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第一个障碍 The First Obstacle

导读:Part 2: Walking The Path 第2篇:行道2-2. The Path of Peace 平静之道  2-2-1. Practicing Dhamma 修习佛法  2-2-1-2. The First Obstacle 第一个障碍  The first obstacle in developing Vipassana can appear when we make movemen...

  Part 2: Walking The Path 第2篇:行道

  2-2. The Path of Peace 平静之道

  2-2-1. Practicing Dhamma 修习佛法

  2-2-1-2. The First Obstacle 第一个障碍

  The first obstacle in developing Vipassana can appear when we make movements with the body and Sati is aware of it. Wisdom arises in the mind that knows reality as it really is. That is, it knows Rupa-Nama; it knows instability, impermanence and non-selfhood; it knows convention; it knows religion, knows Buddhism, knows evil and knows merit. This is wisdom knowing through Vipassana. But it's only just the outer bark of Vipassana, still not able to deal with suffering. It is just knowing in knowing; it is knowing through thought, knowing the scriptures. It is defilement due to Vipassana. The obstacle is that when this kind of knowledge arises, we get buried in it, a kind of knowledge that is still similar to being inside a cave.

  当我们身体做着动作且正念觉知着它,这样修习毘婆舍那时,会出现第一个障碍。这个障碍是由内心生起的如实知实相的智慧所导致的,也就是说,虽然这种智慧能知道色名(身心)、知道苦、无常及无我、知道世俗法、知道宗教、知道佛教、知道罪恶以及知道功德,且是经由修习毘婆舍那而知道的一种智慧(注:即依经典文字、念头思惟而知道的智能,或依文字起观照的智能;或禅思之慧);但是,这样的智慧只是毘婆舍那的外皮而已,还不能灭苦。它只是「知道」的一种“知道”(It is just knowing in knowing.),也就是说,是经由念头思惟而「知(道)」的“知道”、只是“知道”经典的义理,因此实际上,这种知道是观障(defilement due to Vipassana,毘婆奢那生起的染污烦恼)。如果当这样的智慧生起时,我们执着而埋陷其中,那就成了第一个障碍,这样的智慧其实是相当于仍在洞穴内的智慧。

  Therefore, next we must try and find a method to get out of the cave, to pull ourselves out of that knowledge, gradually, by watching our thoughts. As soon as a thought flashes up, know, see, and understand that it has come up. This is practicing Dhamma a little bit deeper.


  Ordinarily, a tree has an outer bark. When one removes the outer bark, he reaches the layer with the nourishing sap inside. Removing that layer, one reaches the white wood. Removing that, one comes to the heartwood. Buddhism is the same. Knowing Rupa-Nama, evil and merit is also knowledge; but it is outer knowledge, enough to deal with suffering on one level, such as not being foolish by believing in auspicious things and lucky omens, or in ghosts and angels. But when one is in such a state, greed, hatred and delusion are still there, because one doesn't know the origin or source of it.


  To solve this problem, to know the origin of the arising of greed, hatred and delusion, we must watch our minds, like a cat that waits for a chance to grab a mouse. As soon as a though comes up in the mind, look at it and fix on it so that it is known in time. A though comes. Whack, cut it off straight away! Another one, whack, cut it off right there! Do this often. Thoughts will thereby decrease and awareness will increase. Just as with the positive and the negative. When there is more of the positive, the negative lessens. We start off never having seen thought, thinking a hundred things and never seeing a single thought. But when we are watching like this, we catch it once and cut it off. The remaining thoughts are less than a hundred now and will steadily decrease step-by-step, as long as we keep at it.


  We keep gazing like this, a thought comes, we cut it off, another one arises, we drop it. When we think a hundred thoughts and we know ninety-five of them, it shows that we have a lot of awareness. Just five thoughts left that we can't keep up with. Right here is where we have to put forth effort: watch thought but don't be caught up in the thought. When we know and see all the hundred thoughts, keep up with every thought every time, it is equal to knowing and seeing exactly where greed, hatred and delusion are born. We have to cut them off so that defilements are unable to arise. This is called to keep abreast by knowing, to know in time. Knowing how to prevent, knowing how to solve. This is where we're able to deal with Lobha, Dosa &Moha.


  Defilements can arise because we get deluded right here. We don't know that their origin is right here. This refers to even someone who goes to the monastery to listen to talks, who makes offerings, who keeps precepts and develops both tranquility and insight-meditation. If that person has still never seen his or her own thoughts, then that person is still far from the Truth taught by the Buddha. Contrariwise, even if a person has never gone to a monastery to listen to the Dhamma, has never made offerings or kept precepts, but is always aware of what his or her mind is thinking, that person equals with knowing. He keeps abreast of thoughts, knows how to prevent, knows how to solve and knows how to conquer every time. That person is close to the Truth, the Dhamma taught by the Buddha.


  Have you ever heard of the Buddha having taught that the Dhamma exists already? But there is nobody with discernment who can dig it up and find it; so it stays undiscovered. Because it is undiscovered, people make merit, give offerings, keep precepts and do Samatha-meditation in order to develop good habits. So we believe that it is meritorious and wholesome to accumulate those things for the next life or for the future. This is wrong understanding. The Buddha didn't teach like this. The Buddha taught us to see our own minds.


  We have heard the story of the monk Vakkali, who was attached to the Buddha's body and never looked at his own mind. When he was corrected by the Buddha, he became so upset that he was going to jump from a cliff and die. The Buddha stopped him and taught him that it is difficult to get born as a human being. And it's very rare for a human being have an opportunity to listen to the Dhamma from a Nobel person. The Buddha said further that His body was just material. After his death it would rot and stink. That is not the Buddha. The real Buddha can be found within the monk Vakkali. The Dhamma that is present in all people, that is, cleanliness, brightness and peace, which is the Buddha.


  The Buddha proclaimed, ‘whoever sees the Dhamma, sees Me. Whoever doesn't see the Dhamma, doesn't see Me, even when taking hold of My robe or My finger’. The monk Vakkali woke up and started to work with the mind; and he saw his own thinking.


  (Seeing The Dhamma 见法)

  I would like to remind you once more that the word Dhamma refers to our seeing our own minds at the moment that we are acting, talking or thinking. This is what is called seeing the Dhamma. I dare to insist that the very life of the Dhamma exists in all people without exception, no matter whether you are a man or a woman, a monk or a novice; no matter what nationality you may have, whatever language you may speak of whatever clothes you may wear. It's all the same. The Dhamma are the actions of body, speech and mind. Actions of the body other people can see; actions of speech others can hear; but actions of the mind others are not able to see. You can only see them yourself. For this reason, the monk Vakkali felt at ease viewing it like this. Whether he saw the body of the Buddha or not, he would feel at ease because he saw the real Buddha; that is, really seeing according to reality, an ability that exists in everyone.


  The Buddha once described seeing in this way: with flowers, black, red, white or whatever colour, they are all ready to bloom when touched by sunshine. That I'm giving you these reflections right now is the same: Anyone can apply them in daily life, whether man or woman, whatever clothes he or she may be wearing, whatever religion is upheld. It can be used by everyone in the same way, because we all have a body and mind. When one sees one's own mind at the moment that it thinks, this indicates that one sees one's own mind at the origin or source of thought. The Buddha points to though, which must be watched with awareness, but one must not get caught up in the thoughts. Whoever sees this, he or se is called by the Buddha a flower that is ready to bloom when the sun shines. The word sunshine refers to the teachings of the Buddha that direct us to practice with the mind. Whatever work you do, control your thoughts with awareness. Some people don't do it yet, because they're not interested. But when we are interested, when we are suffering, we must be ready to do it.


  There are 84,000 teachings in Buddhism. They are not for reciting and for performing ceremonies. That was not the Buddha's intention. The Buddha's teachings have nothing at all to do with superstition. They are to be practiced only in order to solve the suffering of the mind. Some people might argue that without ceremonies and rituals Buddhism can't extinguish suffering. This fails to understand the meaning in the right way. We've heard that in the time of the Buddha, when He would expound the Dhamma to people, there were many people who would open the eye to see the Dhamma and enter the stream of Nibbana from the first stage of enlightenment upwards by the time the discourse was finished. They didn't have to perform rites and rituals other than working with the mind, as the Buddha indicated.



  Wherever we explain the Dhamma, if we don't make this point, our words are a stain. Why are they a stain? They are a stain because we don't indicate the way that people who are interested in the Dhamma must practice in order to free oneself from suffering and defilements. And they are a stain because we thereby abandon these effective teachings. Therefore, may you all try to understand this point without fail. If we don't practice according to this important teaching, then we fail to understand the teaching of the Buddha.