Is perfection achievable?
Despite being a Zen Master I strongly believe that perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order and yet every religion talks about perfections.
What are they? How to achieve and maintain them?
What will happen if you are unable to achieve them during your life?
Zen Buddhism is on the same bandwagon than other religions / philosophy when it is talking about achieving perfections” called paramitas a Pali word. Paramitas also means spiritual completeness and accumulation of virtues.
In every Buddhist Temple around the world one of the evening chanting is dedicated to the 6 perfections and the vow is to achieve them during our present life or if not … during the next life.
Our True Self is perfect but our ego-centered “little self” is not… far from it. This is why
every Zen Buddhist practitioner vows to achieve and practice perfection to others and for self.
Here is the list in non-specific order.
1- Ethical conduct / morality / discipline:
This is not only toward others and toward our environment but also toward self. This means having aproper life style, respecting our body in maintaining it healthy (diet, exercise, health maintenance,etc.).
Generosity toward others implies also love, compassion, forgiveness, respect, altruism, and kindness to all living beings.
Generosity toward self implies respect, tolerance and self-development.
Includes resilience, acceptance, endurance, self-control and equanimity.
Includes diligence, energy and effort.
Includes being mindful (to focus, to be “awake” in a non-cognitive way) to our body, to our mind, to what we do and to our surroundings (people, events, etc.).
It Includes daily practice of meditation.
Contemplation is added here since to contemplate is an act of middle concentration with some analytic mind.
6- Wisdom/ insight:
Being able to differentiate realities from illusions. Please click on the link for more information.
Accepting that life and its components are what they are and not what we want them to be.
Realizing that our ego mind so useful is also the main cause of our dissatisfactions.
Recognizing that only the present moment NOW exists.
Now the obvious questions are:
How many persons are able to achieve all of them” “How often can anyone achieve any of them?”
I personally don’t know this person…yet.
The key here is to be mindful to these perfections inside self and to try our best to reach some of them for a week. If you cannot succeed, have compassion for yourself.