Sixt Paramita: Wisdom

Wisdom (tib.: shes rab))
Calligraphy, 21 x 30 cm (2015)
chinese ink on prepared paper

There are three types of wisdom-awareness (shes-rab-gsum), which can be translated as “ordinary knowledge, lesser transcendent awareness, and highest wisdom-awareness.” They are that which is born of receiving instructions through hearing (thos-pa-las-byung-ba'i-shes-rab), that which is born of reflection (bsam-pa-las-byung-ba'i-shes-rab), and that which is born of meditation (bsgoms-pa-las-byung-ba'i-shes-rab).


Fifth Paramita: Meditative Concentration

Meditative Concentration (tib.: bsam gtan))
Calligraphy, 21 x 30 cm (2015)
chinese ink on prepared paper

There are three ways to train in meditative concentration (bsam-gtan-bstan-pa-gsum). One’s mind first needs to be pacified and cultivated through calm-abiding practice that is integrated into daily life. By perfecting calm-abiding, one’s mind does become quite calm and passive, so it is necessary to engage in insight meditation concerning the way things are and the way things appear. It is also necessary to practice calm-abiding and insight with the right motivation, which is the wish to help others. Uniting all three aspects in practice is full meditation. Someone who hopes to be practicing Vajrayana would simply embark on a selfish trip if he or she was to practice meditation without the enlightened motivation of bodhicitta, and then there would be no benefit for anyone.


Fourth Paramita: Diligence

Diligence (tib.: brtson 'grus)
Calligraphy, 21 x 30 cm (2015)
chinese ink on prepared paper

The fourth paramita, joyful endeavour, is also translated as “effort, exertion, and perseverance.” There are five kinds of joyful endeavour: (1) armour-like diligence (go-cha'i-brtson-'grus), (2) zeal of application (sbyor-ba'i-brtson-'grus), (3) relentless exertion (zhum-med-kyi-brtson-'grus), (4) the zeal of not turning back (mi–ldog-pa'i-brtson-'grus), and (5) insatiable perseverance (chog-par-mi-'dzin-pa'i-brtson-'grus). 


Third Paramita: Patience

Patience (tib.: bzod pa)
Calligraphy, 21 x 30 cm (2015)
chinese ink on prepared paper

There are three ways to practice patience (bzod-pa-gsum), that I wish to discuss with you: (1) to refrain from hurting those who have caused one grief and pain, (2) to deal with any suffering one experiences without fighting it uselessly or feeling intimidated, and (3) to have confidence in the ultimate truth.


Second Paramita: Discipline

Discipline (tib.: tshul khrims)
Calligraphy, 21 x 30 cm (2015)
chinese ink on prepared paper

The second paramita is tshul-khrims, “ethics, morality, moral discipline, ethical conduct, rule, order,” shila in Sanskrit. According to the Bodhisattva Vehicle, there are three categories of ethics (tshul-khrims-gsum): (1) to refrain from negative actions, (2) to accumulate what is positive, and (3) to help others.


First Paramita: Generosity

Generosity (tib.: sbyin pa)
Calligraphy, 21 x 30 cm (2015)
chinese ink on prepared paper

The practice of generosity, the first paramita, is to give what is helpful and good and to give without selfishness. There are three ways to be liberal and generous (sbyin-pa-gsum): (1) giving material things, (2) giving loving protection, and (3) giving loving understanding. The teachings on the first form of generosity, zang-zing-gi-sbyin-pa, explain proper and improper charity. It is necessary to abandon improper giving and to know what is proper to give.



Six Paramitas, Tib.: parol tu chinpa druk (pha rol tu phyin pa drug)
6 calligraphies, 21x30 cm (2015)
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The six paramitas or 'transcendent perfections' (Skt. ṣaṭpāramitā; Tib. ཕ་རོལ་ཏུ་ཕྱིན་པ་དྲུག་, parol tu chinpa druk; Wyl. pha rol tu phyin pa drug) comprise the training of a bodhisattva, which is bodhichitta in action.

Generosity (Skt. dāna; Tib. སྦྱིན་པ་, jinpa): to cultivate the attitude of generosity.
Discipline (Skt. śīla; Tib. ཚུལ་ཁྲིམས་, tsultrim): refraining from harm.
Patience (Skt. kṣānti; Tib. བཟོད་པ་, zöpa): the ability not to be perturbed by anything.
Diligence (Skt. vīrya; Tib. བརྩོན་འགྲུས་, tsöndrü): to find joy in what is virtuous, positive or wholesome.
Meditative concentration (Skt. dhyāna; Tib. བསམ་གཏན་, samten): not to be distracted.
Wisdom (Skt. prajñā; Tib. ཤེས་རབ་, sherab): the perfect discrimination of phenomena, all knowable things.

The first five paramitas correspond to the accumulation of merit, and the sixth to the accumulation of wisdom.