V 1-2 The Objective of Practising Buddhism and Cultivating one’s Mind 学佛修心的目标

Disclaimer: The translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation. The Buddha-Dharma is profound. No matter how you convey it, it won’t be completely perfect. Because the Buddha-Dharma is an experience, it’s an awakening 【佛法深奥无比,怎么写,都不会是究竟圆满。佛法是一种悟】. Please enjoy, and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.


修心的目标有了,那么修心怎么修,怎么擦拭我的心?这要靠心的理解来实现——悟。悟就是想通,我们总是说要悟,可道理都摆在那,轮回因果,缘分命运,还有什么可悟的哪?实际上,明月飞花,一草一木无不带来悟的契机,生活中的每一天每件事都有可能让我们领会更多,悟就是将佛法应用到生活中去再从生活中体会出佛法的一个反复练习的过程,犹如我们在准备考试的过程中反复应用基本纲领反复做练习题再从练习中掌握基本纲领直到熟练掌握,应用自如的过程。修心路上的每一次正确应用佛法,心境就提升一分,同时又可能前九次全对,但第十次错了,也可能导致修行前功尽弃,所以才说修心路上“如履薄冰”。

Once we have set an objective for cultivating the mind, we must ask ourselves, “How do we cultivate our mind? How do we introspect it?” The answer depends on the comprehension of your mind to realise it – that is called ‘awakening’. To awaken is to develop a sudden insight about something. We always talk about the desire to awaken spiritually. However, with the principles already laid out clearly – cause and effect, cyclical rebirths, karmic conditions and destiny, what else are we meant to awaken to? In reality, everything that happens in our everyday life provides us with opportunities to awaken and deepen our understanding of life. Awakenment is a cyclical process whereby we practise the teachings of the Buddha-Dharma and apply it into our everyday lives, and from the experiences we gain from doing so, we gain a better comprehension of the Buddha-Dharma. Then we reapply what we’ve learnt back into our everyday lives, and the process repeats itself. This is similar to preparing for a test, where we constantly apply the guiding principles, learn and perform written essays in doing our exercises. From these exercises, we master the basic concepts until we reach a level of proficiency where we are able to put the theory into practice freely. Over the course of cultivation, each time we apply the Buddha-Dharma in the correct manner, the level of spirituality of our state of mind will be elevated accordingly. Nonetheless, even if we did well for nine consecutive attempts but erred on the tenth, all the previous efforts that we had achieved would have come to nought. That’s why the cultivation of the mind is like treading on thin ice.


有很多同修对台长的“说法”研究得非常仔细,理解得非常透彻,修得非常精进,这是好的现象,说明大家认识到这个法门的殊胜之处。但是从网上问的问题和平时的待人接物上可以看出,很多人现在还处于还债的阶段,还没有认识到佛法即人生,学佛先学做人的基本道理。虽然因为念经的原因,脾气上有了改进,但并没有主观上开始反省自心,主动地找毛病改正品行,也就是说佛法还没有被你应用到生活中去,还没有把佛法主动地应用到自己身上。比如说“戒定慧”,有多少人仍不明白为什么要戒,戒什么,怎么戒了就能定?为什么要定?定什么?这些都是心中要明白的问题。同样很多我们平时耳熟能详的一些前人总结的经验,也要从中悟出它的原理,它依据佛法的哪个基本定律,这样才能明白前人为什么这么说。比如说,为什么“忍辱能精进”,依据哪一原理?为什么要这么强调“无我”,有什么作用?等等,不仅知道这句话,也能按着做,不能只是简单地机械地照搬套用,只有理解了原理才能举一反三,真正明白真正会应用,这一点和我们学习数学应用定律没有什么区别。

Many fellow practitioners have studied the Buddhist teachings expounded by me very thoroughly, gaining an in-depth grasp and cultivating diligently. This is an encouraging sign, as it indicates that they appreciate the unique excellence of this Buddhist practice. However, judging from the various questions posted online and their approach in handling interpersonal relationships, it is evident that many are still at a stage where they struggle to repay their karmic debts, have yet to understand that the Buddha-Dharma is closely intertwined with our daily lives and learning Buddhism begins with learning about the basic principles of human behavioural integrity. Although some may seem to have tamed their temper through their effort in performing the recitation of Buddhist scriptures, they have neither done any self-introspection nor have they proactively tried to identify and correct their shortcomings. In other words, they have yet to take the initiative to apply the knowledge of Buddhism in their daily lives and practise what they have learnt personally. For example, on the question of cultivating “Discipline, Concentration and Wisdom”, how many of us understand why we need to observe the precepts and what precepts are to be observed. Why it is that observing the precepts will give rise to concentration? What does it mean by concentration? We need to get to the bottom of these questions. Similarly, we need to fully comprehend the many conclusions derived from the past experiences of our predecessors. We need to find out the basic principle on which the conclusion was drawn. Only then will we be able to understand why our predecessors reached their conclusion. For example, why is it that we can practise cultivation diligently when we practise forbearance in the face of humiliation? On which theory is it based? Why is the concept of “non-self” given so much emphasis and what is its purpose? Not only do you gain an understanding of the theories, but you will also be able to put them into practice. You cannot just apply the theories mechanically, but you need to fully understand them so that you can draw inferences from other cases. This is similar to our study of mathematics and its law of application.


所以“悟”并不是那么遥远抽象,在每天的学佛中,实际上我们都已经在不知不觉的情况下开悟:怎么念经?念经怎么就会变好?接下来就是要系统地有意识地悟,想更多的“为什么”从而明白更多的道理。修心的人不敢做坏事就跟懂法的人不敢违法乱纪一样,因为他明白道理。

Hence, awakenment is not something distant nor abstract. In fact, in our daily practice of Buddhism, we are gradually being awakened unconsciously. How do we perform recitations of Buddhist scriptures and how does performing recitations change our lives for the better? Subsequently, we would have to systematically and consciously work towards awakening. If you are inquisitive and ask more questions, you will understand more profound truths. It is because of such an understanding that Buddhist practitioners refrain from doing bad deeds, just like people who know the laws are apprehensive of committing criminal offences.


修行修什么?

修行就是修正自己的行为,目的是要达到觉悟的最高境界——彻悟。修行有三个方面:行为的规范,言语的禁忌和意识品行的提高。实际上,当我们知道了尘网中孽力占很大成分,而孽障又是来自于“身口意”,那么就很容易理解这三点的目的都是为了避免造孽。行为的规范杜绝身体造的孽障,言语的禁忌使自己不造口业,意识品行的提升又是为了防范意念上的坏念头,从而少造意业。

What does cultivating morals imply doing?

It is about cultivating our own behaviour. The objective is to attain the highest level of spirituality in terms of realisation, that is to become fully enlightened. There are three aspects of cultivation: the discipline of one’s own actions, regulation of one’s own speech and elevating one’s morality. In fact, once we understand that negative karma is a major force that binds us in the web of rebirth and that negative karma stems from our deeds by “conduct, speech and thoughts”, then it is easy to understand that the objective of these three aspects of cultivation is to prevent us from creating new negative karma. The discipline of one’s own actions refrains us from creating the karma of misconduct while regulation of speech is to refrain us from creating the karma of unwholesome speech. The elevation of consciousness and morality is to guard us against conceiving any bad intentions, thereby reducing the chances of creating the karma of unwholesome thoughts.


明白了这些原理,我们就可以以此为基准修正行为,减少孽障,不再编织新的尘丝。当然应用这个原理到生活中去和应用到什么程度取决于每个人的领悟力。比如说:工作单位的领导明显地加大了你的工作量,使你每天埋头苦干还常常加班加点,但别人同样的薪水,可要清闲的多。在这种情况下,你能忍住不骂人,你能忍住不做出格的事,可内心里你能不能真正地不生气呢?不生气又为什么这么重要呢?你不生气,别人会不会认为你是懦夫呢?正确的心态应该是什么呢?

Our understanding of this principle serves as a benchmark for us to correct our negative behaviour. It reduces our negative karma, and then we cease to create the karma of rebirth. Nevertheless, applying this principle and the extent of its application in our lives will depend on each individual’s level of understanding. For example, your superior at your department had increased your workload so much so that you totally occupied and worked overtime frequently, while others who received the same salary as you had less work to do. Under such circumstances, you may be able to forbear and refrain from doing anything improper on the surface, but are you truly not angry inside your mind? What’s so important about not getting angry? If you don’t show that you’re angry, will you be called a coward? What ought to be the right mentality?


这些都要靠我们自己来领悟。每回答一个问题,你的境界就增一分,领悟的不同,境界就不同。如果领悟不出,则会时时比较着别人的工作量,不停地感受着不公平待遇,渐渐地愤恨起来,这时候孽缘早已种下而不自知,反而认为自己才是受害者,渐失道心。其实任何人的努力,最后一定会得到回报。“师父领进门,修行在各人”,正因为每个人所处的环境不同,所遇到的问题也不同,所以台长不可能把每个人要悟的答案都摆在面前供大家选择,但好在万变不离其宗,还是有一定规律可循的,宗旨就是用因果、缘分来理解生活,用台长教的法门来解决生活中的问题,用做功德不起恶缘来作为约束自己的准绳。

It is up to us to discover and comprehend. With each question answered, the level of spirituality of our state of mind will go one step higher. Different levels of comprehension will give rise to different levels of spirituality. Failure to do so will make you compare your workload with that of others, and you will harbour the ill-feelings of indignation at the thought of being treated unfairly. This is the time you have developed negative karma unknowingly, thinking that you have been victimised. As a result, you deviate from the correct path of cultivation. As a matter of fact, any effort will be paid off eventually. “ The master can only lead you through the door, but it is up to the individual when it comes to showing the results of their cultivation.” It’s precisely because every individual is different, so the problems that they face are also different. Therefore it’s not possible for me to lay out all the possible answers for you to comprehend. Fortunately, it is also said that the approaches may be varied, but the fundamental principle remains unchanged, which means there are always some guiding principles to abide by. It all boils down to understanding the truth of life by being mindful of the law of cause and effect and karmic affinity. Besides adopting the doctrine that I am expounding to solve problems in your daily life, you should also set some criteria to perform more meritorious deeds and exercise self-restraint to prevent generating negative karma.


修行的三个方面并没有讲到积功德,那功德怎么会是修行的结果呢?修行三个方面直接的结果就是做善事,持善念,说好话,都是功德。

In the discussion of the three aspects of cultivation, I haven’t mentioned about performing meritorious deeds. But why are merits considered the consequence of cultivating our actions? It’s because merits are the direct result of the three aspects of cultivation: performing benevolent deeds, holding on to benevolent thoughts and speaking kind words.


修心修什么?

修心是修行到一定阶段后必然要面对的一个题目,初学者或还没有感应的人,可以先专心致志地消业障做功德做起,这是因为当身上的孽障还很多的时候,你的债还太多,心上的污垢还没有擦拭,谈不上修心。而当我们消孽障到一定程度的时候,逐渐地修心就摆在面前了。这就是台长所传的“修今世法”区别于其它“修来生法”的一个特征。魔由心生,实际上心魔和孽障是密不可分的。现在我们能够还债后再修心,那么我们就可以轻装上阵。所以同样是修心,心灵法门明显可以让大家的心障减轻,容易克服心魔,提升境界,收到成效。

What does cultivating our mind imply doing?

Cultivation of the mind is a topic that we would have to face inevitably at one point or another in our journey of spiritual cultivation. For beginners or those who have yet to experience any spiritual reaction from their practice, they may start by focusing on eliminating karmic obstacles and performing meritorious deeds. Weighty negative karma and karmic debts are like the uncleansed dirt on our body - when the body is still contaminated, cultivation of the mind at this juncture is out of the question. When our negative karma has been reduced to a certain level, the time will naturally come for us to practise the cultivation of the mind gradually. The “method of cultivating the present life” is what I wish to impart to you. It is unique compared to other “methods of cultivating the future life”. Evil stems from the heart. In actual fact, our negative karma and our inner demons are inextricably linked. Now that we have the opportunity to repay our karmic debts before practising cultivation, we are thus all geared towards making headway in our practice. Although both are methods for cultivating the mind, the method of Guan Yin Citta is more effective at clearing the hindrances in our mind, giving us the upper-hand in subduing the inner demons within us, elevating our state of mind and achieving desired results.


从修行的三个方面还可以看出,修行和修心是息息相关的,要修正自己,首先就得发觉自己的行为上有什么不正的地方。这个“觉”的过程就是修心的过程,反省自身,反省自心,逐步提高。修心没有一定的明确规定,按部就班的操作规程,具体说明如何修心,因为各人的业力不同,修行所遇到的障碍不同,从而修心之路也就有千差万别。但万法归一,无论我们修心之路有多么大的差别,最终的目的只有一个,就是佛心菩萨心,佛心即是众生心,菩萨心即是慈悲心,所以只有时时反省自心,对照佛心菩萨心,就能找到心中要修正的地方,从而修正我们的行为。

From these three aspects of cultivating our morals, it can be seen that it is closely interrelated with the mind. To cultivate and correct oneself, we must first find out what kind of unwholesome behaviour that we have. This process of self-realisation is the same as the process of cultivating the mind. By constantly introspecting our conduct and introspecting our mind, we will always be improving. There is no standard rule on how to cultivate the mind, and it is impossible to provide a concrete explanation on how to do so. This is because the karmic force that affects each individual varies, so the obstacles they face along their path of cultivation are different. Nevertheless, everything returns to oneness at the source, but there are many expedient methods that lead us there. Though there are many differences along our path of cultivation, there is only one final aim, that is to attain the state of mind of the Buddha and the Bodhisattva. The Buddha’s heart is one that embraces all sentient beings while the Bodhisattva’s heart is one that possesses great compassion. Hence, we have to reflect our minds upon the minds of the Buddha and the Bodhisattva. Only then will we be able to find what we need correcting within our mind, and from it correct our conduct.


佛心就是无我地想着众生的苦,菩萨心就是慈悲喜舍,这都是极高的境界。所以是我们的榜样和修订的终极目标。修心的基本起点就是修正心灵,达到心净心定的境界,也就是着眼于实际,从我们身上的毛病找起,去除三毒“贪瞋痴”,去掉我执他执,从而定下心来,一心修行,得到心灵的纯净,逐渐地明心见性。见到我们本来的佛性——包括良心、善心,使之培养壮大,发展成慈悲心。

Buddha’s mind refers to the selfless concern towards the suffering of sentient beings while the Buddhisattva’s mind refers to the Four Sublime States of loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity. These unparalleled level of spirituality of the mind serve as a source of emulation and the ultimate goal in our journey of cultivation and self-correction. The genesis of cultivation lies in correcting our mind, thereby reaching a level of spirituality that is pure and constant. This means that we must be practical by identifying our flaws, eliminating the three poisons of greed, hatred and ignorance, and eradicating attachment to the self and also attachment to others. Once our mind is settled and wholeheartedly dedicated to cultivation, we may then achieve spiritual purity and gradually understand our mind and see our true nature. We will then be able to see our inherent Buddha-nature, including our conscience and kindness, which will, in turn, thrive on developing into compassion.


什么是心净?

修正心灵为修心的出发点,但不同的人对正的看法不同,哪怕是对立的两个方面,可能都认为自己是正。这就是我们面临的第一个题目,什么是正?怎样是正?一个自私的人会说“人不都这样吗”?一个经常和妻子吵架的人会认为她总是这样不关心我,而一个与80岁的老妈十年不相往来的儿子也会振振有词地说:“她当年对我老婆狠得不得了。”在这种情况下,十年如一日从来没有认为自己错的人,怎么会突然去反省呢?什么是他们反省的契机?这个契机多来自外界,如某日法会上台长的一句话,有时坐车也能产生一些悟性,一个儿子扶着年迈母亲的一个剪影,或者是同事叙述的一个邻里旧事等都可能是幡然悔悟的契机。但契机必须有功德的积累做基础,正所谓“厚积薄发”,无论是通过念经还是做其它善事积累功德,只有到了这个层次,才有“一点就破”的可能,这个层次就是导致这种“不正”的孽障消除了,心灵上遮掩你本性的污垢擦掉了,这时候才能见到“不自私”的本性、“爱和包容”的本性、“孝”的本性。

What is the purity of mind?

Spiritual cultivation starts from the cultivation of the mind. However, the perception of what is right may differ from individual to individual. Even two opposing parties may insist that they are right. This is the first question that we face; What is right? How do we determine what is right? A selfish person may say, “Aren’t all people like that?” A husband who frequently quarrels with his wife may insist that she is uncaring towards him; while a son who has not been in touch with his 80-year-old mother for a decade may defend himself and retort that she was ruthless towards her wife back then. Under such circumstances, for people who have never once felt that they are in the wrong in a decade, would they reflect upon themselves? What would prompt them to reflect upon themselves? It could be an external factor, for example, an insightful speech delivered by Master Lu during a Dharma talk; a sudden realisation dawned upon oneself while travelling; the sight of a child supporting his elderly mother by the hand; or even an anecdote in the neighbourhood related by a colleague, etc. All these could be the sudden catalyst for repentance. However, the prerequisite for such turning points is to have an accumulation of merits and virtues as the foundation. Regardless of the method of acquisition - whether these meritorious deeds were accumulated by performing recitation or by doing kind deeds - you may only gain the possibility of having an instant awakening after you have acquired merits to a certain level. Only at this stage will your negative karmic obstacles be eliminated, thus removing the “dirt” that obscures your inherent nature. It is then that you will be able to see your unselfish, filial, loving and tolerant inherent nature.


同时要心中认识到还有制造这些污垢的源头:贪瞋痴,人生不如意十有八九,这十有八九大多数都因为贪瞋痴,所以称为“三毒”。刚对自己的自私心理批了好一阵,转眼单位里评职称,又是当仁不让,舍我其谁;刚把老妈妈接回来,10年冰冻得以化解,妈妈一句话又暴跳如雷……刚刚见到的一点善的本性又无影无踪了。

At the same time, it is important to recognise that the source of such afflictions - greed, hatred and ignorance, still remain. Life is often less than smooth-sailing and such imperfection of life may be largely attributed to greed, hatred and ignorance. This is why they are termed as the three poisons. For example, just after you have managed to subdue your selfishness for a while, you may be back to your old self again and think “who else should be more qualified than me” when there is an evaluation for rewards or promotion in your department. Or just as you have managed to resolve the decades-long cold war between you and your mother, and fetched her home to stay with you, some remarks made by her may send you flying into a rage again. Under the influence of these three poisons, your burgeoning inherent kind nature is nowhere to be found once again.


所以三毒不除,修心则是事倍功半,甚至寸步难行,即使久负盛名之有修,也有不能尽除三毒的可能。这一点只能由自己解决,别人的劝告,别人的帮助等外来之力是起不到决定作用的,哪怕是台长耳提面授让你别贪让你不要痴,自己看不破也没用。有多少痴心男女缘分已尽了,还要苦苦思念,有多少荣华富贵之后不能安于现状反而孤注一掷,变本加厉后,贪得无厌……这些都是看不破,看不破人生苦短,念念无常。虽然说到缘分因果都明白,但用到自己身上就是另一回事,不再是缘起缘落都是因往世的因果随着时间的推移而变化,缘分已了,一分羁绊就没了,不再是人间一切落叶飞花,皆为虚幻,命里的富贵和自己的往世善业相联系,喜欢就应加紧修功德以期来世荣耀一生。所以三毒之害伴随着修心的全过程,也是修心之人时刻面临的最大挑战。

Hence, if the three poisons have not been eradicated, cultivation of the mind would only reap half the result with twice the effort, or without any progress at all. Even veteran practitioners who are known to have practised cultivation conscientiously are unable to wipe out the three poisons in them completely. The result of spiritual cultivation depends solely on personal effort. External intervention such as advice and help from others are unable to serve as a deciding factor. Even if Master were to give you personal advice and exhortations to curb your greed and ignorance, it would ultimately amount to nothing if you fail to see the true nature of things. There are so many infatuated couples who continue pining miserably for each other, unable to accept the fact that the karmic affinity between them has come to an end. There are so many who are enjoying high social status and great wealth, yet they put all their stakes at risk in pursuit of more material gains to satisfy their insatiable greed. These are examples of people who are unable to see the true nature of things and fail to realise that life is brief and impermanent. They may understand the theories of karmic affinities and the law of cause and effect, but it is another question when it comes to putting it to practice. It is no longer a matter of the rising and ceasing of affinities but rather the result of cause and effect from past lives that change with the passage of time. Once the affinity has ended, the fetters would also vanish accordingly. Everything in the human realm is like falling leaves and flowers; in all cases, life is but illusory. The riches and honour enjoyed in this life are interrelated with kind deeds performed in your past life. If you wish to continue reaping these benefits in subsequent lifetimes, all you need to do is to intensify your cultivation in your quest for more meritorious blessings. In conclusion, the three poisons are ubiquitous in the process of spiritual cultivation, and they are the biggest challenges constantly faced by all practitioners.


对付三毒的法宝没有别的,“戒定慧”是关键,就是先克制自己,克制了,心就安定就能继续修行,终有一天能看开看破,这就是得了智慧,从而此毒就不再为毒。再下一个阶段,也许三毒又以其它的诱惑出现,看破了财富,又有了地位的诱惑,看破了地位的虚无缥缈,又有了女色的诱惑,看破了臭皮囊,又来了名声的诱惑等等不一而足。

The antidote to the three poisons is none other than “Discipline, Concentration and Wisdom.” It all starts with practising self-restraint. When your mind is settled, you will be able to advance along the path of cultivation. There will come a day when you are disillusioned and see the true nature of things - this is the time when you gain wisdom, and the poisons are no longer an issue to you. Nevertheless, in the subsequence phases, the three poisons may just manifest themselves in the form of other temptations. Just when you are disillusioned with wealth, you are faced with the temptation of status. Once you have seen the illusory nature of status, you may be enticed with lust. Once you have realised the body being mortal, there comes the temptation of fame, and the list goes on.


不单是诱惑,人生在世各有各的烦恼,家事国事天下事,事事忧心,心忧则浮而飘,被诸事牵扯,谈何修心。

In addition to the forces of temptation, each individual in this world has to grapple with their own set of troubles in life - from the household to the nation and the world at large, all of which brings us a lot of worries. We cannot even rein in the wandering mind, let alone practising the cultivation of the mind.


人生在这个世间,就不可避免地和其他人发生关系,我们可以自律不生恶缘,却不能让周围的人也都不生恶缘,如果别人对我们生起恶缘,也就是我们遭遇不公、不平、误解、甚至辱骂的时候,“忍辱精进”就是保持我们心灵纯净的方式。忍辱不是懦夫的表现,而是唯一的不“接”恶缘的法宝。别人向我射出一根恶缘的尘丝,我们一生气心中一恨,则尘丝就沾在我们身上,从这一刻起,恶缘的因果就形成了。只有忍辱而不接这口“恶气”,才能使恶缘不落地生根,忍辱是表相,真正要求的是心不起波澜视外辱如无物,也就是修心中的“境转心不转”。

Interpersonal relationships are inevitable as long as we live in this world. Although self-discipline may help refrain us from forming negative karmic affinities with others, we cannot expect people around us to do the same. When others form negative karmic affinities with us, that is when injustice is done to us, and we find ourselves being misunderstood or even hurled with insults. Under such circumstances, the practice of forbearance is the proper approach to maintaining the purity of our state of mind. Exercising forbearance when being insulted is not a form of cowardice but a golden practice that saves us from establishing negative karmic affinities. The moment we take offence or bear a grudge when someone takes a shot at us, then negative karma is formed. Only by practising forbearance can we reject this “malicious aura”, thereby preventing negative karmic affinities from taking root. Forbearance is merely a superficial expression. What we truly want to attain is a state of mind that is unperturbed by external influences and one that sees the emptiness of disgrace. Thus, there’s a saying, “Let not the mind be perturbed by changing external conditions”.


另外要从心中剔除的还有一个“执”,无论是“我执”还是“他执”,都是因为理解事物不全面而造成的一种偏见。由于每个人的经历和在生活中获得的感受都不一样,所以形成这种自己认为正确的偏见。可想而知是由于“执”的存在,我们在认识事物和道理上会有这样那样的偏差。但困难之处在于,自己不自知不觉察其为偏见,那么就会被这种假象的真理所欺骗而坚持下去。解决的根本是去除“我”,不以“我知我见”来认识佛法,也就是我们常说的学会“辩证地全面地”看问题,结合生活实际理解佛法。心要时时地擦拭,消孽障,让忧愁诱惑等尘埃不着落,从而得“心净”,心灵的纯净,目的是显露本性。净到一定程度后,本性就显露出大部分,不再容易被污垢遮掩,这时候我们就需要小心呵护着它,培养它壮大它,让它不要再迷失,这才是学佛的入门之时。

In addition, we have to eliminate attachment, be it attachment to the self or attachment towards others, as they are a form of prejudice which stemmed from our incomprehensive understanding of things. As our life experiences and perception of life differ, we develop prejudice which we think is right. Understandably, it is this attachment that causes us to be prejudiced and biased in our understanding of things and principles. However, the problem is that we fail to realise that our views are prejudiced, so we continue to be deceived by our deviated view. The solution to the root of the problem lies in removing the notion of ‘self’. We should not be opinionated and dogmatic in our study of Buddhism. Instead, we should learn to look into problems with a ‘dialectical and comprehensive’ approach and then combine it with our practical experiences in life to understand Buddha-Dharma. Our mind needs to be purified every now and then; our negative karma needs to be eliminated to prevent worries and temptations from afflicting us. With that, inner peace is gained, and our spiritual state is purified. The objective is to reveal our inherent nature. When the purity within us reaches a certain level, our inherent nature will become prominent and no longer becomes easily tainted and hidden. At this juncture, we need to take great care of the mind, nurture it and let it thrive to make sure that it doesn’t run off-course again. This is considered the starting point in learning Buddhism.


那是不是只有脱离尘世才能心净呢?尘世间是最好的修心地,心不净躲在深山也还是放不下。求心净,并不是要求大家放下一切,放下缘分,甚至为了躲避缘分而不与人交往,这里的“净”讲的是干净,纯洁,不沾染污秽的习气和恶缘分;所以心的干净是修出来的而不是躲出来的。

Does it mean that the only way to achieve purity of the mind is to renounce the world? Paradoxically, this world of affliction is the best place for cultivating the mind. If the mind is not pure, even if you retreated into a forest, you would still be unable to let go. To achieve purity of the mind, it doesn’t mean that one has to let go of everything and one’s karmic affinities. Nor does it mean that you should no longer socialize with others because you want to avoid forming karmic affinities. “Purity” in this context is about being untainted and pure, and not being defiled with bad habits and negative affinities. It is a state achieved through cultivation, and not merely through the act of evading.


心定是怎么回事?

大家信佛都有不同的机缘,有的人很容易,第一次听台长的法会就坚定地学下去了,有的人听节目录音中感到和自己的情况类似就按着台长教的方法去做了,见到了效果,知道所言不虚才信了。不管机缘如何,信了心就定了下来。这种定是暂时的定,身上的病好了,孩子可以开口说话了,知道佛法的伟大了,可是我很忙,忙得没时间念经,或者先是劲头十足,然后渐渐疲怠,或者只是怎么教怎么做,不去学习,不去领悟,这些都不是定。下次遇到别的问题,如工作丢了,爱情出问题了,还是在原地打转,不知如何应付;或者我已按台长上次教的方法做了,但我一个月内仍找不到新的工作;为什么我的爱情用了台长的方法半年还没来……疑惑随之而来。有孽障才有牵挂,有了牵挂,“我”就随着牵挂去了,心也就不定了。所以修大乘佛法(救助众生的法)要有小乘佛法做基础,先要把自己修好,自己的家修好,只有“心无罣碍”才能“无有恐怖”,再谈修心救度他人。

What constitutes the concentration of mind?

All of us encounter different conditions that lead us on to the path of Buddhism. There are some whose acceptance comes more easily than others, resolutely persisting in learning Buddhism ever since attending their first Dharma talk by Master Lu. There are also others who find the situations mentioned in the radio programmes to be similar to what they are facing in life and then adopt the method taught by Master Lu. Having practised and seen the desired result, they find what is taught to be true, and they become steadfast in their faith. Regardless of what the conditions are, once the faith is established, the concentration of the mind is attained. However, this state of concentration is temporary. Once we recover from an illness or when our child who used to suffer from a speech disorder has finally begun to speak one day, we come to realise how great Buddhism is, but we begin to give excuses that we are too busy and unable to find time to perform the recitation of Buddhist scriptures. There are others who start off with unsurpassed enthusiasm which wears off over time. There are others who only follow what is taught without making any effort to learn and seek realisation. These do not classify as ‘concentration’. When they encounter other problems in life, for example, losing their jobs, or facing a love relationship problem, they will still be going around in circles without a single clue on how to deal with the situation at hand. They may even start questioning, “I have done what was suggested by Master Lu for a month now, how come I am still unable to get a job?” or “Why haven’t I met the love of my life after following what was taught by Master Lu for half a year?” - Doubt begins to set in. When there is negative karma, there will be worries. When one is overwhelmed by worries, the ‘self’ will then be dragged along by these worries, thereby losing the concentration of the mind. Hence, the cultivation of Mahayana Buddhism (the method of saving sentient being) has to be established on the foundation of Theravada Buddhism. Therefore, we have to focus on self-cultivation first to improve ourselves and our family. Only with a mind that has no hindrances, do we have no fear. It is then do we discuss our aspiration to help liberate others from suffering in our path of cultivating the mind.


“心定”有两方面的涵义:一是坚定的信念,二是坚定的目标;其基础建立在明理上,明白世间法和出世间法的区别,明白因果,明白命运的高低起伏是为什么,还要明白善缘恶缘业力尘网的关系,这样才能定下心来修行;同时还要明白菩萨的慈悲,菩萨的伟大和真实不虚,菩萨闻声救苦的同时,我们要先做好自己的功课等。这样才能坚信目前的困难是有原因的,困难也是暂时的,从而达到心不随境转,境转心不转,一心觉悟的境界。当然这是比较高的境界,我们不一定人人都能做到,但至少知道了方向,我们就可以朝着这个方向努力,至于最终成绩如何,还要等参加了考试,待结果出来的时候才知道。

The concentration of the mind can be defined in two ways: firstly, to be steadfast in faith; secondly, to be unwavering in achieving one’s goal, the foundation of which is built upon rationality. This includes understanding the difference between mundane dharma and supramundane dharma, the law of cause and effect, reasons behind the surge and decline in one’s destiny, as well as the interrelationship between positive and negative affinities, the power of karma and the web of affliction. Only in-depth understanding of all the above can lead us to acquire concentration of the mind to practise moral cultivation. At the same time, we must also understand the truly genuine compassion and greatness of the Bodhisattva as well as Her commitment to saving the suffering humanity in times of need. Meanwhile, we too must first be prepared to fulfil what is required of us. This will then enable us to be convinced that the difficulties we face today are not without reasons and that they are merely temporary. Consequently, we can achieve a stoic state of mind that remains unmoved by circumstantial changes, a state of complete realisation and awakening. Of course, this is considered to be a relatively high level of spirituality of one’s state of mind that may be difficult for everyone to achieve. But at least we know what is the right direction and we can strive towards this goal. As for the final result, it is just like how exam results are unknown until they are released.


心浮则飘,心净则定,心定则生道。总的来说,佛法人生,人生佛法,把佛法应用到人生,自人生中参悟佛法,坚韧不拔,自会渐入佳境。

The mind will be drifting if it is not firm. A purified mind will give rise to a concentration of the mind which in turns lead to the path. Generally, we can say that the Buddha-Dharma is closely intertwined with our lives. Apply the Buddha-Dharma in your daily lives, comprehend the Buddha-Dharma from your life experiences, remain steadfast, then eventually everything will change for the better.





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