Right Effort of the 8thFold Path is arguably the least debated factor of all. Right View, Right Understanding - they are all very inviting for intellectual debates. But EFFORT! Who would want to talk about Effort. Who would want to give Effort any attention.
Interestingly I've found that Everything intentional happens because of Effort. Duh! It's Duh, but still a very BIG DUH. Something happens because of Effort. Nothing happens because of Effort.
Effort can be of all sorts: theoretically expounded 'Right' Effort, 'Skillful' Effort, Courageous Effort, Joyous Effort, Drudgery Effort, & any other adjective you could possibly associate with Effort.
I'll look at the adjective 'Right' first. There are so many expounded versions of 'Right' Effort. Most of them categorically define 'Right' Effort as Effort which is:
1. prevent the arising of unarisen unwholesome states;
2. abandon unwholesome states that have already arisen;
3. arouse wholesome states that have not yet arisen;
4. maintain and perfect wholesome states already arisen.
And then what are unwholesome/wholesome states?
The unwholesome states (akusala dhamma) are the defilements, and the thoughts, emotions, and intentions derived from them, whether breaking forth into action or remaining confined within. The wholesome states (kusala dhamma) are states of mind untainted by defilements, especially those conducing to deliverance.
*same source as above
I'm just assuming here that thoughts, emotions, intentions all begin with mental states. So I'll take unwholesome/wholesome states here as unwholesome/wholesome mental states. Which brings me to the 14 unwholesome mental factors and the 25 wholesome mental factors.
14 Unwholesome Mental Factors, in no particular order:
- The Manuals of Buddhism by Ledi Sayadaw
-A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma, The Philosophical Psychology of Buddhism by Bhikkhu BOdhi as General Editor
1) Greed; lobha (greed)
2) Hatred; dosa (hate)
3) Envy; issa (envy)
4) Sloth; thina (sloth)
5) Conceit; mana (conceit)
6) Worry; kukkucca (worry)
7) Torpor; middha (torpor)
8) Shamelessness; ahirika (shamelessness)
The rest of the 5 unwholesome states don't match exactly. I tried to match them as best as I could.
9) vicikiccha (perplexity)
10) moha (dullness)
11) macchariya (selfishness)
12) anottappa (recklessness)
13) ditthi (error)
14) uddhacca (distraction)
12) Fearlessness of wrong
13) Wrong view
After all that's been read, cognitively understood as best as I could, written down on 'Right' Effort, it can never match up to Joyous Effort.
That Joyful Effort which I cannot yet identify.