The Six Perfections = Right Atmosphere
Sometimes, terms can cause confusion; we may lose interest in their true meaning and therefore don’t value them.
The six paramitas (a Sanskrit term) – or six perfections as they are called – are six conditions for enlightenment to occur. We could say that these six conditions are the blue print for the entire path: they are the causes and conditions for enlightenment. They are sometimes referred to as the ‘foundations’ but that suggests that they are at the bottom when, in reality, they permeate the entire temple to support the ‘golden roof’ – the sixth atmosphere of pure consciousness.
The six conditions are generosity/kindness, patience/tolerance, morality/conscience, perseverance/ discipline, concentration/meditation and transcendent realisation of pure consciousness.
The first five are concerned with creating the right conditions for approaching or supporting the moment of pure consciousness – the sixth pure atmosphere of emptiness.
How do they work?
In meditation, we concentrate. To concentrate, we require perseverance. To support perseverance, we need conscience that recognises right action. Moved by conscience, we develop patience. When we are patient, we have generosity towards whatever arises. Generosity is an open heart and open mind, a kind heart and a kind mind.
How do we then get to the emptiness of pure consciousness?
Through right conduct, we gradually establish the conditions for the recognition of awareness that is ever-present as pure consciousness.
The other approach is when we are directly introduced to the nature of mind being pure consciousness, uncontaminated by desires or fears and thus no longer ignorant of its true nature. This activation may be formal (the pointing out instruction) or come about as a sudden shock (‘crazy ‘wisdom).
When we meditate, we need to be kind to our discursive mind, showing generosity and patience, knowing what is right, being tenacious, and staying focused. This brings about stillness and clarity to realise that consciousness is present, and that this consciousness is ultimately pure or totally open.
Once we are kind to ourselves, then we can empathise and be kind to others. On an everyday level, generosity, patience, perseverance, conscience and concentration are normal qualities of being a decent human being. On an ultimate level, the paramitas are our conduct to remain within pure consciousness, effortlessly. In pure consciousness, these qualities are naturally present, now.
The six conditions can either be theoretical or realised.
As a theory, they become a duality; something ‘I do’.
As a realisation, they are an inseparable expression of non-dual pure consciousness; things still get done, but without an I-fixation.