Avoiding Effort »
Drop of Dhamma Delight!


Effort avoids, overcomes, develops, & maintains!

The Blessed Buddha once said:
Friends: There are four right efforts: the effort to avoid, the effort to
overcome, the effort to develop, and the effort to maintain...
What, friends, is the effort to avoid? In this case, when perceiving
a form with the eye, a sound with the ear, a smell with the nose, a taste
with the tongue, a touch with the body, a thought of mind, one neither
fixes to the overall appearance, nor to any of this sensation's details...
One strives to avert the arising of evil and detrimental states, such as
greed, urge and longing, by remaining guarding these 6 sense-doors!
One watch and notice the senses, keeping the 6 senses under control ...
This is the effort to avoid!
What, friends, is the effort to overcome? In this case, one does not
accept any thought of sensual lust, ill-will, irritation, or any other evil
and detrimental state that may have arisen! One dispels them, destroys
them, causes them to evaporate right there and then, on the very spot...
This is called the effort to overcome!
What, friends, is the effort to develop? In this case, one develops the
7 links enlightenment, which when bent on solitude, detachment and
ceasing, ends in release, namely: Awareness, Investigation, Energy,
Joy, Tranquillity, Concentration and Equanimity...
This is called the effort to develop!
What, friends, is the effort to maintain? In this case, one keeps the
mind firmly focused on any advantageous object of concentration that
may have arisen, such as the mental image of a skeleton, of a festering
corpse infested by worms, of a swollen, decaying corpse, bluish-black
riddled with pus and maggots dripping out of any hole and opening...
This is called the effort to maintain! These are the four Right Efforts.

Source: Anguttara Nikāya. The Numerical Sayings: AN 4:14

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