The path to liberation is the wisdom realising emptiness. It cuts the self-grasping ignorance. This is the only way to remove all the seeds of suffering, our constant readiness for problems and misery. Attaining this wisdom depends on a single-pointed concentration. And this depends on pure ethical conduct. Training in these three can become skills for genuine, lasting happiness. They are useful not just for a better life now, but for complete liberation.
Why this order? We need our journey through life to be stable and true, and ethics is the ground or foundation upon everything can be built. Concentration can only develop if we are free of guilt, distraction and disturbing emotions. Wisdom can only arise on the basis on concentration.
The higher training in ethics is focused on the body, the foundation and support for everything we do. Concentration is like two strong arms informed by love and interconnectedness. Wisdom is like a very sharp axe to cut the root cause of all problems. Our delusions and their seeds are the tree. With all three we can cut the root of suffering forever!
(Painting by Karma Phuntsok)