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The Seven Sūvatan Virtues

It is oft said that patience is a virtue, yet in our modern society, we tend to forget there are other virtues that need to be cultivated that will, ultimately, serve us better than merely cultivating patience.

When you work to cultivate the Seven Sūvatan Virtues, you will cultivate patience as well. Your perspective of self, other, and the world will shift, and as a result you will not need to work on being patient; you simply will be.

These seven virtues lay the foundation for a strong spiritual practice, build strength of character and resilience.

  1. Compassion
  2. Wisdom
  3. Courage
  4. Non-attachment
  5. Discipline
  6. Contentment
  7. Purity

Compassion: We are all in this world together. We are all reflections of the universe. We are all part of the matrix that makes up this crazy, joyous world. We must practice compassion for those around us, for those we love, those we dislike, and those we don’t even know. Their karma, their life, their destiny could have easily been ours.

Wisdom: Beyond simple intelligence or “smarts” wisdom is the virtue of good judgment. Intelligence is knowing what to do and how to do it. Wisdom is knowing that you should. When you act with wisdom, you execute good judgment that is rooted in good ethical behaviour and is validated by logic.

Courage: Courage isn’t reserved for soldiers or first responders. Courage is something we all should demonstrate. Courage is being afraid — of conflict, of strife, of hardship — and going ahead anyway because the act is rooted in wisdom and your soul is telling you it’s the right thing to do…especially when there is a likelihood of negative consequences.

Non-attachment: Attachment is the root of suffering. Attachment to ideas, ideals, outcomes, and humans will inevitably lead to suffering. By releasing attachment (easier said than done) we reduce our suffering. By accepting that all things are and will be as they should, we get closer to liberation.

Discipline: Discipline, moderation, executing healthy behaviour, is easier said than done, but when done, cultivates character. Discipline leads to patience, and it makes us more grateful for what we have. When we are disciplined, when we accept that we can’t live in a state of instant gratification, we appreciate our blessings when they arrive, and we cultivate pride in our character.

Contentment: Life is out of our control. As much as we may try, as much as we may struggle, life is never — ever — going to go exactly how we want. But finding contentment in the chaos is itself a virtue. Contentment means simply being at peace with life and the way things are. It means finding acceptance in the way things are and that the universe has our best interests at heart.

Purity: In order to be healthy, happy, prosperous, and limitless, we must be pure. We must have pure intentions and a clean conscience. Moving through this life with selfish intentions, a body full of toxins, and a mind full of hatred prevents us from reaching our true potential.

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