The Perfection Of Diligence

According to Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, the fourth paramita is the perfection of diligence. In previous articles, we learned that the Sanskrit word, paramita, means, “Crossing over to the other shore,” from ill-being to well-being. Perfection and completeness are also acceptable translations.

The Perfection of DiligenceThe traditional way of talking about the perfection of diligence is to call it, “The perfection of joyous effort,” or “Enthusiastic perseverance.”

You may recall that right diligence or, most commonly, right effort is one of the aspects of the Eightfold Path. As such, cultivating diligence in our practice implies that we undertake the energy, vigor, vitality, endurance, and enthusiasm for continuous and persistent penetration into the path of enlightenment. This supreme goal is not only for ourselves, but for the greater good of all beings.

Out of this effort, we become aware of our compassion for all sentient being and wish them to enjoy happiness and avoid suffering.

With diligence and persistent effort, we strive with our practice to achieve a calm, clear mind and a peaceful, loving heart. With body, speech, and mind in perfect oneness, we work ceaselessly and tirelessly for the benefit of other without ignoring our own needs. We have no expectation for rewards or personal recognition.

When we practice right diligence, we notice when our thoughts take us away from the present moment and we gently bring it back to what is going on in the here and in the now. We return to our true home.

With our daily practice, we learn to care for ourselves and feel safe from inner and outer harm. We practice self-compassion when things go bump in the night (or day).

This series of rantings began with a simple article, Wholesome States Of Mind 10 days ago and continued with The Power Of I Am, and the study of the paramitas of generosity, ethics, and patience.

One of the goals of the paramita of diligence is the cultivation of wholesome states of mind. When wholesome states of mind arise in us, we do our best to allow them to continue.

When unwholesome states make their appearance, we notice them, embrace them, and return our attention to manifesting wholesome states.

What else do you need to know and understand to practice the perfection of diligence? Please ask.

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