As assignment of Buddhist meditation subject, I will write about right efforts, the sixth of noble eightfold path. Especially I will introduce what its benefits and how and why it is necessary to succeed to leading the end of suffering. And also I will describe how many kinds of right efforts are. Almost all of what I will describe will be related with mentioning of collections of lord Buddha’s teachings called suttas. Some of them will be from my point of view and from the opinion of particular teacher.
There is not any goal with good results without efforts so effort is very important for those who want to get the final goal. Our lives are fully in the habits of sufferings which we with firm confidences must surmount. What it is the goal of Buddhists, is the end of suffering. To end it we need to know what is suffering, what is root of suffering and what are ways for cessation of it. Right effort is one of ways for ending of suffering. Right effort can be seen as prerequisite to other noble sevenfold paths. Without effort nothing can be achieved. Here the effort must be mental energy to achieve to end of suffering. There are four kinds of efforts in Buddhist ways as practical method for those who follow the teaching of the Buddha ( cattaro sammavayama in pali):
(1) The effort to prevent the arising of evils that have not yet arisen.
(2) The effort to discard evils that have arisen.
(3) The effort to bring the goods from good deeds, which have not arisen yet.
(4) The effort to maintain and develop what it is the goods that have arisen.
Note. (In abiddhammattha sagnha, the first is second, the second is first)
These are mentioned in the sutta as follow:
And what, monks, is right effort?
1. There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
2. He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.
3. He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
4. He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen. Samyutta Nikaya XLV.8
In my point of view, even though there are four kinds of efforts in accordance with magga-vibhanga sutta, whoever with just doing good deeds, is fully with four right efforts. The reason is that just doing the good deeds automatically is preventing coming evils that have not yet arisen and is automatically discarding the evils that have arisen. And it is automatically maintaining the goods because he is doing good deeds. It is similar with this example, the glass which is full with tea, can not accept other milk, water, etc. this is an example between the wholesome and unwholesome. (. In my confession dealing with this example, I just had heard about it, but I don’t know wathar sutta mention like this glass example or not.)
Wrong effort for unwholesome states is abolished with right effort according to sutta:
“With right effort, wrong effort is abolished, and the many evil unwholesome states that originate with wrong effort as condition are also abolished, and many wholesome states that originate with right effort as condition come to fulfillment by development.”
M, 117, 35 (http://ariyavansa.org/dd-home/dd-030/)
For wrong effort there is right effort for extinguishing.
(Others will make wrong effort; we shall make right effort here -- thus effacement can be done) M, 8, 12
Effort in Meditation
The important of effort is that when some one taking meditation appears right thought, must make an effort for being examined for direct solution with volitional effort to arouse the enlightenment factor effort. By the time being development of enlightenment factor effort, it will complete the though for searching the solution.
The Effort by Right Thought
The meaning of right effort is to go ahead with firm confidence of mind by using the right way. Here right way is the thought which prevents arising all of evil though. It just leads to development and completion of arisen thoughts of good deeds in regard to what you are doing. Effort must be a supporter to get insight knowledge in four foundations of mindfulness. And right thought, right mindfulness and right intention must manage the effort to achieve successful way.
“Friends, what is right effort?
Here, the bhikkhu arouses interest, puts forth effort and makes the mind spring forward. For the non arising of non-arisen evil thoughts of demerit, for the dispelling of arisen evil thoughts of demerit, for the arousing of non arisen thoughts of merit and for the non deluded establishment, development and completion of arisen thoughts of merit. This is called right effort.”(M, 141, 27)
Leading to Nibbana by Effort
Less effort is more far goal, the nearest of goal must be by leading of effort. Our goal, nibana, is so far from places with being the full craving, where we live, and which is called society. But the way is right, the nearest is with it. We must regularly walk to it as daily job and we must use right ways. And the meaning of daily job by right way is right effort (practice) with right view, right thought, right intention, and right mindfulness. If you walk this way, the end of way will be the goal called nibana.
Let me mention the explanation to comments on Salient Points in the singala sutta (by U Ko Lay):
(It is true that whatever the Buddha has said, in instructions, injunctions or discourses to devas and men, has only one taste, one flavour, that of emancipation. But the Buddha's Teaching was meant not just for the bhikkhus and bhikkhunis who practised the Dhamma full time, leading a life of retirement in remote places, cutting themselves off from society. In his Teachings, the Buddha did not forget the needs and difficulties of the everyday world. The tremendous accumulation of his paramis (efforts for self-perfection) was not to be utilised for the benefit of the ascetics and recluses only. It was meant for all mankind as well as devas without distinction. To promote their welfare and happiness and to help them attain liberation from the round of rebirths is the sole purpose of the appearance of a Buddha in the world.)
The most important in middle way
Today, most of learners have a doubt which path is importance than other paths in noble eightfold path. In reality, all of them are important in each part, and all of them are related with each other. It is an example; if whoever without being any good concentration is nothing for right view, if whoever without being any good right effort right is nothing for right livelihood. Even thought right concentration is for proximate cause to the obtainment of wisdom (right view), it is very important that right view is both the beginning and the end of the path, it simply means to see and to understand things as they really are and to realize the Four Noble Truth.
Bhikkhus, just as the dawn is the forerunner and first indication of the rising of the sun, so is right view the forerunner and first indication of wholesome states.
For one of right view, bhikkhus, right intention springs up. For one of right intention, right speech springs up. For one of right speech, right action springs up. For one of right action, right livelihood springs up. For one of right livelihood, right effort springs up. For one of right effort, right mindfulness springs up. For one of right mindfulness, right concentration springs up. For one of right concentration, right knowledge springs up. For one of right knowledge, right deliverance springs up.
Anguttara Nikaya 10:121