Được dạy bởi Sư Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu
Dịch Việt: Việt Hùng
Lời người dịch: Trong các bài Hỏi & Đáp như vậy, tôi sẽ chủ yếu dịch thoát ý, chứ không chặt chữ. Một mặt đây là việc tôi làm để có thể nghiền ngẫm phần trả lời của Sư Yuttadhammo. Một mặt, tôi chia sẻ lại đây, và hy vọng nó hữu ích cho các thiền sinh Vipassana tham khảo.
Bài pháp ngắn này được đăng tải trên Youtube vào ngày 07/08/2010. Phần English transcript ở cuối bài. Link Youtube của bài nói ở đây: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnCykKmxbTo
Mặc dù đã cố gắng tốt nhất trong khả năng của mình, tôi chắc chắn không thể ghi xuống được một cách chính xác 100% tất cả các từ ngữ, đặc biệt là các từ Pali mà Sư đề cập trong bài pháp. Tôi sẽ tiếp tục cập nhật bản ghi, bất cứ khi nào tôi thấy được những điểm còn thiếu sót.
Con xin thành kính đảnh lễ tạ ơn Sư Yuttadhammo về bài pháp thoại ngắn quí báu này. Con nguyện cho Sư được mọi thuận lợi và sức khoẻ trong hành trình tâm linh của Sư.
Các bạn có thể tìm hiểu thêm thông tin của Sư Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu và các lời dạy của Sư tại trang web: https://www.sirimangalo.org/.
English Transcript (quickly jotting down)
Question: Hi, and welcome back to Ask a Monk. Today’s question comes from German1184. You said in your Ask a Monk series, for people caught up in lust, it is good for them to contemplate the unpleasant aspects of the body. What is the proper way to do that?
I did mention this. And I think I mentioned as well that for people caught up in anger, it’s good to practice loving kindness. And these two meditations are a part of a set of four meditations called the arakkha kammatthanna. Arakkha means to guard. So the meaning can either be these four meditations are meant to guard the person’s mind or there’s something that protects you during the time you’re practicing insight meditation or practicing meditation to see clearly. These are sort of like protection that will help to keep you from getting to the point where you can’t practice meditation. So stopping you from from falling into great states of lust, great states of anger and so on. The four meditations are mindfulness of the Buddha, mindfulness of the lonesomeness or the the ugliness of the body, unpleasant aspects of the body, lovingkindness and death. So these four meditations have different qualities. And of course, I haven’t included them in my meditation series. But they can be quite helpful. They are quite helpful. And so they are recommended, if you’re interested in practicing them.
Mindfulness of the Buddha is practical for Buddhist, obviously, for people who consider the teachings of the Buddha to be correct, to be useful, to be beneficial. So thinking about the Buddha as an example, thinking about the Buddha as someone who was a really good teacher, who is was the perfect teacher, someone who was free from defilement. So we often think of the characteristics of the Buddha, for instance, that he had great wisdom. And we think of the incredible wisdom and we read through his teachings and we gained great faith that yes, indeed, this is a person who has great wisdom. And so we should follow his teachings because probably they’re going to lead to the result that he says because he had great purity. So we read and we learn about the Buddha’s purity. And also through practicing his teachings, we come to see that his teachings are incredibly pure. There’s nothing dogmatic or there’s nothing negative, nothing that is going to lead us to become brainwashed or whatever. That the Buddha was very open minded and he was simply giving something that was of use to people as opposed to looking for students or trying to become famous or so on. And the third quality is that he had great compassion because he didn’t obviously have to teach. He could have sat in the forest and meditated and passed away. But when he was asked to teach, he decided then that he would give up his own peace and quiet to give something to other people. There are many qualities of the Buddha and this is obviously something that’s more useful for Buddhists. And I would encourage you to read about the Buddha. One of the easiest ways that Buddhists will do it is to go over the Pali verses and think, consider each word. For instance, when we say [Pali]. [Pali] means the blessed ones. So he’s blessed us and you learn about why is he blessed us and so on. But I won’t go into detail. Maybe in a future video, I’ll go through each of one of each of these individually. Otherwise I wouldn’t have time.
The second meditation is mindfulness of the unpleasant aspects of the body. And this is quite useful to do away with the irrational view that the body is something beautiful. There’s really nothing beautiful about the body at all. And it can be objected that there’s nothing ugly about the body either. But if you put it on a on a set of balances, our idea that the body is beautiful is simply due to not paying enough attention to it. Whereas our idea that it’s unpleasant is actually, I would say more based, in fact. And I’m only saying that as a comparison. If you compare our body to something like gold or diamonds or a flower, say, our body actually, on a scale of beauty, isn’t very high. And the way you understand this is by going through the parts of the bodies, the unpleasant aspects of the body is actually everything. Start at the top. We start with the hair on your head and ask yourself, you know, what is the hair like? Well, it’s like grass that’s been planted in the skull. And, what colour is it and how does it smell? If you don’t watch it, obviously, it’s going to be unpleasant. So we simply look at the hair and we’re going to see that actually, you know, the hair is is not very beautiful. We think, oh, look at how beautiful that hair is. But if you ever cut it off and put it on a plate, you know, would it look appetizing or would it look beautiful? You know what we do when we cut our hair off? It looks disgusting. And people who keep their hair after they’ve cut it are often met with revulsion. And we go through with a hair on our head, the hair on our body, our nails, our teeth, our skin, our flesh, our blood, our bones, our bone marrow, our feces, our urine, our liver or spleen, our heart and so on. And we go through all of the parts of the body. Normally monks will do this in Pali. So we’ll start with [Pali] and it goes on and we go through thirty two parts of the body and then we’ll break them up. So we’ll start with [Pali], which means hair of the head. And we’ll just repeat that over and over to ourselves, contemplating the hair on the head, In much the same way as we practice insight meditation. Except now we’re focusing on on a conceptual piece of reality, you know, the hair or the bones or the skin or whatever. And that does help you see it clearly. You don’t have to say this is disgusting. You just look at it and you’ll see. Well, actually, you know, it’s not very beautiful. You don’t have to, you know, agree that it’s disgusting, but it’s certainly not the wonderful, incredible, attractive thing that we think it is. And that helps to bring us back to a more rational state of mind in this regard.
The third, meditation is loving kindness. And this is very useful after we meditate. You know, when once you’ve finished meditation, you should use the power and the strength that you gain and the clarity of mind that you gained from meditation, use it to express your appreciation for all other beings and to clear up a lot of the problems that we might have with other people. This is something that really helps with your insight meditation. It helps us to meditate. It helps us to straighten out a lot of the crookedness that we often have in our minds, wishing first for our parents to be happy, then for our relatives, for our family, for the people nearby, for the people in this area, in this city and this world, go from my house, to my city, to my country, to the whole world, to the whole universe. Start with humans and animals, angels, God, whatever, to to all beings, extending it out one by one by one. You can do that for like five minutes after you finish meditating. Or even just a minute or two is fine. And that’s useful according, you know, technically useful in terms of getting rid of anger. In a broader context, it’s useful for clearing up our relationships and making straightening our mind out.
The fourth one is mindfulness of death. And this is quite useful to help us to and get a sense of urgency, you know, to help us wake up to the fact that we can’t just, you know, go on with our lives and live our lives as though we’re dead or as though there were no tomorrow or so. Reckoning that’s our death. And then our whole life flashes before our eyes and we have to face up. And whatever is strong in our minds, we’re going to cling to it. And we’re going to we’re going to follow after that. And we’ll have to be born again. If it’s a bad thing, we’ll be born in a bad rebirth. And the way we would be mindful of death, you know, there’s there’s many ways the technical method is to simply say to yourself that life is uncertain, death is certain, life is not sure, death is sure. Life has death as its end. All beings have to die. I, too, will have to die one day. You can adapt this. I used it when I was in a plane, I would think about the plane crashing. And I would examine my own emotions. Because obviously that would be something very traumatic for me and so on. And so you can use these and you should use all of these. These are all beneficial and they’re all meditations which can be used in an accompaniment to the insight meditation. OK, so thanks for the question. I hope that helps.