Thoughts on the Six Paramitas
April 6th, 2009 · 2 Comments
The Six Paramitas occupy a prominent place in the Mahayana scriptures as a Buddhist’s way of life leading to Buddhahood. They are however a substantial practice that helps the person using these ideas and standards to improve aspects of daily life thereby lending a hand towards the middle way. Because of this the thoughts and ideas can be accepted as the ‘tools’ used in self perfection and the Theravada path to enlightenment.
1. Generosity (Liberality) By this we mean the tolerance of different views and standards of behavior used by others. In the acceptance of the daily life styles, belief patterns, notions and ideas proffered by others no matter how different from our own, we practice the concept of generosity.
2. Conduct (Morality) These are the standards of conduct that are generally accepted as right or proper, in a particular setting. We see the rightness or wrongness of something not as a judgment but moreover as appropriate accepted behavior in a set of moral principles.
3. Patience (Forbearance) Patience, tolerance, or self-control, are the key qualities of patience especially in not responding to provocation. We become the tool with the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset. We are called upon to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.
4. Energy (Diligence, Industrious, Hard Work) This is the care or attention expected in doing something properly. By being conscientious, and energetic we are taking responsibility for our actions. We are directing our abilities towards the goals we have set for ourselves. We help ourselves to focus and make a clearer understanding of the situations around us.
5. Meditation (mental or spiritual development, contemplation) In meditation we are the observers of the phenomenon or life. We should remain without expectation in the meditation practice and focus on the mind and breath. In Vapassana meditation we have the opportunity to learn about ourselves. Our focus on the breath in meditation becomes the prospect of developing the mind and the ability of concentrated thought. From this we are able to aid ourselves in the development of mental and spiritual maturity, reflection, and a contemplative nature.
6. Wisdom (knowledge gained through experience) The accumulated knowledge of life or of a sphere of activity that has been gained through experience. Wisdom may also be called common sense in Buddhism. Common sense enables us to develop the ability to make sensible decisions and judgments based on personal knowledge and experience. Wise decisions are the fruit of wisdom.
This list of six qualities is for the enlightenment of all beings. We strive in our everyday living to perfect ourselves. All of us should be concerned about the welfare of all beings and strive to be mindful of their suffering. We offer a charity to all beings so that they may be happy, regardless whether they are worthy or not. We practice to avoid doing them any harm by observing morality. We must train ourselves in order to bring morality to perfection; We must purify our wisdom in order to understand clearly what is beneficial and injurious. We should constantly exert energy for the welfare and happiness of others. In the end we are to practice patience towards all variety of human failings.
1. Perfection in Generosity, Giving (Liberality)
2. Perfection in Morality (Conduct)
3. Perfection in Energy and Diligence
4. Perfection in Wisdom
5. Perfection in Meditation (Industrious)
6. Perfection in Wisdom (Forbearance)
Our only position is to love every living person without exception with equanimity. That we do not judge nor assign any standard to, nor reproach or have any prejudicial feeling and actions towards anyone is an important teaching. As a child we accept things more purely and it is easier to life a less complicated and non-prejudicial. As a child I was able to go to my friend and make amends. We have been friends ever since.
Buddhism is a system of personal responsibility and accountability to self. Buddhists believe that goodness comes from good action which is brought about by intention, thought, and concentration.
Very basically Buddhism teaches us that no one has the right to judge anyone or incidents that happen to us. We are not to take things personally as these things happen to us all. We must realize that all things pass.
Everything arises, and then falls away. Our unhappiness and sorrow come from wanting to change things or hold onto things we cannot. Allow yourself to let go. Allow yourself to breath.
Believe that you are the well from which all goodness comes, and from which it flows.
I Wish You Peace,
Bhante n. Kassapa Bhikkhu
Buu Mon Temple
Port Arthur, Texas, 77640