Excerpts

How To Eliminate Stray Thoughts With Buddha Mindfulness? 如何以佛念除杂念?

‘一切众生,从无始来,在六道中无业不造。若无心修行,反不觉得有此种稀奇古怪之恶念。若发心修行,则此种念头更加多些(此系真妄相形而显,非从前无有,但不显耳)。

‘All sentient beings, from beginninglessness, within the six realms, have no [negative] karma not created. If without the mind to cultivate [Dharma] practice, instead, [they] do not feel that [they] have these kinds of strange and evil thoughts. If giving rise to the aspiration to cultivate practice, thus [might] these kinds of thoughts be even more. (These attachments are truly from false perceptions and forms manifested, not that in the past they are absent, but that they were not obvious.)

此时当想阿弥陀佛在我面前,不敢有一杂念妄想,至诚恳切念佛圣号(或小声念,或默念)。必须字字句句,心里念得清清楚楚,口里念得清清楚楚,耳朵听得清清楚楚。

At this moment, [you] should think that ‘Amituofo (Amita[bha] Buddha) is in front of me’, [thus] not daring to have one stray thought or false thinking, with utmost sincerity and earnestness mindful[ly reciting] the Buddha’s sacred name (be it with low volume reciting, or silently reciting). There must be, with word after word, and line after line, within the mind reciting that is very clear, within the mouth reciting that is very clear, with the ears listening very clearly.

能如此常念,则一切杂念,自然消灭矣。当杂念起时,格外提起全副精神念佛,不许他在我心里作怪。果能如此常念,则意地自然清净。

Able to in this way constantly recite, thus will all stray thoughts, naturally be eliminated. When stray thoughts arise, all the more give rise to complete vigour to be mindful of Buddha[‘s name], not allowing them (stray thoughts to), within my mind create trouble. If able to in this way constantly recite, thus [will the] mind’s ground be naturally [clear and] pure.

当杂念初起时,如一人与万人敌,不可稍有宽纵之心。否则彼作我主,我受彼害矣。若拌命抵抗,彼当随我所转,即所谓转烦恼为菩提也。

When stray thoughts first arise, like one person with ten thousand persons as enemies, [you] must not slightly have the tolerant and undisciplined mind. If not, they [the stray thoughts] will become my master, and I will receive harm from them. If staking one’s life to counteract [with mindfulness of Buddha], they will follow me to be transformed, which is so-called to transform afflictions to bodhi [i.e. awakening].

汝现能常以如来万德洪名极力抵抗,久而久之,心自清净。心清净已,仍旧念不放松,则业障消而智慧开矣。切不可生急躁心。’

You now, are able to, constantly with [Amita(bha)] Tathagata’s great name of ten thousand virtues’ ultimate power counteract [stray thoughts], [and] as time passes, [your] mind will naturally become [clear and] pure. With [your] mind [clear and] pure already, remain the same, with mindfulness not slackened, and thus will karmic obstacles be eliminated and wisdom awaken. Be sure not to give rise to the impatient [or irritable] mind [during practice].’

《印光法师文钞三编卷二》
(复叶福备居士书一)

Dharma Master Yinguang’s Anthology: Volume 3, Scroll 2
(First Reply to Layman Ye Fubei)

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Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!