The Six Perfections – City retreat with Geshe Sherab
November 9, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - November 11, 2018 @ 5:00 pm50kr – 800kr
The six perfections are virtues to be cultivated to strengthen one´s own practice and bring one to full awakening. They are:
Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Joyful Effort, Concentration (Meditation) and Wisdom.
Why practice the Six Perfections?
All human beings want genuine happiness and want to avoid suffering and constant dissatisfaction. – Where to start? We need to start to cultivate a more balanced mind. The practice of the six perfections helps us to train our minds, to get more inner peace and to master our actions of body, speech, and mind. These practices benefit ourselves, give peaceful minds – and the extra bonus is that they also benefit other people around us, our dear ones, our friends, and all other beings.
Six Perfections – City Retreat with Geshe Sherab:
Friday, November 9 at 19.00 – 21.00
Saturday, November 10 at 10.00 – 17.00
Sunday, November 11 at 10.00 – 16.00
About the teacher:
Geshe Sherab speaks excellent English – understands and connects very well with Western students – presenting the Dharma in English in an accessible, warm and open manner. Half of the year he is teaching at a Buddhist Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA, another half he is a touring teacher.
Geshe Sherab was born in 1967 in a small village. He entered Kopan Monastery and has completed his Geshe studies at Sera Je monastery in South India, followed by a year at Gyume Tantric College. He then completed retreat and teaching assignments both in the U.S. and Asia. He served as Head Master of Kopan Monastery’s school for four years, overseeing debate training and tantric training activities. Read more on Geshe La´s webpage, geshesherab.org: geshesherab.org
More about The Six Perfections
Tibetan Buddhism is a part of the Mahayana tradition and according to this tradition, there are six practices to be cultivated in order to cut off the roots of ignorance and been released from cyclic existence. The aim is to become an Awaken One – like the Shakyamuni Buddha – for the sake of all living beings.
Transforming the perfections into habits
The first step is to reflect on the advantages of practicing, and the drawbacks of not practicing the perfections. If we want genuine happiness – it is necessary to transform our way of thinking, feeling, and acting. All actions of our body, speech, and mind can be conjoined with the six perfections. This means to become familiar with the perfections by practicing them in everyday life – and gradually our capabilities will increase.
Origins of the Six perfections
Several Mahayana Sutras, including the Lotus Sutra and the Large Sutra on the Perfection of Wisdom, has the list of the Six Perfections. In the latter text, for example, a disciple asks the Buddha, “How many bases for training are there for those seeking complete awakening?” The Buddha replied, “There are six: generosity, ethics, patience, joyful effort, meditation, and wisdom.”
Each of the Six Perfections supports the other five, but the order of the perfections is also significant. The Tibetan scholar Gampopa explains that when one practice generosity, one will accept the pure ethics without focusing on material concerns. Ethical discipline gives rise to patience. When one has patience, one can make the enthusiastic effort. When one has made an enthusiastic effort, the concentration will arise. When one is absorbed in Concentration, one will perfectly realize the nature of all phenomena (i.e. have wisdom).
1.The Perfection of Generosity: Dana Paramita
Generosity is a true generosity of spirit. It is giving from sincere desire to benefit others, without expectation of reward or recognition.
There are four types of Generosity:
– Giving material things
– Giving Loving Kindness
– Giving Protection from fear
– Giving Dharma
2. The perfection of Ethics: Sila Paramita
When we live a good ethical life; our minds are peaceful. Ethics guide us until we find our own balance. In the practice of Ethics, we develop selfless compassion.
3. The perfection of Patience: Ksanti Paramita
Ksanti is patience, tolerance, forbearance or endurance. It literally means “able to withstand.” It is said there are three dimensions to ksanti:
– the ability to endure personal hardship, patience with others, and acceptance of truth. Through practice, we are able to turn away our attention from our own suffering – and see the suffering of others. Accepting truth refers also to accepting difficult truths about ourselves – that we have negative states of mind (greedy etc), that we are mortal – and also accepting the truth of the illusory nature of our existence.
4. The Perfection of Joyous Effort: Virya Paramita
This paramita is about making a courageous, heroic effort to become a fully awakened being. We start our practice by first developing our own character and courage.
5. The Perfection of Concentration: Dhyana Paramita (Meditation)
The goal of Buddhist meditation is to train the mind. Dhyana, and samadhi, both mean “concentration”, both are cultivated for clarity and insight. Samadhi – it is a slowing down of our mental activity through single-pointed concentration. Dhyana and samadhi are the foundations for wisdom, prajna.
6. The Perfection of Wisdom: Prajna Paramita
In Mahayana Buddhism, wisdom is the direct realization of sunyata, or emptiness (emptiness of inherent existence of persons and phenomena). This is the teaching that all phenomena are without self-essence and independent existence.
This wisdom cannot be understood by intellect alone. The intellectual understanding, as well as listening to the teachings, is just the first step. Then come reflection and discussions, thereafter meditation. This wisdom can also be understood through practicing the other perfections: Generosity, Ethical Discipline, Patience, Enthusiastic effort, and Concentration (meditation).
Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara, or “Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life,” presented teachings on the bodhisattva path – and the cultivation of bodhicitta – that are remembered especially in Tibetan Buddhism, although they also belong to all of Mahayana Schools. Shantideva was a monk and scholar who lived in India in the late 7th to early 8th centuries. Shantideva’s work includes a number of beautiful prayers that also are bodhisattva vows.
May I be a protector to those without protection,
A leader for those who journey,
And a boat, a bridge, a passage
For those desiring the further shore.
May the pain of every living creature
Be completely cleared away.
May I be the doctor and the medicine
And may I be the nurse
For all sick beings in the world
Until everyone is healed.
There is no clearer explanation of the bodhisattva path than this.
IF you feel ready to commit for Geshe Sherab as your teacher and want to take the Bodhisattva vows, it can be possible during this weekend.
A vow is a subtle invisible form on a mental continuum, which shapes behavior – and helps us to guard the actions of our body speech and mind.
Of the two stages of developing bodhicitta – aspiring and engaged – only with the latter do we take the bodhisattva vows. Taking bodhisattva vows entails promising to restrain from two sets of negative acts that Buddha prohibited for those training as bodhisattvas – to reach awakening – and to be of as much benefit to others as is possible. The promise to keep bodhisattva vows applies not only to this life but also to each subsequent lifetime until enlightenment. Thus, as subtle forms, these vows continue on our mental continuums into future lives.
Bodhisattva vows are an expression of bodhicitta. Bodhi means “awakening” or what we call “enlightenment.” Citta is a word for “mind” that is sometimes translated “heart-mind” because it connotes an emotive awareness rather than intellect.