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April 7, 2015

The 6 Perfections: Wisdom.

Biswajit Das/Flickr

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 transcendental wisdom and insight. This is the highest understanding that we can attain, beyond words and concepts.

This is the wisdom that knows emptiness and the interconnectedness of all things. This is the wisdom that transcends the ego, or small self, and is able to engage with our true selves.

The Perfection of Wisdom is a result of contemplation, meditation, and rightly understanding the nature of reality. The sixth perfection is what truly ties the other five together and is often considered the most important.

In a way, the Perfection of Wisdom is the sum of the other five perfections. If one is able cultivate generosity, patience, virtue, diligence and concentration, this will naturally lead to the cultivation of wisdom.

Wisdom represents an awareness of the truth of our true nature. It is our intuition, our innate understanding that everything is interconnected, that we are one with everything. Nothing is separate from us and nothing can be left out.

Just as a wave in the ocean is never really separate from the water, although for a time it appears to be, so are we.

We are all waves and the universe is our ocean. When we act in accordance with this fact, then we are dwelling in Enlightenment. Recognizing our interconnectedness is unleashing our true nature.

We have this wisdom already, we just have to clear away the delusion and unleash it.

 

Relephant Reads:

The 6 Perfections: Generosity.

The 6 Perfections: Virtue.

The 6 Perfections: Patience.

The 6 Perfections: Diligence.

The 6 Perfections: Concentration.

 

Author: Daniel Scharpenburg

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Biswajit Das/Flickr

 

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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