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Mind and Mental Events (Subhuti 2001) - Talk 8

by Subhuti (2001)

Energy in pursuit of the good (virya) is what connects sraddha with action - e.g. consciously turning your mind away from sensuous longing to something more ultimately satisfying and wholesome.

V?rya is analysed in terms of:

1. Protection - a kind of spiritual armour that defends us against unskilful thoughts and behaviour.

2. Applied effort - systematically giving effort to the skilful; raising our level of consciousness.

3. Refusal to despair - not daunted by the magnitude of our ideals.

4. Not turning back regardless of difficulties; not blaming others or expecting others to remove our difficulties.

5. No complacency - constantly stretching ourselves, never settling down.

Alertness (pliancy) (prasrabdhi) has three characteristics:

1. Lightness and ease, traditionally described as like 'thistledown on the wind'.

2. Calmness, composure and serenity, especially associated with the third dhyana.

3. Suppleness, flexibility, pliancy. The mind is able to move in whichever direction you want and this is therefore essential for Insight.

Equanimity (upeksa) in this context refers to the dhyanic state that is so positive that it is beyond happiness. It is virya combined with alobha, advesa and amoha. The mind is completely free from the klesas with no tendency towards the unskilful. There is just no reaction to objects of craving and aversion when they arise. There are three levels:

1. A balanced mind that requires effort to maintain.

2. A mind that is steady and at rest and no great effort is required to maintain it.

3. A spontaneous mind that is completely absorbed and no effort is required at all.

This talk is part of the series Mind and Mental Events (Subhuti 2001).