The Paramita of Diligence
- the armour-like diligence;
- the diligence of working with effort, applying our knowledge to our way of life and;
- the diligence of never being satiated with our accumulation of the positive.
The second aspect, diligent application, has several levels. The first is that in applying our understanding to everyday life, we must make an effort to steer clear of, or get away from, any negative influence which arises. The second is to accumulate whatever is positive and make that a living part of us. The third is to exert great effort in doing whatever is beneficial for others, in either the temporary or eternal sense. In all these practices we start with that which is easiest for us. For instance, it is very easy to start by never hurting anyone and then develop from there to the point where we can really help them.
The third aspect is the diligence of dissatisfaction. It means to have a constant longing to improve whatever we know or do which is positive and beneficial for others. The teachings tell us:
Even if you are going to die tomorrow morning
Still you should learn more,
Even if you have helped everybody,
Still you should help them once more.
If we consider friends and enemies, then to have one billion friends would not be enough and to have even one enemy would be to have too many. We should never be satisfied with our positive accumulations, always recommencing our practice from the very beginning, from the tiniest, simplest things. Whenever we see something which could be done to bring benefit for others, no matter how small, then we should do it, take hold of the opportunity. Whatever is harmful to others we must take any opportunity to stop. Just to avoid the issue and think it does not matter is not good enough. Say, for example, we see a piece of broken glass lying on the ground. It is so simple and easy; we just pick it up and put it in a waste bin. What we do not do is to think, "Oh, there are thousands of people who pass by here - none of them has picked it up so why should I?" Each of us has equal responsibilities. If we consider one drop as nothing, then the whole ocean is nothing because it is composed of drops. If, however, we can accumulate the individual drops one by one, this may one day make a whole ocean.