It’s an important virtue in Buddhism.
It’s one of the Three Trainings, along with Virtue and Meditation.
But, Wisdom is not always well defined, especially not here in the west. We sometimes blur the line between wisdom and knowledge, or between wisdom and intellect.
But What is Wisdom, Really?
To me, wisdom means an intuitive understanding of the Dharma.
We can understand concepts like impermanence, emptiness, and interconnectedness on an intellectual level without so much difficulty. It’s easy to memorize and recite the four noble truths or our favorite sutras, but memorization isn’t wisdom. If it was, then the directions for becoming wise would be simple and straightforward. It’s easy to say that “ego is an illusion.” but to really understand that in our minds is something different.
Understanding interconnectedness is knowledge. Wisdom is being interconnectedness—understanding and acting on our interconnectedness in everything that we do. It is much easier said than done.
Knowledge consists of words, letters, and concepts. Wisdom is beyond words, letters, and concepts.
We can learn about the Dharma all we want. There are endless things we can read and we are lucky to live in a time when that is the case. There was a time when many Buddhist teachings were hard to find. That is not so anymore. In fact, more old texts are getting translated all the time.
And that’s good. Knowledge is important too.
But we have to actually practice the Dharma to gain wisdom.
It isn’t just something to learn about. It’s something to do.
The Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki once said,
“There are no enlightened people, there is only enlightened action.”
When we engage with wisdom we are enlightened, we are experiencing enlightenment.
Like elephant buddhadharma on Facebook.
Editor: Cat Beekmans
hot on elephant
A letter to the Anger that refuses to Leave Me. 110 shares The Most Powerful Moon of the Year: New Moon & Solar Eclipse in Pisces. 42,542 shares A Relationship will only be as Good as the Sex. 10,514 shares Welcome to Pisces Season: A Love there is no Coming Back From. 12,846 shares How Women ruin Good Men. 4,027 shares If You have to “Think About It,” then I’m Not the One for You. 4,800 shares What Rumi had to Say about Unhappy Love. 245 shares Not sure I thought I’d ever say this, but Ashton Kutcher is about to inspire you to tears. 2,300 shares If You Love an Intuitive, Old-Soul Pisces, Read This. 2,333 shares How we can go to Heaven without Dragging Others with Us. 111 shares