Viriya is a quality of mind that is an essential aspect of our path; frequently mentioned by the Buddha. Often translated as “effort” we can easily confuse this quality with one of striving or “efforting” which leads to suffering. Viriya: patient courage supports mindfulness and wisdom.
The Dalai Lama often begins his talks "Everyone wants to be Happy... Nobody wants to suffer." It's true, and yet sadly, our ways of pursuing happiness are often the very cause of suffering. This talk describes the shadow side of seeking happiness, and the practices of presence that lead to spiritual freedom and genuine happiness.
As we begin a new cycle after Labor Day, it’s helpful to identify the basics of our practice, which I do with reference to a just-completed 3 weeks on retreat in the mountains. We look at 1. Foundations – ethics, intentions, creating a space away from habits. 2. Development of concentration and awareness. 3. Heart – practice and 4. Integration in our everyday lives.