The Six Pāramitās: Part One
In this teaching kindly provided by Samye’s Indonesian Sangha, Khenpo Gyaltsen begins a series of teachings dedicated to the six pāramitās. These six “transcendental perfections” (Tib. parol tu chinpa druk) enable practitioners to accumulate both merit and wisdom as they progress along the Bodhisattva’s path. Khenpo-la reminds us that the teachings of the Buddha can be crystallized down to performing virtuous actions and avoiding negative actions. For us to be able to perform both of these actions though, we need to thoroughly tame our minds.
We may expect the positive results of particular Buddhist practices, but Khenpo-la reminds us that without training our minds, we are unlikely to experience any progress on the path. We need to begin with a study of the teachings, then we need to commit to practice diligently to see results. The six pāramitās are a means to tame our minds. Having an intellectual understanding of the pāramitās is essential, but they must also be applied to our practice.
Additionally, the practice of the perfections represents the bodhicitta of application. First, we engender the wish to benefit all sentient beings and bring them to the state of awakening. And then, through practicing the pāramitās we engage in activities or behavior that bring real benefit.
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