Karma, volitional acts, have a vastness of range. The gap between the mental direction (Intention) and effort is "Viriya," energy.
So two interrelated factors are at play when we direct Right Effort. The first Viriya and the second wholesomeness (kusala dhamma). This wholesomeness requires being directed away from variables and conditions invoking Dukkha (dis-ease or suffering).
This occurs when energy is used to do no harm, preventing unwholesome (dukkha) actions, abandoning unwholesome states that exist, while unfolding wholesome states (sukkah), states that have not arisen, while maintaining and practicing wholesome effort (The Noble Eightfold Path: Bihakkhu Bodhi).
We operate as a rheostat. We turn toward the variable or condition to affect and release our measured energy to do what we believe to be necessary. So, through our daily practice effort is directed at reducing hinderance and the enhancing compassion, loving-kindness, joy, and equanimity. Right effort is an enabler of Right Mindfulness and Right Concentrations.
The teachings of our founder, Zengaku Soyu Matsuoka-Roshi in The Kyosaku, places Right Effort in perspective:
If you are spiritually lazy and drifting, you will never get into Zen. But if you put your whole effort into it and enter into 'the tiger's cage,' you will find the real Zen spirit and life at your feet.
Come learn about the tiger's cage at this Tuesday's night service at 6:30...
ANNOUNCEMENT: WEEKLY MEDITATION SESSION AT UUFF – Beginning Monday, March 18 from 11-11:45 AM, Dan Joslyn-sensei will be offering a guided meditation for newcomers, as well as a silent-sit and walking meditation periods. These sessions are open to everyone as no prior meditation experience is required, while more seasoned practitioners are also welcome. Both chairs and cushions will be available. Donations are accepted with half of what is received going to UUFF and the other half to the Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha.