金刚上师林钰堂瑜伽士开示录

困境中的修持
Practicing during Hardship


弟子本净来电邮提问:

在自己修学过程,因各种问题交织,困难重重,有即将放弃的念头;但后来在网上看到一句:越是艰难时,越是精进时——很多年了,自己也记不大清楚,后来又重拾信心。今天在网上查了下,王阳明有说过:「越是艰难处,越是修心时。」
能否请上师就这个方面对当前大众修学佛法做一次开示?

补充一点:曾国番在组织湘军打战,给朝庭战报时有:「累败累战」;人生中不断经历挫折、失望、种种不如意时,怎样保持菩提心纯正而不忘失?

答:

目前全球疫情严峻,佛法所教示的无常及八苦都逼现在大家的周遭,令人不能再像平常那样,只当做一种说教。其实,在人生所遭遇的种种困境中,佛弟子都要藉机体会佛法教示的真确,而更加注意遵循。世间人类对种种问题的对治都极为有限,并且没人能掌控一切。个人在境遇十分艰难及危险时,能否心中安定、理性应对,是根本的关键。虽然这是要靠长久的依法修持,才能达到;在此危难当头之际,做为老修行者,可以根据经验,提醒几点:

  1. 佛、菩萨的保佑是真实存在的。佛慈普及所有众生,所以我们都可以向佛、菩萨祈求加被,让我们安渡难关。
  2. 心中恐慌、杂念纷乱时,若能持念佛号或佛咒,有助安定心地,消灾添福。
  3. 佛法的修行,基本上就是要将一切遭遇转成修行的机缘。困境就是对信念及佛理的了悟之考验。皈依并非一切顺遂时的表现,而是一生无疑无异的依止。艰难之际,正是实修的关头;能坚持渡过,才有可能从凡夫自限渐渐提升到无限一体的法身境界。
  4. 所谓「菩提心」不是为任何个体,而是为求一切有情整体的开悟。人生中不断经历挫折、失望、种种不如意时,行者就要提醒自己,这些都是让自己摆脱对个体的关怀及忧虑的机会,转而专心为一切有情而祈祷及修法。

 

二○二○年四月十一日
养和斋    于加州

 

Disciple Ben Jing (Originally Pure) asked me the followings in an email:

During my own Dharma studies and practices, due to the entanglement of all sorts of problems, there have been many hardships and hindrances, and hence the thought of being ready to give it up occurred; but later on internet I saw a sentence: ″when hardship increases, it is precisely the moment for more diligent practices″—it′s been many years, I could not remember it well, and then I picked up my faith again. Today I searched the web and found that, Wang Yan Ming once said, ″the more difficult point, the more opportunity to cultivate the mind.″
Guru, could you please expound on this point to people who are currently engaging in learning and practicing Dharma?

In addition, General Zeng Guo Fan, while organizing Hunan army during war, wrote in his report to the government: ″repeatedly defeated, yet repeatedly engaging in fighting.″ When one goes through incessant set-backs, disappointments, and all sorts of frustrations in life, how to sustain Bodhicitta pure and correct, without forgetting about it?

Reply:

Recently the pandemic situations around the world is very serious, ″impermanence″ and ″eight kinds of suffering″, as taught in Dharma, all show up vividly around all of us so that we could no longer take them, as people ordinarily do, as merely some kind of preaching. In fact, during all sorts of hardship encountered in life, a Buddhist should take the opportunity to comprehend and realize the truth and correctness of Dharma teachings, and hence pay more attention to adherence to Dharma in deeds. Human handlings to worldly problems are all rather limited, and no one can control and manage everything. During very difficult and dangerous situations whether an individual could sustain calm and stability in mind and respond rationally is a fundamental juncture. Even though one could attain such stability only after long-term practice according to Dharma, at the current crisis juncture, as a life-long Dharma practitioner, based on my experiences, the followings can be offered as reminders:

  1. Protection granted by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can truly be experienced. Buddha′s compassion extends universally to all sentient beings, and hence we can all pray to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for blessings and protections so that we can safely pass the difficult junctures.
  2. When one is in panic and random thoughts are incessantly arising, if one can sustain repetition of Amitabha or a Buddhist mantra in mind, then it will help the mind to calm down and become stabilized and diminish calamity and increase merits.
  3. Practicing Dharma, basically, one needs to convert all situations into an opportunity for thinking and acting in accordance with Dharma. Hardship situations are trials to faith and comprehension of Dharma teachings. Taking Refuge in Dharma is not a performance during times when all goes well, but a life-long adherence without doubts and changes. Difficult junctures are precisely moments for actual practices; only those who can sustain adherence to Dharma throughout the ordeals will be able to gradually transcend the self-confined sphere of an ordinary worldly being to the limitless-oneness state of Dharmakaya.
  4. The so-called ″Bodhicitta″ is not for any individual, but for the enlightenment of all sentient beings as totality. When one goes through incessant set-backs, disappointments, and all sorts of frustrations in life, a Dharma practitioner needs to remind oneself that, all these are opportunities for one to renounce cares and worries about oneself as an individual, and then turn into one-minded concentration on praying and practicing Dharma for all sentient beings.

 

Written in Chinese and translated into English on April 11, 2020
El Cerrito, California

 

 

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