On Sunday July 1, 2018, we will have our Summer Morning Talk and Potluck. We will begin at 10:00 a.m. with meditation followed by a dharma talk about the Six Paramitas and will close with meditation and a meal.
The six paramitas, in the Mahayana tradition, constitute the core practice of the Bodhisattva path. A Bodhisattva is one who is dedicated to serving the highest welfare of all living beings with the awakened heart/mind of unconditional love and wisdom; one who is motivated by compassion and seeks enlightenment not only for him or herself but for everyone.
Paramita is a Sanskrit word meaning “crossing over to the other shore,” or “liberating action.” It’s also translated as perfection, perfect realization, or reaching beyond limitation. Through the practice of the six paramitas, we cross over the sea of suffering (samsara) to the shore of understanding and awakening (Nirvana). The Six Paramitas are a way to integrate everything in our lives as part of our path of awakening. They’re a practice of focus, of discipline and calm; a way of centering ourselves so we can recognize and confront delusion. They give us a way that we can live in the world with equanimity.
The Dalai Lama says in his book The Compassionate Life, which is about Shantideva’s The Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, “…the delusions within our minds, such as hatred, anger, attachment, and jealousy, are our true enemies. As Shantideva states…these enemies do not have physical bodies with legs and arms, nor do they hold weapons in their hands; instead, they reside in our minds and afflict us from within. They control us from within and bind us to them as their slaves. Normally, however, we do not realize these delusions as our enemies, and so we never confront or challenge them. Since we do not challenge them, they reside unthreatened within our mind and continue to inflict harm on us at will.”