One’s own true good
Is the foremost good,
is found. (SN 11:5: Subhasita-jaya Sutta)
Reflecting on Patience
- There are many misconceptions about “patience”. It can be used as a way to oppress, suppress, or ignore the truth of what’s happening. Perhaps you have had a family member, friend, or colleague whose way of “being patient” or “tolerating” left you uneasy. Do you feel some uncomfortableness about practicing patience?
- The opportunity to practice patience is often discovered in times of stress. Reflect on those stressful experiences, which frequently provide you with this opportunity.
- Take a few moments to sense the qualities of patience in your body, heart, and mind. How might the cultivation of this quality change your daily interactions? How might your patience affect someone else?
- What have you learned about patience during your formal meditation practice? Do you experience the energy needed to be patient with yourself, with the situation, with others?
For further study:
The Perfection of Energy (viriya-pāramī)
“May I be filled with inexhaustible energy, vigor, and fortitude in cultivating the path to enlightenment and in working for the benefit of others.”
Viriya in the context of our practice stands for the strenuous and sustained effort to overcome unskillful ways, such as getting lost in the indulgence of sense pleasures, ill will and harmfulness. It means the appropriate marshaling of energy to cultivate wisdom and compassion. Viriya does not mean physical strength. It signifies strength of character and the persistent effort for the well-being of others. Viriya is the power behind Wise Effort one of the factors of the Eightfold Noble Path.
In the absence of sustained efforts in cultivating the heart and mind through practicing meditation, various types of craving and clinging can creep in and the practitioner may get lost. Wise Effort (sama viyama in Pali) is then needed to recognize and overcome unwholesome mental factors that may have arisen. Viriya is also skillfully utilized as the engine of Wise Effort when it arouses and helps maintain and enhance wholesome mental factors.
Reflecting on Energy
- How would you describe the wholesome or skillful use of energy? What factors are in play?
- Energy is required to cultivate any of the Paramis and to accomplish anything in life. Recall and share a time that you manifested what seemed to be the skillful and appropriate amount of energy to undertake a task. What made the energy utilized skillful in this instance? What feelings did that elicit in you?
- Recall and share a time that your energy was not particularly wholesome or skillful. What made the energy utilized unskillful in this instance? What were the internal feelings accompanying those actions?
For further study:
http://sr.dharmaseed.org/teacher/115/talk/13574/ A talk at Spirit Rock by Mark Coleman entitled the Spark of Awakening.
Source- Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville