开晓幽冥

林钰堂


今晨梦中见一颇长,虽不厚但坚实之石桥,约六人并行之宽,两侧无护栏,由此岸平直而达彼岸。我走向对岸。近对岸一小段尘封桥面,我即以抹布拭净之。为了早点使两岸通达,我先将左侧抹通一人行之道,再横向拭尽余尘。在拭净的过程中,心中不停地念着:「幽冥众生,悉蒙开晓。」(记得这是药师佛大愿中的一句。)第一次的地藏菩萨火供即将举行;此梦应是相应之瑞兆。

随即以浅显语言阐释「空性」:
「空性」不是没有东西,而是有东西但没特性。
较诸通常「空、有」之说明,然后再说「真空妙有」,似更易了解。

吾人所有经验是一整体,但经验之内容则幻化(无可把捉)而不停迁变。一般执着于种种分别,随之在心中产生整体经验似乎可以切割之幻觉,甚至迷于表相之分别而忘失整体。「空性」之观念提醒我们不要为种种特色所迷,而回到整体经验之实际。

不忘失整体之后,则不妨运用种种分别,以助成所有众生皆能回复不忘整体之觉醒。

有了如上之了解,也可说:「空性即是吾人整体经验的本质,因此它确实有(可以体验),但没有一定的特色。」


                     二○○八年十一月八日
                     养和斋    于加州


Exposition on Blank Essence in Simple Words

Exposition on Blank Essence in Simple Words


----- Original Message -----
From: "Yutang Lin"
To: "Dharma Friends"
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2008 11:17 AM
Subject: FW: New Work

Below is disciple Stanley's response to my work Enlightening Beings in Darkness; see attached files.
以下是弟子成穗对我所写〈开晓幽冥〉一文的回应,见附呈档案。

The interpretation he offered below is wonderful and significant.
下面他所提供的解释很好且有意义。

This email is Bcc to all on my list.
此电邮以密件传给我名单中所有的人。


May all beings attain Enlightenment soon!
愿一切众生早日成佛!

Yutang
钰堂


-----Original Message-----
From: Thubten Detong
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2008 12:44 PM
To: 林 成穗
Cc: Dr. Lin
Subject: Fw: New Work

成穗,
师父说您这篇写得好
为了利益中文读者
可否劳您有空时将之译成中文给我上传呢

法安
茶桶


From: info@yogichenorg
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2008 6:39 AM
To: 'Thubten Detong'
Cc: 'Dr. Lin'
Subject: RE: New Work

Detong,

I just wrote down my first reaction upon reading last night before sleep.

Here's my translation below, you can see if the Chinese is correct and clear enough:

Thanks and regards,
Stanley

林博士,

谢谢您这殊胜的教授。

我粗略地看完五论之二后(辨法法性之后辨中边),刚转而重温另一「宗」的主要作品——《中论》(初阅此论已是十七、八年前的事)。读首两品中颇为复杂的言句和论辩时,我不由得感觉有点破得太厉害了(然而在造论时的历史背景当然是很恰当的)。我思索当中的论辩时似乎有点体会,全都只是说明并没有由我们的经验营造出来惑人的自性(即与「他体」性有所区别的「自体」性),因为一切都是一体。不过我觉得若不将反复出现的「无」字习惯地换成「没有自体性」,我会感觉太过锐利。

而您这篇新作我觉得是用了更简约但出奇地完整的方式再行表述,因为将第二和第三转法轮都涵盖了。我难以想象如何可以有比这更简洁的表述。实在奇妙!

虽然您没有解释梦中的象征意义,但我的猜想是这样:

六个人宽的桥可到达彼岸,那是象征通过六波罗蜜能到达觉悟的彼岸。
此道直接,但很少人能到达最接近彼岸的高深之境界,因此那段桥面是尘封的。
桥的两侧无栏,象征堕二边的危险。
拭净桥面,意指您将阐明此道之理,以令人较易通往彼岸(证觉)。
您由左侧的六分之一开始拭净,象征先从般若波罗蜜开始阐明(从右数起,左边是第六)。
幽冥众生并不单指鬼道、地狱等下界众生,而是所有未觉悟的众生,因为他们都是在无明的黑暗之中(取「幽冥」的字面义)。

感恩致候
成穗


Enlightening Beings in Darkness Yutang Lin

This morning in a dream I saw a rather long stone bridge, not thick but solid, about six-persons side-by-side wide, no railings on either sides, and it stretched straight and even from this shore to the other shore. I walked on it toward the other shore. Near the other shore a small section of the surface of the bridge was covered with dust. I mopped it clean with a piece of cloth. In order to clear a passage for the two shores sooner, I first cleaned on the left most side a passage wide enough for one person to go through. Then I mopped sidewise to clean all the rest of the dusts. While mopping I continued to repeat in my mind a Chinese statement that says, "Sentient beings in darkness (ghosts or hell beings), all are blessed with enlightening guidance." (I remember that it was a statement in one of the twelve vows of Medicine Guru Buddha.) The first ever fire puja to Bodhisattva Earth Treasure will soon be held; this dream should have been an auspicious omen born of inspiration.

Then I said in simple language an exposition on Blank Essence:
Blank Essence is not empty of things, but something that has no particular characteristics.
Compared with the usual explanations in terms of "emptiness and phenomena," and then adding "indeed empty but wondrous appearance," the above seems easier to comprehend.

All our experiences is a totality, but its contents are illusive (could not be grasped) and incessantly evolving. Usually people grasped to all sorts of distinctions, and consequently sustained in their minds an illusion as if the totality of our experiences could be divided into pieces, and even became deluded by grasping to superficial distinctions to the extent that they had forgotten the totality as a whole. The notion of Blank Essence reminds us not to become deluded by varieties of characteristics, and thus return us to the reality of the totality of all our experiences.

After we had resumed our awareness of the totality, then we may freely make use of all sorts of distinctions to help all sentient beings to resume their awareness of the totality of all their experiences.

With the above comprehension one may also say, "Blank Essence is the original essence of the totality of all our experiences; therefore, it indeed exists (can be experienced), but it has no particular characteristics."


Written in Chinese and translated on November 8, 2008
El Cerrito, California


Below is disciple Stanley's response to my work Enlightening Beings in Darkness; see attached files.

The interpretation he offered below is wonderful and significant.

This email is Bcc to all on my list.

Detong, add this to the end of E0139, and post it on-line.


May all beings attain Enlightenment soon!

Yutang 

-----Original Message-----
From: info@yogichenorg
Sent: Sunday, November 09, 2008 8:21 AM
To: 'Yutang Lin'
Subject: RE: New Work

Dr. Lin,

Thank you for the great teaching.

After roughly finishing the second of the five treatises (辨中边after辨法法性), I digress to the other "school's" main work 中论 for a seriouos re-reading (I first read it about 17 or 18 years ago). While reading the first two chapters' rather complicated languages and arguments, I can't help not having the feeling of a bit overkill. (but of course it's highly understandable in its historical context). I was pondering the arguments and seem to come to the understanding that they are all about the lack of 自性 as fooled by construction in our experiences, which is the self-ness, as distinctive to 他性 (other-ness) because everything is a big Oneness, but repeated use of words “无” feels somewhat overdone unless gotten used to substituting the word with lack of "self-ness" instead of its own meaning.

Now your new work seems to me like a rephrase of it in even more elegant way with amazing completeness because that puts the second and third turning of Buddha's Dharma together into context. It's hard to imagine how to put it in simpler words. So wonderful!

You didn't explain symbolisms in the dream, but my guesses are:

Bridge of 6 person's width to the other shore is 6 paramita to enlightenment.

The path is straight and direct but not many have gotten through the most advanced / deepest meanings, hence covered with dust near the other end.

There's no railing hence the danger of falling to either extremes.
You mopped clean the dust means to clarify the path so as to make it easy to get through the other end (enlightenment).
You start from one-sixth from the left side means the clarify first about wisdom paramita (starting from right side, then left side is the sixth).

Sentient beings in darkness are not just those in the underworld, but all unenlightened sentient beings because they are in the darkness of ignorance.


Thanks and regards,
Stanley


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