For this week’s reading, we will focus on the third and fourth Paramitas – Patience and Joyous Effort
3) The Perfection of Patience (Kshanti Paramita)
This paramita is the enlightened quality of patience, tolerance, forbearance, and acceptance. The essence of this paramita of patience is the strength of mind and heart that enables us to face the challenges and difficulties of life without losing our composure and inner tranquility. We are neither elated by praise, prosperity, or agreeable circumstances, nor are we angry, unhappy or depressed when faced with insult, challenge, hardship, or poverty. This enlightened attribute of patience, acceptance, and tolerance is not a forced suppression or denial of our thoughts and feelings. Rather, it is a quality of being which comes from having our heart open and our mind deeply concentrated upon the Dharma. In this way, we have a clear and correct understanding of impermanence, of cause and effect (karma), and with strong determination and patience we remain in harmony with this understanding for the benefit of all beings. Our practice of patience assists us in developing the next paramita of joyous effort and enthusiastic perseverance.
4) The Perfection of Joyous Effort / Enthusiastic Perseverance (Virya Paramita)
This paramita is the enlightened quality of energy, vigor, vitality, endurance, diligence, enthusiasm, continuous and persistent effort. Joyous effort makes the previous paramitas increase and become even more powerful influences in our life. Without developing Virya Paramita, we can become easily disillusioned and drop our practice when we meet with adverse conditions. The word virya means persistence and perseverance in the face of disillusionment. We practice with persistent effort and enthusiasm when we realize the tremendous value and benefit of our Dharma practice. With joyous effort and enthusiastic perseverance, we regard failure as simply another step toward success, danger as an inspiration for courage, and affliction as another opportunity to practice wisdom and compassion.