Translations

Mindfulness Of Buddha Is Able To Conserve Energy And Harmonise Spirits 念佛能养气调神

念佛亦养气调神之法,亦参本来面目之法。

Mindfulness [of] Buddha[‘s name is] also [a] method of conserving energy [and] harmonising [the] spirit, also [a] method of investigating [our] original face.

[Note 1: With it primarily being a mental practice, at most also verbal, mindfulness of Buddha conserves much physical energy. With connection to the Buddha’s blessings, there is recharging of energy too, to be energised to continue diligent practice. Thus, with fruitful practice, one does not become tired, and can even become more energetic than usual. As with wholehearted mindfulness is falling away of stray thoughts, it harmonises the mind too. As it aligns to our Buddha-nature, it also helps us to see our original face.]

何以言之?吾人之心,常时纷乱。

Why [is] it said [so]? Our minds [are] often ‘numerous’ [and] scattered.

[Note 2: This is the opposite of the singular and focused mind.]

若至诚念佛,则一切杂念妄想,悉皆渐见消灭。

If [with] utmost sincerity mindful [of] Buddha, then [are] all mixed [and] deluded thoughts, all gradually seen [to be] eliminated.

[Note 3: The more sincerely mindful one is, the more swiftly will stray thoughts fall away.]

消灭则心归于一,归一则神气自然充畅。

Eliminated then, [with the] mind returning to [be] unified [in oneness], returning [to be] unified then, [is the] spirit [and] energy naturally abundant [and] smooth.

[Note 4: This is the scattered mind being gathered to become focused, thus with the excess physical and mental energy otherwise dissipated by restless activities conserved and topped up.]

汝不知念佛息妄,且试念之,则觉得心中种种妄念皆现。

[If] you [do] not know [that] mindfulness [of] Buddha[‘s name] ceases deluded [thoughts, you should] also try [to be] mindful of [it, to] then feel [that from the] mind within, all kinds [of] deluded thoughts all appear.

[Note 5: This is an invitation to attempt mindfulness of Buddha, to see it that taught here is true.]

若念之久久,自无此种妄念。

If mindful of [Buddha] for a very long time, [you will] naturally [be] without these kinds [of] deluded thoughts.

[Note 6: Practice makes perfect. Again, the more sincere mindfulness of Buddha there is, the less will stray thoughts arise. This is so as the mind can only have one thought in each thought moment. When the thought is the Buddha’s name only, there cannot be another thought in its place. When there is the Buddha’s name from thought to thought, there will be no other thoughts in between. This is how the mind becomes one with the Buddha.]

其最初觉有妄念者,由于念佛之故,方显得心中之妄念,不念佛则不显。

Those [who] first feel [that they] have deluded thoughts, [might think that it is] due to mindfulness [of] Buddha thus, [with it] then, [seemingly] appearing [to have] deluded thoughts within [the] mind, [and when] not mindful [of] Buddha, [with them] then not appearing.

[Note 7: Habitual rising and falling of many stray thoughts that go undetected due to lack of mindfulness in everyday life is thus wrongly blamed upon mindfulness of Buddha, when it is the practice that reveals and eliminates them.]

譬如屋中,清净无尘,窗孔中透进一线日光,其尘不知有多少。

For example, like [a] house within, [seemingly] pure [and] without dust, [when from a] window opening, one ray of sunlight penetrates [to] enter within, it [is] not known how much dust [will be seen].

[Note 8: Our minds are like the house with usually unseen dust, mistaken to be clean, while the ray of light is like the name of the Buddha, that reveals and eliminates the actual dust present.]

屋中之尘,由日光显,心中之妄,由念佛显。

[The] dust of [the] house within, [is] due [to] sunlight [that] appears, [while the] deluded [thoughts in the] mind within, [are] due [to] mindfulness [of] Buddha [that] appear.

[Note 9: It is better to practise eliminating of the dust of stray thoughts now, than to possibly be overwhelmed by them later.]

若常念佛,心自清净。

If often mindful [of] Buddha, [the] mind [will] naturally [become] pure.

[Note 10: The more mindfulness of Buddha there is, the more mindful will one be generally, leading to less arising of stray thoughts, even when not mindful of Buddha.]

净土宗十三祖印光大师
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
《复冯不疚居士书》
(Reply Letter [To] Layperson Féng Bùjiù)

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

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https://purelanders.com/2017/04/06/how-to-cut-stray-thoughts-during-nianfo

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