2022-12-22-Gil-Right Effort (4 of 5) Growing the Wholesome
8:43AM Dec 24, 2022
Hello, everyone, welcome to this fourth talk on the far right efforts. And today's emphasis is on the fourth being the focus on wholesome states of mind or skillful helpful states or qualities. And, and the this is actually a very important part of the teachers of the teacher, the Buddha's teaching that at least Denmark, for me, was not really appreciated very much in a few decades of being a Buddhist and practicing, I think, perhaps, like, I think maybe a good number of people, I had somehow become tuned into prioritizing the teachings on letting go. And, and sometimes it was indiscriminate, letting go, it just means it's very powerful sometimes, especially in meditation, to let go of everything, even the wholesome, because sooner or later, everything needs to be let go of no holding even to the wholesome. But it's possible to overdo it, and not then support the growth, the cultivation, even the presence of beneficial states of mind, and beneficial states of heart. And that as we allow them to be there, they're just let go of them or ignore them, that we can actually promote or make it possible for him to grow. And it's possible to become filled with well-being filled with really good qualities. I was kind of really amazed and stunned when I started doing the long meditation, lots of meditation to discover how thoroughly saturated are the whole body and being can be, in particular wholesome states of being joy and happiness, tranquility. Now, the one that surprised me I think the most was the equanimity. Just the act of equanimity was such a clear, full embodied kind of way wasn't just some thoughtful policy in the mind to be economists, there was a way of being and so this idea that the wholesome is supposed to be proof. So in this for right efforts, the first right effort is to prevent the arising of an arisen unwholesome states. So states that haven't not really healthy for you to have thoughts, feelings, attitudes, motivations. If they're not there, not operating, you know, they're a common part of your life, then, within reason, maybe make the behavioral changes and other changes that would kind of prevent them from arising these unhealthy ways of being. The second right effort is if the unwholesome states of mind have come up, abandon them. So this is the letting go part. And how to abandon them helpfully it is important, but these four right efforts, you will always using them as a kind of a perspective and analysis of what we're actually doing. So if we're letting go, is the letting go itself done in a wholesome way? Or is it unwholesome, if letting go is being done with aversion, with conceit, with greed for something better? If it's, then it's not so wholesome, and it kind of will backfire in some way. But if we're looking for how to do this in a wholesome way, it's this whole the whole, it's a game changer. It's a very different way of being with it. And then there's not so much self involved or conceit or greed. That kind of comes we come in slowly, we begin to learn how there's a whole other source within that is the source of how to do things in wholesome ways, including this letting go. One of the things to discover is that letting go is one of the things that our heart wants to do. If all the conditions are Right, it's not like we have to let go. But we have to enable the letting go, that want that already there that wants to happen. So kind of a very the third right effort is to evoke, to bring about to recognize wholesome states that haven't arisen yet to bring them about. And that also might involve behavioral changes, to stay close to things that inspire you bring your gladness and happiness and steadiness and, you know, do the things that help you be more settled in your life or stable in your life. And rushing around is not helpful. Doing things in a steady, stable manner is much more helpful. And then the fourth is, this is a dramatic, so it kind of goes comparable to the second right effort to abandon the unwholesome states that have risen. Now, it's to maintain the wholesome states that have arisen. So things that are good going on, maintain them. And again, this can be done with behavioral ways. If you feel really happy and good, and just feel like this is unusually settled and peaceful, maybe it's not the time to get lost on the web, or in the news or, or, you know, start doing something that, you know, it's going to just get you really angry, you know, just kind of maybe there's a way of maintaining it, keeping it going, being careful not to lose easily to sacrifice it for, you know, some petty irritation that you want to complain about. And so, so the, however, what I want to emphasize today is that, this cultivating and maintaining the wholesome, it gets actually much more emphasized by the buddho. Because rather than simply one word of what we do prevent, abandon, evoke, for the forthright effort, there's a whole series of words. So you get a sense of kind of the emphasis the importance, like, like maybe we're supposed to spend, you know, more time on the wholesome. So, this is a, how it goes, practitioners take up and take hold of their minds, take hold of themselves, and generate desire, endeavor, and initiate courageous effort. Here we go for the maintenance, the non forgetting, the frequent cultivation, the abundance, the development, and the fulfillment of wholesome mental qualities, states characteristics that have arisen, Wow, that's quite a mouthful. One, something good has arisen in you. Be careful. Don't lose it easily. Because you get caught up in your desires and your conceits and your, you know, agendas and your fears, and you're rushing around and doing a lot. Take time for that. And and then are there ways to maintain it, keep it going. Not wait again, it has to be done in a wholesome way, not with expectation, not with demand, not with measuring your success and failure your self worth, by their presence, not by in a way that you would be, you know, distraught if it's not there and feel like somehow you're a bad person. There's a wholesome way of freeway, a generous way, a relaxed way to be with all these things that, you know, is kind of a sense of freedom in itself. And with that, to maintain it to be conscious and aware and choice full about what we do. So that affects our state of mind. For the non forgetting, I love this one. Don't forget it. Don't overlook it. Don't lose touch with it. It's so easy to lose, touch and forget the healthy way of being in the world. Being attentive being here to fall away.
The frequent cultivation, abundance, development and fulfillment. So this idea of abundance, abundance of good qualities to fulfillment of them can't get any better. I mean, this is dramatic language. I think to me, it's inspiring language. It could seem exhausting like it there's a lot to do, but it's not meant to be the kind of doing that is exhausting. It's a kind of a doing which is fun which is nice which is relaxing which The doing itself feels good. And that's the art of this whole meditation and mindfulness. How do we do anything in a wholesome, healthy, beneficial way. And that's the art that we want to discover and find that's the key to a Buddhist practice, but his practice involves practice. But how do we do the practice in this wholesome way, nourishing way, inspiring way we're inspired by the hills good, we like we like doing it. It's not automatic, we discover how to do it. But that's what we're working towards. And then And then, overcoming the strong urges in the mind. From fear from desires for duty obligation, to override the healthy way of doing things, to do things in ways which are not wholesome, that are rushed that lead to maybe something as simple as becoming unstable and unsteady and tight and focused, losing touch, forgetting about this wholesome way of being. Because this idea of wholesomeness wholesome states of being that we maintain, can, can lift the bar cutter high if we rushed to the idea that has to be love and peace and these dramatic kind of spiritual feelings. The foundational one that I think that we want to remember to always come back to and start with is the whole some sense of being stable here in the in the moment of physical embodied stability. When we're unsafe, unwholesomeness takes over. It shifts and changes the physical body and how we live in the world and how we're, how we're not so settled. But when we're wholesome. There's the wholesomeness arises out of this settled body stable, a settled mind, a steady mind and a settled heart. So if that's the first step, in evoking the wholesome and maintaining the wholesome, maybe that's not so bad, maybe that isn't so far out of reach. Maybe it's only, you know, 10%, more stable 10% more steady, but that, but without 10%. Maybe we don't make as many mistakes we don't live stressfully as we do other times. And that steadiness and stability, this sense of being living a life which is unwavering is the soil in which the wholesome has a chance to emerge. And probably the more stable and steady and settled we are, the more the wholesomeness, the appearance, the arising of it, it does it by itself, we don't have to do it, we just have to recognize it. Allow it not forget, it helps support it to grow. Not be embarrassed or ashamed or kind of afraid of it. Don't be afraid of the goodness that's in you. Let it grow and let it become abundant. So the wholesome, maintaining growing, developing the wholesome with us. So for this day's homework, why don't you get through the day, whatever you can remember, maybe set a timer, at least two at once an hour or something. See if you can emphasize a little bit more coming into a place of stability steadiness. settledness, someplace that we feel kind of feel this, and then we're gonna do something to do with kind of an unwavering way from this place. And see if other wholesome qualities have a chance to follow in the wake. It's almost like that stability, opens the door. And at open door, what wholesome things wants to come from you and, and maybe make a catalogue of what wants to come. It's, you might be surprised what's in there that wants to come out. So thank you very much. And for tomorrow, there'll be kind of a concluding talk on these four right efforts.