Six Paramita (2)
What I was talking about last time was one of the main concepts in the Heart Sutra, the Six Paramita. Six practices of Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva originally means “practitioner of Mahayana Buddhism” and Mahayana Buddhist practice is not for oneself, but for all other beings.
There are six main practices for this. I explained about the first one, which in Japanese is called fuse, and I explained the difference in what it really means these days, coming from the heart of a Mahayana Buddhist.
The second one is “jikai” in Japanese and a direct translation is “keep sila.” Sila means “rule.”
Are you satisfied with this translation or explanation: “keep the rules that practitioners have to follow”?
The real meaning from the heart of a master who has written or talked about “keeping sila” doesn’t mean to just superficially “keep sila.”
It really means to confront your heart, or look at your heart. It seems like it would be easy to look at one’s own heart, but it is not easy.
What is interesting is that if you try to bring your state up to more than the level of a human being — for example, to that of a heavenly state, in which you are more in a “giving heart” state, or a selfless, egoless state — when you try to bring up the wishes of all other beings with an egoless heart it means at the same time, naturally, that you also look at the opposite aspect of yourself. “Opposite” means if you try to awaken your heart to the wish for goodness for other people, at the same time you naturally recognize the heart of not wishing goodness for others, but wishing negativity for others.
Why does this happen?
Because, deep inside ourselves is a universe. Deep inside ourselves are the 3,000 worlds. This includes the ten worlds from Hell to Pure Land. Ten different worlds, ten different states of heart.
The person who recognizes that inside ourselves is Buddha, at the same time recognizes that Hell is there as well.
You have never heard about this? This is one of Buddhism’s theories, that included inside each of the ten worlds* are ten other separate worlds, which means that in the heart of Buddha there is also Hell, Hungry Ghost, Beast, and so on: why does that happen?
In our subconscious we easily want them separate from each other, we want to categorize them, but actually everything is inside us.
Please understand, please imagine, if you don’t have the same heart as a person who is a criminal, for example, you will never be able to have empathy for those people about why they have to do these things.
Most criminals, I dare to say, they have to do it, because they are the expression of society’s negativity. They carry all the karma from other people, and because of the fear, sadness, and pain inside them they hurt other people.
But if we have none of the same aspect within ourselves, we will just judge them: “Oh, they are bad people. I am not like them.”
And then what will happen to them? If there’s a chance for those people to change, to transform their hearts, it will only happen at a time when they feel they are loved; when they feel that to be loved means to be understood, to be empathized with.
Our existence is meaningful only in relation to how helpful we can be to other people — we need to have empathy for all other beings. We need the same aspects, even the negative aspects, of other people inside ourselves.
And this is our practice. “Keep sila” means to never close your eyes to the negativity. “Keep sila” means to practise because of your negativity, because of your shame, because of your remorse.
A person who is never ashamed of themselves, who never has remorse because of their existence, would never think to practise in a way that helps other people, that brings good things to the world, but the most scary people are those who never recognize the negativity in their own hearts and still think they are good people.
And that’s why one of our main practices, juji, is to see our own heart, to practice because of that, and bring good things to the world. This is the practice of a Bodhisattva as a Mahayana Buddhist.
See you again.
* The ten worlds:
Hell / Enjoys the suffering of others
Hungry Ghosts / Never satisfied and always want to suck energy from others
Beasts / Not ashamed of their own ego
Asuras / Always want to be haughtily superior of others
Humans / Mentality of give and take (greed remains, but ability to share is developing)
Heaven / Enjoys giving
Shomon & Engaku / Self-enlightenment
Bodhisattva / Full transference of Great Love, Wisdom, and Majestic power of Buddha to all beings
Buddha / Oneness with the source of creation (or the source of creation itself), Spirit of the Universe (and the universe itself)