Right Effort

Right Effort has four parts:

1. Nipping negative thoughts in the bud. I hate it when…cut off that thought.

2. Dropping negative thoughts that were not caught early in accordance with the first Right Effort. We do not dwell in negative thoughts and drop them if they sneak past the sentinel of the first Right Effort.

3. Planting good thoughts. Not thinking of anything in particular? Send out thoughts of loving kindness, or other good thoughts. Start Buddha Name Recitation in the form of Namo Amitabha Buddha or Namo Amituo Fo.

4. Cultivating good thoughts that appear on their own. When we become aware of good thoughts that we did not consciously plant, we cultivate them, water them, help them grow.

Right Effort is the sixth fold of the eightfold path and thus is a part of the meditation group, together with Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.

Right Effort can be practiced all day long as we encounter others and as various situations arise. It can be an interesting practice. We become more aware of our thoughts and over time we do a better job on all four of the Right Efforts, thereby making a large stride toward Buddhahood.


How To Practice Zen