5/12/2013 – Morality (2nd Parami)

Today Payton led our reflections on Morality, the second of the ten perfections. In Pali, this is Sila, which is a word with many meanings and shows up in many of the Buddhist lists (Paramis, Paramitas, Eightfold Path, etc.).

Payton chose three viewpoints on Sila.

The first was a talk by Sylvia Boorstein. (

Sylvia discussed how Morality develops in the human life and how it can be very subjective.

Particularly, this quote was interesting:

“a moral act is something that you do out of the conscious intention to make things better for somebody else.”

Second was a talk by Gil Fronsdal. (


Gil remarked that there are two main points to Sila: Compassion for others, and Care for the self.

The third was a brief (and paraphrased) excerpt from a talk by Trudy Goodman (

Our mind is always altering and changing and re-creating who we are. This is great freedom, but also can be a problem for us. We can’t just work hard and achieve some state which will last forever. Sila is a guardian of dharma, protecting the learning that we achieve. It acts like a crucible for our karma, transforming our intent over and over again.