道德經 第 51 章 Dao de jing Chapter 51

道生之,德畜之,物形之,勢成之。是以萬物莫不尊道而貴德。道之尊,德之貴,夫莫之命而常自然。故道生之,德畜之,長之育之,成之熟之,養之覆之。生而不有,為而不恃,長而不宰,是謂玄德。

(這章的「道」可以看作「上帝」。道德經的「道」,有時指「上帝」,有時指「上帝的屬性」,有時又是指「上帝之道(之法、維持秩序的規律)」……這也意味著認識「道(上帝)」,只能透過種種上帝 (道)的徵像去認識。)

[譯文]
「道」創生萬事萬物(給予生命、注入靈性力量),然後用「(美)德」孕育、培養他們。萬事萬物在化育中漸漸成形、有了各自的模樣與個性,在環境造化下產生了不同的結果。故此,萬事萬物莫不尊崇「道」,而以「(美)德」為珍貴。「道」之所以被尊崇,「德」所以被珍貴,就是由於「道」給萬物生命(注入靈氣),並在萬物培養出「德」,使生命的美善可以展現出來。
上天是這樣生養萬物,卻對每個生命不加以干涉,也不加以宰使(指使、命令),順其自然發展。因而,道生成萬物,養育萬物以「(美)德」,使萬物成長,強健其生命,使生命能夠長成並結出美善果實來,這是上天對創造物的撫養與保護。
生有萬物而不據為自有,撫育萬物而不自恃有功,導引萬物而不宰使他們,這就是玄妙的「道」的美好品德(屬性特質)。

51st Verse
Tao gives life to the world and uses virtues to foster life (A condition of life shows through virtues) .
Everything forms gradually in the nourishment process.
But the outcome depends on whether life can make it through all the conditions which lay in front of it.
Therefore, all created things honor Tao and cherish virtues, for the life they have has been given  and nourished.

The reason for which Tao has been honored and virtues have been cherished, is because Tao gives life but does not interfere and uses virtues to foster life but not dominate. The creator lets life develop naturally respecting the choices they make.

Thus, Tao creates His creatures and foster them with virtues, helps life develop and nourishes them, shelters and protects life until they fully develop and produce fruits.
Tao gives life but does not treat them as possessions,
Provides for all the needs of life but does not take credit, 
Helps life develop but does not interfere,
These are the attributes of Tao, the perfect virtues.

道德經 第 59 章 Dao de jing Chapter 59

從老子的智慧告訴我們,最好的治人方法是培養人民的美善品德,如此潛能就能被開發出來,且利益眾人。從這篇,也可以看出老子的哲學有上帝的教導,因為人類知識的本源是上帝知識。

From Lao Tzu’s wisdom, the best way to rule a country is to help its people to cultivate ideal virtues. In this way, their potential can be developed to benefit everyone.  From this verse we also can see the ideas of Lao Tzu are connected with God’s teaching, because all knowledge is from God.

「治人,事天,莫若嗇 (愛惜),夫惟嗇,是謂早服(早為準備)。早服謂之重積德,重積德則無不克,無不克則莫知其極,莫知其極可以有國,有國之母,可以長久,是謂根深固柢,長生久視之道。」


[譯文]
為人類謀福祉而奉獻(治人)及服務上蒼(事天)的,沒有不受上蒼疼惜的。受上蒼疼惜,就是為來生作準備(早服)。為來生作準備的人,就是致力培養美善品德的人(重積德)。喜好培養美善品德的人,就沒有什麼不能克服、征服的。沒有事情不能克服的人,他的潛能是無窮的。潛能無窮的人,就可以像有國土的王能自給自足(可以有國),這樣的心地是與生命泉源的上蒼相連的(有國之母),生命有泉源的供給就能長久;這樣的人就稱他為「生命有深厚根基而穩定的人」(根深固柢)。找到生命泉源並扎根,這就是使生命長久(永恆)之道啊!

59th Verse
There is no one who serves humanity and serves God who does not meet the pleasure of God.
Who meets the pleasure of God, we say is a person preparing for his next life.
Who is preparing for his next life, is the one endeavor to acquire ideal virtues.
Who is acquiring ideal virtues, will be able to overcome all situations and conquer his own challenges.
Who is capable of conquering his own challenges, will have extreme potential.
Who has unlimited capacity, will be able to sustain himself like a person who has his own dominion sustain his people.
Who is capable of sustaining himself, is the one who has the connection to the source of the fountain of life (Mother Earth).
Because his life is connected to the fountain of life, then his life won’t be withered and can last.
The one who finds the source of his life, we say he has established the root of his life.
Establishing the root of our life is the way to become eternal beings, acquire a long-lasting life. 

The presence of God 神的同在

There are times: 有那麼些時候:

We wish for someone to walk with us but the person can’t be found.
We forget God is walking with us.
我們希望人生旅途有人能與我們同行,卻找不著可以一直跟我們同行的人;
我們忘了神一直與我們同行。

We wish someone could understand us, but the person can’t be found.
We forgot God knows us.
我們希望有人瞭解我們,但找不著那個知心的;
我們忘了神最瞭解我們。

We wish someone can enjoy something with us and they have the same degree of joy as we have, but the person can’t be found.
We forget God is watching over us and our pleasure is from His pleasure.
當我們享受著某種情境時,我們希望有人可以一起享受、且有相同程度的感受,但我們找不到那個人;
我們忘了神一直看顧著我們,我們的快樂來自於祂的快樂。

We wish someone could share with us when we see (hear, or perceive) something magnificent, but the person can’t be found.
We forget God is seeing (hearing or perceiving) with us, because our perception is from Him
當我們發現驚奇時,我們希望有個人分享那所看見的(聽見的或感覺到的),我們卻找不到那個人;
我們忘了我們的視覺來自於神,神也看見了、聽見了,也知道我們的感受。

We wish someone could do something with us and explore with us, but the person can’t be found.
We forget God sustains our power to do whatever and He always is with us in everything we do.
我們希望有人陪伴我們作某件事,一起跟我們探索,但我們找不著那個人;
我們忘了在每件事上,神都給我們力量,給我們力量的同時,祂陪伴著我們也與我們一起探索。

When we were in pain, we wish someone could give us comfort or just keep us company, but the person can’t be found.
We forget God is comforting us and is ready to release our pain.
We aren’t aware God is there, because we are caged in the self-prison. We do not realize we can’t receive the help unless we open the door (heart).
我們有苦時,希望有人能安慰或陪伴我們一起度過那個苦,卻找不到那個人;
我們忘了神一直是在安慰我們的,也隨時要幫助我們脫離苦。只是我們被自我給蒙蔽了,沒有意識到「感受不到救助,是因為我們把自己的心深鎖住,鎖在那自己幻想出來的牢籠中。」

When we are in trouble, we wish someone could help us get out of the trouble without criticizing us, but the person can’t be found.
We forget God knows where our trouble started, He does not critize us and He is there ready to help us.
當我們把事情搞砸、讓自己陷於危難時,我們希望有人能解救我們,而且他不會說罵教訓我們,但我們找不到那個人;
我們忘了打從事情開始時神就看見了,祂並沒有批判我們,祂也隨時準備幫助我們。

……

God is the friend that is always there, but do we ever seek and ever want to really know Him? Or do we just come to ask when we need Him? Are we fair to him? Do we cherish His love as the life He gave us?
He is our creator, our life giver, our provider, our life sustainer, our helper, healer…
He is All-merciful, All-forgiving, Compassionate, Joyful…
He is All-mighty and All-powerful.
唯一真神是我們最真誠的朋友,祂一直沒有離開過我們,但我們可曾真追尋過祂?真想認識祂?或我們須要祂時才想到祂?我們可曾也真誠對待祂, 珍惜祂的愛像自己的生命?
祂是我們的創造主,我們生命的賦予者,生命的供應者、維繫者,祂是我們的救助者,也是醫治者…
祂最憐憫,祂原諒眾人,祂大慈大悲,祂是生命快樂的泉源…
祂有大能,且全能。

道德經 第 16 章 Dao de jing Chapter 16

致虛極,守靜篤,萬物並作,吾以觀其復。夫物芸芸,各歸其根,歸根曰靜,靜曰復命,復命曰常,知常曰明,不知常,妄作凶。知常容,容乃公,公乃王,王乃天,天乃道,道乃久,歿身不殆。

[譯文]
致力於使心虛空於妄想妄念(心的交託於神),使心安靜篤定(心的倚靠神)。在萬物萬事的蓬勃發展並作中,我從其中觀察其往復的道理。我發現萬物萬事是茂盛、紛雜、且繁多的,它們各自會返回它們的本源。返回到本源的時候就叫做「靜」 ,能夠回到「靜」 就叫做「復命(回歸生命本質、自性)」。復歸於自性就叫做「常(不變的常道)」。認識了這常道的就叫做「明(覺醒)」,不認識這常道的就會在無明中起妄想妄念而在煩惱中起落。認識常道的人是遠離無明的,他是懂得包容的;懂得包容就能公正而仁慈;公正而仁慈就是找到自心的心王(能做自己心的主人)的人;能做自己心的主人的人,他的美善是與天(天國的美善)相應的;天國的美善是道(上帝)的光輝的映現,是與真理相應的;活在真理的心靈、生命就能常久且永恆;即使他的身體消亡了,他的精神是不朽的。

[[「意識心」回到本原就是「清淨心」,「清淨心」的狀態就是「生命 (Being)」的狀態,知道如何使心回歸這「生命」狀態就是「覺醒」、遠離無明。知道如何回歸自性,在自性裡,就會看到那「恆常不變的常道」。清淨心中才能應證創造主的存在,這是「信神」的開始。]]

16th Verse
Empty our mind of idle fancies and vain imaginations and let it stay quiet and still, then we can see with insight and realize everything set in motion and come to life, and then it will return to the state of origin, that is back to rest.
The things we see are in many forms, but it all goes back to its origin (state) in the end.

When the mind returns to its origin, it is called “calm (static)”.
“Calm” means returning to its “being”.
In the state of “being”, it is called “constant”.
To be able to recognize the “constant” state is called awakened.
If one can’t recognize this “constant” state of mind, it means his mind more likely lives in idle fancies and vain imaginations, that is where the troubles come from.

The awakened one recognizes the “constant” mind, so he has compassion toward others and is able to be content and accepting of others.
Because he embraces others, he shows justice with loving-kindness.
His equality shows he is the master of self as in his heart lives a king.
This master can see the image of God within himself. (He has heavenly spiritual quality.)
The attributes of God and the light of God emanating from the master’s heart, God is within him and he is with God.
The one who lives in Tao is an eternal being.
Even if his body perishes, his spirit is immortal.

道德經 第32 章 Daode jing Chapter 32

道常無名,樸。雖小,天下不敢臣。侯王若能守,萬物將自賓。天地相合,以降甘露,民莫之令而自均。始制有名,名亦既有,夫亦將知止。知止所以不殆。譬道之在天下,猶川谷之於江海。

[譯文]
「道」永遠是無名而質樸而不複雜的,它雖然隱而不可見的,天下沒有最後不臣服於它的。侯王如果能夠遵循「道」來治理天下,萬物也將會尊崇「道」,秩序就會自行建立起來。地上人民的精神品質與天上的精神品質就會相合,上天的恩惠也就會源源不絕地流向人間,不用祈求就會得到天佑,事事自然調合。萬物興作,侯王的名聲就會傳遍天下;若名揚天下,侯王能不因此招搖(放縱)於天下。他的國土就可以不受危害。「道」存在於天下,就像江海,一切河川溪水都會歸流於它,萬物也自然賓服。

[與上帝教導的關聯:一個人遵行道(上帝之道),他的靈性美質就會愈來愈趨向神性(有神的樣子),上帝的恩典就會源源不絕流向他,也流向世界,也就是不用祈求就會得到天佑。遵循上帝律法,追求美善的精神品質,上帝賦予他的恩典,就像是『進入迦南美地』,也就是天國。]

32nd Verse
The eternal Tao has no name. It is simple and subtle.
Although it is invisible, no one in the world can master it. (On the contrary, everyone will be subservient to it in the end.)

If a king could follow Tao to serve his people, everyone will follow him and everything will be in order.
When the attributes of a king emulate the heavenly attributes, the bestowal of Tao will be abundant. 
Without supplication or requests to the king, everything will be provided to everyone.
(Without supplication or requests to the Tao, everything will be provided to everyone.)
The king’s name will become well known to more people.
If the king can stay lowly like Tao even after he is famous, then his dominion can last.
When Tao is applied to world affairs, what we can observe is like the rivers that flow to the ocean.
Everything will return to its greatness, and the oneness of creation will make manifest in front of his eyes.

Moving Forward 改變的信念

moving forward

This image to me shows this spiritual meaning:
這張藝術畫傳達著靈性意義,有來自神的心意:

The desire of God for us is that we stop the traditional way of using our inner power, stop using our polluting ways (negative thoughts) putting smoke in the air of the “spiritual” sky.
If we can pause and think, the mind can be clear and see the goodness in our spirit. By then, we have clear vision to know what is clean energy for our life. That is the power in our true nature and it is clean energy and it is a perpetual life energy source 。
祂希望我們不要用傳統使用能量(energy)取得方式,那是污染虛空(心的世界) 的;我們的負面意念與言詞使心的世界變得烏煙瘴氣,讓我們看不見靈性世界的美麗。
若我們能停下來反思,自淨其意;心念清淨了,虛空烏煙消去了,心的世界那山明水秀就能看得見、也能聽見。屆時,我們就知道要怎麽過那理想的生活,理解神創造人類要給人類的生活。
我們會使用自然且無污染的能源,那是我們自性本有的靈性力量,用那正念力量驅動我們的生活,我們將永不匱乏,那是使生命永續的能量泉源。那能量看不見,卻在上帝王國裏。

What is clean spiritual power? 什麼是靈性優質能源?
The power of divine assistance 神聖輔助的力量
The power of the Word of God 上帝話語(聖言)的力量
The power of the Covenant 聖約的力量
The power of unity 統一(團結)的力量
The power of love 愛的力量

Science of Living

Many people see life as the art of living. But our life is both art and science. From the aspect of spiritual practice, religion is science. Divine science. So how can we make our spiritual practice become the exploration of divine science?

Consider this: Our process of thinking, learning and seeking solutions in our daily life is science. Think of the steps of the scientific method. We go through the same process in our lives with observation, raising questions, making assumptions, experimentation (trying), analyzing, and making conclusions, which becomes our knowledge and valuable experience.

In the same way, our spiritual practice can be understood with the same methods and processes. Let’s use a diagram to demonstrate spiritual practice as a scientific process.

science5

In natural science studies, we use textbooks; in divine science study, the Holy Writings are our textbooks. At the beginning of our studies, we follow the textbook’s instructions step by step. In the same way, when we follow the commandments and the laws of God, we are following the step by step instructions at the beginning of our divine science study. Why do we need divine science?

It (science) is of two kinds: material and spiritual. Material science is the investigation of natural phenomena; divine science is the discovery and realization of spiritual verities. The world of humanity must acquire both. A bird has two wings; it cannot fly with one. Material and spiritual science are the two wings of human uplift and attainment. Both are necessary—one the natural, the other supernatural; one material, the other divine. By the divine we mean the discovery of the mysteries of God, the comprehension of spiritual realities, the wisdom of God, inner significances of the heavenly religions and foundation of the law. – Abdu’l-Baha, Promulgation of World Peace

Our daily life is like the classroom, or laboratory, of divine science. The experiences we have in life events and the relationships we have with others are the exercises of using our spiritual power and learning to maximize the use of that power. In this process, we can’t do it without the development of inner awareness and use of both our outer and inner power to help us in the awakening process.

Awareness of both our physical and spiritual condition helps us make the connection between the physical world and the spiritual world and enables us to recognize that our physical being is connected with the inner being. Awareness is like the observation skill which a scientist must have. We must train ourselves to constantly be aware of our mindset and be aware of the condition of our mind. In this way we can know if we are distracted by illusion or have a closed mind. If our ideas are constantly renewed or not is the indicator of the condition of our inner being.

The word of God is the inspiration for us to create a new mindset. Studying holy writings daily and putting them into action is like an experiment where we observe a chemical reaction — the mystery of the interaction of spiritual powers. Praying and meditating must be put into action through service to humanity. In this way, it is like an experiment in natural science and can be observed.

Furthermore, we can act as an individual or as a collective group. Spiritual practice can be individual or collective. Individual practice can lead to the discovery of personal potentials and collective practice can lead to the discovery of the power of unity. Collective practice can be at different scales, from family to community, to larger community groups.

Sometimes in physical science, we have difficulty figuring out where our experiment is not working. If the same problem repeats over and over again and has not been resolved, it means we are stuck. When we encounter difficulty in our personal lives, we might reflect on our mindset and attitude and pray for guidance.

Prayer and meditation are like an appointment with the divine teacher: the Manifestation of God for this day and age. We must seek the divine teacher in our hearts for spiritual guidance. The divine teacher can become our close friend, just as we have a good relationship with a teacher who guides us closely.

Indeed, material science is for the wellness of our physical being and divine science is for the wellness of our inner being. The Baha’i Writings tell us:

…the individual realities of mankind, when spiritually born, are emanations from the reality of Divinity, just as the flame, heat and light of the sun are the effulgence of the sun and not a part of the sun itself. Therefore, a spirit has emanated from the reality of Divinity, and its effulgences have become visible in human entities or realities. This ray and this heat are permanent. There is no cessation in the effulgence. As long as the sun exists, the heat and light will exist, and inasmuch as eternality is a property of Divinity, this emanation is everlasting. There is no cessation in its outpouring. The more the world of humanity develops, the more the effulgences or emanations of Divinity will become revealed, just as the stone, when it becomes polished and pure as a mirror, will reflect in fuller degree the glory and splendor of the sun. – Abdu’l-Baha, Promulgation of World Peace

Through spiritual practice with a scientific method, we can discover divine mysteries and understand that we are eternal beings. The more we purify our heart and sanctify our soul, the more the reality of the spirit and the divinity will be revealed.

觀照「我」、觀照「心」

你是否注意過,在我們一個人沉思時,有一個在說的,有一個在聽的、判斷的、偶爾會問問題的,還有一個回答問題的。 當說話的與回答問題的兩個在那裡一來一往對話的,若觀點在兩極「端」時,那個聽的、判斷的,有時就不知道該怎麽辦了。

沉思時,那個說話的,「忙著講各種故事,念頭從一個跳到一個,自己在故事的角色從一個變換到一個的」是誰?
沉思時,那個只是覺知的聽者,看著怎麽一回事,想知道究竟怎麽一回事,想決定該怎麽辦的那個是誰?
沉思時,那個理性的、良知的、回答著、給不同意見的、以「輕柔」聲音提醒的那又是誰?

那個講故事,一個接著一個、變換著各種不同角色的說故事者是「化身」。
那個覺知的聽者,想弄清怎麽回事、做判斷的是「報身」。
那個良知、提醒的是「法身」。

這自性三身都在我們的心,他們的活動都在心念中。

「法身」是深層的「我」,當我們活在世俗時,法身的聲音就顯得微弱,容易被忽略。
「報身」有圓滿程度不同,那個「我」就像個法官。愈好的法官愈有智慧,愈圓滿的報身就像愈好的法官,是「良善、正義」的象徵。如果我們的價值多來自世界,「報身」用的法就會趨於「世間法」;如果價值愈多來自經藏的影響,「報身」判斷與決定就會愈趨於「出世間法」。「報身」判斷與解決事情的決策,是在「世間法」與「出世間法」量尺的兩端間滑動的,每個人的見解是「世間法」與「出世間法」綜合的產物;報身愈圓滿,就會趨向「出世間法」那端。
「化身」,若我們對心沒有覺知,就容易活在本能反應,就是凡夫,那是境隨心轉的–有害怕時,就有了攻防的行為;有誘惑時,就會有愛取;不知道自己的心活在自然的本能裡,就是佛說的無明。

若我們對心有覺知,就會看見報身是趨於世間(世俗)或出世間(神的道);在煩惱升起時,也會試著選擇遠離那有破壞性的自然本能情緒反應,並多多去聽法身來的聲音(良知)。這三身,在觀照心時是可以被看見的。一匹被駕馭的野馬,牠是自然本性不再狂野的。我們要「駕馭心」,指的是那依自然本能反應的情緒心愈來愈少,不再受情慾喜好左右。受左右的,是綑綁的,是煩惱的。

讀經可以增加出世間法,使判斷與價值與佛愈來愈相近,也就是處事能愈來愈圓滿、圓融。禱告可以培養專注的心,這樣能更清楚聽到法音。靜坐默思,可以把發生的事情拿來觀照,使靜坐成為安靜默思、做功課與追求進步的時機。

修心在於觀照心,讀經、禱告、靜坐默思都是修心要做的事。目標就是超脫感官自然的本能,以正法、智慧那超自然的力量活出人性。這天啟的神聖導師巴哈歐拉告訴我們,自然本能是受制於自然定律的;超自然的靈性品質,才是上帝創造人的樣子。修心、駕馭心以達到上帝創造人的樣子,才是真正地活出人性。懂得使用超自然的靈性力量,那是上天給人的「活出人性」的標準,也是每個人的人生功課。

多變的世界,是我們修心的好道場。只要我們肉眼看著外境,心眼觀照著內心的變化,練習用出世間法(用正知、正見),也靠著意志力、毅力練習駕馭奔馳於世間價值、有喜好厭惡的心(意志力是心的付諸行動),就會對佛法愈來愈有深層領悟(有「覺」有「悟」,才是真正深入經藏),這也就是六祖說的「佛法在世間,不離世間覺」之意。

When I Use True Heart 當我用真心

It is embarrassing and painful to be corrected. I discovered the love of God is in His correcting me and helping me be a better person. And when I am able to do these things, I find my true heart with His love.
被糾正有時是困窘的、心是刺痛的,我是在被神糾正的過程中看見了神的愛,祂的糾正與愛,幫助我想成為更好的人。下面的幾項,是我對「用真心」的體悟。

true heart1
true heart2

To recognize our true heart is critical if we seek the deeper meaning of the Word of God. We enter that mystical realm, the Kingdom of God, from the gate of the heart.
看見真心很重要,因為領悟聖言(上帝話語、經書)的深意,是從真心入門。