Wisdom is to see the truth of the various manifestations of body and mind.
When we use our trained and concentrated minds to examine the five khandhas
(material form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness),
we will see clearly that both body and mind are impermanent, unsatisfactory
and soul-less. In seeing all compounded things with wisdom we do not cling or
grasp. Whatever we receive, we receive mindfully. We are not exessively happy.
When things of ours break up or disappear, we are not unhappy and do not suffer
painful feelings - for we see clearly the impermanent nature of all things.
When we encounter illness and pain of any sort, we equanimity because our minds
have been well trained. The true refuge is the trained mind.
All of this is known as wisdom which knows the true characteristics of things as they arise. Wisdom arises from mindfulness and concentration. Concentration arises from a base of morality or virtue. All these things, morality, concentration and wisdom, are so inter-related that it is not really possible to separate them. In practice it can be looked at in this way: First there is the arising of morality. When mindfulness of breathing is practised continuously until the mind is quite, this is the arising of concentration. Then examination showing the breath as impermanent, unsatisfactory and not-self, and the subsequent non-attachment, is the arising of wisdom. Thus the practice of mindfulness of breathing can be said to be the course for all development of morality, concentration and wisdom. They all come together. We can say this practice reaches the Buddha-Dhamma truly and precisely