Perfect Effort Is No Effort

From a talk by Ajahn Punnadhammo of Arrow River Forest Hermitage, entitled “Simplicity And Purity,” (19:10-21:08):

It takes an investment of energy to be distracted. Perfect meditation is completely at ease. There is no strain. Perfect effort is no effort. The mind is just at ease, perfectly awake. That we divert our energy into the projects of desires, this is as simple as the Second Noble Truth: all suffering is caused by craving. We divert the energy of the mind into the various projects of craving, so when an object arises to consciousness that has some emotional resonance to it – it might be a happy or a painful memory, or it might be a worry or a fear, speculation about the future – we can then take ownership of that, invest it with energy, and let it run us around for a while. The discipline or the skill is to see each object with clarity and equanimity. And if there is an emotional reaction, the emotion is an object that can be seen with clarity, to allow that just to be seen as an object.

It seems like it should be easy to understand and just as easy to do, but it isn’t!

Photo by Carrie Mills,
taken in Maryville, TN

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