Lama Surya Das speaks about his most recent book, “Make Me One with Everything, Buddhist Meditations to Awaken from the Illusion of Separation.” Becoming one with everything, by seeing through separateness, is the heart of what Lama Surya Das calls “co-meditation.” “Co” means with. So, co-meditating is not just meditating with other people, but with everything that arises. This opens the door to what Buddhists call “everyday Dharma,” which integrates mindful Dharma into daily life. Everything is the object of our meditation; there are no distractions. When we co-meditate, we are being one with everything, not against it nor apart from it. This is the meaning of “inter-being.” This is also the answer to our great loneliness and the alienation that we feel today.
The ten paramis (or perfections) are transformative practices of a Bodhisattva, one who is on the path to liberation. In the Zen school of Buddhism these ten paramis are generosity, ethics, patience, effort, meditation, wisdom, skillful means, spiritual aspiration, higher accomplishment, and awakened awareness. These practices become perfected qualities in an awakened one. The first 6 paramis, starting with generosity and building up to wisdom, are laid out in the Pali Canon, which is said to record the actual words of the Buddha. Later, in Mahayana sutras, these 6 were expanded to 10 to provide the far-reaching, well-rounded principles for living the good life. You can read all about these perfections in Lama Surya Das' book, Buddha Is As Buddha Does
Unlike the three Western monotheistic religions, Buddhism is not a religion of the book. Rather, Buddhism is based on the Buddha’s enlightened experience. More specifically, among other things, the Buddha was an early scientist. He said that if you reproduce his experiment by cultivating the Eightfold Path, your can replicate the same enlightenment result in yourself. There is no need for any beliefs, cosmology, dogma or creed. Indeed, all sentient beings are endowed by the luminous Buddha nature. The Buddha merely serves as a mirror for us to see our own enlightened nature. However, this means that we need to have the wisdom to see our true nature as it really is. This wisdom is described as the “right view” in the first step of the Eightfold Path. The problem is how can we see things as they really are when our attention is so scattered and our view is so obscured by poisons such as greed, hatred, delusion, pride and jealousy? The answer is through mindful awareness. Indeed, mindful awareness is something that we can learn even the first time we meditate. Eventually, we can reach a state of effortless awareness. This clear seeing allows our mindfulness to create some space between the stimulus and our response. Instead of knee-jerk, blind response, our mind has more time to choose a more skillful, intelligent response, thus, leading to more freedom and proactivity.