Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

The Mind of Detachment Is Not a Temporary Emotion



Genuinely seeing through the red dusts of sensory experience means getting rid of your former blind infatuation with the world of the senses. When you are no longer blindly infatuated with everything in the world, a huge sense of being fed up with it will be produced in your mind, and you will feel that none of it has any great meaning, and then you will want to escape from this empty illusory unreal world. At this time, you will generate a great mind of detachment.

经典中讲过一个故事:有一个大富翁,他拥有一间大房子,但这间大房子只有一扇门。有一天,房子着火了,富翁的孩子们却光顾着做游戏,对自己身边的危险全然不觉。富翁急了,于是对着孩子们喊道,你们快点出来吧,外面有羊车、鹿车和牛车可以做游戏!一听说外面也有东西可玩,孩子们才争先恐后地从着火的房子里逃出来。

In the Lotus Sutra they tell a story: There was a wealthy man, and he possessed a large house, but this big house only had a single door. One day, the house caught fire, but the rich man’s children looked upon it with a superior attitude and kept playing games, totally unaware of the imminent danger to themselves. The rich man got alarmed, and called out to his children: “Come out quickly. Outside the house there is a sheep cart, a donkey cart, and an ox cart, and you can play with them!” Once the children heard there were things outside to play with, they finally rushed out of the burning house as fast as they could.

这个故事是什么意思呢?它说的是,火中作乐的孩子眼里只有游戏,而我们中的大部分人就像这些孩子,因为我们的眼中只有欲望,不知道享乐的本质原是苦。有的人熟悉如何在世间谋生、如何获取一些自己想要的东西,比如金钱、利益、好名声、社会地位等等,所以他们少遇挫折;有的人福报很大,运气非常好,所以他们也少逢逆境。但是正因为如此,这些人才会沉迷于享乐当中,愚痴而不自知。他们不知道人生其实充满了痛苦。什么样的痛苦呢?生老病死很苦,求之不得也很苦,与爱人聚少离多很苦,与讨厌的人常常相聚很苦,贪婪、仇恨、无知、傲慢、嫉妒的毒火包裹心灵的时候也很苦。只要尚未觉悟,人迟早会品尝这八种苦。可悲的是,有的人即便觉出了痛苦,也还是不愿从痛苦中解脱。为什么呢?因为他们觉得人生本该如此,他们看不见另外一种可能性,认为永恒的快乐纯属扯淡。为将这类人也导向觉悟,佛陀有时会运用一些巧妙的方法——就像富翁用新游戏吸引孩子一样——先吸引他们的关注,再慢慢开启他们的智慧。“先以欲诱之,后令入佛智”就是这个意思。

What does this story mean? What it is saying is that, in the eyes of the children having fun while surrounded by the fire, playing games was all there was. Most of us are like these children, because in our eyes desire is all there is, and we do not know that the basic substance of enjoying pleasure is actually suffering. Some people know well how to make a living, how to get the things they want, like money, profit, reputation, social status, and so on, so they seldom encounter setbacks. Some people have great karmic rewards, and their luck is very good, and so they seldom meet with adversity. But it is precisely because it is like this, that these people will sink into delusion while enjoying pleasure, and be ignorant without knowing it themselves. They do not know that, in fact, human life is full of suffering. What kinds of suffering? Birth, old age, sickness, and death are very painful. Seeking things without getting them is very painful. Being often apart from loved ones and rarely with them is very painful. Being constantly together with people you loathe is very painful. It is also very painful when the poisonous fires of greed and hatred and ignorance and arrogance and jealousy engulf your mind and spirit. If people have not yet awakened, they will sooner or later taste these eight kinds of suffering. The sad thing is that some people, even if they become aware of suffering, still are not willing to be liberated from suffering. Why is this? Because they feel that human life basically must be like this, and they cannot see any other possibilities. They think that lasting happiness is pure nonsense. In order to lead such people toward enlightenment, the Buddha sometimes used some ingenious methods – just as the rich man in the story used the prospect of new playthings to lure his children out of the burning house. First he attracted their attention, and then slowly he opened up their wisdom. This is what is meant by “First he lured them with desires, then he made them enter into the Buddha’s wisdom.”

发现世界不断变幻之真相的人,就像是看见身边大火的孩子,他们也害怕,但他们放不下好玩的游戏。也就是说,当你想要从痛苦中解脱去实现一种真正价值的时候,就会发现,人性总是贪婪的,世上的一切虚幻都在诱惑着你,它们像是凶猛的野兽般环绕在你身旁,想要伺机吞掉你。而且,你的四周像是一片密林,你纯粹置身于一个陌生的境地,对一切都难以测度。不过,随着你对未知的恐惧慢慢加剧,欲望对你的牵扯便一点点淡化。有一天,恐惧的烈火会吞没整个欲望的世界,一切都被烧掉了,漫天尘烟,到处都是破败和腐化之象,一片狼藉,毫无生气。你再也觉不出半点吸引之处,你觉得世上一切都没有任何意义,它已经无法引诱你了。这时,你才算真的看破了红尘。

People who discover the true characteristic of the world as constantly changing illusion are like children who see the conflagration around them: they are indeed frightened, but they cannot give up the games they like to play. That is to say, when you want to be liberated from suffering and realize what is really valuable, then you will discover that human nature is all desire, and all the empty illusions of the world are enticing you. They are like ferocious beasts surrounding you, looking for an opportunity to devour you. What’s more, what surrounds you on all sides is like a secret forest, and you have absolutely placed yourself in a strange territory, and it is impossible to assess anything. But as your fear of the unknown slowly intensifies, the pull of desire on you fades away bit by bit. One day, the fierce flames of fear swallow up the whole world of desire, and everything gets burned away, and the sky is filled with dust and smoke, and everywhere there are images of destruction and decay, and it is a total mess devoid of signs of life. You can no longer feel the least bit of attraction, and you feel that nothing in the world has any meaning, and it no longer has any way to attract you. At this time you are finally reckoned to have genuinely seen through the red dusts.

真正的看破红尘,是对尘世失去以往那种盲目的迷恋。当你不再盲目迷恋世上一切的时候,你的心里就会产生一种巨大的厌倦感,觉得一切都没有太大的意义,就想逃离这个虚幻不实的世界。这时,你会产生巨大的出离心。

Genuinely seeing through the red dusts of sensory experience means getting rid of your former blind infatuation with the world of the senses. When you are no longer blindly infatuated with everything in the world, a huge sense of being fed up with it will be produced in your mind, and you will feel that none of it has any great meaning, and then you will want to escape from this empty illusory unreal world. At this time, you will generate a great mind of detachment.

不过,出离心并不是一种情绪,它是看清事物多变的本质之后所产生的一种真正的厌离之心。有的人觉得自己厌倦了尘世中的种种追名逐利,不想再参与其中的一点点东西,但是他们经受不起诱惑与刺激,那么这种厌倦就仅仅是一时的情绪。比如,我的好多朋友,今天说不炒股了,但明天看到别人炒股挣了钱,把持不住,又去炒了。他们就是不明白,股票升也罢,降也罢,都没有真正的意义。天大的财富,最后都会因各种原因而消散。“古今将相在何方?荒冢一堆草没了。”说的就是这个道理。只有真正明白了这一点,才会产生牢固的、真正的出离之心。

But the mind of detachment is definitely not an emotional feeling. It is a mind of genuine detachment produced after getting a clear view of the ever-changingfundamental substance of things. Some people feel that they have become sick and tired of all the pursuit of glory and profit in the world of the senses, and they do not want to be involved in anything in it, but they cannot endure its attractions and stimulations, so this feeling of aversion is only a temporary emotion. For example, many of my friends say today that they will not invest in the stock market, but tomorrow when they see other people making money by investing in stocks, they cannot hold back, and go invest again. They do not understand that whether stocks go up or go down has no real meaning. Even great wealth in the end will always be lost for various reasons. This is the truth expressed in the classical verse: “Where are the generals and high officials ancient and modern? Abandoned graves without even a pile of grass [to mark them].” Only if we have genuinely understood this point can we produce a solid, genuine mind of detachment.

我的一个学生告诉我,他在一个尔虞我诈的环境中工作了好几年,身边所有人都不惜以损人利己的方式向上爬,他也是如此。但是随着时间一天又一天地推移,他渐渐发现,这样的生活似乎毫无意义,他不知道自己到底在追求什么。每一样他曾经拥有的东西,都像破了的水泡一样,或迟或早地从生活中消失了,那些建立在它们上面的快乐更是如此。而且,他发现,自己因为长期沉迷于这场游戏,已经无法再相信任何人,甚至开始防备、揣测和算计他的爱人。他再也找不到任何一个能让他放下一身盔甲的地方,每时每刻都生活在寂寞、失落与对未知的恐惧当中。更可悲的是,虽然这场游戏的所有参与者都是如此,但每个人都把这种痛苦看成一种必然,或者归咎于外部世界。为了消减这种痛苦,他尝试过好多方法,但除了面对自己的心灵,所有的方法都无补于事。所以他明白了,除非一个人敢于承认以往的无知,敢于质疑整个固有思想体系、行为标准,敢于以一种未必被世俗认可的方式去追求智慧与真理,否则,他就会一直痛苦下去。

A student of mine told me that he had worked for many years in an environment of people conniving against each other, and all the people around him did not hesitate to use methods that hurt others to benefit themselves in order to climb higher, and that he too was like this. But as he pushed along following the time day by day, he gradually discovered that this kind of life seemed utterly meaningless, and that he did not know what he was ultimately looking for. Everything he had once possessed seemed like bubbles that had burst, and sooner or later disappeared from his life, and it was even more like this with the happiness built upon these things. What’s more, he discovered that because he had been lost in this game for such a long time, it was no longer possible for him to trust anyone, and he had even begun to be on guard with his spouse, and be suspicious and calculating toward her. He could not find any place that would let him take off his armor, and he lived every minute of every hour in solitude, feeling lost and in fear of the unknown. What was even more tragic was that, even though all those who took part in this game were like this, every one of them considered this pain and suffering to be inevitable, or blamed the external world for it. He had tried many methods to reduce this pain and suffering, but other thanfacing his own mind and spirit, none of these methods helped the situation. So he came to understand that unlessa person dares to admit to his previous ignorance, and dares to doubt the whole entrenchedsystemof thought and behavioral norms, and dares to pursue wisdom and truth by a method that is not necessarily accepted by the conventional world, then he will have to keep on suffering.

明白了这一点之后,你渐渐对一切都感到厌倦,似乎对什么都不太在乎了。华衣美食不再吸引你,总经理、CEO等名衔也不再吸引你,你失去了追名逐利的欲望,你只想获得一种解脱的智慧,只想在虚幻世界中建立一种相对的永恒。你开始叩问自心、寻找梦想、寻找活着的意义,你愿意为这意义付出整个灵魂和生命,即使无法得到他人的理解也在所不惜。因此,你生出了强烈的出离心,开始追求引导人们走向解脱的道路。然后,你开始修炼,心也开始斗争:我一定要挣扎、摆脱这个苦恼之心。

After you have clearly understood this point, you will gradually feel tired of everything, as if you no longer cared about any of it. Elegant clothes and delicious food will no longer attract you, and titles like general manager and CEO will no longer attract you, and you will lose the desire to pursue fame and fortune. You will only want to get the wisdom of liberation, and you will only want to establish something comparatively eternal in this empty illusory world. You will begin to inquire into your own mind, and to pursue your dreams, and seek the meaning of life. You will be willing to spend your whole spirit and life for the sake of this meaning. Even if there is no way to get other people to understand you, it will not matter. Because of this, you will give rise to a strong mind of detachment, and begin the look for the path that leads people to liberation. After this, you will begin to cultivate practice, and your mind will begin to struggle. We certainly have to struggle with and cast off this mind of suffering and affliction.

因为有了出离心,欲望就渐渐消失了。眼观诸色,耳听诸声,也不贪婪;鼻闻诸香,舌尝诸味,也不执著。所有感官所接受的信息,都不再干扰你的心,因为你整个身心都在渴求着彻底的觉醒:你贪婪的对象从享乐变为超凡入圣,你仇恨的对象从外部世界变成自己的执著,你明白一切都是虚幻却妄图建立一种相对的永恒,你的傲慢变成了一种坚信众生是佛的“佛慢”……各种执著都被你坚定的心软化了,慢慢便会消融于真心的光明之中,而渴望光明的你,也终将获得一种无条件的快乐。

Because you have the mind of detachment, your desires will gradually dissolve away. Your eyes will observe all the forms, your ears will hear all the sounds, but you will not be greedy for them. Your nose will smell all the scents, your tongue will taste all the flavors, but you will not cling to them. All the information that is received by the sense organs will no longer disturb your mind, because your entire body and mind are seeking complete awakening. The objects of your greedy desires will change from pleasures, to ways of going beyond the ordinary and entering into the holy. The objects of your anger will change from the external world, to your own clingings and attachments. You will clearly understand that everything is empty and illusory, but you try in vain to build something relatively eternal. Your pride will be changed into the kind of “confidence in buddhahood” that firmly believes that sentient beings are buddhas. … The various kinds of clingings and attachments will all be softened by your firm mind, and slowly will melt into the light of the true mind. And you, yearning for the light, will finally gain an unconditional happiness.

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