I just got back from serving at a 10-day Vipassana Meditation Retreat. Vipassana means to “See things as they are” and it’s one of the many ways to reach enlightenment or at least get started on the journey. It was bought to India by S.N.Goenka to whom I am very grateful.
There are lots of things that come to mind when I think about Vipassana but today I am going to talk about Paramis. Paramis are ten qualities which when attained completely result in enlightenment. At this point I want to clarify that I am not enlightened [Ehrm! obviously] hence cannot guarantee as I don’t have the personal experience but regardless of the final goal these are good qualities to have.
What are these Paramis then?
1. Dana: Generosity
May I be generous and helpful
2. Sila: Morality
May I be well-disciplined and refined in manners.
May I be pure and clean in all my dealings.
May my thoughts, words and deeds be pure.
3. Nekkhama: Renunciation
May I not be selfish and self-possessive, but selfless and disinterested.
May I be able to sacrifice my pleasure for the sake of others.
4. Panna: Wisdom
May I be wise and able to see things as they truly are.
May I see the light of truth and lead others from darkness to light.
May I be enlightened and be able to enlighten others.
5. Viriya: Energy
May I be energetic, vigorous and persevering.
May I strive diligently until I achieve my goal.
May I be fearless in facing dangers and courageously surmount all obstacles.
May I be able to serve others to the best of my ability.
6. Khanti: Patience
May I ever be patient.
May I be able to bear and forbear the wrongs of others.
May I ever be tolerant and see the good and beautiful in all.
7. Sacca: Truthfulness
May I ever be truthful and honest.
May I not swerve from the path of truth.
8. Adhitthana: Determination
May I be firm and resolute and have an iron will.
May I be soft as a flower and firm as a rock.
May I ever be high-principled.
9. Metta: Loving Kindness
May I ever be kind, friendly and compassionate.
May I be able to regard all as my brothers and sisters and be and be one with all.
10. Upekkha: Equanimity
May I ever be calm, serene, unruffled and peaceful.
May I gain a balanced mind.
May I have perfect equanimity
How do I use them? Let’s take an example: I am at work and in a conversation with this person who just wants to talk and talk and talk. And I have only one thing to say and there are still 25 minutes left in the meeting – instead of getting annoyed I practice Khanti -patience [whenever I remember] and focus on my breath. This is one small way of looking at issues in your life and turning them around for your own personal growth.
Imagine these to be Ten Jars and size of the Jars vary depending on your previous Karmas – and if we put in one pebble/coin in one Jar everyday it definitely makes us a better human being and who knows might take us to enlightenment too!
May all beings be Happy!