Namaste Yoga 332 : The Six Paramitas : Prajna Paramita

by Melissa West on


Namaste-Yoga-332-Yoga-WisdomNamaste Yoga 332 Awaken Your True Self Series, The Six Paramitas or The Six Perfection, Prajna Paramita or The Perfection of Wisdom

The sixth perfection, the perfection of wisdom is the direct and intimate realization of emptiness or boundlessness. Prajna Paramita are the teachings that all phenomena are without essence. We basically go back to where we started back at Namaste Yoga 325, and the First Perfection of Generosity. Perfect giving according to Mahayana Buddhism transcends traditional ideas of giving with the idea of a gift, giver and a receiver. This is giving beyond giving. There is a belief that one cannot give anything because everything is already given.

The essence of the Bodhisattva path and the reason for the teachings on the six paramitas is love and concern for others. We know at some level that ordinary life is not working. Self and other are just positions. From this perspective, altruism is not self-sacrifice, but the recognition that self is no different from other. From this perspective we come to see that the only way we can love ourselves is by loving others and the only way we can love others is by loving ourselves.

Pranjna Paramita can not be understood on its own, but through all the other paramitas: generosity, morality, patience, energy. and meditation. As I reflected back on the last eight weeks we have spent on the 6 paramitas I can see that it has been a powerful exploration of the six paramitas through breath practice, energy practices and meditation.

As I said at the beginning, we began with the perfection of generosity, which is in itself a practice of emptiness, allowing the flow generosity when connecting living the experience of the idea that there is no gift, giver and receiver.

From there I moved to the second perfection, morality with yoga and breath practices that promoted clarity to remember the longer you practice, the more your practice purifies you and you recognize that there is a direct connection between your actions and the discomforts that you experience physically and emotionally. You begin to realize that your yoga and meditation practice becomes easier, your mind becomes calmer, you experience more acceptance and patience when you live a life of right ethical conduct and morality. As I mentioned at the beginning, this mindfulness and honesty opens from the inside as you develop a deeper and deeper relationship with your Self. You begin to develop a deeper sensitivity and, you recognize your own suffering and that others experience the same suffering as you and your conduct is naturally elevated.

With the third parimita, ksanti paramita we recognized the three kinds of hardships that we will face.

  1. Personal pain and hardship both physical and emotional
  2. Pain caused by our personal relationships or interactions with others
  3. The painful truth about our life

We also practiced alternate nostril breathing as a cleansing practice for one of these classes. With the perfection of energy we recognized we do not have to cultivate anything that is not already within us. We already possess as much energy as we need. Through our yoga and meditation practice we can bring awareness to the energy that we have within us and guide it with discernment and wisdom. We brought awareness to that energy through nadi shodhana. Finally through the class on meditation, we practiced focus and concentration. Through a practice of focus we can cut through the layers of confusion. All of this culminates in prajna paramita.

Resource: Prajna Paramita Norman and Kathy Fischer:

Mantra for Screen:
Prajñaparamita mantra
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
Gate gate pāragate pārasamgate bodhi svāhā
“Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone utterly beyond, Enlightenment hail!”

Props Needed: meditation cushion or chair, yoga bolster

Yoga Postures or Asanas: Sahana Vavatu Mantra or Peace Mantra, Heart Bed, Keyhole Stretch, Vinyasa for Generosity, Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing, gyan mudra, Mountain Pose or Tadasana, Eagle Pose or Garudasana, Matsyendrasana, Upavista Konasana or Wide Legged Seated forward Fold, prajnaparamita mantra, savasana or corpse pose.  

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Namaste Yoga 332 Photos of Yoga Pose


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