The Ten Paramis

The ten perfections of the heart include: generosity, morality, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, resolution, lovingkindness, and equanimity. Please join us in uncovering the compassionate intention to take care of our heart and the world as expressed by these ten wholesome qualities of heart.
Eight Mondays, March 11 – April 29, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Optional sitting period, 7:00-7:30 p.m

Week 8 Audio

posted Apr 29, 2013, 8:44 PM by Scott Jensen   [ updated Aug 13, 2013, 11:20 AM by Scott Jensen ]

Week 7 Audio

posted Apr 23, 2013, 5:25 PM by Scott Jensen   [ updated Aug 13, 2013, 11:20 AM by Scott Jensen ]

Articles on Lovingkindness

posted Apr 22, 2013, 3:57 PM by Mark Nunberg   [ updated Aug 17, 2015, 2:17 PM by Scott Jensen ]

Saying Yes to an Open Heart by Diana Winston in Buddhadharma, Summer 2010

Week 6 Audio

posted Apr 15, 2013, 8:25 PM by Common Ground Retreats   [ updated Aug 13, 2013, 11:20 AM by Scott Jensen ]

Resources and Themes for Reflection: Patience, Energy and Determination

posted Apr 12, 2013, 6:43 AM by Mark Nunberg   [ updated Apr 16, 2013, 6:22 AM by Scott Jensen ]

Sharing examples of great resolve and patience: refraining from action, words or thoughts when we are clear that it will not help.


Sharing experience of “Patience as grace” - a sense of wisdom or insight having lifted you out of an oppressive state of mind. A realization that patience is always an option, even if a moment ago it seemed unavailable.


Share about your relationship to the self drama of not having enough time. Notice how convincing this is. What perspective frees up the mind?


Joseph Goldstein has said that it is effort that leads to energy. How have you learned to arouse energy in the mind?


Read page 125 in Ajahn’s Sucitto’s book about his practice of non complaining. How do you experience the connection between habits of complaining and the experience of impatience, low energy and lack of resolve?

Additional reflections to consider regarding effort, energy, and dedication (Thank you Scott for these suggestions):
  • What activities energize our practice? What activities exhaust our practice?
  • What motivates us to make effort? The goals of happiness and freedom, or immediate curiosity? What else?
  • How does it feel to exert effort? Is it joyful, or a burden?
  • How does our dedication to the path support our efforts?
Additional resources on Energy:

Joyful Effort by Christina Feldman in Insight Journal, 

Viriya: Courageous Energy, a talk by Joseph Goldstein from last year's 3-month IMS retreat, recommended by Jennie (who was in attendance) to the Buddhist Studies group.


Earthworm Practice Ajahn Passano

Question: Effort Bhante Gunaratana

Attachments:
Joy in Effort from the talks of Thanissaro Bhikku:

Single-Minded Determination from the talks of Thanissaro Bhikku:

Page of quotes is compiled by Gil Fronsdal from a course on the Paramis at the Insight Meditation Center:

Week 5 Audio

posted Apr 9, 2013, 8:32 AM by Common Ground Audio   [ updated Aug 13, 2013, 11:20 AM by Scott Jensen ]

Readings on Patience

posted Apr 8, 2013, 2:29 PM by Mark Nunberg   [ updated Apr 8, 2013, 2:29 PM by Scott Jensen ]

Finding Patience: How to survive a traffic jam—on the road, or in the heart  By Michele McDonald
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pFwlPBKUvLRglGqa3veuzDtV5SncI8fF1DGzj6J00c0/edit?usp=sharing

Kakacupama Sutta: The Simile of the Saw (excerpt) translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Week 4 Audio

posted Apr 1, 2013, 8:38 PM by Scott Jensen   [ updated Aug 13, 2013, 11:20 AM by Scott Jensen ]

The Paramis of Wisdom and Truthfulness

posted Apr 1, 2013, 7:26 AM by Mark Nunberg   [ updated Apr 1, 2013, 7:26 AM by Scott Jensen ]

Here is a section from The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering by Bhikkhu Bodhi where he is talking about right speech and a commitment to truth. I recommend that you read it when you get a chance:

(1) Abstaining from false speech (musavada veramani)

Herein someone avoids false speech and abstains from it. He speaks the truth, is devoted to truth, reliable, worthy of confidence, not a deceiver of people. Being at a meeting, or amongst people, or in the midst of his relatives, or in a society, or in the king's court, and called upon and asked as witness to tell what he knows, he answers, if he knows nothing: "I know nothing," and if he knows, he answers: "I know"; if he has seen nothing, he answers: "I have seen nothing," and if he has seen, he answers: "I have seen." Thus he never knowingly speaks a lie, either for the sake of his own advantage, or for the sake of another person's advantage, or for the sake of any advantage whatsoever.[21]

This statement of the Buddha discloses both the negative and the positive sides to the precept. The negative side is abstaining from lying, the positive side speaking the truth. The determinative factor behind the transgression is the intention to deceive. If one speaks something false believing it to be true, there is no breach of the precept as the intention to deceive is absent. Though the deceptive intention is common to all cases of false speech, lies can appear in different guises depending on the motivating root, whether greed, hatred, or delusion. Greed as the chief motive results in the lie aimed at gaining some personal advantage for oneself or for those close to oneself — material wealth, position, respect, or admiration. With hatred as the motive, false speech takes the form of the malicious lie, the lie intended to hurt and damage others. When delusion is the principal motive, the result is a less pernicious type of falsehood: the irrational lie, the compulsive lie, the interesting exaggeration, lying for the sake of a joke.

The Buddha's stricture against lying rests upon several reasons. For one thing, lying is disruptive to social cohesion. People can live together in society only in an atmosphere of mutual trust, where they have reason to believe that others will speak the truth; by destroying the grounds for trust and inducing mass suspicion, widespread lying becomes the harbinger signalling the fall from social solidarity to chaos. But lying has other consequences of a deeply personal nature at least equally disastrous. By their very nature lies tend to proliferate. Lying once and finding our word suspect, we feel compelled to lie again to defend our credibility, to paint a consistent picture of events. So the process repeats itself: the lies stretch, multiply, and connect until they lock us into a cage of falsehoods from which it is difficult to escape. The lie is thus a miniature paradigm for the whole process of subjective illusion. In each case the self-assured creator, sucked in by his own deceptions, eventually winds up their victim.

Such considerations probably lie behind the words of counsel the Buddha spoke to his son, the young novice Rahula, soon after the boy was ordained. One day the Buddha came to Rahula, pointed to a bowl with a little bit of water in it, and asked: "Rahula, do you see this bit of water left in the bowl?" Rahula answered: "Yes, sir." "So little, Rahula, is the spiritual achievement (samañña, lit. 'recluseship') of one who is not afraid to speak a deliberate lie." Then the Buddha threw the water away, put the bowl down, and said: "Do you see, Rahula, how that water has been discarded? In the same way one who tells a deliberate lie discards whatever spiritual achievement he has made." Again he asked: "Do you see how this bowl is now empty? In the same way one who has no shame in speaking lies is empty of spiritual achievement." Then the Buddha turned the bowl upside down and said: "Do you see, Rahula, how this bowl has been turned upside down? In the same way one who tells a deliberate lie turns his spiritual achievements upside down and becomes incapable of progress." Therefore, the Buddha concluded, one should not speak a deliberate lie even in jest.[22]

It is said that in the course of his long training for enlightenment over many lives, a bodhisatta can break all the moral precepts except the pledge to speak the truth. The reason for this is very profound, and reveals that the commitment to truth has a significance transcending the domain of ethics and even mental purification, taking us to the domains of knowledge and being. Truthful speech provides, in the sphere of interpersonal communication, a parallel to wisdom in the sphere of private understanding. The two are respectively the outward and inward modalities of the same commitment to what is real. Wisdom consists in the realization of truth, and truth (sacca) is not just a verbal proposition but the nature of things as they are. To realize truth our whole being has to be brought into accord with actuality, with things as they are, which requires that in communications with others we respect things as they are by speaking the truth. Truthful speech establishes a correspondence between our own inner being and the real nature of phenomena, allowing wisdom to rise up and fathom their real nature. Thus, much more than an ethical principle, devotion to truthful speech is a matter of taking our stand on reality rather than illusion, on the truth grasped by wisdom rather than the fantasies woven by desire.

For our discussion of Wisdom, I recommend that you read the chapters on Right View and Right Intention. Follow the link below.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/waytoend.html

Finally, Rick Potts sent a link to a good article on engaged Buddhism. I have pasted some of Rick's email below with the link to the article.

Please find the attached article about the life and times of Sulak Sivaraks out of the Kyoto Journal. It's lengthy, but I think the first paragraph or two will be enough to give the reader cause to finish the article. He is still a pillar of what engaged  Buddhism is about, and his life story is inspirational.

http://kyotojournal.org/the-journal/heart-work/the-engaged-buddhism-of-sulak-sivaraksa/

Week 3 Audio

posted Mar 25, 2013, 8:19 PM by Common Ground Retreats   [ updated Aug 13, 2013, 11:20 AM by Scott Jensen ]

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