Chapter 10: The Aims of Chinese Original Quiet Sitting (1)

第十講 正宗靜坐的目的(一)

1 The three aims of Chinese Original Quiet Sitting are:
(1) To transcend the mundane and enter the sacred
(2) To return to oneness with nature
(3) To attain eternal life and coexist with other eternal spirits

1 中國正宗靜坐的目的可分為下列三點:

2 To arrive at these three aims, three basic criteria must be met first:
(1) Purifying the heart [mind] and diminishing desires
(2) Changing personal temperament[38]
(3) Helping one’s self and helping others[39]

2 靜坐要想達至上面三項目的,必須先做到下面三項基本條件:

3 The most important thing is to begin by cultivating self-nature, building yourself up to be decent to others and doing your work properly.

3 最重要的,是我們應由心性修養做人做事著手。

4 (1) Purifying the mind and diminishing desires: This criterion is hard for most people to achieve.

4 一、清心寡欲:這點一般人很難做到。

5 We can visualize it this way: Water is originally clear. If we take a glass of murky water and analyze it chemically, we can show it was originally clear.

5 舉例說:水的本源都是清的。一杯混水,經過化學藥劑解析以後,會發現他本來是清的。

6 As long as the murky water keeps moving, it stays murky. But if left alone to return to a resting state, this unstirred water can become clear and, in the old phrase, “as quiet as still water.”

6 混水在動的時間,水是混的,一定要放下來,使它變靜形態,所謂「靜如止水」,水不動了,則水可以清了。

7 Our human nature was originally clear. “At its root, man’s nature was originally good.”

7 我們人的心本來是清的。「人之初、性本善」。

8 A child is unknowing, undiscriminating and without desires. A child is pure, but when grown, he will be filled with the seven emotions and six desires.[40]

8 小孩子無知無識,沒有慾望,他是清的。長大了,充滿了七情六慾。

9 The seven emotions and six desires are the same as the impurities in a glass of water: of course this water will be cloudy. So, the first requirement for quiet sitting is to clear away impurities.

9 七情六慾等於這杯水的渣滓,這水當然是混水。所以,靜坐的條件,第一步就是要去除渣滓。

10 Previously I spoke of “sweeping the ground of the mind.” That is, to sweep away the seven emotions and six desires, so that this glass of water can become clear. We can also make the ground of our mind as spotless as before.

10 我曾經講「打掃心上地」。就是把七情六慾 打掃掉,則這杯水可以變成清水。我們也仍舊可以使得心地清明。

11 Being temperate means to curtail your desires. This is also a difficult criterion to meet. All humans have desires. Saints want to save the world and its people. This, too, is a desire, but they do not have selfish hearts. They do not want it for themselves.

11 寡欲,就是減少欲望。這點也是很難。凡是人類都有欲望。聖人要救世救人,也是欲望,但他們不是私心,不為自己。

12 There are proper and improper desires. Every person has desires, but as the Chinese character 欲 [means “desire”] adds a 心 [means “heart”] beneath it, then problems multiply because 慾 [desires of the heart] means “selfish desires.”

12 欲望有正當不正當。每個人都有欲望。若在「欲」下加了「心」,問題就多了。

13 Seriously, if we wish to return to our origin, the first thing to do is to curtail our desires. Confucius said, “eating, drinking, and finding a mate are basic and top among human desires.” Everyone is constrained by these three desires.

13 嚴格來講,要返本還原,第一就是寡欲。孔夫子講「飲食男女,人之大欲」。每個人都被這四個字束縛。

14 As soon as a person reaches physical maturity, he will have strong desires. If these are left to develop without restraint, our world will “be engulfed in human desires.”

14 人一成年,身體發育後,必定會有此大欲。這欲如果沒有節制,聽任其發展,這世界就會「人欲橫流」。

15 Everyone tries to satisfy their own desires, and they will spare no means to attain their goals. This leads to a disorderly society.

15 大家都想滿足自己的欲望,不惜任何手段,達到自己的目的,因此這社會就造成了動亂。

16 Presently, in every corner of the world, each person is trying to satisfy his or her own desires. Thus we are engulfed in human desires. The tide sweeps everything before it. Nobody can keep clear of it.

16 現在世界上每一角落,每一個人都想滿足他的欲望。所以人欲橫流,滔滔者天下皆如此,沒有一個人可以避免。

17 This is especially true of industrial society, where material enticements pander to everyone’s desires. If people cannot get what they want, they fight and rob and kill for it.

17 尤其工業社會,大家受物質文明引誘的影響,欲望更大。達不到目的,便去爭、奪、搶、殺。

18 In lesser cases, they act for individual gain. In greater cases, they want to seize whole countries. This is why there is such a great need to be temperate. That is, to curtail our human desires.

18 小者為個人,大者想奪政權。因此,希望能寡欲-就是減少人欲。

19 This is especially true of the desire between man and woman. If we cannot restrain our sexual desire, it can hurt us physically.

19 還有一種是男女之欲,就是性慾。性慾若無節制,會把身體整個斲傷。

20 I ask all of you, my fellow strivers: why do you want to learn quiet sitting?

20 各位同奮,你們為什麼要學靜坐?

21 I dare say that seventy percent of you are doing it for health and long life; twenty percent of you are curious to see if indeed it can promote good health and longevity and only ten percent of you truly wish to study, seek, and cultivate the Dao.

21 我可以講,百分之七十是為了想健康長壽,百分之二十是好奇,來試試看是否對健康長壽有助,百分之十是真正想學道、求道、修道。

22 For most people, it is a matter of health and long life. But why do you want health and long life? Because you wish your mind could be clear; your desires are too many and you wish you could lessen them. That is why I say, the first criterion for quiet sitting is to purify the mind and diminish desires.

22 大多數都為了健康長壽。但是你為什麼想健康長壽?就因為心不能清,欲望太多不能減少。所以,靜坐的第一個條件就是清心寡欲。

23 If cultivating and seeking the Dao is your true aim, then let me stress it again: young people with chaste bodies are golden lads and jade lasses. Their innate, primal energy has not yet been compromised. So, if you truly seek and cultivate the Dao, it means that you should hold on to your primal energy and nurture and preserve your primal energies. Keeping the chaste body of childhood is no easy thing.

23 真正要達到求道、修道的目的,我一再強調:年輕人的童身,就是金童玉女。先天真元未破,所以,你要真正求道、修道,就是保持你的真元-養真葆元,保持童身。這四字不容易做到。

24 Any human who grows to adulthood has sexual impulses. So this is a very difficult thing. The ones who can overcome those impulses have superior wisdom, determination and persistence. Their innate and acquired qualities are beyond the ordinary. Such people make up only ten percent of the whole.

24 世界上,只要是人,成年以後都有性慾的衝動,所以很難,很難。除非他有超人的智慧、定力,先天、後天與一般人不同。這種人只有百分之十。

25 Most people are physically compromised when they reach adulthood, and after marriage they are completely drained of primal energies.

25 反過來講,成年以上的人,大多都是破體了。婚嫁以後,真元通通被吸掉。

26 If they wish to seek or cultivate the Dao at this point, they must practice to return to their original state.

26 如果再想要求道、修道,就要做返本還原的工夫。

27 The first step is to practice to replenish the body. This is a matter of physical restoration, as when a weathered old house must be restored inside and out to keep it from collapsing. By this I mean practice that replenishes jing, qi and shen.

27 第一步就是要做補體的工夫,也就是調補身體。等於一座房子年代長久,經過狂風大雨,若想保持房子不垮,就要做內修外補的補體工夫。也就是做補精、補氣、補神的工夫。

28 To be restored inside and out, you must first be temperate in desires. The second step is to control desires and the final step is to abstain.

28 要想內修外補,不但先要寡欲,第二步要節欲,最後一步要斷欲。

29 Of course being temperate is possible for everyone. But though you practice control for many days, it will all be in vain the moment you let yourself go. It is like a house that was just restored and then exposed to a storm that made it topple.

29 寡欲,當然人人都能。但節欲剛做幾天工夫,一次洩漏就全功盡棄。就像房屋剛剛修好,一旦大風雨來,又全垮了。

30 So I say, as long as the physical damage is not excessive, if you begin with practice to restore the body, there is hope. I am referring to replenishment of jing, qi and shen, and to purify the mind and diminish desires.

30 所以,只要身體沒有過份斲傷,先做好補體的工夫都有希望。就是補精、補氣、補神的功夫,清心寡欲的功夫。

31 (2) Changing personal temperament [of the body and the mind]: After a certain period of practicing quiet sitting, there are sure to be physical responses. Mentally, there will be various effects.

31 二、變化氣質:靜坐經過相當時間,生理上一定會起反應。心理上一定有不同的感受。

32 “Conditions of the body” are physical reactions; “conditions of the mind” are psychological reactions and feelings. When one’s practice is far enough along, both body and mind will undergo natural changes in themselves without being sought after.

32 「質」是生理上的反應,「氣」就是心理上的感受。功夫到了某一階段,慢慢身心都能自然而然不求變化而自有變化。

33 For instance, your temperament may have been explosive, but after doing quiet sitting for a considerable period, you will naturally grow more even- tempered.

33 比方,過去脾氣暴躁,等到靜坐時間長了,自然而然有心平氣和的現象。

34 But this is not always the case. Take me, for instance. My physical makeup has been changed, but my [mental] temperament has not changed. During my eight years on Mount Hua, my temperament became increasingly hard- edged. I resent evil as if it is my mortal enemy, so I have not changed.

34 但也有不同的。就拿我自己來說,到現在質變而氣仍未變化;我在華山參煉了八年,性氣越來越剛。我是嫉惡如仇,所以還沒有變化。

35 In essence, the sort of firm, “upright qi” that I am speaking of is what Confucius meant when he said “acuity and uprightness partake of spirit.”

35 本質上,我所講的剛正之氣,就是孔夫子所講的「聰明正直謂之神」的「正直」之氣。

36 To be a decent person, first of all, one needs to be upright. One needs to be upright and be aboveboard, righteous and unselfish. This cardinal principle will always hold true.

36 一個人做人第一要正直,要正大光明,正直無私。這基本原則是不應該變的。

37 Therefore, what I call “changing personal temperament” creates conducive conditions for your pursuit of quiet sitting. But it takes a level of practice and not everyone can reach.

37 因此,所謂「變化氣質」不過是勉勵學習靜坐的一個條件,並不是人人都可以實際做到的工夫。

38 (3) Helping oneself and helping others. In today’s world, too few of us would go into debt or forgo wealth to serve the Dao and save the world. Few of us would pawn our possessions to aid a friend in distress. This is due to the over-importance we put on wealth.

38 三、自度度人:現在這世上,借債毀家行道救世、朋友急難不惜典當濟助的人太少。就基於把錢財看得太重。

39 Wealth is something outside of us. We need to take a detached view of tangible wealth. As long as we are able to care for our parents, support our families, and educate our children, what we have should be enough. Too much of it could cause us to do evil things.

39 錢財是身外之物。有形的財富要看淡。只要能奉養父母、扶養妻兒、教育子女就足矣。太多了會造孽。

40 Intangible wealth comes from accumulating virtues, doing good deeds and seizing opportunities to one’s best ability to help others.

40 無形的財富是積德、是行善。把握機會助人,力量所及。

41 It means self-restraint in dealings with others, and making sacrifices for one’s country, society and God.

41 克己待人,犧牲自己,奉獻給國家,奉獻給社會,奉獻給 上帝。

42 If one does this, it appears to temporarily reduce one’s wealth, but in the long view it leaves virtues for one’s descendants. Accumulating virtue is most important.

42 真能如此,從近處看是財富減少,從遠處看是替子孫積德。積德最重要。

43 One day when we leave this physical world and go elsewhere in space, only virtues, sins and vices will be carried with us.

43 一旦離開這有形的世界到其他的太空,只有功德會帶走,罪孽會帶走。

44 Regarding this issue, the doctrine of the Lord of Universe Church, A New Realm, has in-depth explanations and support from a scientific perspective, which need not concern us here.

44 天帝教教義《新境界》上對此問題,從科學觀點有詳盡的說明和證明,這裡暫且不談。

45 What I want to say is that your progress in quiet sitting depends on having the right concept. You have to accumulate plenty of virtues, to build up plenty of external merits, before you could begin helping yourself.

45 所以,各位要想靜坐有進步,觀念一定要正確-要多積德、要多培外功,這樣才能達到自度。

46 Thus, the ways to help yourself are:
1) Use tangible resources to help others the best you can. This is the offering of wealth.
2) Resolve to guide others toward goodness when opportunities arise. Set an example by your own behavior. This is the offering of dharma.

46 是以,自度的方法是:

47 Offerings of wealth and dharma can erase residual bad karma, which is the evil we have committed in lifetimes of thrashing about in the cycle of reincarnation.

47 這財施、法施兩種方式,可以消除宿孽-就是生生世世在輪迴裡,顛顛倒倒所造下的罪惡。

48 Luckily we have been given the opportunity to be reborn into a human body, to correct ourselves and help ourselves.

48 幸而重得人身、重新做人的自度方法。

49 Not having strayed away from our original nature, we wish to cultivate the Dao. In addition, our affinity has drawn us to participate in the Quiet Sitting Class. We have the opportunity to help ourselves. Let us hope the Dao mindset is steadfast in us, so we do not fall back into the cycle of reincarnation.

49 我們今天沒有迷失本性,要想修道,更有這機緣參加靜坐,得能自度。希望能堅定道心,不要再掉在輪迴裡。

50 To help yourself, you must first eliminate bad karma that remained from other lifetimes. No matter how hard you practice quiet sitting, if bad karma is not erased, many demonic hindrances and obstacles will surely keep you from sitting with a calm mind.

50 自度的方式,一定要消除宿孽。宿孽不消除,再努力靜坐,魔障、阻礙一定很多,使你無法安下心來靜坐。

51 This is definitely not superstition. I have over fifty years of personal experience in this.

51 這絕不是迷信。我有五十年以上的親身經歷。

52 Frankly speaking, all of these are for you yourself. You must be saved before you can “help others cross to the other shore”[41] or help save them. If you carry evil inside you while advising others, who is going to believe you?

52 老實講,自度,是為了自己。自己得救才能度人、救人。你若罪惡在身再去勸人,誰會相信你?

53 Going a step further, we work to “help others” for our own sakes and for the sake of the next generation.

53 進一步,我們為自己,為了下一代,更要多做「度人」的工夫。

54 Today you help a John Smith. Maybe John Smith will not help you tomorrow. The one who helps you may not even be connected with John Smith.

54 今天,你幫了張三的忙,不一定明天張三會幫上你的忙,甚至幫你的人與張三毫無關係。

55 But by an unseen law, other people will naturally seize the opportunity to help you when you least expect it.

55 冥冥中有一種定律,自然而然的,其他的人在不知不覺間藉機會幫你的忙。

56 Of course, the underlying motive should be generosity, with no thought of any return. When there is a thought of an anticipated return, it is a lowly form of generosity.

56 當然,本質上我們應該存施恩不求報的心理。施恩求報是下等人。

57 In the Treatise of the Exalted One on Response and Retribution, Taishang Laojun [42] says, “Show generosity with no thought of return; do not regret your giving.” This maxim tells us how to live a decent life in this world.

57 在《感應篇》上太上老君講「施恩不求報、與人不追悔」,是做人處世的名言。

58 Daoism urges us to gain immortality which requires us to help ourselves and others with at least 3,000 counts of external meritorious conducts and 800 counts of internal cultivation attainments.

58 道家勸人要成仙,自度度人最起碼要有三千功、八百果。

59 Yuan Liaofan of the Ming Dynasty met a fortune-teller at an early age. Whichever way he interpreted his fortune, his fate was fixed. He would never gain fame or bear descendants.

59 明朝袁了凡早歲曾算過命。無論從任何角度看,他命中注定無功名、無子嗣。

60 Thereupon he vowed to increase his store of merits. He drew up a “Ledger of Merit and Error” for himself. Each day he made entries in it, examining his merits and errors.

60 於是發願培功立德。自己立了本「功過格」,每天記錄、檢討功過。

61 When 365 days were over, he tallied up the numbers of merits and errors to see which was greater. Each year he spurred himself onward; finally he began to rise in the ranks of officialdom, and his wife bore him two sons.

61 一年三百六十五天下來,他總計一下,究竟是功多還是過多?年年自勉,最後,居然官越做越大,兒子也有了。

62 Beginning from when he kept his “Ledger of Merit and Error,” he was able to surpass destiny, to overcome fatalism. He leaped beyond the three realms [43] and left the five phases [44] to create his own fate.

62 這是他有功過格後,能超數、打破定命論。跳出三界外,不在五行中,自己造命。

63 Most ordinary people are bound by the cycle of the five phases [aka the five elements]: metal, wood, water, fire and earth, which produce creative and destructive cycles.

63 一般凡夫俗子都受五行金、木、水、火、土生所生剋的拘束。

64 To go beyond fate, people should examine themselves daily. If they can build up their store of merits and virtues, and if their merits outweigh errors, they can break out of fatalism and create their own fate. Amid the ways of the world, they can find the answers to their wishes.

64 要想超脫,就要每天檢討。多培功、多積德,結果功多過少,就能打破定命論,自己造命。在世俗上,心想什麼就能如願。

65 Although Yuan Liaofan was a Confucian turned Buddhist who had never become an immortal, his level of practice transcended the mundane and entered the sacred. He has set an example worth following by later generations.

65 雖然袁了凡由儒入佛、沒有成仙,但是,已做到超凡入聖的工夫。有了榜樣,足為後世法。

66 Thus, to transcend the mundane and enter the sacred, to become divine through sagely deeds, you must establish great merits: 3,000 counts of external meritorious conducts and 800 counts of internal cultivation attainments.

66 所以要超凡入聖,聖功神化,一定要立大功-三千功、八百果。

67 Hence, there is a saying: “When one completes external meritorious conducts and internal cultivation attainments, he attains the Dao.”

67 所謂功果圓滿,即可成道。

68 The Collected Works of Patriarch Lü tells how Lü Chunyang[45] [literally means Pure Yang] completed the 3,000 counts of external meritorious conducts and 800 counts of internal cultivation attainments in a single thought.

68 《呂祖全集》載呂純陽憑一念完成三千功、八百果。

69 Lü Chunyang honored the old patriarch Zhongli (Zhongli Quan) as master. Old Zhongli decided to give Lü a lesson by posing a test. He promised Lü he would impart a method to “turn stones into gold at a touch.” Lü would have wealth enough to help people in distress.

69 呂純陽拜鍾離老祖(鍾離權)為師。鍾離老祖點化他、考驗他,告訴他要傳授一種「點石成金」的發財方法,好讓他去救濟人。

70 Patriarch Lü asked him: “I believe in Master’s supernatural powers, but will these stones turned to gold remain unchanged? Will they always be gold?”

70 呂祖問道:「相信老師的法力神通,但是這些石頭成金之後是否可以永遠不變?永久是金子?」

71 Old Zhongli replied, “Their substance will not change for five hundred years.”

71 鍾離老祖答:「可以維持五百年不變質。」

72 Lü Chunyang asked: “Will they change after five hundred years?”

72 呂純陽問:「五百年以後會不會變?」

73 Old Zhongli replied, “They will change after five hundred years.”

73 鍾離老祖答:「會變!」

74 Lü Chunyang said, “Master, do not teach it to me. If you impart this method to me, and I give people gold that will change back to stones, will I not be harming people five hundred years from now?”

74 呂純陽答:「師父,你不要教我。你傳給我,我拿了會變的金子去給人家,將來不是害了五百年以後的人嗎?」

75 On the strength of this single thought, Patriarch Lü completed all 3,000 external meritorious conducts and 800 internal cultivation attainments.

75 就憑這一念,呂祖完成了三千功、八百果。

76 That he did not cling to wealth is amazing in itself. Here he could have gotten a large sum of money to help the people in this world. Even so, he did not consider it, for fear of doing harm to people five hundred years later.

76 一個人,本身不愛財,已經了不起。今天有機會,拿一筆錢去救人、救世,他仍不考慮,惟恐害了五百年以後的人。

77 These are the sentiments of great saints and sages, a man truly born to be immortal. Thus, external meritorious conducts and internal cultivation attainments are crucial for Daoists.

77 這種真是大聖大賢,真仙真佛種子的懷抱。所以在道家說功果關係很大。

78 Only when external meritorious conducts and internal cultivation attainments are complete can the yang shen ascend. Then the true self, the refined self, can come and go at will.

78 一定要功果圓滿了,陽神才能沖舉,真我、二我可以來去自如。

79 If external meritorious conducts and internal cultivation attainments are not complete, there is no escaping this fleshly envelope, no matter how lofty one’s practice has achieved.

79 功果不圓滿,道行再高,也沒辦法脫此驅殼。

80 Dao cultivators must not ignore this essential truth!

80 修道人不能不知此一關鍵!

[38] Personal temperament in Chinese refers to both conditions of the physical body and the mind.
[39] This is a very important concept in Daoism. Helping others refers to relieving other people from pain and suffering, emotionally and physically, helping others raise their spirituality and become enlightened, and raise lost spirits in the non-physical realm from limbo. The goal of helping one's self is reaching immortality and becoming one with the Dao, which in turn can only be achieved through self-cultivation and doing good deeds. These two aspects are interrelated and inseparable.
[40] The seven emotions according to Chinese medicine are "anger, grief, worry, joy, sorrow, fear, and fright." The seven emotions are traditionally defined in Confucianism as "joy, anger, sorrow, fear, love, hatred, and desire." The six desires in Buddhism refer to pleasing to one's "sight, sound, smell, taste, physical comfort, and thoughts."
[41] This expression came from Buddhism, meaning to help other to cross to the other shore of elevated spirituality.
[42] Laozi, a mystic philosopher of ancient China, was best known as the author of the Dao De Jing. He is also revered as a deity in most religious forms of the Daoist religion, which often refers to Laozi as Taishang Laojun, or "One of the Three Pure Ones."
[43] The "three realms" in Buddhist terminology are the realms of desire, form, and formlessness.
[44] Traditional fortunetelling correlates a person's date and hour of birth with the five evolutional phases of change. These are thought to have a determining effect on career, health, longevity, marriage, and psychological traits. Thus, the term "five phases" refers to fate.
[45] Lü Chunyang is one of the Eight Immortals of Daoist lore, and founder of the Quanzhen lineage 全真派.