Do you recall the last time you said or did something which was hurtful to others or yourself? We may even have dwelled over those incidents and wished that we had done the right thing instead. Regrets cloud our minds because we have been honed in unproductive ways and are often driven by cravings, selfish needs or laziness. These unwholesome habits can be uprooted through Right Effort.
The Buddha taught the four aspects of Right Effort (Samma Vayamo) for us to develop our morality and spirituality. They are the effort to:
(1) prevent unwholesome qualities, especially greed, anger, and ignorance, from arising;
(2) extinguish those which have already arisen;
(3) cultivate skillful or wholesome qualities that have not yet arisen; and
(4) strengthen those that have already arisen.
Exerting Right Effort in leading our lives requires unwaning mindfulness of our thoughts, intentions as well as actions, and rewards us with upright conduct which brings us forward on the spiritual path. Let us move in the right direction to extinguish what is unskillful and nurture that which is skillful.