Oct 5, 2021
This episode focuses on Right Effort, one part of the Noble Eightfold Path. Buddha repeatedly taught the importance of effort, for realizing the rest of the eightfold spiritual path depends on effort. In this context effort means energy directed toward cultivating the mind. The path begins with an impure mind and a wish to change; the liberated mind is the culmination of the path.what comes between is unrelenting effort. Here we focus on the four powers of effort, which teaches us how to make positive change unstoppable.
Time and again the Buddha has stressed the need for effort, for diligence, exertion, and unflagging perseverance. The reason why effort is so crucial is that each person has to work out his or her own deliverance. The Buddha does what he can by point- ing out the path to liberation; the rest involves putting the path into practice, a task that demands energy. This energy is to be applied to the cultivation of the mind, which forms the focus of the entire path. The starting point is the defiled mind, afflicted and deluded; the goal is the liberated mind, purified and illumi- nated by wisdom. What comes in between is the unremitting effort to transform the defiled mind into the liberated mind.
The work of self-cultivation is not easy — there is no one who can do it for us but ourselves — but it is not impossible.
Buddha himself and his accomplished disciples provide the liv- ing proof that the task is not beyond our reach. They assure us, too, that anyone who follows the path can accomplish the same goal. But what is needed is effort,
4 powers of effort
Through the steadfast accomplishment of daily actions toward your goal or personal change, confidence will naturally arise. Eventually, you will be familiar with this new way of being. You will have become a new person, with new habits and a new life!
3 Lazinesses (obstacles to effort)
The eight practices of the Eightfold Path are
Inactive when one should be active,
Lazy [though] young and strong,
Disheartened in one’s resolves,
Such an indolent, lethargic person
Doesn’t find the path of insight. (280)*
—Buddha, The Dhammapada
References and Links
Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. (Kindle). Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp. 72 (Link)
Je Tsongkhapa. Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, by Je Tsongkhapa, Volume 2. (Kindle.)Translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee. Joshua Cutler, Editor-in-Chief, and Guy Newlan, Editor, pp 187-197.