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(一) 佛光會員四句偈是最圓滿的修持:無論南傳或北傳佛教,無論禪宗或淨土宗,無論出家或在家,無論易行道或難行道,甚至五乘佛法、八大宗派的法門,全都統無論出家或在家,無論易行道或難行道,全都統攝在這佛光會員四句偈裡,各種根性的人都能在這佛光會員四句偈裡安身立命。尤其最值得一提的是,這四句偈彰顯了菩薩道中最根本的四無量心、六度萬行,並且將人生最重要的各種修持融和於一爐,讓大家在日常生活中,隨時隨地都可以實踐體證。換言之,佛光會員四句偈是任何人、任何時間、任何地點、任何事情,都可以應用的修持法門,所以我們說它是最圓滿的修持。

(二) 佛光會員四句偈是最原究竟的美德:我們奉行四句偈中的慈悲喜捨,能開展我們的心胸;我們實踐四句偈中的惜福結緣,能成就我們的佛化事業;我們修持四句偈中的禪淨戒行,能體證我們的法身慧命;我們胸懷四句偈中的慚愧感恩,能完成我們的大行大願。只要我們發揮佛光會員四句偈的精神,將歡喜快樂布施給他人,將利益好處與人分享,凡有錯誤自己承擔,一切榮耀回向他人,一定能深受大眾的愛戴,只要我們展現佛光會員四句偈的美德,待人有寬容的雅量,處事有平等的真誠,對眾生有尊重的言行,對自己有覺醒的修養,必定能導正人心,為社會帶來祥和安樂。所以,佛光會員四句偈是最究竟的美德。

(三) 佛光會員四句偈是最如法的行為:佛光會員四句偈能讓我們轉化心中的貪、瞋、愚癡,去除我慢、邪見,從而改變我們的氣質,使我們在行住坐臥時威儀安庠,穩健大方;在食衣住行上自知節制,合乎中道;在時空人際間調配圓融,運行自在;在家庭事業中兼顧得宜,順利無礙。這一切如法的行為,必定能使自他受益,轉化無窮。所以,佛光會員四句偈是最如法的行為。

(四) 佛光會員四句偈是最普遍的傳教:佛光會員四句偈在日常生活當中,與我們做人處世、治家和眾、工作學習,乃至修行弘法都有密切的關係,所以每次用餐前,稱念佛光會員四句偈,不但提醒自己加緊學習諸佛菩薩的慈心悲,更可以感化他人,加入我們弘法利生的行列。在共修、聚會、祈福、祝禱時唱念佛光會員四句偈,可以籌集一切功德回向四恩總報,九有均資,祈求一切眾生同圓總智,共成佛道。因此,佛光會十四句偈不但是最廣大、最深入的修持法門,也是最普遍的傳教方式。




Practicing the BLIA Verses


Now that we know what the BLIA verses mean, we must focus on how to practice them.

Buddhism is a religion that places equal emphasis on practice and understanding. First we understand, then we are able to practice effec- tively. Through understanding, our practice is improved. Through practice, our understanding grows.


The verses are a standard

The BLIA verses are a perfect standard on which all of us can base our behavior and understanding.

The fundamental concepts and energies of all the schools of Buddhism are reflected in the BLIA verses.

It does not matter whether you are from the north or the south, whether you practice Chan Buddhism or Pure Land Buddhism. It does not matter if your focus is on yourself or on helping others, whether you are a monastic or a householder. It does not matter whether you find Buddhism difficult or easy, the BLIA verses contain the essence of all Buddhism. No matter what kind of character you may have, these verses can provide you with a place to stand and come to terms with life.

The BLIA verses contain the four immeasurable mind:

immeasurable loving-kindness, immeasurable joy, immeasurable compassion, and immeasurable equanimity.

They also contain the six perfections: giving, morality, patience, diligence, meditative concentration, and wisdom. These are the six major virtues of a Mahayana bodhisattva.

The BLIA verses blend the highest aspects of Buddhism with life’s most important virtues. They can be recalled at any time and in any place to help us in our practice and understanding.


The four verses embody the highest virtues

When we practice loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity, we open our hearts and prepare ourselves for further advancement. When we practice appreciation for our blessings and friendship toward everyone, we develop into the fullness of our inherent Buddha natures. When we practice meditative concentration and contemplation of Amitabha Buddha’s name, and when we keep the precepts, we begin to experience in our very lives and bodies the awesome wisdom of the Dharmakaya. When we truly feel humility and gratitude toward all things, then we will have the proper foundation on which to bring all of our vows to their ultimate fulfillment.

If all of us in the BLIA can devote ourselves to the truths contained in these verses, then we will all be able to treat others with a joyful compassion. We will all be able to share our blessings with others, admit our own mistakes, transfer our merits to others, and behave with tolerance, sincerity and forgiveness in all situations. By doing this, we will become good examples for others to follow, and our lives will be a benefit to society as they succeed in bringing joy to those who are around us.


The four verses are in accord with the Dharma

The four verses of the BLIA can teach us to transform our negative emotions and tendencies into positive ones. They can teach us to transform our greed, anger, ignorance, selfishness and wrong ideas into their positive opposites.

As our characters thus change, we will become more disciplined in our lives, and we will be better able to get along with people and better able to treat them with the compassion and generosity they deserve. As we do this, our lives will improve and flow more smoothly. We will walk on the middle path and find that day by day all our thoughts have come to accord more and more with the Dharma.


The four verses are universal

The four verses are intended to be useful throughout the day.

They can help us whether we are dealing with people, managing business affairs, studying, practicing Buddhism or preaching the Dharma.

If we speak them before taking our meals, they will remind us  of the compassion and vows of a true bodhisattva. If we speak them on special occasions, then all in attendance will be able to share their special meaning. If we use them when we are preaching the Dharma, they can help us convey the profound meaning of Buddhism in a way that is easier to understand and remember.

Regular use of the BLIA verses will help all of us improve our practice of Buddhism. They will help increase our faith as we seek to make this world a more compassionate place in which to live. I hope all BLIA members will take the BLIA verses to heart and make them an integral part of their lives.