色即是空 Phenomena are Identical to Blank Essence

色即是空       林鈺堂簡繁轉換 - 繁體

色即是空 空即是色
受想行識 亦復如是

這是〈心經〉中的名句。

密法的儀軌,在開始處都有「觀空」的階段,而以觀想一切現象皆隱入天藍色之光明中,作為「回歸空性」。

然而依〈心經〉所示,色即是空,受想行識全都即空,又何需觀想我們經驗的內容全都化光,才算「回歸空性」?

修法之設施乃屬對治的方便。吾人習於以經驗之內容為實有獨立之個體,因此假藉化光來消除實執。

既然色即是空,應當無需經過化光之觀想便能體會其空性。對於習於實執、深陷實有之見的吾人,又如何能直接體會「色即是空」?

此中之樞紐在於體會吾人經驗內容之整體性及無常。所有分別皆是人心作用之產物,而為種種觀念所界定及強化。離於人為之觀念及分別,所有經驗之內容皆是混合而不可分割之一體,並且隨時遷異。換言之,獨立實有之個體只是人心之聯想假設,並無確切對應之經驗內容。只要停息心中的念頭,所有的現象皆無有個別獨立之存在,而是一整體的呈現,此即「無我」,亦即「本空」。

由上所述可知,若能泯絕心念之作用,便易當下直接了悟「色即是空」。因此修行要先達到「自然無念」的境地,纔能體悟空性。

 

二○一三年八月十九日
養和齋    於加州

 

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Phenomena are Identical to Blank Essence

Yutang Lin

"Phenomena are identical to Blank Essence, and Blank Essence is identical to phenomena.
Feeling, conceptualization, motivation and consciousness are also so indeed."

This is a well-known passage from the "Heart Sutra."

At the beginning part of Buddhist Tantric rituals there is always a section of "Visualization on Blank Essence," and it prescribes visualizing all phenomena as merging into boundless sky-blue light as "returning to Blank Essence."

However, according to the teaching of the "Heart Sutra," phenomena are identical to Blank Essence, and feeling, conceptualization, motivation and consciousness are also so indeed, then why need to visualize the contents of all our experiences as merging into light, for these to be considered as "returning to Blank Essence"?

Stipulations in rituals are skillful means to counteract our habitual tendencies. We are used to taking the contents of our experiences as having solid and independent existence as an individual entity, therefore in Dharma practices we use merging into light to gradually eliminate our grasping to a sense of reality.

Since phenomena are identical to Blank Essence, it should be possible to realize their Blank Essence without going through the visualization of merging into light. To us who are accustomed to grasping to a sense of reality and deeply enwrapped in the view of the existence of a reality, how can we directly comprehend that phenomena are identical to Blank Essence?

The key to this comprehension lies in realizing the impermanence and oneness of all our experiences. All distinctions are products of human mind, and they are defined and enhanced by all kinds of concepts. Apart from artificial concepts and distinctions, the contents of all our experiences as a whole are in the oneness of a mixture that cannot be divided, and they are constantly evolving. In other words, the existence of an absolutely independent entity is merely an assumption created through mental associations, and it lacks exact correspondence to the contents of our experiences. As soon as mental conceptualization ceased, all phenomena have no independent existence, but appear as a totality. This is what is meant by "non-self" and "originally of Blank Essence."

Based on what is stated above we know that, if one can cease conceptual activities in mind, then it will be easy to comprehend at once that phenomena are identical to Blank Essence. Therefore, through Dharma practices one should first attain the state of being "naturally free from thoughts," and then one may become able to comprehend Blank Essence directly.

 

Written in Chinese on August 19, 2013
Translated on August 21, 2013
El Cerrito, California