Dhammadinna shares her thoughts on viriya/vigour as derived from Chapter 7 of the Bodhicaryavatara.
The Bodhicaryavatara is an 8th century text written by Shantideva, a Buddhist monk from the monastic ‘university’ at Nalanda, India, and Dhammadinna presented this material over three sessions on an Order retreat called “Teaching the Bodhicaryavatara.” She says at the beginning that she isn’t giving a formal talk and, indeed, the title is her description of what she was doing…. sharing some thoughts...
Surata talks about the nature of Viriya, diligence to practice, to apply oneself, to engage in a steady practice, even when one doesn’t quite feel like it. Calling on Shraddha (faith) we call on diligence that does not lose heart!
Bhante Sangharakshita talks about viriya as ‘vigour’ or ‘energy in pursuit of the good’. Vajradevi explores this in relation to the mindfulness, including the four right efforts, wise and unwise involvement and the near enemy of viriya. Viriya allows for there to be a continuity of awareness.
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.
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.