Sangha, criticism, the two truths, service to others, emptiness, generosity, conduct, non-clinging, non-harming, energy, the three unwholesome roots, and clarity round out the main topics for February 2022, month six of “The Pāramitā Challenge”. See also Months 1-3, Month 4 and 5.
Instructions are to journal contemplations resulting from observed intentions, opportunities, and actions to be generous, moral and ethical while arousing faith in the Triple Gem then seeing where/when confident and where/when in doubt.
Again, I’ve not taken Bodhisattva vows, and so with little instruction in Mahāyāna Buddhism, apart from maybe a smidgen of the zen stuff, there’s the benefit of beginner’s mind is a nice way to put it. I continue to shoot from the hip in this recording and will use a Theravada lens now and again plus plenty of inquiry as I ponder out loud. It may come off at times as criticism, and sometimes it may actually be, but these are mostly solo efforts at summonings what is really meant by the material.
Only a couple notes this month. For the first portion of “don’t discuss the faults of the Sangha” I failed to mention in Theravada, as far as my current innerstanding, the monastic training rules of the Vinaya were mostly established by the historical Buddha during his time and often prompted by certain incidents. Also, I did not receive February’s Challenge until after I checked back on February 17th after initially asking a friend toward the beginning of the month who help spur it along I guess. So with travel in late January, another trip in early February, and more or less being forced to move by the end of February (not worth mentioning here) this month is recorded all in one go.
On the upside, I was told the entire material for the challenge, up to this point is public and (now) at https://maba-usa.org/paramita-challenge. And if I were to guess, there’s plans for it to continue to be retrievable online, but it seems like much of this challenge has been just getting/having access to it. I trust social distancing only goes as far as some occasions in real life and doesn’t continue online, if a “bad” joke here is allowed.
The Pāramīs in Theravāda Buddhism:
- Dāna pāramī: generosity, giving of oneself
- Sīla pāramī: virtue, morality, ethics, proper conduct
- Nekkhamma pāramī: renunciation
- Paññā pāramī: wisdom, discernment
- Viriya pāramī: energy, diligence, vigour, effort
- Khanti pāramī: patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance
- Sacca pāramī: truthfulness, honesty
- Adhiṭṭhāna pāramī : determination, resolution
- Mettā pāramī: goodwill, friendliness, loving-kindness
- Upekkhā pāramī: equanimity, serenity
The Pāramitās in Mahāyāna Buddhism:
The Prajñapāramitā sūtras (प्रज्ञापारमिता सूत्र), and a large number of other Mahāyāna texts list six perfections and the Ten Stages Sutra gives pāramitās 7 – 10:
- Dāna pāramitā (दान पारमिता): generosity, giving of oneself (in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, 布施波羅蜜; in Tibetan, སྦྱིན་པ sbyin-pa)
- Śīla pāramitā (शील पारमिता): virtue, morality, ethics, discipline, proper conduct (持戒波羅蜜; ཚུལ་ཁྲིམས tshul-khrims)
- Kṣānti pāramitā (क्षांति पारमिता): patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance (忍辱波羅蜜; བཟོད་པ bzod-pa)
- Vīrya pāramitā (वीर्य पारमिता): energy, diligence, vigor, effort (精進波羅蜜; བརྩོན་འགྲུས brtson-’grus)
- Dhyāna pāramitā (ध्यान पारमिता): one-pointed(ness) concentration, contemplation (禪定波羅蜜, བསམ་གཏན bsam-gtan)
- Prajñā pāramitā (प्रज्ञा पारमिता): wisdom, insight (般若波羅蜜; ཤེས་རབ shes-rab)
- Upāya pāramitā (उपाय पारमिता): skillful means (方便波羅蜜）
- Praṇidhāna pāramitā (प्राणिधान पारमिता): vow, resolution, aspiration, determination (願波羅蜜）
- Bala pāramitā (बल पारमिता): spiritual power (力波羅蜜）
- Jñāna pāramitā (ज्ञान पारमिता): knowledge (智波羅蜜）
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