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The Eightfold Path Step 6: Right Effort

The Eightfold Path Step 6: Right Effort

Right effort, also known as “right endeavoring”, concerns the Buddhist practitioner’s continuous effort to keep his or her mind free of thoughts that might impair his or her ability to realize or put into practice the other elements of the Noble Eightfold Path.

I have mentioned in the past, that a Buddhist believes that reality bends to his own perception of it. By an effort of mind, a Buddhist can shape his reality. This can be a double-edged sword, creating both wholesome and unwholesome conditions. Right Effort concerns making the conscious effort to positively shape our minds and our world. The same type of mental energy that fuels desire, envy, aggression, and violence can on the other side fuel self-discipline, honesty, benevolence, and kindness.

Right effort consists of four major actions that a Buddhist should attempt at all times:

1. Make an effort to prevent the creation of unwholesome states.
2. Make an effort to abandon pre-existing unwholesome states.
3. Make an effort to encourage wholesome states.
4. Make an effort to maintain pr-existing wholesome states.

By making right effort, a Buddhist practitioner will improve his or her karma.

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