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Heart and Mind 心與意識心

Clipboard09How often hath the human heart, which is the recipient of the light of God and the seat of the revelation of the All-Merciful, erred from Him Who is the Source of that light and the Well Spring of that revelation. (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh 93)

人的心是上帝之光的接收者,為滿懷慈悲者啟示的宅地,然而,人心卻往往迷失了方向而遠離祂那靈光之源和啟示之泉。(巴哈歐拉聖文選粹93)

Although I have read this verse many times, one day the phrase “the human heart, which is the recipient of the light of God and the seat of the revelation of the All-Merciful” caught my eye strongly. That night while I meditated I reflected on this sentence. In the meditation I saw my mind as still and my heart as only an instrument for reflection of whatever it receives. I feel like my heart is at the center of some kind of power. It is surrounded by mercy and love, which are attributes (names) of God. I feel the power from those attributes. I told myself “if I can put my heart in this state of calmness, I can reflect something good from God and find the strength to love others.” I let myself be submerged in the power of the spirit for a while, I can feel my heart is opened and there is an energy from the top of my head. I ask myself again, “if the heart is an instrument for reflection, then what is in my mind?” I begin to understand that when the mind is talking it is not from my heart, but may be idle fancy and vain imagination.

儘管這段經文以讀了好多次,一天「人的心是上帝之光的接收者,為滿懷慈悲者啟示的宅地」,這句話特別抓住了我的心,那晚我就拿這句話默思。在打坐中,我看見我的(意識)心是專注的,而我的心僅僅像是一個接受的器皿,我感覺到我的心像一種力量的中心,被神的愛與憐憫(神的名號)所環繞,我的心也似乎有了那想愛人與憐憫人的力量。那時我告訴自己: 「若平時我的心能進入這種狀態,我就會有從神來的力向去愛人。」我讓自己沉浸在那力量中一段時間,在那期間,我可以感覺到頭頂有一股能量進到我的心,我的心彷彿是被打開著的。在那時,我又問了另一個問題: 「若心只是接收與映射實相的器皿,那麼我的意識心是什麼?」我彷彿理解了,當我有心念時,一種對話狀態的心念,那不是來自我的心,那是意識心,也許那就是神所說的妄想與妄念。

In my experience, a lot of time when my heart reflects something, and I start use my mind to express it, I feel that I never express it well. I know our mind and language has its limits to express what is in our heart. This is why it is frustrating when I expect someone to understand me, to know what is in my heart. In the same way, I realize I can’t know what is reflected in people’s hearts, because they have the same limitation to express it.

在我的經驗中, 很多時候當我的心映射著什麼的,而我試著用我的意識心去表達時,常常會有困難把那從心來的認知表達清楚,我知道意識心與語言在表達時都有極限,這也是為什麼有時當我試著表達時卻又表達不清楚時會感到沮喪。同樣的,我也理解到我無法了解人的心,因為人們也會受到同樣想清楚表達自己的限制。

The heart knows, the body has no awareness. Whatever we learn through our body, doesn’t teach us about the heart”, according to the Buddha. If we try to approach a person’s heart with our mind, we never can touch it. If we try to approach God’s desire for us with our mind, we can’t understand it either. The meaning of the Words of God can only be reflected through our heart.

佛陀在楞嚴經說過,「心所知,身不能覺;覺在身際,心不知。」我們心知道的,別人是無法用五蘊身心(意識心)去察覺的,若我們以為五蘊身心所覺知的就是真心,那我們就永遠找不到真心了。言下之意告訴我們,若我們用揣測的心想去了解人的真心那會是有困難的。同樣地,若我們用自己的揣測想去了解上帝的心意或是去理解神的話,這也是無法達成的,神的話與心意,只能映射在真誠的心與洞察之眼而被看見。

“Contemplation for an hour is better than formal worship for sixty years.” (Muhammad)

默思一個小時會比六十年的崇拜更蒙神悅納。(穆罕默德)

The next day while I walked in the park with my son, I asked “what is your heart reflecting now?”
He said “breeze, birds singing… “
And then I ask “how do you feel in your heart?”
He said “joy, happy… “
I ask, “and ….Do you feel appreciation?”
He said “yes”.

隔天當我在公園散步時我問兒子: 「你的心現在映射著什麼?」

他說:「微風與鳥叫聲…」

我又問:「你心的感受是什麼?」

他說: 「愉悅與快樂…」

我問:「還有…有感恩嗎?」

他答:「是的。」

If I store a lot of memories and feelings of appreciation in my soul, gifts from God, then I have enough to be content, but only if I reflect on the spiritual meaning of things, not just the things themselves. If I look into the feelings in my heart, I start to have questions for myself, and those questions lead me to a meaning to connect with that event. When I look deeper, I find that the feelings show me what I am attached to and help me to see the spiritual meaning hidden in the reflection. To me, daily events are like a lamp, the spiritual meaning within them is like the light that shines in the lamp. I truly live my life when I discover the spiritual meaning hidden in my feelings. Now I more capable to understand the love of Abdu’l-Baha, which is the love reflected from his heart and from the light of God. His story help me to see what it looks like when a man turns his heart completely toward Sun of Truth.

我知道,若我在靈魂的記憶中儲存許多讓人感激的事與感覺,也儲存有神賜給的恩惠,那麼我的人生就有足夠讓我滿足的了。若事情只是事情而沒有被賦予靈性意義,那麼感恩的心是不容易升起來的。常常當我去注意心的感受時,我會開始問自己問題,那些問題彷彿在引導我進入心的深層去探就那隱藏的靈性意義。當我往深層去看,我常常發現不好的感受中隱藏著執著。對我來說,日常的事情彷彿是燈罩,而那事情的靈性意義才是燈光,那精神會賦予無生命的事情一個生命的價值。當我去了解事情的靈性意義時,事情彷彿就被賦予的生命與光明,當我用心的感受去生活時,我的生活就鮮活了起來。現在我也就更能瞭解阿博都巴哈的愛,他聖者的愛是來自於上帝愛的光輝在他心的映射,他的故事幫助我看見一個聖潔的心完全轉向上帝之光的樣子,讓我有很好的學習目標。

“I looked for God. I went to a temple and I didn’t find him there. Then I went to a church and I didn’t find home there. Then I went to a mosque and I didn’t find him there. Then finally I looked in my heart and there he was.” (Rumi)

我到廟堂去,想尋找上帝,我沒能找到祂。後來我去教堂想尋找上帝,我也沒在那兒找著。然後我去了清真寺,我也沒找到祂。直到我進入心去找,在那兒我看見了祂。(魯米)

When man does not open his mind and heart to the blessing of the spirit, but turns his soul towards the material side, towards the bodily part of his nature, then is he fallen from his high place and he becomes inferior to the inhabitants of the lower animal kingdom. …If, on the contrary, the spiritual nature of the soul has been so strengthened that it holds the material side in subjection, then does the man approach the Divine; his humanity becomes so glorified that the virtues of the Celestial Assembly are manifested in him; he radiates the Mercy of God, he stimulates the spiritual progress of mankind, for he becomes a lamp to show light on their path. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 31)

如果人不向靈性恩賜敞開心扉,而是將靈魂轉向物質方面,轉向其肉體本性,那麼他就會從高貴的地位墮落,變得比低等動物還不如。…… 相反,如果靈魂的精神品性得到加強,控制了其物慾方面,人就會接近神;他的人格就會變得如此高尚榮耀,以至所有神圣美德都在他身上顯現。他會表現出上帝的慈悲,促進人類的精神進步,因為他變成了一盞照耀人類前進道路的明燈。 (阿博都巴哈,巴黎談話31)

What is the dust which obscures the mirror? It is attachment to the world, avarice, envy, love of luxury and comfort, haughtiness and self-desire; this is the dust which prevents reflection of the rays of the Sun of Reality in the mirror. The natural emotions are blameworthy and are like rust which deprives the heart of the bounties of God. ……There is a power which purifies the mirror from dust and transforms its reflection into intense brilliancy and radiance so that spiritual susceptibilities may chasten the hearts and heavenly bestowals sanctify them. Which is sincerity, justice, humility, severance, and love for the believers of God. These will purify the mirror and make it radiant with reflected rays from the Sun of Truth. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peach, 25 July1912 Talk at Hotel Victoria, Boston, MA)

蒙住心靈之鏡的塵埃是什麼呢?是對塵世的依戀、貪婪、嫉妒、愛慕奢華舒適、傲慢和私慾。這些便是阻礙“實質之陽” 映照在心靈之鏡中的塵埃。這些自然的情感是應受譴責的,它們就像鏽斑一樣,剝奪了人心獲得神恩的福分。……然而有一種力量可為心靈之鏡洗去塵埃,把它的映像變得光輝璀璨,以便靈性的情感能夠淨化人心,天國的賜福能夠聖潔心靈。那就是真誠、公正、謙卑、超脫以及對歸信上帝者的關愛等靈性的情感,它們能將心靈之鏡淨化,並讓它璀璨地反射出“真理之陽”的光芒。 (阿博都巴哈,弘揚世界和平 7/25/1912 演講)

As I understand it, our mind exercises free will, it is where we make choices. We can choose to turn our heart toward God or turn it toward our ego. Our mind also can bring up a lot of ideas from our old experiences that disturb the water, if we see our heart as a water body which reflects reality. The mind can distort the reality of what the water reflects. The more turbulence on the water, the feelings of our heart will change. Natural emotions, as described by Abdu’l-Baha, are feelings of the disturbed heart. It may be a sign of too many stray thoughts in our mind. Those thoughts create the unbalance.

就我的認識,我們的意識心是自由意志的所在,藉由不斷的選擇中我們操練它,使其漸漸合乎於神對我們的期許,行在神的旨意中。我們的意識心(自由意志)可以選擇把心轉向神,或轉向自我,我們的意識心也可以從過往的經驗中不斷左右我們的決定。心就像水體,它只是用來映射實境,而意識心就像使水面起漣漪的風或其他動力,它可以使水面起漣漪而影響我們看見水中所映射的;它也可以使水面起大波浪,澎湃洶湧,讓人完全看不清楚水體所要映射的實相。如阿博都巴哈所說,自然的情感(情緒)就是心受波動的,所以情緒是警訊,它在告訴我們有太多不必要的妄想,那是有所執著的徵象,也是意識心失衡的現象。

To me, our soul is like a canvas that we paint in our life. The heart reflects the image for us to paint on it. Our mind can decide if we turn our heart toward God to reflect what He has ordained for us, or turn our heart to ourselves to paint what we desire. If we follow the will of God, “That the heart is the throne, in which the Revelation of God the All-Merciful is centered.(Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh 93)” The canvas will become an art work we finish with God, our soul (canvas) will become a work of the Revelation of God. The mind will become the fruit of the spiritual tree like ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said:

對我來說,靈魂就像我們一生要畫的畫板,我們看著心所映射的「影像」去畫。我們的意識心可以決定轉向上帝,依著映射在心上的上帝意志去畫;或我們可以將意識心轉向自己,依著自己的意思去畫。若我們的心轉向神,「心即寶座,為滿懷慈悲者上帝啟示所環繞的中心。(巴哈歐拉聖文選粹93)」我們所畫的就是我們與神共同完成的藝術生活,在靈魂所記錄的書簡就是上帝的天啟之作,這樣的心智就是阿博都巴哈所說的靈性生命之樹的果實。

The mind is the perfection of the spirit and a necessary attribute thereof, even as the rays of the sun are an essential requirement of the sun itself. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, 55)

心智是人的精神力量。精神是燈,心智則是燈發出的光。精神是樹,心智則是果。心智是精神的結晶,是精神的基本品質,如同陽光是太陽的精神基本要素。(阿博都巴哈,已答之問55)

Be the master of self. This means to use our mind well. Exercise our mind with free will, but only when our will is aligned with God’s will. This is what it is to be a true master of one’s self.

做自己心的主人,就是有正念,時時做適當的選擇,在自由意志下鍛鍊心念。練習使自己的意志愈來愈符合於上帝的意旨,那麼,我們就是在學習做自己心的主人。

Inner life with Inner observation (3) 內在生活與內觀 3

Title: Internalized Cause and Effect 執著有的因與果

Question Discussed 探討問題:
Is emotion from our heart or mind? Can we change how we feel in our heart through changing our mind?
情緒是心還是意識心?心的感覺可以藉由意識心的改變而去改變嗎?

What is the dust which obscures the mirror? It is attachment to the world, avarice, envy, love of luxury and comfort, haughtiness and self-desire; this is the dust which prevents reflection of the rays of the Sun of Reality in the mirror. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, 25 July1912 )
「蒙住心靈之鏡的塵埃是什麼呢?是對塵世的依戀、貪婪、嫉妒、愛慕奢華舒適、傲慢和私慾。這些便是阻礙『實質之陽』映照在心靈之鏡中的塵埃。」 (阿博都巴哈,弘揚世界和平 7/25/1912 演講)

O My brother! A pure heart is as a mirror; cleanse it with the burnish of love and severance from all save God, that the true sun may shine therein and the eternal morning dawn.
「啊,我的兄弟!一顆純潔的心如一面明鏡,以愛之光擦亮它,除上蒼外隔絕其它一切,使那真理的太陽,能在其中光耀著,而見到永生之晨也的破曉。」

When thou dost strip the veils of illusion from the face of thine heart, the lights of Oneness will be made manifest.
「當你除下心中受幻境纏裹的簾布,和諧統一之光輝將會被啟示。」

In thine outward appearance thou tellest of the appearance of power in the realms of divine creation; in thine inward being thou revealest the hidden mysteries which are the divine trust deposited within thee. And thus firstness and lastness, outwardness and inwardness, are, in the sense referred to, all true of thyself.
「於你外在的形象,你談論呈現於這神聖創造境界的力量。於你內在的本體,你表露隱藏的奧秘,它是存在你內心的神聖信賴。因而,先和後,外和里,實在是指你的本體。」(七谷經之和諧之谷)

Reflect upon the perfection of man’s creation, and that all these planes and states are folded up and hidden away within him. Dost thou deem thyself a small and puny form, When thou foldest within thyself the greater world? We must therefore labour to destroy the animal condition, till the meaning of humanity cometh to light.
反映在人類創作的完善,所有各境界及階段是遮蔽的;隱藏在他內心。『你僅須知曉你是微小的形體,但其中卻隱藏了整個宇宙。』因而,我們必須盡力棄除那內欲的本質,直到展露出人道的真義。

O friend, the heart is the dwelling-place of eternal mysteries: Make it not the home of fleeting fancies. Waste not the treasure of thy precious life occupied with this swiftly passing world. Thou comest from the world of holiness: Bind not thine heart to the earth. Thou art a dweller in the court of reunion: Choose not the homeland of the dust.
啊,朋友,你的心田是永恆奧秘的住所,不能使它成為瞬息即逝的幻想之家;不要耗費你珍貴生命的寶藏,為這迅速消失的世界而忙碌。你由聖潔之境到來,不要把你的思想束縛在世間。你是臨近天庭的居住者,不要撰居於世塵。(七谷經之奇境之谷)

Summary 簡結:
• Eliminating negative thoughts in our mind to more perfectly reflect the reality in our heart.
消除妄想妄念可使心鏡不再受波動,使心能如實映射實相

• Thoughts which come from internalized attachment are what we learn from the world. If we can identify what we are attached to, then we can remove the vain imagination and idle fancy, which hide the light of Oneness, so we can see the perfection of creation.
內化的執著是妄想妄念的根源,那是世間知識與價值。若我們能祈求神光照那執著,挪除它們就能也挪除其所帶來的妄想妄念。如此就能看見一體光輝,看見上帝創造的一體之完美。

• Only when we remove the veil of wandering thought, can we live in the spiritual realm and discover the hidden treasure which can reflect from our heart. Then we can see the reality of the physical world and the spiritual world, and understand the meaning of “outwardness and inwardness, are, in the sense referred to, all true of thyself.”
只有我們挪除那些使我們住在幻化世界的那意識心的想法,我們才能住在靈性世界裡,並在心中看見種種隱藏的奧秘。那實相是包含外在與內在世界的,屆時我們就能理解『先和後,外和裡,實在是指你本體的展現』之意。

Inner observation 內觀:
*Is our mind still enough to let the heart reflect what the reality is?
我們的意識心安靜到足以讓心鏡如實映射實相嗎?

*If our mind gets a little distracted is it still able to reflect the reality well enough?
或是意識心有些波動,但不妨礙實相在心鏡上的映射?

*If our mind is constantly disturbed by situations around us does it blur the reflection in our heart?
或是我們的意識心常常隨外境起波動而看不清映射的實相?

Our heart is like a body of water that reflects reality. Our mind is something we create which causes ripples or waves. Our heart never changes, but what is constantly changing is our mind. The conditions outside are a source of stimulation, but not the cause. The cause is the internalized attachment we have. If we think the cause is from outside, then we never see the real cause is in ourselves. Our own attachment is the cause of these emotions, and suffering. If we can try to understand what we are attached to (cause), then we can get away from the suffering (result). This is the internalized cause and effect, it is not from others.
我們的心只是一個映射實相的實體,意識心是引起水面產生漣漪的外因。我們的心並不會動,動的是我們的意識心。外境是產生那意識心的「緣」,不是「因」,「因」是我們自己的執著,所以怪罪他人或想去改變外境,並不能解決根本問題。找到執著那「因」,才能遠離意識心再製造情緒的苦「果」,因果與外境無關。

Emotion is the unbalanced feeling from our heart caused by disturbances from the mind, like waves. If we control these thoughts in our mind it will stop the condition which causes the waves. The surface of the water body will return to calmness. The feelings from these emotions will cease. If we can also pray for divine guidance to help us to see what we are attached to which causes a disturbed mind, then we can eliminate the root cause. This is detachment. It can restore our heart to the way it is suppose to be.
情緒是水面有太多的波動,水面失去平衡的種種心的感受。放下意識心來的念頭,水面就會恢復平靜,情緒來的感受就會消退。若我們能進一步在祈禱中祈求神的光照,祈求指引我們看見自己執著了什麼而引起那些意識心,找到那引起波動的根源(執著),就能減少了製造波動的根源,這是超脫,使心恢復其本來的樣子。

Inner life with Inner observation (2) 內在生活與內觀 2

Title: Mind and Heart 意識心與真心

Question Discussed: What is the difference between heart and mind? How can we tell the difference?

探討問題: 真心與意識心有什麼不同? 我們可以分辨嗎?

As for the mind, it is the power of the human spirit. The spirit is as the lamp, and the mind as the light that shines from it. The spirit is as the tree, and the mind as the fruit. The mind is the perfection of the spirit and a necessary attribute thereof, even as the rays of the sun are an essential requirement of the sun itself. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, 55)

心智是人的精神力量。精神是燈,心智則是燈發出的光。精神是樹,心智是果。心智是精神的結晶,是精神的基本品質,如同陽光是太陽的基本要素。(阿博都巴哈,已答之問55)

That the heart is the throne, in which the Revelation of God the All-Merciful is centered. … How often hath the human heart, which is the recipient of the light of God and the seat of the revelation of the All-Merciful, erred from Him Who is the Source of that light and the Well Spring of that revelation. (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh 93)

心即寶座,為滿懷慈悲者上帝啟示所環繞的中心。……人的心是上帝之光的接收者,為滿懷慈悲者啟示之宅地,然而,人心卻往往迷失了方向而遠離祂那靈光之源和啟示之泉。 (巴哈歐拉聖文選粹93)

When man allows the spirit, through his soul, to enlighten his understanding, then does he contain all Creation. …

人通過靈魂使精神啟迪其悟性,這樣他就包含了所有的創造。

When man does not open his mind and heart to the blessing of the spirit, but turns his soul towards the material side, towards the bodily part of his nature, then is he fallen from his high place and he becomes inferior to the inhabitants of the lower animal kingdom. …If, on the contrary, the spiritual nature of the soul has been so strengthened that it holds the material side in subjection, then does the man approach the Divine; his humanity becomes so glorified that the virtues of the Celestial Assembly are manifested in him; he radiates the Mercy of God, he stimulates the spiritual progress of mankind, for he becomes a lamp to show light on their path. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 31)

如果人不向靈性恩賜敞開心扉,而是將靈魂轉向物質方面,轉向其肉體本性,那麼他就會從高貴的地位墮落,變得比低等動物還不如。…… 相反,如果靈魂的精神品性得到加強,控制了其物慾方面,人就會接近神;他的人格就會變得如此高尚榮耀,以至所有神圣美德都在他身上顯現。他會表現出上帝的慈悲,促進人類的精神進步,因為他變成了一盞照耀人類前進道路的明燈。(阿博都巴哈,巴黎談話31)

What is the dust which obscures the mirror? It is attachment to the world, avarice, envy, love of luxury and comfort, haughtiness and self-desire; this is the dust which prevents reflection of the rays of the Sun of Reality in the mirror. The natural emotions are blameworthy and are like rust which deprives the heart of the bounties of God. ……There is a power which purifies the mirror from dust and transforms its reflection into intense brilliancy and radiance so that spiritual susceptibilities may chasten the hearts and heavenly bestowals sanctify them. Which is sincerity, justice, humility, severance, and love for the believers of God. These will purify the mirror and make it radiant with reflected rays from the Sun of Truth. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá)

蒙住心靈之鏡的塵埃是什麼呢?是對塵世的依戀、貪婪、嫉妒、愛慕奢華舒適、傲慢和私慾。這些便是阻礙“實質之陽” 映照在心靈之鏡中的塵埃。這些自然的情感是應受譴責的,它們就像鏽斑一樣,剝奪了人心獲得神恩的福分。……然而有一種力量可為心靈之鏡洗去塵埃,把它的映像變得光輝璀璨,以便靈性的情感能夠淨化人心,天國的賜福能夠聖潔心靈。那就是真誠、公正、謙卑、超脫以及對歸信上帝者的關愛等靈性的情感,它們能將心靈之鏡淨化,並讓它璀璨地反射出“真理之陽”的光芒。 (阿博都巴哈)

For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule. (Dhammapada 1:5)

無論到何時,恨不能止恨。唯愛能止恨,此為亙古法。 (法句經 1: 5)

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Matthew 22:37)

你要盡心、 盡性、 盡意愛主─ 你的神。 這是誡命中的第一, 且是最大的。(馬可福音22:37)

All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him. (Dhammapada 1:1-2)

一切我所是,皆出我所念;皆出於我意,皆生於我想。

言行隨惡念,痛苦必隨之,如牛拉大車,車輪隨牛蹄。

一切我所是,皆出我所念;皆出於我意,皆生於我想。

言行隨善念,福樂必隨之,如影隨其形,永遠不分離。

(法句經 1 : 1-2)

Summary 簡結:

* What is in our mind is the reflection of the condition of the rational soul. By observing our mind it can help us become aware of the condition of our soul, whether turned toward the world or to the Kingdom of God.

心念是精神品質的展現,要時時觀照心念,才能知道心智的品質。

* The heart is an instrument for reflection. Reality can be reflected through the heart and be seen.

心是上帝之光的接收者,心若轉向上帝,就會被上帝啟示所環繞。心是接收者。

* Heart is a mirror that can be oriented in a particular direction. Our mind can be oriented in a particular direction also, either to the world or the world to come (Kingdom of God).

心是個可以轉動方向的鏡子,人的意識心可以主導其要面向的方向。

* It is not easy to stop hatred and to love. So God tells us we need to live with all our heart, soul and mind to find His love and make things happen.

恨轉為愛並不容易,所以神說要盡心、盡性、盡意。

* The reflection of God’s light is from our heart, our mind analyzes things and gives them meaning. The Buddha said the Dharma can’t be told, Dharma is in the heart, reflected through heart. The Dharma that is spoken is for a particular person to hear, in a way that is meaningful to that person.

心只能映射、如實反照實相,我們的心念都是意識心。一開始用語言,就不知不覺的用分別的字語了,實相一用心念去表達時,就落入了意識心。所以佛說法是「方便法」,是相對於聽者而去解釋的。佛又說祂「無法可說」,法在心中,映射在心鏡上。

Question問題:

* If our heart is a mirror that reflects reality, then what is in our mind?

若心只是映射實相的鏡體,那麼我們種種的念頭是什麼?

* Can we tell if our emotion is from our heart or mind? Can we change how we feel in our heart through our mind?

情緒是心還是意識心呢?心的感覺可以用意識心去改變嗎?

Inner observation 內觀:

* Observe what is in our mind, and what reflects in our heart. Is it the attachment of the world? Avarice, envy, self-desire? Or it is sincerity, justice, humility, severance, and love?

觀照我們的心念是什麼?這是現在心的映射嗎?那是對塵世的執著嗎? 貪婪、嫉妒、私欲? 還是它是真誠、公正、謙卑、超脫、愛呢?

* The heart is like a body of water, it can reflect. The mind is like the waves on the surface of a water body. Waves distort the reflection. So we can observe our heart and see if it is calm. Also we can observe our mind and see if it is surging like waves.

心是水體,它只是映射實相的體,意識心是波浪、它讓水面波濤洶湧,看不清水體所映射的。所以觀照心時,可以看看心這水體是平靜的嗎?有波濤嗎?

堅忍的生命力 Persevering Vitality

Seeking God and being a volunteer at a senior center helped me to look at life in a different way, life switches between easy and difficult. Sometimes life is full of enjoyment, sometimes it is a challenge. A sick and homeless person, a sick, lonely old person, a family fighting with cancer in a family member, a single mom looking for a stable job to support her family, an kind person who is oppressed but still nice to who the people who oppressed him/her… They all have something in a common, which is that they show vitality through the difficulties of life. God knows the benefits that these challenges bring to us.

親近神、做志工讓我重新看待生命~生命總在難與易間交替。有時生命是一種享受,有時是挑戰。一個生病又露宿街頭的遊民,獨居又帶病痛的老人,與癌症病魔纏鬥的兒童、壯年或老年朋友的家庭,為養家糊口在找一份安定工作的單親媽媽,被壓迫卻仍努力善待壓迫他的善士⋯這些困難面對相似的考驗,展現靈性生命力的考驗。真主知道那考驗對我們的利益。

Vitality is shown through tests. A seed needs to break its shell to germinate, roots need to break through compact soil to stabilize, A butterfly needs to break the cocoon to show its beauty, … the former part of life needs to die in order become a new life. This is the same as the spirit of life in mankind. It is like a tree that needs to penetrate the hard soil to establish its roots. It needs to go through seasons of change to renew. Part of the tree is gone at the end of every autumn and it is renewed again in the new spring season. This process continues until the tree becomes mature and full of fruits. The spirit of life grows when we see the old self die after every challenge and the new self born when it breaks through. This is how our soul, the eternal life, grows.

生命力總是在考驗中顯得堅韌,種子要破殼才能發芽,根要進入紮實的土層才能穩固,蝴蝶要破繭而出… 讓舊的部分死去,取而代之的是一個新生命。人的靈性生命之樹亦然,在一次次生命的歷練中往下扎根,在一次次更新的季節中更生與復甦,讓舊的自我死去,更高層的自我就能展現,直至長成參天大樹。

艾布·伯克爾生病後,有人去探望他,對他說:“我們為你請一位大夫吧?”艾布·伯克爾回答說:“大夫(暗指真主)已經看了我。 ”眾人問:“大夫是怎麼說的?”艾布·伯克爾回答說:“大夫說:我要做我想做之事。”

Umar said: ” We have found that the best life is that which is accompanied by patience.” He also said: “The best life that we can experience is that of patience, and if patience were a man, he would be most generous.”

歐麥爾說:“我們發現最好的生活中總是伴隨著堅忍。”他還說:“我們經歷過的最好生活是忍耐的生活。如果忍耐是一個人,那他必定是個君子。”

Ali said: “Truly, patience is to faith as the head is to the body. If the head is severed, the body becomes wasted.” Then, he raised his voice and said: ” Verily, there is no faith in the man who has no patience.” He also said: “Patience is a mount that does not stumble or trip.”

阿里說:“真的,耐心屬於信仰,就像大腦屬於身體。如果頭腦斷裂,身體也就毀了。”然後,他提高聲音說:“真的,一個人若沒有了忍耐力,也就沒有了信仰。”他還說:“堅忍是一匹不會絆跤的坐騎。”

Al-Hasan said: “Patience is a treasure from the treasures of goodness, a treasure that God does not give away except to a servant (of His) whom He regards as being worthy.”

哈桑說:“忍耐是來自美德寶庫裡的一個寶物,真主只將它施與他的慷慨的奴僕。 ”

Umar ibn Abdul Aziz said: “Whenever Allah gives a blessing to one of His servants and then removes it from him and supplants it with patience, then that which replaces is invariably better than that which is being replaced.”

歐麥爾·本·阿齊茲說:“只要真主賜福於僕人一件恩典,然後將之從僕人身上移走,真主就會以堅忍取而代之,或者給他賞賜比失去的更好的。 ”

Sulayman ibn al-Qaasim said: “The reward for every deed other than patience is known.” God, the Exalted, said: “Only those who are patient shall receive their rewards in full, without reckoning. (Qur’an 39:10)”

蘇萊曼·本·戛西姆說:“一切工作的獎賞都會眾所周知,堅韌雖然也是一件賞賜,但往往不為人知。 ” 清高偉大的真主說:”惟有堅忍的人得享受安全的無量的報酬。(古蘭經 39:10)”

Robert Louis Stevenson said: “Every person is capable of performing his daily tasks, no matter how difficult they are, and every person is capable of living happily during his day until the sun sets: and this is the meaning of life.”

羅伯特·羅絲·史蒂芬森說:“每個人都有能力做好每天的工作,不管那些工作有多難;每個人都有能力快樂度過每一天,而這正是生命的真諦。”

O SON OF BEING! Thy Paradise is My love. Put thy hand into My bosom, that I may rise above thee, raidant and resplendent. Ascend unto My heaven, that thou mayest obtain the joy of reunion, and from the chalice of imperishable glory quaff the peerless wine. My eternity is My creation, I have created it for three. Enter therein and tarry not. (Bahá’u’lláh)

生命之子啊! 你的樂園是我的愛。把你的手放在我的胸前,使我能光明而燦爛地在你之上興起。昇上我的天堂,使你能獲得重聚的欣悅,並從永恆榮耀之聖杯裡啜飲無盡甘美的醇醴。我的永恆乃是我的創造,而我為你創造了它。進來吧,別在遲疑。 (巴哈歐拉)

Inner life with Inner observation (1) 內在生活與內觀 1

Title: Soul 人性靈

Question Discused: Can we learn about our soul? And How?

探討問題: 我們可以認識靈魂嗎? 如何去認識?

So the other human realities are souls, which, like the moon, acquire their light from the sun, but that sanctified Reality is luminous in and of itself. (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions)

「靈魂是人類的實在之一,就像月亮一樣,它從太陽獲取光,但那(靈魂)神聖化的本質是光明的。 」(阿博都巴哈)

The connection of the spirit with the body is like that of the sun with the mirror. ……the spirit with the utmost greatness rules in the world of the body; and its power and influence, like the bounty of the sun in the mirror, are apparent and visible. But when the mirror becomes dusty or breaks, it will cease to reflect the rays of the sun. (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions 61)

「靈與肉體的關係就像太陽與鏡子的關係。……靈在肉體世界裡起著至為偉大的主宰作用;其力量和影響就像鏡中太陽的光芒一樣明顯可見。但是當明鏡蒙塵或破損時,它就不會反射陽光了。」(阿博都巴哈,已答之問61)

When these souls are delivered from the darkness of these vices through the light of faith, when they are illumined by the rays of the Sun of Truth and endowed with every human virtue, they reckon this as the greatest reward and regard it as the true paradise. (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions 60)

「當人性靈通過信仰之光從這些罪惡的深淵裡被解救出來,並藉著真理之陽的光輝而變得明達,藉著一切美德而變得高尚的時候,他們便把這當作了最大的獎賞,也明白了這才是真正的極樂之園。」 (阿博都巴哈,已答之問60)

When a soul has in it the life of the spirit, then does it bring forth good fruit and become a divine tree….

「一旦靈魂擁有了精神的生命,它就會結出豐碩之果,從而成為一棵神聖之樹……」

If the human spirit will rejoice and be attracted to the Kingdom of God, if the inner sight becomes opened, and the spiritual hearing strengthened, and the spiritual feelings predominant, he will see the immortality of the spirit as clearly as he sees the sun, and the glad tidings and signs of God will encompass him. (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions 60)

「如果人性靈滿懷喜悅地為上帝王國所吸引,如果內在的視覺洞開,靈性的聽覺加強,靈性感覺敏銳的話,他便會見到靈之不滅,猶如見到太陽一樣明了,而上帝的表徵和喜訊就會將他環繞包圍。」(阿博都巴哈,已答之問60)

Summarize 簡結:

  • A moon needs the light from the sun in order to shine. A human soul needs the light from the Sun of Truth to shine that light in Creation. To learn about the light from our soul, first we need to turn our soul to the Sun of Truth. Then, through inner observation to eliminate idle fancy and vain imagination which blocks the light from our soul, our body can reflect the energy and the good qualities from soul. This makes a healthier body and produces good deeds. ── 月亮要有太陽的光輝才能看見光明,靈魂要接受聖陽光輝的照耀,才能反射靈魂的光輝。認識自身靈魂的光輝,首先要轉向真理之陽。然後,藉由內觀去認識遮蔽靈魂光輝的妄想妄念,學習放下意識心的妄想妄念,這樣靈魂的本來特質就能展現在良善的心思意念與言行舉止,維持肉體生命的能量也不會被阻礙。
  • From the spiritual qualities it shows we can see the condition of the soul. The spiritual qualities are the refection of our inner condition. ── 從靈性品質,我們可以認識靈魂健康的狀態 ,靈性品質是內在靈魂狀態的外顯。
  • The purpose of spiritual practice in cultivating our inner life is to learn about our own nature, our human soul. Inner observation is a method for us to draw our attention away from the world outside to our inner self, to promote our spiritual senses, to open our spiritural insight and to strengthen our spiritural hearing. In this way we can be attracted to the Kingdom of God. The purpose is to perceive the immortality of the human soul with insight and let our soul be encompassed by the glad tidings and signs of God. 內在生活是為了認識自己的靈魂,內觀是藉著覺知的訓練,去加強內在視覺與聽覺的能力,提高靈性感覺的敏銳度。靈性敏銳度的提升,可以幫助我們被上帝王國所吸引,最終目標是看見自己靈魂的不朽,並使靈魂被上帝的表徵和喜訊所環繞包圍。

Inner-observation 內觀:

What we practice in meditation is observing the sensations of our body and the feeling of our heart. We start with the awareness of ourselves inside, instead of focusing our mind outward. We start building this awareness while we sit in meditation. Hopefully, we can gradually have this awareness in all conditions of our daily life.

今天我們練習觀身體感覺與心的感受,把時時在注意外面事情的心轉向注意內在的狀況覺知。在靜坐中練習覺知,希望覺知能漸漸養成習慣,漸漸能在日常生活中也時時有覺知。

心靈瑜珈 Yoga in spirit

在瑜珈教室,我們在動作裡,觀照我們的心,藉由提高動作的挑戰性,來訓練肌肉與我們不放棄的心,藉以提升到更深一層的身、心平衡。這種練習,可以幫助我們在身體限制上的超越。
The physical challenges we face when we are doing yoga exercise relate to our muscles and mind. By learning to have awareness of our body and mind in yoga class, with each challenge we practice deeper levels of balance of our body and mind. This kind of practice can also help us overcome limitations of our physical abilities.

在社會教室,我們在與人互動中觀照我們的心,在人際關係的挑戰中,來鍛練我們靈魂的「肌肉」(靈性生命的韌性)與不放棄改善人際關係的心,如此可達到更上一層的心、靈平衡。不同身體部位的肌肉,我們給那肌肉一個名稱;不同靈魂的肌肉,我們給它一個靈性品質的名稱(譬如善良、誠實、慈悲等等⋯)。這種對靈魂「肌肉」的鍛鍊,可以使靈魂(靈性生命)更強韌與茁壯。

When we face challenges in our relationships it can help us exercise the balance of spirit and mind. By awareness of the feelings of our heart and mind while we interact with people, we can overcome bad feelings, change our heart and improve the relationships we have with others and achieve a balance of the mind and spirit. The muscles in different parts of body have names. Our spiritual muscles related to different characteristic are called virtues. As we seek to improve challenging relationships we practice deeper levels of balance of spirit (heart) and mind. This kind of practice can also help us free our mind and spirit.

身體的健康在身體的感覺裡,心靈的健康在「心」的感受裡。身體的感受只能用幾個形容詞及程度來描述,「心」有很多種感受,但不一定每種感受都可以被恰當地表達。

The wellness of the body can be sensed when our body feels good. The wellness of our soul is sensed in the feelings of the heart. We can express the sensations of body in a few words with different degrees. The feelings of our heart often can’t be verbalized.

肌肉疼痛是身體狀況的警訊,負面情緒是「靈魂(靈性生命)」狀況的徵兆。藉著瑜珈,可練習調整身、心的平衡;藉著祈禱與默思(meditation),可以練習調整心、靈的平衡。養成運動的習慣可以維持及改善身體的狀況,養成轉念活在正念的習慣可以改善靈魂(靈性生命)的狀態。

Pain in our muscles is a warning sign for our body’s wellness. Negative emotion is a warning sign for the wellness of the mind, and the condition of the human soul. Through yoga movements we practice the balance of body and mind. Through prayer and meditation we practice the balance of mind and spirit. With development of an exercise habit we can maintain and improve the condition of the body. With exercise of mindfulness we can maintain and improve the condition of the soul.

身、心平衡的練習,在瑜珈或動中禪中去練習,藉著同時觀照身、心,依身體狀況去調整心的狀態或藉由調心來調身,以達到身、心的平衡。心、靈平衡的練習,在祈禱默思或遇緣對境中,藉著同時觀照心的感受與心念,然後由調整心念去改變心的感受,以找到心、靈的平衡。靈魂狀態表現在心念與「心」對事情的感受裡,就像身體狀態表現在身體的感覺與心對身體的感受中。
The balance of body and mind is maintained with yoga practice and moving meditation. With awareness of both body and mind, we can adjust the condition of each to lead to a balance. The same is true with the balance of mind and spirit. Awareness of the feelings of the heart and the mind can help us adjust the way we look at things or perceive things and lead to a balance. The essence of the human soul is invisible, but can be observed through the feelings of our heart and the condition of our mind.

心靈瑜伽可以在靜坐默思(meditation )中練習,與人互動的人際關係中,更是心靈瑜珈練習的場所,心靈瑜珈要在我們每天的生活中、那挑戰的人際關係中去練習,關係的改善與情緒的減少是心靈健康改善的指標,也是內在生命成長的象徵。
We can practice yoga in spirit with meditation. But the real practice of yoga in spirit is in our daily life when we interact with people in challenging relationships. The improvement of a relationship and the reduction of emotion is the indicator of the improvement of wellness of mind and soul. It’s also the sign of the growth of inner life.

服務人群、服侍於上帝聖道,是最好的身、心、靈平衡練習。因為那需要超越身體的安逸,這是身、心平衡的練習;在服務中追求神的愛與榮耀神,就能愈來愈有喜樂泉湧,這是心、靈的平衡。心是關鍵、是主宰,若我們能駕馭心,成為「心」的主宰,那麼身心靈就能合而為一。這種內外一致的真「真誠」,那是真正的做自己。
To serve people and serve the Cause of God is the best way to practice the balance of body, mind, and spirit. In order to not overemphasize bodily comfort and be able to serve, we practice the balance of body and mind. In order to glorify God in love and joy, we practice the balance of mind and spirit. Our mind controls what we do, so if we can practice to be the master of our own mind, then the balance of body, mind, and soul can be achieved. Our inner and outer being will become one. Then, the true self can be found and we can truly live as we were created.

靈裡的禱告 Pray in spirit

prayer

榮光之子啊! 除了我,忘記一切並與我靈交。這乃是我誡命的精華,轉向它吧。(巴哈歐拉,隱言經16)

O Son of Light! Forget all save Me and commune with My spirit. This is of the essence of My command, therefore turn unto it. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words 16)

靈裡的禱告是忘掉一切想法和外面的環境,而顧到的是裏面的感受。譬如碰到困難時,帶著事情來到神面前祈求神幫助,我們顧慮的就是(外面的)事情,而不是(裏面的)感受,這是心思的禱告。若我們帶著的是感受來祈禱,我們在神面前面對的是自己的軟弱(害怕或擔心的感受),我們祈求的自然是克服軟弱的力量,我們專注的是在靈裡倚靠神,不斷在軟弱中交託,藉著倚靠神的力量來度過心思帶來的暴風雨。進入靈裡,看見的與面對的是感受,不再是事情。

Praying in spirit requires us to forget the world outside and the ideas in our mind. The important thing is the feeling of our heart. For example, when we have difficulty, when we bring our concerns to God and ask for help with them. What we care about are those concerns, not our inner feelings. This is praying with the mind. If we bring our feelings to God, what we are facing is the weakness of our soul, what we pray for is the strength to overcome our own fear and worry. Our attention will be more focused on submission and rely on God in spirit. When we pray in spirit, we only face our feelings, not the situation around us.

用心思的禱告是有期望的,靈並不能得釋放。在心的感受裡的禱告,是交託與倚靠的,如此才能得著靈的釋放。心的綑綁要在禱告時交託,靈得著釋放就能更倚靠神,也就是更親近神。與神有交流的祈禱,是需要先釋放靈,才能在禱告中有聖靈來的感動,心也才能在靈裡得安息。

Praying with the mind usually comes with expectations. This can’t release our spirit and set our soul free. Prayer in our heart, through submission and rely on God sets our soul free. Removing the bondage from our mind opens our heart to connect to God. When the channel opens we can feel the flow of love and power from the Holy Spirit. This is the way to get close to God. When we release our spirit and let the Holy Spirit flow through our soul, then we can feel that our heart has been touched by God. Then our heart can rest in the spirit. This is the prayer to eternity.

人子啊! 你是我的國土,而我的國土永不滅亡,你為什麼還怕滅亡呢? 你是我的(榮)光,而我的(榮)光永不熄滅,你為什麼還怕熄滅呢? 你是我的榮耀,而我的榮耀永不凋謝;你是我的袍服,而我的袍服永不破蔽。安住在你對我的愛裡,你便能在(榮)光之境中見到我。(巴哈歐拉,隱言經14)

O Son of Man! Thou art My dominion and My dominion perisheth not; wherefore fearest thou thy perishing? Thou art My light and My light shall never be extinguished; why dost thou dread extinction? Thou art My glory and My glory fadeth not; thou art My robe and My robe shall never be outworn. Abide then in thy love for Me, that thou mayest find Me in the realm of glory. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words 14)

Spiritual mind set


靈性觀照Spiritual mind set

量子物理的研究我們知道,光既是粒子,也是波動。科學家發現,當觀察者的實驗的設置針對觀察粒子而設置時,所觀察到的就只是粒子特質;當實驗設置是針對觀察波動的時,所觀察的就是波動的特質。科學家發現,這是創造界的complimentary 互補特質,但因為人選擇觀察的角度,而有了觀察的效應(observer effect )。我發現,這特質也同樣反映在我們看事情上。

As we know, quantum science discovered that light is a particle and also a wave. Science discovered that when an experiment set up for particle observing, what they observe is only particle behavior. When the experiment set up for wave observing, what they observe is waves. What they observe is due to the observer effect, or what they choose to observe. This complementarity is one of the characteristics of quantum physics. What I discovered is this “complementarity” also reflects on how we see things in our daily life. 

譬如說,我們會看見人種種的行為特質,這就好像觀察粒子的特質。環境的影響,如果大家都只看問題,我們也就不知不覺專挑人的問題。事情的實相有另一面,那是我們的靈性,靈性特質在能量場就好像光的波動特質,它相互影響,它也有情緒的波動。我們可以怎麼樣觀察靈性的波動呢?如果我們去思考行為背後的原因,那行為在表達什麼?他的需求是什麼?他的擔心害怕是什麼?行為與心靈狀態就像粒子與波動的互補性,它們是一體的兩面,追求身心靈和諧,這兩面必須兼顧。看見心靈的狀態就好像看見波動的狀態,粒子運動的特質(行為)與波動是有關聯的,所以改變行為要去調整心波動的狀態,這是人人要去調整的,如此才能有平衡。

For example, when we look at the behavior of individual people, it is like the particle characteristic, and we tend to see the imperfections of others. Like the complementary reality of light, we also have the other aspect of the “waves” of light, which is our spiritual reality. Our spiritual reality has a similar characteristic to a wave, since we affect each other in the energy field and our emotions fluctuate like the different frequency and amplitude of waves. How can we observe our spiritual reality as a “wave” in our daily life? We can try to think about the meaning and try to understand what people try to express beneath their surface behavior. Or we can try to understand what the person needs. What is the fear caused by uncertainty he expresses? When we see the condition of the mind it will help us understand the “wave” characteristic of ourselves and others. Individual behavior (particle) and emotion energy (wave) are complementary aspects of the human reality, one is the body and the other is spirit. By observe both, we can learn more bout how they relate to each other. And learn to change behavior by changing the characteristics of the wave. This is the way to achieve balance. 

我們是肉體的(粒子組成的,個體的)也是靈性的(波動的、會相互影響的),若我們只活在物質的滿足,這是活在物質的三度空間世界裡,我們觀察的就是粒子的行為。若訓練心智活在靈性裡,就要訓練四度空間能量波動的思維,去思考並看見情緒波動與現象,也去探討行為與靈性的關聯性,學習「調整靈性的能量波動去改變個體行為」的方法,這是更完整的認識身心靈實相。粒子的行為無法單獨去改變運動狀態,認識波動的現象才能達到真正的改變,才能恢復整體的和諧。這是量子物理中的一個特質,也是神在告訴我們的智慧,這是上帝的教導。人們說:「我們已聽夠了問題,我們需要的是解決之道。」解決之道在於認識自己的靈性那波動特質,調整波動去做和諧的共振,而非負面的波動振盪。

若我們追求認識神及神聖啟迪,那我們就會進入第五維度,我們所能認識的是天國的知識,這是更高層次的創造界實相認識。維度是超乎空間的,若我們把它視為是一種心智的擴張,讓更高靈性層次的資訊被我們的心量所包含,視為是對創造實相更多的認識,那麼我們心量的擴大,就是進入那更高層次維度的方式。上帝知識是無限的,真理是廣大浩瀚的。提升知識認知的維度就是更多對上帝的認識,這是另一種可以想像的維度概念。

We have two types of life. If we only live in the material world, we only gain three dimensional information. We need to train our mind to see the meaning of the spirit. This expansion of the mind is like gaining the information of another dimension. By practice of awareness of the spiritual energy flow and understanding the meaning of it, we expand our living into a fourth dimension. Furthermore, if we learn about God and seek divine assistance from the spiritual realm above through prayer and meditation, we expand our mind even more. We start learn to live the fifth dimension. The forth and fifth dimensions are beyond our five senses, but they are in our heart. We can train our mind to orient our heart to the Divine, the mystery is in the human heart. This is God’s teaching. 

人們的心,是滿懷慈悲者上帝啟示環繞的中心,⋯⋯“天和地均不足以包含我,惟有相信我、堅守我的聖道者的心才能包含我。”人心是上帝靈光的接受者,是滿懷慈悲者啟示的寶座,然而,人心卻往往迷途而遠離了祂,那靈光之源,那啟示之泉。 (巴哈歐拉聖文選粹93)

The heart is the throne, in which the Revelation of God the All-Merciful is centered, is attested by the holy utterances which We have formerly revealed. ⋯⋯“Earth and heaven cannot contain Me; what can alone contain Me is the heart of him that believeth in Me, and is faithful to My Cause.” How often hath the human heart, which is the recipient of the light of God and the seat of the revelation of the All-Merciful, erred from Him Who is the Source of that light and the Well Spring of that revelation. (Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, 93)


Why does man need to seek the truth

dawning1

Life has two types: the life of the body and the spirit of life. The body belongs to nature. It follows the natural laws. It is contingent. The spirit of life belongs to the super natural. It follows the Word of God. It is eternal. The body is sustained by the sun and other objects are produced from the effect of the sun. In the same way, the spirit of life is sustained by the Sun of Truth, that is, the Word of God, Who is the Manifestation of God. The Manifestation of God is the Sun in the spiritual realm. They are the center and the light of the spiritual realm. There is only one sun in our visible world. Also, there is only one Sun of Truth in the spiritual world. The many Manifestations of God are the Suns that have risen during different times and in different locations.

生命有兩種:肉體與靈性生命。肉體屬於自然,它遵循自然定律、因果定律。靈性生命屬超自然,它依循真理(上帝之道),屬於永恆、非因果。肉體的生命以太陽為中心,它為太陽的種種產物所滋養;靈性生命以聖陽為中心,它為聖陽的種種效應所培育。上帝顯聖者是靈性天空的聖陽。祂們是靈性天空的中心與光源。太陽只有一個,聖陽也只有一個,諸先知與顯聖者是在不同時間與地點升起的聖陽。祂們名稱雖不同,卻代表著同一個聖陽。

Without the sun, man can’t live. Without the Sun of Truth the spirit of life lives in darkness. These are the two realities of life in a man. A man needs both the sun in the material world and the Sun of Truth in the spiritual world to live.

沒有太陽,人不能活;沒有聖陽,靈性生命就活在黑暗,這是人類的兩種生命實相。肉體要有太陽光的作用才有生命;靈性生命也要有聖陽的作用才能富有生命。

From yoga perspective to look at the spiritual practice

Spiritual practice with Yoga

My sister is a yoga teacher. Since she became a teacher, I have been exposed to the concepts of energy and yoga movements. According to yogic philosophy, chakras are centers in the body that regulate the flow of energy through us. If we understand how our emotions are related to the energy released from the chakras, we can see the potential to take responsibility for how the energy is released and we can be a positive influence on the world around us. In many ways, the practice of yoga has the same concept and approach as spiritual practice, although one is for the wellbeing of the body and the other for spiritual wellbeing.

The spiritual world is like unto the phenomenal world. They are the exact counterpart of each other. Whatever objects appear in this world of existence are the outer pictures of the world of heaven.  (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 10)

For example: Our breath comes into the body and it must go out. The energy from the Universe is just like the air we breathe to sustain our spirit, the energy comes into our body and it has to go out too. We “breath energy” from the crown chakra, and it through the other six chakras (third eye chakra, throat chakra, heart chakra, solar plexus chakra, sacral chakra and root chakra) and then it reverses direction to flow out of our body like breathing. When air goes into the body, the cells use the oxygen and it is exhaled out as carbon dioxide. With the energy that enters our body, our mental activity transforms it into love energy or fear energy. The “exhalation” of that energy may appear as “good breath” or “bad breath”. The love energy is just like good breath and the fear energy is like a bad breath of energy. With each breath we feel our physical condition, ease or difficulty, delight or pain. With every “breath” of energy we experience spiritual feelings, sadness or joy, anxiety or relaxing, and all kinds of emotion. When our body is sick, we feel the pain in different parts of our body while we breathe; when our soul is sick, we feel the emotional fluctuation and an uncomfortable burdensome feeling. Awareness of the body’s condition helps us find the locations of pain, and through adjusting our posture we can release the muscle pain. Awareness of our feelings and emotions helps us locate the causes of spiritual pain, such as unsatisfied desire or fears. By adjusting our mindset and attitude we can release these emotions and find the peace within. These two aspects of development, physical and spiritual, can be thought of as two wings of a bird, which must be equally developed for the bird to fly:

Man has two powers; and his development, two aspects. One power is connected with the material world, and by it he is capable of material advancement. The other power is spiritual, and through its development his inner, potential nature is awakened. These powers are like two wings. Both must be developed, for flight is impossible with one wing. (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.60)

In yoga, we work out our muscles. In spiritual practice, we “work out” our virtues. Virtues are our spiritual muscles. By adjusting our breathing, we find the balance of air flow within the movements of the body. By receiving the breath of the Holy Spirit, we find the balance of energy flows and mindfulness. For the wellbeing of the body we need to pay attention to every muscle. For the wellbeing of the soul we need to pay attention to every emotion and connect to the virtues which we need to develop. Bodily sensation comes through our nervous system, spiritual sensation is in the perception of emotion and susceptibility. Awareness of both bodily sensation and spiritual sensation is needed for the true yoga practitioner. It requires focus of the mind, awareness of the body and spiritual condition in daily life.

With yoga, according our needs, we can choose the movements and posture which help the muscles we try to strengthen. In spiritual practice, we can contemplate difficult situations in life and cultivate the virtues we try to develop. A physical workout needs effort and commitment, spiritual practice needs effort and commitment too. With one posture in yoga we might exercise several muscles at the same time. With one life experience we might expose several virtues we need to develop. Sometimes we choose yoga postures to focus work on particular muscles. Also in our spiritual practice, we can focus on developing one particular virtue at a time. When we suffer from body pain, acceptance can lead to a better healing process. When we suffer from pain caused by our emotions, acceptance can lead to mindfulness and brings spiritual inspiration for us to solve our problems.  The body needs time to heal and the spirit needs time to strengthen. When we rely on God and trust God, over time we will see both the mind and body be healed by God’s power.  Patience and endurance while facing a challenge is needed, just like when we hold a position for a long time while we practice yoga. One is for strengthening virtues and one is for strengthening muscles.

In yoga, we can inhale slowly, hold our breath, exhale slowly or have different patterns of breathing for us to observe the sensations of our muscles. In spiritual practice, we can exercise the ability to change our mindset step by step in order to observe how the energy changes and how the emotions dissolve. Through breathing techniques, we experiment with how it affects our movement. We become skillful at strengthening muscles by using breathing techniques. Through adjusting our mindset and attitude we can experiment with how it affects the type of energy released and connection to the emotions and susceptibilities we have. Emotion or susceptibility of our heart is the spiritual sensation. Observing muscles or observing emotions (connected to the virtues) are similar techniques, one is felt by the body senses and the other is feel by spiritual perception. Perception is our spiritual sense.

In yoga, we can open our chest with a certain posture. It helps us open our heart chakra. Similarly, we can open our heart by remembering God, loving God and trusting God, which is faith in God. By adjusting our posture, we move between the spots of muscles we want to work out. By adjusting our attitude toward God in different situations, we move between the types of virtue we need to work on. Our attitude toward God is our spiritual posture. We open our heart by knowing more about God, trusting God and relying on God. Relying on God helps us lay our burden on Him and trusting God help us put down our fear and submerge into His love. We can only follow and be a good servant of God by trusting Him. Physically, we follow our mind to develop muscles. Spiritually, we follow our heart which leads to the Will of God to develop virtues.

By doing yoga, we develop stronger but more flexible muscles to sustain our physical needs in our daily life. By spiritual practice, we develop stronger virtues but a more softened heart to sustain our spiritual need in every challenge we encounter and be more caring of others. Physical strength shows in muscle strength, spirit strength shows in the perfection of virtues we develop. With a strong body, we enjoy the delights of movement and physical freedom. With a strong human soul, we are freed from the constraints of our physical nature rejoice in spiritual freedom. With both physical and spiritual freedom, we reach harmony of body, mind and soul. The movements of yoga might bring us into the harmony of body and mind. But in order to reach the harmony of mind and soul, we need to have spiritual practice. By practicing both, it leads us to become a true practitioner of yoga, a yogi.

The most vital duty, in this day, is to purify your characters, to correct your manners, and improve your conduct. The beloved of the Merciful must show forth such character and conduct among His creatures, that the fragrance of their holiness may be shed upon the whole world, and may quicken the dead, inasmuch as the purpose of the Manifestation of God and the dawning of the limitless lights of the Invisible is to educate the souls of men, and refine the character of every living man—so that blessed individuals, who have freed themselves from the murk of the animal world, shall rise up with those qualities which are the adornings of the reality of man. (Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha 2.16 )