Controlling your own thoughts and senses is not an easy
thing to do. It is difficult to avoid times when the mind
falls into unwholesome thoughts, or malicious, malevolent
tendencies occur. But you have to make this difficult if you
want to relieve the tension and insecurity that are always
ready to weaken your body and mind.
Like a tortoise, whenever it perceives danger, it
immediately withdraws its limbs. If you want to protect your
body and mind, you must do the same, trying to guard and
control the doors of your senses and the source of your
One of the sources of desire, craving is the most powerful
destructive force. Excessive greed is always motivated by
delusion. It is the craving of these blind beings that
causes hatred and all other suffering. Therefore, it is not
the atomic weapons that destroy people and life, but it is
greed, hatred, and delusion that are the most powerful
killers of people and life. This thirst for fame, power, and
domination has brought untold suffering to mankind. If you
do not make efforts to suppress this desire that is always
ready to reign in this mind, you will become a slave to the
Therefore, the Buddha's advice to his disciples is to be
diligent, mindful, and alert to know how to protect body and
mind, through which to control evil thoughts and cultivate
pure thoughts healthy. Thus, diligence in Buddhism implies
mental strength, or willpower, not physical strength.
Physical strength is dominant in animals, while mental
willpower is only found in humans. Of course, those who can
arouse and develop this mental element to stop evil
thoughts, and cultivate pure, good thoughts, protect the
body and mind.
So the Buddha's disciples never give up hope or stop their
efforts, because the Buddha himself, when he was still a
Bodhisattva, never stopped striving even for a moment. He is
the image of a man full of energy. As someone who aspired to
seek Buddhahood, he was encouraged by the words of his
- Do your best, don't give up! Let's go ahead.
And he spared no effort in his efforts to attain ultimate
enlightenment. With strong perseverance, he approached his
goal which was Enlightenment.
The Master's Right Effort reached its zenith when He
resolved to sit under the Bodhi tree, deep in meditation,
and then end with Perfect Enlightenment. From that moment
on, His life made clear, He never succumbed to any mental
fatigue. It can be said that, from the time of enlightenment
until the moment of death, the Buddha has made constant
efforts to sublimate mankind, regardless of physical
fatigue, and obvious obstacles, and disadvantages in human
life on his path of evangelism. Although physically he was
not always healthy, mentally he was always alert and strong.
By teaching body and language, the Buddha taught his
disciples in particular and in general, for sentient beings
to live a positive life.
The Buddha always emphasized the sixth part of the Eightfold
Path, which is Right Effort, because saving sentient beings
was not within his power. The Buddha was also not a savior
and offered guarantees that he would save people from the
bonds of samsara, but he was always ready to guide them on
the upward path, encouraging and supporting them
spiritually. The idea is that a person can raise others from
low to high and liberate them ultimately when they tend to
make them weak. It degrades them and extinguishes all their
moral qualities, so He never did.
The Buddha's emphasis on Right Effort in this simple
language shows that Buddhism is not a doctrine of pessimism,
a Teaching for weak, feeble souls looking at everything work
in this world from the most hopeless point of view, but
Buddhism is the religion of brave and righteous warriors.
Right Effort as the Buddha said, is a tool to eliminate
evil, unwholesome thoughts and promote as well as maintain
clear, healthy thoughts in the protection of body and mind.
Just as a gardener pulls out the weeds before sowing the
seeds, you as a practitioner must also try to get rid of the
weeds, which are greed, hatred, delusion, etc., from your
mind's garden. Because if you refuse to weed, then surely
nothing of value can be successfully planted in that garden.
After that, you also have to fertilize, water, and protect
it from the destruction of birds and animals. In the same
way, the practitioner must guard the garden of your mind and
nourish it with appropriate wholesome thoughts.
The duties of right effort have four, which are:
- Efforts to prevent,
- Diligence to eliminate,
- Practice diligently and
- Maintained effort.
1- Efforts to Prevent
For the purpose of causing the previous unwholesome dhammas
not to arise, not for it to arise. You generate the desire
to try, develop your willpower, and strengthen your mind to
achieve this goal.
So when you see a form, hear a sound, smell a smell, taste a
taste, touch an object, or perceive a dharmakaya, you are
not affected by their general features or by their details.
Whatever the causes, because the eye sense is not prevented,
it causes craving, grief, and unwholesome states to arise.
You have to apply such restraint yourself, that you have
guarded the mind, and the senses, overpowering the senses.
This is called preventive effort.
2- Diligence to Eliminate
For the purpose of getting rid of the unwholesome states
that have arisen, you arise the desire to try to develop
your energy and strengthen your mind to achieve this goal.
With an attitude of not accepting the thoughts of lust that
have arisen, but giving up, eliminating and renouncing those
desires, ending them, and making them no longer exist. This
is called the effort to eliminate.
3- Diligence to practice
For the purpose of creating and developing unborn wholesome
thoughts, you make a wish and then try to develop the energy
and strengthen your mind to achieve this goal.
You practice the factors of Enlightenment, away from greed,
with cessation leading to liberation, that is
Satisambojjhanga, Dharma-pravicayanga, Viryayanga,
Priti-bodhyanga, Prasrabdhi-bodhyanga, Samadhi-bodhyanga,
and Upeksa-bodhyanga. This is called diligent practice.
4- Efforts to Protect?
For the purpose of making the kusala dhammas that have
arisen can be maintained, not obscured, generous,
cultivated, and perfected. You generate the desire to try to
develop your willpower and strengthen your mind to achieve
You maintain some favorable meditation subjects... this is
called maintenance effort.
The sole purpose of these four dhammas is to accomplish the
protection of your body and mind for health. Right effort is
the necessary condition for concentration, which operates
simultaneously with the other two factors of the group,
mindfulness, and concentration. Without real right effort,
it is difficult to overcome the hindrances that block
spiritual progress. Right effort removes evil and unhealthy
thoughts that act as a barrier to concentration and promotes
and maintains good mental factors that aid in the
development of concentration.
When your mind is loose, that's when you need to gather
courage, arouse diligence, and conquer laziness. The
stubbornness of the mind and mental factors is the most
dangerous enemy of practice because when your mind is
stagnant, lethargy will arise. This stagnation and
sluggishness lead to more serious laxity creating a state of
apathy and depression.
Of course, it is not said that practice is practicable, but
you need time and need to regularly practice mind exercises.
An athlete cannot stop training after a day or two, but must
always continue their training program. Regular exercise
does not need to be too stressful, and should not be
neglected, it is the key to the body's adaptation. If you
practice erratically, sometimes excessively diligently, and
sometimes indulgently, you will never be actively guarding
your body and mind. When practicing for Body and Mind
Protection, you must apply this golden ruler, practice
regularly, and always be patient.
When you practice mind exercises you don't have to struggle
with unwholesome thoughts, just let them come naturally. If
you try to fight your evil thoughts, you will fail. Instead
of fighting it, note and watch your thoughts as they arise,
analyze them, and try to relieve the stress. This technique
is similar to when learning to swim. If you don't move your
limbs you will sink; If you squirm around, you won't be able
to swim either. Or like a sleeper, if you struggle with the
thought of wanting to sleep you will never fall asleep, the
thought is just mental torture to you. You don't have to
work hard to sleep. Sleep will come to you naturally, and
you just need to relax the stress is enough.
As the Buddha pointed out, those of you who wish to achieve
liberation through enlightenment need to avoid all extremes
wherever and in any case you must keep the middle way. In
practicing the right effort, too, you must follow the middle
method, not falling to any extreme.
It is not only during profound meditation that you need this
all-important quality of the right effort. Right effort
should be practiced regularly whenever and wherever
possible. In all your words, all your actions, and your
conduct in your daily life, you need the right effort to
carry out your duties with full heart, whole mind, and
success. If you lack this quality of diligence, and if you
allow drowsy, lazy states to succumb, you will not be able
to progress in the work you have undertaken with even a
To overcome the thoughts of greed, anger, jealousy, and the
host of other evil thoughts that you suffer, you need to
have energy, diligence, and awareness. When you get away
from the hustle and bustle of city life, or the cares of
life, you're not so tempted to lose yourself. But when it
comes to socializing, that's when you need to be diligent to
stop your mistakes. Any meditation you may have done has
been a great help in keeping you calm in the face of these
When you practice the right effort, you need to be honest
with your thoughts. If you analyze it, you will see that
these thoughts are not always wholesome, and pure. Sometimes
there are also unwholesome and foolish thoughts, although
you don't always show them in actions or words or both. But
if you keep letting these thoughts arise regularly, that's a
bad sign. Because when an unhealthy mindset is allowed to
recur over and over again, it tends to become an obsession.
Therefore, it is essential to make an effort not to allow
these unwholesome thoughts to come near. When they arise
there is no need to pay attention to them. But it is not
easy to ignore them, because until you succeed in overcoming
them, these unwholesome thoughts can still invade your mind.
However, there is one thing to remember. For someone who is
determined to control urges that are harmful to you, they
should be avoided. Avoid, as much as possible, people who
are obsessed with these urges and the conversations that
lead to them.
Try to avoid people and things that interfere with your
healthy and serious thoughts. Civilized society is in danger
of being overwhelmed by entertainment and temptations that
can only be restrained and defended if you undertake this
difficult task of mind training consistently, and persist.
In short, your mind affects the body in a profound way, if
you let the mind work indiscriminately and cultivate
unwholesome thoughts, the mind can cause unpredictable harm.
However, the mind can also heal a sick body. When the mind
is focused on the right thoughts with the right effort and
the right understanding, the effect of mind-body control it
produces is also enormous. So you should remember:
- A mind with pure and kind thoughts will really lead you to
a healthy, relaxed life.