Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 09/14/2017

Nekkhama Parami

I’ve been putting more effort into my practice of the perfection of renunciation but ask wondering if I am going about it wrong-headedly. I have given up meat, milk and eggs as a practice of both nekkhama and karuna, resorted to only taking cold showers and dry fasting on Mondays and Thursdays.

Writing it I see that although all of these practices contain an element of self-abnegation and denial, the flip side of the coin is compassion. I give up animal foods to prevent suffering of other beings and not merely to evoke dukkha (for the purpose of understanding). I don’t use hot water in part to conserve energy and to share in the lack of such comforts that most of our aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters on this planet will never have. I fast to tame my appetite but also to understand the pains of thirst and hunger.

I suppose, then, my question is this: can one practice nekkhama parami in isolation? Or, as it now occurs to me, do all of the perfections necessarily have karuna as their basis?

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.