Bodhicitta, Paramitas, Om mani peme hum …
… all mean the same thing.

Bodhicitta, the paramitas, om mani peme hum are all the six perfections:
generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration, and wisdom

There is:
Relative and ultimate bodhicitta.
Relative and ultimate paramitas.
Relative and ultimate om mani peme hum.

Terminology can either liberate or imprison us.

It is all about understanding the sixth perfection of wisdom – emptiness.
Emptiness is the clarity of consciousness.
Some traditions start with the five perfections,
and others start with the sixth.

Depending on which tradition we follow,
the five perfections are reflected in one,
or one perfection is reflected in the five.


In the ordinary run of life, generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration and wisdom are regarded as helping us to be decent and effective human beings, aren’t they? When we apply these to dealing with other people, they are altruism – a selfless concern for the wellbeing of others. It’s love.

All well and good. This is relative bodhicitta, because it deals with the relative world of me and other. Relative bodhicitta is the application of the five perfections (generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration), gradually leading to the sixth of wisdom, transcendent wisdom. It is hoped that wisdom becomes realised as emptiness – our essential true nature – the clarity of consciousness.

Paths such as Dzogchen start with the sixth perfection – ultimate bodhicitta of wisdom/emptiness – and the five perfections (generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration) are naturally expressed as the continuity of that wisdom in daily conduct. But now bodhicitta and the paramitas change, because of the realisation of wisdom/emptiness, the clarity of consciousness.

With ultimate bodhicitta, there is nothing to hold on to and no expectations, so generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance and meditation/concentration are effortless as there is no ‘me’: these qualities are a continuity of wisdom/emptiness, the clarity of consciousness … and unconditional love.

So bodhicitta, the paramitas, om mani peme hum are all about love.
Wasn’t complicated, was it? 🙂

Spiritual terminology can give you spiritual indigestion.
True love is easy to digest.

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