学佛的整体性   林钰堂     

 

 

学佛不只是懂得佛法的道理,还需要加以领会成自己的心得,并且应用于修法及生活中。这样全身心在生活中的融通,才是真正的学佛以达证悟,以渡如母的一切有情。这就是此篇题目所谓的「学佛的整体性」。

一般学佛者难免积习深重,因而在学佛的过程中,往往忽略了佛法的中心教示:无常、无我、去执、利他,甚至处处显露以自我为主的言行。难怪有「学佛日久,离道日远」的评语。

本篇将略为点出一些常见的失误,以供认真修行者做为自检的借镜;作者并无指责他人之意图。

一、不重师示
虽然皈依佛法的教师,依然以自己的判断做为行止的决定。甚至在佛法的问题上,也以自己的瞭解为基准。这样的心态无从领受久修者经验的果实,反而极易断绝与法师的因缘。不先虚己,如何证入「无我」?

二、争宠排他
认定尊重及供侍法师的重要,固然正确;但是在以自我为重的习气作祟之下,争先恐后,甚至排挤他人,则反而更加重「我执」,背道而驰了。他人也都是学佛者欲令其得证悟的如母有情之一,若与彼等对立,又如何能令一己出轮迴、达解脱?更不用提「成佛」了。

三、孤芳自赏
学佛固然宜于远离世俗、独处专修以期早日证悟,而后能广利有情;但是在修行中,参预弘法利他的活动,可以避免自己的菩提发心沦为口号,并且积集资粮与功德,也是助成正德的重要因缘,不应偏废。若是久修形成孤僻,在行止上显示自视颇高,而逐渐不重师长、不喜合群,则误入牛角尖矣!

四、冷热两面
在同一群体内,对自己认为重要的、有利的则十分友善热络,而对其余则冷面以待,锱铢必较——稍觉侵犯,就如临大敌。这样如何修成对众生的平等慈悲?眼前数人尚不能平等宽怀,又要如何以慈悲包容一切有情?

希望经过上述的提醒,能助认真修行的人,多多注意基本的佛示:无常、无我、去执、利他,而得以从「我执」的积习中醒悟脱出,进而得以真正尝到佛法的真实利益。

 

                     二○一六年七月廿九日
                     养和斋    于加州


 

 

Totality of Dharma Practices

Yutang Lin

 

Practicing Dharma is not merely comprehending Dharma theories, one needs to absorb the teachings into one’s own central views, and then apply them in Dharma practices and into daily life activities. Thus harmonizing one’s body and mind whole-heartedly in life constitutes genuine Dharma practices aiming at attainment of Enlightenment and salvation of all mother-like sentient beings. This is the meaning of the title of this work.

 

Dharma practitioners in general could hardly avoid the heavy burden of accumulated habitual tendencies, and hence during the course of their Dharma practices they often overlook the central teachings of Dharma: impermanence, non-self, no grasping, and altruism, and they even exhibit self-centered behaviors in many ways. No wonder there is criticism on this, that goes as saying: The longer one practices Dharma, the further away one deviates from the enlightenment path.

 

In this essay some frequently observed mistakes will be pointed out, so as to provide a mirror for serious practitioners to reflect on themselves; the author has no intention to criticize anyone.

 

1. Paying No Heed to Teacher’s Words

 

Even though having taken refuge in a Dharma teacher, one still decide on one’s actions based on personal judgments. Even on matters related to the Dharma, one still sets the standards according to one’s comprehension. This kind of attitude cannot receive the fruits born of long-term practitioner’s accumulated experiences, but can easily sever the causal connections with Dharma teachers. Without humbling oneself first, how could one realize ″non-self″?

 

2. Competing for Attention and Blocking Others

 

Of course it is correct to recognize the importance of revering, attending, and making offerings to Dharma teachers; however, under the spell of the habit of self-esteem, one eagerly pushes oneself forward for attention and favors, and even tries to block others, thus one is enhancing grasping to one’s ″self″ and embarking on the opposite direction to enlightenment. Others are also among the mother-like sentient beings that a Dharma practitioner would like to help attain full enlightenment; If one stands up against them, how could one then render oneself being escaped from Samsara and attained emancipation? Not to mention attaining Buddhahood.

 

3. Indulging in Self-esteem

 

It is certainly proper for a Dharma practitioner to stay far away from worldly engagements and live in solitude to concentrate on Dharma practices, so that one may sooner attain realization of attainments and then be able to benefit sentient beings on an extensive scale. However, during the course of one’s Dharma practices participation in Dharma activities that could benefit others is also very important and should not be ignored. This is because such activities could help one develop genuine Bodhicitta, instead of mere verbal expressions, and help one accumulate stocks of merits; and these are also important causal conditions that will help attainment of full enlightenment. If, after long years of engaging in Dharma practices, one becomes prone to staying alone by oneself and displaying an aloof attitude toward others, and gradually showing lack of respect for one’s teachers and displeasure in joining others, then one has deviated into the tip of an ox horn!

 

4.  Cold and Warm Faces

 

Among a Dharma group of fellow practitioners, to those whom one considers as important and beneficial one is very friendly and warm, while to the rest one shows a cold face and haggle over minute matters—any slight violation sensed will be treated as enemy invasion. How could the Great Compassion which is universally fair to all sentient beings be cultivated in this way? If one could not open one’s mind equally to a few that is right here in front of one, how could one have Compassion to embrace all sentient beings?

 

May reminders cited above help serious Dharma practitioners to reflect more often over the key points of Dharma teachings: impermanence, non-self, no grasping, and altruism, and thereby help awaken them from their habitual tendencies of ″grasping to self″! Only then will they be able to taste the genuine fruits of practicing Dharma.

 

 

Written in Chinese and translated into English on July 29, 2016
El Cerrito, California

 


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