Just Being Alive

“To remain stable is to refrain from trying to separate yourself from a pain, because you know that you cannot. Running away from fear is fear, fighting pain is pain, trying to be brave is being scared. If the mind is in pain, the mind is pain. The thinker has no other form than his thought. There is no escape … One can be much less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious, and the same may be said of guilt.”

既然已知疼痛是躲不了的,不如就別再躲了,這樣才能安定身心。你不斷因害怕而逃離,隨身攜帶的仍是害怕。你與疼痛抗拒,感受到的只是變本加厲的疼痛。你試圖變得勇敢,到底還是出於驚懼 …… 人生是無路可逃的,你唯一能做的就是接受焦慮、自責,或其他任何情緒,給它們自由空間跟你共處。

“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. Likewise, if we cling to belief in God, we cannot have faith, since faith is not clinging but letting go, and above all, faith is openness – an act of trust in the unknown.”

信念就是將自己託付給流水。會游泳的人都知道,在水中你必須放鬆,別掙扎,否則只會沉溺。同樣道理,真正有信念的人不是非上帝不信。因為信念並不是緊緊抓住,信念是放手。更重要的是,信念是開放的態度 ── 對未知保持有一份信任。

“You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing. Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. And I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a deep forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to realize that you’re connected with everything.”

你跟宇宙的關係,是一朵浪花與海洋的關係。每個人都是大自然的一份表情,宇宙的一個動作。離群索居的隱士會有這樣的心得: 如果你走進深林,找到一個格外寂靜的地方,你會發現自己跟宇宙一切都緊密相連。

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves. Because your entire education was preparing you for the future, instead of showing you how to be alive now, it has deprived you of the capacity to simply sit back with full contentment and say, ‘Now, I’ve arrived!’ What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the ripples of water, the flickers of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.” 

生活的意義就是活著。 道理是如此平白、明顯、簡單。 然而,世上每個人都憂心忡忡緊追猛趕,好像真有必要超越他們自己似的。你所受的全部教育都要你為未來做各種準備,以致你被剝奪了簡單活著的能力,沒辦法閒坐下來,心滿意足對自己說: “哈,我已經到達了!” 我真正想說的是,你實在無須再做任何事,因為你早已跟樹木、雲朵、波浪、火花、星星、銀河一般非凡,都是大自然的傑作。你身上根本沒有任何地方需要改善。

“To look at life without words is not to lose the ability to form words – to think, remember, and plan. To be silent is not to lose your tongue. On the contrary, it is only through silence that one can discover something new to talk about. One who talked incessantly, without stopping to look and listen, would repeat himself ad nauseam.
It is the same with thinking, which is really silent talking. It is not, by itself, open to the discovery of anything new, for its only novelties are simply arrangements of old words and ideas.”


“We could say that meditation doesn’t have a reason or doesn’t have a purpose. In this respect it’s unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music, we don’t do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music, then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing, we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.”

真正意義上的冥想,既無原因也無目的。從這點上說,它跟我們所做的其他事情都不一樣,除了作曲和跳舞。作曲者不會以最終達到某個音符作為目的,舞蹈者跳舞也不是為了最後要踩到地板上某個點。當我們跳舞時,跳舞本身就是目的; 正如當我們玩樂器時,”玩”的本身就是目的。冥想也一樣,在冥想中我們能發現,此時此刻就是活著的全部。

“What we have forgotten is that thoughts and words are conventions. A convention is a social convenience, such as money. It is absurd to take money too seriously, to confuse it with true wealth. In the same way, thoughts, ideas, and words are just ‘coins’.”


“The transformation of consciousness undertaken in Taoism and Zen is more like the correction of faulty perception or the curing of a disease. It is not an acquisitive process of learning more and more facts, but rather an unlearning of habits and opinions.” 


“A scholar gains every day; a follower of the Buddha loses every day.”

世間的學者每天都有所獲取; 佛的追隨者每天都有所放棄。

~ Alan Watts (艾倫.華茲) ~

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