18 November 2007
In the broadest conception of the path, in the vast context of spiritual practice, we cultivate and nourish certain qualities that support and propel us forward into freedom. The Pali word parami refers to ten wholesome qualities in our minds and the accumulated power they bring to us: generosity, morality, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, resolve, lovingkindness, and equanimity. . . . Parami does not come from some being outside ourselves; rather, it comes from our own gradually accumulated purity. A Buddhist understanding of reliance on a higher power would not necessarily involve reliance on some supernatural being. It is, rather, a reliance on those forces of purity in ourselves that are outside our small, constricted sense of I, and that constitute the source of grace in our lives.