心猿意马(Drifted Thoughts) – English version below

Picture source: Internet

二十多年来,读的励志书不少,有英文的,也有中文的。

尤其是最近这两个月,更是将自己沉浸在冥想、禅坐、修行以及与灵性有关的书籍,一书在手,除了工作以外,就连抽烟也捧着一本书。

我很喜欢百草园公众号许多主播说的一句话:“阅读,是最美的姿态。”

可是,读了那么多书,仍然感觉智慧不曾提升,连知识也没有长进,甚至是写作,也仿佛停滞不前。

有时候会想,究竟这是怎么一回事呢?是我资质愚蠢,领悟能力低,还是我是为读而读,根本什么也读不进去呢?

最为困扰的是,明明许多道理都是那么浅显易懂,可为何就是无法真正地去实行而让自己更加感觉心灵富裕或快乐幸福呢?

那么我读书又为了什么?

有趣的是最近在好几本禅悟的书籍里重复地看到那么一段小小的故事(每本书都略有不同,但禅师的答复都大同小异):

有人问禅师:“禅师,你可有什么与众不同的地方?”

禅师答:“有。”

“是什么呢?”

禅师答:“我感觉饿的时候就吃饭,感觉疲倦的时候就睡觉。”

“这算什么与众不同的地方,每个人都是这样的,有什么区别呢?”

禅师答:“当然是不一样的!”

“为什么不一样呢?”

禅师答:“他们吃饭时总是想着别的事情,不专心吃饭;他们睡觉时总是做梦,睡不安稳。而我吃饭就是吃饭,什么也不想;我睡觉的时候从来不做梦,所以睡得安稳。这就是我与众不同的地方。”

不能说是醍醐灌顶或是当头棒喝,但确实让我忽然之间就思考了一会儿这句话当中的含义。

渐渐地明白(说是明白,但离真正的开悟却又仿佛很远很远)原来一直都不曾真正的专注去做每一件事,包括工作,看书,爱别人,爱自己,甚至于写作,摄影等等等等。哪怕只是简简单单的吃饭睡觉,也无法让一颗心安安静静地享用。

而且这种现象在我打坐冥想的时候越是显得清晰。

为了找到内在的心灵,我开始了学习诵经冥想。每天晚上9点过后,我就会慢慢放松心情,准备诵经冥想。当我闭目诵经的时候,原以为必须记住经文而让自己专注,却经常发现会不由自主地神游海外,思绪总会毫无来由地飘离。尽管口中念念有词,可是心思根本就不在经文上。

佛陀曾说:“生命就是一呼一吸间。”,而坐禅的关键便是清空心中的所思所想,把焦点集中在一呼一吸间。

可是,真的好难办到。

我看书的时候,也时常会出现那种当头棒喝的刹那,然后就任由那份思绪随着刹那顿悟的含义飘离,映入眼帘的每一个字已经无法钻入脑海了。

即便是写作的时候,我也发现许多时候自己竟然是心猿意马的,因此时时碰到无法顺理成章,导致离题的现象。

然而,这个社会似乎又偏偏与“专注”这两个字背道而驰,讲究的是一心多用(multitasking),如何提高工作效率。连电脑也讲究不同程序如何同时操作,越是能够在同一时间辦越多事,越让人“羡慕”或是称赞,没想过其实在无意间降低了质素。

环顾世界的每一家公司,无不是在提倡减少员工,却又要提高生产率,一个人往往担任好几分不同责任的工作,近年来更出现了所谓的“带双帽”(double hatting),即是一个人兼做两个职位的工作,却只拿一个人的薪水,把上班一族弄得筋疲力尽。

若是仔细观察我们的四周,将会发现我并不孤独。在食堂里,往往都可以看到人们吃饭的时候,眼睛依然不离手机,或是与人对话,或是浏览网页,或是追着社交平台的视频或八卦咨询。

咋看似乎是忙里偷闲,或是争取时间做更多的事,但其实却无法把全部的精神放在真正的吃饭上。

当今社会太过五花八门,有太多的诱惑在影响人们能够真正的去往自己内在的心灵探索,因而出现了疲劳,匆忙,不足,抑郁以及焦虑等等症状。

事实上,是我们根本就还没学会如何去吃饭时吃饭,睡觉时睡觉,总是心猿意马。

我想那些伟大的艺术家在他们创作的时候,一定是心无旁骛,才能够将他们心中的那个意念发挥得淋漓尽致,才有许许多多触碰人心的曲子、图画、文章、雕像。因为在他们创作的时候,心里只有心中所想的那个画面……

04.11.2016

文/林顺源

English Version (Sorry for poor command of my English language)

I have been reading self enrichment books for 20 odd years, both in English and Chinese. And for the past 2 months, I have even indulge myself in books about meditation, religious practise and inner-self.

But even so, I do not see any improvement in my knowledge, let alone wisdom and even when it comes to writings about my own thoughts, it seems to have stopped at a certain level. This does trigger my thoughts about my capabilities to grasp concepts or am I just reading for the sake of reading.

And what troubled me most is that many philosophies / concepts are easy to understand but when it comes to practising them, they become humongous tasks, hence preventing me from searching for the inner peace that I have been looking for.

At times, I just wondered: why then am I reading these books when they can’t help me at all?

Interestingly, I have chanced upon the same Zen story in different books recently. It is about a short conversation between a person and a Zen master.

Man: “Zen master, can you tell me are you specially different from commoners?”

Zen Master: “Yes.”

Man: “What’s the difference?”

Zen Master: “When I am hungry, I eat. When I am tired, I sleep.”

Man: “But that’s what everybody is doing, I can’t see any difference.”

Zen Master: “Of course it’s different! Commoners let their thoughts drift while they are eating, and dream while they are sleeping. But for me, when I am eating, I am eating, I think of nothing. When I am sleeping, I don’t dream. That’s the difference.”

When I repeatedly read this story from different books, it was like something that tickled my thoughts and I began to ponder over the statement.

I gradually realised (it will be an overstatement if I say “understand” for truly understanding is still far fetch) that I have not been truly doing everything with full concentration, including work, read, love others, love myself and even penning down my thoughts and photography etc. It is true that even simple things like eating and sleeping, I have not been able to really eat and sleep quietly and peacefully.

And this is most apparent when I was meditating.

For the past one month, I have been calming myself down from 9pm onwards, getting ready for my prayers and meditation. And as I was chanting my prayers with my eyes closed, I thought the chanting would allow me to focus and concentrate (since I need to remember the prayer) but it didn’t happen that way. My thoughts would gradually drift away and even though my mouth was chanting silently, my heart was not on the prayer.

Buddha has once said this: Life is just a matter of breathing in and out…

And meditation is supposed to be focusing on our breathing and clear our minds.

It’s always easier said than done.

The other thing that I noticed is that when I was reading and chanced upon a statement or paragraph that seem to enlighten me at that moment, my thoughts will again drift and whatever words that fall into my eyes are no longer registered in my mind.

Even when I was penning my thoughts, I let me mind ran wild and very often, my essay lost the original meaning which I wanted to write about.

I couldn’t truly concentrate on what I want to do as I begin to realise that we are all taught to be this way subconsciously. The society has been advocating enhancing productivity by multitasking. Even computers are built to run many programs at the same time. And that is what the world is looking out for now. Being able to multi-task has become one of the “strengths” in this world (I could have mis-interpreted the word “multi-tasking”), not realising that it may have increased our productivity, but on the other hand, it has lowered the quality of our work.

Many organisations have been preaching lowering cost but yet maintaining or even enhancing productivity. Workload of the workforce are increasing every day, month and year. And “double hatting” became one of the popular approach, where a person is expected to take on 2 roles with the pay of 1 man, resulting in a tired and weak workforce in the whole society.

When I observe what is happening around me, I came to realise that I am not alone. I could see many people were multi-tasking during lunch time when they are having their lunches. Their eyes were glued to the small smart phone screen, either chatting through messages, surfing or following up on Facebook and social media news.

Almost everyone is trying to “enjoy” themselves while eating, cherishing every second and minute to catch up with their “personal” lives. No one is truly focusing or concentrating on their food and I contribute this to current world that we live in now.

We have all not learned how to eat while we eat and sleep while we sleep. We try to achieve many things at the same time, causing our lifestyle to be so hectic and tiring.

If we are to think deeper, I believe that many famous works in this world (music, art, sculptures etc) are a result of full concentration and focus, when those artistes have had only one thing in their mind when they created their masterpiece.

04.11.2016

Francis Lim

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