pāramī

In Praise of the Longest Breath

As meditators, we are used to focusing our attention on the breath and carefully examining its qualities as a way of calming the mind and cultivating mindfulness.

Our samatha practice is based on the observation of our breath. We control its length while letting it flow as naturally as possible. Noticing its physical peculiarities, we become involved with it.

The Ten Perfections (Pāramī)

"How many dhammas are there, lord, issuing in Buddhahood?"

"There are, Sariputta, ten dhammas issuing in Buddhahood. What are the ten?"

"Giving, Sariputta, is a dhamma issuing in Buddhahood. Virtue, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, determination, loving kindness and equanimity are dhammas issuing in Buddhahood."

Thus spoke the Exalted One.

Bhuddavamsa II, v. 76 (as given in Cariyapitaka Attakatha)

Perfecting

Generosity — can help to overcome the rigid obedience arising from clinging to good conduct — it is a protection, not a cage.

Good conduct — can help to overcome the pride arising from clinging to letting go — it is giving up with humility.

Letting go — can help to overcome the wrong view arising from clinging to wisdom — it is seeing clearly in each moment.

Wisdom — can help to overcome the forcefulness arising from clinging to strength — it is directed with the object not against it.

Pārami Upapārami Paramatthapārami

Sampanno iti pi so bhagavā dānapārami
sampanno dānaupapārami
sampanno dānaparamatthapārami
sampanno dānaparamatthapārami
sampanno mettā maitrī karuṇā muditā upekkhā pārami

repeat for

sīla
nekkhamma
paññā
viriya
khanti
sacca
adhiṭṭhāna
mettā
upekkhā
tathā
sampanno iti pi so bhagavā
buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi

While chanting the 'pāramī' chant I began to understand them as a process, one in which the pāramī are all connected to support each other.

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