大顯神通給誰看?

有同學問,「老師,你能不能看到別人頭上或者背後的氣場?」我說,「我沒辦法。」同學又問,「那你能不能讀到別人心裡的事,別人的情緒?」我說,「這我也沒辦法。」

問的同學可能有點失望,也有點同情,安慰我說,「沒關係啦,每個老師專精的事各有不同嘛。」

我想到《長部》《堅固經》《長阿含經》卷十六,或譯《給哇得經》,英譯 Kevatta Sutta)的故事。

有同學建議 the Blessed One 說,如果讓有神通的比丘弘法時,適時秀個幾招、展現一下神通,一定可以招攬到更多的學生,讓他們從別的教室轉到 the Blessed One 的教室來上課。這同學一連建議了三次,the Blessed One 前兩次都只是說,我不會要比丘出去表演神通。(漢譯阿含裡還多了一句 ,「我但教弟子於空閑處靜默思道,若有功德,當自覆藏,若有過失,當自發露。」)到第三次時,佛陀(不知道是不是受不了了)只好仔細解釋箇中奧義。

神通(iddhipāṭihāriya,或譯神變、奇蹟)有三種:「一曰神足,二曰觀察他心,三曰教誡。」(「神通神變、記心神變、教誡神變。」)(”The miracle of psychic power, the miracle of telepathy, and the miracle of instruction.”)

給哇得!什麼是神通神變呢?給哇得!這裡,比丘經驗各種神通:有了一個後變成多個,有了多個後變成一個;現身、隱身;無阻礙地穿牆、穿壘、穿山而行猶如在虛空中;在地中作浮出與潛入猶如在水中;在水上行走不沉沒猶如在地上;以盤腿而坐在空中前進猶如有翅膀的鳥;以手碰觸、撫摸日月這樣大神力、大威力;以身體自在行進直到梵天世界。

給哇得!什麼是記心神變呢?給哇得!這裡,比丘告知其他眾生、其他個人的心,也告知心所有的,也告知被尋思的:「你的意是這樣,你的意是像這樣,你的心是像這樣[狀態]。」

The Blessed One 非常瞭解一般「消費者」的心態,如果他們本來就沒有清楚的信念與認知,即使現展出多麼厲害的神通,也可能馬上讓「消費者」打槍,「那個某某某持個什麼 Manika 還是 Gandhari 咒,也是可以一個人變好幾個人,也是像走過小叮噹的任意門一樣從這裡一下子就變到那裡,或者也會讀出人家的心(羞)。」這些「市場」上的反應,讓 the Blessed One 感到「羞愧、慚愧、厭惡」(”I feel horrified, humiliated, and disgusted with the miracle of telepathy / psychic power”)。

等等,不是還有一種神通嗎?沒錯,市場區隔就在這裡,內行的客人都知道,重點就在這裡。

給哇得!什麼是教誡神變呢?給哇得!這裡,比丘這麼教誡:「你們應該這麼尋思,你們不應該這麼尋思;你們應該這麼作意,你們不應該這麼作意;你們應該捨斷這個,你們應該進入後住於這個。」給哇得!這被稱為教誡神變。

And what is the miracle of instruction? There is the case where a monk gives instruction in this way: “Direct your thought in this way, don’t direct it in that. Attend to things in this way, don’t attend to them in that. Let go of this, enter and remain in that.” This, Kevatta, is called the miracle of instruction.

嗯,說老實話,這樣的文案貼出來之後,想看魔術表演的客人大概遙控器一按就轉台了。

怎麼辦?不怎麼辦啊,人家沒興趣看,人家想轉台,是人家的自由。但是,看過了(看夠了)魔術表演的潛在消費者可能就會稍稍睜大眼睛,準備聽聽看進一步的詳細介紹。(據說衝動型的消費者聽了,說不定就生起出離心,想著「我不宜在家,若在家者,鈎鎖相連,不得清淨修於梵行。我今寧可剃除鬚髮,服三法衣,出家修道,具諸功德。」)

話說回來,讀其他人的情緒可不是輕鬆的事呢,又不是在讀小說看電影。有美國時間想像別人家的故事,不如試試看照照鏡子,或者閉上眼睛休息一下。還有力氣的話,再仔細回味回味這幾句話吧:

Direct your thought in this way, don’t direct it in that.
Attend to things in this way, don’t attend to them in that.
Let go of this, enter and remain in that.

你以為佛法是一種「生活的藝術」嗎?

中譯出處
簡體中文中譯出處

菩提長老

在許多我看過的佛教出版品,覺察到一個幾乎被視為必然的普遍作法,就是把佛教修行從信仰與教理的基礎抽離,移植到其本質由西方人文主義——特别是人道主義心理學和超個人心理學——所界定的一般世俗日常生活。

我想,我們可以看到很多例子,利用內觀禪修當成西方心理治療的附屬品或對等物。實際上,我並不過度擔憂心理學家使用佛教技巧來提升心理的療愈。如果佛教禪修,能幫助人們對自己感覺更好,或者能活得更加醒覺和平靜,這是好事;若心理治療師能將禪修當作心理治療的工具,我祝他們成功!畢竟,「如來並非握拳不教的老師」,我們應該讓他人擷取佛法,有效運用於利樂世間。

我所關切的是,現今教授佛法的普遍趨勢,用大量心理學語詞來改寫佛陀教法的核心義理,之後說這是佛法。然而這樣,我們絕無法從佛教本身的結構,看出佛法的真正目的——並非導致心理上的療愈、完整或自我接受,而是策勵心靈朝向解脫—對治所有造成繫縛與痛苦的心理因素,最後從中解脫。我們應謹記,佛陀並未將佛法教導成「生活的藝術」,雖然它蘊含於內,但佛陀教導的是更超越、無上的「解脱道」——通往終極解脱和覺悟的道路。佛陀所指的覺悟,並非贊揚人類的有限,也不是被動屈服於我們性格的脆弱,而是透過徹底改革,突破至全然不同的境界,來克服這些有限。

這是我發現最能掌握佛法的叙述:在出世間法最高的成就,我們克服所有人類的缺點和脆弱,也包括生命必然死亡這件事。佛道的目標,不僅在於具足正念地生活與死去(當然這是值得成就的),而是超越生死達到完全不死、無可限量的涅槃。這是佛陀追尋覺悟過程中冀求的目標,也由於佛陀成就正覺,使得這目標可在世間實現。這是如法修行的結果,亦是依佛教原架構修學的終點。

然而,當把內觀修行教導成只是一種醒覺的生活方式,在洗碗盤和換尿布時保持覺知與平靜,這目標便失落了。當佛法存在的理由——出世間法被删除時,在我看來,剩下的只是去除菁華、空洞無力的教導,不再是能導向解脫的工具了。正確修行佛法,確實帶來許多現世的快樂。但佛陀終極的教導不只關於現世樂,而是要達到世間滅——這成就並非存在於遙遠的他方世界,而是在這具有感官與意識的六呎之軀中。

Climbing to the Top of the Mountain – An interview with Bhikkhu Bodhi
(Insight Journal, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies Volume 19, Fall 2002)
原始訪談全文

What do you make of the fact that Buddhism is becoming so popular in this country?

It is not difficult to understand why Buddhism should appeal to Americans at this particular juncture of our history. Theistic religions have lost their hold on the minds of many educated Americans, and this has opened up a deep spiritual vacuum that needs to be filled. For many, materialistic values are profoundly unsatisfying, and Buddhism offers a spiritual teaching that fits the bill. It is rational, experiential, practical, and personally verifiable; it brings concrete benefits that can be realized in one’s own life; it propounds lofty ethics and an intellectually cogent philosophy. Also, less auspiciously, it has an exotic air that attracts those fascinated by the mystical and esoteric.

The big question we face is whether and to what extent Buddhism should be refashioned to conform to the particular exigencies imposed by American culture. Throughout history Buddhism has generally adjusted its forms to enable it to adapt to the indigenous cultures and thought-worlds in which it has taken root. Yet beneath these modifications, which allowed it to thrive in different cultural contexts, it has usually remained faithful to its essential insights. This may be the biggest challenge facing Buddhism in America, where the intellectual milieu is so different from anything Buddhism has ever previously encountered that in our haste to effect the necessary adaptations we may be unwittingly diluting or even expurgating principles fundamental to the Dhamma. I believe we need to be very cautious if we are to find a successful middle way between too rigid adherence to traditional Asiatic forms and excessive accommodation to contemporary Western—and specifically American—intellectual, social, and cultural pressures.

It might be counterproductive to attempt to import into America a version of Theravada Buddhism that retains all the customs and mores of Southeast Asia. But I believe it is essential to preserve those principles that lie at the very heart of the Dhamma, and to clearly articulate the proper purpose for which the practice of the Dhamma is undertaken. If we tamper with these, we risk losing the essence along with the extrinsic accretions. In our current situation, I think the main danger is not inflexible adherence to established Buddhist forms, but excessive accommodation to the pressures of the American mind-set. In many of the Buddhist publications I have seen, I have detected signs of a widespread program, regarded almost as obligatory, to extract Buddhist practices from their grounding in Buddhist faith and doctrine and transplant them into a basically secular agenda whose parameters are defined by Western humanism, particularly humanistic and transpersonal psychology.

Can you point to ways this might be happening?

I think we see examples of this in the use of vipassana meditation as an adjunct or companion to Western psychotherapy. Actually, I’m not overly worried about psychologists using Buddhist techniques to promote psychological healing. If Buddhist meditation can help people feel more comfortable about themselves, or to live with greater awareness and equanimity, this is good. If psychotherapists can use Buddhist meditation as a tool of inner healing, I would say more power to them. After all, “the Tathagata does not have the closed fist of a teacher,” and we should let others take from the Dhamma what they can effectively use for beneficial ends.

What I am concerned about is the trend, common among present-day Buddhist teachers, of recasting the core principles of the Buddha’s teachings into largely psychological terms and then saying, “This is Dhamma.” When this is done we may never get to see that the real purpose of the teaching, in its own framework, is not to induce “healing” or “wholeness” or “self-acceptance,” but to propel the mind in the direction of deliverance – and to do so by attenuating, and finally extricating, all those mental factors responsible for our bondage and suffering. We should remember that the Buddha did not teach the Dhamma as an “art of living” – though it includes that – but above all as a path to deliverance, a path to final liberation and enlightenment. And what the Buddha means by enlightenment is not a celebration of the limitations of the human condition, not a passive submission to our frailties, but an overcoming of those limitations by making a radical, revolutionary breakthrough to an altogether different dimension of being.

This is what I find most gripping about the Dhamma: its culmination in a transcendent dimension in which we overcome all the flaws and vulnerabilities of the human condition, including our bondage to death itself. The aim of the Buddhist path is not living and dying with mindfulness (though these are, of course, worthy achievements), but transcending life and death entirely to arrive at the Deathless, at the Immeasurable, at Nirvana. This is the goal the Buddha sought for himself during his own quest for enlightenment, and it is this attainment that his enlightenment made available to the world. This is the end at which the proper practice of Dhamma points, the end for which the practice is undertaken in its original framework.

This end, however, is lost to view when insight meditation is taught as just a way to live mindfully, to wash dishes and change baby’s diapers with awareness and tranquility. When the transcendent dimension of the Dhamma, its very raison d’etre, is expunged, what we are left with is, in my view, an eviscerated, enfeebled version of the teaching that can no longer function as a vehicle to deliverance. Though correctly practiced, the Dhamma does bring abundant happiness within the world, ultimately the teaching is not about living happily in the world but about reaching “the end of the world"—an end that is to be found not in the far regions of outer space but within this fathom-long body with its senses and consciousness.

So you do not think Dhamma is being taught as a path of deliverance?

The impression I get from what I’ve read in contemporary American Buddhist publications is that this aspect of Buddhist practice is receiving little emphasis. I hear of students being taught to accept themselves; to live in the present from moment to moment without attachment and clinging; to enjoy, honor and celebrate their vulnerability. Again, I don’t want to underestimate the importance of approaching the practice with a healthy psychological attitude. For a person troubled by self-condemnation, who is always dejected and miserable, the practice of intensive meditation is more likely to be harmful than beneficial. The same might be said of a person who lacks a strong center of psychological integration or of one who tries to deny his weaknesses and vulnerabilities by presenting a façade of strength and self-confidence.

But I have to emphasize that the training that accords with the Buddha’s own clear intentions presupposes that we are prepared to adopt a critical stance towards the ordinary functioning of our mind. This involves seeing our vulnerabilities, i.e., our mental defilements, not as something to be celebrated but as a liability, as a symptom of our "fallen” condition. It also presupposes that we are determined to transform ourselves, both in the immediate moment-to-moment functioning of our minds and in their more stable and persistent extension over time.

To take up the Buddha’s training is thus to draw a distinction, even a sharp distinction, between our characters (proclivities, dispositions, habits, etc.) as they are now, and the ideals to which we should aspire and seek to embody by our practice of the Buddhist path. The mental dispositions we must acknowledge and seek to rectify are our kilesas, the defilements or afflictions: the three root-defilements of greed, aversion and delusion, and their many offshoots such as anger, obstinacy, arrogance, vanity, jealousy, selfishness, hypocrisy, etc.

So the great affirmation to which the Buddhist path points us is not the wonders of our “ordinary mind,” but of the mind that has been illuminated by true wisdom, the mind that has been purified of all taints and corruptions, the mind that has been liberated from all bonds and fetters and has become suffused with a universal love and compassion that spring from the depth and clarity of understanding. The practice of the Buddhist path is the systematic way to close the gap between our ordinary unenlightened mind and the enlightened, liberated state towards which we aspire, a state which rises to and merges with the Deathless.

To reach this transcendent goal requires training, a precise, detailed and systematic process of training, and fundamental to this whole course of training is the endeavor to master and control one’s own mind. One begins with the development of such fundamental qualities as faith, devotion, moral virtue and generosity, proceeds through the development of concentration, and then arrives at direct insight and true wisdom.

一處角落

在心裡深處,建立、保留一個小角落。這個角落只屬於你自己。保護這個角落,不讓任何市場廣告、政治說詞收買。誰來都一樣,不管他是不是戴著上師的面具,不管他穿著打扮像是古代現代什麼派別的修行者,不管他的手上他的包包裡有多少漂亮的法器,不管他的表情言語多麼動聽感人,都一樣,都別讓他進來。捍衛這處角落。這處角落只屬於你自己。即使有人開價一千萬三十五十億元,也絕不要出賣。讓這塊空間的價值遠遠高於一切世俗的標籤。

然後你將能瞭解,就算什麼大風大浪來襲,你有一處穩固的角落,安然的所在。

真正該問的問題

When you encounter a problem, most people think, “What should I do to fix it?” The real question is, “What am I doing to cause the problem?” Thinking about it this way allows you to discover the source of the problem, and that way you can eliminate the cause.

遇到問題時,大部分的人都會想說,「我應該要怎麼做,才能解決這個問題?」真正該問的問題是,「我做了什麼事,才導致這個問題?」這樣子來看事情,讓我們得以發現問題的來源,也讓我們可以消除產生問題的原因。

上面的話,出自 Alexander Technique 的一位老師 Betsy Polatin。例如,很多人常有肩頸、下背酸痛的困擾,多數人對於這種困擾的直覺反應是,「我應該做哪一種伸展的姿勢,來化解肩頸或者下背的不舒服?」,或者「哪裡會有好的按摩師父?」按摩完了,瑜珈課伸展完了,當下或者兩三天之內,會得到自我感覺良好的報償。再過兩三天,又打回原形,酸的部位還是酸,會痛的,繼續痛。

身體的使用如此,心靈、精神的狀態也一樣。不論是煩躁、憤怒、懊悔、憂傷、痛苦和壓力(或者高興、快樂),都有各自的成因(容不容易找出來又是另一回事了,當然)。沒對原因下手,只想迅速解除症狀,恐怕就和酸痛找人按摩一樣,症狀去得快,回頭來找你的速度更快。

剛讀到 Betsy Polatin 的這段話時,我覺得,這完全就是佛教四聖諦 Four Noble Truths 嘛。先認清楚問題的根源,想辦法探索出造成壓力、痛苦的原因,練習努力去除造成壓力、痛苦的原因。

說得容易啦。

所以才要一再一再練習啊。


* 很多人「苦、集、滅、道」這四個字說得順口無比,真的要理解、練習,卻不知如何下手。試試看,有沒有辦法用自己的語言、自己的方式,把「苦、集、滅、道」的意思講一遍,而且講出來的內容,自己也不覺得只是老掉牙的宣傳文案。 * 光是苦諦,要理解清楚就不太容易了。大部分的人都以為,佛教講的就是「人生就是苦」、「生命、世界,時時刻刻、處處都是苦」,如果真是這樣的話,那大概也不用練習什麼了,反正都是苦嘛。那不然呢?

你的行動和意圖在一致的方向上嗎?

昨天課堂上,在 Utthan Pristhasana (lizard pose) 停留時,我幫兩三位同學很輕微地順了一下膝蓋和腳掌的方向。調整後,我問他們,「覺得比較舒服一點嗎?」他們回了我輕鬆的微笑。

有的人把 alignment 翻譯成「正位」,有的人翻譯成「順位」,都無妨。 有的人辛苦背誦解剖學的術語和概念,有的人照著鏡子左顧右盼望著老師望著旁邊的同學,這也都是學習的過程。

要製造順暢的感受、要找到順暢的感受(我們能夠清楚分辨前面兩者的差異嗎?),不論在瑜珈練習或在日常生活中,可別只想著矯正(correcting),而忘了照顧到連結(connecting)。

Joe Miller 老師的說法是這樣子的: 「你的行動和你的意圖是在一致的方向上嗎?」 “Are your actions aligned with your intentions?”

「那你有看到一整片金黃色的光嗎?」

靜坐課下課之後,教室的阿姨和我打招呼,「不錯哦,教靜坐。」我點點頭回禮。

阿姨繼續問,「那你自己坐到什麼程度了?」我不太確定阿姨的意思,臉上露出不解的表情。

「就是有沒有輕飄飄的感覺啊?或者有沒有看到光?」

「有時候會覺得身體、精神都很輕鬆,不過倒是沒有看過什麼光。」我誠實回答。

「身體輕飄飄的是很一般的程度啦,我們坐久了,都能看到一整片金黃色的光呢。」阿姨兩手劃一大圈,顯然那金黃色的光,籠罩的範圍真的不小。「那你有看到一整片金黃色的光嗎?」

「沒看過耶。」我低著頭小聲回答,連自己都快要覺得不好意思起來了。

回想到才在教室裡和同學分享的 MN123 Acchariya-abbhūta Sutta《中部尼柯耶》《第一二三 希有未曾有法經》)(或參考北傳漢譯《中阿含經》第八卷 32《未曾有法品未曾有法經第一》)。

在南傳的版本裡,故事一開始是一堆比丘飯後閒聊,大家爭相講著聽過的世尊傳奇,後來資深長輩阿難加入,評論說,真的,如來真的有夠了不得啊(「希有而其未曾有」)。閒聊就這麼被活生生打斷了。世尊下座後,也來關心一下,「剛剛大家在聊什麼這麼開心啊,怎麼聊著聊著就停下來了呢?」

有人報告閒聊的內容給世尊聽。世尊裁示,「阿難,不然就由你出來報告一下你還記得的如來神蹟吧。」

阿難開始發揮超強記憶術,講起如來的本生故事,如何入娘胎,入始胎之後又有多少多少宇宙神奇事蹟出現,如來的媽媽懷胎過程多神奇又不思議。一般的婦人都是坐著或者躺著生產,可是如來的媽媽懷的可是菩薩來投胎的呀。怎麼生?站著生,厲害吧。(這一小段可以當醫療史的相關資料參考閱讀。)

一出世的如來就是乾乾淨淨,漂漂亮亮的。接著就演了那一段超有名的段子:雙腳站立,面北走了七步,一手指天,一手指地,什麼「天上地下,唯我獨尊」類似的話語就這麼出來了。天界、魔界、梵天界,沙門、婆羅門、天、人,一萬萬個世界動搖、震動、激動、發散出無量廣大光明,大威神力。(以下請自行想像一整個寶萊塢超豪華歌舞片的畫面就是了。)

講了半天,世尊大概也都認可,只是淡淡補了一句,「阿難,你說的都沒錯啦。只是記得以後講如來神蹟的時候,要再加上一條哦:

如來能夠清楚認識到感受(vedanā)、認知(saññā)、思想(vitakkā)的生起、存在、消逝。(”For the Tathāgata feelings are known as they arise, as they are present, as they disappear; perceptions are known as they arise, as they are present, as they disappear; thoughts are known as they arise, as they are present, as they disappear.“)

阿難,要記得哦,這一條可也是如來超級了不起的神技哦!

我不知道我會不會有一天也能看到阿姨說的那一整片金黃色的光,那光能不能像電影《綠光》說的一樣,「看到的人以後都會幸福快樂過日子」。不過如果有幸能把如來最後說的這項神技練到稍微有點樣子,說不定日子就真的會過得更幸福快樂一點吧。

我們總是以為永遠還有一樣的明天

此刻,我們都是《法句經》裡說的愚人。 愚人如我們總是以為,核災天高皇帝遠,不關我們的事。 我們鄙夷那些愛危言聳聽的傢伙。 我們繼續低頭,過我們的舒服日子,並且相信,明天過後,總是還有一樣舒舒服服的明天等著我們。

「愚人心想:『雨季時我住在這裡,冬天和夏天時我也住在這裡。』卻覺察不到(就快要死的)危險。」(《法句經》286偈,敬法法師譯)
“Here shall I live during the rains, here in winter and summer” — thus thinks the fool. He does not realize the danger (that death might intervene). (Dhammapada, Maggavagga, verse 286, translated by Acharya Buddharakkhita)

一個人,最高!

以前在某會社上班時,午休時間一到,多數人都是找伴去用餐。我大概有點怪癖,總喜歡躲得遠遠的。人家怕沒有人陪,我卻只是怕邊講話邊進食有礙消化。

就像是《長老偈經》所說的:

若前若後。無他人時。獨住林間。有大安樂。 (釋雲庵譯) If, in front or behind, there is no one else, it’s extremely pleasant for one staying alone in the forest. (Thag. 537 Ekavihariya: Dwelling Alone) 或者就是抱持著「寧獨行為善,不與愚為侶」(《法句經》)的心態而不自覺吧。

後來才知道,獨處(或者「一住」)的狀態,根本不在於身邊有多少人、多少聲:

悉映於一切。悉知諸世間。 不著一切法。悉離一切愛。 如是樂住者。我說為一住。 (《雜阿含1071經》CBETA, T02, no. 99) 慎莫念過去。亦勿願未來。 過去事已滅。未來復未至。 現在所有法。彼亦當為思。 念無有堅強。慧者覺如是。 (《中阿含165經》CBETA, T01, no. 26) 當然,如果可以的話,時不時讓自己處在沒有其他人陪伴的森林裡,實在也是一種再美好不過的事了。


*1. 中譯版的《勝妙獨處經》

*2. Thanissaro Bhikkhu 的英譯版 Bhaddekaratta Sutta: An Auspicious Day、Bhikkhu Ñanananda 的英譯版 Bhaddekaratta Sutta: The Discourse on the Ideal Lover of Solitude

*3. 除了上面附的中譯版、英譯版的經文非常值得一讀,如果有時間的話,也非常推荐一段訪談:The Last Quiet Places(英語的訪談)。五十分鐘左右,值得的。說不定比去上一堂瑜珈課更有收獲哦!聽完如果有興趣的話,也可以參考 Gordon W. Hempton 的網站

承受痛苦,消除業障?

剛開始我也以為,靜坐就是應該要雙盤,直接坐在地板上,一次一柱香,安安穩穩,思緒不再波動,然後進入某種奇妙的境界。

用說的比較容易。事實上,練習雙盤的一整段過程,還真是鞎辛。最先是不太懂「痛」這件事,慢慢感受到了,後來也逐漸懂了一點箇中滋味了。我的靜坐,也就從散盤,單腳盤,全程雙盤,到如今,嗯,初一十五雙盤坐個三五分鐘,其他日子,坐得舒服就好。

雙盤(padmasana,蓮花坐)很好。雙盤很複雜。雙盤很難。

雙盤坐很好,是因為這樣坐下來,脊柱容易拉直、延展,可能比較容易感受呼吸在體內的流動,也比較容易進入專注的意識狀態。

雙盤很複雜,是因為這個姿勢牽涉到髖關節、膝關節、踝關節的鬆緊、活動程度,大腿骨、小腿、腳、腳指頭的擺放方法,核心力量的支撐,以及身體其他部分和精神的放鬆能力。

雙盤很難,是因為現代人的日常生活裡,「坐在椅子上」佔絕大多數的時間(幾乎除了躺下來睡覺以外的時間,都是坐在某種椅子上,例如,馬桶),本來就已經不太適應如此劇烈的動作(是的,這是個很困難、很進階的動作),更因為姿勢的複雜性,必須得仔細覺察自己身體的狀態,像是今天適合到多深的位置,是否該調整某些部分等等考量,讓雙盤變得更是困難。

有一部分的老師,不論是教瑜珈體位法的老師,或是在各種共修道場教打坐、靜坐、禪坐、內觀的老師,常常會著重強調在雙盤的好處。但是在練習者遭遇困難、感受疼痛時,有一部分的老師,卻常常是以這種論調來回應練習者的疑問:

之所以會有疼痛,就是因為過去的業力所造成的。繼續坐下去,疼痛的感覺會慢慢過去,過去累積的業力,也就慢慢消除掉了。
這是一種很常見的論調,一般人也常常將這種論調當成是「佛教」的觀念,(最常聽到的詞,就是「業報」,如果要仔細講,「業」是印度教概念,「報」是漢文化的概念,不過這裡就不細論了。)有些時候,我們也會在自己或者週遭親友得重病、出意外、遇不幸時,以這種「過往惡業」的角度,來緩解當下的情緒。因此,痛就讓他痛吧,身心承受著痛苦,「業報」或者「業障」能消一點就算是賺一點吧。

在佛經的記載裡,至少在佛陀的看法裡,這種觀念,其實是屬於耆那教Jainism)的論點(也就是漢譯佛典裡常見到的「尼乾」、「裸形外道」、「宿作因論」等等)。

世尊告諸比丘:「諸尼乾等如是見、如是說,謂人所受皆因本作,若其故業因苦行滅,不造新者,則諸業盡,諸業盡已,則得苦盡,得苦盡已,則得苦邊。」(CBETA, T01, no.26
諸「尼乾」(耆那教徒)把前世、過去的業,當成今世、現在所面臨的狀態的唯一的原因,身心受苦,正是消滅業力的方法。等到這些業力消逝,痛苦才會過去。

這種論點有點麻煩。以雙盤來說,膝蓋會痛,可能是髖關節太緊,也可能是心情不夠放鬆,當然也可能是前世累積的「業障」所造成的。(誰又能說一定不是過往業力的影響呢?)

如果認為只有前世的業造成今世的果,那真的可能就只好承受這苦果囉。但如果可以接受還有其他原因,像是佛陀講的,「或從風起苦,眾生覺知。或從痰起、或從唌唾起、或等分起、或自害、或他害、或因節氣」(CBETA, T02, no. 99),仔細考察看看,說不定是可以更積極事先防範、準備,或者事後補救、修正。

像是在練習雙盤的過程中,horse stancelizard posefrog poseVirabhadrasana IIAnjaneyasana BaddhakonasanaEka Pada RajakapotasanaMarichyasana 等等(以及非常非常多的動作),都有助於建立該有的肌肉耐力與延展力。

很長一段練習時間之後,我才在自己身體上認識到,「條條道路通羅馬」的道理。要達到輕鬆停留在雙盤的位置,除了雙盤這個動作本身之外,真的還有好多好多方式。甚至於,也不只限於髖關節、膝關節、踝關節而已。

還記得我自己也曾經因為雙盤時間停留過久,導致右膝蓋外側的韌帶刺痛不已。(看吧,不夠努力練習,不對;太過努力練習,也不對。)後來乾脆讓自己繞條遠路,暫時不進入雙盤,不過仍然持續各種體位法的練習。經過一段時日,核心可能比較有一點點能耐,髖關節可能打開多一點點,更重要的是,我知道,沒有必要規定自己今天非得雙盤靜坐十分鐘或者半小時一小時。時機到了,很好。時機還沒到,那就先不雙盤嘛。

腦子一轉彎,想法一改變,心態一調整,看到的結局,畫面就不一樣了。

佛陀也這麼說過,「世間真實,非為虛妄」。我覺得,至少對理解雙盤這個動作的生理條件來說,是很有指導意義的。

如果你想繼續保持「歷經身心痛苦才能消除業障」的想法也 OK,但請至少保護自己,尤其是關節組織,真的很痛,就下座吧。世界上真的有人坐到韌帶撕裂而受傷,拿自己的身體當賭注,大概也不見得是很有智慧的做法吧。

或者也可以採取另一種觀點,接受「世間真實」,一點一點,一天一天,慢慢打開髖關節,不躁進,不讓鼠蹊處、膝蓋內外側的韌帶承受過大的刺激與壓力。今天還不能,別著急,明天可以做到,也不用太開心。每一次的練習(包括靜坐)都仔細覺察自己身心的細緻感受。

還有,雙盤是不對稱動作,右腳先盤之後,記得解開來,也讓左腳有機會先盤。(如果你碰到的老師堅持雙盤只能右腳或左腳先盤,你可以選擇下課後請問老師如此堅持的理由以及依據,也可以選擇下課、回家後換另一邊坐,讓身體平衡回來一點。)

聽過一個小故事,某朋友參加禪七,雙盤坐,實在受不了那痛,小參時問老師到底該怎麼辦。老師當然說了,心情要放鬆,再放鬆。接著,這位老師緩緩揭開鋪在雙腿上的毯子,嗯,根本沒雙盤,就只是散盤坐著。接下來的幾天,這位朋友也就愈坐愈舒服,愈坐愈進入狀況囉。

現在我自己的情況是,時間夠,一次靜坐一小時左右,時間不夠,就坐個十分鐘也好。但不管時間長短,坐骨下總是墊著瑜珈磚(或者蒲團、或是折疊起來的毛巾,或者,乾脆直接坐在椅子上也可以是一種選擇啊),總之,讓髖骨高於膝蓋,讓身體自然感到輕鬆。

我自己是這麼相信的:脊柱能拉直延展開來,身體安穩,呼吸平緩,才是我們確實可以先掌握的。至於那些關於舊的「業障」的思考,也可以暫時就看成是靜坐過程一定時不時會出現的雜想、妄念,先擱在一旁吧。


* 請不要誤會,我完全沒有比較佛教、耆那教高下的意圖,一點也沒有(我還沒那種能耐)。事實上,在佛教和耆那教的發展過程中,倒有點像是一對難兄難弟,雙方經典裡的教主、兩位「大雄」(Mahavira)在弟子們的筆下,互相批評、數落對方的系統,甚至經典裡很多文章、字句也互相借來借去用,其實是一段很有意思的歷史發展過程。

** 另外,這一篇並不是我心中想像的 “asana hack”(「體位法攻略」),晚一些,下一次,一定努力生生看!(握拳)