March 16, 2015

The 6 Perfections: Patience.


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.

This perfection represents patience and tolerance.

This doesn’t necessarily mean patience as in avoiding getting upset when things are happening to slowly. More importantly, it represents accepting things as they are, rather than as we wish them to be.

This is our ability to face the challenges and difficulties of life without losing our inner peace. We can show patience in the face of distress and be positive in the presence of negativity. We can avoid letting things bring us down and make us bitter.

We cultivate the ability to be loving and compassionate in the face of criticism, misunderstanding or aggression.

In practicing this perfection of patience, we never give up on or abandon others—we help them cross over the sea of suffering. We do our best to maintain our inner peace and calmness under all circumstances, having enduring patience and tolerance for ourselves and others.

With the strength of patience, we maintain our effort and enthusiasm.


The 6 Perfections: Generosity.

The 6 Perfections: Virtue.


Author: Daniel Scharpenburg

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Pixabay

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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