[] >> [林居傳統]


by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu

原文版權所有   2002 坦尼沙羅比丘。免費發行。本文允許在任何媒體再版、重排、重印、印發。然而,作者希望任何再版與分發以對公衆免費與無限制的形式進行,譯文與轉載也要求表明作者原衷。

中譯版權所有   2005 良稹,http://www.theravadacn.org , 流通條件如上。轉載時請包括本站連接,并登載本版權聲明。

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.

技巧在於把此事轉爲己用。說到底,你修禪定不是爲了追究氣。你修禪定是爲了理解致苦 的過程,從而能夠達到苦的終結。你如何參照你的辨識,便是這些過程的一部分,因此你要觀察的正是它。你必須把體驗氣作爲手段,而不是目的,透過它,理解辨識在造苦過程中的作用。

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.

這裏的做法是,解析辨識: 質疑你對氣的種種假定,刻意改變那些假定,觀察會發生什麼果報。當然,拆解辨識如果缺乏適當的背景,很容易游走發散,變成抽象概念。因此,你就把修定作爲背景,如此既提供一個總體趨向,也提供一些具體任務,迫使解析過程沖擊塑造當下體驗的那些操作假設。

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.

總體趨向是,試著把心帶入更深、更持久的種種靜止層次,以便消解越來越精細層次上的張力。你並非要證實哪些 氣的辨識最真實地描繪了氣,而只是想懂得哪些辨識在哪些情形下對消解張力最爲有效。你 所尋找的客觀性並非是 氣的客觀性,而是因果的客觀性。

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?

教給你這些課程的具體任務,起始於試著讓心舒適、長久地專注[定]在氣上當下你就 遇到兩個操作假定: 氣意味著什麼? 專注意味著什麼?

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.

一般認爲氣是指出入鼻腔的氣息,可以把這個辨識當作有用的起點。無論哪種粗顯的氣感讓你聯想到該辨識,不妨就把它當作確立念住、培養警覺、使心靜止下來的手段。不過,隨著你的專注越來越精細,你也許會發現,氣的層次變得極其微弱,難以探測。於是你就試著把氣想 象成體內的能量流,一個全身的過程。

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?

接下來,使該體驗盡量舒適起來。如果你感到氣之中有任何障礙、阻礙,要設法化解那些覺受。你是不是在做什麼,造就了它們? 如果你能逮著自己正在造作它們,放開就不難了。除了你對呼吸機制應當怎樣運行 的先入觀念外,是什麼令你造作它們? 因此要質疑那些觀念: 氣從哪裏來到體內? 它只從口鼻入內麼? 身體是否有必要把氣拉入體內? 若有必要,那麼是哪些覺受在拉動? 那些覺受被拉動? 拉動從何處開始? 氣又是從何處被拉來? 哪些部位有氣,哪些部位沒有? 當你感受到某種障礙時,你是在該感受的哪一邊?

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.

舉例來說, 如果你感到自己位於堵塞的某一邊,就試想自己處於堵塞的另一邊。試想同時在兩邊。不把氣想成從口鼻而入,而是從胸部中央、頸後、皮膚的每個毛孔等任何有助於減少推拉感之處穿入。   

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,開始質疑推拉的根本必要性。你是否覺得,你對身體的直接體驗是對那些固體部位的體驗,呼吸[氣]的動力必須得由固體部位掌管,氣是處於從動地位? 如果你以另一種方式設想自己對身體的直接體驗,把它當作一種主動的氣能的場,固性只是對氣的某些側面的一種標簽,又將如何? 無論你體驗到的主動的身體感是什麼,把它想象爲現成的氣,無需你再對它做些什麼。那樣一來對氣中的苦與張力層次,又有什麼影響?

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.

還有,維持專注[定]的動作是怎麼回事? 你是怎樣構想它的? 它 是位於氣之後面,還是被氣包圍? 在多大程度上,你對於專注的心理圖像,協助或妨礙了你的定力的安適與堅固? 例如,你也許發現,自己是把心想象成位於身體的某個部位,而不在其它部位。那麼當你把注意力放在另一個部位時,你做了什麼? 是心離開它的本位比如頭部去那裏,還是得把那另一個部位引入頭部? 這樣做造成了什麼樣的張力? 假如你把知覺設想爲早已存在於那另一個部位時會發生什麼? 當你把事情顛倒過來: 不設想心在身體之內,反而把身體想象成被一個先期存在的覺知場包圍,又會發生什麼?

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?  

一旦心定下來,讓它定久一點。不要急於繼續行進。此處的問題是,這個過程的哪些部分是專注所必要的? 哪些現在可以放下了? 哪些部分你必須抓住,才能維持這個專注[定]?" 進入正確的覺知層次是一個過程,停駐在那裏,又是一個過程。你在學著維持這個寂止感時,試著在任何場合之下保持它。你發現有什麼在妨礙? 是否它是你自己對干擾的抵制? 能否使你的靜止如此多孔,那些干擾可以一穿而過、不受抵擋、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.

隨著你越來越沉浸於對這些問題的探索,入定不那麼像是一場抵制干擾的戰鬥,而更多地成爲一個內在探索的機會。不知不覺之中,你便是在發展四神足: 理解事物的欲望、堅持探索的勤奮、對因和果的密切關注、發問框架的創意。所有這些素質皆有助於培養定力,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?

最終,當你達到一種讓出入的氣息感寂止下來的氣的辨識時,便可以開始對更精細的身體辨識提出問題。這就像是調入某個無線電頻道。如果你的接受器沒有准確地調到那個信號的頻率,所傳遞的訊號細節就會受到雜音的干擾。不過,調得准確時,每個細節都會傳過來。你的體感[色]也同樣: 有關辨識與體感[想與色]之間如何相互作用的更微妙的細節便顯現出來。身 體仿佛是一團原子感的霧,你開始看見你的辨識與那團霧如何相互作用。身體的形狀在多大程度上是那團霧所固有的? 多大程度上是有意的是某種外加的東西? 當你放下造作該體形的意志[動機]時,會發生什麼? 你能專注霧粒之間的空間麼? 那時會發生什麼? 你能定在那裏麼? 當你放下對空間的辨識,改爲專注覺知,那時會發生什麼? 你能定在那裏麼? 當你放開覺知的合一感,會發生什麼? 你能定住那裏麼? 當你根本不試圖標記任何東西時,又會發生什麼?

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.

隨著你定入這些無色成分更高的狀態,重要的是不要迷失自己進入其中的目的。你在這裏的目的是理解苦,不是過分詮解自己的體驗。譬如說,你 定入一個爲空間或意識所包圍的境界。從那裏看, 很容易假定你已經到達了原始的覺知、存在的本源,萬物從其中昇起、又回歸其中,本身卻根本不受整個昇返過程的影響。也許你會 把經典中對非緣起的描述,用在自己正在體驗的東西上。如果你定 住於非想非非想界,則容易以爲它是無所住狀態,不存在知與被知的分界,因爲心理活動微弱至極,基本上不可辨 知。你被該境界表面上的無爲所打動,也許覺得藉著把貪、瞋、癡看成幻相,你已經超越了它們。如果你抓住這類假定,便很容易會以爲自己已經到達正道的終點,實際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.

此處你的唯一防護,是把這些假定看成辨識的諸種形式,再把它們拆解開來。四聖諦作爲工具對任何假設,藉著探測它隨帶之苦,把它拆解開正在此處顯其價值。問自己,你安住的那個定境裏是否仍有某種精細的張力。是什麼伴隨那種緊張? 是內心哪些游離動態在制造它? 是內心哪些持續動態在制造它? 這兩個方面你都必須審視。

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 they are 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。