MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 14
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 14

Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 14

(Last week we ended with, “You need to save their life which is right, but you need to save their wisdom life even more; you need to save both.”)

 

Overall, if your cultivation practice has not reached a competent level where this so-called incompetence refers to being without any progress and afflictions increase more and more each day, then you need to make a change. You need to think where is the problem?

If it is a problem of your attachments, then you should reduce those attachments. All of you truly need to ask yourself. You need to think clearly, what do I still demand?

If this thing is not needed, then let it go. If you still need it, then use the concept of doing without the attachment of doing.

What is doing without the attachment of doing? You do it accordingly, but with a relaxed mind, without putting expectation of having any gain from it or greedy desire attached to it.

Since knowing that letting go of everything at once is very difficult for you, it is the reason that the public is not willing to get close to the strict way of cultivation practice. With regards to the phenomena of cultivation practice, it is indeed difficult especially like the Patriarch and the virtuous Master’s across the ages and particularly, the statements from many Sutras. It is so difficult that everyone is not willing to get close to it, and even do not want to practice it.

Why? It is prohibitively difficult even harder than going to outer space.

Amitabha Buddha is very wise. He knows using the ordinary way to help all living beings is not possible. Asking a person who currently enjoys the colorful life of this world and telling one moves to the mountains and live a life of few wants and ambitions is impossible. Amitabha Buddha thinks this way:

Chanting Amitabha is the cause, becoming Amitabha is the effect.

He applies the rule of cause and effect to help all.

How to do this? You can gamble at a slot machine or pachinko machine, but do not forget to chant Amitabha while playing; it is a way of convenience (it is a method for making things easier for people). It is only an expedient means.

Does this work? It depends on the individual.

If you play the slot machine with Amitabha in mind and without other delusional thought and only Amitabha, then this would work.

We must talk about the real and solid way of practicing cultivation: Prajna, how do you use it during your daily life?

If your mind still retains the phenomena of the casino and the slot machines, then there is no way. Therefore, using wisdom is exactly during your thought arising. It is very subtle, so subtle that it is hard to detect by yourself. In this case, practicing cultivation this way is just too difficult.

Why? The situation emerges.

I had a friend who used to enjoy playing roulette. He memorized all the numbers and the layout of the roulette table and tried to compete with the machine. He said he chanted Amitabha also, but as soon as the roulette wheel started to turn, Amitbha was no longer in his mind and only roulette had his full attention.

Remember, Buddha is enlightenment. If you can keep up the enlightened condition for 24 hours then congratulations this is Prajna, this is wisdom. If you cannot persist then you shall restart it again. It is like constructing a building. If the base is not deep and firm enough or the building structure is not solid, then rebuild it. Every day is an opportunity to start cultivation practice; every day you can start fresh again.

Many people say, “In this life, my old forces of habits are so serious, never mind practicing cultivation”. This is because one does not understand that cultivation practice is not the outward behavior of bowing to Buddha; no, it is not. Nor is it attending Buddhist ceremonies, fixing enlightenment places, or building temples.  No, it is not. It is up to yourself whether you can turn your thoughts; this is precisely turning yourself back to your purified thought of defiling illusion. This is cultivation.

Cultivation is to correct. Engaging in cultivation this way is much easier.

Why? It is an evil world stained with the five turbidities – the world without a Buddha.

Our living phenomena in this human world is called “an evil world stained with the five turbidities”.  Life turbidity is the variation of contaminations of our life. The water outside, the drinking water, the whole world is contaminated. Our inner mind is full of defiled afflictions, and we have daily afflictions over the phenomena of the five kinds of turbidity. With these phenomena, for you to have one pure thought is pretty uneasy. We are not demanding during a whole day, and also not demanding for ten minutes, we only just need to have one thought, an instant.

What is this “instant” called? This is to have a sudden spurt of reflection on your self-nature.

How did the Sixth Patriarch cultivate? He reflected upon his self-nature for 24 hours, but he was not born with this ability. It is the accumulation of self-training from many past existences across world-periods. Self-training means having received enlightenment teaching and  self-education. Hence, you need self-training and self-cultivation.

Therefore, cultivation is not uniquely enjoyed by monks or nuns. Everyone—from Muslims, Christians, peddlers, couriers, poor, rich, noble, lower classes—can do it. You only need to compose your mind, try to have a mind unmoved and undisturbed by any phenomena for one, two, or three seconds. So give it a try.

>>Click here to read the full series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra

 

(一)     無住和四智

 

(上星期講到:你救他生命不錯,你更要救慧命,「慧命、生命」一起救。)

 

基本上現在修行,如果你覺得修行不得力,所謂不得力,是沒有進展,煩惱一天比一天多,就要改變了。想想問題出在那兒?

如果問題出在你的執著,把你執著減少一點。各位真正要回去問問自己。心裡要想清楚,我還有求,求什麼?

這東西,如果不需要,放下﹔如果需要,那這樣子,做而無做。

什麼叫「做而無做」?照樣去做,心裡面輕鬆一點,不要去希求它,不要去貪念它。

因為叫你一次放,很難。一般人對於真正修行,不願意接近,就是這道理。尤其歷代祖師大德們、尤其經典上講的很多修行現象,確實很難,難的大家都不願意去接近,連修都不想修。

為什麼?比登天還要難。

阿彌陀佛很聰明,一般方法渡眾,沒有辦法。你叫一個喜歡花花世界的人,今天到深山裡面去清修,不可能。阿彌陀佛想了個方法,「念佛是因,成佛是果」,拿「因果」道理渡他。

怎麼做?你一樣可以去賭吃角子老虎、柏青哥,不過不要忘記念佛,方便,這只是方便。

有沒有用?那要看個人。

你把柏青哥珠子一彈,阿彌陀佛在心裡面,完全沒有妄想,只有佛號,這可以。

我們要講講「實修」:你「般若」怎麼樣放在生活中去運用?

如果你還有那個賭場的現象,柏青哥的現象,沒有辦法。所以智慧的運用就在你的動念中,非常微細。而且微細到自己都察覺不到,修行就太難了。

為什麼?境界來了。

我以前認識一個朋友,他喜歡賭輪盤,輪盤號碼也記起來了,跟機器比賽。他說他也念佛;但是輪盤一動的時候,佛號沒有了,完全被輪盤吸引住了。

記住,「佛」是覺,如果二十四小時覺的現象能保持,恭喜你,這叫「般若」,這叫智慧。如果你不能保持,重新再來。像蓋大樓,地基挖得不夠深或者是結構有問題,重新來。每天都是修行的機會,每天可以從頭開始。

很多人講:「唉!這一生是免了,習氣這麼重,我們也不要修了。」這是因為他不了解,修行不是在拜佛、在外相上,不是的;不是做法會,不是修道場,不是蓋廟,不是的。在你自己能不能轉你的念頭,就是回頭。回到清淨的念頭,這就是「修」。「修」是修正。如果這樣修,很輕鬆。

為什麼?五濁惡世。

我們在人間生活的現象中,叫「五濁惡世」。命濁,是我們生命的變化汚染。不要說外面的水、飲水、世界的現象有汚染; 自己內心也有汚染煩惱,每天都煩惱五種汚濁的這種現象。即使在這現象中,而你能夠有一個念頭是清淨的,就不容易了。我們不要求一整天,也不要求十分鐘,只一個念頭、一剎那。

這一剎那就叫作什麼?就叫作「迴光反照」。

那六祖怎麼修?二十四小時他都有辦法「迴光反照」,不是說他出生就有這個能力,不是。是多生劫訓練出來的。講得不好聽,自我訓練出來的,是接受覺悟者的教育,還有自我教育。因此你要自我訓練、自我修行。

所以修行不是出家人的專利。修行是每個人都可以辦的,回教徒也可以,基督教也可以,販夫、走卒、貧富、貴賤全部可以。只要讓你自己「定」下來,定一秒鐘試試看,二秒鐘、三秒鐘試試看。

>>Click here to read the full series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra