The ten paramis or perfections provide a highly useful framework for guiding Dharma practice in daily life. Any activity or relationship approached wisely with the primary purpose of developing the perfections in a balanced way becomes part of the practice.

The perfections also provide one of the few reliable ways of measuring the accomplishments of your life. “Accomplishments” in the realm of work and relationships have a way of turning into dust, but perfections of the character, once developed, are dependable and lasting.

This four-week retreat presents the perfections under the four factors that make up the eighth perfection, determination. These four factors—discernment, truth, relinquishment, and calm—highlight two facts. The first is that discernment is needed to convert the perfections from generic virtues into a path to awakening. Second, the path to awakening is a truth of the will: You have to want freedom, and stay true to that desire, for freedom to occur.

Each week’s video presentation will contain an exercise to develop the perfections in daily activities, and will be accompanied by readings to help broaden your understanding of what the perfections entail.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu—known as Ajaan Geoff to his students—has translated several meditation guides from Thai, and is also the author of several books, including: The Mind Like Fire Unbound, The Wings to Awakening, The Paradox of Becoming, Skill in Questions, Noble Strategy, Purity of Heart, and Meditations. He is co-author of the college textbook, Buddhist Religions. His writings and translations are available on the Internet at www.accesstoinsight.org. His Dhamma talks and other writings are also available at www.dhammatalks.org. His five-volume anthology of suttas, Handful of Leaves, is available from the Sati Center of Buddhist Studies.

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