Sep 29, 2019

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Thanh Tri – the 3rd Mind Dharma: THE PRACTICE OF UNINTERRUPTED OFFERING – Part 9: “PRETTY PIGLET”, A MEANS OF MINDFULNESS TRAINING (Đệ tam tâm pháp Thanh trí: Cúng dường bất khả gián đoạn Bài 9: HEO CON XINH ĐẸP: MỘT PHƯƠNG TIỆN ĐÀO LUYỆN TÍNH TỈNH THỨC)

Mindfulness is a perfect state of mind that indicates the spiritual level of a practitioner. Any religious sect highlightsmindfulnessbut in Buddhism, that mindfulness always lies within the right orbit of Dharma to avoid falling into the trap of eight worldly concerns. Master Dromtonpa once taught: “Stop clinging to this life”. Thogme Zanpgo also said: “In short, no matter where and what course of action one does. Checking: “What is the state of my mind?” With continuous mindfulness and vigilance. To practice for the sake of others is the practice of a Bodhisattva”. These provide a good referential point to recognize that the 3rdmind dharma: “Pretty Piglet” is a means of training mindfulness for it reminds the practitioner of the offering practice every day. Hence, you will by chance practice one of ten spiritual activities each day, not to mention the practice of comment on chantuduy.com which is also considered as an activity of dharma offering. The practice of comment requires more procedures like connecting to the internet, opening the website, reading and understanding the article, then writing the comment. But the practice of “Pretty Piglet” can be merely done without needing information technology, which is seen as an obstacle for thosewho are technologically obsolete. It should be admitted that thosewho are not fluent in using computer or handphone will face difficulties in learning in Song Nguyen Tantra House.

The practitioner will improve his mindfulness through uninterrupted practice of “Pretty Piglet” each day, each session (morning, noon, afternoon and evening), each hour or even each minute (at what time). After a certain period of time, this practice will produce the conditioned response, i.e in that session or at that time, he is aware that it is time to practice “Pretty Piglet”. He now gains from partly to fullness of mindfulness. This is seen as meditation because the practitioner lays concentration on a subject or a category (here is making offerings to the “Pretty Piglet”). It comes from the assertion of famous founder of Kagyu lineage (Tibetan Vajrayana), Marpa, that “Meditation means non-distraction”. I come to think about a story that goes: “One day, the monastery warden came and reproached Shantideva for sleeping all the time instead of chanting sutra or sitting for meditation. When asked why he should do that, the warden conceitedly said: “Sitting meditation aims to get mindfulness”. Shantideva then replied: “But I’ve never got distracted?”. This spiritual event has broken through the inherentthought pattern that meditation is [merely] sitting silently in a holy space. Now we see that the practice of “Pretty Piglet” is an easy way of meditation since the practitioner needs not sit in once place counting his breath or name his action or thought like Vipassana. The activity of making offerings to the “Pretty Piglet” at a certain hour or minute can also be named as mind concentration, meaning to abide one’s mind to a subject/category [which is similar to Therevada’s Vipassana] without being restrictedin harsh conditions that are set as default in traditional meditation. The method of “Pretty Piglet” meditation naturally extends the meditation space (at home or at any place), time (day, hour, minute), category (not being dominated by following subjects:

“Meditation means non-distraction”

SUBJECTS OF Meditation (kammaṭṭhāna): There are 40 subjects of meditation: 

1) 10 spheres (kasiṇa): Earth, water, fire, air, blue, yellow, red, white, light, limited.

2) 10 reflections (anussati): The Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, precept, generosity, devas, death, 32 unbeautiful parts of the body, peace, breath.

3) 10 kinds of foulness (asubha): The bloated [corpse], the livid, the bleeding, the festering, the stabbed, the worm-infested, the cut-up, the gnawed, the scattered, the skeleton.

4) 4 divine abodes (appamaññā): Benevolence (metta), compassion (karuna), sympathetic joy (mudita) and equanimity (upekkha).

5) 1 perception of the loathsomeness of food.

6) 1 analysis of the four great elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air.

7) 4 states of Formless:

– “Infinite space” (ākāso ananto): this is the subject of meditation on the sphere of infinite space (ākāsānañcāyatana).

– “Infinite consciousness” (viññāṇaṃ anantaṃ): this is the subject of meditation on the sphere of infinite consciousness (viññāṇānañcāyatana).

– “Nothingness” (natthi kiñci): this is the subject of meditation on the sphere of infinite nothingness (ākiñcaññāyatana).

– “Neither-perception-nor-non-perception” (santaṃ, paṇitaṃ): this is the subject of meditation on the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception (nevasaññānāsaññāyatana)

Meditation on the beach

Thanks to “Pretty Piglet”, the master spends little effort on teaching meditation for the disciple that is based on their temperament/intrinsic nature. For example:

  • 1) Greed (rāga): people with rāga carita (greed) tend to act based on lust. He enjoys beautiful scenery, melodious sounds, attractive fragrance, delicious taste and pleasure of touch. They should practice meditation on 10 asubha and 32 unbeautiful parts of the body which are able to help him restrain worldlydesires. However, they should not practice Four divine abodes (benevolence, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity) and Four kasina colors (blue, yellow, red, white) because they will easily evoke worldly desires
  • 2) Aversion (dosa): people tend to act based on hatred. He is easily dissatisfied, irritated, tensed or get upset.. . They should practice Four divine abodes (benevolence, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity) and Four kasina colors (blue, yellow, red, white) which are able to help their mind eased. However, they should not meditate on 10 subha and 32 unbeautiful parts of the body which easily make their mind become more fretful.
  • 3) Ignorance (moha): people tend to act on ignorance. He often lacks perspicuity, be passive and easilyfall into sloth and torpor. The appropriate meditation subject is the natural entry and exit of breath. The concentration on death, peace, loathsomeness of food and analysis of four great elements are considered inappropriate because they are too complicated towards this type of temperament
  • 4) Discursive thinking (vitakka): people tend to think discursively. His mind often wanders and is covered by criticism or evaluation.., thus easily falls into restlessness and worry (uddhacca kukkuca). Meditation subject suitable for vitakka-carita is breath (anapanasati). The concentration on death, peace, loathsomeness of food and analysis of four great elements are considered inappropriate…

In short, the Guru will select subjects that are antidotes to one of six temperaments of the disciples as the Therevada school is doing. It should be noticed that traditional meditation subjects are no longer appropriate in this modern time because they require holy spaces or time abundance which are suitable to monastic life or retired lay Buddhists only. “Pretty Piglet” is considered an alternative meditation practice since the practitioner can rest his mind stably on means of uninterrupted offering every day. The meditation of “Pretty Piglet” not only assists him in mind concentration but also proves to be a spiritual mode of visualization in various aspects which add to enhance his spiritual power and the ability of merit accumulation. These possibilities will be explained to you in more detail in Part 10.

A rainy afternoon on the peak of Phu Van Mountain, March 28, 2019

Thinley- Nguyen Thanh


Vietnamese version: Đệ tam tâm pháp Thanh trí: Cúng dường bất khả gián đoạn Bài 9: HEO CON XINH ĐẸP: MỘT PHƯƠNG TIỆN ĐÀO LUYỆN TÍNH TĨNH THỨC


1.Thanh Tri – the 3rd Mind Dharma: THE PRACTICE OF UNINTERRUPTED OFFERING – Part 1: What is the meaning of “making offerings”? (Đệ tam tâm pháp Thanh Trí: Cúng dường bất khả gián đoạn – Bài 1: Thế nào gọi là cúng dường?)

2.Thanh Tri – the 3rd Mind Dharma – THE PRACTICE OF UNINTERRUPTED OFFERING – Part 2: THE SENSE AND ATTITUDE OF MAKING OFFERINGS (Tinh thần và thái độ cúng dường)

3.Thanh Tri – the 3rd Mind Dharma: THE PRACTICE OF UNINTERRUPTED OFFERING – Part 3: WHERE DOES A GURU STAND IN THE PRACTICE OF MAKING OFFERINGS BY DONORS AND DISCIPLES? (ĐẠO SƯ THUỘC ĐỐI TƯỢNG NÀO TRONG SỰ CÚNG DƯỜNG TỪ THÍ CHỦ & ĐỆ TỬ?)

4.Thanh Tri – the 3rd Mind Dharma: THE PRACTICE OF UNINTERRUPTED OFFERING – Part 4: WHAT IS THE PROPER TIME TO MAKE OFFERINGS? (CÚNG DƯỜNG VÀO NHỮNG TRƯỜNG HỢP NÀO?)

5.Thanh Tri – the 3rd Mind Dharma: THE PRACTICE OF UNINTERRUPTED OFFERING – Part 5: A BRIEF VIEW OF MODES OF TRADITIONAL PRACTICE OF SPIRITUAL OFFERINGS(Đệ tam tâm pháp Thanh trí: CÚNG DƯỜNG BẤT KHẢ GIÁN ĐOẠN Bài 5: SƠ LƯỢC NHỮNG MÔ THỨC CÚNG DƯỜNG TÂM LINH TRUYỀN THỐNG)

6.

7.

8.Thanh Tri – the 3rd Mind Dharma: THE PRACTICE OF UNINTERRUPTED OFFERING – Part 8: “PRETTY PIGLET”: FROM A FOLK CUSTOM TO DHARMA PRACTICE (bài 8: “Heo con xinh đẹp”: Từ dân gian đến đạo pháp)

9.Thanh Tri – the 3rd Mind Dharma: THE PRACTICE OF UNINTERRUPTED OFFERING – Part 9: “PRETTY PIGLET”, A MEANS OF MINDFULNESS TRAINING (Đệ tam tâm pháp Thanh trí: Cúng dường bất khả gián đoạn Bài 9: HEO CON XINH ĐẸP: MỘT PHƯƠNG TIỆN ĐÀO LUYỆN TÍNH TỈNH THỨC)

10.

11.Thanh Tri – the 3rd Mind Dharma: THE PRACTICE OF UNINTERRUPTED OFFERING – Part 11: CONCLUSION (Đệ tam tâm pháp Thanh Trí: Cúng dường bất khả gián đoạn Bài 11: ĐÔI ĐIỀU KẾT LUẬN)

12. A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT “Thanh Tri – the 3rd Mind Dharma: THE PRACTICE OF UNINTERRUPTED OFFERING” (Cảm niệm về tu pháp Cúng dường bất khả gián đoạn)

  1. tantra mahavita says:
    Dear Saint Guru, So grateful for sharing your interesting articles. Mindfulness is the main tool in the practice of Dharma. With it we stop clinging to the trap of the eight worldly concerns and no matter the situation and the clinging to this life. but to what is the state of our mind. With continuous attention and vigilance moment by moment. In short, never be distracted ….. The main subjects of meditation are metta, Karuna … sympathetic joy, equanimity .. infinite space. .. infinite consciousness … nothing … neither perception nor perception … Always grateful to this space that gives us the opportunity to learn the Sacred Dharma and accumulation of merits. May the Guru have a long life for the benefit of all sentient beings, May all beings find their Buddha Nature .Om Mani Padme Hum
  2. Tantra Ashihata (Simon Michael) says:
    Dear holy Guru,

    my name is Tantra  Ashihata .

    I appreciate you for this wonderful article you have given to us with comprehensive offering practice. May guru give us the understanding to achieve more in our spiritual pursue.

    May Guru live long for the seek of happiness of all sentient being.

    Om mani padme hum.

  3. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Mahavita sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

    Con chân thành cảm tạ ơn Thầy khi Thầy viết bài viết tuyệt vời này.

    Tỉnh thức là một trong những yếu tố chính trong thực hành pháp. Khi có tỉnh thức, chánh niệm,  chúng con sẽ không dính mắc vào cái bẫy của bát phong trần trược, không dính mắc vào cuộc đời này dù ở bất kỳ hoàn cảnh nào. Với sự tỉnh thức,  chánh niệm,  an trú trong hiện tại, chúng con sẽ không bao giờ bị phân tâm,  xao nhãng. Đối tượng thiền định là tứ vô lượng tâm, không bị ngăn ngại bởi thời gian,  không gian và tâm không phân biệt.

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho chúng con cơ hội thực hành, diễn tập pháp cao quý và tích tập công đức.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài vì lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.

    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  4. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Ashihata (Simon Michael)  sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

    Con là Tantra Ashihata.

    Con hoan hỷ tán thán công hạnh của Thầy về bài viết tuyệt vời này. Trong bài,  Thầy đã luận giảng cho con hiểu rõ về tu pháp cúng dường.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy để tâm gia hộ để con hiểu được những lời Thầy dạy nhằm tiến bộ trên con đường tâm linh.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài vì lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.

    Om Mani Padme Hum

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