阿  姜  曼  正 傳 

 

第四章第二節:拳擊手

             

                

                  

第四章第二節:拳擊手

    當阿姜曼收一批弟子,當他們的老師,他都會定期舉行集會,並在集會中指導他們修行的方法。如果他注意到有比丘的態度不佳,或者行為不當,他就會找機會公開斥責他們。在他入定時,對於弟子不當行為的相關訊息,可能會在他的心中以禪相出現,或可能以他心通直接讀取他們錯誤的思惟。然後他會想出一些妙招讓犯錯的比丘注意到問題,確保未來能更謹慎與自制。

        在阿姜曼禪修時心中出現的禪相,會隨著禪相中整體事件的主角的不同而不同。為了讓你們對禪相的性質與範圍更加瞭解,這裡有一個出家前曾經是一個頗富盛名的拳擊手的故事。他放棄拳擊手的身分,出家為僧,發展出堅強的信心,決定練習基本業處kammaṭṭhāna當一個頭陀比丘。他得知阿姜曼是一位優秀且值得尊敬的禪師後,便動身去找他住的地方。但就在他動身前往時,他不經意在行囊裡帶了十張不同拳擊姿勢的照片。他帶著這些照片,從曼谷到清邁府的山區找阿姜曼。當他抵達阿姜曼荒野中的住處時,他向阿姜曼頂禮並說明他前來的用意。阿姜曼沒有說什麼就收他作了弟子。

        那天夜裡,阿姜曼必須仔細查看這個比丘;隔天一早當所有的比丘聚集吃飯時,他一走進來便立刻提起這名新來的比丘。

        「這名比丘來這裡明白表示要學習佛法。由他當時的舉止,我看不出來有任何過失之處 —— 這是值得讚許的。然而為何他會在昨夜表現出那麼糟糕的行為?當我坐禪時,他就這麼直接走進來,並站在我正前方幾呎之遠。接著他就在這距離處擺出各種拳擊的姿勢,然後慢慢地後退。當他慢慢從我眼前消失時,仍可看到他在揮拳,右邊踢一腳、再接著左邊一腳。這名比丘到底是什麼來歷?他出家前就是一位拳擊手嗎?這就是他對我展示如此冗長的拳擊表演的原因嗎?」

        當他在說話時,所有的比丘,包括那位之前的拳擊手,都一臉困惑,動也不動地坐著。阿姜曼轉向那位臉色已經發白的前拳擊手。

        「你有什麼要解釋的嗎?做出這樣的行為,你到底在想什麼?還好你沒有打我一拳呢!」

        那天早上阿姜曼對這件事就沒有再說什麼了,接著就是出發托缽。晚上聚會指導僧眾時,也沒有再提起此事。但是那天夜晚他又遇到同樣的狀況,於是隔天早上他又提起了這件事。

        「你來找我的真正目的到底是什麼?昨夜你又開始在打拳了,一整晚都在拳打腳踢。一個專心求道的人會有這樣的行為是不正常的,你來見我之前到底在想什麼?到這裡後你的想法又是什麼?請你老實告訴我,否則我無法讓你待在這裡。我從未遇到像前兩晚這樣的事情過。」

        那位比丘坐著,臉色蒼白並且全身發抖,就像是快要暈倒。另一位比丘注意到他的狀態,便向阿姜曼請求私下與他談談。

        「請面對並告訴阿姜曼關於這件事你真正的想法。他這樣問你是為了要找出原因,而非想要傷害你。與他住在這裡的每一個人,都不是已去除煩惱的聖人,所以我們難免會犯錯,也必須接受他的訓誡。住在這裡的人都是他的學生,身為老師,他就像是我們的父母,有義務訓斥任何做出明顯錯事的人。為了學生的利益,老師必須時時看管學生,視情況詢問或責難他們。我個人就見過許多次像這樣的訓斥,有的比你這次還要嚴厲。阿姜曼甚至會立刻將一些比丘趕走,只有在他們瞭解自己的過錯並接受處罰後,他才會慈悲地允許他們繼續待在這裡。請你仔細思考他剛才對你說的事,我個人認為你不該害怕。如果你心中有什麼想法,就照實說出來吧。如果你覺得你沒有做錯任何事,或者想不起哪裡出錯,就直接去跟他坦白你記不得了。然後將你的命運託付給他,讓他採取他認為適合的處置,接受結果。如此一來這件事就算是解決了。」

        另一位比丘說完後,阿姜曼繼續問道:「所以你有什麼要解釋的?我不是故意要找你麻煩,但只要我一閉上眼睛,就會看到你誇張的動作整晚擋住我的視野。一個比丘怎麼會有如此的舉止呢?我每晚看到這種事時都很驚訝,我想知道你持續這樣的行為背後有什麼邪惡的動機?還是你以為我有很精準的神通,所以你想愚弄測試我,讓我誣陷你?我要你說實話。如果事實證明我的神通有錯而你是無辜的,那麼這意味著我只是一個瘋掉的老比丘,不配指導學生,因為我只會使他們誤入歧途。那我必須像那些瘋子一般,逃離社會並躲起來,並且立刻停止教導別人。如果我仍持續將瘋狂的知見帶給世界,那將一定會造成大災難。」

        另一位比丘又再次鼓勵他的朋友回答阿姜曼的問題。最後,這位前拳擊手移向前答話,以一個虛弱、顫抖的聲音,說道:「我是一個拳擊手。」然後便陷入了沉默。

        阿姜曼為求確認:「你是一個拳擊手,對嗎?」

        「對。」他只說出了這個字。

        「但現在你是一個比丘;所以,你如何能同時身兼拳擊手?你是指在來此處的過程中靠打拳擊賺錢嗎?還是指別的意思?」

        這時,這個比丘已經怕到整個人都呆住了,無法條理清楚地回答阿姜曼的問題。另一位比丘則努力幫忙他恢復神智,問道:「你是指在出家前你是一個拳擊手,但你已經不再是拳擊手,而現在是一位比丘?」

        「是的。我在俗家時是一名拳擊手,但受戒出家後,我就停止打拳了。」

        阿姜曼看到他的狀況並不好,所以話鋒一轉,便說托缽的時間到了。之後,他叫另一名比丘私下去問他,因為這個比丘對阿姜曼的懼怕,所以使他無法有條理地回答問題。用過餐後,另一名比丘找到了可以私下問他的機會。他發現這位新來的比丘以前待在蘇安庫拉拳擊營,是一位相當出名的拳擊手。在看清世俗生活的虛幻後,他出家受戒成為比丘,並拜阿姜曼為師。

        當他知道這名比丘的經歷後,便立刻告訴阿姜曼,阿姜曼對此沒有表示什麼意見。大家都認為這事件應該到此結束了,尤其是阿姜曼在那晚的集會中又再度親自與那位前拳擊手談話。但實際的情況並非如此。那天夜晚,阿姜曼又再次親自調查此事。隔天早上,他又在大眾前當面詢問那位前拳擊手。

        「你不只是當過拳擊手而已,你還隱瞞了別的事情。你應該再仔細地想一想。如果只是因為你在俗家時當過拳擊手,那這個問題應該早已解決了,沒理由會一直出現。」

        這就是他所說的一切。

        接著,這位已經與這名前拳擊手熟悉的比丘來找他。在進一步詢問後他發現新比丘擁有十張擺著不同拳擊姿勢的照片。他的朋友看過以後,便確信這些就是亂源。他警告他最好是丟掉或燒掉。這名前拳擊手比丘同意,便一起把它們燒掉。然後一切都回復正常,這件事就沒有再浮上檯面過了。

        這名前拳擊手比丘在禪修方面非常的精進,他的表現一直很令人欽佩。從那時起,他與阿姜曼很愉快地生活在一起。阿姜曼對他一直都很好,此後也未再提過此事。但後來有一次,他的同修比丘又拿這件事情來揶揄他。當提到阿姜曼對他的喝斥時,他說:「那時我已嚇得半死,呆呆地根本不知自己在作些什麼,所以我就像是一個白癡一樣回答他。」他對這名幫助他的比丘繼續說道:「若不是你對我這麼好,我恐怕早就瘋了。但阿姜曼非常的睿智,一早看到我迷失了,便立即打住,彷彿沒有發生過任何事一般。」

        這就是在阿姜曼的禪定中可能出現禪相的一個類型的例子。他就是經常運用這種從禪境中所獲得的知識去教誡他的學生們,而這是一種並不亞於他心通的方法。

        阿姜曼住在泰國清邁府的這段期間,經歷過比他一生中任何時期都還要更聳人聽聞的經歷。這些現象有一些只呈現在他的心識裡,而其餘則是出現在他週遭的世界中。這些包括許多不可思議,且具啟發性的直觀洞見,在此之前從未發生過。特別是在他獨居靜修時,就遇過無數不勝枚舉的現象。「心」在自然的狀態下是這樣得到訊息的:無論是禪修時或從事日常活動,洞悉與領悟不斷地生起。實在奇妙,真的不可思議,以前只知道「心」是盲目和無知的,卻從未想過它竟有能感應到每一瞬間發生的現象的能力。這樣的能力看起來就像是憑空突然出現,但其實它們從無始以來就已經存在。

        只有當心識進入完全安止的狀態時(入定),這些作用才會停止。而在禪定狀態中所有的現象都被剔除在外,所以不會有任何的現象以任何的方式去影響心識。當心識安住於「法」中,「法」便與心合而為一。心即是法,法即是心。這也就是心與法合而為一的完全統一狀態,沒有相對的軌跡。概念上的真實已不復存在,一切時空的概念都已被超越。沒有身心的知覺,苦樂的概念也不再出現。只要心識仍然存在,沒有從那境界中退出,不論是經過了多少天、多少月、多少年,甚至是億萬年,世俗的真實-- 如:無常、苦、無我,都無法打擾到它,因為它是處於所有因緣相對聚合(有為法)都已停止的一種全然絕對的狀態。譬如說,如果身體已毀壞及瓦解,而心識仍靜止在寂滅法中[1],這種狀態下的心識也完全不會知道發生了什麼事。

        事實上,寂滅狀態中心識活動的停止只是暫時的,要持續數年這樣的狀態幾乎是不可能。這可以比喻為是一種深度且無夢的睡眠狀態,在這段期間裡,睡眠者根本察覺不到自己的身體與心識。只要他沈浸在這種深度無夢的睡眠中,這種情形都會保持不變。但當他醒來後,就能感知到一般的生理及心理活動。

        然而,深度的禪定,包括寂滅,都還是在相對性及世間法的範疇裡。只有解脫心visuddhi-citta已完全超越了它,此時進入禪定狀態的心識已從因緣相對聚合的世間有為法各個層面解脫,解脫心絲毫不受世間有為法的影響。它安住於解脫,擺脫一切時空的枷鎖。解脫心無法以世間的概念來描繪,所以欲嘗試去建構它的本質也只是在浪費時間與精力而已。進入了全然靜止狀態並超越概念事實的心識,只不過是停止了作用,因為通常這些涉及心識的緣生現象,都只不過是暫時的消失而已。當心識從深度的禪定又回到了近行定或正常的狀態時,它又會正常的運作,並接收及處理它認為合適的資訊[2]

        無論是在近行定或正常的狀態下,阿姜曼的心都能接受眾多的現象。不同的是深度、範圍和經驗的質量。如果他想徹底探查,他就會進入近行定去獲取更廣泛的知見。例如:天眼及天耳通,就是一種需要靠近行定的境界才能發揮的神通。在這種寧靜的境界中,只要他想要,他就可以察覺到任何人及動物的形貌與聲音,甚至更多、更細微的資訊。基本上,這跟用肉眼看到與肉耳聽到的並沒有什麼不同。


[1]也就是「世俗諦」都已止息。

[2] 解脫心與深度禪定本質是不同的。

               

The Boxer

When Ãcariya Mun accepted a group of monks as his students, he held regular meetings where he instructed them in the way of practice. If he noticed that a monk’s attitude was unbecoming, or his behavior offensive, he took the opportunity to openly rebuke him. While in meditation, knowledge about the unseemly behavior of his students might arise in his mind as visual images, or else he might psychically read their errant thoughts. He then devised some cunning method to bring this to the culprit’s attention, assuring that greater care and restraint was exercised in the future.

The visual nimittas that arose in Ãcariya Mun’s citta during meditation varied according to the overall situation of the person who was the principal cause of that vision. To give you an idea of the nature and the scope of his nimittas【禪相】, there is the story of the monk who was a rather famous boxer as a layman. Giving up his profession to ordain as a monk, he developed a strong faith and decided to practice kammaååhãna. Aware of Ãcariya Mun’s excellent reputation as a revered meditation master, he set out to find the place where Ãcariya Mun was staying. But as he set off, he unwittingly carried in his bag ten pictures of boxers in various boxing poses. With these photos, he traveled from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, searching for Ãcariya Mun in that mountainous region. Finally arriving at Ãcariya Mun’s wilderness retreat, he paid his respects and explained his reasons for coming. Ãcariya Mun accepted him without offering any comments.

During the night Ãcariya Mun must have thoroughly investigated this monk; for, the following morning, when all the monks gathered to eat, he came in and immediately began speaking about the new arrival.

“This monk came here for the express purpose of learning about Dhamma. Looking at his behavior, I can find nothing offensive – it’s commendable. Why then did he exhibit such dreadful conduct last night? As I sat in meditation, he approached and stood right in front of me, just a few feet away. He then proceeded at some length to assume various boxing poses, before gradually backing away. As he slowly faded from my view, he continued to shadow box, kicking first right and then left as he went.3 What’s the story with this monk? Was he a boxer before he ordained as a monk? Is that the reason he gave me a lengthy boxing exhibition?”

While he spoke, all the monks, including the former boxer, sat motionless in bewildered silence. Ãcariya Mun turned to the former boxer, whose face had gone pale.

“What do you have to say for yourself? What did you have in mind, behaving in such a manner? At least you didn’t take a punch at me!”

As it was time to go on almsround, Ãcariya Mun said nothing more that morning. Nor did he bring the matter up later, when instructing the monks at the evening meeting. But during the night he was again confronted with the same problem. So, he brought it up again the following morning.

“What’s your real purpose for coming to me? Last night, there you were again, displaying your boxing skills, jumping and kicking all over the place. It lasted nearly all night. Such behavior is not normal for someone whose intentions are noble. What did you have in mind before you came to see me? And what are your thoughts now that you are here? Please tell me the truth, or else I won’t be able to let you stay on here. I’ve never experienced anything quite like the events of the last two nights.”

The monk sat trembling, his face ashen, as though he was ready to faint. One of the other monks, noticing his worsening condition, requested an opportunity to speak privately with him.

“Please be forthcoming and tell Ãcariya Mun your true feelings about this matter. He’s asking you about it only because he wants to ascertain the truth, not because he has any intention to hurt you. None of us, who are living here with him, are saints, free of kilesas. We are bound to make mistakes and so must accept his admonitions. All of us live here as his disciples. Being our teacher, he’s like a father and a mother to us. As a teacher, he has an obligation to reprimand anyone who does something noticeably wrong. A teacher must keep an eye on his students – for their own sake, educating them by questioning and criticizing them as circumstances require. I myself have been subjected to many such castigations; some even more severe than the one you received. Ãcariya Mun has even ordered some monks to leave the premises immediately, only to relent and allow them to stay on when they realized their faults and accepted the blame. Please think carefully about what he just said to you. My own feeling is that you shouldn’t be unreasonably afraid. If you have anything on your mind, just express it truthfully. If you feel you have done nothing wrong, or you cannot recall where you made a mistake, tell him straight out that you cannot seem to recollect your past errors. Then put your fate in his hands, letting him take what action he sees fit, and accept the consequences. The matter will then resolve itself.”

When the other monk finished speaking Ãcariya Mun continued: “So what do you have to say for yourself? It’s not that I want to find fault with you for no good reason. But as soon as I close my eyes I have to watch your antics blocking my view for the rest of the night. Why would a monk behave like that? It dismays me to see it every night. I want to know what kind of sinister motives you may have for persisting in such conduct. Or do you think that my own intuition, which has always been reliable in the past, is now playing tricks on me, and contaminating you in the process? I want you to tell me the truth. If it turns out that you’re innocent, my intuition being at fault, then that means I’m just a crazy old monk who doesn’t deserve to live with a group of students like this – I will only lead them astray. I’ll have to run off and hide myself away like some lunatic, and immediately stop teaching others. Should I persist in teaching such crazy knowledge to the world, the consequences would be disastrous.”

The other monk again encouraged his friend to speak up. Finally, the former boxer moved to answer Ãcariya Mun. In a ghostly, trembling voice, he blurted out, “I’m a boxer”, and then fell silent.

Ãcariya Mun sought confirmation: “You’re a boxer, is that right?”

“Yes.” And that was all he said.

“Right now you’re a monk; so, how can you also be a boxer? Do you mean you traveled here boxing for money along the way, or what?”

By this time, the monk’s mind was in a daze. He could offer no coherent response to Ãcariya Mun’s inquiries. The other monk took up the questioning in an effort to help him regain his mental focus: “Don’t you mean that you were a boxer in lay life, but now that you are a monk you no longer do that?”

“Yes. As a layman I was a boxer, but after ordaining as a monk I stopped boxing.”

Ãcariya Mun saw that his condition didn’t look very good, so he changed the subject, saying it was time to go on almsround. Later, he told the other monk to go and question him privately, since his fear of Ãcariya Mun prevented him from being coherent. After the meal this monk found an opportunity to put his questions in private. He discovered that the new monk had previously been a well-known boxer in the Suan Kulap boxing camp. Becoming disillusioned with lay life, he ordained as a monk and set off to find Ãcariya Mun.

Once he had the whole story, the monk related it to Ãcariya Mun, who made no further comment. It was assumed that this would be the end of the matter, especially since Ãcariya Mun spoke directly to the former boxer during the evening meeting. But that wasn’t to be the case. That night, Ãcariya Mun again investigated the matter for himself. In the morning, he confronted the former boxer once more in front of everyone.

“It’s not merely that you were once a boxer – something else is hidden there as well. You should go and carefully reconsider this whole affair. If it was simply a matter of being a boxer in lay life, the matter should have been settled by now. It should not keep recurring in this way.”

That was all he said.

Later, the monk who had become familiar with the former boxer went to see him. After further questioning he discovered that the new monk had the ten pictures of boxers in his possession. After looking at them, his friend became convinced that they were the cause of all the trouble. He advised him to either throw them away, or burn them. The boxer monk agreed, and together they burned the whole lot. After that, everything returned to normal and this matter never surfaced again.

The former boxer was diligent in his practice, always conducting himself admirably. He lived contentedly with Ãcariya Mun from then on. Ãcariya Mun was always especially kind to him – never again did he allude to his past. Afterwards, when the opportunity arose, his fellow monks teased him about that incident. Referring to his scolding from Ãcariya Mun, he said, “I was half-dead and in such a daze I didn’t know what was what, so I answered him like a half-dead idiot.” Addressing the monk who helped him, he continued, “If you hadn’t been so kind, I’d probably have gone hopelessly mad. But Ãcariya Mun was remarkably clever – as soon as he saw I was losing my wits, he quickly put a stop to the whole affair, acting as though nothing had ever happened.”

This is an example of the type of visual nimitta that might arise in Ãcariya Mun’s meditation. He regularly used the knowledge he gained from such visions to teach his students – a means no less significant than his ability to read the thoughts of others.

ÃCARIYA MUN HAD MORE sensational experiences while living in Chiang Mai than during any other period of his life. Some of these phenomena appeared exclusively within his citta; others surfaced in the world around him. They included many amazing, stimulating insights – knowledge of a kind never occurring to him before. Living alone in particular, he encountered a myriad of mysterious phenomena far too numerous to mention. The citta in its natural state of knowing is like that: knowledge and understanding arise continuously, both during meditation and in engagement with normal daily activities. It’s strange, and truly wondrous, considering that the citta had previously been blind and ignorant, never imagining it possessed the ability to perceive the phenomena that arise each moment. It was as if such phenomena just came into being, even though they have actually existed since time immemorial.

Only when the citta enters into a state of total calm do these functions cease. All manner of phenomena are excluded from the samãdhi state, so nothing arises to affect the citta in any way. As the citta rests with Dhamma, Dhamma and the citta merge. The citta is Dhamma, Dhamma is the citta. This is a state of complete unity where the citta and Dhamma are one and the same, without any trace of duality. Conceptual reality does not exist: all concepts of time and space are transcended. There is no awareness of the body, or the mind, and concepts of pain and pleasure do not arise. As long as the citta remains there and doesn’t withdraw from that state – whether it’s for a period of days, months, years, or eons – then conventional realities such as anicca, dukkha, and anattã will not disturb it, for it is a state in which all duality ceases – entirely. If, for instance, the mundane physical body were to break up and disintegrate while the citta remained quiescent in nirodhadhamma – meaning the cessation of conventional reality – the citta in that state would be completely unaware of what was happening.

In truth, the state of nirodha is one in which the cessation of conceptual reality is only temporary – not lasting for years, as that is highly unlikely. It may be compared to a deep, dreamless sleep. During that time, the sleeper is completely unaware of body and mind. No matter how long he remains in deep, dreamless sleep, that condition stays the same. Only after waking up does one become aware of normal physical and mental sensations.

It remains vimutticitta, free from all constraints of time and space – akãliko. It’s absolutely impossible to conceptualize the nature of vimutti-citta, so any attempt to speculate about its qualities is only a waste of time and effort.

The citta that enters into a state of total quiescence, free from all conceptual reality, simply ceases to function, as those conditioned phenomena – that would ordinarily be involved with the citta temporarily disappear.

Later when the citta has withdrawn from deep samãdhi into upacãra samãdhi, or back into the normal state of visuddhi-citta, it functions normally, receiving and processing sense data as it sees fit.

Whether in upacãra samãdhi, or in its normal waking state, Ãcariya Mun’s citta was always receptive to a multitude of phenomena. The difference was in the depth, scope, and quality of the experience. If wishing to investigate something thoroughly, he would enter into upacãra samãdhi to get a more extensive view. Clairvoyance and clairaudience, for example, require a state of upacãra samãdhi. In this calm state one can perceive whatever one wishes to know about the forms and sounds of people and animals – and much, much more. Fundamentally, it’s no different from seeing with the physical eyes and hearing with the physical ears.