Welcome to this week’s edition of The Source!!
On Sunday, 25 spiritual warriors graduated from my 2016 Spring Masters of Wisdom & Meditation Teacher Training that began in June!! We spent a week at the Meditation Nest diving deep into the powerful and timeless teachings we’ve been studying and putting into practice for the last 16 weeks weeks. I’m so grateful to my tribe of MOW&M Teachers for their open hearts, big love, surrender, dedication and progress!!!!
Progress is our theme this week, and this word is an important distinction when we’re talking about bettering ourselves, improving our relationships or manifesting our dream life. So many of us carry a heavy burden — a burden to be perfect in all we do — to always do the right thing, make the right choice, use the right words, move in the right direction. But, is perfection really the ultimate goal? Sometimes when we focus too much on the end result, we lose sight of the magnificent process of growth… of progress… continually moving in the direction of our goals while staying mindful of the steps we’re taking to get there. Often those steps suddenly lead us in a different direction than what we originally wanted, but there is so much to learn during that Process of Progress!!
This week, during your meditation, think of a journey you are currently going through. Think about how that journey started… was it painful? was is frightening? was it happy? or nourishing? What has happened along the way to move you the direction you want to go? Identify just one or two steps, no matter how small, that you can take (starting now!) to progress toward becoming the best version of yourself possible and getting to a place you want to be. Remember, reflection is only part of the process, you then need to act… step into your power and own your impact!
If you’d like to dive deeper into studying the process of progress toward perfection (in the sense of becoming the best version of yourself possible), the Six Perfections of Buddhism is just one of the many ancient teachings we study intensively in my Masters of Wisdom & Meditation Teacher Training. They are:
Perfection of Generosity
Generosity is a true generosity of spirit, giving from sincere desire to benefit others, without expectation of reward or recognition. There must be no selfishness attached. Even charity work done to “feel good about myself” is not true generosity.
Perfection of Morality
Buddhist morality is not about unquestioning obedience to a list of rules. Yes, there are precepts, but the precepts are something like training wheels. They guide us until we find our own balance and develop selfless compassion. Along the way we practice renunciation and gain an appreciation for karma.
Perfection of Patience
The Buddhist word ksanti is patience, tolerance, forbearance, endurance, or composure. It literally means “able to withstand.” It is said there are three dimensions to ksanti: the ability to endure personal hardship; patience with others; and acceptance of truth.
The perfection of ksanti begins with acceptance of the Four Noble Truths.
Perfection of Energy
Perfection of energy is about making a courageous, heroic effort to realize enlightenment. To practice this, we first develop our own character and courage. We engage in spiritual training. And then we dedicate our fearless efforts to the benefit of others.
Dhyana (meditation – the 7th limb of yoga according to Patanjali) is a discipline intended to cultivate the mind. Dhyana also means a deeper awareness of oneness, which is inclusive of perception of body, mind, senses and surroundings, yet remaining unidentified with it.
Perfection of Wisdom
Wisdom is the direct and intimate realization emptiness, and that all phenomena are without self-essence. This wisdom cannot be understood by intellect alone. So how do we understand it? Through the practice of the other perfections — generosity, morality, patience, energy, and meditation.
Wow!!! Did your mind just explode with wonder at the Six Perfections? These are profound virtues that when studied and used to cultivate the best versions of ourselves can help us make a powerful shift in our lives for the better. If you’d like to learn more about the Six Perfections and other ancient, timeless teachings consider joining my next teacher training. You can read about the program HERE, or you can email my teacher liaison, Nancy, at nancy [at] davidji [dot] com with any questions about the curriculum.
In the meantime, I’ll see you in the gap!! Peace. -davidji