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我們在尚未明白真理以前，就像患了色盲的人，會升起許多錯覺而信以為真。好的我們想要、壞的想丟，想要求不得、想丟拋不掉，於是感到不耐煩、無可奈 何，這要怎麼辦呢?要如幻觀，把假的看清楚，就不會有負擔了。我們之所以有煩惱、負擔，就是因為把一切都當成是實際的，才會造成壓力。例如；太太生孩子， 你卻比她還著急，但你再煩也沒有用。
學佛，會了解一切事物的發生都有因果的道理，這是必然的，沒有甚麼好逃避，要去面對現實，好好修證。修證，「修」指思維修，就是能夠思維佛的智慧， 並且付諸實踐，依照佛的思想改變自己的行為；「證」是指實踐的結果，確實印證佛的教法。佛法告訴我們，因果是自作自受，它不會刻意懲罰我們，任何痛癢都要 自己去受，很公平，殺人就會被殺、偷人錢就會被偷回去。
我說一個故事給大家聽：從前有一位婆婆，她有兩個女兒，一個女兒賣布鞋，一個女兒賣雨傘，當下雨天時，她就開始擔心賣布鞋的女兒沒生意，晴天時又擔 心賣雨傘的女兒沒生意上門，所以心情常常很憂鬱，一直在擔心。有一天，一位朋友聽到了，就跟她說其實你不用這麼擔心，只要轉念想想「晴天時，賣布鞋的女兒 生意就會很好；雨天時，則賣雨傘的女兒生意也很好」，經過這樣思惟後，憂鬱的婆婆心情從此就豁然開朗起來，兩個女兒也生意興隆。聽到這故事，我們想想，自己又想過什麼樣的生活呢？
Changing the way we look at things
In this age of information explosion we are amassing a lot of knowledge, thinking that all these things that we see, hear and learn about are real. But truly, this kind of knowledge is illusory, just as illusory as the sound coming from a tape recorder, which will not go on forever and can stop at any time. What we usually see in front of us is impermanent and unreal. That is the reason why we have to practice looking at things as illusory to enable our heart to return home, rather than letting it be dispersed in chasing after outside things. If we are able to do this, our life will become free and unbound.
Before enlightenment we are like color-blind people, mistaking our own wrong perceptions for the truth. We want to get what we consider as good and rid ourselves of what we consider as bad. But very often we can’t get what we want and also can’t get rid of what we don’t want, which makes us feel very frustrated. So what shall we do? When we learn to look at things as unreal – as constantly changing and impermanent, we learn to see through what is false and to recognize what is real. With that we can let go of our burden. All our burdens and worries come from the fact that we take everything for real, and put ourselves under pressure because of this. But what good are our worries anyway? When for example your wife goes into labor, do your worries help to give birth to the child? They are absolutely useless.
When we study Buddhism, we learn to see that everything happens for a reason. This is the law of karma, of cause and effect. There is no way around this law. So rather than trying to run away from it, let’s face this reality and continue our practice until we reach realization. Practice means to develop the wisdom of the Buddha and to change our behavior accordingly. Realization is the fruit of our practice, which attests to the truth of the Buddha’s teaching. The Buddha told us that we create our own karma and that we receive the fruits of our actions. The Buddha is not someone who is there to reward or punish you. On the contrary, the law of karma is something very fair. With this perspective, learn to accept the painful things that happen to you. If you kill someone, you will eventually be killed yourself, and if you steal from people, you will become a victim of theft.
If we want to live a good life, we need to be mindful of the truth of cause and effect. All of us carry the possibilities for good and evil in our own heart and mind. So let us guide our heart towards doing what is good and refraining from what is evil. If our ways of thinking are wholesome, and if we are able to encounter everything that happens in our daily life with straightforwardness, positivity and gratefulness, then we will often feel very happy, with our worries dissolving on their own.
Let me tell you a little story. There was once an old lady who had two daughters. One of the daughters sold traditional cloth shoes, the other one sold umbrellas. Whenever it started raining, the old lady would worry that the first daughter could not sell her shoes, and whenever it was sunny, she would worry that the second daughter could not sell her umbrellas. Thus given over to her worries she became increasingly depressed. This went on for some time until a friend told her one day: “You don’t have to worry like this. Just change your way of thinking. When the weather is good, think of the great business that your daughter with the cloth shoes will be making, and when it is raining, think of how many umbrellas your other daughter will be selling.” Following this advice the old lady was able to change her way of looking at things, and brightened up completely. And the business of the two daughters also improved a lot. When you listen to this story, ask yourself which kind of life you yourself would like to lead.
Dharma Master Hsin Tao
(Translated by Maria Reis Habito)