4. Right Effort: Directing the Mind
Geoffrey Hunt [+]
University of Surrey
He has taught meditation in schools, in a prison, a village for the elderly, and an alcohol rehabilitation centre. He has served the Dhamma in hospices, funerals and interfaith events. He has worked in Japan, Nigeria and Lesotho and is a writer and international speaker on ethical issues of health, science and advanced technology. He has published several books in the field of professional ethics. He is married to Rev. Beverley Hunt, an Anglican minister.
This chapter is largely about mentally endeavoring, striving or making an effort to deal with one’s unhelpful and helpful mental arisings. The former include arisen (actual) and unarisen (potential) unwholesome or hindering thoughts and emotions such as desire and doubt. The latter include accepting, nurturing and supportive arisen and unarisen wholesome ones such as good will and generosity. Metaphor, story and exercise are used. It is explained how the effort required of self-liberating speech, action and livelihood is not so much the effort of doing but of not-doing. That is, the effort of letting go. One exercise involves a switch from reacting to an advertisement to the higher level of observing one’s reaction to the advertisement. Another shows how to cultivate a mind of loving-kindness toward others.