佛法講緣起，一切事物都必須因緣和合才能成就。要成就好事，就要具足善緣，緣不是等待而來的，必須要自己去努力、創造、開發，所以說「未成佛道，先結人緣」。Buddhism teaches Dependent Arising, which means everything happens due to the coming together of specific causes and conditions. To accomplish anything, the right conditions must be present. However, we do not wait for this to happen; we should strive to create and develop them ourselves. Therefore, we say, “before we become a buddha, first make good karma with people.”
修行不是言教，但是也不離開言教。假使離開言教，就容易走錯路、容易錯認消息；心裡起了煩惱，藉由研讀經典或聽聞佛法，端正知見，心安住下來，煩惱馬上就轉過來了。 Cultivation is not the study of doctrines, nor should it do without the doctrines. Without the teachings as a guide, we can easily stray from the right path or mistake some small insight as true enlightenment. When our minds are troubled, studying sutras or attending Dharma lectures can correct our views, calm our minds, and quickly turn our afflictions around.
佛法所講的因果，就是要在我們平時做人做事、起心動念處下手，只起善念，不起惡念，時時刻刻檢討反省，嚴以律己、寬以待人，這樣這一生的福德就會增長。The principle of causality in Buddhism teaches us to be mindful of our conduct and relationships, starting with our motives and thoughts. Give rise to good thoughts only, never bad thoughts. Always reflect to improve ourselves from within. Be strict with ourselves but kind to others. In this way our merits will continue to grow.
眾生不知道心念是虛妄不實的，就會跟著虛妄的念頭起惑、造業；如果知道心念生滅無常，能觀之心覺察、覺照，虛妄的心念就沒有了。這時一念相應，契入寂滅，這就是般若智慧，就能得到解脫。 Not knowing thoughts are illusory, sentient beings follow their deluded thoughts and generate afflictions and bad karma. However, knowing thoughts are impermanent, ever-arising and ceasing, our mind reflects on and stays mindful of itself, then deluded thoughts will gradually cease. At that time, the mind instantly realizes its intrinsic state of absolute stillness—this realization, or prajna wisdom, will liberate us.
古語說道：「塞翁失馬，焉知非福。」眼前的壞事情，並不一定就是壞事。懂得這個道理，凡事只要沈得住氣，就有可能改變自己的命運。 The ancient says, “The old man lost his horse. How could one tell it was not a blessing?” A situation may appear to be bad, but it may not be bad necessarily. Understanding this principle, if we can be patient and persevere no matter when happens, we will be able to change our life.
隨緣盡分，修一切善，不執著一切善，始終安住在不生不滅的真實自性。雖然知道世間一切都是假的，也不妨假戲真做。悟到這些道理，就能修菩薩行，所謂「宴坐水月道場，大作夢中佛事」，這才是真實的佛法。 Practice adapting to conditions with our best effort; cultivate all good deeds without any attachment; always abide in our non-arising and non-ceasing true nature. Although we know all worldly things are illusory, we should still play our roles in life sincerely. When we realize this truth, we can cultivate the bodhisattva path—“sit at the water-moon monastery in serenity, do dream-like buddha works wholeheartedly”—this is the true Dharma.
回向就好像點了一支火把，把火傳給他人，一傳十、十傳百，不但自己的光明沒有減損，反而光光相照，功德再增功德。 Dedicating merits is like lighting a torch and passing it on to others—from one to ten, from ten to hundreds. The brightness of our own torch not only does not diminish but keeps illuminating one another; in the same way our dedicated merits continue to grow and multiply.
2022/5/16 6:20 pm updated | Since 3/1/2020