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A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => The Dharma Express => Topic started by: Dharma Flower on May 15, 2017, 01:17:32 pm

Title: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dharma Flower on May 15, 2017, 01:17:32 pm
Buddhism is primarily about following a path. We might have the most beautiful metaphysical beliefs, but if we are unkind to others, those beliefs are of no benefit to us.

For a Mahayana Buddhist, the Six Paramitas are where the rubber meets the road, which are more or less equivalent to the Eightfold Path of Theravada Buddhism:

Quote
The Mahayana Buddhist tradition places a strong emphasis on benefiting others as the goal of Buddhist practice.
As an expression of this attitude toward the nature of Buddhist practice, the Mahayana tradition expresses the essential elements of Buddhist practice described the Eightfold Path in an alternative model called the Six Paramitas.

The literal of meaning of paramita in Sanskrit is “Crossing over to the Other Shore (Nirvana).”
1) Generosity (Skt. Dāna, Jp. fuse 布施)
2) Moral conduct, upholding precepts (Skt. Śīla, Jp. jikai 持戒)
Corresponding elements of the Eightfold Path: Right Speech, Right Conduct, and Right Livelihood
3) Forbearance (Skt. Kṣānti, Jp. ninniku忍辱)
Corresponding element of the Eightfold Path: Right Effort with regard one’s state of mind.
4) Diligence (Skt. Vīrya, Jp. shōjin 精進)
Corresponding element of the Eightfold Path: Right Effort with regard one’s words and actions.
5) Contemplation (Skt. Dhyāna, Jp. zenjō 禪定)
Corresponding elements of the Eightfold Path: Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration.
6) Wisdom (Skt. Prajñā, Jp. chie 智慧)
Corresponding elements of the Eightfold Path: Right View and Right Thought.
[url]http://www.oxnardbuddhisttemple.org/welcome/jodo-shinshu-buddhism[/url] ([url]http://www.oxnardbuddhisttemple.org/welcome/jodo-shinshu-buddhism[/url])


I am currently reading The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva, and it's one of the most eye-opening Buddhist books I've ever read. The path of wisdom and compassion which Shantideva lays out can be practiced by all Buddhists, regardless of school or sect.
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: IdleChater on May 15, 2017, 02:50:09 pm
Buddhism is primarily about following a path. We might have the most beautiful metaphysical beliefs, but if we are unkind to others, those beliefs are of no benefit to us.

True enough, but how, then, do we become kind to others?

If you continue to study Shantideva and other Mahayana gurus, you will come to see that ego-driven actions are not the key.  To approach kindness with the thought that "I will be kind to this person",  is merely an acknowledgement of self - unskillful and without benefit or merit.  Only as we develop the view that there is no gift, no giver and no recipient - 3-fold purity, that we excercise kindness without reference, only then will we have a true paramita.



Quote
For a Mahayana Buddhist, the Six Paramitas are where the rubber meets the road, which are more or less equivalent to the Eightfold Path of Theravada Buddhism:

They are different. 

I believe the 8-fold Path is that of the Noble Ones, the Buddhas of the 3 times, and 10 directions.  The Paramitas are there for our practice.
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dharma Flower on May 15, 2017, 08:07:52 pm
They are different. 


They are different and yet are analogous or complementary to each other:

Quote
The literal of meaning of paramita in Sanskrit is “Crossing over to the Other Shore (Nirvana).”
1) Generosity (Skt. Dāna, Jp. fuse 布施)
2) Moral conduct, upholding precepts (Skt. Śīla, Jp. jikai 持戒)
Corresponding elements of the Eightfold Path: Right Speech, Right Conduct, and Right Livelihood
3) Forbearance (Skt. Kṣānti, Jp. ninniku忍辱)
Corresponding element of the Eightfold Path: Right Effort with regard one’s state of mind.
4) Diligence (Skt. Vīrya, Jp. shōjin 精進)
Corresponding element of the Eightfold Path: Right Effort with regard one’s words and actions.
5) Contemplation (Skt. Dhyāna, Jp. zenjō 禪定)
Corresponding elements of the Eightfold Path: Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration.
6) Wisdom (Skt. Prajñā, Jp. chie 智慧)
Corresponding elements of the Eightfold Path: Right View and Right Thought.
[url]http://www.oxnardbuddhisttemple.org/welcome/jodo-shinshu-buddhism[/url] ([url]http://www.oxnardbuddhisttemple.org/welcome/jodo-shinshu-buddhism[/url])

Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dharma Flower on May 15, 2017, 08:08:45 pm
They are different and yet are analogous or complementary to each other:

Quote
The literal of meaning of paramita in Sanskrit is “Crossing over to the Other Shore (Nirvana).”
1) Generosity (Skt. Dāna, Jp. fuse 布施)
2) Moral conduct, upholding precepts (Skt. Śīla, Jp. jikai 持戒)
Corresponding elements of the Eightfold Path: Right Speech, Right Conduct, and Right Livelihood
3) Forbearance (Skt. Kṣānti, Jp. ninniku忍辱)
Corresponding element of the Eightfold Path: Right Effort with regard one’s state of mind.
4) Diligence (Skt. Vīrya, Jp. shōjin 精進)
Corresponding element of the Eightfold Path: Right Effort with regard one’s words and actions.
5) Contemplation (Skt. Dhyāna, Jp. zenjō 禪定)
Corresponding elements of the Eightfold Path: Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration.
6) Wisdom (Skt. Prajñā, Jp. chie 智慧)
Corresponding elements of the Eightfold Path: Right View and Right Thought.
[url]http://www.oxnardbuddhisttemple.org/welcome/jodo-shinshu-buddhism[/url] ([url]http://www.oxnardbuddhisttemple.org/welcome/jodo-shinshu-buddhism[/url])


Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Kodo308 on May 18, 2017, 07:46:39 am
Buddhism is primarily about following a path. We might have the most beautiful metaphysical beliefs, but if we are unkind to others, those beliefs are of no benefit to us.

For a Mahayana Buddhist, the Six Paramitas are where the rubber meets the road, which are more or less equivalent to the Eightfold Path of Theravada Buddhism:

Quote
The Mahayana Buddhist tradition places a strong emphasis on benefiting others as the goal of Buddhist practice.
As an expression of this attitude toward the nature of Buddhist practice, the Mahayana tradition expresses the essential elements of Buddhist practice described the Eightfold Path in an alternative model called the Six Paramitas.

The literal of meaning of paramita in Sanskrit is “Crossing over to the Other Shore (Nirvana).”

I found that an interesting translation of paramita, as I know it as perfection, so I did a little research on Wikipedia:

"Donald S. Lopez, Jr. describes the etymology of the term:

The term pāramitā, commonly translated as "perfection," has two etymologies. The first derives it from the word parama, meaning "highest", "most distant", and hence "chief", "primary", "most excellent". Hence, the substantive can be rendered "excellence" or "perfection". This reading is supported by the Madhyāntavibhāga (V.4), where the twelve excellences (parama) are associated with the ten perfections (pāramitā).

A more creative yet widely reported etymology divides pāramitā into pāra and mita, with pāra meaning "beyond", "the further bank, shore or boundary," and mita, meaning "that which has arrived," or ita meaning "that which goes." Pāramitā, then means "that which has gone beyond," "that which goes beyond," or "transcendent." This reading is reflected in the Tibetan translation pha rol tu phyin pa ("gone to the other side")."

 :D Learn something new every day! And now I have another question for the geshe...because in the Tibetan tradition I follow, it's always been translated as perfection.

My Zen teacher has always conflated the two expressions of practice.

Quote
I am currently reading The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva, and it's one of the most eye-opening Buddhist books I've ever read. The path of wisdom and compassion which Shantideva lays out can be practiced by all Buddhists, regardless of school or sect.

The Bodhicaryavatara is my desert island book.  :jinsyx: It's both quite approachable while being profound.
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dharma Flower on May 18, 2017, 06:13:31 pm
​In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha explains his past life as Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. What this story tells us is that we ultimately attain Buddhahood through showing kindness to others, even in the face of adversity and harsh circumstances, rather than by scriptural knowledge.

It is only by humbling the ego-self that the Buddha within can shine through. Anyone who teaches that we can be mean and callous our entire lives, willfully ignoring the example of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, and somehow attain Buddhahood anyway, is not teaching the Dharma.

http://www.rk-world.org/publications/lotussutra_B20.html (http://www.rk-world.org/publications/lotussutra_B20.html)
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: IdleChater on May 19, 2017, 08:10:31 am
​In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha explains his past life as Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. What this story tells us is that we ultimately attain Buddhahood through showing kindness to others, even in the face of adversity and harsh circumstances, rather than by scriptural knowledge.

It is only by humbling the ego-self that the Buddha within can shine through. Anyone who teaches that we can be mean and callous our entire lives, willfully ignoring the example of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, and somehow attain Buddhahood anyway, is not teaching the Dharma.

[url]http://www.rk-world.org/publications/lotussutra_B20.html[/url] ([url]http://www.rk-world.org/publications/lotussutra_B20.html[/url])


But how did Bodhisattva Never Disparaging attain this?  Certainly not through the willfull, self-driven excercise of mundane kindness.  Rather it arose from a profund realization of emptiness and 3-fold purity.
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Kodo308 on May 19, 2017, 08:12:02 am
That's one of my favorite stories from the Lotus. And there's a popular song written by a couple of priests at San Francisco Zen Center about Bodhisattva Never Disparage...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7Iup5me5JY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7Iup5me5JY)

I just finished a re-read of the Lotus. What other sutras form the core of Pure Land teachings? Ours are the Lotus, Avatamsaka, & Lankavatara.

 :namaste:

Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dharma Flower on May 20, 2017, 02:24:14 am
That's one of my favorite stories from the Lotus. And there's a popular song written by a couple of priests at San Francisco Zen Center about Bodhisattva Never Disparage...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7Iup5me5JY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7Iup5me5JY)

I just finished a re-read of the Lotus. What other sutras form the core of Pure Land teachings? Ours are the Lotus, Avatamsaka, & Lankavatara.

 :namaste:

There are different interpretations of Pure Land teachings. Finding Our True Home by Thich Nhat Hanh provides an English translation of the Shorter Amitabha Sutra, along with a commentary based on Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhist masters throughout history.
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dharma Flower on May 20, 2017, 02:27:47 am
​In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha explains his past life as Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. What this story tells us is that we ultimately attain Buddhahood through showing kindness to others, even in the face of adversity and harsh circumstances, rather than by scriptural knowledge.

It is only by humbling the ego-self that the Buddha within can shine through. Anyone who teaches that we can be mean and callous our entire lives, willfully ignoring the example of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, and somehow attain Buddhahood anyway, is not teaching the Dharma.

[url]http://www.rk-world.org/publications/lotussutra_B20.html[/url] ([url]http://www.rk-world.org/publications/lotussutra_B20.html[/url])


But how did Bodhisattva Never Disparaging attain this?  Certainly not through the willfull, self-driven excercise of mundane kindness.  Rather it arose from a profund realization of emptiness and 3-fold purity.


If that's what the Lotus Sutra itself says about Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, then sure.
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: IdleChater on May 20, 2017, 06:19:15 am

If that's what the Lotus Sutra itself says about Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, then sure.

Wow!

Let's move the goalposts while we're at it.
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Kodo308 on May 23, 2017, 09:28:09 am

If that's what the Lotus Sutra itself says about Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, then sure.

Wow!

Let's move the goalposts while we're at it.

Which goalposts got moved?
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Pixie on May 23, 2017, 02:28:09 pm

For a Mahayana Buddhist, the Six Paramitas are where the rubber meets the road, which are more or less equivalent to the Eightfold Path of Theravada Buddhism:


 To be more accurate, they are very similar to some of the Ten Paramis in Theravada Buddhism, which are as follows:

1. Generosity.

2. Virtue.

3. Renunciation.

4. Wisdom, insight.

5. Energy, effort.

6. Patience.

7. Truthfulness.

8. Determination.

9. Loving Kindness.

10. Equanimity.


_/|\_
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Kodo308 on May 23, 2017, 05:44:53 pm

 To be more accurate, they are very similar to some of the Ten Paramis in Theravada Buddhism, which are as follows:

1. Generosity.

2. Virtue.

3. Renunciation.

4. Wisdom, insight.

5. Energy, effort.

6. Patience.

7. Truthfulness.

8. Determination.

9. Loving Kindness.

10. Equanimity.


_/|\_

Sometimes Mahayana also refers to the 10 Paramitas, but it is more common to teach the Six.  :pray:
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dharma Flower on May 25, 2017, 09:07:43 pm
Though I practice Pure Land practices, I don't consider myself exclusively a Pure Land Buddhist. In countries like China and Vietnam, it's rare that Pure Land Buddhism is seen as its own distinct sect. Instead, there's more of a general Mahayana Buddhism, in which Pure Land practices might be popular, but within the framework of practicing the Bodhisattva path.
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: IdleChater on May 26, 2017, 07:48:40 am
Though I practice Pure Land practices, I don't consider myself exclusively a Pure Land Buddhist. In countries like China and Vietnam, it's rare that Pure Land Buddhism is seen as its own distinct sect. Instead, there's more of a general Mahayana Buddhism, in which Pure Land practices might be popular, but within the framework of practicing the Bodhisattva path.

Quite right.

We can find various pure land practices within Tibetan Buddhism as well. Amitabha and Avalokiteshvara sadhanas are two.
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dharma Flower on June 03, 2017, 02:04:57 am
The Lotus Sutra promises that all who vow to attain Buddhahood for the sake of all beings will ultimately attain Buddhahood, no matter how many lifetimes it takes. If you practice being kinder and more compassionate here and now, the rest will follow.

Below are the steps to attain Buddhahood, in following the Bodhisattva path:

Quote
To become a Buddha, one has to cultivate the Bodhisattva path. The main practices for the Bodhisattva path are the six perfections and the three sets of precepts:

The Six Perfections

1. Giving: to give money, Dharma, and fearlessness

2. Keeping the precepts: to do no evil and to do all good

3. Patience: to endure and tolerate that which is difficult to endure, and to do that which is difficult to do

4. Diligence: to go forward bravely, undaunted by obstacles

5. Meditative concentration: to fix the mind unwaveringly on one object

6. Wisdom: to have limpid, shining insight into oneself and others.

The Three Sets of Precepts

1. To uphold all the pure precepts, without exception

2. To cultivate all good qualities, without exception

3. To deliver all sentient beings, without exception

By invoking the supreme vow of great Bodhi-mind, great compassion, and the wisdom of emptiness, and passing through three immeasurable kalpas, one may attain the goal of Buddhahood…

The shared vows are made by all Buddhas; namely, the Four Great Vows: “To deliver innumerable sentient beings, to cut off endless vexations, to master limitless approaches to the Dharma, and to attain supreme Buddhahood.”
[url]http://www.108wisdom.org/html/OTH_03.pdf[/url] ([url]http://www.108wisdom.org/html/OTH_03.pdf[/url])
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dharma Flower on June 06, 2017, 02:59:25 am
Mahayana Buddhism teaches that one’s attainment of enlightenment is dependent on the desire to enlighten all other beings. If you develop the mind of Bodhicitta, the desire to attain Buddhahood for the sake of all other beings, then you will ultimately attain Buddhahood, no matter how many lifetimes it takes. Why is this?

The simple answer is the doctrine of dependent origination, one of the oldest and must fundamental Buddhist teachings:

Quote
Pratītyasamutpāda (Sanskrit: प्रतीत्यसमुत्पाद; Pali: पटिच्चसमुप्पाद paṭiccasamuppāda), commonly translated as dependent origination, or dependent arising, states that all dharmas (“things”) arise in dependence upon other dharmas: “if this exists, that exists; if this ceases to exist, that also ceases to exist.” It is a pragmatic teaching, which is applied to dukkha (suffering, unease) and the cessation of dukkha.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prat%C4%ABtyasamutp%C4%81da

If all causes of suffering are dependent on other causes of suffering, then one’s liberation from suffering is mutually dependent on the liberation from suffering of all other beings. This is why Arahants, those who’ve attained liberation only for themselves, have only seen part of the Ultimate Truth, they’ve failed to grasp the fullest meaning of dependent origination, and therefore they’ve only been enlightened in a partial sense.

Why does Avalokitesvara have a thousand arms? Perhaps because she deeply sees her own liberation as dependent on saving as many other beings as possible from suffering. Self-giving is first among the Six Paramitas, the six factors which lead to the attainment of full Buddhahood:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C4%81ramit%C4%81#Mah.C4.81y.C4.81na_Buddhism
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dharma Flower on June 08, 2017, 03:51:59 am
The Lotus Sutra calls itself the King of the Sutras, and it’s been regarded as such throughout East Asian history, because of how captivatingly it summarizes the meaning and intent of the Buddha’s teachings.

The sutra itself is about three hundred pages, and its mythical embellishments might cause a reader to miss its deeper meaning and purpose. This is why the following passage of the Lotus Sutra is so important:

Quote
Thereupon the Bhagavat, wanting to elaborate on the meaning of this further, spoke these verses…
The Buddha, knowing the minds of his children
And their past conduct, taught the Six Perfections (Paramitas)
And various transcendent powers
Through incalculably numerous explanations
And various illustrations.
Explaining the true teaching
And the path to be practiced by the Bodhisattvas,
He taught this Lotus Sutra in verses
Equal in number to the sands of the Ganges River.
[url]http://www.bdk.or.jp/document/dgtl-dl/dBET_T0262_LotusSutra_2007.pdf[/url] ([url]http://www.bdk.or.jp/document/dgtl-dl/dBET_T0262_LotusSutra_2007.pdf[/url])


From the mouth of the Buddha himself, we see that the Buddha’s purpose in teaching the Lotus Sutra was to train Bodhisattvas in the Six Paramitas, the six essential elements in the path to full Buddhahood:

Quote
Dāna pāramitā: generosity, the attitude of giving
Śīla pāramitā : virtue, morality, discipline, proper conduct
Kṣānti (kshanti) pāramitā : patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance
Vīrya pāramitā : energy, diligence, vigor, effort
Dhyāna pāramitā : one-pointed concentration, contemplation
Prajñā pāramitā : wisdom, insight
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_Paths_to_liberation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_Paths_to_liberation)


When the Buddha of the Lotus Sutra teaches there is only One Vehicle to Buddhahood, this is a reference to the Bodhisattva path. All beings have the potential to attain Buddhahood through Bodhisattva practices.

The Lotus Sutra promises that all who aspire to Buddhahood for the sake of all other beings, and who put its recommendations into practice, will attain full Buddhahood, no matter how many lifetimes it takes.
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: Spiny Norman on June 09, 2017, 01:34:51 am
For a Mahayana Buddhist, the Six Paramitas are where the rubber meets the road, which are more or less equivalent to the Eightfold Path of Theravada Buddhism:

It's also interesting to compare the Paramitas to the 7 factors of enlightenment:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Factors_of_Enlightenment
Title: Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path
Post by: AlwaysDayAfterYesterday on June 18, 2017, 06:48:24 pm
​In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha explains his past life as Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. What this story tells us is that we ultimately attain Buddhahood through showing kindness to others, even in the face of adversity and harsh circumstances, rather than by scriptural knowledge.

It is only by humbling the ego-self that the Buddha within can shine through. Anyone who teaches that we can be mean and callous our entire lives, willfully ignoring the example of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, and somehow attain Buddhahood anyway, is not teaching the Dharma.

[url]http://www.rk-world.org/publications/lotussutra_B20.html[/url] ([url]http://www.rk-world.org/publications/lotussutra_B20.html[/url])


But how did Bodhisattva Never Disparaging attain this?  Certainly not through the willfull, self-driven excercise of mundane kindness.  Rather it arose from a profund realization of emptiness and 3-fold purity.


Many people never connect the words meditation, practice and posture with their truest meaning.  Here in Tamas, we are all suffering in time (Rajas).  Sattva both means the Being themselves and Truth, or the location in the Triloka where our mind resides.  Suffering is necessity, or the perquisite to removal of the same.  To reach a locked position in Sattva, we must first realize our position in the lower six realms.  In Zen, this is the essence of three buffalo.  One Buffalo raises its head out of the mud, with horns showing.  This is the Tamas mind of hindrance.  A Water Buffalo enters the stream (Rajas) and meditates, which is the definition of Manu -- To Think.  Literally, all meditation in the truest sense is done right here in life.  Practice is what the illusion is for down here in the lower six realms.  It's an illusion, or projection of the meditating mind in Sattva.  Literally, you build this world and body from your mind, which is much more powerful in the highest realm.  This world is a shadow, hence, the fact that you are meditating this world from that realm.  Meditation here then shines the light back, but if the reflection does not match, there is no recognition of the Truth.  Life is then lived asleep, or not BUDH.  BUDH means to awaken.  Reflecting the light back into truth with the proper mind (that of compassion for others) and the light then begins to match.  Once the images are meeting face to first face, it is then said that the arrow tip meets arrow tip; image meets image.  Your first face is that of Truth.  Suffering here in amnesia (tamas) is the passion in time (Rajas) that leads you to find.  Seek, Find and Adaptation.  Rise.  Practice for the eventual performance once finding your true mind--Mind is Buddha. 

Posture is your character. 

Now tell me, what is the meaning of the third buffalo?  Domesticated.  Serving the family on the land.  White. 

Define the words in Sanskrit:  Bodhi Sattva.  Bodhi is a tree:  Line, Branch and Fold.  Seeds are Folded first, the Branching, then Line up to the next tree (rebirth). 
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