The Noble Eightfold Path

  1. Wise View
  2. Wise Intention
  3. Wise Speech
  4. Wise Action
  5. Wise Livelihood
  6. Wise Effort
  7. Wise Mindfulness
  8. Wise Concentration

Definition of Wise Effort

  • Consistently focusing attention on the present moment.
  • Clearly observing every experience.
  • Gaining insight into the nature of reality with Wise View and Wise Intention.

Motivation for Right Effort

  • Spiritual urgency is the driving force.
  • This urgency is deepened by understanding impermanence.
  • Reflect on the inevitability of death, both our own and that of others.

Reflection Question

  • Have you ever pondered the fact that everyone you know will eventually die?
  • What if you knew your time was limited, even to the next moment?

Understanding the Path

  • Challenges and obstacles may initially seem burdensome.
  • The journey evolves: starting with enthusiasm (honeymoon phase), encountering obstacles, and eventually reaching a stage of effortless practice.

Facing Challenges in Practice

  • Practice can be difficult during pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral experiences.
  • Strategies to enhance practice:
    • Extend your meditation time.
    • Practice under varied conditions like reduced sleep, sickness, or during extended retreats.
    • Minimize certain sensual indulgences to focus on practice.

Engagement in Experiences

  • Some experiences draw us in fully, while others only get half our effort.
  • Cultivate awareness of these variations in engagement.
  • Prioritize mindfulness to navigate these moments with clarity.

Wise Effort Summarized

  • Give attention to all experiences.
  • Observe with clarity, guided by Wise Intention and Wise View.

Reflection Question

  • Think of a task that benefits you but you’ve approached half-heartedly. What causes your resistance to it?