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

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1. Title Title of document 4. 'I'm Not Getting Anywhere with my Meditation...': Effort, Contentment and Goal-Directedness in the Process of Mind-Training - Buddhist Path, Buddhist Teachings
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Amaro Bhikkhu; Amaravati monastery, Hertfordshire;
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious Studies
4. Subject Keyword(s) Buddhist path; L.S. Cousins; Abhidhamma; Pali literature; meditation; Samantha Trust
5. Subject Subject classification Buddhist Studies; Asian Studies
6. Description Abstract 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.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 08-Oct-2019
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.33386
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Buddhist Path, Buddhist Teachings
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd