Dhamma Letter No. 10

Vipassana and Pāramī

The Relation of Vipassana and Pāramī

Buddhist practice requires a multi-faceted approach. Sīla (morality), samādhi (tranquility), and paññā (wisdom) depend upon and serve as a support for each other. They must all be developed in order to purify the mind and proceed toward our goal.

Morality can be developed by practicing acts of generosity. This can be giving gifts of money or help to others. Generosity to others is actually beneficial to oneself by developing our pāramī (perfection). Generosity and morality are the first two of ten pāramīs (perfections) that we must develop as part our practice during daily life:

  1. Perfection in giving (or liberality; dāna-pāramī)

  2. Morality (sīla-pāramī)

  3. Renunciation (nekkhamma-pāramī)

  4. Wisdom (paññā-pāramī)

  5. Energy (viriya-pāramī)

  6. Patience (or forbearance; khanti pāramī)

  7. Truthfulness (sacca-pāramī)

  8. Resolution (adhitthāna-pāramī)

  9. Loving-kindness (mettā-pāramī)

  10. Equanimity (upekkhā-pāramī)

For tranquility of mind, morality is the foundation. And as described in Dhamma Letter No. 6, without calmness of mind you cannot see the mind and objects clearly. Vipassana meditation teaches us how to deal with the objects of the mind. When driving, numberless objects have to be dealt with along the road. Think of the mind as the driver and vipassana practice as the guide to any obstacle that presents itself. Wisdom will be built upon tranquility and morality (ti-sikkha; three studies for the practice) It is in this way that vipassana relates to paramī.

Buddhist practice is conditioned with all of the above.

The next Dhamma Letter will discuss the practical nature of Vipassana.

May all accumulate the Paramīs and accomplish their own wishes!

May all beings be happy and well through the practices in this very life!

Buddha Sāsanaṁ Ciraṁ Tiṭṭhatu!
May the Buddha’s teachings last a long time!

​Bhavatu Sabba Sotiṁ ca Maṅgalaṁ ca!!
May everyone be led on the path of peace and blessing!

Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu !

If you have any dhamma-related questions, please feel free to ask at hi@dhammaletter.com. We will include your questions with the answers in future Dhamma Letters.