Translations

The Method Of Ten Recitations With Counting & The Method Of Early Morning’s Ten Recitations 十念记数法与晨朝十念法

摄心妙法
Wonderful Method To Gather Mind

如或犹涌妄波,即用十念记数,则全心力量,施于一声佛号,虽欲起妄,力不暇及。

If perhaps, still [with] rising [of] false [i.e. stray] thoughts [like] waves, then use [the Method Of] Ten Recitations [With] Counting. Thus [with the] entire mind’s power, given to [this] one recitation [of] Buddha’s name, although desiring [to] give rise [to] false [thoughts, the mind’s] power [will be] fully occupied, without time to attend to [them]. 

此摄心念佛之究竟妙法,在昔宏净土者,尚未谈及。

This ultimately wonderful method of gathering [in the] mind [to] recite Buddha[‘s name], in [the] past, [by] those [who] propagate [the] Pure Land [teachings, has] not yet [been] talked about.    

以人根尚利,不须如此,便能归一故耳。

With [those] persons’ roots fairly sharp, [they do] not need this, [to] then [be] able [to] thus unify [their minds as] one.

印光以心难制伏,方识此法之妙。

Yìnguāng, with [his] mind difficult [to] subdue [and control], then recognised [the] wonder [of] this method.

盖屡试屡验,非率尔臆说。

Why not repeatedly try [and] repeatedly examine [this, and] not hastily rely only upon [my] statement?

愿与天下后世钝根者共之,令万修万人去耳。  

May [I], with those [of the] whole world’s later generations [with] dull roots share this, [to] enable, [of] ten thousand cultivators, ten thousand persons [to] go [to Pure Land]. 

十念记数法
Method Of Ten Recitations With Counting

所谓十念记数者,当念佛时,从一句至十句,须念得分明,仍须记得分明。

That so-called [Method Of] Ten Recitations [With] Counting [is], when reciting Buddha[‘s name], from one line reaching ten lines, [there] must [be] reciting [that is] distinct [and] clear, [and there] must still [be] counting [that is] distinct [and] clear. 

[Note 1: This is reciting in this repeated sequence of, ‘(In each breath): ‘Āmítuófó-1, Āmítuófó-2, Āmítuófó-3, Āmítuófó-4, Āmítuófó-5, Āmítuófó-6, Āmítuófó-7, Āmítuófó-8, Āmítuófó-9, Āmítuófó-10.’

This counting is used as a structure for the Buddha’s name to hang on to, to prevent straying off. Ten recitations is used in the structure following Āmítuófó’s 18th Vow which mentioned connecting to him within ten mindful thoughts with (profound) Faith and (sincere) Aspiration. When there is no more straying off, the structure can be dropped. For those able to recite sincerely and continually already, this structure is not needed. In pure recitation, there is just sincere recitation, with no need to count at all.]

至十句已,又须从一句至十句念,不可二十三十。

Reaching ten lines already, [there] again must [be] from one line reaching ten lines reciting. [There] must not [be to] twenty [or] thirty [counted].

随念随记,不可掐珠,唯凭心记。

According [to that] reciting, accordingly counting, [there] must not [be] clutching [of] beads, only relying [on the] mind [to] count.

若十句直记为难,或分为两气,则从一至五,从六至十。

If [of] ten lines directly counting [in one breath is] difficult, perhaps divide as two breaths, thus from one reaching five [lines, then] from six reaching ten [lines]. 

[Note 2: This is reciting in the repeated sequence of, ‘(In the first breath): Āmítuófó-1, Āmítuófó-2, Āmítuófó-3, Āmítuófó-4, Āmítuófó-5. (In the second breath): Āmítuófó-6, Āmítuófó-7, Āmítuófó-8, Āmítuófó-9, Āmítuófó-10.’] 

若又费力,当从一至三,从四至六,从七至十,作三气念。

If [this] also expends great effort, [there] should [be], from one reaching three [lines, then] from four reaching six [lines, then] from seven reaching ten [lines], taking three breaths [when] reciting. 

[Note 3: This is reciting in the repeated sequence of, ‘(In the first breath): Āmítuófó-1, Āmítuófó-2, Āmítuófó-3. (In the second breath): Āmítuófó-4, Āmítuófó-5, Āmítuófó-6. (In the third breath): Āmítuófó-7, Āmítuófó-8, Āmítuófó-9, Āmítuófó-10.’]    

念得清楚,记得清楚,听得清楚,妄念无处著脚,一心不乱,久当自得耳。

[With] reciting clear, counting clear, [and] listening clear, false thoughts [are] without places [to] rest [their] ‘feet’. Wholeheartedness without [being] scattered, over time, will naturally [be] attained.

须知此之十念,与晨朝十念,摄妄则同,用功大异。

[It] must [be] known [that] of these ten recitations, with [the Method Of] Early Morning’s Ten Recitations, [for] gathering [in] false [thoughts, is] thus [the] same [in effect, but in] making [of] effort [with] great difference.

晨朝十念
Method Of Early Morning’s Ten Recitations

晨朝十念,尽一口气为一念。

[In the Method Of] Early Morning’s Ten Recitations, exhausting one breath [is] as one recitation.

不论佛数多少,此以一句佛为一念。

Regardless [of] Buddha[‘s name’s] number [being] many [or] few, this [is] with one line [of] Buddha[‘s name] as one recitation.

彼唯晨朝十念则可,若二十三十,则伤气成病。

That [practised] only [in] early morning [for] ten recitations, [is] thus suitable. If [for] twenty [or] thirty [recitations, this] thus harms [the] vitality [i.e. qì] [to] become sickness.

此则念一句佛,心知一句。

This thus [is with] reciting one line [of] Buddha[‘s name, with the] mind knowing [it as] one line.  

念十句佛,心知十句。

Reciting ten lines [of] Buddha[‘s name, with the] mind knowing [them as] ten lines. 

从一至十,从一至十,纵日念数万,皆如是记。

From one reaching ten [lines], from one reaching ten [lines again], even if [in one] day reciting several tens [of] thousands [of lines], all like this counting.   

不但去妄,最能养神。

Not only ridding false [thoughts, this is] most able [to] rest [the] mind.

随快随慢,了无滞碍。 

Accordingly fast [and] accordingly slow, without obstruction.  

从朝至暮,无不相宜。

From dawn till dusk, [this is] without [when] not suitable.

较彼掐珠记数者,利益天殊。

Comparing that [with] those clutching beads [to] count, [the] benefits [are as] different [as the earth from the] sky.

彼则身劳而神动,此则身逸而心安。 

That thus, [is with the] body toiling and [the] mind moving. This thus, [is with the] body leisurely and [the] mind peaceful.  

但作事时,或难记数,则恳切直念。

However, when doing matters, perhaps difficult [to] count [then], thus sincerely, [directly and] continuously recite.

作事既了,仍复摄心记数。

[With] doing [of] matters then finished, yet again gather [in the] mind [with] counting.

则憧憧往来者,朋从于专注一境之佛号中矣。

Thus, [of] those continuously going [and] coming, friends [can] comply with focused attention upon [the] one realm of [the] Buddha’s name within.   

都摄六根,净念相继
Gather In Six roots With Pure Mindfulness In Continuous Succession

大势至谓「都摄六根,净念相继,得三摩地,斯为第一」。

Great Power Arrived [Bodhisattva] spoke [that to] ‘gather [in the] six roots, [with] pure mindfulness [of the Buddha’s name in] continuous succession, [to] attain Samādhi,this [is] as [the] foremost [method].’  

利根则不须论。

[Of those with] sharp roots, [this does] not need discussion.

若吾辈之钝根,舍此十念记数之法,欲「都摄六根,净念相继」,大难大难。

If [for] us of dull roots, abandoning this Method Of Ten Recitations [With] Counting, [but] desiring [to] ‘gather [in the] six roots, [with] pure mindfulness [of the Buddha’s name in] continuous succession’,[this is the] great difficulty [of] great difficulties.   

又须知此摄心念佛之法,乃即浅即深,即小即大之不思议法。

[It] also must [be] known [that] this method of gathering [the] mind [to] recite Buddha[‘s name, is] indeed at once shallow, at once deep, at once little, at once great, of [an] inconceivable method.

但当仰信佛言,切勿以己见不及,遂生疑惑,致多劫善根,由兹中丧,不能究竟亲获实益,为可哀也。

[You] should only rely [upon] faith [in the] Buddha’s words, [and] must not with [your] own views not up to par, then give rise [to] doubt [and] confusion, leading to many kalpas’ good roots, due [to] this within die, not able [to], in the end, personally obtain true benefits, [which is] as [that] pitiable.   

掐珠
Clutching Of Beads

掐珠念佛,唯宜行住二时。

Clutching beads [when] reciting Buddha[‘s name, is] only suitable [for] walking [and] standing, [these] two times. 

若静坐养神,由手动故,神不能安,久则受病。

If quietly sitting [and] resting [the] mind, due [to the] hand moving thus, [the] mind [will be] not able [to be at] peace, over time thus receiving sickness.

姿势与声量
Postures & Volume

此十念记数,行住坐卧皆无不宜。

[On] this [Method Of] Ten Recitations [With] Counting, [when in postures of] walking, standing, sitting [and] lying down, all [are] without [that] not suitable.

卧时只宜默念,不可出声。

When lying down, [this is] only suitable [for] silent recitation, [as there] must not [be] verbal [recitation]. 

若出声,一则不恭,二则伤气。 

If [with] verbal [recitation], first thus, [is it] not reverent, second thus, [does it] harm vitality. 

净土宗十三祖印光大师
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng  
复高邵麟居士书四 
Fourth Reply Letter To Layperson Gāo Shàolín

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

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[前段]: 如何念佛时断除杂念?  
[Preceding Section]: How To Cut Stray Thoughts During Niànfó? 
https://purelanders.com/2017/04/06/how-to-cut-stray-thoughts-during-nianfo  

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