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 several things.
We are cultivating our ability to focus and concentrate through meditation and mindfulness practices. We are also cultivating our mental stability and our ability to contemplate things clearly and without distractions or preconceptions.
Our minds have the tendency to be very distracted and restless, always moving from one thought or feeling to another. Rarely do we really analyze why our minds work the way that they do.
This can cause us to be heavily attached to our thoughts and emotions. The perfection of concentration means training our mind so that it does what we want it to instead of running off whenever the opportunity arises. We stabilize our mind and emotions by striving to be mindful and aware in everything we do. When we train our minds in this way we can achieve focus, composure and tranquility.
Concentration allows the deep insight needed to challenge our delusions and attachments that cause us to be confused and to suffer. Without this practice and the cultivation of inner awareness, the other perfections are very difficult to cultivate. We have to understand our own minds and learn how to work with them.
To attain wisdom, compassion and enlightenment, it is essential that we develop the mind through concentration, meditation, and mindfulness.
Author: Daniel Scharpenburg
Editor: Travis May
Photo: elephant archives
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