The Paramitas or Perfections

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Nicholas
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The Paramitas or Perfections

Post by Nicholas »

Nagarjuna Bodhisattva taught much on these six or ten perfections. Here is an excellent book on them:

http://kalavinka.org/book_excerpts/N6P_ ... _Intro.pdf
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Nicholas
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Re: The Paramitas or Perfections

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Nagarjuna Bodhisattva on the paramita of patience, from the same work:

http://kalavinka.org/book_excerpts/N6P_ ... xcerpt.pdf
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Re: The Paramitas or Perfections

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The paramitas are better known from the Mahayana tradition, but the Theravada also have a list of ten. Several are similar, but others are not. Here is a text from their viewpoint:

http://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/book/ ... he-paramis
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Re: The Paramitas or Perfections

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The Tibetan bodhisattva Milarepa gave a pithy teaching on the paramitas:
I bow at the feet of the qualified lord guru.

Wealth is like a dewdrop on grass
You should give generously free of attachment.

While making [your life's] freedoms and resources meaningful,
You should keep discipline as you would protect your eye.

Anger is the root of the lower realms,
You should practice patience at the risk of your life.

Lazy ones don’t accomplish benefit for self and other.
Have diligence in practicing virtuous action.

With confusion one can’t realize the Mahayana’s teachings.
One-pointedly familiarize with their meaning.

Buddhahood is not something found by searching.
Look at the nature of your own mind.

Faith is like the mist of autumn.
When it vanishes, you must persevere.
From The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, Stagg translation
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Nicholas
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Re: The Paramitas or Perfections

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A Bhikshu from long ago is successful in keeping the precept of Moral Virtue or Sila:
The origin of the monk Shi Huiwei of Chang’an is unknown. He stayed at
a great temple in Chang’an and upheld the precepts, maintaining remarkable
purity. Frequently he went up into the mountains and down into the valleys
to cultivate the practice of meditation. A headless ghost approached him but
Huiwei did not show any sign of surprise or fear on his face. He said to the
ghost, “You have no head. That means that you never have a headache. How
wonderful!” The ghost disappeared, and then reappeared as a ghost without
a torso; he only had arms and legs. Huiwei again said, “You have no torso.
That means that you never have troubles with any of the five organs. How
pleasurable!” Immediately, the ghost again changed his appearance. Huiwen
sent him away every time, speaking to him in the same [calm and friendly]
manner. A long while later, it became very cold and started snowing. A woman
came to ask him to let her stay overnight at the place where he was practicing.
Her appearance was attractive and she was wearing a brightly colored dress.
She conducted herself in a pleasing and elegant fashion, saying that she was
a heavenly maiden. She said, “Because you are virtuous the gods sent me to
come and amuse you.” She spoke in a manner that was meant to arouse desire
and lead Huiwei astray from his original commitment, but Huiwei maintained
his integrity and his mind was not disturbed even for a moment. He then said
to her, “My mind is like lifeless ashes. It cannot get tempted by a bag of
skin.” The woman then went away, beyond the clouds. Looking back, she
said, “It is possible to drain the water of the ocean. It is possible to make
Mount Sumeru lean to one side. But this monk holds fast to his commitment
and nothing will affect that.” Later, in the third year of the Long’an period
(399 C.E.), Huiwei traveled to the west accompanying Faxian. We do not
know where his life came to an end.
A Forest of Pearls from the Dharma Garden, Volume I:179-80
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Nicholas
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Re: The Paramitas or Perfections

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Much has been written and taught about these virtuous practices. This new book, The Six Perfections, from Lama Zopa's many teachings is a helpful addition:

https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/ ... 1614298199
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Re: The Paramitas or Perfections

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From Lama Zopa's Introduction:
The sanskrit for perfection is paramita, which literally means
“gone beyond.” The perfections are the practices of bodhisattvas,
holy beings who have completely renounced the self; they have transcended
selfish concerns and cherish only others.

Each perfection is perfect, flawless. Each arises from bodhichitta and is
supported by the other perfections, including the wisdom of emptiness.
Because of that, a bodhisattva generates infinite merit every moment, whether
outwardly engaged in working for others or not. A bodhisattva’s bodhichitta
never stops. Even sleeping, there is no self-cherishing; even in a coma, infinite
merit is still created.

The six perfections are as follows:
1. Charity (dana)
2. Morality (shila)
3. Patience (kshanti)
4. Perseverance (virya)
5. Concentration (dhyana)
6. Wisdom (prajna)

The first perfection is the perfection of charity. Its nature is the virtuous thought
of giving. With that thought we perform the three types of charity: giving
material objects, giving fearlessness, and giving the Dharma. These encompass
all our actions of body, speech, and mind, such as giving material objects,
protecting from fear, and giving the Dharma.
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Nicholas
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Re: The Paramitas or Perfections

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Lama Zopa continues:
The second perfection is the perfection of morality, of which there are three
types: refraining from nonvirtue, gathering virtuous deeds, and working for
others. The first, refraining from nonvirtue, is abstaining from actions that
harm sentient beings. The second, gathering virtuous deeds, means completely
giving up the thought of seeking happiness for the self, including seeking self-liberation.
The third, working for others, means just that — protecting
sentient beings from harm as well as helping them in any way we can.

Then there is the perfection of patience. The nature of patience is keeping
the mind in virtue whenever we encounter disturbance and harm. (We could
endure these with a nonvirtuous mind as well, which is why the distinction is
made.) There are three types of patience: not retaliating when harmed,
accepting suffering, and having certainty about the Dharma. Accepting
suffering means our mind remains calm and undisturbed whenever we receive
harm from either sentient beings or nonliving things. Having certainty about
the Dharma means always abiding in the wish to continuously practice the
Dharma no matter what the circumstance.

The perfection of perseverance means being happy to practice virtue —
specifically, being happy to practice each of the perfections — and doing work
for all sentient beings. This includes virtuous actions of the body and speech,
such as doing prostrations and reciting mantras.

With the fifth perfection, concentration, through both analytical meditation
and single-pointed concentration we constantly reflect on the meaning of the
teachings and put them into practice. For instance, when we do a shamatha, or
calm-abiding meditation, using Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, the Buddha is the
object of meditation; if we are meditating on bodhichitta, the mind of
enlightenment, when we place our mind single-pointedly on bodhichitta, that
is the object of meditation.

The last perfection is the perfection of wisdom, of which there are two
types. One type realizes the conventional (or all-obscuring) truth, which
includes the nature of impermanence or the law of cause and effect. The other
type realizes the ultimate truth, the emptiness of all phenomena. Generally, the
perfection of wisdom refers to realizing emptiness.
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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