Jan 5, 2016

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Lesson 10: Practice Dharma in daily activities (Tu trong trạng thái động)

Right Buddhist teachings, wrong method of Dharma practice.

Lesson 10: Practice Dharma in daily activities

As I mentioned in previous lesson, the cultivator needs to focus on the 3 principal aspects of the path: Renunciation, Boddhicitta and Emptiness stressed by Great master Tsongkhapa (Tibet). If they miss one of three principal aspects, they cannot get the enlightenment.

The cultivator needs to focus on the 3 principal aspects of the path: Renunciation, Boddhicitta and Emptiness stressed by Great master Tsongkhapa (Tibet)

In fact, in the developing process, Buddhism gradually adapted the factor of “age” leading to reconsider we should remove or not apply what is not appropriate in the precepts, in the life of Shanga and Lay community. When Buddha entered into Nirvana, this issued was pointed out by Purna after his return from the journey for helping all living beings but was not accepted by Venerable Kassapa.

The nature of the issue is “to renounce what need renouncing” which Buddha pointed out when he was alive. For renunciation, the most important one is the spiritual detachment which is distilled the essence being consistent with the factors of “age”, “country” and “ethnicity”. Renunciation is based on Right thought  “knowing what need knowing” and then the practitioner makes a decision on “practicing what dharma is worth practicing”. From this point of view, there came 10 typical sects in China and Tantric became typical in Tibet.

At the modern time, yogis apply the methods which are different from ones in the past to cultivate Tantric practices. For educational methods should be suitable with certain educational subjects, just as the students in specialized classes are taught in different methods from those who are in normal classes, or the method of teaching to ordinary students is different from to disable ones. Thus, in 21st century with the worldwide turbulence, there appears much influence relating to individuals, families, societies and countries in which practitioners choose the method of Dharma practice in daily activities or in holy space (in the static state).

Buddhists often practice Dharma in the holy space ( hall or meditation room) like chanting, worship, offerings, reciting the name of Buddha, mantra recitation and preaching….

In terms of chanting, one of 10 activities in Buddhism, depends on each Buddhist sect to focus on different sutras. There happened Jingtu (Pure Land) focusing mainly on four sutras (Amitaba sutra, Paramitas Buddhist recitation, Larger Sukhavathi Sutra, Sutra on the Contemplation of Buddha Amitayus); Tiantai sect- The Lotus Sutra; Huayan (Avataṃsaka) – Flower Ornament Sutra; The Vinaya sect- sutra about the regulatory framework for the sangha or monastic community of Buddhism; Esoteric sect – Tantric scriptures. Mantra sect itself has its own prayers or verses being different from each lineage as Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, Gelug. The cultivators practice principally focus on one Dharma in order to avoid the dispersion of energy and get the highest result of Prajna wisdom. At Buddha’s time, Chūdapanthaka was so dull-witted that, though instructed by five hundred arhats for three years, he was unable to learn even a single verse of the Buddhist teachings. Taking pity on him, the Buddha gave him a verse to learn. Finally Chūdapanthaka attained an awakening and reached the state of arhat after he learned the verse by heart with deeply comprehending.

Buddhists in many temples, monasteries chant all mantras, all sutras and chant mantras in accordance with seasons and topics. They recite Avalokitesvara Chapter  in the Suddharma-Pundarika Sutra for being at peace, they recite Ksitigarbhapranidhana-Sutra or The Ullambana Sutra for seeking rebirth in the Pure Land, they recite Sutra of the Diamond,  The Heart of the Prajna-Paramita-Sutra, Suddharma-Pundarika Sutra (The Lotus Sutra) for developing wisdom, they use Great Compassionate mantra, Shurangama Mantra, The five mantras for exorcising an evil spirit. They go to temples for mantra chanting and sutra recitation every day, but when they are asked what essence path of cultivation is or which school they practice, most of them including lay men or monks seem hesitant or confused. If Buddhists do not understand clearly which path of cultivation they are practice, how can they anticipate potholes or difficulties on the path to the city of liberation? Monks or nuns in many temples, therefore, accidentally let lay people become traditional Buddhists who only believe in Buddhism but not understanding; only know about Buddha drama but no practice the right dharma. As His holiness The Twelfth Gyalwang Drukpa once said: “dharma must be practiced correctly; otherwise there will occur a problem”. Likewise, Li Binh Nan asked his disciples, including Monk Chin Kung not to “read or listen to other Buddhist school”.

Li Binh Nan (Cư sĩ bồ tát Lý Bỉnh Nam)

In Song Nguyen Tantra House, practitioners only recite “The guidance to practice Tibetan Buddhism” which includes 3 prayers, verses representing for three principal aspects of the path as following: Sutra on the Eight Awakenings of Great People representing for Renunciation, Eight Verses for Training the Mind composed by Venerable Dromtönpa representing for Bodhicitta and The Heart of the Prajna-Paramita-Sutra representing wisdom of emptiness.

The Teachings such as meditation, mantra recitation, worship, pray … are similarly practiced the appropriate renunciation (right Method) to focus on the three principal aspects of the path (right Dharma). However, unlike monks with monastic life in the temple, monasteries, lay people are too busy earning for living that they cannot have enough time for reciting in temples every night or for sutra chanting at home twice or three times a day. Some people though can sit on meditation twice or three times a day at home, they only practice Dharma 2 or 3 hours per day in total; what can they do with the remaining time? The spiritual energy has just been gathered then is gradually dispersed in accordance with the changing of their worldly pleasure or sufferings after being out of sacred space. Monks or lay people, thus, who live in more active status than static state, need apply the appreciate method: “practice dharma in daily life”.

Thus, it is convenient to chant short mantra in combination with footsteps in daily activities which is spent much more time rather than static state (sacred space).

So, how to practice Dharma in daily life? The masters or gurus or teachers in temples, monasteries have already taught, I only mention some standpoints for reference. Suppose that someone chant Great Compassionate mantra or Shurangama Mantra which are too long, can they remember to recite them in daily activities? It is very easy for them to have an accident during their travelling when they focus on mantra recitation and have no attention on obstacles on road. Thus, it is convenient to chant short mantra in combination with footsteps in daily activities which is spent much more time rather than static state (sacred space).

Suppose practitioners think that each mantra has its own function like mantra A for penance, mantra B for offerings, mantra C for disaster removal; how can they remember all types of mantras for the purpose of their daily life which needs many kinds of treatment to many difficulties? Again, why did Guan Yin Bodhisattva utter: “only need to recite the six syllable mantra, which is enough”? There says in Tantric scriptures that the consciousness after death encountering the horrific spectacles only recites one mantra, they spontaneously get the liberation. If they do not focus on one mantra, which mantras can they chant at that time or do they have enough time to choose the appropriate mantra?

So does meditation! Practitioners sit on meditation for 1 – 2 hours in sacred space, how can they meditate when they go out of sacred condition? Minh Duc in Hanoi coming to Song Nguyen Tantra House said that practitioners who practice the meditation on in-and-out breathing can meditate everywhere and at any time. Good deed! In the case of talking to others, how can you practice the meditation on in-and-out breathing? In case of focusing on doing something like repairing computer or teaching in the classroom, how can you meditate on in-and-out breathing? Can you practice breathing meditation while you are suffering from bad smell in the polluted environment? Can you practice breathing meditation during your travelling on road? Despite the fact that breathing present everywhere, the meditation on in-and-out breathing need an appropriate space, of course it is not suitable with daily life as working or other worldly activities. Unfortunately we spend time on daily activities ten times as much as on religious life which depends entirely on the sacred space!

Practitioners in Song Nguyen Tantra House donot practice breathing meditation but take up “Boddhicitta vow” as their subject of meditation. This subject is in 16 activities of daily life regarding a means of approaching the path of enlightenment by which Dilgo Khentse had taught many generation of Tantric yogis. Method and target of this Dharma approaching has been written in the article of “What is Tantric Yoga”, I do not need to write again about this issue. However, it is the most important issue focusing on the factors of “age” and “country”, practitioners should decrease the energy in this state and focus on energy in that state, called Renunciation in the orbit of right Dharma. If you cling to the issue that cultivation need to go to the temple, practice of meditation need to sit in the sacred space, depend on your ability or condition, I do not want to discuss. To end this lesson, I would like to quote Mat Hai’s comment for the purpose of aiming at the important role of Renunciation.

As Mat Tue Tin’s saying a proverb: “all roads lead to rome”, Mat Hai remember that I once listened to our Guru’s discourse on Buddha’s saying “Just as the great oceans have but one taste, the taste of salt, so do all the teachings of the Buddha have but one taste, the taste of liberation” in Lotus Sutra.

“But it is difficult for everyone to find the appropriate method of dharma practice. There are many people who practice many methods at the same time resulting in not being professional, likewise, there is a saying in the army that goes: “a few things but good”- Mat Hai rejoices in Mat Tue Tin’s saying, why? If a Buddhist with low background on the path to liberation practices many methods of Dharma, just like each foot in each boat, he rows this boat today then rows another boat tomorrow; if there happens upstream with many dangers, how can he be safe to lead quickly to the bank of liberation.

Om mani padme hum

Although “all roads lead to rome”, there are thousands of roads, there is no reason why we travel on all roads in turns or go on many roads simultaneously. Despite the fact that all the teachings of the Buddha have but one taste, the taste of liberation, we should understand profoundly Buhhda’s teaching in order to keep precepts and practice Boddhicitta in term of not to criticize Buddha’s teachings but not to practice many methods of Dharma at the same time, or hesitant to try many methods. As our Guru’s teachings, we should renounce the Dharma attachment in order to avoid from the failure of “wrong approach”, whereby practitioners can get progress on the path of liberation.

In brief, without Guru’s guidance and teaching, it is very difficult for us to find the suitable method with our ability resulting in the sinking forever in or diverting among the vast Dharma seas.

Phuoc Thanh village, 22nd August 2013

THINLEY-NGUYEN THANH

Translated by Mat Dieu Hang


Original Vietnamese post: Bài 10: GIÁO PHÁP ĐÚNG, PHƯƠNG PHÁP SAI (Tu trong trạng thái động)

The same topic:

Right Buddhist teachings, wrong method of dharma practice (20 lessons) – Thinley Nguyên Thành

Lesson 1: Five arguments from a profound and rigorous philosopher, Dharmakirti)

Lesson 2: Focusing on the factors of Age, Country and Ethnicity

Lesson 3: Abandoning the subjective opinions

Lesson 4: A rich man lost the key of his treasury

Lesson 5: One Mantra, one Bodhichitta

Lesson 6: Admiration but independence on formality

Lesson 7: Mantra with its phonetic symbol

Lesson 8: Renouncing what needs renouncing

Lesson 9: Attaching to dharma resulting from clinging to ego

Lesson 10: Practice Dharma in daily activities

Lesson 11: Bodhicitta development, mantra recitation with footsteps

Lesson 12: The superiority of Bodhicitta (Ưu việt Tâm bồ đề)

Lesson 13: Bodhicitta: meditation of focused attention and visualization (Bồ đề tâm: chỉ quán song hành)

Lesson 14: Approach Prajna Paramita (acorrect view of emptiness) by Yidam visualization (Tiếp cận trí huệ bát nhã trong thiền quán Bổn tôn)

Lesson 15 : 3 Ultimate means, 7 Ornaments and 9 Characteristics relating to Yidam visualization

Lesson 16: DO NOT FEEL INFERIOR

  1. Mật Hồng Tuyến says:
    Mô Phật,
    Pháp đệ hoan hỷ và tán thán thiện hạnh dịch bài của Đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng.
    Cầu mong cho tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.
  2. thanh thuy says:
    Thua thay con da doc xong bai nay roi ah
    Om ah hum
  3. Mật Thiệu says:
    Mô Phật!
    Pháp đệ thật hoan hỷ với bài dịch của Đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng sang tiếng Anh.Qua bài này,đệ được ôn lại những giáo pháp tinh túy mà Thầy truyền trao,tu trong trạng thái động phù hợp với cư sĩ tại gia như chúng ta.Hy vọng với những bài dịch này các bạn đọc hữu duyên do ngăn cách ngôn ngữ sẽ tiếp cận với pháp một cách dễ hơn.
    Cầu chúc Đạo huynh và gia đình hanh thông mọi việc.
    Cầu mong tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc Phật tánh.
    Om mani padme hum.
  4. Mật Hảo says:
    Mật Hảo hoan hỷ tán thán công hạnh của Đạo Huynh Mật Diệu Hằng đã giúp cho những bài pháp của Thầy được đa dạng về ngôn ngữ, giúp nhiều người trên thế giới có thể biết đến chánh pháp.
    Cầu mong chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc Phật tánh.
    Om ah hum
  5. Mật Huệ Pháp says:
    Dear Mat Dieu Hang,

    This is one of my favorite discourses from our holy Guru. Thanks to his teachings, I now can take back confidence in my cultivation path. I am highly grateful that thanks to the method of meditation in action that our Guru has introduced, I can easily practice in all daily activities without any interruption. All of what he is teaching us is the core and quintessence of Dharma. The cause is quintessence, thus will lead to the ultimate result. Knowing this, the practitioner will avoid a serious mistake as trying too many practicing methods at the same time or now using this method, now other. From this point, “we should renounce the Dharma attachment in order to avoid from the failure of “wrong approach”, whereby practitioners can get progress on the path of liberation.” To do this, the prerequisite condition a practitioner should have is to meet a real Guru who will help us find suitable method to get progresses in our cultivation path. Thank you for your wonderful translation. All best wishes to you.

    May our Guru live long for the sake of all sentient beings
    May all sentient beings be free from attachment and able to drink quintessence of true Dharma
    Om Ah Hum

  6. Mật Phước says:
    Mô Phật
    Pháp đệ hoan hỷ tán thán thiện hạnh dịch bài giảng pháp của vị Thầy “Bai 10 Giáo pháp đúng, phương pháp sai” từ Việt ngữ sang Anh ngữ của Đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng. Ngõ hầu giúp chúng sanh hữu duyên tìm về con đường giải thoát.
    Kính Bạch Thầy
    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã truyền dạy cho chúng con những pháp tu để giải thoát, phù hợp với căn cơ của mỗi người, phù hợp theo tính thời đại, tính quốc độ, tính dân tộc. Và áp dụng pháp vào cuộc sống, cuộc sống vào pháp, để đời đạo luôn sông hành, nhầm an lạc đời sau.
    Con cầu nguyện sức khoẻ và sự trường thọ của Thầy, Cô.
    cầu mong tất cả chúng sanh uống được tinh tuý cam lồ.
    Om Ah Hum.
  7. Mật Phước says:
    Mô Phật
    Pháp đệ hoan hỷ tán thán thiện hạnh dịch bài giảng của vị Thầy “Bài 10 Giáo pháp đúng, phương pháp sai” từ Việt ngữ sang Anh ngữ của Đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng. Ngõ hầu giúp chúng sanh hữu duyên tìm về con đường giải thoát.
    Kính Bạch Thầy
    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã truyền dạy cho chúng con những pháp tu để giải thoát, phù hợp với căn cơ của mỗi người, phù hợp theo tính thời đại, tính quốc độ, tính dân tộc. Và áp dụng pháp vào cuôc sống, cuộc sống vào pháp, để đời đạo luôn song hành, nhầm an lạc đời này, cực lạc đời sau.
    Con cầu nguyện sức khoẻ và sự trường thọ của Thầy, Cô.
    Cầu mong tất cả chúng sanh uống được tinh tuý cam lồ.
    Om Ah Hum.
  8. Kanji says:
    Dear Guru,
    I’ve read through this article.
    I’m getting a better general idea of teaching methods at the house from those articles. Thank you for making the articles available on the net and great translation.
    May our Guru and Dakini live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May all sentient being achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature
    Om ah hum
  9. Akshay Kumar says:
    Dear Guru
    I have read this article. It is a very interesting one. Thank you so much. I think one must follow the easily remembered short mantra and have a guru for guidance.
    May the Guru live long for the sake of all beings.
    May all beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.
    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu Akshay Kumar sang tiếng Việt như sau ạ:

      “Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con đã đọc bài này rồi ạ. Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy vì bài viết hay. Theo con hiểu Phật tử nên học thực hành câu thần chú ngắn, gọn, dễ nhớ và cần có vị Thầy hướng dẫn, chỉ bảo.

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

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

      Om Mani Padme Hum.”

  10.  Tantra Mahavita says:

    Querido Guru : Muchas Gracias por publicar estos interesantes articulos . Fundamentalmente en la practica del Dharma tenemos que enfocarnos en los tres aspectos mas importantes del camino …a saber : Renuncia ,Bodhichita y Vacio.  Ademas debemos tener un mantra , que en este caso , seria el mantra corto. y .., Lo mas importante tener un Guru que con su amabilidad ,sabiduria y compasion nos ayude a encontrar el metodo adecuado para progresar en el camino…Gracias Amado Guru …Que el guru tenga salud y pueda vivir muchos años para beneficio de todos los seres sintientes , Que todos los seres esten libres de sufrimiento y sus causas .OM MANI PADME HUM

  11. Salvatore Antonio Fois says:

    Venerebol GURU;

    My name is Tantra Siramitra.

    Very good article, and very inlitining like the Venerebol GURU said we can’t work in to paths in the same time, or we can’t seat in two chears in the same time Orel’s we find ourselves on the floor.

    Chudapanthaka managed to achieve liberation he couldn’t learn much but Lords Buddha put chudapanthaka to sweep the Cort yard in the tempol and Avery time he swept he had to said dirty is not dirty attachment is dirty and reappearing that in the and he achieved liberation. Thank you venerebol Guru.

    OM MANI PADME HUM……

    Faithfully.

  12. Steve Rogers says:

    Dear Holy Guru

    I am Tantra Haramitra

    i thank you for your teaching and give respect to you.

    i am feeling blessed that I was guided to you as my Holy Guru and give blessings to you for your guidance and teaching. The blessings and strength I find in Tibetan Buddhism are great and bring me peace and happiness.

    I know that the path doesn’t have to be complicated but many roads can lead to enlightenment. I am using the Mani Mantra in my daily life and it helps me with my practice. It is of benefit that I can say it with only small windows of time available and calms, strengthen and empowers me to continue to practice for the benefit of all sentient beings. I find that my path is always enlightened when I am serving others in an effort to reduce their suffering.

    Meditation is a wonderful tool for clearing my mind and body to assist more sentient beings and I am learning to use different opportunities to undertake this skill.

    Your guidance, Holy Guru, is giving me the strength to help others with a grateful heart and I thank you.

    May the holy Guru have good health and live long for the benefit of all sentient beings. May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha ‘s nature.

    for your consideration Holy Guru

    On mani padme hum

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