MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 15
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 15

Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 15

(Last week we ended with, “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.”)

 

Since birth until now, we have never composed our mind. Most of you have experienced the method of chanting Amitabha, the true way of chanting Amitabha is to chant in your mind.

What does that mean? Your mind is precisely without fluctuation, using the name of Buddha to stop your afflictions; this is chanting Amitabha. The more advanced level is to have a better understanding of Buddha name.

For instance, what does Amitabha mean?

Ameans infinity,

Mitameans quantity or capacity,

Bhameans enlightenment.

It is infinite enlightenment.

To be enlightened in what? “Enlightenment” is represented by brightness—Infinite Light, Infinite Life, and Infinite Wisdom.

Use the representation of Infinite Life and Infinite Wisdom of your self-nature to correct your afflictions. Using this method after you understand the meaning of Amitabha, if you have afflictions then thinking that you originally are infinitely pure, infinitely bright and have infinite life, then there is nothing to be worried about. It will turn.

In that case, what is the more advanced method of chanting Amitabha? The more advanced method of chanting Amitabha is having thoughts with neither “greed, resentment, ignorance, arrogance”, nor “delusional thoughts, attachments and afflictions”. This is called “chanting Amitabha”.  If you can keep this condition for 24 hours, then you are a Buddha.

In fact, it is extremely simple. It is only that all of you have not given it a try. The moment you try, you encounter many different situations that cause you to withdraw and you immediately turn it down. For example, you comfortably chant Amitabha now and the telephone rings. The person at the other end tells you something that you need to look after and then your mind starts to become unsettled. All of these are trivial matters that cause disturbances.

During this era, all of you have not been through the disruptions of war or severe struggles (e.g., famine, disastrous revolution events etc.) of great afflictions. Your body is not deficient of the five senses (vision, hearing, smell, taste, and body functions). Time passes fast, and our gathering has happened in our past life as well. In this life, we are back again.

How many times has this happened in our past lives? Countless times, and this happens once again.

Why? The energy field gives a new lease of life, to refresh again.

If living your life in enlightenment, your life will transform and become a wisdom life like, with wisdom living phenomena. If just merely living life, it is the living phenomena of “birth, aging, sickness or death”.

I feel that the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutraoffers us major instructions to practice cultivation without using wisdom which is impossible to attain. Basically, eminent monks and great virtuous masters who practice cultivation and confirm the Buddha truth through the ages all have one identical phenomenon which is to seek no gain.

Look at the Master Hong-Yi (弘一)of our modern times. He was an artist in his youth and talented in every aspect. He lived an unconventional lifestyle with freedom and ease and was married with two wives and he later became a Buddhist monk. As an artist, whatever he studied he became an expert; as a monk, he was also an expert and attained the highest level. He is our best example. Before we engaged in cultivation practice, we also lived a very colorful life. After we practice cultivation, we still live a very colorful life. But his state of mind changed. He chants Amitabha in accordance with the monastic discipline of Ritsu as established by Monk Dao-Xuan (道宣)of Nan-Mountain Ritsu. Ritsu’s monastic moral precepts are very hard to endure by the public. Even drinking water requires a special filtered bag made of the finest flax fibers to filter the water.

Why? Because he does not have the heart to harm the germs in the water. Therefore, he abides by the moral precepts so strictly.

In the Ritsu School, there is no contact with the female public. If a man came down a stairway and saw a female, he would walk in reverse and return. Chief Master Monk Xu-Yun of the Lanying Temple in Taiwan is a genuine Ritsu follower. When I was younger, I visited him and paid respect in his small living room, and no females could be present.

Why are Ritsu’s monastic disciplinary moral precepts so strict? It forces you to let go of your body and mind, so that afterwards you have purified to a certain level that chanting Amitabha or worshipping the Buddha will have the right effects.

Practicing in accordance with the Ritsu disciplinary way is very inconvenient for the public.

Why? It is truly inconvenient.  We can watch and study their shown phenomena.

How to study? Practice in our human society and treat our human society as an enlightenment place (Bodhimanda). The enlightenment place is an environment of no discrimination. You treat your daily life as a place for enlightenment and this way of cultivation is called Paramita, which is the way to detach from suffering and obtain happiness.

>>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: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。)

 

我們人生從出生到現在沒有定過。在座各位大部分都念過佛,真正「念佛」是意念上面念佛。

什麼叫「意念」?就是你的心不波動,利用佛號讓你的煩惱不起作用,這是「念佛」。再高級一點,就是讓你自己對佛號更進一步了解。

譬如說阿彌陀佛是什麼意思?

「阿」是無的意思,「彌陀」是量,「佛」是覺。無量覺。

覺什麼?「覺」用光明代表- 無量光、無量壽命、無量的智慧。

以你自性無量壽命智慧代表,修正你的煩惱。所以用這方式,你了解阿彌陀佛的意思了,你只要一有煩惱,想到我原來是無量清淨、無量光明、無量的壽命,沒有什麼好擔憂的,就轉掉了。

那更高級的念佛方法是什麼?更高級的念佛方法就是意念中沒有「貪、瞋、痴、慢」,沒有妄想、執著、煩惱,這叫「念佛」。你二十四小時能保持這樣,你就是佛。

其實非常簡單,只是各位都沒有去試;試的時候又遭遇到很多不同的境界,就退了,就馬上打回票。譬如說現在念佛,念的好好的,電話來,說有事情怎麼樣,心就不定。都是這些雞毛蒜皮的打攪。

現在這時代,在座各位都不錯,沒有受到戰爭的干擾,沒有大苦惱的逼迫,沒有缺五根。時間很快,我們這一會,過去生也同樣發生過,這一生又來。

過去生多少次?無數次,又發生一次。

為什麼?磁場重新再造,重新refresh。

如果把你的生命放在覺悟,你的生命就變了,變成慧命- 有智慧的生活現象。如果只是生命,那是生、老、病、死的生活現象。

我覺得《般若波羅蜜多心經》給我們個最大的一個指示,就是修行不用智慧,那是不可能的。基本上,歷代有修有證的這些高僧大德,他們都有一個現象,就是「無求」。

你看弘一大師,是我們近代的,他早年學藝術,什麼都會,風流倜儻,取兩個老婆,最後出家。你看他搞藝術的時候,學什麼像什麼;出家的時候,也是學什麼像什麼,其實他就是我們最好的例子。我們沒有修行以前,也是在花花世界;我們修行以後,也是在花花世界。可是心態變了。他念佛是依照律宗- 南山律,道宣律師的律宗。這律宗一般人是受不了,連喝水都要用濾水袋。「濾水袋」就是用最細的麻布來濾水。

為什麼?水裡面有細菌,不忍心傷害。所以他守戒守到這個程度。

真正律宗,跟女眾不接觸的,你樓梯下來,他對面看到,倒退他就回去了。在台灣蓮因寺的住持懺雲法師,是律宗。早年我們男眾去拜見他,先在小客廳坐,他來接見,女眾沒有份。

律宗為什麼守戒那麼嚴?他先強制自己把身心放掉,放到清淨的程度,念佛、拜佛就有用了。

可是這法門不適於各位。

為什麼?太不方便。我們可以看到他們示現的現象,去學。

怎麼學?在紅塵當中,把紅塵當成道場。

「道」就是沒有分別,「場」是環境。你就把日常生活,當成道場,這樣修行叫作「波羅蜜」,是離苦得樂的方式。

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