Six Ways of Compassionate Living.
SIX TRADITIONAL ACTIVITIES AND SIX WAYS OF LIVING COMPASSIONATELY are practiced by the bodhisattva as part of their training. These are: generosity, discipline, patience, joyous effort, meditation, and prajna, which is translated as “unconditional knowledge.”
Paramita is a Sanskrit term that literally translates to “gone to the other shore,” and this is the traditional name for these practices.
Each one is a practice that we may engage in to get beyond aversion and attachment, beyond being completely preoccupied with oneself, and beyond the delusion that we are distinct from one another.
Each of the paramitas has the power to help us overcome our resistance to letting go of things. Training in the paramitas teaches us to be at ease in situations when there is a degree of unpredictability.
Going to the other shore has an air of groundlessness, a sensation of being caught in the center, and a feeling of being trapped in the condition of being in between.
It is simple to think of the paramitas as a rigorous code of ethics or a set of rules since they are presented in that format. However, the realm of the warrior-bodhisattva is not quite that straightforward.
The fact that these activities are not commandments is what gives them their strength; rather, the fact that they confront our habitual reflexes is what gives them their power. Training in the paramitas has a way of bringing us down to our true selves and keeping us honest.
When we make giving a discipline, we bring our grasping into a closer relationship with ourselves. When we put the discipline of avoiding inflicting injury into practice, we become aware of our rigidity and our urge to exert control.
Patience training helps us train in enduring the restlessness of our energy and in allowing things to develop at their own pace in accordance with their own rhythms.
Joyful effort allows us to let go of our need for perfection and establishes a connection with the aliveness of each and every moment. Through the practice of meditation, we teach ourselves to return to the present moment.
And the enquiring mind of prajna, which is perceiving things exactly as they are, is the key to this training. This is because, if we lack prajnaparamita, also known as unconditional bodhichitta, the other five activities may be employed to give us the illusion that we are making progress.
“Don’t anticipate applause”
This adage advises people not to anticipate receiving gratitude for their actions. This is a really crucial point.
When you throw open the front door and extend an invitation to every sentient entity in the universe to dine with you, when you also throw open the windows and when the walls even begin to crumble, you will discover that there is no protection for you anywhere in the cosmos.
You’ll have to put up with it now. If you believe that just because you are doing it, you are going to feel good about yourself and that other people are going to praise you for it, you are mistaken.
Neither of those things are going to happen. It might be useful, more than to anticipate thanks, merely to expect the unexpected; then you may be intrigued and inquisitive about what comes through the door.
When there is no chance of us gaining anything in return from another person, we may start to offer our hearts to them. Simply put, we do it because there is no other reason.
On the other hand, it is healthy to show appreciation to those who have helped us. It is beneficial to let people know how much we appreciate them.
If, on the other hand, we do it with the intention of winning their favor, then we will be able to recall this motto. We may show gratitude to other people, but we shouldn’t hold out any chance of receiving gratitude in return. Maintain a neutral stance and keep the door open without any expectations.
It is critical that we acquire the ability to treat ourselves with compassion. When we delve into our own souls and begin to find what is confusing and what is bright, what is bitter and what is sweet, we aren’t only discovering things about ourselves; we are also discovering things about the world around us. We are making new discoveries about the cosmos.
When we become aware of the Buddha that we already are, we understand that the Buddha nature exists in everything and everyone. We come to understand that everything and everyone is awake at the same time.
Everything and everyone is priceless, complete, and inherently virtuous. The way we see the world changes depending on whether or not we approach our ideas and feelings with a sense of humor and an open mind.
Because we have opened ourselves up to the world, we can now help others while also helping ourselves. The more we interact with other people, the quicker we are able to pinpoint the areas in which we are stuck.
Having this information is instructive, but it also hurts. Sometimes, we use it as ammo against ourselves, telling ourselves that we aren’t nice, honest, or courageous and that we may as well quit up right now.
But if we follow the advice to be kind and nonjudgmental toward whatever we see right now, even our embarrassed image in the mirror might become a friend to us.
Because we recognize that this is the only means by which we can maintain productive relationships with other people and contribute anything of value to the world, we make conscious efforts to become less rigid and more open-minded. This marks the beginning of maturing into an adult.
What Is Karma?
KARMA IS a tricky topic. In a nutshell, it indicates that the events that take place in your life are, in some way, a direct consequence of the actions that you have taken in the past. You are encouraged to work with what occurs to you rather than blaming it on others because this is why you are encouraged to work with what happens to you.
This particular doctrine on karma is susceptible to a great deal of misunderstanding. People engage in a serious bout of sinning and feel guilty about it.
They believe that since horrible things are happening to them, it must be because they have done something wrong and are now being punished for it. However, it is in no way the point at all.
The concept of karma holds that you will incessantly be presented with the educational opportunities you need in order to soften your heart.
In proportion to the degree that you were unable, in the past, to comprehend how to discontinue guarding your vulnerable areas and how to discontinue fortifying your heart, you are now presented with the opportunity to learn these lessons via the medium of your own life.
Your experiences in life will teach you all you need to know about expanding your horizons.