永不退休的人生

香隆立嘉措仁波切 2020-10-02 07:12:23

        九十五岁的色达堪布是一位令人永难忘怀的长者,他的上半身鲜黄色的僧衣虽然长年未洗充满了皱褶,但你近距离倚靠在他身旁,却隐约可以闻嗅到经由终身持守戒律而散发出来的幽香气息;咧嘴微笑似乎是他留给人们最抢眼的印象,两个眼睛虽然炯炯有神,但你很明显可以感受到温熙喜悦和慈悲的光芒。我要强调更重要的是,他每天会做三到五次的一百零八次大礼拜和绕塔,其余时间他都用来禅修和静坐,在他往生前,弟子曾安排他到印度做健康检查,但令人惊讶的是他除了痔疮和略显贫血以外,居然所有老人的问题都没有,也没有骨质疏松或心血管方面的问题,听力还在正常的范围,眼睛虽有退化但却连老花眼也没有。


        我认为老堪布从他七岁进入寺庙,悠悠漫长的接近九十年的精神领域是最重要的原因。禅修可以缓解人们潜伏深层的悲恸以及过往负面不健康的心理疾病。近几年很多的科学家都对修行人做了心身的测试,证明有持咒、观想、禅定的修行人和一般人是有明显的不一样,同时,从现代化的测试机器中也可以明显的感觉到,修行对于身心灵受伤的疗愈作用是极大的。


        近几年社会老化造成医疗方面很明显的负担,因此相关单位可以参考国外很多医学机构,他们早对百岁人瑞进行研究并有极大的成果,其中发现心情、环境、大脑和精神的支持力占了很大的重要因素。在西方有些医学院团队甚至对于一些灵修的修女,在她们过世后进行脑部解剖,有人发现她们的大脑比重和一般人明显有不一样的地方,有的海马回也和一般人不一样,最重要的是发觉到这些人他们都没有阿兹海默症的痕迹。所以从这些迹象再回到色达老堪布的身体特征,明显说明这和他的修行是有直接的关连。


        过去有一本书叫做《宗教经验之种种》,里面也有隐约谈到从不同宗教的修行经验去研究它的特殊处,然后探讨有修行经验的这些人他们的思想和情绪,我觉得也颇有意义的。实际上如果你要用医学的仪器去了解修行禅坐是否影响大脑皮质或额叶,其实是有的。我曾经也听过有人以静坐来舒缓癫痫症状最后得到疗愈,所以如果可以在银发族之中推广禅修、经行、静坐等,对于家庭、小区、国家,及医疗预算是绝对有帮助的,同时也可以让退休后的人心有所属,把注意力从家庭成员转移到自己老年身心灵的平衡整合中,愉悦地度过岁月中最有意义的时光。


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功德无量


        Life Without Retirement


        The 95-year-old Serda Khenpo was a remarkable man. Not once in many years had he washed his yellow, hopelessly wrinkled monastic robes, but if you got close to him you could detect a delicate fragrance that came from a lifetime of keeping pure precepts. His bright smile and twinkling eyes, full of expression, would always draw you in and leave you feeling warm from their softly radiating compassion. Even more incredible was his steadfast practice in prostrations – three to five rounds of 108 a day – and ircumambulations around a stupa. His remaining time was all dedicated to practice and seated meditation. Before he passed away, his disciples arranged for him to go to India for a health check. Amazingly, except for hemorrhoids and mild anemia, he had none of the other ailments that typically plague the elderly, such as osteoporosis or cardiovascular problems. His hearing was normal, and although his eyes had somewhat degenerated, he didn't suffer from presbyopia.


        More than anything else, I believe the reason for this elder Khenpo's condition was his immersion in a spiritual environment for such a long period. He entered the monastery at the age of seven and spent the better of 90 years as a monk. Prolonged practice is capable of alleviating deeply rooted pain as well as negative and unhealthy psychological illnesses. The physiological and psychological tests scientists have conducted over the years on various Buddhist practitioners have proven that there are obvious differences between people who recite mantras and train in both mental visualizations and meditative stillness, and people who do not. Modern instruments and medical devices have also allowed us to clearly see the powerful healing effects of Buddhist practice on the body and mind.


        In recent years, the aging population has become a heavy burden on medical institutions. These institutions should look to international medical research for insights from their successful studies on centenarians: these studies have connected the important role the environment and one's mood, brain and mind all play in supporting a long and healthy life. There was another collaborative study done by a team selected from different western medical schools that analyzed brain tissue samples from over 1,000 Buddhist nuns who had donated them for research after their passing. The tests showed that the proportions of different divisions of the nuns' brains – such as the hippocampus – differed from "standard" brains in the control group. Most astounding was the total absence of Alzheimer's in any of them. From these indications, we can extrapolate that Khenpo Serda's unique physical condition most probably had a direct relationship to his practice.


        There is a book I find quite interesting called "The Varieties of Religious Experience", which briefly touches upon work done to classify the unique qualities of religious experience across various schools, and then compare them to the emotional and mental landscape of people who claimed to have had actual experiences of some form of spiritual practice. I think it was a very interesting and meaningful study. In truth, if you try to measure the effect that seated meditation practice has on the cerebral cortex and the frontal lobe with medical instruments, you would indeed find a positive link. I've even heard of people who have suffered from epilepsy using meditation to alleviate and ultimately cure this condition. If spiritual practice, walking and seated meditation, etc., could be promoted amongst the elderly, this would definitely help relieve the strain on the medical budgets of families, societies and nations. Concurrently, this would give retirees a center of balance in their minds and shift their care from their families onto their own cultivation of physical, mental and spiritual equilibrium. They could actually be empowered to enjoy the most meaningful part of their lives.