Perfecting Wholesome Mental Qualities

This talk begins a series of explorations of the paramis, qualities of the mind to be perfected during the process of awakening.  The word parami is translated from Pali as perfection; in Sanskrit, the word is paramita.  These qualities emerge as the frequency and potency of wholesome self-state organizations flourish.  In describing the paramis, Peter emphasized the importance of cultivating attention through the combination of mindful investigation and benevolent intention. In the Theravada tradition, there are 10 paramis: generosity, virtue, renunciation, Wisdom, energy/persistence, patience, truthfulness, determination, lovingkindness, and equanimity/balance.  These were reviewed as a wholesome system for self-state integration and liberation, with an emphasis on the interpersonal/societal benefits as well as personal awakening.  This was followed by general discussion of the holistic “package” of the paramis, that is, how the function of one integrates with all the other paramis.  In forthcoming talks, each of the paramis will be explored more deeply, with an emphasis on practical applications in contemporary secular life.  The first parami, generosity, will be discussed at the next meeting.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk; please note the definition of the paramis follows a very traditional format, that is, characteristic description, specific function, its manifestation and proximal cause:  Perfecting Qualities For Awakening