Hwa Tsang Buddhist Monastery 華藏寺

Dharma and Meditation 佛法與靜坐

Whether you are a young student or an old student, you will find much to gain and enjoy on these web pages. But before you begin, perhaps we should prepare you, by asking you some questions …

What should you do, when your best friend says they don’t want to associate with you anymore?
What should you do, if you can’t achieve your ambitions?
Why do some people seem happier than others?
Which faculty at College or University teaches you how to live contentedly?
How do you become more patient?
What will you do when your parents die?
How can you tell if someone is wise?

不論你是初學或是久修,相信下面的網頁能令你獲益。但在閱讀之前,讓我們先問你幾個問題•••
當你的好朋友對你說,他不想再和你交往,你怎麼辦?
如果你不能完成自己的理想抱負,你怎麼辦?
為什麼有些人似乎比別人快樂?
有哪一所大專科系教你如何自在地生活?
你如何變得更有耐心?
當你父母過世,你將怎麼辦?
你能辨別一個人是否有智慧嗎?

What is Dharma 什麼是佛法?

We call the Buddha’s teachings, the “Dharma”. The Buddha’s dharma was as pure as crystal clear water, and it had only one purpose; to reduce the sufferings of all living beings, and to show the path to liberation. We have given a brief introduction of this under the “Buddha’s Teachings” menu item.

我們稱佛陀的教說為「法」(梵語:達摩)。佛陀的達摩如水晶清水一般的清純,而他唯一的目的是,減低所有眾生的苦厄,指引眾生解脫之道。

What is the purpose of Meditation 靜坐的目的為何?

Buddhist meditation aims at producing a state of perfect mental health, equilibrium, and tranquillity. While many people think of meditation as escaping from daily life, assuming a particular posture, and being absorbed in some mysterious trance, Buddhist meditation is much more than this.

Its purpose is to cleanse the mind of impurities and disturbances, such as lustful desires, hatred, ill-will, indolence, worries and restlessness, sceptical doubts. It aims to cultivate the mind’s qualities of concentration, awareness, intelligence, will, energy, analytical faculty, confidence, joy, tranquillity. This can allow the mind to finally attain the highest wisdom, and the ultimate truth; Nirvana.

佛教徒靜坐目的,在使心境達到完美、平和、安詳的狀態。許多人以為靜坐是逃避世俗生活,要某種坐姿,或沉浸於神秘的感受中。其實佛教徒靜坐遠遠超過這些。
佛教靜坐目的是淨化心靈,去除內心的不安與擾動,例如:貪瞋癡慢疑等。靜坐是培養專注、覺知、智力、意志、心力、分析能力、自信、喜悅和寧靜等心理素質,奠定一個讓我們啟發智慧和覺悟真理的基礎。

How can we develop our mental abilities in our daily lives 我們如何在日常生活中,培養心的能力?

Buddhist meditation is not separate from our daily lives. It is deeply connected with our daily activities, our sorrows, our joys, our words, and our thoughts. The Buddha explains carefully in the Satipatthana Sutta, (Foundations of Mindfulness), that the first, essential element in improving our mental development, is mindfulness and observation.

For example, we breathe in and out all day long, but we are rarely mindful of it. Not for one second do we pause to concentrate on it. Why not try this little exercise now:

Breathe in and out as usual, without any effort or strain. Now bring your mind to concentrate on your breathing in and your breathing out. Let your mind watch, and observe your breathing in, and breathing out. Do not try to breathe quickly, nor try to breathe slowly. Just observe your breath, and try to keep your mind concentrated on your breathing, and nothing else.

Forget all your other things, your surroundings, and your environment. Just try to do it for five or ten minutes …

How did you go? Were you able to keep your mind on your breathing, without distractions? If it was your first time, you may have been surprised at how our minds just keep running around and do not stay still. Thoughts come to distract us, we hear sounds, and our mind just jumps from one idea to another.

However, if you practise this regularly, you will gradually improve your concentration. After a certain period of practice, you will experience a split second when your mind is fully concentrated on your breathing. Then you will not hear the sounds outside, and no external world will exist for you. This slight moment will be full of joy, happiness, and tranquillity.

With more practice, you may be able to repeat this for longer periods. But aside from this benefit, these breathing exercises are good for your physical health, relaxation, sound sleep, and efficiency in your daily work. It will make you calm and tranquil. But the journey does not end here.

佛教的靜坐與日常生活並非分開的,而是息息相關的,深深影響著我們的悲傷、喜樂、語言、思想。佛陀在《大念處經》(正念之基礎)中詳細解釋,提升心力首要因素是正念和觀照。
舉例來說,我們整天呼吸,但是極少注意到它,從來沒有一秒停下來留意它。現在不妨來試試做一下這小小練習:
像平常一樣呼吸,不刻意使力。現在把注意力集中在自己的出入息,讓心觀察自己的息入和息出。不要試圖快速呼吸或慢速呼吸。只是觀察著呼吸,專注在出入息上,別無其他念頭
你做得如何?心能夠集中在呼吸上,不會分散注意力嗎?如果這是你的第一次,或許會驚訝自己的心念不停亂跑,無法止息。念頭來分散我們的注意力,聽到聲音,從一個念頭跳到另一個念頭。
但是如果你固定時間練習,你將逐漸改善自己的注意力。經過一段時間的練習,你會體驗到自己能瞬間完全專注在呼吸上,聽不到外面的聲音,外在的世界不復存在。這短暫剎那充滿歡喜、快樂和寧靜。
假以時日,你或許能夠延長專注的時間。除了這個好處,觀察出入息還有助於身體健康、鬆弛身心、良好睡眠、提高工作效率。使你能保持平靜祥和。不過,路程並非就此結束。

Why should we have Mindfulness and Awareness 為什麼我們應該有正念和正知?

Another very important part of Buddhist meditation, (Bhavana), is to be aware and mindful of everything that we are doing; physically, mentally, and verbally during our daily routines.

Whether we are walking, standing, playing football with our friends, sitting watching TV, brushing our hair, eating our lunch, or anything else, we should be fully aware, and mindful of what we are doing. This is another discipline for us, to try and live in the present moment.

Generally, people do not live in the present moment. They live with their thoughts in the past, or perhaps their worries, in the future. But we cannot live in the past, – it is gone. We cannot live in the future, it is not yet here. You see your friend sitting down and eating while watching the TV. Does your friend eat, or does your friend watch TV?

We say that your friend is doing both. But actually, our minds can only process one stimulus or thought at a time. So if we are doing more than one activity, it is difficult for us to truly enjoy all activities. When our mind is engaged in multiple activities, it will be oscillating between various ideas, and so it is much harder for us to truly live in the present.

Mindfulness or awareness, does not mean we should think and be conscious, “I am doing this”, or “I am doing that”. It means we should be living our actions. For example, if we are talking to our friend, we should not think, “Oh, I am talking to my friend now”, it means we should concentrate on what we are saying, and concentrate fully on what our friend might be telling us.

佛教修學靜坐一個非常重要的環節是,在日常作息中,身口意都要學習覺知專注每一件正在做的事。
不論走路、站立、和朋友踢足球、坐著看電視、梳頭、吃午餐或做其他事情,我們都應該要完全地覺知和專注自己正在做的事。練習活在當下,是我們的另一項功課。
一般而言,人們不能活在當下。他們的念頭不是活在過去,就是擔心未來。但是我們不能活在過去,因為過去已經消失。也不能活在未來,因為未來還沒有到來。你看見你的朋友坐下來,一面看電視一面吃東西。你的朋友到底是在吃東西,還是在看電視?
我們可以說你的朋友在做兩件事,但事實上,我們的心念一次只能處理一個念頭。所以,如果我們同時做超過一個動作,就很困難真正享受所有的活動。當我們的心念在從事多重活動時,就會在不同的意念中竄動,我們就更難真正活在當下。
專注或覺知並不是說,我們內心應該想“我正在做這”,或“我正在做那”。而是應該清楚活在當下的行為中。例如:我們正和朋友聊天,我們不應該想,“啊,我正在和朋友講話”,而是應該集中注意我們和朋友說話的內容,還有朋友所要告訴我們的事。

Why live in the present 為什麼要活在當下?

Living in the present, and being aware of our thoughts and feelings, whether they are happy, unhappy, or neutral, gives us greater control of our lives. Examining our feelings, our sadness, or our happiness, watching these emotions arise and fall, allows us to become more detached, and free. We can gain greater confidence in our lives. We can practise more compassionately towards others, and reduce our worldly troubles.

活在當下,覺知我們的思想和感情,不論是開心、不開心、還是沒有知覺,讓我們更能掌握自己的生命。檢視自己的感覺,悲傷或快樂,觀照這些情緒的起伏,讓我們更能超然自在。生活更清楚、有信心,對他人更有慈悲心,減輕世俗的煩惱。

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