The Single Essence of Buddhism
另外， 我想建议大家直接使用 upadana (执著)，而不要用 attachment 或其他英文译字取代它。 目前你可能对 upadana 的意义还一知半解，但可试著使用这字眼，使你的口、你的心以及你的感受先习惯它。因为佛教的唯一核心就是断除执著，当执著断除后，便不再有囚牢，也就没有苦了。
I'd like to advise that you use this word "upadana" instead of "attachment" or any other English translation. Those English words are constantly being misunderstood. You may not understand it fully at this time, but try to use this word upadana to accustom your mouth, your mind, and your feelings to it.
We must realize that the heart of Buddhism is to wipe out upadana. The heart of Buddhism is that which gets rid of upadana, or cut it out. Then there is no prison, and then there is no dukkha.
想了解 upadana 必须将英文中依恋附著( attachment )、 黏著的( clinging )及紧握的( grasping )三个字的意思融合在一起， 这样才能确切表达 upadana 的涵意。当然最好是使用 upadana这个字，因为它的涵意比较丰富，能够使我们以更宽广的角度了解“执著”。
You must take the meaning of the English words attachment, grasping, and clinging, then combine them to get the meaning of "upadana." It's better for us to use the word upadana. Its meaning is broader and it will enable us to look into this matter more deeply and extensively.
It may be just one simple word, but upadana is the most important thing. The heart of Buddhism is just to uproot or cut out this upadana. Then dukkha will be finished. Please understand that this is the heart of all Buddhism, it is found in every sect and school. Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, whatever kind of Buddhism you like, they're different only in name or in the external ceremonies and practices. But inside it's all the same thing: the cutting off of upadana.
Don't be sad, don't be disappointed or anxious, don't make trouble for yourself thinking that you haven't been able to study all the schools of Buddhism. Don't worry if you haven't been able to study Buddhism in Tibet, in Sri Lanka, in Burma, in China, or anywhere. That's a waste of time. There is just a single essence or heart of it all, namely, to eliminate upadana. The labels Theravada, Mahayana, Zen, Tibetan, and Chinese reflect only the outer covers of what seems to be different kinds of Buddhism. If there are any differences they are merely surface or superficial ones, just a bunch of accumulated rites and rituals. The true heart of the matter, the heart of all Buddhism, is the same everywhere: the uprooting and cutting out of upadana.
So just study this one thing. Don't waste time being sad or thinking that you haven't studied all the different kinds of Buddhism. Study this single matter of the cutting off of upadana, that is enough.
如果想要像专家一样研究大乘佛教，就得研习梵文，但你可能学了一辈子仍然一无所知；或为了想好好地了解禅宗而去学中文，但耗尽一生学中文，到头来还是不懂什么是禅宗；若想了解西藏密教金刚乘，那就必须学藏文。只是学习这些语言，就要花上你将近一生的时间，但仍然无法真正了解任何东西，也无法进入佛教的核心。这些都只是外在表相，人们却把它当成“新发展”( new development )。 如果要知道佛教的核心，只需要学习断除执著，只要学习这件事，你就会了解佛教的本质了。因此，不管佛教被贴上大乘、上座部、禅宗或金刚乘的标签，不管它来自中国、日本、韩国或其他任何地方，它们只有一个共同的核心──断除执著。
If you really want to know Mahayana Buddhism like an expert, then you'll have to go and learn Sanskrit. You can spend almost your entire life trying to learn Sanskrit and still not really know anything. Or if you want to know Zen well, then you have to learn Chinese. Spend your whole life learning Chinese and in the end you still won't know Zen. To know Vajrayana, the Buddhism of Tibet, you'll have to learn Tibetan. Just learning the languages will cost almost your whole life, yet you won't really have learned anything.
You still haven't gotten into the heart of Buddhism. These are just superficialities conjured up as new developments. Understand the heart of it all and learn just this one thing: the cutting off of upadana. Then you'll know the essence of Buddhism, whether it is labeled Mahayana, Theravada, Zen, or Vajrayana. Whether its from China, Japan, Korea, or anywhere else, it's all in one place: cutting out upadana.
其实单单上座部佛教，便有各种不同的形态，光是修习禅定就有许多法门，例如：观察腹部的起、伏，或持念 Samma Araham (正阿罗汉)及 Buddho 、 Buddho (佛陀、佛陀)，以及其他各种不同的法门。但只要方法正确，必定能断除执著。如果不能断除执著，就无法契入佛法的本质，那项法门也就毫无益处了。为何不对“断除执著”(或者用比喻来说，对“摧毁囚牢”)产生兴趣呢？所以，今天我们来谈囚牢是再好不过了。
Even in the single school of Theravada Buddhism there are many different forms. There are many different ways of mental cultivation, too. There's the kind of meditation from Burma, where they watch the rising and falling of the abdomen. There are the kinds based on the mantras "Samma Araham" and "Buddho, Buddho," as well as all other kinds of different things. But if it's correct, the heart of each is always in exactly the same place: the need to eradicate upadana. If it hasn't gotten to the elimination of upadana, it isn't the real thing yet. And it won't be of any use or benefit, either. Why not be interested in the matter of cutting off upadana, or, if we speak metaphorically, destroying the prison? So it's best if we speak about this prison.
To speak most correctly, we really can't learn from scriptures, from techniques, or from those various teachings if we are to be truly successful. To successfully reap any real benefits, we must learn in the thing itself, namely, the actual prison. Study the actual dukkha in itself, that prison itself. So we'd better look for and find this prison.