Report 57 - 6 Paramitas: Dana / Sila

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    The writings I've come accross this week have described the six paramitas as either

    A. Behavioral paths to enlightenment, or

    B. Expressions of enlightened nature

    I'm not generally fond of either/or, so I liked coming accoss someone's description of the paramitas as both intentions we make, AND qualities that flow forth naturally from Buddha nature. I like the way this removes the distance somehow, and sort of puzzles the ego. :)

    So whenever we intend or act in generosity, for instance, what we are doing is an acknowledgement of 'Absolute Bodhicitta', which goes beyond effort or expectation of gain.

    In Mahayana, the 6 paramitas go hand in hand with Bodhisattva vows/ideal , so it seems appropriate to quote from the Heart Sutra:

    Having nothing to attain, Bodhisattvas live prajna paramita with no hindrance in the mind.
    No hindrance, thus no fear.

    Without expectation of gain, the lid is removed ... the proportions change. There is not a 'storing up', impoverished mentality. This seems the base for Tonglen, actually, that one can draw upon enlightened nature to give, no matter what limitations there may appear to be on a relative level.

    From one site: The Sanskrit word paramita means to cross over to the other shore. Paramita may also be translated as perfection, perfect realization, or reaching beyond limitation.




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