MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 38
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 38

Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 38

(Last week we ended with, “Today if you see objects, your ears hear sounds, your nose smell scents; if you are not arising thought in mind it is called Prajna. This is the first step, but it is not easy to do.”)

 

How can we achieve it?  It is precisely having no attachment in mind. This needs regular training to let go from the smallest trivial matters. The meaning of letting go does not mean one does not care or be lazy.

It is up to you to think, does this matter have any impact?

Does it benefit both others and you?

If yes, then go ahead with it. Nevertheless, there is a prerequisite. Besides compassion you must have wisdom. Without wisdom and only compassion, then it causes karma and becomes artificially intended. There is only one difference between the ancient and modern man in cultivation practice, and that is ancient people were willing to follow cultivation practice realistically without flight of fancy. Why? They did not have many distracting thoughts and delusional thinking.

The social structure in ancient times is different from modern society. Today, the whole world is a family, regardless of wherever you go, we are all one family. Convenient in transportation, turning on the computer and all information comes into your home; eventually, it registers in your head all mixed and disorderly. If you have Prajna wisdom today, it is unmixed and undisturbed also; there is no need to watch the news or listen to the weather broadcast, naturally you would know. However, the problem is modern societal thinking, when talking to them this way, it does not work. How come? They need to have proof.

They demand to see evidence. They say: “You need to show me, is there this thing?” Therefore, the cultivation practice of Buddha teaching still emphasizes having verification by experience rather than theory or pure logic.

Having verifiable experience is self-experiment. Self-experiment needs to have method, you must have the “right (Buddha) understanding and right (Buddha) views”. “Understanding” is having the ability of correct understanding of the phenomena of the universe and this life on Earth. “View” is having the ability to know the whys and wherefores. This ability must be recovered first. After recovery, associating with others in this modern society becomes very interesting.

Modern people are self-centered. Ancient people were not; they focused mainly on the nation and society. Based on Confucianism:

They focused mainly on heaven, earth, and the people; as oneness of heaven and the people.

Modern society does not have this kind of thinking; they are neither harmonious with heaven, nor harmonious with people. Presently they attach most importance to themselves. Especially in Western society, relying mainly on one’s own; all is initiated from this “self-I”. Since it sets off from this “self-I”, then it turns into intelligence and exceptional ability with very strong combative nature, which is contrary to the practice cultivation of the Buddha teaching. Today we talk about the teaching of Buddha shall be no-self. Why? All living beings are Buddha, I am also Buddha and so is everyone else; we all have enlightenment nature.

Bear in mind, Buddha is not the picture that hangs on the wall, it expresses teaching.  When you look at his appearance of “purity, equality and enlightenment”; you need to think that yourself is “purity, equality and enlightenment”. This being the case in this way, if your mind begins to be purified today, it has bit of function of tranquility, a clear vision about this society, and you would get along with everyone, in addition all become overjoyed.

In Western society, living alone is not possible, as you need to have some form of contact with society. Furthermore, many of you today conduct business which needs to have contact with the public. You cannot close the door and not do the business, that is impossible. During business handling, it is very difficult for you to be without arising thought in mind, without attachment and without delusional thinking. However, one can do cultivation of the Buddha’s teachings, so long as you put it into practice genuinely, to carry out during thought arising in the mind. Last time we referred to a resourceful method to learn thought arising in the mind. If you do not have the time to recite Buddhist scriptures, or to worship Buddha, none of these are important; the importance is at thought arising in your mind. If thought arising in the mind can have “tranquility”, and if you can subdue your afflictions, then you will be very happy living in this society. Others will not be able to tell, but you will be very clear about it:

How many days do you have with this society?

With whom is what kind of predestined affinity?

How will you be reconnected again in the next life?

What will the outlook be in future?

You no longer worry, do not have affliction, and also no expectations.

Modern societal lives are based on hopes. Many people say, “If there is no hope, I can no longer live”. Buddha teaching is completely different; Buddha teaching is:

Re-entering the womb and then reincarnation arises with endless hope.

One feels like re-entering the womb for rebirth then one can; you follow your natural affinity with all living beings, enter in the womb for rebirth to help one be awaken, and no longer have this nightmare of life (the time on Earth). After they awaken then the work is completed. If there is no more affinity occasion left, then you remain in the eternal energy of the universe to enjoy the days of pureness without darkness. This kind of living is totally different.

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

 

     卷()   般若的體、相、用  

(上星期講到: 如果今天眼睛看到事情,耳朵聽到的音聲,鼻子聞到的香味;你能夠不起心、不動念,就叫作「般若」。這是初步,但是很不容易。)

 

怎麼能做到?就是心裡沒有執著。這要平常訓練,從最小的雞毛蒜皮開始放。放的意思,不是說 – 不在乎,不是說 – 懶得做,不是這個意思。

是你想想這事情有沒有作用?

對自己、對別人有沒有好處?

有,你就做。可有先決條件,就是慈悲以外,還要有智慧。沒有智慧,這個慈悲就變成造業、造作。古代人修行跟我們現代人不一樣的地方,只有一點,就是他願意腳踏實地去做。為什麼?沒有很多的雜念、妄想。

古代社會結構跟我們現代結構完全不一樣。現在是全世界一家人,你走到那裡都是一家人。交通便利,電腦打開,所有的資訊都到你家裡來,最後儲存到你的腦袋裡,雜雜亂亂。如果你今天有「般若」智慧,它一點都不雜也不亂,也不需要看新聞,也不需要聽氣象報告,自然就知道了。可是問題就是,現代的人的想法,你這樣跟他講,行不通。

為什麼?他要有證明。他說:「你要拿來給我看一看,有沒有這個事情?」所以佛法修行還是講「實證」。

「實證」就是自己試驗。自己試驗要有方式,你要有「正知正見」。「知」,是正確的了解宇宙的現象、了解人生的現象,你要有這能力。「見」,是見解,知道它的來龍去脈,你要有這能力。這能力要先恢復,恢復以後,處在現代社會非常有意思。

現代人以「我」為中心;古代人不是,古代人是以「國家社會」為中心。那你想我們儒家講的:以天、地、人為中心 -天人可以合一。現代人不是,天也不是合一,人也不用合一了,現在是以「自己」為主。尤其西方社會,以「我」為主,什麼都是「我」出發。既然是「我」出發,就變成聰明才智,鬥爭性很強,這跟佛法的修行違背。今天要談佛法,就要「沒有我」。為什麼?一切眾生都是佛,我也是佛,大家都是佛,都是覺。

記住,佛不是我們那個相上掛的,那是相,表示它是教學。你看他那個樣子 – 清淨、平等、覺,你想你自己也是清淨、平等、覺。既然如此。如果你今天心開始清淨了,有一點「寂」的作用,你在社會就看得很清楚,一樣跟大家相處,而且皆大歡喜。

在西方社會,你不能獨居。總要跟社會接觸。還有大家是做生意,在座有很多是做生意的,做生意一定要跟大眾接觸,你不能說關起門來不做生意,不可能。做生意在生意過程中,不起心、不動念、不執著、不妄想,基本上很難、很難。可是佛法的修行做得到,只要你真正去實行,在「起心、動念」中實行。我們上次講:「起心、動念」是修學的竅門。沒有時間去念經,沒有時間去拜佛,都不重要,重要是在「起心、動念」。起心、動念如果能「寂」,如果可以把煩惱「伏住」,那在社會中,你會很快樂。別人是看不出來,你自己會很清楚:

我在這社會還有幾天?

跟這些人是什麼樣的緣?

下一生還要怎麼樣來接觸?

將來是什麼個局面?

不會有擔心了,不會有煩惱,也不會有任何的期待。

現代人是活在希望裡,很多人都講:沒有希望,過不了。佛法不是,佛法是:「投胎轉世希望無窮」。想投胎,就投胎,跟眾生有緣;你跟他一樣投胎,把他喚醒了,不要再作人生的這個惡夢。喚醒了,可以了。如果沒有緣,自己在宇宙永恆的磁場當中,享受清淨而沒有黑暗的日子。這不一樣的。

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