This week Lama Surya Das explores the Ten Paramitas, the Buddha’s guidelines for everyday living.
The Bodhisattva’s Guide (Opening) – The path of the Bodhisattva is the path of the awakener. It is a path that stretches across many lifetimes with the goal not of reaching nirvana, but of leading others to it. Lama Surya Das introduces the Ten Paramitas, teachings that exist as guidelines in our day to day lives. He explains how the Ten Paramitas help us to be kinder and more respectful to all life, which is essential to progress on the Bodhisattva path.
Taking Action (5:45) – We explore the first three paramitas, as well as the importance of applying them towards positive action in the world.
“Generosity, the first paramita, arises from unselfishness and non-attachment. Ethics, the second Paramita, involves virtue, integrity, and self-discipline. The third paramita, patience or forbearance, requires resilience, acceptance, and fortitude. With each of these paramitas we can look at in the outer, inner and secret levels.”
Be the Change (16:25) – Surya Das explores the way in which we become wise through applying what we learn through mindfulness practice to our daily lives.
“We develop wisdom by learning, reflecting, integrating and living it. We can develop this, which is the whole point, not just believe in it. No, we have to be the change.”
Outer and Inner Morality (29:50) – The second paramita of ethics and morality means not just practicing morality towards others, but also towards ourselves. Surya Das looks at the importance of inner morality in growing into our Buddha nature.
“The inner morality is being straight; is being authentic; is being true; is straightforward; is impeccable even, which is admittedly a tall order. If we are Buddhists that is what we are aiming for, enlightenment, a tall order; not in size but in vastness, scope, and profundity. Inside it is being straight with ourselves and not just externally honest, but true to ourselves. At the innermost level of it is our true nature, our incorruptible Buddha nature.”
Question about the Path (37:30) – Surya Das takes questions from his live audience about Dharma practice and the Bodhisattva path. With them he discusses enlightenment, cultivation through practice, confronting death.
For more teaching on the Ten Paramitas, check out this episode of Jack Kornfield’s Wisdom Hour.