時候就會說話,他說第一句話的時候,好比開了悟。到時候就會走路,當他邁第一步的時候,也好像開了悟。他怎樣邁第一步呢?因為天天看大人走路,在這種環境薰習之下,自然而然地會走路。我們用功也是這樣,今天用功,明天用功,用來用去,功夫相應了,一念不生,沒有妄想,就會開悟。

這種開悟,或者是今生天天用功修行,時時用功修行,等到功夫成熟時,便開悟了,這是今生用功開悟。這時,有人說,「我看見一個人,他根本沒有用功修行,可是他到禪堂不久就開悟了。這是什麼道理?」這種情形是特殊的。今生他雖然沒有用功修行,可是他在前生是用功修行;不但修行,而且還是時時刻刻在修行,不過,只差一點點沒有開悟,等到今生他遇到這種境界就開悟了。

頓悟雖然是即刻開悟,但仍須靠前生所栽培的善根。好像種田一樣,春天播種,夏天耕耘,秋天才能收穫。如果在春天不下種子,到秋天怎能收穀?所謂「一分耕耘,一分收穫」。我們修道人也是這樣,無論開悟或沒有開悟,都應該勇猛精進,努力向前,希望在最後一秒鐘得到收穫,認識本來面目。


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坐禪不要求神通


坐禪不要求神通,或求什麼效果。首先要把身體收拾乾淨,沒有一切疾病。這樣,則任何邪氣都不能侵入你的範圍。你若能常有一股浩然正氣,頂天立地,就自然而然能生正知正見,而所行所作,皆不會不合理,這就是坐禪的好處。

你的心境,能時刻波浪不起,無煩無惱,無是無非,無人無我,在這兒這樣的用功,這即為坐禪之效果。至於參禪的功效,你自己可以去體驗。你可以迴光返照,問問自己,「我是否還像坐禪之前那麼饞嘴?是否還是像以往那樣愛慕虛榮?有沒有把不正當的習氣毛病改了?若遇到不合理、不如意的事情,是不是還是生出煩惱?」假若答案是「是」,那麼,我可以告訴你,坐禪就沒有什麼進步。假若你能把以前的習氣毛病減輕了,在修行功夫上便有點好消息。

你可以自我檢討﹕

(一﹚拿吃東西來說吧!假如你能夠將好的、不好的食物,一樣吃下去,饞食鬼就會被你攆跑了。

(二﹚做事﹕是否凡是對我有利益的事情,我就去做,對我沒有利益的事情我就不去做呢?我是否很懶惰、苟且偷安呢?若是這樣,你的禪定功夫沒有進步。若能改之,凡是對人有利益的事,我都願意去做,關注為眾人服務,對自己小範圍的事,卻不甚去注意。你若能如此,則可以把懶鬼攆跑。

(三﹚假若你能一天比一天精神,不是昏昏欲睡,這樣你就能把睡鬼攆跑了。

你能把饞鬼、懶鬼、睡鬼都攆跑了,這便是坐禪的初步功夫。這麼一來,你的精神、氣質必定與從前大有不同,大變活人,所謂「同一間廟,但不同一個神」。也可以說「同一間廟,但不同一個鬼」;從前是鬼王,現在是菩薩。或者你從前心腸很毒辣,但現在你發菩薩心腸。


魔力令你生退心


各位要知道!修道不是容易的事,你想修道,就會有魔來。這種魔不是從一個地方來的,而是從四面八方來的;有的是病魔,有的是煩惱魔,有的是天魔,有的是人魔,有的是鬼魔,有的是妖魔。魔是從你不認識的地方來的,令你道心不堅固,令你修行不進步,他們用種種方法來誘惑你,威脅你,令你生退轉心,令你無定力而退失道心。


境界是假是真


坐禪到了相當程度時,就有魔來考驗你的道力如何,或者化現為美貌的男女來引誘你。你不動心便過關,如果動心就墮落,這是緊要的關頭,切記切記!「一失足成千古恨!」境界來考驗我們修道人,我們也要考驗境界是假是真。用什麼方法呢?這方法非常簡單,就是念「阿彌陀佛」,一心不亂、一念不生地念。是假的境界,便會慢慢消失了;是真的境界,越念便越清楚。坐禪人不明白這個方法,有許多人走火入魔,喪失道業;又有許多人認為自己入了魔,而放棄開悟的機會。


修道就有魔


在我年輕的時候,聽人說「修道就有魔。」我不相信,還驕慢地說,「什麼魔我都不怕,妖魔鬼怪我都不生恐懼心!」自己以為沒有什麼關係,哪知道沒有多久魔果然來了。什麼魔呢?病魔。這場大病害得我七、八天人事不省,什麼也不知道。當時自己知道功夫不夠,所以經不起考驗;妖魔鬼怪、天魔外道我都不怕,就怕病魔,還是降伏不了,還是忍受不了。所以修道人,不能說自滿的話,說自己什麼都不怕。如果你自滿,麻煩就來了。

那麼修道人要怎樣呢?要用戰戰兢兢的心情來修道,如臨深淵,如履薄冰,時時刻刻要謹慎,要注意,提高警覺,這樣才可以修道。一言以蔽之,「少說話,多打坐。」這是修道的基本大法。


見事省事出世間


修道人的道業有所成就,是誰幫助的呢?就是魔來幫助的。好像一把利刀,是在石頭上磨利的;修道人開了智慧光,也就是魔來幫助你開的。這個魔,應該把他當做護法看,所謂「見事省事出世間,見事迷事墮沉淪。」


有定力不怕魔


你若能覺悟,對境能明白,這就是超出世界;你若不能覺悟,遇著事就迷了,就會墮入地獄。所以修道人不怕有魔,只怕沒有定力。魔是來幫助你,考驗你,來看你有沒有功夫?有沒有定力?你要是有功夫、有定力,無論什麼樣的魔,也不能動搖你。


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不緊不慢才成功


坐禪用功不可太猛,也不可不猛;太猛就是太過,不猛就是不及。修道是修中道,也不太過,也不不及,所謂「緊了繃,慢了鬆,不緊不慢才成功。」天天這樣用功,時時這樣用功,也不緊,也不慢,久而久之,功夫就相應。相應之後,就得到不可思議的境界。得到之後,不可太歡喜;沒有得到,也不可太悲哀。如果太歡喜,歡喜魔就來擾亂你的定力,令你一天到晚,嘻嘻哈哈,笑的不自然。問你笑什麼?不知道。不知道而笑,就是發狂,這是狂魔入體。如果憂愁過度,悲哀魔則來擾亂你的定力,令你一天到晚,哭哭啼啼,哭得不正常。問你哭什麼?便說,「眾生太苦啦!太可憐啦!我想度眾生。」你自己度不了自己,怎樣度眾生?這就是悲哀魔入體的現象。


不要被音聲所轉


我們坐禪時不要被音聲所轉,不要隨色相而轉。有人修行很久,有境界了,但執著境界,這是錯誤。應該「聽而不聞,視而不見」,不聞不見,才叫不被境界所轉。


不要有憎愛的心


一切法皆是佛法,哪有可以歡喜的?哪有不可以歡喜的?參禪要在這個地方用功。不要有憎愛的心,要用平常心去用功。好像一池春水沒有波浪,混雜的東西自然下沉於底,水就清淨。參禪亦復如是;沒有妄想,法身現出。這幾句法很重要,希望大家按照這個道理去行,很快便會開智慧。所謂「說的是法,行的是道。」知法不去行道,那是無有是處。


任何境界如如不動


坐禪的時候有很多不同的境界,可以現出來。現出這個境界,無論是善的境界,是不善的境界,都不要太注意它。你太注意,就被這個境界轉;你不注意它,就轉這個境界。坐禪的人有的時候覺得自己猶如虛空那麼大;有的時候覺得自己比一粒微塵還小;有的時候覺得自己這個身,根本就沒有了,不知道到什麼地方去了;有的時候又覺得自己身上很冷的,凍得忍不住;有的時候又覺得,自己這個身體熱得也受不了;有的時候又覺得有一種境界,覺得自己這個身體比金剛更硬更堅固;有的時候又覺得自己這個身體軟如棉花,好像棉花這樣軟;有的時候,全身有一種動力,好像電推動機器一樣;有的時候又覺得大放光明﹕總而言之這個境界是無窮無盡的,不過也不要著到這個境界上。

你要著到這境界上就會走火入魔;你不著這個境界上它就沒有事。在《楞嚴經》上說,任何境界你要是不作善的解釋,像沒有事情似的,那沒有關係;你要是認為自己這個不得了了,有一個什麼好的境界,這就會著魔的。你遇到一切境界,保持如如不動,了了常明這種定力,就能轉這個境界,而不為這個境界所轉。