[Lamrim·Meditation] FOCUSING YOUR MIND P22


(c’)) The length of sessions


  若谓如前以念令心住所缘已,尔时可否分别观察于所缘境持未持耶,答定须观察。 如修次中编云:「如是于随乐所缘安住心已,后即于此等住其心,善等住已,即应于心如是观察,为于所缘心善持耶,为沉没耶,为外散耶。」此非弃舍三摩地已,如是观察,是住定中观其住否根本所缘,若未住者,当观随逐沉掉何转,非才住定时太短促亦非太久。是于中间时时观照。若于前心未尽势力,修此观察,能生心力相续久住,亦能速疾了知沉掉。
  然能时时忆念所缘而修者,心须有力相续运转正念之因,故应修念。如声闻地云: 「云何心一境性,谓数数随念,同分所缘流注无罪适悦相应,令心相续,名三摩地亦名为 善心一境性。何等名为数数随念,谓于正法听闻受持,从师获得教授教诫,以此增上,令其 定地诸相现前,于此所缘正念流注随转安住。辨中边论释云:「言念能不忘境者,谓能 不忘住心教授意言之增语。」故修正念为于所缘灭除忘念,能灭之明记所缘者,谓所缘意言即是数数作意所缘,譬如恐忘所知少义,数数忆念即难失忘。故若时时忆念所缘,是生有力正念所须。于所缘境摄心不散而正观察,是生有力能觉沉掉正知方便。若谓此等皆是分别而遮止者,应知难生有力正念正知。
  第三示修时量。由念令心住所缘境,应住几久有无定量。答西藏各派诸师皆说:「时短数多。」此中因相,有说「时短乐修中止,则于下次爱乐修习,若时长久则觉厌烦。」有说「时久易随沉掉增上而转,则极难生无过正定。声闻地等诸大论中,未见明说修时之量,修次下编云:「由是次第或一正时,或半修时,或一修时,乃至堪能尔时应修。」此是已成奢摩他后,修胜观时所说时量,初修止时想亦同此,应如是行。若能如前修念正知,时时忆念观察所缘,时虽略久亦无过失。然初业者,若时长久多生忘念散乱,尔时其心或沉 或掉,非经久时不能速知,或虽未失念,然亦易随沉掉而转,沉掉生已不能速知。前能障生有力记念,后能障生有力正知,是则沉掉极难断除。尤以忘失所缘不觉沉掉,恶于未忘所缘不能速疾了知沉掉,故为对治散乱失念,修念之法极为重要。若忘念重,正知羸劣,不能速疾了知沉掉则须短小,若不忘念能速了知沉掉之时,长亦无过。故密意云,或一时等,未说定时,总以随心所能,故云:「乃至堪能。」又若身心未生疾病即应安住,有病不应勉强而修,无间放舍除治诸界病难乃修,是诸智者所许,如是修者应知亦是修时支分。

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 Question: While mindfulness fixes your attention on the object of meditation as explained above, is it appropriate to monitor your meditation and think about whether you are holding the object of meditation well?
 Reply: You have to do this, for Kamalasila’s second Stages of Meditation states:
  After you have thus set your attention on whatever your chosen object of meditation may be, fix it there continuously. While you stay right with the object, analyze and investigate your mind, thinking: “Is my mind apprehending the object of meditation well? Or is it lax? Or is it distracted by the appearance of external objects?”

It is not that you stop your concentration and then look at your mind. Rather, while maintaining your state of concentration, you just look to see whether your attention is staying where it was previously set on the primary object of meditation and, if it is not, whether there is laxity or excitement. After you have settled into concentration, you monitor this at moderate intervals, neither too often nor too seldom. If you do this while the intensity and force of the previous awareness are not quite gone, it takes place within the perspective of this awareness. This has the purpose of both enabling long-lasting, intense stability, and letting you quickly recognize laxity and excitement.
 Accordingly, this is how you sustain your mindfulness, for a necessary cause of powerful and continuous mindfulness is sustaining your meditation by repeatedly reminding yourself, at intervals, of the intended object of meditation. Asanga’s Sravaka Levels says:
  In this regard, what is a one-pointed mind? Any continuum of attention that remembers again and again, focuses on a consistently similar object, and is continuous, free of misdeeds, and possessed of delight is called “concentration,” as well as “a one-pointed virtuous mind.”
    What does it remember again and again? You perceive the object of meditation—the characteristic of someone in equipoise—from the viewpoint of any teaching that you have memorized or heard, and upon which you have received instructions and explications from your gurus. You engage and focus on this object with continuous mindfulness.

Also, Sthiramati’s Explanation of the “Separation of the Middle from the Extremes” states:
  The statement “Mindfulness means not forgetting the object of meditation” means that you mentally express the instructions on stabilizing your mind.

Therefore, you maintain mindfulness to stop forgetfulness wherein you stray from the object of meditation. Hence, non-forgetfulness of the object of meditation—wherein forgetfulness is stopped—is when you “mentally express” the object of meditation; you bring the object of meditation to mind again and again. For example, when you are anxious about forgetting something you know, it will be hard to forget if you recall it again and again.
 Thus, you have to remind yourself of the object of meditation at moderate intervals in order to develop strong mindfulness. The way to strengthen your vigilance, which notices laxity and excitement, is to lock your attention on the object of meditation without distraction, and then to monitor it. Realize that if you repudiate such a procedure by thinking, “This is discursiveness,” it will be extremely difficult to develop powerful mindfulness and vigilance.

(c’)) The length of sessions
Question: When you fix your attention on the object of meditation with mindfulness, is there a definite length for the session, such that you say, “I will stabilize my mind on the object only until then”?
 Reply: On this matter, all earlier gurus of the various Tibetan lineages say that you have to do numerous short sessions. Why? Some say that if you meditate in brief sessions and stop when it is going well, you will still be eager to meditate at the end of each session, while if the session is long, you will become weary. Others explain that if the session is long, it is easy to fall under the sway of laxity and excitement, so it is hard to develop flawless concentration. Asanga’s Sravaka Levels and other classic texts do not state the length of sessions clearly. However, Kamalasila’s third Stages of Meditation does say:
  At this stage engage in meditative equipoise for twenty-four minutes, an hour-and-a-half, three hours, or as long as you can.

While this statement occurs in the context of the length of the session for cultivating insight after you have already achieved serenity, it is clearly similar when you are first achieving serenity, so do it this way.
 If you practice the techniques of mindfulness and vigilance explained above—reminding yourself of the object of meditation and monitoring your meditation at moderate intervals—it does not matter if the session is a little long. However, usually one of two things will happen when you are a beginner and have a long session. On the one hand you may become distracted due to forgetfulness. In this case, you will not recognize the occurrence of any laxity or excitement quickly but only after a long period of time. On the other hand, though you may not lose your mindfulness, it is easy to fall under the sway of laxity and excitement, and you will not quickly recognize them when they occur. The first situation hinders the development of strong mindfulness; the latter hinders the development of strong vigilance. Hence, it is very difficult to stop laxity and excitement.
 In particular, failing to recognize laxity and excitement after you have become distracted due to forgetting the object of meditation is much worse than failing to quickly recognize laxity and excitement while not forgetting the object of meditation. So the techniques for maintaining mindfulness—the previously explained remedies which stop the breakdown of mindfulness ensuing from distraction—are very important.
 If you have great forgetfulness ensuing from distraction, as well as vigilance so weak that it does not quickly recognize laxity and excitement, then your session must be short. If it is hard for you to forget the object and you can quickly notice laxity and excitement, it does not matter if the session is a little long. This is the idea behind Kamalasila’s statement above that the duration of a session is indefinite—twenty-four minutes and so forth. In short, since the duration has to comport with your mental capacity, Kamalasila says “as long as you can.”
 If temporary injury to your mind or body does not occur, set your mind in equipoise. If such injury does occur, do not persist in meditating, but immediately stop your session and then clear away the impediments in your mental and physical constituents. Then meditate. This is what the adepts intended, so recognize that doing this is an aspect of how long a meditation session should be.

Lamrim Chenmo Pg53L07-Pg55LL01

References 参考资料:​​
  1. 《菩提道次第廣論》全文下載
  2. The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Tib. Lam rim chen mo) (Volume 3), Shambhala Publications
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