Encompassing the Six Paramitas

Meditation class student /J.D.

1.How to practice the six paramitas by practicing praise.

Dana: We are practicing dana when we give people praise by being selfless and offeringencouragement without expecting any praise in return.

Sila: When giving praise to others, we are practicing Sila through our speech and will, instead of placing blame or insult. Even if someone has insulted us, we do not return the favor. Instead, we offer praise.

Ksanti: By enduring my self-ego, I will be able to give praise genuinely.

Virya: Diligence is needed to ALWAYS maintain the right attitude for giving praise.

Dhyana: Our minds must be calm and sincere when giving praise. We must also use insight to be mindful of how to appropriately give praise.

Prajna: When giving praise, contemplate the empty nature of “giver”, “recipient”, and “the praise I give.” Giving praise to eradicate my self-ego, furthermore, contemplate the empty nature of “giver”, “recipient”, and “the praise I give” is to detach from the dharma, the good deeds I have done.


2.How to manifest the six paramitas during pandemic.

Dana: Do shopping and other errands for those who are sick and cannot leave the house due to quarantine.

Sila: Be mindful to follow safety and health guidelines. Refrain from large gatherings and always wear face covering when leaving home.

Ksanti: Even if some people fail to follow health and safety guidelines, do not be rude or confrontational. If someone is standing too close to you, instead of demanding that they back off, simply move yourself instead.

Virya: Even though it may be difficult not being able to visit people, we must stay diligent not to get our friends and relatives sick. We may be asymptomatic carriers and could unknowingly pass the virus onto others unintentionally. Also stay diligent in washing hands and using face coverings.

Dhyana: Meditation is vital for our mental health during this worldwide crisis. If we do not remain calm and mindful we may cause harm onto ourselves and others. Contemplating the dharma and penetrating the mundane understanding of the pandemic will help us cultivate understanding of the situation and help us find solutions to make it better.

Prajna: Contemplating the impermanent nature of this pandemic and the empty nature of such phenomena can help us to accept adversity, adapt to conditions, and make changes earnestly.


3.How to manifest the six paramitas while chanting sutras.

Dana: Dedicating the merits from our meditation is practicing dana. This helps others generate the necessary conditions to also cultivate the bodhi mind.

Sila: Chanting the sutras generates good karma of the body, speech, and mind.

Ksanti: We need to be patient while chanting sutras. Our ears listen to the tempo of wooden fish and other’s chanting speed. Chanting harmoniously in the gathering practice instead of wanting to show off my own voice, we hold back our self-ego.

Virya: Taking advantage of the conditions to chant sutras is a blessing! We must remain diligent to try to recite, memorize, study, and practice as much as we can. Even when we get too tired, or if we feel like our life is already good, we must remain diligent.

Dhyana: We must chant the sutras with mindfulness and not allow ourselves to be distracted by wandering thoughts or sensations. Focus on each word to bring mind back. This is the purpose of chanting sutras.

Prajna: The sutras provide us with a deeper understanding of the dharma, which in turn helps us to chip away our false ego and realize our true nature.


Reflect Inward

  1. The paramita I practice the most is ksanti. By practicing ksanti at work and at home I need to have tolerance and not get upset when things don’t go how I want them too. This requires dana to use expedient means and help others in the process by being proactive, not just tolerant. Silacomes into play by being mindful and  not losing my temper with customers, my wife, and son. Virya is absolutely necessary to never regress. Dhyana is essential that I maintain a calm and clear mind, so that I can adapt to conditions. Everything I say, do, or think, must be accompanied with prajna to help me realize the true nature of all phenomena.


  1. The hardest paramita to practice is Virya. I understand why Shakamuni Buddha waited so many years to teach the Lotus Sutra, because many people would give up if they knew how difficult it is for us to remove all of our impurities! I believe the hardest thing for anyone to do is anything that we don’t want to do. Sometimes if I do not get the results I want I slowly start to lose motivation and sink back into laziness and sloth. I often remember Grand Master Wei Chueh lecture about sudden enlightenment and gradual cultivation and find it inspirational. 6th Patriarch Hui Neng is also very inspirational because he also believed sudden enlightenment and gradual cultivation are not apart from each other. Grand Master also taught us that when we are practicing, we are making progress, and when we are not practicing, we are not making progress. This teaching is very encouraging for me when I feel like I am not making progress because I have not attained samadhi.