CHAPTER 14 - Right Diligence
(from "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching" by Thich Nhat Hanh)
The followings are Thay's precious messages in this Chapter.
1. If we are diligent for possessions, sex, or food, that is wrong diligence. If we work round-the-clock for profit or fame or to run away from our suffering, that is wrong diligence also.
2. Fourfold Right Diligence:
(1) preventing unwholesome seeds in our store consciousness that have not yet arisen from arising,
(2) helping the unwholesome seeds that have already arisen to return to our store consciousness,
(3) finding ways to water the wholesome seeds in our store consciousness that have not yet arisen and asking our friends to do the same.
(4) nourishing the wholesome seeds that have already arisen so that they will stay present in our mind consciousness and grow stronger.
3. The Fourfold Right Diligence is nourished by joy and interest. If your practice does not bring you joy, you are not practicing correctly.
4. Right Diligence lies in the Middle Way, between the extremes of austerity and sensual indulgence.
5. The teachings of the Seven Factors of Awakening are also part of the practice of Right Diligence. Joy is a factor of awakening, and it is at the heart of Right Diligence. Ease, another Factor of Awakening, is also essential for Right Diligence. In fact, not only Right Diligence but also Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration need joy and ease. Right Diligence does not mean to force ourselves.
(* The Seven Factors of Awakening: mindfulness, investigating phenomena, diligence, joy, ease, concentration, and letting go)
Thích Nhất Hạnh