Ten Perfections: A Study Guide

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  • 1. Three types of discernment:

discernment that comes from listening (sutamaya-paññā)

discernment that comes from thinking (cintāmaya-paññā)

discernment that comes from developing/meditation (bhāvanāmayapaññā)

— DN 33

  • 2. A fool with a sense of his foolishness

is—at least to that extent—wise.

But a fool who thinks himself wise

really deserves to be called

a fool. — Dhp 63

  • 3. “Monks, these two are fools. Which two? The one who doesn’t see his

transgression as a transgression, and the one who doesn’t rightfully pardon

another who has confessed his transgression. These two are fools.

“These two are wise people. Which two? The one who sees his transgression

as a transgression, and the one who rightfully pardons another who has

confessed his transgression. These two are wise people.” — AN 2:21

  • 4. “Monks, these two are fools. Which two? The one who takes up a burden

that hasn’t fallen to him, and the one who doesn’t take up a burden that has.

These two are fools.” — AN 2:92

  • 5. “This is the way leading to discernment: when visiting a contemplative or brahman, to ask: ‘What is skillful, venerable sir? What is unskillful? What is blameworthy? What is blameless? What should be cultivated? What should not be cultivated? What, having been done by me, will be for my long-term harm & suffering? Or what, having been done by me, will be for my long-term welfare & happiness?’” — MN 135
  • 6. “As for the course of action that is unpleasant to do but that, when done,

leads to what is profitable, it is in light of this course of action that one may be known—in terms of manly stamina, manly persistence, manly effort—as a fool or a wise person. For a fool doesn’t reflect, ‘Even though this course of action is unpleasant to do, still when it is done it leads to what is profitable.’ So he doesn’t do it, and thus the non-doing of that course of action leads to what is unprofitable for him. But a wise person reflects, ‘Even though this course of action is unpleasant to do, still when it is done it leads to what is profitable.’ So he does it, and thus the doing of that course of action leads to what is profitable for him.

“As for the course of action that is pleasant to do but that, when done, leads

to what is unprofitable, it is in light of this course of action that one may be

known—in terms of manly stamina, manly persistence, manly effort—as a fool or a wise person. For a fool doesn’t reflect, ‘Even though this course of action is pleasant to do, still when it is done it leads to what is unprofitable.’ So he does it, and thus the doing of that course of action leads to what is unprofitable for him. But a wise person reflects, ‘Even though this course of action is pleasant to do, still when it is done it leads to what is unprofitable.’ So he doesn’t do it, and thus the non-doing of that course of action leads to what is profitable for him.” — AN 4:115

  • 7. “And what is right view? Knowledge in terms of stress, knowledge in terms of the origination of stress, knowledge in terms of the cessation of stress, knowledge in terms of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress:

This is called right view.

“And what is right resolve? Resolve aimed at renunciation, at freedom from

ill will, at harmlessness: This is called right resolve.” — SN 45:8

  • 8. “And what is the right view that has fermentations, sides with merit, &

results in acquisitions? ‘There is what is given, what is offered, what is

sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are contemplatives & brahmans who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.’ This is the right view that has fermentations, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.

“And what is the right view that is without fermentations, transcendent, a

factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength

of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening, the path factor of right view in one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from fermentations, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is without fermentations, transcendent, a factor of the path.

“One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one’s

right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in

right view: This is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities—right

view, right effort, & right mindfulness—run & circle around right view.

“[2] Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the

forerunner? One discerns wrong resolve as wrong resolve, and right resolve as right resolve. And what is wrong resolve? Being resolved on sensuality, on ill  will, on harmfulness. This is wrong resolve.

“And what is right resolve? Right resolve, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is

right resolve with fermentations, siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right resolve, without fermentations, transcendent, a factor of the path.

“And what is the right resolve that has fermentations, sides with merit, &

results in acquisitions? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill will, on harmlessness. This is the right resolve that has fermentations, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.

“And what is the right resolve that is without fermentations, transcendent, a

factor of the path? The thinking, directed thinking, resolve, mental absorption, mental fixity, focused awareness, & verbal fabrications in one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is without fermentations, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right resolve that is without fermentations, transcendent, a factor of the path.

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