Awakening Into The Paramis
Annual Teaching Series 2024
The Paramis are the ten states of mind, attitude or behaviors that lead to peace. They do not exist in a vacuum. They are interrelated with each other. They have no boundary lines or strict definitions. They are fluid, flowing in and out of each other. We practice by keeping them lightly in balance in the back of our minds. Ajahn Sucitto’s book, Parami: Ways To Cross Lifes Floods, would make a great manual to follow along throughout the year. In his book he says that “[the Paramis] provide a template for the mind’s energies and activities that isn’t an extra to all other things we might have to do, but encompasses our talking and working, our relationships and interactions with each other, our times of private introspection, our decision making, and forming of our life directions.” Also, a good sutta to reflect upon learning what balancing is and how to use this balance to cross the floods of life is the Ogha-tarana Sutta: Crossing over the Flood, SN 1:1. This year we will explore practicing, balancing, and awakening into the Paramis.
Having a willingness to open to all things, to share with others and contemplate abundance.
Being willing to undertake the training to live within the 5 precepts.
One way the Paramis balance each other is to flow into one another. Practicing one leads to the arising of the next. In this way, each Parami both grows out of the quality before it and strengthens the next.
Cultivating the capacity to abandon our attachments.
Being able to see or consider the implications of the 3 Characteristics in any experience.
Our level of willingness to participant in mental development.
Cultivating the capacity to stop our resistance to the truth of an experience.
Another way we balance the Paramis is through use of the two wings of the Dhamma – wisdom and compassion. Each Parami represents a particular aspect of wisdom and compassion. We can learn to balance both aspects in each Parami.
Paying attention to the truthfulness of words and actions.
The degree in which we are willing to follow our aspiration to practice.
The willingness to connect with and care about other sentient beings.
A third way the Paramis balance each other is like a kaleidoscope where all ten Paramis are present and interwoven with each other.
Being willing to consider phenomena outside our opinions and judgments.