Six Perfections and the Eightfold Path

The awakened qualities which we develop through our practice are known as the Six Perfections (in Sanskrit, paramitas). The Six Perfections enable us to do the work of a bodhisattva. They are generosity, discipline, patience, energy, meditation, and wisdom.

These Six Perfections are a restatement of the Eightfold Path.

Six Perfections and Eightfold Path

The real difference between the Six Perfections and the Eightfold Path is the addition of generosity and patience, although these are implied by right intentions. By including these two perfections as separate items, it makes explicit the fact that we are not really following the Eightfold Path unless we are generous and patient with others. In this way, the Six Perfections underscore the compassionate dimension that is integral to Mahayana Buddhism.

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