[首页] >> [林居传统]


by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu

原文版权所有 2002 坦尼沙罗比丘 。免费发行。 本文允许在任何媒体再版、重排、重印、印发。然而,作者希望任何再版与分发以对公众免费与无限制的形式进行,译文与转载也要求表明作者原衷。

中译版权所有 2005 良稹,http://www.theravadacn.org , 流通条件如上。转载时请包括本站连接,并登载本版权声明。

Meditation teaches you the power of your perceptions. You come to see how the labels you apply to things, the images with which you visualize things, have a huge influence over what you see, how they can weigh you down with suffering and stress. As the meditation develops, though, it gives you the tools you need to gain freedom from that influence.


In the beginning, when you first notice the power of perception, you can easily feel overwhelmed by how pervasive it is. Suppose you're focusing on the breath. There comes a point when you begin to wonder whether you're focusing on the breath itself or on your idea of the breath. Once this question arises, the normal reaction is to try to get around the idea to the raw sensation behind it. But if you're really sensitive as you do this, you'll notice that you're simply replacing one caricature of the breath with another, more subtle one. Even the raw sensation of breathing is shaped by how you conceptualize raw sensation. No matter how hard you try to pin down an unfiltered experience of breathing, you still find it shaped by your idea of what breathing actually is. The more you pursue the reality of the breath, the more it recedes like a mirage.


The trick here is to turn this fact to your advantage. After all, you're not meditating to get to the breath. You're meditating to understand the processes leading to suffering so that you can put an end to them. The way your relate to your perceptions is part of these processes, so that's what you want to see. You have to treat your experience of the breath, not as an end in itself, but as a tool for understanding the role of perception in creating suffering and stress.

技巧在于把此事转为己用。说到底,你修禅定不是为了追究气。你修禅定是为了理解致苦 的过程,从而能够达到苦的终结。你如何参照你的辨识,便是这些过程的一部分,因此你要观察的正是它。你必须把体验气作为手段,而不是目的,透过它,理解辨识在造苦过程中的作用。

You do this by de-perception: questioning your assumptions about breathing, deliberately changing those assumptions, and observing what happens as a result. Now, without the proper context, de-perception could easily wander off into random abstractions. So you take the practice of concentration as your context, providing de-perception both with a general direction and with particular tasks that force it to bump up against the operative assumptions that actually shape your experience of the present.

这里的做法是,解析辨识: 质疑你对气的种种假定,刻意改变那些假定,观察会发生什么果报。当然,拆解辨识如果缺乏适当的背景,很容易游走发散,变成抽象概念。因此,你就把修定作为背景,如此既提供一个总体趋向,也提供一些具体任务,迫使解析过程冲击塑造当下体验的那些操作假设。

The general direction lies in trying to bring the mind to deeper and more long-lasting levels of stillness so as to eliminate more and more subtle levels of stress. You're not trying to prove which perceptions of the breath depict it most truly, but simply which ones work best in which situations for eliminating stress. The objectivity you're looking for is not the objectivity of the breath, but the objectivity of cause and effect.

总体趋向是,试著把心带入更深、更持久的种种静止层次,以便消解越来越精细层次上的张力。你并非要证实哪些 气的辨识最真实地描绘了气,而只是想懂得哪些辨识在哪些情形下对消解张力最为有效。你 所寻找的客观性并非是 气的客观性,而是因果的客观性。

The particular tasks that teach you these lessons begin with the task of trying to get the mind to stay comfortably focused for long periods of time on the breath and right there you run into two operative assumptions: What does it mean to breathe? What does it mean to be focused?

教给你这些课程的具体任务,起始于试著让心舒适、长久地专注[定]在气上当下你就 遇到两个操作假定: 气意味著什么? 专注意味著什么?

It's common to think of the breath as the air passing in and out through the nose, and this can be a useful perception to start with. Use whatever blatant sensations you associate with that perception as a means of establishing mindfulness, developing alertness, and getting the mind to grow still. But as your attention gets more refined, you may find that level of breath becoming too faint to detect. So try thinking of the breath instead as the energy flow in the body, as a full body process.

一般认为气是指出入鼻腔的气息,可以把这个辨识当作有用的起点。无论哪种粗显的气感让你联想到该辨识,不妨就把它当作确立念住、培养警觉、使心静止下来的手段。不过,随著你的专注越来越精细,你也许会发现,气的层次变得极其微弱,难以探测。于是你就试著把气想 象成体内的能量流,一个全身的过程。

Then make that experience as comfortable as possible. If you feel any blockage or obstruction in the breathing, see what you can do to dissolve those feelings. Are you doing anything to create them? If you can catch yourself creating them, then it's easy to let them dissolve. And what would make you create them aside from your preconceived notions of how the mechanics of breathing have to work? So question those notions: Where does the breath come into the body? Does it come in only through the nose and mouth? Does the body have to pull the breath in? If so, which sensations do the pulling? Which sensations get pulled? Where does the pulling begin? And where is the breath pulled from? Which parts have the breath, and which ones don't? When you feel a sensation of blockage, which side of the sensation are you on?

接下来,使该体验尽量舒适起来。如果你感到气之中有任何障碍、阻碍,要设法化解那些觉受。你是不是在做什么,造就了它们? 如果你能逮著自己正在造作它们,放开就不难了。除了你对呼吸机制应当怎样运行 的先入观念外,是什么令你造作它们? 因此要质疑那些观念: 气从哪里来到体内? 它只从口鼻入内么? 身体是否有必要把气拉入体内? 若有必要,那么是哪些觉受在拉动? 那些觉受被拉动? 拉动从何处开始? 气又是从何处被拉来? 哪些部位有气,哪些部位没有? 当你感受到某种障碍时,你是在该感受的哪一边?

These questions may sound strange, but many times your pre-verbal assumptions about the body are strange as well. Only when you confront them head-on with strange questions can you bring them to light. And only when you see them clearly can you replace them with alternative concepts.


So once you catch yourself breathing uncomfortably in line with a particular assumption, turn it around to see what sensations the new assumption highlights. Try staying with those sensations as long as you can, to test them. If, compared to your earlier sensations associated with the breath, they're easier to stay with, if they provide a more solid and spacious grounding for concentration, the assumption that drew them to your attention is a useful new tool in your meditation. If the new sensations aren't helpful in that way, you can throw the new tool aside.


For example, if you have a sense of being on one side of a blockage, try thinking of being on the other side. Try being on both. Think of the breath as coming into the body, not through the nose or mouth, but through the middle of the chest, the back of the neck, every pore of your skin, any spot that helps reduce the felt need to push and pull.

举例来说, 如果你感到自己位于堵塞的某一边,就试想自己处于堵塞的另一边。试想同时在两边。不把气想成从口鼻而入,而是从胸部中央、颈后、皮肤的每个毛孔等任何有助于减少推拉感之处穿入。

Or start questioning the need to push and pull at all. Do you feel that your immediate experience of the body is of the solid parts, and that they have to manage the mechanics of breathing, which is secondary? What happens if you conceive your immediate experience of the body in a different way, as a field of primary breath energy, with the solidity simply a label attached to certain aspects of the breath? Whatever you experience as a primary body sensation, think of it as already breath, without your having to do anything more to it. How does that affect the level of stress and strain in the breathing?

或者,开始质疑推拉的根本必要性。你是否觉得,你对身体的直接体验是对那些固体部位的体验,呼吸[气]的动力必须得由固体部位掌管,气是处于从动地位? 如果你以另一种方式设想自己对身体的直接体验,把它当作一种主动的气能的场,固性只是对气的某些侧面的一种标签,又将如何? 无论你体验到的主动的身体感是什么,把它想象为现成的气,无需你再对它做些什么。那样一来对气中的苦与张力层次,又有什么影响?   

And what about the act of staying focused? How do you conceive that? Is it behind the breath? Surrounded by breath? To what extent does your mental picture of focusing help or hinder the ease and solidity of your concentration? For instance, you may find that you think of the mind as being in one part of the body and not in others. What do you do when you focus attention on another part? Does the mind leave its home base say, in the head to go there, or does the other part have to be brought into the head? What kind of tension does this create? What happens if you think of awareness already being in that other part? What happens when you turn things around entirely: instead of the mind's being in the body, see what stress is eliminated when you think of the body as surrounded by a pre-existing field of awareness.

  还有,维持专注[定]的动作是怎么回事? 你是怎样构想它的? 它 是位于气之后面,还是被气包围? 在多大程度上,你对于专注的心理图像,协助或妨碍了你的定力的安适与坚固? 例如,你也许发现,自己是把心想象成位于身体的某个部位,而不在其它部位。那么当你把注意力放在另一个部位时,你做了什么? 是心离开它的本位比如头部去那里,还是得把那另一个部位引入头部? 这样做造成了什么样的张力? 假如你把知觉设想为早已存在于那另一个部位时会发生什么? 当你把事情颠倒过来: 不设想心在身体之内,反而把身体想象成被一个先期存在的觉知场包围,又会发生什么?

When you ask questions like this and gain favorable results, the mind can settle down into deeper and deeper levels of solidity. You eliminate unnecessary tension and stress in your focus, finding ways of feeling more and more at home, at ease, in the experience of the present.


Once the mind is settled down, give it time to stay there. Don't be in too great a hurry to move on. Here the questions are, "Which parts of the process were necessary to focus in? Which can now be let go? Which do you have to hold onto in order to maintain this focus?" Tuning into the right level of awareness is one process; staying there is another. When you learn how to maintain your sense of stillness, try to keep it going in all situations. What do you discover gets in the way? Is it your own resistance to disturbances? Can you make your stillness so porous that disturbances can go through without running into anything, without knocking your center off balance?

一旦心定下来,让它定久一点。不要急于继续行进。此处的问题是,这个过程的哪些部分是专注所必要的? 哪些现在可以放下了? 哪些部分你必须抓住,才能维持这个专注[定]?" 进入正确的觉知层次是一个过程,停驻在那里,又是一个过程。你在学著维持这个寂止感时,试著在任何场合之下保持它。你发现有什么在妨碍? 是否它是你自己对干扰的抵制? 能否使你的静止如此多孔,那些干扰可以一穿而过、不受抵挡、不把你的定力中心撞得失去平衡?

As you get more and more absorbed in exploring these issues, concentration becomes less a battle against disturbance and more an opportunity for inner exploration. And without even thinking about them, you're developing the four bases of success: the desire to understand things, the persistence that keeps after your exploration, the close attention you're paying to cause and effect, and the ingenuity you're putting into framing the questions you ask. All these qualities contribute to concentration, help it get settled, get solid, get clear.

        随著你越来越沉浸于对这些问题的探索,入定不那么像是一场抵制干扰的战斗,而更多地成为一个内在探索的机会。不知不觉之中,你便是在发展四神足: 理解事物的欲望、坚持探索的勤奋、对因和果的密切关注、发问框架的创意。所有这些素质皆有助于培养定力,助它安止、牢固、清晰。

At the same time, they foster discernment. The Buddha once said that the test for a person's discernment is how he or she frames a question and tries to answer it. Thus to foster discernment, you can't simply stick to pre-set directions in your meditation. You have to give yourself practice in framing questions and testing the karma of those questions by looking for their results.


Ultimately, when you reach a perception of the breath that allows the sensations of in-and-out breathing to grow still, you can start questioning more subtle perceptions of the body. It's like tuning into a radio station. If your receiver isn't precisely tuned to the frequency of the signal, the static interferes with the subtleties of whatever is being transmitted. But when you're precisely tuned, every nuance comes through. The same with your sensation of the body: when the movements of the breath grow still, the more subtle nuances of how perception interacts with physical sensation come to the fore. The body seems like a mist of atomic sensations, and you can begin to see how your perceptions interact with that mist. To what extent is the shape of the body inherent in the mist? To what extent is it intentional something added? What happens when you drop the intention to create that shape? Can you focus on the space between the droplets in the mist? What happens then? Can you stay there? What happens when you drop the perception of space and focus on the knowing? Can you stay there? What happens when you drop the oneness of the knowing? Can you stay there? What happens when you try to stop labeling anything at all?

最终,当你达到一种让出入的气息感寂止下来的气的辨识时,便可以开始对更精细的身体辨识提出问题。这就像是调入某个无线电频道。如果你的接受器没有准确地调到那个信号的频率,所传递的讯号细节就会受到杂音的干扰。不过,调得准确时,每个细节都会传过来。你的体感[色]也同样: 有关辨识与体感[想与色]之间如何相互作用的更微妙的细节便显现出来。身体仿佛是一团原子感的雾,你开始看见你的辨识与那团雾如何相互作用。身体的形状在多大程度上是那团雾所固有的? 多大程度上是有意的是某种外加的东西? 当你放下造作该体形的意志[动机]时,会发生什么? 你能专注雾粒之间的空间么? 那时会发生什么? 你能定在那里么? 当你放下对空间的辨识,改为专注觉知,那时会发生什么? 你能定在那里么? 当你放开觉知的合一感,会发生什么? 你能定住那里么? 当你根本不试图标记任何东西时,又会发生什么?

As you settle into these more formless states, it's important that you not lose sight of your purpose in tuning into them. You're here to understand suffering, not to over-interpret what you experience. Say, for instance, that you settle into an enveloping sense of space or consciousness. From there, it's easy to assume that you've reached the primordial awareness, the ground of being, from which all things emerge, to which they all return, and which is essentially untouched by the whole process of emerging and returning. You might take descriptions of the Unconditioned and apply them to what you're experiencing. If you're abiding in a state of neither perception nor non-perception, it's easy to see it as a non-abiding, devoid of distinctions between perceiver and perceived, for mental activity is so attenuated as to be virtually imperceptible. Struck with the apparent effortlessness of the state, you may feel that you've gone beyond passion, aversion, and delusion simply by regarding them as unreal. If you latch onto an assumption like this, you can easily think that you've reached the end of the path before your work is really done.

随著你定入这些无色成分更高的状态,重要的是不要迷失自己进入其中的目的。你在这里的目的是理解苦,不是过分诠解自己的体验。譬如说,你 定入一个为空间或意识所包围的境界。从那里看, 很容易假定你已经到达了原始的觉知、存在的本源,万物从其中升起、又回归其中,本身却根本不受整个升返过程的影响。也许你会 把经典中对非缘起的描述,用在自己正在体验的东西上。如果你定 住于非想非非想界,则容易以为它是无所住状态,不存在知与被知的分界,因为心理活动微弱至极,基本上不可辨 知。你被该境界表面上的无为所打动,也许觉得藉著把贪、瞋、痴看成幻相,你已经超越了它们。如果你抓住这类假定,便很容易会以为自己已经到达正道的终点,实际上你的工作尚未完成。

Your only protection here is to regard these assumptions as forms of perception, and to dismantle them as well. And here is where the four noble truths prove their worth, as tools for dismantling any assumption by detecting the stress that accompanies it. Ask if there's still some subtle stress in the concentration that has become your dwelling place. What goes along with that stress? What vagrant movements in the mind are creating it? What persistent movements in the mind are creating it? You have to watch for both.

此处你的唯一防护,是把这些假定看成辨识的诸种形式,再把它们拆解开来。四圣谛作为工具对任何假设,藉著探测它随带之苦,把它拆解开正在此处显其价值。问自己,你安住的那个定境里是否仍有某种精细的张力。是什么伴随那种紧张? 是内心哪些游离动态在制造它? 是内心哪些持续动态在制造它? 这两个方面你都必须审视。

In this way you come face to face with the perceptions that keep even the most subtle states of concentration going. And you see that even theyare stressful. If you replace them with other perceptions, though, you'll simply exchange one type of stress for another. It's as if your ascending levels of concentration have brought you to the top of a flag pole. You look down and see aging, illness, and death coming up the pole, in pursuit. You've exhausted all the options that perception can offer, so what are you going to do? You can't just stay where you are. Your only option is to release your grip. And if you're letting go fully, you let go of gravity, too.

如此,你直接接觸到了維持著哪怕最精細的諸定境的那些辨識。你看見,即便它們也有苦。你若以其它辨識替代它們,只會以一種苦替代另一種苦。;這就好比上昇的定力層次把你帶到了一根旗杆的頂點。你朝下看,看見老、病、死朝著旗杆追上來。你已窮盡了辨識所能提供的一切,怎麼辦? 你在那裏停留不得。唯一出路是松開你的緊握。如果你徹底放下,便也放下了重力。


最近訂正 1-25-2009