• .

    问:佛教徒需要看良辰吉日吗?
    答复:释法荣
    翻译:Wuxin


    答:良辰吉日指的是:美好的时辰,吉利的日子。选择良辰吉日是中国一项历史悠久的统传习俗,含有相当深邃的文化底蕴。选择吉日的用意在于寻找适宜举行特定活动的日子,希望能借此把握“天时”,并配合地利与人和,使活动顺顺利利进行,促进人间的和谐关系,从而达到趋吉避凶、吉祥如意的结果。

    由认识论来审视,所谓良辰吉日,其实是根据古人长期累积的经验整理出来的一套法则,依佛法来理解,就是依人、事、时、地、物的因缘条件变化而处之,不能一成不变地应用于每个人,每件事,而是讲究灵活恰当。

    所以佛教徒不盲从选择良辰吉日。进一步探讨,从智慧的角度而言,他善观因缘,不否定选择适当的日子办某些事;从慈悲的角度而言,在无伤大雅的情况下,有时也要顾念长辈的感受而作出顺应传统的抉择。

    佛教徒明白世事皆无常变化、因缘生灭、空无自性的道理. 只要活在正念的状态中,依正知分析问题,就能看清楚目前的状况和长远的目标,办事当会想得更仔细周到,无论宏观和微观、理性和感性、对他人或对自己的考量,他都会尽力照顾到,同时他也做了最好的准备和最坏的打算。只要看清楚各种因缘条件,尽人事而作出最适当的反应,就是最美好的选择。


    Question: Do Buddhists Follow the Practice of Picking Auspicious Dates and Time in the Conduct of Activities?

    Answer: The practice to pick an auspicious day and a good time to carry out certain activities is an old Chinese tradition with deep cultural roots. The purpose is to determine a suitable date and time to perform a certain activity, so that by combining the best conditions of timing, circumstances and human resources, the activity is accomplished smoothly, achieving a propitious outcome without adversities.

    From the scientific perspective, the picking of auspicious dates and time is a methodology developed by our ancestors basing on experiences accumulated over a long period of time. However, from the Dharma angle, any decision should be based on the changing causes and conditions, involving factors relating to human, events, circumstances, locations and objects. Thus, the methodology may not be applicable to all people and activities, and it should be applied flexibly instead of rigidity.

    Therefore, Buddhists should not pick auspicious dates and time blindly. From the wisdom angle, being adept at observing causes and conditions, Buddhists are not against carrying out certain activities on certain dates. On the other hand, from the compassion angle, mindful of the feelings of the elders and without causing any adverse consequences, sometime Buddhists may go along with the customary selection of dates.

    Buddhists understand that all things in this world are subject to the laws of impermanence, dependent origination and emptiness. So long as we maintain the state of right mindfulness and analyse problems with right wisdom, we would have clarity of our current conditions and long-term vision, as well as rigour and meticulousness in problem solving. By taking into consideration all factors concerning ourselves and others, the big picture and the minute details, as well as the subjective and objective viewpoints, we would be able to make appropriate decisions, bearing in mind both the best and worst possible outcomes. Therefore, we would be making the best choice in picking an auspicious date so long as we are clear of the various causes and conditions, and do our best in the deliberations.

  • .
    问:如何在日常生活中避免因贪心而惹烦恼?
    答复:释法源
    翻译:Kim Ong

    答:在日常生活中,要避免因贪心而惹烦恼,可以采取四念处中的心念处方法,让我们时时保持正念,自我警惕;正念能够快速警觉贪心念头,通过眨眨眼,使呼吸顺畅,头脑冷静下来应付事态,烦恼自然平息。修行者要在日常生活中时常让这个心绵绵不断的保持在正念警觉的状态。


    对于初入佛门的修行者,当六根接触六尘外境时,会很容易又陷入执着的烦恼里,例如:贪爱聆听别人的称赞或听美妙的音乐歌曲,贪爱观赏美丽舒服的画面、贪爱吃美味的食物、贪爱闻香喷喷的气味、贪爱触摸柔软的物体等等、等等,此时此刻的心已经不觉不知失去正念的警觉力量,被六尘的色、声、香、味、触、法所迷惑,修行过程产生诸多障碍,结果什么都想不通,糊涂了!

    因此,佛陀教导弟子要时常“收摄六根”,注意身体的行、住、坐、卧以及呼吸,让我们时时保持正念处于警觉的状态中。所以修行者应该生活简洁,衣着简朴,饮食清淡,并且远离声色犬马,尽力杜绝聆听不必要的口角是非,避开恶劣的环境。

    佛陀比喻修行者如同干草,各式各样的声色犬马和口角是非如同火焰,干草和火焰相互接触一定会造成一发不可收拾的大火灾难。

    现代的生活环境太多五花八门的诱惑,过分的欲望常常让贪婪的心陷入执着的烦恼里,这正是一切痛苦的根源。因此保持在正念警觉的状态,守护寂静灵敏,思想敏锐,自然可以不被贪嗔痴所荼毒。


    Q: How to avoid greed that leads to mental afflictions in our daily life?

    A: In our daily life, in order to avoid greed that leads to mental afflictions, we can apply the method of being mindful of our mental states as specified in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. This will allow us to maintain constant mindfulness and self-vigilance. Mindfulness can quickly become aware of any thoughts of greed that arise in the mind, then through blinking the eyes, breathing becomes at ease and the mind calms down to deal with the situation, thus, mental afflictions naturally cease. The Dharma practitioner should keep his mind continuously in a state of mindful vigilance in his daily life.

    For beginners, when the six sense faculties come in contact with the outer six sense objects, it is extremely easy to fall back into the mental affliction of clinging-attachment. For example, being attached to the sound of praise from others or good music, being attached to beautiful and comfortable sights, being attached to the taste of delicious food, being attached to the smell of fragrance, being attached to the feeling of touching something soft, and so on. At that moment, the mind has unknowingly lost the vigilance of mindfulness and becomes confused by the outer six sense objects of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and mental objects. The practice process produces many obstacles and as a result, nothing can be figured out. Confused!

    Thus, the Buddha taught his disciples to constantly ‘guard the six sense faculties’ and be aware of the body while walking, standing, sitting, laying down, as well as while breathing, so as to constantly keep the mind in the state of vigilant mindfulness. Hence, the Dharma practitioner should live a simple life, dress simply, adopt a simple diet, stay away from sensual pleasures, and spare no effort to avoid listening to unnecessary verbal arguments and bad environment.

    Buddha said that a Dharma practitioner is liken to hay and all sensual pleasures and disputes are liken to fire, and when hay and fire come together, it will certainly cause an uncontrollable fire disaster.

    T
    here are too many temptations in modern living environment and excessive desire often causes the insatiable mind to fall into the mental affliction of clinging-attachment. This is the source of all suffering. Therefore, maintain a state of vigilant mindfulness, with a calm and sharp mind, naturally one will not be poisoned by greed, anger and delusion.

  • .

    问:佛教徒的学习重点是什么?
    答复:释法荣
    翻译:Venerable Fa Rong


    答:佛说:“诸恶莫作,众善奉行,自净其意,是诸佛教。”就是说佛教徒的学习重点是净化我们的心,怎么说?就是在日常生活中的为人处世、应对进退,有没有常常拉回来,保持在觉醒的状态中看清楚我们的起心动念和执著烦恼的生灭无常、如梦幻般的空泛不实而不掉入起心动念和执著烦恼中。有就对了,那就是净化我们的心;没有就要反省为什么没有,什么情况下迷失等问题,知道问题,就能改进。

    所以要拉回来,回到觉醒的状态,看清楚我们的起心动念,不掉入执著烦恼。保持这样的状态在日常生活中,乃至在晚上睡时做梦中,甚至在临终时也能远离颠倒梦想,这就是佛教徒学习的重点。

    Q: What is the crucial point of practice for Buddhists? 

    A: Buddha said, "Avoid all evil deeds, engage in all virtuous deeds, and purify one's own mind. This is the teaching of all Buddhas." This shows that the crucial point of practice for all Buddhists is to purify our own mind. What does this mean? When we are dealing with situations and considering what to do and not to do in our daily life, are we able to constantly bring ourselves back to the present moment and, maintaining the state of awareness in watching our state of mind and discerning but without being attached to the arisen thoughts and afflictions, realise that they do not exist in reality as they are both impermanent and illusory. If the answer is affirmative, we are purifying our mind. If not, we would need to reflect upon the failing and find out the problems, such as where have we strayed. Once we have identified the problems, we would be able to make improvements.

    Therefore, we must learn to bring ourselves back to the present moment and abide in a state of mindful awareness. In so doing, we are clear about our generation of thoughts, and do not slip into the clinging of our afflictions. We should aim to maintain such a state of mind in our daily life, including in our dreams at night, and even at the time of dying so that we would be free and removed from delusions and dreams. This is the essence of practice for all Buddhists.

  • .

    问:如何从佛教三藏十二部八万四千法门里,选择适合现代人的修行法门?
    答复:释法源
    翻译:Kim Ong


    答:释迦牟尼佛教导的一切修行法门都离不开戒、定、慧三无漏学。从2500多年前释迦牟尼佛的生活时代一直到现代,世界各地的禅修道场都依循佛的教导来修持,信众能够选择在适当的时间和环境里,随时随地运用四念处或其他修行的方法下功夫,让身心获得无尽的安乐。

    一般上,我们在日常生活中通过戒律来约束自己的身、口、意行为,并且时常拉回眼前来观察自己的起心动念,修持禅定和智慧。

    每天都尽力保持正念,培养观察自己的身心的习惯,守护六根(眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意)来面对外境的六尘(色、声、香、味、触、法),训练我们不容易被人、事、物造成的情绪影响。

    《六祖坛经》说:外离相为禅,内不乱为定。《永嘉证道歌》说:行亦禅,坐亦禅,语默动静体安然。

    释迦牟尼佛的教导是要引导信众发现自己本具的“如来清净佛性”,从中认识心的本源是“无常、因缘、无我”。应该放舍一切梦想,避免神魂受颠倒,也就是拉回眼前,回归到“如来清净佛性”。时常往内心观察,不断清除杂念,借以提升般若智慧,超越一切善恶、是非、对错、等等的对立,烦恼可以离开矣! 

    通过戒、定、慧三无漏学的禅修,我们的心能够磨砺得像明亮的镜子,观察力因而敏锐异常,能看清一切人、事、物的本质,明白烦恼就是“无常、因缘、无我”,从而进入解脱的境界。

    Question: How do we know which Dharma method from the 84,000 Buddha discourses in the Three Baskets (Tripitaka) of the twelve scriptural divisions is most suitable for modern people to practise?

    Answer: All the Dharma taught by the Buddha are inseparable from the threefold training of ethical discipline, meditative concentration and wisdom that leads to liberation from cyclic existence. 

    Since the Buddha's time, 2500 years ago till now, all the Dharma centres worldwide have followed the teachings of the Buddha to engage in training, and lay disciples can choose either to work on the four foundation of mindfulness or the other Dharma methods at their chosen time and environment for the achievement of peace of their body and mind.

    Generally, we tame our body, speech and mind by upholding the precepts in our daily life, as well as bringing our mind back to the present moment to watch our mind state, practise meditative concentration and wisdom.

    Everyday we should try our ultmost ability to maintain right mindfulness, cultivate the habit of watching our body and mind, guard our six sense faculties (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind) against the six external defiling sense objects (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and mental objects) and train ourselves so that our emotional well-being will not be easily affected by people, circumstances and things.

    The Platform Sutra states: 'Externally to be free from the grasping of form is meditation; internally to be free from distraction is meditative concentration.'

    Yong Jia's Song of Attaining Enlightenment states: 'Walking is meditation, sitting is meditation; whether it is speaking or not speaking, moving or not moving, all abide and rest in the state of calmness.'

    The teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni is to guide sentient beings to discover their own innate "buddha nature" or "Tathagata-garbha", and get to understand the origin of the mind is "impermanent, conditioned and non-self." There is a need to let go of all dream-like thoughts, preventing one's mind from sinking into delusion; that is, to bring the mind back to the present moment, returning to "buddha nature".

    Always turn the mind inwards to watch the mind, and constantly dispel all distracting thoughts. Through this, strengthen your wisdom (prajna), transcend all conceptual notions of dualism, such as good and evil, right and wrong, and thus, be rid of mental afflictions.

    Through the threefold training of moral discipline, single-pointed concentration and wisdom for the purpose of liberation, we can polish our mind to mirror-like clarity, and thus, our mental discernment can be sharpened to see the actual nature of all matters of people, circumstances and things, and understand that all mental afflictions are "impermanent, conditioned and non-self," thus, entering into the state of liberation.


  • .

    问:什么是惜福?

    答复:释法荣
    翻译:Kim Ong

    答:什麽叫做“福”?福是祸的反义词。什麽叫做祸呢?祸是灾殃丶是祸患。按说,人生世间,没有灾殃祸患就是福,无奈有人身在福中不知福,并不以为过着没有灾祸的平安日子就是福,而是“心无厌足,惟得多求。”要追求更多的福,包括名利丶权位,攫取占有,永无止境的欲望。在追求的过程中,未得到的想尽办法去得到,已得到的又恐怕失去,患得患失,反而陷精神於惶惶不安中。

    要惜福呀!如何惜福呢?首先要抑制欲望:知足;其次要生活有度:勤俭。人生有涯,而欲望无穷,如果任由欲望放纵恣肆,迟早可能惹祸上身!社会上有太多的“进取”人士,在创业过程中盲目扩充,永无止境,终至於像吹气球似的,吹过了头,‘啪’的一声粉碎了!要懂得想後果啊!

    生活太奢侈,其实有如高空踏绳,掉下来可不是玩的!吃饭的最低目的应该是果腹,或者顶多满足美味之欲也就够了。穿衣是为了蔽体,当然也可以要求美观,但如果像菲律宾前总统马可仕的夫人伊美黛似的,拥有四千多双鞋子,那就奢侈得离了谱。古人说:“惜衣惜食,非为惜财为惜福”。想想耕作者所付出的劳力与汗水,我们就不能不珍惜半碗残饭。一张卫生纸尽管所费无几,但想到一张纸也要耗费自然资源,我们就不能不爱惜。一个人如果存有此种观念,自然就知道惜福。

    但是,惜福也要有智慧才不会得不偿失。比如食物在室温下放置过久,或有冷藏及加热处理不足而使细菌滋生,吃了会食物中毒,那就会因惜小福(一些食物)失大福(健康和财富)。所以要善于分辨轻重、权衡利弊,做出有智慧的选择,这才是真正的惜福。


    Question: What is the meaning of cherishing one's good fortune? 

    Answer: What is known as good fortune? The opposite of good fortune is misfortune. What is known as misfortune? Misfortune refers to disasters and calamities. Normally, if there is no disaster and calamity in one's life, then it is considered good fortune. Unfortunately, there are people who live in good fortune, but do not appreciate it. They do not think that it is good fortune to live a safe life without any disaster, but instead, their minds lack contentment and only desire for more. They seek for more good fortune, including fame, gain, power and status. They plunder to own and have incessant desires. In the process of pursuing, they think of all ways to get what they want and fear to lose what they have gained. Constantly worrying about personal gains and losses, and hence, they fall into a mental state of anxiety and unrest.

    There is a need to cherish the good fortune we have! How should that be done? Firstly, there is a need to curb our desires by having contentment. Secondly, there is a need to live this life without over indulgence by being frugal. There is a limit to life, but there is no limit to desire. If we allow our desires to go untamed, getting into trouble will be a matter of time. There are too many "go-getters" in our society, expanding their business blindly in an endless pursuit, and at last, it is like blowing a balloon, over inflating it and "pop", bursting it into pieces! Think about the consequence!

    Living life too extravagantly is like treading on a rope in space, and it is not fun falling from it. The basic purpose of eating a meal is to fill our stomach or at most, fulfill our taste buds. Wearing clothes is to cover our body and of course, it is ok to dress well, but it will be overly extravagant if we are like the former first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos who possessed over 4000 pairs of shoes. There is an ancient saying: Treasuring one's good fortune is treasuring one's clothing and food, but not referring to treasuring one's wealth. If we think about the labour and sweat put in by the farmers, we cannot help but treasure a half bowl of leftover rice. Even though a piece of tissue paper does not cost much, but when we think about how much natural resources were used to make one, we cannot but treasure it. A person who holds such a view will naturally know how to cherish his good fortune.

    However, in cherishing one's good fortune, there is a need for wisdom in order not to experience more losses than benefits. For example, putting food out in open for too long, inappropriate storing of food in the fridge and improper heating up of food may cause bacteria growth that leads to food poisoning when consumed. This will result in losing a big fortune (health and wealth) while treasuring a small fortune (some food). Thus, it is necessary to be able to discern, weighing the pros and cons and make the right choices. This is what it means by truly cherishing one's good fortune.


  • .

    问:学佛能改善人际关系吗?

    答复:释法源
    翻译:Kim Ong


    答:要改善人际关系,首先要了解人与人之间的互动接触,就像打回力球一样,我们用多大的力气打出去,就会有多大的力量反转回来;我们用什么态度对待别人,别人也很可能用相同的态度回报我们。所以,要多释放善意,争取别人也如此,彼此间真诚对待,自然会愉快相处;佛教的因果循环思想,有助于促成人际的和善关系。

    六祖惠能大师说:世人若修道,一切尽不妨,常自见己过,与道即相当。意思说:世间人如果要修学佛道,不管修什么法门都不相妨碍;人如果时常自省过失,就是与佛道相应了,跟谁都可以结善缘。

    因此,在日常生活中,当我们和别人谈话和共事时,多多留意自己的身、口、意表现,时常自我反省检讨,哪里做得不令别人满意,就下定决心改进,并虚心向别人学习,多听取别人的意见;时常提醒自己,把人际关系搞坏的原因是不是因为我执作祟,是不是受到别人批评时,心里生起嗔恨心;应该学习降伏我慢等等不良的心态。

    当别人需要我们帮助时,只要是在我们的能力范围内,就应该主动伸出援手,这样的与人相处的态度,自然能够广结善缘,和大众建立良好的人际关系。

    Question: Can learning the Dharma improve interpersonal relationships?

    Answer: In order to improve one's relationship with others, we must first understand that our interaction with others is like playing back a ball. How hard we hit the ball determines how strong the ball will return. The kind of attitude we use to treat others, others may also return us with the same attitude. Therefore, we should radiate more goodwill towards others, in order for others to treat us the same. When both sides treat one another with sincerity, we will naturally be able to get along happily. The philosophy of cause and effect in Buddhism has the benefit of improving interpersonal relationship between people.

    The Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng said, “For the common people who practise the Dharma, there is no impediment; always look for one's own faults, one will act in accord with the Dharma.” This means that for those people in this world who wish to practise the Dharma, there will be no contradiction in whichever Dharma methods one practises; if one constantly examines one's own faults, one will not stray from the path and will be able to build good relationship with others.

    Therefore, in our daily life, when we are talking and working with people, we should pay more attention to our body, speech and mind. Always self-reflect and self-examine areas whereby others are not satisfied with us. Be determined to improve and humbly learn from others. Listen more to others' opinions. Always remind oneself that ego-grasping is that which ruin our relationship with others. Whenever others criticise us, observe if anger arise in our mind. We should learn to tame all our negative attitudes, such as our pride.

    Whenever others need our help, if it is within our capability, we should initiate to lend a helping hand. Such an attitude of getting along with others will naturally enable us to build good relationships widely and establish good interpersonal relationship with the masses.




  • .

    问:“南无佛”是什么意思?为什么读起来是“那摩佛”?

    文:释法荣
    翻译:Yeo Hwee Tiong


    :“南无”是梵语Namo的音译,念成“那摩”,是保持古代原来的读音,现代福建一部分地区,仍保持这个古音。“南无”的意义是“敬礼”,“南无佛”则是“礼敬佛”。

    为什么要礼敬佛呢?因为佛是一个觉醒、有智慧的人,他看清楚生命是逼迫苦的真相(苦谛)。生命的苦来自内心的烦恼(集谛)。佛证得解脱烦恼的境界(灭谛),并研究出熄灭烦恼的方法(道谛),所以佛值得我们礼敬、学习。

    “南无佛”也是礼敬我们本来就觉醒的心性。我们的心本来就觉醒,但因为固执于起心动念而产生了烦恼,觉醒的心性被烦恼盖住了。所以我们要常常保持在觉醒的状态,一迷失就要马上觉察、觉醒;不要迷迷糊糊的做白日梦,背着不必要的烦恼包袱过日子。面临一切境界,不管逆境、顺境,都要觉察、觉醒、冷静的看清楚情况,想清楚轻重缓急,理性的面对、处理,我们就会活得心安理得、踏实自在,这就是“南无佛”的意义。


    Q: What is the meaning of “nan mo fo”(南无佛)? Why is it pronounced as “nan mo fo” instead of “nan wu fo”?

    A:“南无”in Chinese is the phonetic translation of the word “Namo” in Sanskrit, preserving its original pronunciation. Certain parts of Fujian province in China still preserve this original pronunciation. The meaning of “Namo” is to pay respect, hence“南无佛”means to pay respect to the Buddha .

    Why do we need to pay respect to the Buddha? It is because the Buddha is an enlightened and wise being. He realized that life contains compulsive sufferings (the truth of suffering), and these sufferings in life are caused by our mental afflictions (the cause of suffering). The Buddha has reached a transcendent state free from suffering (the end of suffering) and has found a way to end our suffering (the path leading to the end of suffering). That is why the Buddha is worthy of our homage.

    “Namo fo” also means paying homage to our Buddha nature, the awareness nature of our mind. We all possess Buddha nature but because of grasping to our emotions and thoughts, mental afflictions occur, our Buddha nature is obscured. That is why we need to maintain our state of awareness and not indulging in day dreaming, carrying unnecessary afflictions baggage in our life. When we encounter situations, be it pleasant or unpleasant, we must be aware and alert, realize the situation; think it all out in order of importance and urgency and to deal with it rationally. In doing so, we will live in peace, at ease and justified. This is the true essence of paying homage to the Buddha.


  • .

    问:如何在日常生活中修行断除烦恼?

    文:释法源
    翻译:Yeo Hwee Tiong



    答:首先应该养成习惯时常处在觉(清楚观照)的状态中,对烦恼生起和消失的原因都有清楚的观察和体会。

    在日常生活中,当烦恼没有生起时,我们根本无需断除它;当烦恼已经生起了,只要保持觉(清楚观照)的状态,静静的观察烦恼,我们的身、口、意不跟随烦恼起舞,让烦恼很自然的慢慢消失。

    从以上对烦恼的观察和体会,发现烦恼的无常性、因缘性和无我,借此明了,“断除烦恼”不是有一个真实的烦恼要断除,重点是在日常生活中养成习惯时常处在觉(清楚观照)的状态中,不被烦恼干扰而让烦恼自然生起后慢慢消失,这就是断除烦恼最好的方法,就能解脱烦恼的束缚。

    Q: How do we reduce our vexations in daily life?

    A: First of all, we need to cultivate the habit of awareness (to be in a state of mindful reflection). This will allow us to have a clearer understanding of the arising and cessation of our vexations.

    In our day-to-day life, when vexations arise, there is no need to eliminate it. As long as we are aware and calmly observe its arising, our body, speech and mind will not be led astray, our vexations will gradually cease.

    When we reflect upon our vexations, we will discover its impermanent nature, and that it arise and cease due to causes and conditions (non-self). Therefore when we talk about ceasing our vexations, there is nothing substantial to cease. The important thing is to develop the habit of awareness (mindful reflection). As long as our mind is not disturbed by our vexations, they will gradually cease. This is the method to cease our vexations. By doing this, we learn to transcend and break free from our mental bondage.


  • .

    问:为什么要禁语?

    文:释法荣
    翻译:Yeo Hwee Tiong


    答:问题就在于一般人的心,时常处于心猿意马的状态,一直冲、冲、冲,很难静下来。心没有静下来,你就很难觉察哪里出了问题。比如一盆水里有珠宝,但是水却是污浊的,你能不能看到里面的珠宝?看不到;或者比如水一直搅动着,你也看不清东西。如果我们让水沉淀下来,就能看清楚水中的东西了。

    禁语并非不许人说话,而是禁止无意义的话语,目的是遇到问题或烦恼时,让我们把心拉回来,往内看;让心如浊水一样沉淀下来,我们才能看清楚起心动念,聆听自己的心声,从而洞察问题的症结,对症下药。

    当我们逐渐沉淀冷静下来,你的心就越能抽离起心动念,就会看得更清楚、更明白人事物的道理,就能更好的聆听他人的心声,了解他人的问题所在,更有效的帮助他们。

    所以禁语让我们拉回来,反省自己,保持冷静,不随便讲话,看清楚状况,进而讲该讲的话,做该做的事,这就能帮助自己,也能帮到他人。

    Q: Why is it necessary to observe noble silence?

    A:  The problem lies in our state of mind, which is used to being restless and constantly having thoughts. Without a calm mind, we are unable to see the source of a problem. Imagine there are jewels in a bowl of water, but if the water is murky, would you be able to see the jewels? Certainly not! Similarly, if the water is being stirred, we would not be able to see the contents in it clearly. Instead, if we allow the water to become still, we can then see what’s in it clearly.

    To observe noble silence does not mean that speech is prohibited, but refraining from making idle speech. The objective is to train ourselves to focus on the present moment and look inward whenever we are faced with problems or in vexation. If we let our mind stay calm, like the murky water settling down, we would be able to see the rise of our emotions and thoughts clearly. By listening to our mind, we can then see the crux of our problem and resolve it with the best solution.

    When we settle down and become calmer, we would be less affected by our emotions and thoughts, and be able to see things more clearly. We would be more perceptive and more empathetic, and as such we would be more effective in helping others by understanding their problems.

    Hence, the observance of noble silence allows us to focus on the present moment, stay calm and reflect upon ourselves, so that we can assess the situation clearly, say only what needs to be said, and do what needs to be done. In this way, not only can we benefit ourselves but others as well.

  • .

    问:四佛知见的重要知见是什么?

    答复:释法源
    翻译:Yeo Hwee Tiong


    依据经典的解释,佛者觉也。四佛知见分成:(i)开觉知见、(ii)示觉知见、(iii)悟觉知见、(iv)入觉知见。

    (i)开觉知见:佛觉悟一切众生都面对生、老、病、死和怨嗔会苦、爱别离苦、求不得苦、五取蕴苦等等的烦恼煎熬。
    佛于是放弃王宫的安逸生活,出家修行而发现心中的觉性能超越生老病死和各种烦恼煎熬,这就是开觉知见。

    (ii)示觉知见:佛通过言语和各种善巧方便的修行方法,引导众生认识心中的觉性破除我执烦恼,这就是示觉知见。

    (iii)悟觉知见:在修行过程中,觉悟是非常重要的环节,通过对人、事、物和身心的观察来感受一切皆是无常和因缘的变化,觉悟的心能超越无常、因缘而不被我执烦恼迷惑,这就是悟觉知见。

    (iv)入觉知见:众生必须深切体会外在一切人、事、物,以及内在身心感受、情绪和念皆是无常、因缘和无我。如果没有真正彻底的觉悟,潜在的贪嗔痴三毒会令众生重新陷入执着中。因此,要更深入的往觉性之中去觉悟便很重要了,这就是入觉知见。


    Q: What is the significance of the “The Four Doctrines of the Buddha”?

    According to the Sutra, “Buddha” means mindful awareness. The four doctrines are:
    - The Doctrine to Introduce Mindful Awareness
    - The Doctrine to Expound Mindful Awareness
    - The Doctrine to Experience Mindful Awareness
    - The Doctrine to Stay in Mindful Awareness

     i. The Doctrine to Introduce Mindful Awareness: In this doctrine the Buddha expounded on the sufferings (Dukkha) experienced by sentient beings which include the following:

       - Birth
       - Aging
       - Illness
       - Death
       - Association with the unbeloved is dukkha
       - Separation from the loved is dukkha
       - Not getting what is wanted is dukkha
       - In conclusion, the five clinging-aggregates are dukkha

    The Buddha chose to abandon his comfortable lifestyle and free himself from the bind of lusts, and sought the way to transcend aging, sickness and death by engaging the path of cultivation.

     ii. The Doctrine to expound Mindful Awareness:  In this doctrine the Buddha taught sentient beings the various means of meditation and contemplation with the objective of leading them towards Buddhahood. The methods of cultivation taught by the Buddha invariably centred upon ridding one’s attachments and returning to his innate awareness.

     iii. The Doctrine to expound Experience Awareness: In this doctrine, the Buddha taught us to maintain awareness through our body, feelings, emotions and thoughts, generate thoughts and contemplate that all external objects, events and people as well as our internal body, feelings, emotions and thoughts are subject to impermanence, causes and conditions, and they are empty in nature. This is how one transforms afflictions into an enlightened mind.

     iv. The Doctrine to stay in Mindful Awareness: In this doctrine, the Buddha expounded on the realization that all external objects, events and people and our internal body, feelings, emotions and thoughts are subject to impermanence, causes and conditions and are empty in nature. Unless we reached the state of complete awakening, we may still be influenced by the three poisons of greed, hatred and ignorance, which thrust us back to the state of having attachments.  This is why it is important to stay in Mindful awareness.

  • .

    问:为什么我们需要念佛?


    答复
    :释法荣       
    翻译Yeo Hwee Tiong


    因为我们喜欢起心动念。在起心动念中,人们容易迷失自己,所以佛就教导我们在起心动念时找回自己的方法,比如透过念佛号找回我们觉醒的心性(觉性),从中透视内在起心动念乃至外在人事物的无常性、因缘性及空性。起心动念也好,人事物也好,都是无常变化的,而且是因缘生、因缘灭,所以没有一个东西生灭,只有空幻的假相、假名。但因为我们抓住起心动念及外相,就认为真的有东西生灭,从而耗费生命去追求不实在的人事物,满足我们无尽、虚妄的欲望。


    怎么样才不迷失呢?我们就在内心念佛的名号,专注念佛就比较容易看到自己在起心动念,就比较能看得更清楚内心、外在的真相:无常性、因缘性及空幻性;就更甘愿放下我们的执迷不悟,让我们松绑、觉醒。需要动念时,保持冷静、觉醒,好好看清楚内心外境,抓重点、以大局双赢的角度来反应。不需要动念时透过念佛,回到觉醒的心性中养精蓄锐,不虚耗宝贵的生命时间,让我们很踏实的,心安理得和欢喜自在的活着。

     
    Q: Why do we need to chant the Buddha's name?

    Our mind is constantly in a state of flux as, habitually, our thoughts arise from moment to moment in a random manner. WHen this happens, we are easily lost in our thoughts. Chanting the Buddha's name is a means to recapture our mindful awareness. By doing this, we become aware that our thoughts and all matters in the external world are impermanent in nature, they arise and demise subject to changes in causes and conditions, and they are empty in nature. Because of our attachment to our thoughts and external forms, our mind becomes deluded and we will be wasting our life in pursuing material things to satisfy our incessant craving and desire.


    How to keep our mind from becoming lost? By focussing on chanting the Buddha's name, it is easier for us to be aware of the arising and passing of thoughts. We would be able to see more clearly that our thoughts and all external matters are in reality impermanent, arising from causes and conditions, and are empty in nature. With such awareness, we would be more willing to let go of our attachments. This will in turn free us from our vexations arising from such thoughts. When the need arises, we will exercise our mind to remain calm and think in a clear and objective manner to analyze the situation from a larger perspective. This will often result in a win-win situation that is beneficial to all parties. When there is no need to think, we abide in chanting the Buddha's name and remain in a state of mindfulness. In this way, we will not waste our precious time and lead a meaningful and fruitful life while maintaining an equanimous mind.

  • .

    问:为什么佛教有八万四千种的修行方法?


    答复:释法源        
    翻译Yeo Hwee Tiong


    佛陀以因材施教的方式教导众生,因为众生的生活背景、风俗习惯、教育程度等等方面都有差异,佛陀运用无数的善巧方便,帮助众生解决不同的烦恼。例如对于智慧比较高的人,佛陀教导他修习明心见性,当下往内心观照,体悟诸法无我的道理;对于智慧稍低的人,佛陀就教导他循序渐进按部就班地修行。


    佛陀教导众生熄灭烦恼的所有方法,都离不开"止"和"观"的修行:

    (A)"止",就是要让我们的心处在不动念、专注集中和稳定的状态;人们此时此刻的心非常敏锐,观察能力特别强,能超越一切人、事、物的羁绊,以及内心情绪上的波动,世间所有的好坏、是非、对错、美丑、爱恨等等波动都不能干扰这时刻的心。(心处在这个状态又称之为"正念")。


    (B)"观",就是要我们动念思考、分析判断,进一步熄灭心中的贪、嗔、痴等等烦恼。(心处在这个状态又称之为"正知")。


    例如修"因缘观",观察到世间一切的事物都是各种因缘条件和合而成,当因缘条件不具足时,就会分散而破灭。因此,世间一切事物都是随着各种因缘条件的变化而成,随着各种因缘条件的变化而破灭,绝对不会永远不变。 通过"止"和"观"的修行,我们能够了解人生的痛苦根源而逐渐远离痛苦,熄灭心中一切的贪、嗔、痴等等烦恼的折腾和纠缠。



    Q: Why are there eighty four thousand Dharma ways for Buddhist practitioners?

     

    The Buddha uses different teachings in order to address the different requirements of sentient beings. Because of differences in background, customs, education etc. of sentient beings, the Buddha utilises various expedient means to help sentient beings to resolve their different problems. For example, for those with higher wisdom, the Buddha taught them to seek enlightenment by understanding one's mind. By reflecting on the true nature of our mind, we realise non-self directly. For others, the Buddha uses a gradual and systematic approach to allow them to practice methodically.

    All the methods taught by the Buddha can be reduced to 2 modes of cultivation i.e. developing calmness and insight.

    (A) "Calm abiding" is the practice of ceasing our stray thoughts by focussing and stabilising our mind. When we achieve this, our mind becomes sharp and observant and we can penetrate the true nature of things without being affected by subjective emotions which include good and bad, true and false, right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, love and hate etc. Abiding in a calm mind is also known as "Mindfulness". 

    (B) "Insight" requires us to utilize our thinking mind to analyse our thoughts in order to eliminate our afflictions relating to greed, hatred and delusion. The practice of insight is also known as right comprehension.  

    For example, the contemplation on causes and conditions help us to realise that all phenomena arise due to causes and conditions and cease due to changes in causes and conditions, nothing remains constant. 

    Through the practice of "Calm abiding" and "Insight", we will be in a better position to understand the true nature of suffering and use this practice to eliminate our afflictions of greed, hatred and delusion in our minds.  

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