Good News! I am not needed at my training next week so I will be with you tomorrow. We are going to look at what is called the Four Right Effort (Exertions). They are (1) Preventing the arising of unskillful qualities; (2) Abandoning unskillful qualities that have arisen; (3) Cultivate skillful qualities; and (4) Maintain skillful qualities once they arise.
This topic seems like the natural next step after spending so much time exploring the nature of compassion. There is a way that we can create unnecessary pressure and strain upon ourselves to “become someone”. We jump in with both feet intending to make something happen or change. This week we will take a step back to consider what type of effort will lead to more suffering and what type of effort will lead to liberation of the mind.
Effort that leads to more suffering is based in needing to change, become someone and/or get somewhere with practice. It is trying to use practice to make something happen. Mindful effort does not lead anywhere. It’s like walking meditation. There is exertion but not to accomplish anything. Mindful effort is about generating interest and clear comprehension in a given moment. You are in effect, generating both an interest in wanting to see what is happening with you and a desire to understand the experience as it truly is rather than how you would prefer it to be. The Four Right Efforts are the guides for this clear seeing.
There are two ways to practice with the Four Efforts – as a sequence or as separate parts. I prefer working with each effort as a separate part but we will explore both ways and you can chose what works best for you.
See you tomorrow:))!