The Pali word for wisdom is panna. And the Buddha taught that there are three kinds of wisdom.
- suta-maya panna-wisdom gained by listening to others
- cinta-maya panna-intellectual, analytical understanding
- bhavana-maya panna-wisdom based on direct personal experience
Of these, only the last can totally purify the mind; and is cultivated by the practice of vipassana–bhavana.
I am sharing this today because I am studying more about wisdom. I know that eliminating my ignorance is the path to wisdom. And I see that all my reading and study is only one part of gaining wisdom.
This is the intellectual part of me that enjoys researching and questioning.
Dhamma talks from the Monks and Nun also add another extremely beneficial layer of cultivation.
But the one I see that is critical to eliminating ignorance is personal experience.
At first I thought that this might mean meditation. But I think this would be an incorrect assumption.
On Bhante Sujatha’s guided meditation CD, he explains that bhavana is three parts. Virtue, meditation and wisdom.
Virtue, to me, is living and breathing mindfulness and loving kindness. This is not something to just be practiced once a week or even once a day. This is for each and every moment.
Then, when moving into meditation, one can simply observe the mind.
I believe that the resulting outcome will ultimately be an illuminated mind that is free of suffering.
I need to accept that this may not happen in this lifetime, but also accept that it could happen at any moment.
To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Life is a journey, not a destination”.