The six perfections

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Re: The six perfections

Postby ground » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:38 am

The perfection of patience


What patience is

Patience is (1) disregarding the harm done to you, (2) accepting the suffering arising in your mind-stream, and (3) being certain about the teachings and firmly maintaining belief in them. There are three sets of factors incompatible with these: for the first, hostility; for the second, hostility and loss of courage; and for the third, disbelief and dislike. Perfecting patience means that you simply complete your conditioning to a state of mind wherein you have stopped your anger and the like. ...


(1) disregarding the harm done to you in terms of practice means

a) Stopping impatience with those who harm you:
    Stopping impatience with those who prevent your happiness and those who cause you to suffer.
    Stopping impatience with those who prevent your praise, fame, or honor, and with those who have contempt for you, or say offensive or unpleasant things to you.
    Stopping both dislike for harmdoers' attainments and delight in their troubles

b) Stopping both dislike for harmdoers' attainments and delight in their troubles


(2) accepting the suffering arising in your mind-stream in terms of practice means developing the patience of accepting suffering


(3) being certain about the teachings and firmly maintaining belief in them in terms of practice means developing the patience of certitude about the teachings



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Re: The six perfections

Postby ground » Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:35 am

The perfection of patience (continued)

The Luminous (Prabhakari)

This third stage is [called] "The Luminous" because here appears the light of the fire which burns away without remainder its fuel of the objects of knowledge. At this time, within the son (daughter) of the tathagata there arises a brilliance, the color of polished brass, like the sun.
If someone angered without provocation should gradually, measure by measure, cut away the flesh and bone from an bodhisattva's body, his patience with the person doing the cutting would grow to an extreme.
Even the things associated with such an act of mutilation - that which [is being cut], he who [is cutting], and the time [of the event] - are seen as mere reflections by a bodhisattva who directly perceives the absence of a self. On this account he (she) is patient.
...
Anger directed against a son (daughter) of the conquerors destroys in a single moment merit accumulated through generosity and morality practiced over the course of eons. Therefore there is no sin greater than impatience.
Impatience creates an ugly appearance, it leads to association with the ignoble, it steals the discrimination that distinguishes between right and wrong behaviour, and before long it casts the offender into a bad migration. Patience engenders qualities the opposite of those [faults] just mentioned.
Patience beautifies and leads to association with noble people, it is the knowledge involved in distinguishing between right and wrong conduct. Moreover it brings about the disintegration of sin, and birth as a god or man.
...
Even as applied toward the awakening of a perfect buddha, when [patience is associated with] attachment to reified concepts concerning the existence of the three supports, it remains a mundane perfection. That [patience] that is devoid of any support was taught by the buddha as a supramundane perfection.
At this stage the son (daughter) of the conquerors experiences, along with his (her) practice of meditation (dyana) and higher mental faculties, the complete exhaustion of craving and hostility. He (she) is also capable at any time of vanquishing the passionate craving of the world.
The sugatas commonly recommend these three principles - generosity, [morality, and patience] to laypeople. These same principles constitute the provision of merit, and are the cause of the buddha's body of form.
When it has completely dispelled the darkness of the son (daughter) of the conquerors within whom it resides, [the thought of awakening associated with] this luminous [stage] brings with it a longing for total victory over the darkness of all living beings. At this stage, even though he has become extremely zealous, [the bodhisattva] is never subject to anger.


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Re: The six perfections

Postby ground » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:29 am

The perfection of joyous perseverance


Armor-like joyous perseverance

When bodhisattvas joyously persevere, prior to actively engaging themselves they put on the armor of a preliminary enthusiastic thought such as, "For a trillion sets of three immeasurable great eons each composed of days as long as thousand great eons, I shall not relinquinsh my practice of joyous perseverance. For the sake of relieving the suffering of a single living being, I would rejoice at remaining only as a hell-being until I attain buddhahood. As I exert myself in this manner for the sake of complete enlightenment, what neeed is there to mention my perseverance over a shorter period in the face of lesser sufferings"?
Such is the joyous perseverance that is like armor.


Joyous perseverance of gathering virtue

The joyous perseverance of gathering virtue is applying yourself to the practice of the six perfections in order to properly accomplish them.


Joyous perseverance of acting for the welfare of living beings

The joyous perseverance of acting for the welfare of living beings is properly applying yourself to the practice of the eleven activities for others' welfare.




The method of developing joyous perseverance

1. Eliminating unfavorable conditions:
1.1 Stopping the laziness of procrastination
1.2 Stopping attachment to ignoble activites
1.3 Stopping discouragement of self-contempt

2. Gathering the forces of the favorable conditions
2.1 Developing the power of aspiration
2.2 Developing the power of steadfastness
2.3 Developing the power of joy
2.4 The power of relinquishment


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Re: The six perfections

Postby ground » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:10 am

The perfection of joyous perseverance (continued)

The Radiant (Arcismati)

All good qualities follow after energy (virya). Energy is a cause for both of the two types of provisions: merit and discerment. The stage where it is kindled is the forth, called "The Radiant".
At this stage, within the son (daughter) of the sugatas, from intense meditative cultivation of the ancillaries to perfect awakening, a brilliance is produced which is superior to the shining of brass, and any [reified concepts] associated with the philosophical view of a subjective self are completely eradicated.


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Re: The six perfections

Postby ground » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:08 am

The perfection of meditative stabilization


What meditative stabilization is

Meditative stabilization is a virtuous, one-pointed state of mind that stays fixed on its object of meditation, without distraction to other things.


How to begin the cultivation of meditative stabilization

Think over the benefits of cultivating meditative stabilization and the faults of not cultivating it.


The divisions of meditative stabilization

... if you subdivide meditative stabilization according to nature, there are two kinds: mundane and supramundane; if you do so according to orientation, there are three kinds [oriented toward serenity, toward insight, or toward both conjoined]. If you subdivide it according to function, there are three types: meditative stabilization that stabilizes the body and mind in bliss within this present life, meditative stabilization that achieves good qualities, and meditative stabilization that carries out the welfare of living beings. The first, meditative stabilization that stabilizes the body and mind in bliss within this present life, is all meditative stabilizations that generate mental and physical pliancy, when you enter them with equipoise. The second, meditative stabilization that achieves good qualities, is all meditative stabilizations which accomplish good qualities shared with the sravakas - the superknowledges, liberations, totalities, masteries, etc. The third, meditative stabilization that carries out the welfare of living beings, is meditative stabilization that accomplishes the eleven activities for others' welfare.


How to practice

Whenever you practice any virtuous meditative stabilization, you should do so in association with the six supremacies and all six perfections. The generosity of meditative stabilization is maintaining meditative stabilization yourself and then establishing others in it.



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Re: The six perfections

Postby ground » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:42 am

The perfection of meditative stabilization (continued)

The Unconquerable (Sudurjaya)

At this stage called "The Unconquerable", the mighty one cannot be subdued even by all the forces of Mara. [Perfection of] meditation predominates, and [the bodhisattva] gains extreme skill in comprehension of the profound instrinsic nature of the [four] truths of the noble-minded.



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Re: The six perfections

Postby ground » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:46 am

The perfection of wisdom


How to begin the generation of wisdom

The way to begin the generation of wisdom is to contemplate the benefits of generating wisdom and the faults of not generating it.


The divisions of wisdom

Wisdom that knows the ultimate

Wisdom that knows the ultimate cognizes the reality of selflessness, either by means of concept or in a direct manner.

Wisdom that knows the conventional

Wisdom that knows the conventional is wisdom that is proficient at the five topics of knowledge [Buddhist knowledge, grammer, logic, technical arts and medicine].
The topics are distinguished by different sorts of purposes for pursuing them. To refute those who do not believe in the teaching, you pursue knwoledge of grammar and logic. To help those who do believe, you pursue knowledge of the arts and medicine. To achieve knowledge of all for yourself, you pursue Buddhist knowledge. But to attain buddhahood, there are no such distinctions between them; you must pursue all the topics of knowledge.

Wisdom that knows how to act for the welfare of living beings

Wisdom that knows how to act for the welfare of living beings knows the way to accomplish blamelessly the welfare of beings in their present and future lives.


How to practice

When you develop the three kinds of wisdom, you do so in association with the six supremacies and all six perfections. The generosity of wisdom is establishing others in wisdom after you have stabilized yourself in it.



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Re: The six perfections

Postby ground » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:39 am

The perfection of wisdom (continued)

The Directly Facing (Abhimukhi)


At the stage called "The Directly Facing", fixed in balanced concentration (samadhi) and directly facing the Dharma of a perfect buddha, [the bodhisattva] who perceives the nature of conditionality abides in perfect wisdom and thereby attains cessation.
Just as an entire group of blind men is easily conducted to its destination by a single person gifted with sight, so in this case also [perfect wisdom] goes on to the [stage of] the conquerors, taking along with it the [previous five] qualities that are without the eye of discrimination.
...
The seed of a perfect buddha's discrimination lies within such a person. This person is a proper vessel for teachings on reality, it is to him that the truth of the highest meaning is to be taught, and he posseses the qualitites which must accompany that [instruction].
Always he lives morally, gives offerings, practices compassion, and fosters patience. He applies the merit from these [virtues] toward his awakening for the liberation of all living beings.
He is devoted to the perfect bodhisattvas. A person who is expert in this profound and vast way, who has by degrees obtained the stage called "The Joyous", and who is intent on this [stage] - he alone should attend to this path.



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Re: The six perfections

Postby ground » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:13 pm

Beyond

The Far Advanced (Durangama)

At the stage [called] "The Far Advanced" [the bodhisattva] enters into the cessation [of dualistic thought*] from one moment to the next, and his skillful means also attain a glorious brilliance.


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* "It is called 'cessation in suchness' because at the time of [his] noble balanced concentration (aryasamadhi) all conceptual diffusion associated with the appearance of dualism ceases in 'suchness'" (Lama Tsongkhapa)
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Re: The six perfections

Postby ground » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:50 am

Beyond (continued)


The Immovable (Acala)

The [thought of awakening] becomes irreversible when, for the purpose of gaining greater an greater virtue, the mighty one enters into the [stage called] "The Immovable". His vow [to rescue all living beings] is entirely purified, and the conquerors lift him from cessation.

The wisdom of non-clinging does not abide in the company of any faults, and therefore at the eighth stage these impurities along with their roots are thoroughly eradicated. The afflictions have been extinguished, yet even though [the bodhisattva] is preeminent in the triple world, still he is unable to obtain the treasure of the [qualities] of the buddhas, which is limitless as the heavens.

Although the round of transmigration has been stopped, [the bodhisattva] will go on to obtain the ten powers and use them for the benefit of living beings.



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