March 23, 2015

The 6 Perfections: Diligence.


I’m writing a series on the Six Perfections. The Six Perfections (or Paramitas) are often considered the most fundamental teaching of the path of the Bodhisattva. They are said to be vehicles to take us from shore of sorrow to the shore of peace and joy. We are on the shore of suffering, anger and depression and we want to cross over to the shore of well-being. Practicing the Six Perfections is said to help us unleash the joy within.

Diligence involves not giving up.

Sticking to what we need to do on the path. What good is generosity or patience if we aren’t really doing our best to cultivate them?

That’s where diligence comes in. It involves continuing to persevere even when things get hard. It includes putting forth the right amount of effort, enthusiasm, and energy. This includes the energy needed to overcome negative thoughts that make us unhappy and the energy needed to cultivate positive virtues.

Diligence requires eagerness. It requires active bodily or mental strength to improve our personality in order to lessen the suffering of ourselves and others. We need the energy of diligence in order to stay on the path and do what needs to be done.

When we are on the right path, we will be diligent in studying ourselves, in seeing the true reality, and in having the sustained energy needed to continue. Through diligence we can generate great compassion to help others and ourselves.



The 6 Perfections: Generosity.

The 6 Perfections: Patience.

The 6 Perfections: Virtue.


Author: Daniel Scharpenburg

Editor: Travis May

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tammystone4444 Mar 23, 2015 9:16pm

This reminds me of the Einstein quote, "Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work." Diligence can be underestimated, but is so integral … thanks for this great summary.

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Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg lives in Kansas City. He’s been practicing Buddhism for nearly 20 years. He teaches at the Open Heart Project Sangha and is a Zen Teacher (Fashi) in the Dharma Winds Zen Order. His main focus is on mindfulness practices rooted in the earliest Zen teachings and compassion practices rooted in the Bodhisattva Tradition. He has taken Bodhisattva Vows and Brahmajala Precepts and he is affiliated with the Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun.
Find out more about Daniel on his blog and connect with him on Facebook