A vīra is a hero, a warrior. Often, we think of warriors as those that fight enemies and threats “out there,” but here we are talking about a different kind of hero.
The vīra is one who is willing to go into the lion’s den...It isn’t so much the irritations of the world that a vīra concerns herself with; it’s the maze of confusions, distractions and temptations of her own mind that she sets out to conquer.
Take the hazy world of emotions. We constantly react and counter-react to what we *think* is the world, but in reality is the projection of our own mind.
Our way of dealing with emotion is to act it out (as in yelling at someone when we think “they made” us angry) or to internalize it in an act of self-deprecation (“it’s all my fault; I can’t do anything right”) or any combination of the two.
The vīra, on the other hand, chooses to go straight into the emotion, no matter how great the discomfort. She welcomes it and allows it, giving it space. This isn’t easy, of course. Every fiber of her being protests, wanting to take the familiar, well-trodden path.
As she continues to practice walking into the lion’s den, she befriends it. Very gradually, she can be in the presence of the great beast and not panic or sweat. She can feel his hot breath and the ground shaking under her as he growls deeply. She learns to look him in the eye without wanting to run. She then finds herself feeding him with her own bare hands.
The lion eventually starts to become less threatening. After dancing like this for a while, he will allow her to nuzzle his head and stroke his golden mane. And finally, she tames him enough to ride on his back, fearless and calm.
The vīra enters every emotion and distraction, and learns to use it as a vehicle for transmutation. Instead of reacting externally or internally through mental noise, she learns to harness its energy and ride it.