Words of Wisdom from the Grand Master

 【Pear Blossom Song   梨花偶成 】

Realization of the Truth of Impermanence  悟無常理 (一)

Pear tree blossoms paint the pear tree white
Blossoms fill the garden white as snow
Snowflake petals fall to the ground
Now the garden is green once more

梨樹開花滿樹白,滿園梨花白如雪。
片片雪花飛滿地,今日滿園成青色。


Realization of the Truth of Emptiness  悟真空理 (二)

Pear tree blossoms paint the pear tree white
Blossoms fill the garden white as snow
Snowflake petals fall to the ground
Now the garden is green once more.
The myriad things in nature all will cease,
Only true emptiness will not perish.

梨樹開花滿樹白,滿園梨花白如雪。
片片雪花飛滿地,今日滿園成青色。
森羅萬象終歸壞,唯有真空才不滅。


Realization of Distinctive Middle Way Reality  悟但中理 (三)

Pear tree blossoms paint the pear tree white
Blossoms fill the garden white as snow
Snowflake petals fall to the ground
Now the garden is green once more.
Green and white are forms of duality.
Avoid the extremes to transcend birth and death.

梨樹開花滿樹白,滿園梨花白如雪。
片片雪花飛滿地,今日滿園成青色。
青色白色皆對待,不落兩邊非生滅。


Realization of Middle Way Reality  悟實相理  (四)

Pear tree blossoms paint the pear tree white
Blossoms fill the garden white as snow
Snowflake petals fall to the ground
Now the garden is green once more.
Green and white both reveal the true nature,
Spring winds fill the garden with Chan joy.

梨樹開花滿樹白,滿園梨花白如雪。
片片雪花飛滿地,今日滿園成青色。
青色白色皆真性,春風滿園露禪悅。



 1.To recite the Buddha’s name is to invoke our original nature. By invoking the Buddha’s name, we bring forth the Buddha of our original nature. That is the true meaning of reciting the Buddha’s name.
念佛即是念自性,透過念佛號來啟發心當中的自性佛,就是念佛的真正意義。

2.We have a wordless sutra within our mind. By upholding and reciting the physical sutra with words, we evoke the sutra of our original nature, uncover our own inherent treasure, and truly attain an unwavering faith in the Buddha Dharma.
我們心當中也有一卷無字真經,藉由持誦有形有相的經典,以啟發我們自性的經典,如此親得自家珍寶,對於佛法就真正達到深信不疑。

3.The aim of practicing Buddhism is to free the mind from the influence of external circumstances and maintain peace and serenity within.
學佛的目的,就是使我們的心在境界當中不受影響,仍能保持平定、寧靜。

4.If we lack samadhi power and wisdom, are swayed by the external environment, and give rise to vexations, we will never clearly see the reality of all phenomena. Therefore, we must cultivate samadhi (meditative concentration). With samadhi, we will always be in command, and have the wisdom to know when to advance or retreat, to engage or let go.
一個人若缺乏定力與智慧,隨境界而動,心生煩惱,常會看不清楚事情的真相。所以必須修習禪定,有了禪定,便能時時作主,具有知進退、知取捨的智慧。

5.If we can gather inward the six senses: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind, and no longer cling to external circumstances, our delusions and discriminations will diminish and we will naturally be in accord with our pure, original nature.
眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意六根往內收攝,不再對外攀緣,妄想分別少了,自然能與清淨的自性相應。

6.In practicing Buddhism, we begin with “initial faith.” When we have gradually established “right view”, we will have “right faith.” Having the right faith, our cultivation will be fruitful so we will attain “deep faith”, then our bodhi mind will never regress.
學習佛法,首先透過「初信」;慢慢建立正確的知見,即是「正信」;有了正信,透過確實履踐便能達到「深信」,就不會退失菩提心。

7.An upstanding, unblemished character is the greatest blessing. A purified mind has the highest wisdom. Using blessings and wisdom to live, work, and study, we will succeed in our careers, perfect our virtues, and complete our Buddhist path.
人格完整是最大的福報,心靈淨化是最高的智慧。本著福德和智慧來做人做事、學習,無論事業、功德、道業都能成就。

8.If we practice the Way step-by-step, constantly cultivate blessings and wisdom, unify samadhi and wisdom, and employ both compassion and discernment, we will become just like the Buddha, attaining perfection in all virtues, blessings, samadhi, and wisdom.
只要一步步地落實修行,時時福慧雙修、定慧等持、悲智雙用,就能和佛陀一樣,萬德莊嚴,福德、禪定、智慧都達到最圓滿的境界。

9.The sutra says, “If we practice without giving rise to the bodhi mind, it is like farming without planting seeds.” All Buddhas and bodhisattvas have great compassion as the foundation. Great compassion gives rise to the bodhi mind, and the bodhi mind gives rise to supreme enlightenment. Therefore, in our cultivation, we must first develop a mind of compassion.
經云:「修行不發菩提心,猶如耕田不下種。」諸佛菩薩以大悲心為根本,因大悲心而生菩提心,因菩提心而成正覺,所以修行首先就是要培養慈悲心。

10.By constantly maintaining our mindfulness, we will have wisdom, samadhi power, and always be our own master.
保持覺性的存在,才能有智慧、定力,隨處作主。

11.In cultivating the Way, we should not seek and grasp externally; instead, we should probe within to see whether our mind has given rise to vexations. We should constantly harbor a compassionate mind, be lenient toward others, yet be self-disciplined, frequently reflect upon and examine ourselves.
修行不可始終往外馳求,要反求自心是否不起煩惱,時時要有慈悲心,待人以寬,克己以嚴,經常檢討反省。

12.A great compassionate mind is the Buddha mind. The spirit of Buddhism is compassion and equality. To achieve a mind of compassion and equality: first, we should not kill; second, we should save lives; third, we should practice vegetarianism. If we carry out all these, our compassionate mind will manifest.
大慈悲心就是佛心,佛法的精神就是慈悲與平等。要想達到慈悲、平等的心,第一要不殺生,第二要救生,第三要吃素;能夠做到,慈悲心就會現前。

13.To practice Buddhism is to learn from the Buddha, to emulate his purity of body, speech, and mind. When we have achieved the highest and most perfect standard in our cultivation, we will attain the Buddha’s compassion, wisdom, and samadhi power.
修行學佛就是要向佛學習,學佛清淨的身、口、意。達到最高、最圓滿的標準,就能成就佛的慈悲、智慧、定力。

14.All sentient beings have the Buddha nature within. Therefore, besides cherishing our own life, we should also respect the lives of all sentient beings.
一切眾生皆有佛性,因此,我們除了愛護自己的生命,也要尊重眾生的生命。

15.    朝山是身心精進的行門;身是五體投地、三步一拜,口在念佛,心也在念佛。身口意三業精進就能消業、轉業,福慧增長,處處吉祥。
“Mountain pilgrimage” is a diligent practice of body and mind. The body prostrates every three steps. The mouth recites the Buddha’s name. The mind is also mindful of the Buddha’s name. Diligence of the three karmas of body, speech, and mind can eradicate and transform bad karma. Blessings and wisdom will then increase and everything will be auspicious.

16.The bodhisattva is not just a kind of form or appearance, but is the pure intention to benefit all sentient beings.
菩薩不是一種形相,而是利益眾生的清淨心念。

17.When this mind is master of itself, all the actions of our daily life will be perfectly appropriate.
這念心能夠作主,日常生活所作所為,就能恰如其分。

18.By treating all people with a mind of compassion, respect, and equality, we can share the brightness and joy of the Dharma with everyone. That is the bodhisattva way.以慈悲、平等、恭敬心對待每一個人,使眾生同霑法喜與光明,就是菩薩行。

19.A mind of contentment, tranquility, and clarity is true wealth and honor.
知足、平靜、清明的這念心,便是真富貴。

20.When we are able to see through our own delusions and let go, our mind will achieve peace and tranquility.
能夠看得破、放得下,心就能得到安定。

21.To practice the bodhisattva way means that we act with a compassionate mind in every situation to benefit all sentient beings.
把慈悲心擴展到每一個因緣,運用到每一位眾生身上,就是菩薩行。

22.When we realize our original mind and nature through the Zen practice, our existence will be replete with infinite life, brightness, and wisdom, and we can transcend impermanence and the cycle of birth and death.
透過禪修,契悟自己的本心本性,生命就具足無量的壽命、光明與智慧,超越了無常與生死。

23.To extinguish the vexations in our mind is enlightenment.
將心中的煩惱化除,當下就是菩提。

24.By respecting others, we elevate our own mind, and live in harmony with each other.
對人恭敬,能提升心境;人與人之間也能和諧相處。

25.    When we have developed a mind of compassion, our mind will be filled with harmony and brightness.
慈悲心養成了,心當中就是一片和氣與光明。

26.“With a mind at peace, the thatched hut is safe. With a serene nature, the vegetable roots are fragrant.”If you can harness your ever-clinging mind, abide in the original mind, the original nature, then your mind will naturally be peaceful and serene.
「心安茅屋穩,性定菜根香。」如果能將這念攀緣的心收回來,安住在自己的本心本性上,心自然能安、能靜。

27.“A dharma does not arise by itself, it is born out of the right conditions.” All worldly phenomena arise from the combination of causes and conditions.  Virtuous causes and conditions result in good retribution. Malevolent causes and conditions lead to dire retribution.
「法不孤起,仗境方生。」世間的一切都是因緣和合而成就的。善因善緣就能成就善的果報;惡因惡緣結出來的就是惡果。

28.“When dharmas arise, the mind arises.” The mind and the outside world give rise to and condition each other. Through prajna wisdom, we will realize that these are all delusions, that all external phenomena are delusive and have no true substance.
「法生則心生」,我們的這個心和外面的這個境兩者互為因緣,假使我們透過般若智 慧,就能知道這些都是妄想,外面一切境界都是虛妄不實的。

29.“Bodhisattvas dread the cause. Mundane beings dread the retribution.” We should be true and down to earth in all our undertakings. Ask only how much we cultivate, not how much we shall harvest. Work diligently on the right causes, and then you will surely succeed. Conversely, success is unlikely if you aim too high but overlook the groundwork.
「菩薩畏因,眾生畏果」,做事必須腳踏實地,只問耕耘不問收穫,從因上去努力,則 一定會成功;反之,好高騖遠則不易成就。

30.The Principle of Causality (cause and effect) in Buddhism actually teaches us to depend on our own diligent efforts. If we understand our life then we can direct  our life. If you can perceive these truths clearly, then you can understand your fate and create/establish your fate.
佛法中所說的因果,其實是要靠我們自己去努力,知命則能立命。明白了這些道理,便能了解命運、創造命運。

31.The mind should be lucid and clear, neither thinking of the past, nor of the present, nor of the future; this present mind must always be in command and imperturbable. To abide in “this-mind” is what is called “to live in the present”.
這念心清清楚楚、明明白白,不想過去,不想現在,不想未來,當下這個心要處處做主、如如不動,安住這念心,就稱為活在當下。

32.We should pursue a spiritual life.  A mind of contentment and tranquility is the true
我們應該要追求一種心靈上的生活,心靈得到滿足,心靈得到平靜,才是我們人生真正的一種幸福,一種財富,一種快樂。

33.“Without understanding of the original mind, it is futile to study the Dharma.”      Hence, the Buddhist practice does not merely consist of the recitation of the Sutras (scriptures), or making prostrations to the Buddha.  The true merit of practicing the Way comes from the awareness of our own mind and the discernment of our self nature.  Yet, if one has already attained understanding of the original mind, one should not neglect the practice of virtuous acts either.
「所謂『不識本心,學法無益』,因此,學佛不僅是誦經、拜佛而已,修行真正的功德在於明心見性、見性成佛。然而,若已契悟本心,亦不妨礙修一切善法。」

34.Practicing the Way helps us change our perceptions and purify our thoughts, so that    every thought is a virtuous thought.  When all thoughts are virtuous, one can then maintain “no thought”. This way, all karmic hindrances will have no room to appear.
「修行即是改變自己的念頭、淨化自己的念頭。倘能念念都是善念,善念成就了之後,即保持無念。如此一來,業障就沒有空隙現前。」

35:「佛法五化運動:佛法教育化、佛法學術化、佛法藝術化、佛法科學化、佛法生活化。」
1. (Five Influential Movements of Buddhism) (this is about how to propagate Buddhism, via different convenient means, and also using Buddhism to guide the development in these different areas.)

a.Buddhism in education
b.Buddhism in academic research
c.Buddhism in culture and arts
d.Buddhism in science
e.Buddhism in daily living

36.IN ORDER TO ATTAIN LIBERATION WE MUST FACE AND ACCEPT REALITY
And work diligently towards improving our fate.
How can we change our fate?
First, harbor remorse for our offenses;
Second, exercise patient forbearance;
Third, practice virtue to dispel evil;
Last, apply the Dharma principles to turn knowledge into wisdom.
求解脫的方法就是要面對現實、直下承擔,努力改善自己的命運。如何改善命運?首先須知慚知愧,其次是忍耐,再者要修善去惡,最後以佛法的道理來轉識成智。

37.Why are there birth, aging, illness and death? Because the mind, like the ocean waves, is constantly arising and ebbing. Because the mind is changing and flowing, arising and ceasing, the body follows the mind by coming into and ceasing from existence.Therefore we experience birth, aging, illness and death.
為什麼會有生老病死?因為我們這念心時時刻刻在起波浪。由於心中有遷流、有生滅,身體就跟著這一念心在生生滅滅,因此就感生、老、病、死。

38.Practicing the Way, we must penetrate the nature of all things and learn to let go. This does not mean escaping from them; rather, it is using prajna wisdom and samadhi to pierce the veils of all worldly phenomena. Thus, the mind will not be swayed by the external world; thus, the agitation of the mind-water attains stillness.
修行要將世間一切看破、放下。看破並非逃避,而是運用般若智慧以及定力,將世間上的一切形形色色看破。能夠看破,心就不被外面的境界所轉,心水裡的波浪也就止息了。

39.What does it mean to have the right understanding and right views? That means to cultivate correctly. If our motivations for cultivation are different, then all resulting merits, wisdom and retribution will be different. True cultivation is to practices all good deeds, without any attachment whatsoever.
何謂「正知正見」?就是發心正確。若發心不同,則所得的功德、智慧、果報亦完全相異。真正的發心即是:修一切善,卻不執著一切善。

40.What is true prosperity? Counter evil thoughts with good thoughts, so that the mind has no karmic obstructions, no transgressions, and no delusions, until at last even all good thoughts are given up, and one achieves “no thought”. Arriving at the Middle Way Reality, this is true prosperity.
如何才是真富貴?能以善念對治惡念,使得心中沒有業障、罪過、邪見,最後連善念亦完全放下,歸於無念,達到中道實相,即是真正的富貴。

41.The aim of meditation is to achieve stillness, purity, clarity and awakening of mind.
When the mind has awakened, one is truly practicing the Way. The ancients have said, “Hundred of great awakenings; thousands of small awakenings”. This denotes the progressive expansion of the mind and advances in the understanding of life and the universe.
禪修的目的在於定心、淨心、明心、悟心。悟了以後方為真正的修行。古人有所謂「大悟幾百次,小悟幾千次」,就是指心境的開拓層次,以及對宇宙人生觀念上的提昇。

42.The extraordinary powers in Buddhism are obtained via samadhi. When single-mindedness is achieved, there is instantaneous awareness (such as telepathy). Yet such attainment of extraordinary powers is not the ultimate goal, because one still thinks that the phenomena are external to the mind, that there are external dharmas. The powers coming from having true faith in the Dharma, from practicing the Way, from practicing morality, meditation, and wisdom are the truly extraordinary powers.
佛法中的感應法門,是修定所得的神通;因為心念歸一,立刻就有感應。然而修神通感應並非究竟,因為始終以為心外有境,心外有法。真正對佛法有信心,又能夠修道,由修戒定慧而得的神通才是真正的神通。

43.The problems in the world are no other than suffering and joy. Suffering and joy are opposed and relative. Joy from stimulation of the senses is like clouds or smoke passing before our eyes; it is short-lived and empty. After experiencing joy, unending attachments and vexations follow. Only when we pacify the mind, when the mind is pure and serene, do we experience true joy.
世間的問題不外乎是苦與樂,苦、樂是相對的。感官刺激的快樂如過眼雲煙,短暫而空虛;快樂之後,是無窮的執著和煩惱。唯有將心定下來,心清淨了,才是真正的快樂。

44.People have vexations because they not capable of being content. If we always harbor a “grateful mind”, dealing with people and things around us with a mind of gratitude, we will always feel happy and content.
人之所以有煩惱,原因在於無法知足。如果常常存著一種「感恩的心」,用這種心念去對待周圍的人與事,時時都會感到愉快與滿足!
 
45. In Buddhism we say, “Vexation is Bodhi (enlightenment).” This means that when we encounter afflictions (distressful circumstances), we must use wisdom to perceive and understand them clearly, turning the afflictive outlook into joy, freedom, and tranquility. “Vexation” and “joy” are, in reality, within one single thought.
佛法上說「煩惱即菩提」,是指面對一件「苦惱」的事,透過智慧清楚的認識與觀察,將「苦惱」的觀念轉成快樂、自在與安詳,「煩惱」與「快樂」其實只在一念之間。

46."Enlighten the mind and see the true nature;
Seeing the true nature one becomes a Buddha."
This is equivalent to the “Amitabha Buddha” of the Pure Land School, which means infinite light and infinite life. Realizing this present-mind, one enjoys the same longevity as that of empty space. The empty space never perishes; neither will this mind, which is replete with infinite life, light, and wisdom.
「明心見性,見性成佛。」就是淨土宗所說的:「阿彌陀佛」──無量光、無量壽。契悟當下這念心,就與虛空同壽,虛空不壞,這念心也不壞,具足無量的壽命、光明與智慧。



 

    1. The mind is Buddha. When there are desires, vexations and attachments in the mind, this Buddha becomes a sentient being. When this mind is pure, a sentient being becomes a Buddha.

    2. If you cannot assume responsibility for your own cultivation or endure its trials and hardships, then you are at best studying Buddhism, not practicing it.

    3. No matter how much external circumstances change, if we can see through and let go of vexations, delusions, and attachments, with the mind always in equanimity and suchness, having clarity and true understanding—that is Zen.

    4. Prosperity and adversity both facilitate our cultivation. They are expedient means for our cultivation. Prosperity fulfills us; adversity disciplines us.

    5. If we are content, our minds will be at peace, we will see our blessings, be filled with gratitude and a willingness to help all, and our lives will filled with hope and happiness.

    6. If we face suffering without worry then we can remove karmic hindrances, settle disputes, turn our enemies into friends, and be united in the Dharma family.

    7. With respect we eradicate arrogance, with compassion we extinguish anger, with harmony we eliminate violence, with truth and sincerity we eradicate deceit.

    8. To be liberated is not escaping reality. It is eliminating vexations, eradicating erroneous thoughts, and opening the knot in our minds. When the mind is opened to true understanding, that is liberation.

    9. The riches and honor in this life are fleeting, like the dew on the flower, evaporating when the sun rises. The only true prosperity in life is when the mind is pure, clear, and content.

    10. Vexations and joy are only within one single thought. The key is, when faced with the problems in life, can your mind maintain tranquility, will you have the wisdom to understand and observe accurately?

    11. The one key word in practicing the Way is tolerance—to endure patiently and accept suffering. By accepting suffering, we eliminate suffering. This eradicates karmic hindrances, and prepares us for supreme enlightenment.

    12. Purity of mind is to be away from the mind of delusion. The Diamond Sutra says, "the mind moves freely without attachment." That is the mind of purity.

 


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