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Bodhidharma and the paramitas

 

According to our founder Bodhidharma the paramitas are the means to the other shore, namely, Buddha-nature. They are intended to help us surpass the six senses which Bodhidharma calls the "six robbers".

The first paramita is charity. By mastering it, we surpass the robber of the visual world and thereby become spiritually wealthy. This paramita destroys our desire to cling to visual things as would a miser who clings to his property.

The second paramita is discipline. By mastering it, we surpass the robber of the auditory world and acquire good spiritual practices and concentration. It destroys our desire to cling to acoustical determinations, thus becoming free of distractions, being able to abide in stillness.

The third paramita is patience. By mastering it, we surpass the robber of the olfactory world and acquire inner peace, both for self and for others. It destroys our desire to investigates what is pleasant and unpleasant in the example of a dog tracking scents. Thus, we come to abide indifferently with regard to what is pleasant and unpleasant.

The fourth paramita is strength. By mastering it, we surpass the robber of the world of taste and acquire devotion. It destroys our desire for the appetites and various forms of flattery that come from the tongue. Acquiring this paramita, we develop wholesome spiritual states.

The fifth paramita is meditation. By mastering it, we surpass the robber of tactile sensations. It eliminates sensuous distractions. Acquiring this paramita, we are able to focus mind on a sublime object.

The sixth paramita is wisdom. By mastering it, we surpass the robber of consciousness. This paramita eliminates all false views of the absolute. Acquiring this paramita, we are able to distinguish our Buddha-nature from that which is empty of it.

 

 

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The Avalon Directory at spiritandflesh.com

Spirit and flesh: the union of matter and mind, heaven and earth, emptiness and form.