Oct. 29, 2022

The Four Efforts | Ajahn Brahm

The Four Efforts | Ajahn Brahm

Right effort leads to happiness, harmony, peace, and eventually enlightenment. I think we can all respect Buddha, who has helped many people through his teachings. Meditation allows us to see that some of our inner unholy qualities are not conducive ...

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Right effort leads to happiness, harmony, peace, and eventually enlightenment. I think we can all respect Buddha, who has helped many people through his teachings. Meditation allows us to see that some of our inner unholy qualities are not conducive to our happiness. We have to work on abolishing them with the help of will and energy. Much of our intelligence can be put to better use if we use it to wisely overcome our difficulties in life. Saying no to temptation is a very important skill to master.

Mindfulness is about seeing what is happening in the present moment and choosing whether or not to do something based on that. It's about having control over your behavior and being able to do things mindfully, without being a creature of habit. The first things we have to do in order to try and achieve peace, happiness, and enlightenment, is to know the difference between what is a good and wholesome state, and what is an unwholesome state. We then have to put forth effort and energy to create good states in our lives, and to maintain what is good.


This dhamma talk was originally recorded on cassette tape on 2nd July 1994. It has now been remastered but the quality is still a bit scratchy. But the content is classic Ajahn Brahm and will be of interest to his many fans.

These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.




This is what we do. It is the most important part of life. We can start to be philosophical and think about life, but the most important part about life is not the thinking, but the doing, the action. And the Buddha gave some very deep and profound advice on what to do, 1s and so much so that he called it right doing or right effort. And this thing we call right effort is a very important part of the Buddhist teachings. For those of you who have been here before, you may have heard the Buddha or heard or read the Buddha gave his teachings in the form of a path which leads to enlightenment. And that path you call the eightfold path. And one of the factors on the eightfold path is right effort, right doing, right action. What we actually do and this is what I wanted to talk about this evening. I wish to talk about it because it affects all levels of our life. Not just what we may call all the spiritual aspects of our life, but also what we do outside 1s in the world. Right action is that which will create harmony, happiness, peace, and eventually enlightenment in our lives. 2s And if it's wrong, effort hit something which goes in the opposite direction. Someone asked me just before I came in here what's the difference between this right and wrong? Because they have read in some books that there is no difference at all between right and wrong and that the wise person is someone who is is a bubble, right and wrong. But there is such a thing called a right path and a wrong path just the same way that there is a right side of the road to drive on and the wrong side of the road to drive on. What happens if you drive on the wrong side of the road? You can get into trouble, you're going to get injured, you're going to get suffering. If you drive on the correct side of the road, then you're going to get wherever you want to without any problem. So there is such a thing called the right and the wrong. 2s The right path in Buddhism is that which leads to these marvelous good qualities. I've already mentioned them before happiness, harmony, peace and enlightenment. Wrong goes in the opposite direction. And you can know from your own experience the difference between right and wrong if it creates problems, arguments, difficulties, suffering, dish, harmony. 1s Then, you know it must be a wrong path. If it leads to peace, leads to harmony, leads to happiness and eventually to for enlightenment, absolute happiness, then, you know it must be the right path. So there is a thing called right and there is a thing called wrong. And sometimes if we try and waver between both of them, is that saying, which somebody was telling me a few weeks ago saying that he who tries to walk the middle path, the middle way between these two, get hit by traffic coming backwards. 2s They have to take a stand here on what is right, what is wrong. You don't get anywhere by wavering in between. 1s So there is a thing called right effort. And this is this idea. It leads to happiness, it leads to harmony, it leads to peace, it leads to enlightenment. What is the way to say like, right effortless? Certainly he didn't sort of say that. It was like depending on something outside of you. 2s Effort comes from within. You have to do it. You may have seen the inscription on the statue outside, which is the basic description of the Buddhist path. Not to do any bad, to do that which is good and to purify the mind. That's the teaching of the Buddhist. The first part of that. Not to do any good. Sorry. Not to do any bad. But to do that which is good 1s is the teaching of all religions and all wise people. Makes a lot of sense. 1s But the point is, how do you achieve that? How do you do that? 1s Everyone will teach to do that which is good and not to do any bad. But how do you achieve it? Everyone will say that you should love everybody, you'll be compassionate to all beings. But how do you do that? When they're cockroaches in the kitchen, when a mosquito is biting you? When there's this person next door who turns on the radio so loud at night so you can't go to sleep? How can you do that? 1s It's all very well to set high goals. The most important part of a goal is also saying and teaching how you achieve that. The right effort is teaching you how to achieve these goals. And again, the effort has to come within. It can't come from without. 1s There's a story which someone told me a long time ago. I think it's very applicable now, because someone was telling me that there's very heavy floods in the United States at the moment. And this story was about a Christian preacher, one of the fundamentalist blokes in the southern part of the United States in the Bible Belt, in a time when there was a flood 2s and the people 2s warned the people in the town the flood was coming, and they asked everyone one to evacuate. Would this preacher evacuate? No. He said, I have faith in the Lord. The Lord will protect me. 2s And say he would evacuate. And he stayed by his church. And then the waters that around the church, they rose, and they rose so high, he had to get on his roof. 1s And as he was on his roof, the boat came past to pick up any people marooned. 2s They came close to the roof and said, Jumpy. We come to save you. He said no, no, no. I've got faith in the Lord. The Lord will save me. And so I said, don't be afraid. The waters are still rising. This is not the end of the rising. You're going to get higher and higher. If you don't jump in, you're going to get drowned. He said, no, this is just a test of my faith. The Lord will save me. Go away. 3s The water is cold on rising. So he had to go into the chimney on top of his church, his steeple, it was holding on to the top of the steeple when the other boat came past, the last boat, they said, Pick up any stragglers. Please jump in. There won't be any more boats. And the water is still rising. 1s He said no. That I faith in the Lord. The Lord will save me. And no matter what they did, they couldn't get this fellow to jump into the boat. After a long while, they had to leave him there. And the waters rose even further. 1s Poor man, who was holding onto the television area on top of 1s the very last thing when a helicopter came. They didn't talk about this broke and a helicopter drop down the ladder thing like, grab hold of the ladder and then we can free you. We can sort of save you. And he shouted up the helicopter, I faith in the Lord. 2s The Lord will save me. And they couldn't get him to get hold of the ladder. What do you think happened? He drowned here. The waters rose and there was no other helicopters or boats, nothing more to hold onto. So he drowned and died. When he went up to heaven and saw God, he was very upset. 2s He said, I'd faith in you and you embarrassed me. 3s Well, I haven't. I died. I failed in union. Didn't help at all. And God said, what do you mean I didn't help? Didn't I send you two boats in the helicopter? 8s So let me talk about right effort. 2s It's what we have to do ourselves. And that's one of the first things about light effort. It has to come within. Don't go and rely upon God or the Buddha or one of the monks. The first teaching about life is if you want to be saved, whatever that is, you have to do it. You have to jump in the boats, you have to jump in the helicopter. 1s If you want to do good and stop doing bad, you have to do it. 1s If you want to be kind and compassionate, you have to do it. If you want to do peaceful, you can't just sit there and think that somehow peace will come. You have to do it. 1s If you want to be someone who is kind and loving to the people you live with, you have to do it. That's why the third part of what's written outside on that, underneath the statue, that description is by far the most important. 1s But to do what is good, to stop doing what is bad, to train your mind, that's how you achieve 1s happiness, harmony, peace, enlightenment, training. Training means it's something we have to do. What we have to do. The Buddha described this very well. He says that what the effort is. It as follows. There are four parts to it is the first part is called abandonment. The second part is called avoidance. 2s The third part is called developing. And the fourth part is called maintaining. 1s What we say about abandoning is that if there's any unskillable things, 2s Are in your mind or in your life there's anything unskillful there. He said this. He said to 2s allow the will to strive, 1s to initiate energy, to grab hold of the mind and to endeavor to get rid of that which is an unskillful thing in your mind or in your life 2s to create effort to do something about this. Don't just sit there and wait for it to go, but to do something about it. 2s The second of these right efforts is in future to avoid this thing happening again, 4s to allow the world to strive, to initiate effort or energy, to grab hold of the mind and to endeavor that these unskillful things don't arise again either in your mind, in your life, or in society. 2s And the third of these right efforts is to encourage good things to arise wholesome states, either in one's mind, in one's life, or in society. 1s And the good is said to allow the will to strive, to initiate energy, to grab hold of the mind and to endeavor that these what we call wholesome good things arise in the mind, arise in our life, arise in society. And the fourth of these right efforts is to maintain 1s if there is wholesome good things in your mind, in your life, in society, don't just take them for granted, but to allow the will to strive, to initiate energy, 1s to grab hold of the mind and endeavor. These things would last and will grow even more. 1s These are the fallout efforts. And you can see just the beauty of the Buddhist teachings here. 2s First of all, we have to know the difference between what is a good state and the harmful state. What he said is a very good party word. I don't like to use too much the Buddhist language here, but this is a good word to know. Kusala. 2s It means like good and wholesome. 1s There was very recently that I was having a bit of a problem with some person who was accusing someone very unfairly. And it got to the point I had to end up a lawyer friend of mine who was a Buddhist. And I read out the accusation which this person was saying, and even though he was like a lawyer in Perth, he kept saying, this is really not crucible. It's not crucible. I don't know if he uses that in the law courts. It's a wildlife word to use, because much which goes on in the law 1s isn't very like, wholesome, good, useful, fine. 1s This word cursor has, like, a very deep and inner meaning. That which is noble, wholesome, good, conducive to progress on the path to happiness, harmony, peace and lightening, is what we mean by cousin the that which 1s is. 2s Good in the sense of leading to these things. And it has this opposite word a cousin, a not cussella kusala, and the not cousin. 2s Now, we have to know that first of all before we can actually exert effort because times we'd be putting effort into the wrong things. We'd be encouraging that which is not wholesome for us, for our life, or for society. And of course, you can see that much effort and energy in this world is put in places which are not really worthwhile, which isn't conducive to these things, which doesn't create happiness and harmony and peace and enlightenment in the world. 1s People have energy. We put forth effort. Why don't we put forth energy and effort where it really counts 3s rather than just wasting it on certain things? 1s So that's the first thing you have to know is the difference between that which is wholesome, that which isn't wholesome. Once we know that. 3s Then we have to put forth the effort and energy to abolish that which is unwholesome in our lives. What is UNH? Wholesome examples anger, 1s grief for things which you can never attain. Jealousy, fear, guilt. 1s Sometimes the first job I have as a man teaching Buddhism is actually convincing people that these are unhultsome qualities. Again, sometimes people think it's good to be angry. You can get a bit of a higher out of getting angry, can't you? If you get away with it, if you are bigger than the other person, or if you can intimidate them. 2s Sometimes the people with a certain joy and really telling someone 2s what you say they deserve to hear. 2s But the Buddha said these are unhlsome qualities. They don't give rise to harmony. You may get your own way, but it's only out of fear. 2s And it's not something which is going to develop one's relationships in a very positive and good wholesome way. It may be a stop gap, but in the long term if we are going to learn to live in harmony with one another in this world, if we are going to create a decent society, 1s these things are unwholesome. 1s Even more so. We can see that unholy. Some for us inside our mind would have kept on saying if you are angry, if you are jealous, if you are feeling guilty, if you have this greed inside of you, what does it feel like 1s inside? Do you call that peace of mind? We call that contentment. Do we call that happiness? 2s If one can look and see 2s and this is part of meditation, part of what we call mindfulness looking and seeing what these things are like experiences, they'll soon find out that these things are indeed unwholesome qualities. They hurt, they're not conducive to our happiness, to our peace, to harmony. They're not going to lead to enlightenment. 2s Inside of us, they are going to lead in the opposite direction. It is a long path. We can see that ourselves 1s if we really look 1s there's some what we call unholy some qualities. 2s If these unholy some qualities arise inside of you, you have to do something about it. 2s You have to see if you can find a way to abolish them. Now, the way of abolishing unholisome qualities 1s needs to be with them. The first thing we have to abolish them. But to have said first thing to do is to arouse the world, to abolish these unholesome qualities. If you don't have the will to do something about it, of course nothing will ever happen. 1s Anything which is unholsome in our life or in our mind or in society if we just let it be, leave it alone, nothing's going to happen. It's just going to go on and on and on and on. The first thing if a person wishes to give up smoking is that it allows the world to give up smoking. If you want to get rid of our inner anger and the way we speak to one another in unwholesome ways, we've got to allow the world to do something about it. 1s If there is some part of our character which has been causing us problems, if there's some 1s parts of the way we look at our past which gives us problems, we have to do something about it around the world to change. 2s And then we strive, initiate energy. Because if we are going to do something about the situation, it's not going to be easy. We have to allow energy from will. We get energy. 2s And the Buddha said we grab hold of the mind, 2s the will and energy is strong enough to change, like the habits of our mind. Because the bad qualities inside of us are not habits, just ways of reacting to life, which we've got into, which we've done again and again. So often it becomes just an automatic. It some of courses in idiots and we get out of them. 1s It's a learned response which doesn't need to always be that way. There are other ways of dealing with it. 2s So we have war, we have energy, we strive. Now, the way we deal with these things having got those basic ingredients of war and energy and striving will depend upon our wisdom. 2s Sometimes that wisdom does mean are changing the situation, doing something about it. Sometimes it means just a crime, just endurance or equanimity. 1s The difference is if there is something you can do, do it. If there's nothing you can do, then let it be. 2s This is an important part of abolishing or getting rid of unwholesome states. 1s If there's an unhealthy state in the mind that you're very worried about something you realize that it's being stupid worrying about this thing or you're very anxious about something or you're very depressed about something. These unholsome states 2s you have to know whether there's some way 2s of dealing with it at the moment. Whether it's an escape, whether it's something you can do or take some different attitude. And if there is, you give it everything you've got. 2s Energy. 1s Sometimes the way to deal with these things is by what we call substitution. 1s You take an unhealthy state of mind and you put in its place something which is the opposite. It's a very depressed. You deliberately think of those things which enjoy. 2s You deliberately go to those places where you have had good times before. You go deliberately seeking to put in the place of that whole recall depression, 1s joy and happiness. Substitution again, that has to come from will and from energy and from the ability to strive. 3s And one can do that by substitution. If one is angry, one can substitute that with compassion 3s only if one has will and energy and wishes to do this. 1s When one is angry, one is seeing the hurt which that person has done to you. 1s If you instead of thinking of you, you think of them. They must be feeling in a terrible state to have done this to me or to have said this. 2s Why would a person do such a thing? Would they do it if they were happy? 3s Quite often that one can do with the anger given to you by others in this way, by substituting it with compassion. If someone has hurt you, if you actually can't think contemplate why they did that you can usually find out that it means that they are hurting inside. 1s They've had a very terrible experience, maybe just that morning, that day or early on in their lives. And you can feel yourself what it must be like to have said such an awful thing or to have done such a hurtful deed. When you do hurtful deeds, when you say awful things to other people, how do you feel? Why did you do that? Why do you say that? 2s When you know the reason why people express anger or hurtful deeds or hurtful things, when you know that inside yourself, when you can see yourself doing that same thing in the past or in the future, when you can identify with your enemy, 2s when you can put yourself in their mind, then you know compassion what compassion is, isn't it? It's putting yourself in their mind, in their heart and feeling what they feel, 1s experiencing their pain. That's compassion. And if you can experience the pain which your enemy is feeling, the reason why they are saying those things, are doing those things, you have compassion inside of you. And as soon as a moment of compassion arises inside of a person's heart, anger disappears like night and day. You cannot have both at the same time. 1s So one can by striving, by grabbing hold of the mind, one can change the unholy, the states by substituting. 2s One can change these unwholesome states by contemplating, by finding out the cause of these things, by finding out how it feels by using what we call just basic human intelligence. People have intelligence, but they direct it at the wrong places for the wrong time. If there's a problem in one's life, if there's a problem in one's society, there's no intelligence there. 3s One of the reasons I became a monk was that I went to a good university over in England. And the professors and lecturers who used to get to know there were some of the famous people in their field at the time. They were extremely well known people like Fred Hoyle, who are still well known. And when you get to know these people, you think that these are amazing intelligent intelligence. 2s Then you get to find out how they use that intelligence in their life. 2s And these people I was amazed to find out these people with enormous intelligence, much more intelligence than I have for getting fed up with their wives, getting into arguments, getting depressed. 2s And even though the intelligence was all of the great fame in their field, 1s in the field of human happiness 1s they were always flunking, they're never passing their exams. And I thought that if people have so much intelligence what's the point of using that? Just to find out this great theories in theoretical physics when at home just are having arguments and they couldn't even live with another person. 1s And for me, if one has intelligence, one might as well use it in the area which is most profitable and the area which is most profitable is the area or the field of human happiness. 2s If you have intelligence, use it there. 2s Find out the secret of happiness. And so this is another way of overcoming unskillful, 1s unwholesome states of mind, using one's intelligence, finding out why, where did this come from? How can I overcome this? 1s So finding the cause of these things, 1s I can overcome them. 2s Sometimes it takes just saying no 1s to these states of mind. Once you know anger very well, you can see it arising in you. 1s When anger arises in you at the very beginning, that's the time you can say no to it. Once you know depression, you can see when depression starts to arise, you can say no to it. Once you see greed, you can see greed arising, you say no to it. 3s This evening, as I was in here, coming early from the monastery, I was walking from the office to the mouse quarters around the back there, and I saw on the table out there a pie which was already had once life taken out of it. And it smells very delicious. It's amazing when you eat it in the morning, when you seafood in the afternoon, it's very delicious. In the morning, it's not so delicious at all. It's only when you can't have it. And also it smells very delicious as I walk past and as soon as I saw that pie on the table with no one around, 3s I had to say no very quickly. 4s This is like an example. If you don't know how to say no, you get into all sorts of trouble. Not only do you break your presets, you pin someone else's dinner and you get into all trouble. 2s Little things can be problems. When you don't know how to say know the very beginning. And saying no is a very important part of being a human being. 2s This is what we call restraint. The ability to say no 1s when you realize it's going to then land you in trouble and you realize it's going to cause problems for yourself, problems for the people who live with problems with society. 2s It's amazing. All the things which create problems or many of the things are very enjoyable. 1s Taking heroin is very enjoyable, I've been told. It gives you a very good sense of a high. 1s Going out, getting drunk at the time is enjoyable. Junk food is very tasty. None of these things are very pleasurable. 2s But they lead to unhappiness. And if we haven't got a strong mind, if we can't say no, we cannot resist these temptations. 2s The beautiful wife of our best friend, the sort of strong husband or someone we know we can't resist these temptations. You get into trouble. 2s The ability to say no is a very important thing to train ourselves in. 1s The ability to say no to our desires 2s for the sake of wisdom, for the sake of happiness, for the sake of peace, for the sake of harmony, for the sake of enlightenment. 1s We haven't got that strength. We never get happy, we'll never be in harmony, we'll never know peace and certainly will be far from enlightenment. 1s So the ability to say know is an important way of overcoming unwholesome things in our life, in our mind and even in society. 3s But it's not only overcoming unwholesome things once they're there. In fact, once they're there, it becomes difficult to overcome unwholesome things. The first time to overcome unwholesome things is beforehand avoidance. You become someone. Someone who knows how to avoid trouble, problems and suffering. Okay? If you're sick, the best way to overcome that sickness is to go to the doctor to go to hospital. That's called the first right effort. The effort of abandoning getting rid of unwholesome things. Everyone knows the best way to cure an illness is to avoid it arising in the first place. Eating the right food, exercising meditating. The marvelous way of overcoming sickness. Really, we should be getting a grant from the health department for saving people from going to hospitals all the time. 3s Anything which is going to avoid of problems arising is called the second of the right efforts. It is to avoid problems. 3s I've only known one monk get beaten up 1s really quite seriously. And I'm surprised that how can a monk sort of get in the situation of being attacked by these men and really quite badly beaten? 2s Then I found out he was a monk from the actually he became a monk in Korea, south Korea. Very good meditation teacher out there. And he was back in New Zealand, in the town of Wellington. And that's where he got beaten up. 1s I wonder why. It was until I was told that in the town of Wellington in New Zealand, there is one street which is the red light district, the bars and nightclubs and bottles and for one subject or another he was walking down that street about 1130 in the evening. 1s What do you expect 2s if one goes to such places? 3s Maybe you don't expect it, but it's more likely than if you sort of, you know, you're walking past the British Society in Dollar Mara 06:00 in the evening on a Friday night. That won't happen to you, I guarantee you. 2s So it's something we call like, the right effort of avoidance. Avoiding trouble, avoiding problems. I remember in London as a young man, I used to go down to pubs with my mates. Everybody knew the pubs where you go for a fight if you really wanted to fight on a Saturday night. The pubs you can go to and you're guaranteed to have one. There are other pubs where you can go just for a quiet drink, to pick up a few ladies or whatever. You knew where to go. If you really want to get into trouble, you knew where to go. And really, you can use your intelligence. If you want to avoid trouble, you can do 1s this is called intellect. 3s Sometimes people like having all these problems in troubles. 2s You ask what they've been doing, why are you in this situation? And you can just sometimes you see this. What do you expect to be going to do such things? You're going to get trouble and problems. 2s So it's right effort of avoidance, avoiding problems, 4s avoiding situations, avoiding unwholesome states arising in the mind, 1s avoiding lust coming up in the mind. If you're a monk or if you are married to another person, you're committed to them. You have what we call a commitment. 2s But you're a human being. Last can come up very easily. Once it comes out, you're in trouble. The last makes you crazy. Last makes you forget what's in your interest, what's going to make you happy, what's good for your children, what's good for the people you would. 1s And, you know just what happens when a person can't avoid these states of mind or when they get angry instead of the wrong thing to the person you really love and care for, you end up getting into all sorts of difficulties. 2s We have to avoid that which is unhoulson 1s our own happiness, in particular in our life, in our meditation. If you really want to be happy in meditation, if you want to be peaceful, there are certain states of mind we have to avoid 5s sitting, meditation and washing your breath. You have to avoid other things, other thoughts. The person next to you is coughing. If I've got a coffee and they go back home and she come in here, they know we're trying to be quiet. Avoid that. It's not going to help you, and it's not going to make them stop coughing. So you're just wasting your time. Avoid unwholesome state of mind. 1s One third of the right efforts 1s is encouraging good states. 2s Bringing them up. Now, this is very important because much of life 1s can be abolishing or avoiding. When there's a bad problem, you want to do something about it. But that's only half of life. We have to encourage that which is good. Bring it up. 3s So when 1s the feeling at ease, when there's no anger inside of us, when there's no problems in our life, that's where we encourage good stakes to arise. 1s That's where we encourage compassion. That's where we encourage generosity. That's where we encourage all kinds of kindness, goodness. 3s We allow these things when there's no problem at all inside. If you're living with another person and there's no problems in your relationship, be careful staying ground there when everything's going well. So when everything is going well, we become needless. 2s When everything is going well, you don't put effort into arousing good qualities 2s in our relationship, in our life, in society. When things are going well in the country, you think, okay, we don't need to do anything. That's the time you should be allowed in good qualities. 2s That's why, if you really want to learn about loving kindness, if you really want to learn about how to love enemies, you can't do it. When your enemies are in front of you, 1s you can't do it. The enemies just attack you. The only time you can really start to learn how to love your enemies is when they're not there. You're not even thinking about them. But when everything is going really, really well, you're feeling your ears at peace. You're sitting at home after Friday night talk. That's when you start to think of anything. That's when you can actually start to feel compassion for them. 1s And if you can start to feel compassion for them when you're feeling at ease, when you're not bothered with them, that's when you can start to build up 1s build up the positive of kindness when they're not there, 2s and then having that deposit of kindness, of compassion. And the problem is not there 1s when you do meet them, eventually, because of all that training, all of that work, 1s then we can learn how to love them. 1s You can't do this training on the job when they're there. If you have an enemy, 1s someone has really hurt you, or someone who you find it very hard to forgive, the only way you can learn how to spread compassion to them when they're not there, when you're feeling using a piece, then bring them up. 1s Then you can actually you got the greater chance you have a possibility of. 2s Giving them kindness in your mind. If you can do that again and again and again, the moments when they're not there with no, it is. You build up this energy. And when they do come and you are with them, you have a different attitude. The habit is broken and kindness comes. 1s If you have a problem with anger or depression, it's good to try. When that depression is over, don't take it for granted. Doing that joy and energy. 2s It's like when you've overcome a sickness in your word again. 2s You have to encourage health. In that health, you can't just do it now. I don't need to do anything anymore. The fitness is gone. I'm going to McDonald's and gorge myself. I can just stay in bed. I don't need to exercise. I don't need to come to meditation. I'm healthy now. That's what happens. Sometimes people come to see the monks and they have problems and they're sick. Because I had problems with a divorce or separation or death or depression or whatever. They come, listen to the talks, and then they feel better. They don't come anymore. Bye. 5s They come again. 3s When they're feeling good, 1s there's no problem. It's important. Like effort is to encourage good space 1s even when things are going well. This is called light effort. If it's a good state, encourage it. Whether it's kindness, whether it's generosity, whether it's 2s helping another person, 2s feelings of warmth, feelings of giving, feelings of shame these are good qualities which we encourage at every opportunity. 3s You don't just learn compassion just by thinking about it. 1s You learn it by doing it. 2s Sometimes the people think that met a meditation. Nothing kind of meditation. Sitting here and thinking my all beings be happy. May all beings be well. My all beings be free from suffering. 2s And then after this loving meditation is so high. And you just go out of this temple here, just on North Drive someone cuts in front of you. What are you doing that for? 6s Listen loving kindness meditation means when somebody's waiting to turn in front of you, you stop your car or you slow down. You let me come in front 1s when you're waiting a bank and you're in a hurry and someone else is also in a hurry, we let them go. First 3s actions words 1s this is what we mean by compassion. Doing it so encouraging this third like effort encouraging wholesome state you do especially by acting, by speaking every kind word you say 1s is worth worth its weight in gold. 3s The good actually said this. He said one act of compassion is worth thousands of thousands of dollars worth of donations for Buddhist society. I shouldn't say that, but that's what a good 2s fit 1s of compassion. 2s That's true. 1s An act of compassion, of kindness, is one of the greatest merits. This is like right action. 1s And the forms of these right efforts, I think is the most important of all. It's when there are good states, 2s one puts what are good to say. He said one arouses will, one strives, one initiates energy, one grabs hold of the mind and one endeavours to maintain those whole few states, to make them grow further. 2s This is happiness in the realm of society. We must not take it for granted. 1s We must strive, exert war and energy to maintain which is good. Because things which are good, which are wholesome, heavy, 2s northern habits are changing. They're disappearing. If we don't keep going 1s out of here, if you don't look after it, it's going to disappear. You may have a marvelous relationship with somebody if you don't look after that relationship. Strive. Put forth effort 1s initially, energy grab hold of the mind endeavor. That relationship is going to fade away. 1s How often is it that the person falls? And I've got to know. I think that's it. I don't have to do anything anymore. 1s Constant effort is required. Constant striving 2s to maintain that which is wholesome 1s happiness. 1s Constant effort to maintain it and need it, to maintain it. Make it grow. Make that relationship with the person you live with grow. 2s Increase, 1s you can have peace. This right effort to maintain and to make growth is very important because human beings have the awful tendency against taking things for granted. When things are going well, when we're healthy, when we're happy, when and we got a lot of money in the bank, we just think, I don't need to do any more. 2s Happiness slips away from us, our peers slips. 2s So these are the forearound efforts. 1s They're very important in the realm of meditation. 1s If we want to make the mind peaceful inside of us, we have to know those things which are obstacles to peace. 1s When they arise in the mind, we have to do something about it to overcome and to get rid of them. And it disturbed to the peace of meditation. We have to recognize and overcome. The quicker we can do that, the easier it is. 2s The longer they stay in our mind then what they become habits 1s any 1s thinking dwelling on the past or in the future thinking about our problems that can become a habit during our meditation don't allow to become a habit as soon as something which doesn't belong in the meditation arises eradicate overcome it the earlier you can do it. The easier it becomes and to set a guard on the mind to avoid 1s anything which is a disturbance for meditation 1s to avoid it even before it arises 2s the thought might come up I wonder what's happening in the monastery? Stop. No, it's not the time what should I talk about after the meditation is finished receiving stop what am I going to do tomorrow? Stop avoid all of these things coming up if you want to be peaceful in the meditation to be able to arouse good qualities in the mind happiness, joy, peace. 2s This takes energy to allow to make grow to actually get energy in the mind joy. You got to actually make that come up. You find the means to straighten your back to make the mind joyful. You may all know that the first teaching of meditation which I got 2s this very fine monk in Thailand. I've said this many times. He said, what you do when you first get up in the morning? I said, Brush my teeth and wash my face. He said, Is it a mirror there? He said yes. This is what you should do first thing in the morning, smile yourself. 2s I said, Sometimes when you first go up in the morning, it's very hard to smile. 3s So you know the answer. He said, you got two fingers. Put them on either side and I can push them. That's all right at it. 4s Encourage like a marvelous state of mind. You see someone in the mirror smiling your face, smiling at you, even though it was with the aid of two fingers. And you smile back, and they smile back even more. And they smile back even more. And in no time at all, you're laughing at yourself in the mirror. 2s Miles way to start a day, 1s this is arousing. Good quality in the mind. Joy. The beginning of the day. You gotta get up anyway. You got to go to work. You've got to go to the work of a monk. You've got to come on a Friday evening through the weekend here, whether you like it or not. So enjoy by yourself. Make it a wholesome state of mind. Those awful jobs you got to do this weekend, 4s enjoy them, make fun out of them, that wholesome state of mind. You can just do them with pain or you can do them with fun. It's really up to you. Even in jail, when I used to go to the prisons to go and give talks there, people always used to say to me, the prisoners, you can do your time two ways. You can do it hard, you can do it sweet. It's the same prison, it's the same sentence. It's up to you. Even prisoners knew that. It's if you're going into a jail, it's very unpleasant. If you still enjoy it, 2s Just to make something out of it. 1s Right effort for your meditation to allow good qualities inside the mind awareness, joy, peace that need to be aroused. And the most important of all, once they're there garbage. 1s You got peace in the mind. Value it. What happens when you got peace of meditating on a birth? Well, at last, they've blown already. 2s You got peace. And you don't follow it by saying, wow. 3s I've said this before. It's like you got these beautiful wildernesses in the world. 1s People put Sydney shops there you go, these marvelous mountains, and one of them put a restaurant on top 2s of these marvelous, peaceful wildernesses in the world. He's spoil. We don't know how to value that which is joyful, that which is peaceful, that which is empty. 2s So this ability to maintain is very important in meditation. If it's peace there, maintain it. That takes a very subtle and strong effort of will, 1s and peace arises. Keeping it 2s and then make it grow, 1s make peace grow until peace is so strong, so all encompassing, so profound, 1s when it becomes the peace of enlightenment. 1s That's why the Buddha said that the foreign efforts are part of the eightfold path which leads to enlightenment. It's part of the path which leads to harmony in this world. 1s It's part of the path which leads to 1s happiness in our lives. We cannot just be like that person on top of the church thinking, oh, God will save me. 2s The night will do some chanting. 4s Right effort is what's needed. And this is how we practice right effort in our life and in our meditation. 1s You know it's right effort when it creates these things 2s happiness, harmony, peace, enlightenment. 1s Wrong effort creates the opposite 1s place unhealthy qualities. 1s Once we know the difference between these two, I'll leave it with you to practice the foreign efforts in one's life. 1s And then you will know the last word of the Buddha. To training the mind. This part of Buddhism is a training or growing bit by bit, plot by drop. The training happens until the cup becomes full. One day, the last lot will be going into the car and you'll fall enlightened. 2s So that's a talk on the four right efforts which one can apply in one's life, society, and especially in one's inner practice, one's meditation. Please put his last word. Strive on with diligence. 3s Sometimes people say that mindfulness is a path of deafness. That's a bad translation. The right translation, heedfulness, is a part of the deafness 1s apamada Amatang padang in parliameda is explained as practicing the four right efforts. 2s The bottom end is practicing the four right efforts is the path to the deaf. So may you all reach for deathless. Become aligned. Thank you. 6s Now, are there any questions or comments about the savings talk? 3s Yes. 10s Is it the right action to vote the Liberal Party in the next election? 1s I've been associated because in our newsletter I went to Melbourne and we had an opening ceremony. I helped out 2s the local federal. There had to be Peter Costello, just a few days before the open ceremony, had been elected deputy leader. 1s And so, just because of the newsletter, we supposed to be encouraging the wholesome quality of fun. 1s I just had a photograph of myself with Mr. Costello just so I could put underneath Adam Costello, 4s because I don't jack away until the acting monastery. But no one should support one should vote for that which is good and wholesome. I haven't got a clue exactly what the Liberal Party is like. I just thought that was a neat name for politicians. 4s Sorry. 3s Thank you very much. 4s Another question someone like to ask. 29s Okay, you're saying that stump passage and behavior becomes would call like an addiction. An addiction is something which one doesn't put any will into doing. One doesn't choose, one doesn't do it mindfully. It just happens automatically. One can't do anything about it. That's like the nature of an addiction. And much of human behavior appears with an addiction. But I'm all addictions and ramification behavior can be changed, which is sexual court addiction takes enormous effort to change and the heavier the addiction, the more effort it does take to change. It's part of the human being's responsibility to apply intelligence, to know whether that which we're addicted to is going to be wholesome or not. And certainly the unwholesome addictions, the ones we should be overcome first of all, that which creates problems for ourselves, that creates problems for other people. Those addictions may be to substances, alcohol or drugs. They can also be just the wrong speech or just the wrong way of living one's life or to be addicted to these things whether it's addicted to gambling or addicted to arguing or addicted to gossiping. 1s These sort of addictions that first of all, one has to realize is the harmfulness, that a coupon, 2s a human being should work with those things, first of all. And to the other addictions where this addiction to being generous or compassionate and there are some people who are just so generous it's actually one of the rules for a month. If someone is really that generous, you got to really watch out for them. And it comes to the point sometimes you say no, I'm not going to allow you to make any donation whatsoever. No, you can't come to the monster, you can see the monk again to see it yourself, 2s you have to wash out for someone who's been overGoing. 2s And if it becomes addiction to that which is good and wholesome again, what you say is absolutely right that it can be UNH wholesome. But first of all, a human being should overcome the addictions to the unholson qualities. First of all, once they've got those out of the way, then one overcomes the addiction, the attachment to the wholesome qualities. 2s So that one can practice a wholesome quality is not 3s out of an addiction, not out of habit, but out of wisdom. 1s In the opposite to an addiction, where one has no control at all is the exercise of mindfulness and will. 1s Mindfulness sees 1s what should be done in the world, chooses to do it or not to do it unharnessing, but every moment, instead of being like a creature of habit, mindfulness is the opposite of being a creature of habit. One sees what one is doing. I said a couple of weeks ago, 1s do you always come in here and sit in the same place? 2s Rating how quickly people forget 1s they're all sitting in the same place. Why are we sitting in the same place? Because we're not mindful of the time. We just do the same thing out of pocket automatic pilot. Mindfulness means we come in, you let me see where it was here while doing the same thing the same old way. 2s So mindfulness means you're always there, every moment, 2s not an automatic response. Always saying the same thing to that person mindfulness keeps the door open. 2s So my answer to your question is that addiction, yes, can be a 1s very bad thing for human being. A lot of behavior is an addictive behaviors or addictive behavior can be broken, can be changed. It takes the effort, these fallout efforts. And first of all, one should in the Buddhist path is to act on those addictions which are unwholesome, which cause problems. Once those are overcome, then those very fine addictions into generosity or compassion, which is just coming out of, like, an addictive habit rather than just 3s so it overcomes the addiction rather than the quality of compassion. 1s General city. 3s Does that answer your question? 2s So maybe it's ten past now, so we shouldn't really have any more questions. If you have another question to ask in private, please come up afterwards and ask that question. Thank you very much for listening to the talk this evening. Before you go, we do have some announcements which are very important, very exciting announcements this evening. So please don't go here, otherwise you don't know what you might finish. 5s Okay, the first announcement is 2s next week the monastery starts the annual rains retreat for three months of the year. Buddhist monks have to stay in one place, and the time is given over to more intensive periods of meditation or study. The rains retreat for this year begins next weekend. It actually begins on Saturday evening. 4s The following day. On Sunday we're celebrating the Entry to the rains day. It is one of the traditional ceremony or festivals in Buddhist countries. Beginning of the range retreat and the end of the range retreat. So on Sunday week the 24 we're going to have celebration of a monastery in Serpentine. The Entry to the rain's day. That celebration is encouraging a wholesome qualities of generosity, compassion, wisdom encouraging everyone who comes to being a great field which would be shared or Vincent field which will be shared with the community of monks and people staying at the monastery and with everyone who visits as well. And afterwards there will be a little ceremony and there will be some meditation to talk in the afternoon. The program is in the newsletter which is available just recently printed. However, if you get a newsletter by post, please don't take a newsletter from here. Just wait for a day or two to a newsletter comes in the post that's this Sunday week. Invite everyone. If you've never been to the monastery before, it's a lovely day to go down there. It's very beautiful this time of year. The grasses are lovely and green, the candles are fat 2s so they don't jump away so fast because 1s the lakes are very full and the streams are growing. This beautiful waterfalls going down the side of the monastery. We haven't been there for marvelous opportunity to go down there on a day when there's something offered. The month will be around to chat, to talk and usually they're not. So one day like an open day at the monastery. If you are free on Sunday week, the details of the program are in the newsletter or the Entry to the Range day on the 24 July. 9s Welcome everybody here today and if it's the first time you've seen a special welcome to it's interesting to see that there's not as many people here tonight as normal because we have about 40 other people I think you know, 1s have gone. I'm working to recognize retreat for this nine days. A couple of announcements, one has to do with the eight precip days that will be held during the rains retreat from Sunday the 31 July and every Sunday during the retreat time on Sundays here there will be an eight day which is an opportunity to spend quite a bit of time meditating with other people at 830 meditation between 830 and 1030 followed by taking 8365. Tape will be tape playing that chance sharing third and looking meditation and there will be a tape down the talk played as well and a day will finish around 330 so please come along and enjoy that time. Also joining the retreat at least from the fifth weekend, fifth Friday in August through to the last in September. The month won't be coming to town and we've got doing a different program. The copies of the program are back to the hall here but there's two tables at the back there on yellow paper and also in the reception area. There are tons of things that we do. We have a number of different guest speakers and we have a couple of people giving talks and we have a couple of panel sessions. It's the first time we tried this and I think that it will be very interesting and a good opportunity to explore the data ourselves and to ensure that we keep on our practice during the retreat time. It's somewhat different announcements and this is a request that we've had from a student from Curtain University with some help on the research she's doing from the honors degree and she's doing some research into children's attitude towards death and she's asked if parents here who have children who are either between the ages of eight and ten or between the ages of 14 and 16 would take a questionnaire and just ask their children some simple questions about their attitude towards death and was interested in what the different religious backgrounds and their attitudes that are developed within the young people. We have quite a lot of those questionnaires and really appreciated if those of you who have children in those eight veins could prep thing afterwards and take one of those questionnaires home. She was asked me to stress that they are anonymous questionnaires. We're not interested in individual children's responses but in the general the overall collation of that information. I hope that you'll be able to help us. Please stay back and join us for a cup of coffee with a cup of tea over at the house, maybe have a look at the library, made a few new friends and pick up from reading. Thank you. 3s Thank you Joe. So we can just pay respect for Buddha. Damonisanga, if you wish to stay, please do.