菩提心旅

心念不空過

陳香樺

進入第十年的行醫生涯的同時,我開始懷疑自己,應當如何在工作和生活之間取得平衡?在體力耗損和過度執著工作之中,迷失了自己,如同所謂的「醫師倦怠」,挫折感幾乎要將我擊倒。在掙扎、不安的時候,我在佛寶寺接觸到了佛教和禪修。一切就像我的母親所說:都是因緣和合。

還記得第一天走進精舍的禪堂,一種平靜、清明的感受,安定了我的心,帶著一些猶豫,還是報名了禪修班。經常,是在結束了整天漫長的工作後,匆忙地趕上禪修課程,也因此在靜坐的時候,總被妄想和昏沈所干擾。但,透過數息、返觀自照的練習過程中,覺性漸漸明澈。

身處在數月以來的新冠疫情中,如果說,我害怕著所有不確定的未來,只是一個太保留的說法。當我告訴哥哥:「如果萬一,有什麼預料之外的情況發生時,我的遺囑已經準備好了。」讓他相當的震驚。我也因為緊張,很早就會由睡眠中醒來,成為了每天的日常。如果是輪值呼吸科門診的前一晚,我則會因為即將要面臨的未知而無法入睡。

在《禪七開示1》讀到老和尚開示:「『心念不空過,能滅諸有苦。』 念觀世音菩薩,一個念頭接著一個念頭,念念不空過,這就是一心不亂、就是禪定、就是淨念相繼。」當不確定性開始固定地展現出它的醜陋之時,長養慈悲心成為我的修行重點之一,藉由誦持心經、大悲咒的定課中,讓我找回自心的平靜。心不再一直被焦慮、緊張所盤踞,而是在專注每個當下中,找回平靜。因此,我也開始每週整理庭園、參觀動物園、徒步健行。在每一個活動中,我學會放鬆、始終是專注當下、保持正定。

經云:「欲知過去因,今生受者是;欲知來世果,今生作者是。」生命短暫而無常,許多時候,生活中的障礙,看起來好像是生活阻礙著我們無法成功,人生只是展現著種種的因緣果報。懂得放下、懂得接受,就是對自己和身旁人們的慈悲。

 

As I head into tenth year of practicing medicine, I have come face to face to self doubt of my work and life balance. I lost myself in exhaustion and over fixation on work, “physician burnt out,” as we called it. The sense of failure became overwhelming. During the struggle and unsettling time, I came across Buddhism and Chan (Zen) through Buddha Jewel Monastery.  The time was right, as my mother would say.

I remembered the first day walking into Zen Hall of the Monastery, a sense of calmness and heightened awareness of surrounding settled in. I sign up for class at the Monastery with apprehension. Often, I would rush to meditation class after a long workday. Thus, during Chan (Zen) practice, wandering thoughts and drowsiness were the two most common intruders. Slowly by practicing breath counting with internal observation, mindfulness and self-awareness became much lucid.

In the past six months of this challenging time of COVID pandemic, being frightened of the uncertain future was an understatement. I shocked my brother when I informed him my will has been prepared in case of the unthinkable. Early awakening with nervousness was a common daily routine. I often lost sleep the night before the outpatient respiratory clinic shift as I did not know what I would be facing against. The uncertainty showed its ugliness regularly.

In Dharma Talks of Zen 7, “’Be mindful and let not a single thought wander, then the woes of existence may be extinguished.’ By reciting Bodhisattva Guanyin’s name, one after one without letting a single thought wander, it is mindfulness, it is Samadhi, it is pure thought in succession.”

To cultivate compassion became one of my many focuses, then finding my way to serenity by reciting Heart Suture and Great Compassion Mantra regularly. Instead of one’s mind dwelling on anxiousness and sadness, one can focus on the moment to find peace. Therefore, I began to weekly gardening, visiting the local zoo, and hiking. With each activity, I learned to relax and worked on being present, being mindful, and meditate.

In one of the Buddhist verse, ‘to know what you’ve done in the past, observe what is happening to you in this life. To know what will happen in the future, observe what you are doing in this life. ‘

Life is transient and impermanent. Many times, when obstacles arise in life, it seems as though life does not want us to succeed; however, life merely shows us causality. To let go and to accept is to be kind to ourselves and others around us.