The Cock, The Pig, and The Snake

I had been wanting to do a silent meditation retreat in Thailand, but wasn’t sure how much I’d get out of it, as many people said they received virtually no instructions beyond “Just focus on your breath.” If I was going to do this, I wanted instruction, so I reached out to an acquaintance in Bali to see if she knew anyone who taught meditation.  Turns out, she did.

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I had planned to stay for 1 week.  After arriving, I quickly revised my plan to 2 weeks. And somehow, 2 weeks magically became 3. Is it any wonder why?

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This villa was so vibrantly alive and so serene, it was a much needed balm to my hectic, anxious soul.

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There were many fountains and little pools, even a waterfall and river – the sound of running water is very therapeutic

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I spent countless hours meditating in this spot. When I’m having difficulty meditating in the crazy that is NYC, I can cast myself back and find myself back in this tranquil and serene place.

I learned many fascinating lessons while studying meditation; attachments (to people/things/ideas/emotions), impermanence (probably the lesson that struck me hardest and stays with me still), acceptance, expectations (of yourself, others, and circumstances), affect and effect, and love/kindness.  These are all rather self-explanatory, yet I’d never meditated on them before. Meditation (for me) is not based around religion. It is a way to center myself and connect back to the earth and reality/the present. There is no right or wrong way to meditate (something that sounds obvious, but for some reason I struggled with it in my first week), and when I spent conscious time meditating on the above lessons, I learned a lot about myself.

One lesson that required a bit of explanation was the cock, the pig, and the snake. While not Buddhist (no, mom, still not), I was learning traditional Buddhist meditation, and these three animals represent the chief failings of man, and therefore are the obstacles to enlightenment.

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Samsara – running around in circles

Each of the animals feed off of one another – they are caught in an endless circle of vice.

The Cock represents vanity, lust, and greed, sexual sin and corruption.

The Snake is violence and aggression – untempered anger, ready to attack like the viper.

The Pig is gluttony and ignorance. Maybe not seemingly as bad as the other two (as the saying goes, “Ignorance is Bliss”), but I’ve found The Pig to be an unsuspecting and incredibly dangerous vice. Ignorance can cause nations to fall – it leads to pride and aggression and violence.  Even not on a global scale, ignorance can be poisonous. If you do not learn and grow and expand yourself and your ideas, you will stagnate and become so rooted in your ways you become blind to other points of view; like The Pig whose ears are so big they cover his eyes. (*If you’d like further reading, check out this site.)

It is up to us to realize our vices and break the circle in ourselves.

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About juliamenn

Performer. Artist. Author. Lover of food and travel. Animal enthusiast. Avid reader. Globe-trotter.
This entry was posted in Bali, Musings, SEA and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Cock, The Pig, and The Snake

  1. joeythebuddhist says:

    Looks like a beautiful place! About a month ago I returned from a two and a half meditation retreat at a Thai Forest Monastery! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joeythebuddhist says:

    Two and a half month**

    Like

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