Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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SarathW
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Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

Post by SarathW »

Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

I had this misunderstanding that practicing Paraimis is the domain of Mahayana Buddhists.
However, it appears Goenka Ji advocate ten Parimis as a requisite for meditation.
Why Theravadins do not give priority to ten Parmis as oppose to Mahayana?

Ten Parmis:

Dāna pāramī: generosity, giving of oneself
Sīla pāramī: virtue, morality, proper conduct
Nekkhamma pāramī: renunciation
Paññā pāramī: wisdom, discernment
Viriya pāramī: energy, diligence, vigour, effort
Khanti pāramī: patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance
Sacca pāramī: truthfulness, honesty
Adhiṭṭhāna pāramī : determination, resolution
Mettā pāramī: goodwill, friendliness, loving-kindness
Upekkhā pāramī: equanimity, serenity

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C4%81ramit%C4%81

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Sam Vara
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Re: Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

Post by Sam Vara »

SarathW wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:41 am Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

I had this misunderstanding that practicing Paraimis is the domain of Mahayana Buddhists.
However, it appears Goenka Ji advocate ten Parimis as a requisite for meditation.
Why Theravadins do not give priority to ten Parmis as oppose to Mahayana?

Ten Parmis:

Dāna pāramī: generosity, giving of oneself
Sīla pāramī: virtue, morality, proper conduct
Nekkhamma pāramī: renunciation
Paññā pāramī: wisdom, discernment
Viriya pāramī: energy, diligence, vigour, effort
Khanti pāramī: patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance
Sacca pāramī: truthfulness, honesty
Adhiṭṭhāna pāramī : determination, resolution
Mettā pāramī: goodwill, friendliness, loving-kindness
Upekkhā pāramī: equanimity, serenity

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C4%81ramit%C4%81
Some Theravadins do emphasise the Paramis. I had a teacher who explained their importance to me, and encouraged a daily practice where one examines to what extent I could discern any of them in myself. And Ajahn Sucitto has written an excellent book on how to incorporate them into Theravadan practice:
https://www.amaravati.org/dhamma-books/ ... es-floods/

:anjali:
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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
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Re: Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta »

Some teachers say like:
  • Please just don't wait for more paramis in order to start practicing the Dhamma.
  • Enough paramis for pursuing the path are already there in those interested in practicing Dhamma
imo,
  • practicing Dhamma will strengthen those paramis to the utmost perfection.
:heart:
.


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dharmacorps
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Re: Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

Post by dharmacorps »

The paramis take lifetimes to perfect, so if you considered them a "pre-requisite" to practice meditation, you'd be putting off meditation for aeons, by which time, assuming you perfected them, you would no longer need to meditate. :shrug:
SteRo
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Re: Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

Post by SteRo »

dharmacorps wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:04 pm The paramis take lifetimes to perfect, so if you considered them a "pre-requisite" to practice meditation, you'd be putting off meditation for aeons, by which time, assuming you perfected them, you would no longer need to meditate. :shrug:
That might be the reason why the Mahayanists have 'Dhyāna paramita' which translates as 'Jhana pāramī' and thus may exclusively practice their paramis.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ It's definitely not science but science may provide guidelines nevertheless.
dharmacorps
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Re: Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

Post by dharmacorps »

SteRo wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:33 am
That might be the reason why the Mahayanists have 'Dhyāna paramita' which translates as 'Jhana pāramī' and thus may exclusively practice their paramis.
Yes, that could be right. It would fall in line with the idea of putting off nibbana that's for sure.

I know in Thailand that lay buddhists, perhaps not particularly active practitioners, will frame their efforts in this life as trying to work on the paramis.
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Re: Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

Post by SteRo »

dharmacorps wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:38 pm
SteRo wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:33 am
That might be the reason why the Mahayanists have 'Dhyāna paramita' which translates as 'Jhana pāramī' and thus may exclusively practice their paramis.
Yes, that could be right. It would fall in line with the idea of putting off nibbana that's for sure.
That's actually not my interpretation because including 'Dhyāna paramita' you have everything needed to attain the noble path. That's the odd thing with the theravada paramis ... I don't understand why don't they include 'Jhana pāramī' (right concentration) :shrug:
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ It's definitely not science but science may provide guidelines nevertheless.
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Dhammanando
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Re: Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

Post by Dhammanando »

SteRo wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:37 am That's the odd thing with the theravada paramis ... I don't understand why don't they include 'Jhana pāramī' (right concentration)
In the Theravādin conception of them, the paramīs are a special kind of merit - differing from other kinds in that they are undertaken and developed for the sake of bodhi rather than samsāric sukha.

In the case of jhāna, it's merit consists in the remoteness of the citta from unwholesome states associated with the kāmaloka. Since this remoteness in all of its forms is already fully comprehended under the standard list of ten paramīs, to add a supposed jhānaparamī would be just painting legs on a snake.

For example...

The citta's remoteness from lobha, kāmacchanda, etc., comes under dāna, nekkhamma, khanti and upekkhā.
Its remoteness from dosa, byāpāda, etc., comes under khanti, mettā and upekkhā.
Its remoteness from moha and vicikicchā comes under paññā and adhitthāna.
Its remoteness from thīnamiddha comes under viriya and adhitthāna.
Its remoteness from uddhacca-kukkucca comes under sīla, khanti and sacca.
Its remoteness from doubt comes under paññā and adhitthāna.
Its remoteness from ahiri and anotappa comes under sīla and sacca.

And so the development of the ten paramīs both supports the two guardians of the world and opposes the three akusala roots and the five hindrances.
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
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Dhammanando
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Re: Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

Post by Dhammanando »

Dhammanando wrote: Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:39 pm Since this remoteness in all of its forms is already fully comprehended under the standard list of ten paramīs, to add a supposed jhānaparamī would be just painting legs on a snake.
An afterthought...

For whodunnit fans, perhaps the real Mystery of the Missing Paramita is why the Mahayana's progenitors decided to exclude sacca-pāramī / satya-paramitā, the perfection of veracity, from both their sixfold and tenfold lists.
Anabhirati kho, āvuso, imasmiṃ dhammavinaye dukkhā, abhirati sukhā.

“To not delight in this dhammavinaya, friend, is painful; to delight in it is bliss.”
(Sukhasutta, AN 10:66)
SteRo
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Re: Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

Post by SteRo »

Dhammanando wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:31 am
Dhammanando wrote: Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:39 pm Since this remoteness in all of its forms is already fully comprehended under the standard list of ten paramīs, to add a supposed jhānaparamī would be just painting legs on a snake.
An afterthought...

For whodunnit fans, perhaps the real Mystery of the Missing Paramita is why the Mahayana's progenitors decided to exclude sacca-pāramī / satya-paramitā, the perfection of veracity, from both their sixfold and tenfold lists.
Don't think so. Why does theravada list 'truthfulness, honesty' in addition to sila? In Mahayana it's included in Śīla paramita, so it's not "excluded".
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ It's definitely not science but science may provide guidelines nevertheless.
SteRo
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Re: Should you practice ten Parmis as a prerequisite of mediation?

Post by SteRo »

Dhammanando wrote: Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:39 pm
SteRo wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:37 am That's the odd thing with the theravada paramis ... I don't understand why don't they include 'Jhana pāramī' (right concentration)
In the Theravādin conception of them, the paramīs are a special kind of merit - differing from other kinds in that they are undertaken and developed for the sake of bodhi rather than samsāric sukha.

In the case of jhāna, it's merit consists in the remoteness of the citta from unwholesome states associated with the kāmaloka. Since this remoteness in all of its forms is already fully comprehended under the standard list of ten paramīs, to add a supposed jhānaparamī would be just painting legs on a snake.

For example...

The citta's remoteness from lobha, kāmacchanda, etc., comes under dāna, nekkhamma, khanti and upekkhā.
Its remoteness from dosa, byāpāda, etc., comes under khanti, mettā and upekkhā.
Its remoteness from moha and vicikicchā comes under paññā and adhitthāna.
Its remoteness from thīnamiddha comes under viriya and adhitthāna.
Its remoteness from uddhacca-kukkucca comes under sīla, khanti and sacca.
Its remoteness from doubt comes under paññā and adhitthāna.
Its remoteness from ahiri and anotappa comes under sīla and sacca.

And so the development of the ten paramīs both supports the two guardians of the world and opposes the three akusala roots and the five hindrances.
While the explanation appears to be consistent it doesn't remove my questioning because the same logic may be applied to the mahayana paramitas and what these support and oppose as well. My conclusion is that at the time the doctrines have been put down jhana in theravada appears to have been reserved for monks while the laity has been expected to practice the paramis. In the mahayana the divide between monks and laity may not have been that rigid in terms of practice.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ It's definitely not science but science may provide guidelines nevertheless.
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