2020-08-12 Pāramīs (8 of 10) Determination
2:53PM Aug 12, 2020
So here we're at the eighth pāramī, perfection, which is often translated into English as resolve or determination. And these are wonderful qualities. They're qualities of strength and tapping into our capacity for personal strength. And and living from that strength is one of the great blessings of life. And I think there's sometimes it said some people are afraid of their own strength quite a bit. Sometimes because they're afraid they're going to hurt people. Sometimes they're afraid they're going to be hurt if they live in a strong way. And sometimes the idea is to maybe live kind of in the shadows on the side or not so central so we don't get, we're not so easily threatened by things, but to be able to take our place, and really feel like we hear in a definitive way and that we have a right to be here and we're allowed to stand tall and straight and be valued and be a valuable person, I believe is one of the things that comes maybe slowly through meditation practice, because we start feeling over time through the mindfulness, as it gets more and more sensitive than anything short of that of not doing that is a kind of suffering is a kind of diminishment of ourselves as a kind of limitation. That just seems like why bother, you know, just this is unfortunate to do that. And there's a kind of a growth, of strength of power.
And so, this eighth pāramī is building on all the others. So to have this expression of strength in the terms of resolve determination comes as someone who has been building slowly over time, through having practice generosity and ethics, renunciation, wisdom, effort and are endeavoring, engagement and, and then patience and truth. And with truth as we connect to the truth more, which is really true, that is a basis a healthy basis for determination for being resolved. Now the Pāli word for resolve or determination is Adhitthāna and Adhi mean something in this context, something like higher or special or and thāna means to stand to take a stand. So it's a higher stand. It's a higher taking a stand. I like this because there's a physical, suggestive physical kind of component of this, where we kind of take a stand, we stand and our two feet firmly and strongly and maybe uprightly really rooted in the place we're at. And, and so the strength of presence, that being here. And then what do we get? What are we resolved on and termined on, I think in the course of cultivating these parties or cultivating mindfulness practice, over time, it becomes clear and clear, what is worthwhile being resolved on that being resolved on buying the next latest technological device, and spending a lot of time concerned about that is not a very valuable place to be really rooted and grounded in taking a stand. That'll be learned through practice. That, taking a stand and freedom in our non clinging and not clinging, taking a stand in taking a stand in the practice itself. Yes, being mindful is valuable. Some of us will feel it's some one of the most valuable things we can do with our life is to really be here and present in a mindful, clear way. And that's a valuable place to take a stand. And much more important than many of the experiences that we're searching for in life or acquisitions are things we can buy to want of material goods or relationships or jobs or something. There's something very significant about being rooted or grounded in mindfulness as a high value. The Buddha gave four different things that he emphasized That the wise person would be resolved in, take a stand and his higher stand. And it's an interesting list.
They are wisdom, truth, letting go, and peace. So to be resolved on being wise, and here, I think it's very interesting because of the definition that Buddha gives for what it is to be a wise person. A wise person, the Buddha said, Is someone who's concerned for the welfare of self, the welfare of others, the welfare of self and others, and the welfare of the whole world. So to take a stand in being wise, is not to be take a stand in some, you know, read a book and some knowledge about Buddhism. But it's from this what's growing and growing through practice, this real experience Initial reference point of what is harm and what is welfare, what is suffering and what is happiness. And to have a clear sense of that and be inspired this is valuable, that to not suffer to not harm to not harm oneself, to not harm others. But the opposite is to be concerned for the welfare of others. That's a place and self important, this idea of self and other they're all included. That's like 360 degree, the, the gazing upon the world with care is all inclusive, that includes ourselves. And that's why it can grow and develop and become a strength because we're including ourselves in our own personal growth and development in the process, our own freedom. So take a stand on wisdom, to take a stand on the on truth and that has many meanings. things I talked about yesterday. But truth can mean just being truthful and honest. It can also be taking a stand on the truth of the Four Noble Truths. and here also we have this very central Buddhist teaching. That is not a propositional truth, but an experiential truth that comes clearly out of our experiential contact with suffering, and the release from it, the possibility of not suffering of letting go of whatever activities we're doing in the mind and the heart that is harmful for ourselves. And this very simple but profound and maybe difficult to acquire deep understanding of the nature of how we suffer, how we contract, how we limit ourselves, and how we can release all that and be free to take a stand on those truths. These as truth This is orientation. This is the perspective on life which is valuable. And then the third is letting go. And the word is interesting. The word chogha. That's here, often translated as relinquishment also has a meaning of giving generosity. And, and I love this connection because sometimes the idea of letting go or relinquishment in English can seem like bad news like I hear Buddhism is saying just one more thing I have to let go of and I become less and less. But it's actually a can be seen as an act of generosity to let go of our attachments. The act of generosity to let go to give away not to anyone, but just to let go of the ways in which we limit ourselves and caught in ideas and identities and all kinds of things which we feel we feel limitation we feel the suffering and to relinquish that to let go to take a stand Freedom is to take a stand in relinquishment and letting go, this is and then the final one is take a stand in peace. And this word bersama is often considered very synonymous with awakening itself. And it's one of the more positive way, one of the positive ways that Buddha talks about awakening is that it's a form of profound peace. And to take a stand on that peace, to value it, to love it, to be connected to it, to take a stand, and it in my mind means that we don't sacrifice it for things for witches, for anything that diminishes or belittle us or causes us to lose that piece and therefore suffer to have a such a clear sense of peace. That that's a reference point that this is helpful. This is valuable anything else is a loss.
And then to learn that, from that peace with that peace, to live a full life, to be engaged in the world and a great, wonderful way. But without losing that some sense, some reference point to that piece. It's easier said than done. All these things are easier said than done. All these four resolves, and they're resolves, because they're not easy to do. But at some point, we have a very clear hopefully, at some point in practice a very clear sense that these are worthwhile places to be committed to, to be determined on to be to love and be in practice and bring forth and take a stand on to stand with them. And so that they they can grow further so that way they really don't, we don't sacrifice give them up easily. So that about You have determination is to so we can stay close to something that's valuable that we have discovered for ourselves over the time that we've practiced. And then with that determination or that taking a stand, then those things can grow and develop further and further and further until such a point that may be resolved or determination and not needed. Because it's become who we are. We are peace, we are wisdom we are truth we are and if we are letting go but we flipped go. So determination is one of the higher now pāramīs, that the practice comes to at some point.
So thank you very much and I look forward to our time to tomorrow and I hope that in the next 24 hours that you will consider this topic of determination resolve taking a stand commitment. Maybe you'll have a better word for yourself than any of these words that I've offering here today. But what is anything that I said today resonates with you and and what is it that you can be more committed to dedicated to? What is it that you know, that's worthwhile taking a stand in so that you don't easily lose it? But you you live that way in your life.
So please reflect on this and discuss it and write about it and and that'll be a preparation for tomorrow. Thank you.