Buddhist Path, Buddhist Teachings - Studies in Memory of L.S. Cousins - Naomi Appleton

Buddhist Path, Buddhist Teachings - Studies in Memory of L.S. Cousins - Naomi Appleton

4. 'I'm Not Getting Anywhere with my Meditation...': Effort, Contentment and Goal-Directedness in the Process of Mind-Training

Buddhist Path, Buddhist Teachings - Studies in Memory of L.S. Cousins - Naomi Appleton

Amaro Bhikkhu [+-]
Amaravati monastery, Hertfordshire
Amaro Bhikkhu is a Theravada Buddhist monk and abbot of the Amaravati monastery in Hertfordshire. He has taught all over the world and is the author of several books published by this or associated monasteries including Small Boat, Great Mountain (2003), Rain on the Nile (2009) and The Island - An Anthology of the Buddha's Teachings on Nibbana(2009) and with Ajahn Pasanno a guide to meditation titled Finding the Missing Peace.

Description

This article draws on the teachings of the Pali Canon and the contemporary lineages that are guided by its principles. In particular, reference is made to the author’s mentors in the Thai Forest Tradition. It explores the respective roles of goal-directed effort and contentment in the process of meditative training, and skilful and unskilful variations on these. Effort is needed, but can be excessive, unreflectively mindless, unaware of gradually developed results, or misdirected. Contentment can be misunderstood to imply that skilful desire has no role in practice, and lead to passivity; though it is needed to dampen down an over-energized mind, or motivation rooted in aversion or ambition, and comes from insight-based non-attachment. Right effort avoids the craving to become or to get rid of, but is associated with a skilful chanda/ desire that is an aspect of the iddhi-pādas, the Bases of Spiritual Power. Mindfulness aids the balance of energy and concentration in the Five Faculties, and the energizing and calming qualities in the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. In the end, from practising Dhamma in a way that is truly in accordance with Dhamma (dhammānudhamma-paṭipatti), progress naturally flows from seeing and becoming Dhamma.

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Citation

Bhikkhu, Amaro. 4. 'I'm Not Getting Anywhere with my Meditation...': Effort, Contentment and Goal-Directedness in the Process of Mind-Training. Buddhist Path, Buddhist Teachings - Studies in Memory of L.S. Cousins. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 63-80 Oct 2019. ISBN 9781781798928. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=33386. Date accessed: 18 Oct 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.33386. Oct 2019

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