You control your aggression by means of shamatha and vipashyana and by means of realizing absolute and relative bodhichitta. You develop nonaggression. Out of patience grows exertion, which is having a sense of joy in, and appreciation of, your livelihood and your practice. After exertion comes meditation. Meditation does not mean purely sitting on your meditation cushion, or gomden.
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Meditation means that the cushion is sewn to your pants, so your gomden goes with you everywhere. Instead of wearing a crucifix, you might sew a gomden onto your skirt or your pants, so that you always have an awareness of meditation. From the paramita of meditation, an extraordinary intelligence begins to open up, known as prajna paramita. From the extraordinary intelligence of prajna, you develop an understanding of mindfulness and awareness, as well as an understanding of all five previous paramitas.
Prajna is also like the horse that pulls the chariot, or the rest of the paramitas. Prajna knows where to go and how to go. Therefore, prajna is a very important part of bodhisattva discipline: everything begins to spark.
It has also been said in the texts that all rivers go to the south and that all rivers flow into the ocean. That ocean is prajna. This is also offered as an online course by one of his main students, Judy Lief. Here is a glimpse:.
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Below is a presentation by Padmakara translator Wulstan Fletctcher giving an overview of the text:. The Sutra of Hui-Neng includes his commentary on the Diamond Sutra which discusses the paramitas as a group. The Compass of Zen by Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn includes a chapter on the paramitas which includes a wonderful story from the 16 th century of a Korean monk being harassed by invading soldiers that illustrates the fifth paramita, meditative concentration.
She says:. I think of the paramitas as fundamental functions of human life that enable us to make wise and compassionate responses in a world filled with suffering. Ranging from our everyday concerns about relationships, ethics, and consumption to our artistic inspirations and broadest human yearnings, Fischer depicts imaginative spiritual practice as a necessary resource for our troubled times. It almost goes without saying that this is a treasure trove of resources for understanding the paramitas, how they support Bodhicitta, and why they are essential to put into practice.
The paramitas are presented throughout. Sakya Pandita presents it through the lens of the Three Trainings, some in terms of the three kinds of beings. Kangyur Rinpoche, whose commentary forms the bulk of our edition, stresses the six paramitas. Numerically, it is the fifth and sixth paramitas that receive the most explanation. Unsurprisingly there is an extensive presentation of the paramitas in the second volume. Also of the Lam Rim genre, the 18 th century visionary Jigme Lingpa wrote the astonishingly powerful Treasury of Precious Qualities which includes a 60 page section on the paramitas, inclusive of the commentary by Kangyur Rinpoche.
The guide above, while not comprehensive, will help you build a strong foundation.
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You can also look at more of our books that explore the paramitas here. We also have additional videos about the bodhisattva path on shambhala.
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There are few figures more beloved in the Buddhist Himalayas than the 11th century yogi-hero Milarepa. His story of hardship, errant paths, disciplined training, heartbreak, devotion, and ultimate liberation have been told in many places. Stories of his life, as well as teachings on his songs, abound—dozens of Shambhala Publications and Snow Lion books feature him. His example and teachings appear across all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
In one section, Ani Pema relates:. To begin with, Milarepa was a murderer, and like most of us when we blow it, he wanted to atone for his errors.
And like most of us, in the process of seeking liberation, he frequently fell flat on his face. He lied and stole to get what he wanted, he got so depressed he was suicidal, and he experienced nostalgia for the good old days. Like most of us, he had one person in his life who continually tested him and blew his saintly cover.
Below you will find a set of other resources to learn more about Milarepa, and be inspired by his example. Jetsun Milarepa was first introduced widely to the English-speaking world in by Walter Evans-Wentz, an anthropologist and theosophist, through his idiosyncratic translation of Milarepa's life.
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Since then there has been a sizeable body of work devoted to him. Originally published in the s, it has recently been re-released with new material. There is a large cohort of people—including some in our office—who were deeply influenced by this work as youngsters. There is a large corpus of songs of realization, many included in the collection The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa. Chang and a newer and generally far more readable edition by Chris Stagg, a superb young translator who unfortunately passed away in an accident in As teacher Judy Lief, who edited this volume, put it:.
Translations of many of Milarepa's songs are included in Rain of Wisdom , a collection of the songs of the Kagyu. There is a wonderful story that follows the song included here:. Milarepa called him back again. So I will teach it to you. Here it is!
Paramitas : The Gathering of Many Rivers
The qualities in my mind stream have arisen through my having meditated so persistently that my buttocks have become like this. You must also give rise to such heartfelt perseverance and meditate! In volume V of his Collected Works, he has three pieces:. The writing is quite vivid, however. Although it was impossible to definitively confirm this, it is likely that this article is actually an early treatment prepared by Chogyam Trungpa for a movie on the life of Milarepa, which he began filming in the early s.
The opening part of the article is a discussion of how the secret practice of Buddhist yoga evolved in India, especially in the ninth century in the great universities of Nalanda and Vikramashila. Throughout, Rinpoche brings together immense appreciation for Milarepa as a highly developed person on the one hand, with a down-to-earth insight into the humanness and ordinary quality of his practice on the other.
After he met his guru, Milarepa lived an austere, ascetic life and spent many years in solitary retreat in caves in the wilderness of Tibet. His lifestyle might seem distant from that of most people, especially in this modern age. Since he was true to himself, he had no relative concept of other living styles and did not compare himself to others. Although he taught people with many different lifestyles, he had no desire to convert them. It becomes profound without pretense, and this naturally provokes the actual practice of meditation.
Gampopa, the direct heir to much of Milarepa's teachings, wrote the famous Jewel Ornament of Liberation. The story of Milarepa pacifying a hunter and his ferocious dog, demonstrating a reverence for life, is included in Dharma Rain: Sources of Buddhist Environmentalism. Another good source is Lotsawa House's section on works related to Milarepa. This holiday season we care about hearing what you have to say. Below are some thoughtful quotations from readers on their favorite Shambhala books.
How do we help? How do we create a saner world or a saner domestic situation or job situation, wherever we may be? How do we work with our actions and our speech and our minds in a way that opens up the space rather than closes it down? In other words, how do we create space for other people and ourselves to connect with our own wisdom? How do we create a space where we can find out how to become more a part of this world we are living in and less separate and isolated and afraid?
How do we do that? It all starts with loving-kindness for oneself, which in turn becomes loving-kindness for others. As the barriers come down around our own hearts, we are less afraid of other people. We are more able to hear what is being said, see what is in front of our eyes, and work in accord with what happens rather than struggle against it. The lojong teachings say that the way to help, the way to act compassionately, is to exchange oneself for other.
I recently received a letter from a friend in which she dumped all over me and told me off.
Related Paramitas, The Gathering of Many Rivers
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