2022-12-23-Gil-Right Effort (5 of 5) Desire for Right Effort
8:43AM Dec 24, 2022
So for this last talk on right effort, I would like to emphasize how incredibly important this topic is for anyone doing Buddhist practice. All Buddhist practice could be summarized as the practice of discovering what right effort is. And, and kind of refining and maybe purifying effort. So the effort is completely wholesome. And has no attachments, no pressure, no resistance in it, there's a freedom, there's a ease, there's a peacefulness in the efforts we make. And finding that, you know, the right effort, the right way, is, in some ways, a constant adjustment that we're making, finding our way. And over time, it becomes second nature. Just like riding a bicycle, after a while becomes second nature, even though you have to swerve brown this way, in that way, and make different kinds of effort. Depending on the grade you're driving on. We're driving on a freeway and a car, we might, you know, kind of conventionally say we're going straight down a lane, but there's ever so small little movements left and right to the car, that we're constantly making adjustments for, but doing it almost an automatic. So it's so it's second nature. So the same way with the effort. But as we understand the difference between wholesome effort and unwholesome effort to wholesome mental states and unwholesome mental states, to really be able to see those and see them for what they are, that the unwholesome drain us the unwholesome diminish us or stress us are painful, and the wholesome ones do the opposite. That's a powerful insight, Pio for really to see that. And then to have confidence. And this is an important thing, real confidence. That it's not worthwhile, to engage in things which are unwholesome, do engage in unwholesome ways. If we want to live our lives, don't do it make the effort that's unwholesome that's debilitating, that's stressful, to have confidence in the wholesome. And it's hard to find that confidence in his kind of funny way, many of us have confidence in the unwholesome, like, that's how we'll be saved. That's how we'll take care of ourselves. That's how we fulfill our responsibilities. And but in fact, it does the opposite. And as practice develops, we have more confidence in the wholesome. Or to say it may be more of more kind of to the heart of it, and the confidence in the unwholesome withers away. And so we're not prioritizing it anymore. And we're left more with the wholesome. But also we can prioritize it as we value the wholesome, that we make space for it, we allow for it, we are not willing to sacrifice it. We don't give it up for the unwholesome for the stressful. So this idea that it's important to stay close to what's wholesome and beneficial, is part of this Buddhist practice. And what are some of these wholesome states that we stay close to, some of it is just being mindful, staying present. Some of it is as simple as being mindful and discerning and really connected to, to have wisdom operate. Some of it is to be nonreactive. To have some degree of calm, to be kind, to have compassion. Some of it might be to have a sense of pleasure or delight or joy. That in all the different 32 flavors of joy that can happen in practice, that we begin making room we're available for this kind of sense of well being that can begin to be here. And as we feel the well being. That's a reference point a support to highlight when we lose it. Because of the unwholesome it's kind of a gives us the early warning sign, oh, I'm going to lose this. Don't hold on to the wholesome. Then we're doing something unwholesome, the holding on so we're always looking, always kind of, you know what the wholesome way of investigating it Is this very simple thing? What is it wholesome and it's unhealthy or unwholesome? is a stressful? Or is it an stressful? Is it beneficial? Is it useful? And any effort at all, including the effort to investigate that the effort to be mindful the effort will that go the effort to stay with a wholesome, that effort has to be under the lens, the frame of reference of this right effort. It's a profound powerful protection for us that the very way in which we practice Buddhism is not going to be stressful for us, that's not going to be detrimental to us. It's also a powerful way of discovering what freedom is, because in the end, to be able to live the right effort with ease and choice and really stay close to that place where the effort itself is almost effortless or easy, or it doesn't carry the weight and this distress of conceit and self that is a kind of freedom that we have. So the in the eightfold path, right effort is the sixth factor, the seventh is mindfulness. And the the how they're related is very important here in the in the list, that once we understand right effort, then the mindfulness we develop and gets stronger, then can gives us more information in order to practice right effort. So the heightened awareness of attention that we develop, were more attentive to the subtleties and in which right effort to wrong effort to operate within us. Also, but mindfulness itself then is protected by right effort. If we're usually we teach people mindfulness without teaching them right effort first. And then for some people, and then the first we long period of time, in my doing practice, is discovering how to be mindful in a useful way, in a healthy way, in a wholesome way. But if we remember if we're taught, right effort first, and we really know what that is, then when we start doing mindfulness practice, we're looking at the mindfulness efforts, through the lens of right effort is how I'm practicing mindfulness, right effort. Am I practicing with greed or with aversion, my straining, am I pushing? Am I being assertive in a way that's not wholesome? Or am I engaged in a nice way, a good way that brings ease and peace and dedication to what I'm doing. So in the background of all this, is that's a part and parcel of what the Buddha talked about. When he talked about each of the four steps for four kinds of right effort. He talked about the generating desire. And, and here, he's talking about wholesome desire. And as we go through and learn about this right effort, this is one of the gifts of treasures, is to learn how desires can be wholesome, can be beneficial, no stress involved whatsoever, and having a desire, no compulsion, that they desires themselves, are beneficial for us. Human beings constantly have desires, some of them are really unconscious, and we don't really see we have the desire, we don't call it desire, you know, so, you know, I'm lifting up my arm to be a little bit more emphatic as I speak, there is a kind of desire to be emphatic to make a stronger point to desire to move my arm. That kind of is almost second nature. So I could do it without thinking about it, and even without consciously intending it. But there's a desire, there's desires all the time, human beings are kind of a stream of desires, if you look at it, as we become aware of these desires, were that the choices we make, letting those desires flow out of the whole someplace. We're cultivating the whole sudden we're becoming the wholesome, we're transforming ourselves into being available to be filled with goodness filled with a wholesome, the beneficial
and then this miracle happens that the desires we have come out of that wholesome place. And the desires no longer seem necessarily that they're my desires even because the identification, the attribution of self to it gets in the way. But at the same time, we're tracking the desires to really know that they're wholesome, that they're beneficial. And we're tracking little bit the impact they have on the world around us. So that it's beneficial for them as other people as well. So to generate desire, to prevent the arising of unwholesome to care for ourselves enough to live a careful life, to not carelessly live a life that the odd wholesome begins to take over. To live a life that when the unwholesome, we recognize the unwholesome busyness, we have a careful loving way that we try to put it down or abandon it, or at least not believe in it and go along with it. That we value the wholesome, the helpful, the beneficial, and we make space for proof available for it, to recognize it and support it. And we rise generate the desire to maintain it, to stay close to it, to not lose it easily. And once it's there, all of this generating desire done with ease with non attachment, non clinging, non resistance. desires that way, the effort is that way. And this is a great treasure to find our way to this way. So I hope that this has given you something to look at and consider and practice with. And, and for this weekend, you might want to see maybe prepare for next Monday when the next series is. I know this may be somebody's teaching, I'm saying might be difficult and challenging, and you have questions about it, or just seems too much or something. But instead of dwelling on that, see if you couldn't kind of frame it and understand this, that it's inspiring for you that it helps you feel more prepared for practice more ready and receptive, more confident, more inspired. Yes, this is a key, this is important, this is valuable. And that will be your homework for the next today, the next couple of days is to really reconsider consider this topic of right effort to the point where you can have discover some degree of confidence and inspiration, and gives you a readiness and being prepared for for something. And maybe you have a chance to talk to friends about this right after thing and journal about it. Listen to these talks again, read about it, whatever, whatever videos for you. So thank you very much. I appreciate it very much and to be with you at this turning of the year. And we'll be together a few more days before the end. For those of you going on vacation and for others. I wanted to tell you for a while now there's you know, we end in November, IMC sent out into the year fundraising letter. And some of you might not have received it. There's a link to it on the YouTube page for this for today. Just underneath the photograph that under the video and also on the What's New page for IMC. There's a fundraising letter that I wrote and if some of you are interested in supporting IMC that would be very wonderful. And so thank you all and look forward to our next time.