The Paramita of Meaningful Bahavior


The second of the Six Paramitas is meaningful behaviour. The traditional understanding of the second paramita is discipline, this leads to many discussions about ethics as it was so misused by Christianism’s discussions of right and wrong. In Vajrayana Buddhism, we try to move to the non-dualistic teaching a little more so we like to say meaningful behaviour is what leads to an understanding of mind. Meaningful behaviour is a combination of right speech, right action, right livelihood, and right effort from the Theravada tradition. Here we use our totality of body, speech, and mind to work for the benefit of all. This altruistic and beyond-personal worldview of connection, togetherness, and cooperation at home or in the workplace brings us to a place where we begin to work as a Bodhisattva for the benefit of all. Naturally, we stop harming all beings including ourselves by abandoning all negative thoughts and actions and our mind becomes fertile ground for further Bhoddisattva activity.

Our meaningful behaviours act like a farmer preparing his field to be seeded. We can plant the very best of seeds in unprepared soil and nothing will grow. However, with a little effort of tilling the soil, some water, and fertiliser, our beneficial actions can produce the best Karma or merit. We can then be sure to have the best conditions in the future with which to work with, for even further benefit.


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