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析辨

 

[作者] 坦尼沙羅尊者

[中]良稹

De-perception

by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu

 

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.

禅定使你了解辨識的力量。你會發現,給事物賦予的標簽與觀察前的先入印象,怎樣大幅度地左右你的知見,而這些東西的苦與張力怎樣給你造成負擔。不過,隨著禅定的進步,你會獲得工具,脫離那類影響。

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.

 

你最初意識到辨識的力量時,很容易對它的普遍存在有應接不暇感。譬如作呼吸禅定到了某個程度,你會開始思索,自己到底在專注呼吸本身,還是呼吸的概念。這個問題一旦升起,通常的反應是,試著繞過概念,去觀察它背後的原始覺受。不過假如你在觀察時真正敏感,就會注意到,你只是以另一種對呼吸更精細的描繪方式,替代原先的概念罷了。即使呼吸的原始覺受,也成型於你對原始覺受這個概念的把握方式。無論你作多少努力,試圖確定未經過濾的呼吸驗,你還是發現,它成型於你對呼吸究竟是什麽這個觀念。你越追蹤呼吸的實相,它越後退,如海市蜃樓。

 

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.

 

技巧在於把事轉爲己用。說到底,你作禅定爲理解呼吸。你作禅定是爲了理解苦的升起過程,達到苦的終結。呼吸與辨識怎樣相關,便是這些過程的一部分,因此你要觀察的正是它。你必須把體驗呼吸作爲手段,而不是目的,透過它,理解辨識在苦與張力制造中的作用。

 

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.

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.

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?

 

這裏的做法是,解辨識: 質疑有關呼吸的假定,刻意改變它們,觀察結果如何。當然,缺乏適當的背景,拆解辨識很容易淪爲隨機雜念。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,迫使它沖擊塑造當下驗的那些操作假設。

 

總體趨向是,試著把心帶入越來越深度、持久的靜止層次,以便消解程度越來越精細的張力。你並非要證實哪呼吸辨識最真實地反映呼吸,而只是體驗哪些辨識對於消解哪類張力最有效。你尋找的客觀性,並非呼吸的客觀性,而是因果的客觀性。


使你學得這類知識的具體任務,起始於試著讓心舒適、長久地專注於呼吸當下你就有了兩個操作假定: 呼吸意味著什麽? 專注意味著什麽?

 

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.

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?

 

一般認爲呼吸是指出入鼻腔的氣息,這個有用的辨識可作爲起點。無論使你聯想起該辨識的呼吸感何等粗顯,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,隨著專注力越來越精細,你也許會發現,呼吸层次微弱得難以探測。於是你試著把呼吸改想成一股體內能量流,一個全身過程。

 

接下來,要使該體驗盡量舒適起來。如果你感到呼吸之中有任何障礙、阻礙,要設法化解那些覺受。你是不是在做什麽,造就了它們? 你若發現是自己在造作,放下它們就不難了。除了你對呼吸機制該怎樣運行有先入之見外,還有什麽令你造作它們? 因此要質疑那些觀念: 呼吸從哪裏進入體內? 它只從口鼻進入麽? 身體是否有必要把呼吸拉入體內? 若有必要,那麽是哪些覺受在用力? 那些覺受被拉動? 拉動從何處開始? 呼吸又從何處被拉過來? 哪些部位有呼吸,哪些部位沒有? 障礙感升起時,你在覺受的哪一邊?

 

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.

 

這些問題聽來也許怪誕,然而許多情形下,你對色身的下意識假設也同樣怪誕。只有用怪誕的問題迎面觀照,才能把那些假設揭開。你只有把它們看清楚了,才能用其它概念取而代之。


因此,你一旦發現自己呼吸不順乃是緣於某個特定的假設,便把它轉過來看看,新的假設會揭示什麽樣的覺受。試著盡可能長時間地安住於那些覺受,檢驗它們。如果它們較之你先前的呼吸感更容易安住,如果它們爲定力提供的基礎更堅實、寬廣,那麽揭示它們的那個假設對你的禅定便是一個有益的新工具。如果新的覺受無益,就把新工具棄置一邊。

 

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.

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?

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.

 

譬如,你感自己位於堵塞的一邊,試著觀想處於堵塞的另一邊。試想同時在兩邊。不把呼吸想成從口鼻而入,而是從胸前、頸後、皮膚每個毛孔、任何一個有助於減少推拉感之處進入。


或者,質疑推拉的根本必要性。你是否感到,色身直接體驗到的是固態部,必須由後者掌管處於次要地位的呼吸機制? 如果你設想另一種方式直接體驗色身,把它當成主要是一個呼吸能量場,固態部位只是對呼吸某些側面的種標簽,又将如何? 無論你經曆哪一種主要色身感,把它設想爲現成的呼吸,無需你再對它做些什麽; 那樣一來對呼吸的苦與緊張層次,有什麽影響?


還有,維持專注的動作是怎麽回事? 你是怎樣構想它的? 它位于呼吸之後,還是被呼吸包圍? 在多大程度上,你對于入定的心理形象,協助或妨礙了定力的自如與堅固? 例如,你也許注意到自己以爲心識存在于色身某個部位,不在其它部位。那麽當你把注意力放在別處時,是怎麽做的? 是心識離開本位(比如頭部)去該處,還是得把其它部位引入頭腦? 這樣做造成了何等張力? 你把知覺設想爲現存于該部位將如何? 如果你把整件事顛倒過來,與其設想心在在色身之內,反之,設想色身被一現成的覺知場包圍,又將如何?

 

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?

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.

 

當你這樣一邊提出問題,一邊獲得有益結果時,心就會入定,越來越深、越來越牢固。你消解了專注時不必要的緊張與壓力,找到越來越自在、舒適的覺受方式來體驗當下。

 

一旦心定下來,讓它定久一點。不要急于繼續前行。此處的問題是,這個過程的哪些部分必須專注? 哪些可以放下? 哪些部分你需要抓住,才能維持這個定境?" 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。你發現有什麽在妨礙? 是否它是你自己對幹擾的抵制? 能否使你的靜止如此多孔,那些幹擾可以一穿而過、不受抵擋、不把你的定力中心撞得失去平衡?

隨著你越來越沈浸于對這些問題的探索,入定漸少成爲一場抵制幹擾的戰鬥,漸多地成爲一個探索內心的機會。不知不覺地,你便在培養四神足: 理解事物的欲望、堅持探索的勤奮、對于因果的密切關注、提問方式的創意。所有這些素質皆有助于培養定力,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.

 

同時,這些探索也在培養著明辨。佛陀曾經說過,測驗某人的明辨程度的方法,是看他/她怎樣提出問題,怎樣嘗試解答。因此,爲了培養明辨,你在禅定中不能只固守既定的指南。你必須構思問題,尋其果報,如此測試那些問題的業力,給自己創造修練的機會。

 

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?

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.

 

最後,你達到一種令出入息寂止下來的呼吸辨識,那時便可以對更精細的色身辨識提出問題。這樣做類似于無線電調頻。你若調得不准,雜音會幹擾訊號的細節。調准時,每個細節都會傳過來。你的色身覺受也類似: 當呼吸動態寂止下來時,辨識與生理覺受之間相互作用的更微妙的細節便顯現出來。色身仿佛是一股原子感的霧體,你開始看見辨識如何與那團霧體相互作用。色身的形狀多大程度上屬于那團霧體的固有性質? 多大程度上是有意形成或者說是外加的? 你放下造作該體形的意志[動機],會發生什麽? 你能專注于霧體顆粒之間的空間麽? 那時會發生什麽? 你能安住那裏麽? 當你放下對空間的辨識,改爲專注于覺知,那時會發生什麽? 你能安住那裏麽? 當你放下覺知的一體感,會發生什麽? 你能安住那裏麽? 你若根本不試圖標記任何事物,那時又會發生什麽?

 

隨著你在這些無色界層次定駐下來,重要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,不是過分铨解自己的體驗。譬如說,你在一個包容一切空間或意識之感的境界中定駐下來。從那裏看,容易認爲你已到達原始的覺知、生命的本源,萬物從其中升起、又回歸其中,本身卻不受整個升落過程的影響。也許你會以爲經上對無緣起的描述合乎自己的體驗。如果你定駐于非想非非想界,則容易以爲它是心無所住[之狀態],不存在知與被知的分界,因爲思維活動微弱至極,基本上不可分辨。你被該境界的表面無爲所打動,也許覺得只需把貪、瞋、癡看成幻相,便超越了它們。如果你抓緊這類假定,很容易以爲自己已經到達正道頂端,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形式,也它們拆解開來。四聖谛正在此處顯其價值,即作爲拆解任何假設的工具,方法是: 探測伴隨這些假設的張力。問自己,你安住的那個定境裏是否仍有某種精細的張力。是什麽伴隨那種緊張? 是內心什麽樣的遊散動態在制造它? 是內心什麽樣的持續動態在制造它? 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.

 

就這樣,你面對面地看見了維持著哪怕最精細的定境的那些辨識。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。這就好比上升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,怎麽辦? 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 2-19-2007

 

Source : http://www.theravadacn.org/

 

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