It’s an ap! Recommended by our Wednesday night meditation instructor, Bob. Five times a day WeCroak will remind you that you will die. For Buddhists, it’s supposed to be important to remember your mortality—otherwise you will not practice as urgently. I just downloaded it. I can’t wait to get my first reminder.
Last week at meditation, we had a guest-teacher from Tibet, Tenzin, who talked about this need for urgency. He also told us his version of the story of the three pigs.
The three pigs, he said, represent three steps one goes through when becoming enlightened.
The first pig is the little piggy who becomes happy with himself after meditating. And he’s happy being happy. He feels great. He can just sit there on his zafu, all blissed out. Oh, to be the first piggy!
But then, alas, one day he becomes the second piggy. This happens when he thinks of other pigs, other less happy pigs. He worries about them . . . Maybe his heart even aches for them. I’m not entirely sure what he does with his newfound awareness of the unhappy pigs in the world. I think he just sits there, dwelling on their condition. Maybe he writes poems about them.
But then, one day he turns into the third piggy, and he seeks to save all the other pigs. How he does this, I don’t know. Maybe he teaches everyone to sit on their cushions and become piggy number 1?
I don’t think I have the story right. And there are many other aspects of Tenzin’s teaching I can’t sort out in my head—as well as other aspects of Bob’s teachings.
So I wrote Bob who promised to contact Tenzin and find out what the real story of the pigs was. I also asked about the rest of Tenzin’s teachings from last Wednesday. And he is going to update me soon.
I clearly need help. I am a terrible student of Buddhism.
Tenzin’s pigs reminded me of this Edson poem:
There was once a hog theater where hogs performed as men, had men
One hog said, I will be a hog in a field which has found a mouse
which is being eaten by the same hog which is in the field and which has
found a mouse, which I am performing as my contribution to the
Oh, let’s just be hogs, cried an old hog.
And so the hogs streamed out of the theater, crying only hogs,
only hogs . . .
Since I first wrote this post, my friend Anne and fellow Buddhist-in-the-making, told me third pig was the happiest of all little piggies because he was a transcendent pig so he was free of bodily limitations. So he is like a bodiless pig. Bodiless pigs, I am told, aren’t afraid of death.