Virya is the energetic counterpart to the patience of Ksanti; it is energy in pursuit of the good. Bodhinaga tells us how we can develop this noble vigour, which brings strength and courage like that of a virtuous knight. He guides us through counteracting the four ‘enemies of virya’ before introducing the Four Powers: ethical sources of energy to power the Dharma life.
Satyalila offers a clear and practical guide to how our spiritual journey can consist in transforming the ‘poisons’ (greed, hatred, delusion, pride and envy) with (and ultimately into) the five spiritual faculties (faith, wisdom, mindfulness, samadhi and energy-in-pursuit-of-the-good). This excerpt is focussed on cultivating Wisdom to transform Anger and Hatred.
Viriya expresses itself in action, with attentiveness, care and enthusiasm. Saddhanandi shares from her personal training and experience as an artist to elucidate the meaning of Virya, drawing out the aspect of training the mind to develop positive mental states.
The Buddha’s lone voice of sanity once prevented a war. Modern warfare is on a far larger scale, and could involve nuclear weapons. As we are faced with a choice between world peace and eventual disaster, Sangharakshita discusses realistic courses of action for peace activists and others.
What is peace? And what does peace mean for Buddhists? Is it just the absence of war and conflict; guns and screaming? Or is it also the deep silence that arises when the mind and heart are in harmony - a positive state of mind that can be cultivated both personally and collectively, where good and evil don’t exist as concepts? Parami explores these questions and more with great compassion and wisdom.
Vishvapani gave a series of talks in 2011 to promote his book Gautama Buddha: The Life and Teachings of the Awakened One (Quercus, 2011).
Here we have a glimpse into the Buddha’s ability to dialogue with kindness and curiosity as he radiated a force field of loving kindness in a society full of debate and discourse. Rather than getting involved in a tit-for-tat argument, the Buddha tried to understand how others think and what is of value to them.
What if everyone could see the enormity of their potential and be able to grow into that potential? What if those people then created a community… and that community becomes more and more a force for good in the world?
Buddhism teaches us that it is possible to transcend the notion that I exist as a fixed and separate entity in the world and in doing so release a force of unbounded, unconditional love.
How do we relate to the Buddha? Sangharakshita has emphasised the importance of connecting with him as a historical figure. Through personal example and stories Dharmashalin asks the question, do we even see the Buddha as a kind old man? Maybe that would be a good start…