Blog

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。

生命的深層意義是什麼

Screenshot_20200525_075355.jpg

Play with Audio:

我們正在經歷的病毒事件,有些人活在恐懼中,因為對生命的無常感;也有些人感覺到人生短暫,試著重新調整事務的優先順序。我感覺,若我們對生命的深層意義都有更進一步的認識,或許我們會把努力的方向轉向更有利益生命成長的方向,也能為下一階段的生命歷程(來生)做預備。此世之後,不再有肉體生命,但我們的靈魂繼續存在。我們在這星球的生活,不謹有物質存在的目的,也有靈性存在的目的。什麼是生命?當我們看見植物生長時,我們看見生命。植物因生長力那靈性力量,而使植物成為生命體。同樣的,人類的生命也是因為靈性力量的存在而有。人類的生命分兩部分,一是肉體生命,另一是靈性生命,此二者當同等受到照顧。我們是靈性的動物,因為靈魂中特殊的靈性力量,讓人類高於動物王國。人類具有那些靈性力量呢?在巴哈伊教導中,巴哈歐拉告訴我們,人類有多種靈性力量。當我們看見肉體的成長與組織細胞的更生,那是人性靈中的生長力量。我們感受外在世界所使用的五官,那感知力是人類與動物共有的靈性力量。我們還有智力,那是靈魂與心智的作用,那可以發現奧祕的智力,使人類超越於動物。人的智力包括想像力、分析能力、理解力與記憶力。我們的肉體生命含括了生長力、感知力、智力;除此之外,人類還有其它靈性能力。

天國生命的種子~靈性生命

人性靈中的靈性感知力讓我們可以過靈性生活。若一個人使用智力與感官的感知力,他所過的生活謹是物質的生活;若他同時使用智力與靈性感知力,它就能進入靈性生活。在巴哈伊教導中告訴我們,上帝創造人類時就在其本質中賦予了天國的生命種子,有時我們稱這種子生命為靈性生命,當那生命長成後我們把它稱為信仰靈。這名稱不同就好比人體長成完整的嬰兒與出生前,我們稱那生命為胚胎生命一樣。我們的天國生命種子不能”萌芽”生長,除非它被上帝的愛火所點燃;那被點燃的生命,就是耶穌所稱的「靈」。

「從肉身生的,就是肉身。從靈生的,就是靈。」這句話的意思是說,僅僅只是生自人體的人,他的靈是死的,而那些經由聖靈氣息吹拂而更生的人則是活的,且將永遠活著。(阿博都巴哈,弘揚世界和平8/5/1912)

靈性生命是為上帝愛火所點燃,然後在上帝恩典中被孕育,在上帝恩典中被孕育的生命是永恆的生命。人性靈是永存的,但藉由靈性生命的孕育,使靈魂成為永生。在靈魂的理性能力與靈性感知力作用下,人類過著靈性生活;但那靈性生活無法達到天國境地,除非他的心與靈魂轉向上帝王國,並得到神聖輔助與恩惠。靈性生命在哪裡被孕育? 阿博都巴哈告訴我們:

靈性生命孕育的處所

人的生命始於母體的胚胎。在母體裡,他接受和被賦予人的實質存在所要求的能力和潛質。他在那有限的環境裡被賜予了此世生活所必需的力量和才能。在此世,他需要眼睛,他從另一個人那裡潛在地得到了它。他需要耳朵,在母體裡他已為自己新的存在而準備好了它。此世所必需的各項能力在母體世界裡就已經授予他了,這樣,一旦進入這個真正存在的界域,他不僅具備了各種必要的功能和能力,也能發現自己物質生存所需的供給在等待著他。

由此可見,在此世,人必須為來世生活做好準備。他在天國世界裡所需者必須在此世便獲得。正如他在母體世界裡獲取必要能力而準備進入本存在界域那樣,神性存在所必不可少的能力也必須在此世潛在地獲得。(阿博都巴哈,弘揚世界和平7/6/1912)

“孕育事物的處所 (Matrix)”在拉丁語的意思是「母胎」,若我們把這世界看做孕育靈性生命的「母胎」,我們便稱這地球為「大地之母」,這物質世界確實是孕育我們靈性生命的處所。孕育靈性生命要經過哪些階段?什麼品質是我們要培育的?

靈性生命的發展階段

在存在界裡,人類必須逐級攀越,直到抵達人類王國。在經過各個層級時,他都會發展出下一個層級和環境所需要的能力。在礦物界,他獲得進入植物界所需的能力。在植物界,他為進入動物界做好準備,由動物界,他進入到人類層級或界域。在整個這一逐級進步的旅程之中,他一直且永遠是潛在的人。(阿博都巴哈,弘揚世界和平7/6/1912)

阿博都巴哈這段話不謹告訴我們有形創造界的進步階段,這其中也隱含著人性靈晉升到天國之靈、永恆生命要歷經的階段。首先,人的心要被上帝的愛及上帝王國所吸引,就像在礦物王國具有的凝聚力,這是與天國的一種凝聚力的建立。靈性生命一定要被上帝愛火所點燃才能進入下一個生長階段,才能看見靈性生命像植物具有的生長力,看見其成長。靈性生命是否成長? 我們又是如何觀察?這就好像我們觀察胚胎的四肢與器官發展一樣,靈性生命的四肢與器官就是靈性品質與美德。隨著靈性品質的培養,我們也要練習使用靈性感知能力,靈性感知力的發達,就像具有了動物王國的感知力一樣;祈禱與默思可以幫助我們培養這靈性感知力。不斷的取得進步,直到我們看見神聖的曙光在我們身上散發,那也就是神聖智力逐漸的顯現,對神聖知識的理解。智力使人類高於動物王國,神聖智力使人從物質的成為神聖的,物質的生命體成為神聖的生命體。這四個階段就是我們發展神聖的靈性力量的四個階段,在這發展過程中,我們會看見靈性生命漸漸茁壯起來,愈來愈有神性的徵象與上帝(美質)的樣子。這是上帝的賜予與恩惠的表徵,這個生命才是人類真正要追求的生命,且是永恆的。

培養此靈性生命我們需要做什麼?

首先,通過認知上帝。其次,通過熱愛上帝。第三,通過信仰。第四,通過善行義舉。第五,通過自我犧牲。第六,通過超脫此世。第七,通過聖潔和神聖意識。除非我們獲得這些力量並滿足這些要求,否則我們便不可能得到永恆的生命。但是,如果他具備了上帝的知識,用愛上帝之火點燃了自己,見到了天國的偉大和非凡跡象,成為人間的友愛之因,過著全然純潔和神聖的生活,那麼,他必將獲得第二生命,必將受到聖靈的洗禮,必將享受到永生。(阿博都巴哈,弘揚世界和平7/6/1912)

胚胎在母體長成後的出生,是人類生命的第一個「出生」,在這個大地之母的懷抱中孕育的靈性生命,當它長成在上帝王國出生時,那是人類生命的第二個「出生」。就像長成的完美胚胎,能帶來塵世生活的幸福;靈性生命在恩典下完善地被孕育,就能帶來來生的幸福。上帝賜予人類的完整生命是永恆的生命,那種子在人類被創造時就潛藏在靈魂本質中。當靈性生命達到完美孕育,並健全地在來世出生,那生命就是耶穌帶給人類的天國生命,那也是追求進步的靈魂所追求的真正生命。走在「生命道路」,追求的就是天國的永恆生命,若沒有對上帝的愛、被上帝王國所吸引,那生命就無法接受到所需的恩典而完整地被培育。

What is the deeper meaning of life

In the global events we are experiencing right now, some people live in fear because they think we have no control over life; some realize life is short and try to re-prioritize their life. I feel that if we have a deeper understanding of what is life and the purpose of life, maybe we will turn our effort to work toward a better life in this world and for the world to come. After this life, our physical life ends, but our soul continues to live. Life here on this planet is not only physical but also has a spiritual purpose.

What is life? When we see plants grow, we see life. The spiritual power in plants is the power of growth. A plant without that spiritual power has no life. The same is true with man. The spiritual power within us makes us alive. And from the condition of our spiritual power we see the condition of human life. The life of a man has two parts, physical life, and spiritual life. We are spiritual beings because the spiritual power which we have within our soul sets us apart from the animal kingdom. What types of spiritual power are within us?

Baha’i teachings tell us man is endowed with many types of spiritual power. When we see a physical body grow or cells renew, it is the power of growth in man. When we use our five senses to perceive the world, it is the power of the senses which animals also have. We also have an intellectual power which is a function of both the mind and the soul, and this power places us above the animals. We can use our intellectual power to discover things. The spiritual powers of the intellect include imagination, thought, comprehension, and memory. So our physical life is endowed with the power of growth, sensory power, and intellectual power, which make us a human, but we also have more.

A Seed of the Heavenly Life ~ The Spirit of Life

The spiritual perception in the human soul makes us a spiritual being and able to live spiritually. If a man uses his intellectual power only with his physical perception, the life he lives in only a material life in the physical realm. If a man uses his intellectual power with his spiritual perception, then he can live spiritually.

The Baha’i teachings also tell us when God creates a man He also deposits a seed of the heavenly life in his soul. Sometimes it called the spirit of life and when it fully developed we called it the spirit of faith. It is like how the physical body is called an embryo before it is fully developed. The seed of our heavenly life can’t start to grow unless it has been kindled by the fire of the love of God. And that is the life that Jesus called spirit.

“That which is born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born of Spirit is spirit.” He meant that those who were simply born of the human body were dead spiritually, while those quickened by the breaths of the Holy Spirit were living and eternally alive. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, 8/5/1912)

The spirit of life is kindled by the fire of the love of God and nourished with the grace of God. This result of living this spiritual life is to develop eternal life. The human soul is everlasting, but with development of the spirit of life it makes the human soul both eternal and heavenly. We can live spiritually with spiritual power and perception, but we can’t live a heavenly life without turning our heart and soul toward the Kingdom of God with divine assistance and bounties.

Where can we develop the heavenly life? ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tells us,

The Place of Developing the Spirit of Life

In the beginning of his human life man was embryonic in the world of the matrix. There he received capacity and endowment for the reality of human existence. The forces and powers necessary for this world were bestowed upon him in that limited condition. In this world he needed eyes; he received them potentially in the other. He needed ears; he obtained them there in readiness and preparation for his new existence. The powers requisite in this world were conferred upon him in the world of the matrix so that when he entered this realm of real existence he not only possessed all necessary functions and powers but found provision for his material sustenance awaiting him. Therefore, in this world he must prepare himself for the life beyond. That which he needs in the world of the Kingdom must be obtained here. Just as he prepared himself in the world of the matrix by acquiring forces necessary in this sphere of existence, so, likewise, the indispensable forces of the divine existence must be potentially attained in this world. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace 7/6)

Matrix is Latin for “mother”, and we can think of the world of the matrix as “Mother Earth”, for the evolution of mankind, and also our mother’s womb for the development of an individual person.

What are the stages we need to go through to develop that heavenly life? What do we need to develop? ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tells us the progression of the human soul needs to go through different stages and he has developed capacity for advancement to the next station and condition.

The Stages Which the Spirit of Life Travel Through

In the world of existence man has traversed successive degrees until he has attained the human kingdom. In each degree of his progression he has developed capacity for advancement to the next station and condition. While in the kingdom of the mineral he was attaining the capacity for promotion into the degree of the vegetable. In the kingdom of the vegetable he underwent preparation for the world of the animal, and from thence he has come onward to the human degree, or kingdom. Throughout this journey of progression he has ever and always been potentially man. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace 7/6)

This message not only tells us how the human soul progresses in physical form. It also gives us the idea of what stages we need to travel through to become an eternal being. First our heart needs to be attracted by the love of God and the Kingdom of God like the power of attraction in the mineral kingdom. The spirit of life must be ignited through the fire of the love of God to enter the next stage, it is the growth stage like the vegetable kingdom. In the growth stage, we will be able to observe the spirit of life growing. The way we observe growth is the development of spiritual limbs and organs, which are the spiritual quality and virtues. As spiritual qualities develop, we also need to exercise the spiritual senses, spiritual perception. With that perception, we develop into the sense stage like the animal has in the physical realm. Prayer and meditation help us develop spiritual perception, until the light of the divine intellect power (the emanations of consciousness) emanates from us. In this spiritual intellect stage we develop our true capacity as a divine being. Through these four stages, and the development of four divine spiritual powers, we see the spirit of life develop and see the inner life manifest. From the inner life, we see the signs of divinity and the image of God within us. That is the life bestowed by the bounties of God and that is the true life we seek.

What We Need to Do While We Develop The Spirit of Life

 First, through the knowledge of God. Second, through the love of God. Third, through faith. Fourth, through philanthropic deeds. Fifth, through self-sacrifice. Sixth, through severance from this world. Seventh, through sanctity and holiness. Unless he acquires these forces and attains to these requirements, he will surely be deprived of the life that is eternal. But if he possesses the knowledge of God, becomes ignited through the fire of the love of God, witnesses the great and mighty signs of the Kingdom, becomes the cause of love among mankind and lives in the utmost state of sanctity and holiness, he shall surely attain to a second birth, be baptized by the Holy Spirit and enjoy everlasting existence. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace 7/6)

The physical life that develops in the mother’s womb is the first birth of human life. In this world we develop our spirit of life and prepare for the second birth in the realm of the Kingdom of God. Like the development of the physical body provides us with the well-being of our physical life, the development of spiritual qualities will provide us the well-being of our spiritual life in the next world.

The true life which God bestows on us is the eternal life. And that seed of eternal life is placed within the reality of man when God created us. When we attain the birth of the spirit of life, that is heavenly life that Jesus brought to us and that life has no death. That is true life which God bestowed on mankind and which is the life of a developed soul. We can’t develop it without being attracted by the love of God and we develop it with the grace of God.