Joyous Effort: how to enjoy the spiritual path.

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Information about Joyous Effort: how to enjoy the spiritual path.

Published on January 29, 2014

Author: kerryprest



Joyous Effort is the 4th of the Six Perfections that are taught in the mahayana. It explains how to have joy in things which bring us real happiness, and how to avoid those things which get in the way.

This is actually a Prezi and can be viewed here:

This talk was given at FPMT UK Buddhist groups in January 2014.

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MUSIC onclassical_riva_giuliani_variazioni_su_un_tema_di_handel_opus-107 Pablo Lentini Riva CREATED BY Kerry Prest for talks at FPMT groups; Saraswati Buddhist Group, Jamyang Bath & Jamyang Leeds, January 2014. Please email for more information.

Joyous Effort Saraswati Buddhist Group, January 2014  The Six Perfections from Shantideva chapter 5 2. QUALITIES DEPEND UPON THE MIND 2. THE ANALOGY [5.13] A. GIVING RELIES UPON THE MIND 5.13 Where could I possibly find enough leather 1. COMPLETING THE PERFECTION OF GIVING DOES NOT DEPEND Having leather on just the soles of my shoes UPON ELIMINATING [ALL TYPES OF] POVERTY AMONGST ALL Is equivalent to covering the earth with it. MIGRATORS [5.9] 5.9 If the perfection of generosity Were the alleviation of migrating beings’ poverty, Then since there are still starving migrating beings, In what manner did the previous Protectors perfect it? 2. IT IS BROUGHT TO COMPLETION BY FAMILIARIZING ONESELF With which to cover the surface of the earth? 3. APPLYING THE ANALOGY TO THE MEANING [5.14] 5.14 Likewise it is not possible for me To counteract things externally; But should I counteract this mind of mine, What is the need for counteracting others? WITH THE ATTITUDE OF GENEROSITY [5.10] D. JOYOUS PERSEVERANCE RELIES UPON THE MIND [5.15] 5.10 The perfection of generosity is taught to be 5.15 Although the result of generating a clear mind The mind intending to give all things, As well as its result, to all beings; Is Brahma and so forth, The results along with body and speech will be Hence it is simply the mind. {151} Weak in conduct, therefore it is not like that. B. ETHICS RELIES UPON THE MIND E. CONCENTRATION RELIES UPON THE MIND [5.16] 1. IT IS INVALID [TO SAY] THAT COMPLETING THE PERFECTION OF 5.16 The Knower of Reality taught ETHICS DEPENDS UPON THE EXHAUSTION OF ALL SENTIENT BEINGS WHO KILL [5.11AB] 5.11ab Where will the fish and so forth be driven That even if recitation and hardships Are practiced for long periods of time, They will be meaningless if the mind is distracted elsewhere. So that they will not be killed? F. WISDOM RELIES UPON THE MIND [5.17] 2. IT IS BROUGHT TO COMPLETION BY FAMILIARIZING ONESELF 5.17 Even those who wish to obtain happiness and overcome WITH THE INTENTION TO ABANDON [KILLING] [5.11CD] suffering 5.11cd Hence, the attainment of the intention of abandonment If they do not comprehend the secret of the mind – Is explained to be the perfection of ethics. The principal Dharma. C. PATIENCE RELIES UPON THE MIND C. MAKING EFFORT IN GUARDING THE MIND 1. THE MEANING [5.12] 1. BRIEF PRESENTATION [5.18] 5.12 Unruly sentient beings are like space; 5.18 This being so, All of them cannot possibly be overcome. I shall hold and guard my mind well. But if I overcome the mind of anger alone, Except for the mode of conduct of guarding the mind, This will be equivalent to vanquishing all those foes. What use are many other modes of conduct? Will wander with no aim Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds by Shantideva with the Outline from the Commentary to Shantideva’s ‘Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds’ by Gyaltsab Je Shantideva’s root verses translated by Toh Sze Gee Outline translated into English by Venerable Losang Sopa (Bob Miller) Verse numbers included and arranged in a new format by Glen Svensson Outline combined with the root verses by Venerable Lobsang Dorje for the BP at Nalanda Monastery, 2008 © Toh Sze Gee and FPMT, Inc., November 2008

 Meditation on the benefits of guarding ethics LRCM I, p. 342, Nature of the Three Trainings As the Great Final Nirvana Sutra states: Ethical discipline is the ladder to all virtues. It is their foundation, just as the earth is the foundation for plants and the like. Just as a master trader goes first among all traders, so ethical discipline goes first among all virtues. [270] Like the hoisted banner of Indra, ethical discipline is the banner of all teachings. It cuts down all sins and eliminates the paths to the miserable realms. Since it cures all the illnesses of the sins, it is like a medicinal plant. Ethical discipline is the stock of provisions for the terrible road of cyclic existence. It is the weapon that destroys the afflictions, the enemies. It is the spell destroying the poisonous snakes of the afflictions. It is the bridge to cross over the waters of sin.

 Secondary Bodhisattva Vows Related to Joyous Effort Taken from two weekends‟ teachings given by Geshe Tashi in February and March 2001 at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London Downfalls Related to Joyous Effort The next perfection, joyous effort, has three secondary downfalls connected with it. (21) gathering circles of disciples out of desire for respect and material gain The first downfall is about making effort but doing it with the wrong motivation. You are a teacher, but the work you do is not joyous effort because your base motivation is to get a good reputation and to have many disciples or students. This kind of mind is very active. The English translation is “gathering circles of disciples” because this commentary was written for monks. You wouldn‘t expect Lama Tsong Khapa to say “work hard on a corporate merger!” The main point is the effort being put into the wrong things, not searching for the right solution, not searching for the right circumstances to do the meditation. So much of what we do here in the West involves a lot of energy going in the wrong direction. We are so active here, dozens of emails every day, always rushed and apologising on the telephone, “Sorry, no time to talk” and booking friends in our Filofaxes. All that rush, rush, rush is very energetic but not very productive spiritually. I‘m not saying don‘t work to pay your bills. I‘m not going to pay your bills for you! But there must be some kind of limit on how much effort goes into the mechanics of staying alive. There must be a balance. “Gathering circles of disciples out of desire for respect and material gain” is a traditional explanation. We may not do that but the vow can equally be applied to the kind of life we lead in the West. (22) wasting time and energy on trivial matters In Buddhism, there are different kinds laziness. Just as working 60 hours a week to make lots of money and have a career is considered lazy because it is avoiding doing what is meaningful, so this second mind, wasting time and effort on trivial matters, is lazy. This is more what we would normally see as laziness though. This is the couch potato, where there is no energy, no action; everything is completely flat. (23) being addicted to frivolous talk I think we all know this one! Do we put effort into gossip and idle chat? Does it waste our time? I don‘t think I need to discuss this.  The Eight Antidotes & Five Obstacles to Concentration

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