The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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Dharma Flower
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The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower » Mon May 15, 2017 3:34 pm

Buddhism is primarily about following a path. We might have the most beautiful metaphysical beliefs, but if we are unkind to others, those beliefs are of no benefit to us.

For a Mahayana Buddhist, the Six Paramitas are where the rubber meets the road, which are more or less equivalent to the Eightfold Path of Theravada Buddhism:
The Mahayana Buddhist tradition places a strong emphasis on benefiting others as the goal of Buddhist practice.
As an expression of this attitude toward the nature of Buddhist practice, the Mahayana tradition expresses the essential elements of Buddhist practice described the Eightfold Path in an alternative model called the Six Paramitas.

The literal of meaning of paramita in Sanskrit is “Crossing over to the Other Shore (Nirvana).”
1) Generosity (Skt. Dāna, Jp. fuse 布施)
2) Moral conduct, upholding precepts (Skt. Śīla, Jp. jikai 持戒)
Corresponding elements of the Eightfold Path: Right Speech, Right Conduct, and Right Livelihood
3) Forbearance (Skt. Kṣānti, Jp. ninniku忍辱)
Corresponding element of the Eightfold Path: Right Effort with regard one’s state of mind.
4) Diligence (Skt. Vīrya, Jp. shōjin 精進)
Corresponding element of the Eightfold Path: Right Effort with regard one’s words and actions.
5) Contemplation (Skt. Dhyāna, Jp. zenjō 禪定)
Corresponding elements of the Eightfold Path: Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration.
6) Wisdom (Skt. Prajñā, Jp. chie 智慧)
Corresponding elements of the Eightfold Path: Right View and Right Thought.
http://www.oxnardbuddhisttemple.org/wel ... u-buddhism

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower » Mon May 15, 2017 8:41 pm

I am currently reading The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva, and it lays out how to live as a Buddhist in one's day-to-day life like nothing I've read before. It's a true gem.

While the book is widely read in Tibetan Buddhism, it wasn't originally a Tibetan Buddhist book, or even necessarily a Vajrayana book for that matter. It was originally written for all Mahayana Buddhists.

muni
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by muni » Tue May 16, 2017 9:43 am

Thank you for remembering this jewel.

What I have to say has all been said before
And I am destitute of learning and of skill with words
I therefore have no thought that this might be of benefit to others;
I wrote it only to sustain my understanding. Shantideva.

He seems by the start of his Jewel teaching to humbly give the example. How can a practitioner act other than to sustain own understanding? Or to get more clarity? And at the same time, how is it possibility to exclude others out of practice, or how should that be called practice (vows to practice for liberation of all and all)? And how should that be Paramitas?

I was looking if there was Bodhicaryavatara online and found this one:

http://www.tenzinzopa.com/Ebooks/Cttb_B ... mplete.pdf
The nature of just what is, in all things, is undifferentiated.
When purified, it is the nature of the tathagata.
Therefore all living beings possess that nucleus.

The fortress of the spacious and timeless expanse has no division into
higher or lower or in between.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower » Wed May 17, 2017 5:55 pm

I’ve been a Buddhist for two years, and recently I’ve been re-focusing on the reasons why I became a Buddhist in the first place, to live a more peaceful and wholesome life.

Wherever we go after death, whether a Pure Land or a hell, is unknowable in the present because it’s outside our reach of experience. All we have right now is the here and now.

Those who commit evil deeds all their life, thinking that the Buddha will “save” them if they just call his name, might be missing the original point of the Buddha’s teachings.

I am not saying these things to offend others. I am only speaking of what's right for me, that I need to stop calling on the name of a Buddha to justify committing evil deeds. In the words of Shinran, "Don't take poison just because you have an antidote."

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by muni » Wed May 17, 2017 6:26 pm

V 6
"Thus behold the utter frailty of goodness!
Except for perfect bodhicitta
There is nothing able to withstand
The great and overwhelming strength of evil."

Shantideva
The nature of just what is, in all things, is undifferentiated.
When purified, it is the nature of the tathagata.
Therefore all living beings possess that nucleus.

The fortress of the spacious and timeless expanse has no division into
higher or lower or in between.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower » Wed May 17, 2017 7:13 pm

I like that the Bodhisattva path is a path, meaning that we can take it one day at a time, making progress rather than immediate perfection.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower » Fri May 19, 2017 2:12 am

http://www.rk-world.org/publications/lo ... a_B20.html

​In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha explains his past life as Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. What this story tells us is that we ultimately attain Buddhahood through showing kindness to others, even in the face of adversity and harsh circumstances, rather than by scriptural knowledge.

It is only by humbling the ego-self that the Buddha within can shine through. Anyone who teaches that we can be mean and callous our entire lives, willfully ignoring the example of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, and somehow attain Buddhahood anyway, is not teaching the Dharma.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower » Fri May 19, 2017 3:16 am

I am posting on this forum in order to make publicly known that I have made the Bodhisattva Vow. The law of karma will hold me accountable as to whether I live by that vow or not.
Translation by Jodo Shu Research Institute:

However innumerable sentient beings are, I earnestly aspire to enlighten them all.

However inexhaustible our delusions are, I earnestly aspire to extinguish them all.

However immeasurable the Buddha’s Teachings are, I earnestly aspire to comprehend them all.

However incomparable the Enlightened Mind is, I earnestly aspire to attain it by all means.

I sincerely wish to share the Blessing with all beings, striving together to be born into the Pure Land and to follow the Buddha’s way to the ultimate goal.
https://klingonbuddhist.wordpress.com/b ... ttva-vows/

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by DGA » Fri May 19, 2017 2:07 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:I have made the Bodhisattva Vow.
Good for you. I rejoice in your vow. May you swiftly attain the goal.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower » Fri May 19, 2017 2:11 pm

DGA wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:I have made the Bodhisattva Vow.
Good for you. I rejoice in your vow. May you swiftly attain the goal.
Thank you. My immediate goal as a Bodhisattva, at least for the near future, is to be less of a butthead to others, especially to friends and loved ones.

The practice of metta usually starts out with those who are closest to you and then branches out from there:
https://dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Metta_meditation

Right now, I am really working on being less of an angry butthead.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by DGA » Fri May 19, 2017 2:43 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
DGA wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:I have made the Bodhisattva Vow.
Good for you. I rejoice in your vow. May you swiftly attain the goal.
Thank you. My immediate goal as a Bodhisattva, at least for the near future, is to be less of a butthead to others, especially to friends and loved ones.

The practice of metta usually starts out with those who are closest to you and then branches out from there:
https://dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Metta_meditation

Right now, I am really working on being less of an angry butthead.
You mentioned in a different post the practice of the Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. That's a good place to start: recognize in everyone the capacity for Buddhahood, including those people who disagree with, or those you perceive as enemies, and including yourself too. That's a helpful practice. I found it helpful, and others have too.

I'm still very capable of butthead behavior, but I can confirm it's possible to take the edge off at least.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by PuerAzaelis » Fri May 19, 2017 2:51 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:Right now, I am really working on being less of an angry butthead.
A goal worthy of a noble one indeed.

I often fail at not-butthead practice.

Baby steps.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower » Fri May 19, 2017 3:15 pm

There's a misconception in the West which reduces Buddhist practice to silent, seated meditation. In reality, the practice of meditation is for the purpose of cultivating wisdom and compassion. What really matters is the wisdom and compassion we develop in our daily life, not meditation in and of itself.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Minobu » Fri May 19, 2017 4:08 pm

Dharma Flower wrote: ​In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha explains his past life as Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. What this story tells us is that we ultimately attain Buddhahood through showing kindness to others, even in the face of adversity and harsh circumstances, rather than by scriptural knowledge.
If that were the case Christians ,because of their practice of charity and love would all be Buddhas long ago..they would be popping up all over The Bible Belt in droves .
Dharma Flower wrote: It is only by humbling the ego-self that the Buddha within can shine through. .
Is that all it takes?
I am of the school of thought that Buddha Nature shines through all of our human conditions. It's not something one turns off and on through psychological training.

Dharma Flower wrote: Anyone who teaches that we can be mean and callous our entire lives, willfully ignoring the example of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, and somehow attain Buddhahood anyway, is not teaching the Dharma
I would agree with your premise, but i must ask. Have you met someone teaching the way to Buddhahood is through callous meanness?

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower » Fri May 19, 2017 5:02 pm

Minobu wrote: I would agree with your premise, but i must ask. Have you met someone teaching the way to Buddhahood is through callous meanness?
There are a small number of websites taking an extreme view of Pure Land teachings, that personal conduct doesn't matter whatsoever for those who call on Amida's name.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Minobu » Fri May 19, 2017 7:14 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
Minobu wrote: I would agree with your premise, but i must ask. Have you met someone teaching the way to Buddhahood is through callous meanness?
There are a small number of websites taking an extreme view of Pure Land teachings, that personal conduct doesn't matter whatsoever for those who call on Amida's name.
i don't really think about the pure lands..my thoughts really offend others so i shall keep it quiet..even though i believe the Pure Lands exist.

as for this.
that personal conduct doesn't matter whatsoever for those who call on Amida's name.
The Catholics have this little velvet box you go into and voila...sins all gone...heaven awaits. :woohoo:


you should know i seem to know less and less as time goes on...i would not take what i say as something you should incorporate into your religion.

i know I'm blind...and am just grappling with what i read here on this site.

i admit what i am ...and thats a good thing i am sure of. I have no need to puff up this non self in order to gain any sort of recognition or drivel awards here in samsara.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by DGA » Fri May 19, 2017 7:43 pm

Minobu wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:
Minobu wrote: I would agree with your premise, but i must ask. Have you met someone teaching the way to Buddhahood is through callous meanness?
There are a small number of websites taking an extreme view of Pure Land teachings, that personal conduct doesn't matter whatsoever for those who call on Amida's name.
i don't really think about the pure lands..my thoughts really offend others so i shall keep it quiet..even though i believe the Pure Lands exist.
This is because the thoughts you articulate on the topic of Pure Land Buddhism correspond only to your assumptions about Pure Land practice, not the reality of it. For example:
that personal conduct doesn't matter whatsoever for those who call on Amida's name.
The Catholics have this little velvet box you go into and voila...sins all gone...heaven awaits. :woohoo:
Pure Land practice is nothing like this, as has already been explained to you.

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU.

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Minobu
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Minobu » Fri May 19, 2017 7:51 pm

DGA wrote:
that personal conduct doesn't matter whatsoever for those who call on Amida's name.
The Catholics have this little velvet box you go into and voila...sins all gone...heaven awaits. :woohoo:
Pure Land practice is nothing like this, as has already been explained to you.

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU.
i respond to what i read...

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Minobu
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Minobu » Fri May 19, 2017 7:55 pm

DGA wrote:
Pure Land practice is nothing like this, as has already been explained to you.

NAMU AMIDA BUTSU.
Really!!!
Where?

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by shaunc » Fri May 19, 2017 9:52 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:There's a misconception in the West which reduces Buddhist practice to silent, seated meditation. In reality, the practice of meditation is for the purpose of cultivating wisdom and compassion. What really matters is the wisdom and compassion we develop in our daily life, not meditation in and of itself.
I completely agree with this sentiment. The test of any religion in my opinion is not whether it makes your life better but whether it makes the lives of those around you better.

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