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Joyous effort

Joyous effort

The text turns to training the mind on the stages of the path of advanced level practitioners. Part of a series of teachings on the Gomchen Lamrim by Gomchen Ngawang Drakpa. Visit Gomchen Lamrim Study Guide for a full list of contemplation points for the series.

  • The four kinds of excellence
  • Armor-like joyous effort versus how we normally respond to challenges
  • How to overcome the three types of laziness
  • Verses from Shantideva’s Engaging in the Bodhisattva’s Deeds
  • Accepting where we are in our practice

Gomchen Lamrim 108: Joyous Effort (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Joyous effort, also translated as enthusiastic perseverance, is an attitude that takes joy in acting constructively/creating virtue. Imagine having that kind of mind. How might it change the way you approach situations in your life? How might it change how you interact with others?
  2. What are some benefits of cultivating joyous effort? What are some disadvantages of not cultivating that kind of mind?
  3. Venerable Jigme said that part of our practice is figuring out how to be more present with the positive things we do throughout the day. How does recognizing positive acts in the world, as well as in our own thoughts and actions, lead to joyous effort?
  4. Consider the first kind of joyous effort: armor-like joyous effort:
    • It takes on a challenge with courage and interest, enthusiasm. Think of someone in your life, or that you’ve seen in the world, that embodies this kind of joyous effort, that jumps right in when others are in need. What kind of energy do they bring to life and to the people around them?
    • What keeps you from having this kind of joyous effort? What holds you back? Where do you experience resistance? Venerable Jigme said often, it is one of the three types of laziness (laziness of procrastination, laziness of busyness, laziness of discouragement). Think about each form of laziness. How do they operate in your life (make specific examples in your own life). What antidotes can you apply to overcome these hindrance to practicing and cultivating joyous effort?
  5. Inspired by the energy and benefit of cultivating joyous effort, make a determination to overcome your hindrances to this perfection and dedicate your energy to living virtue with great joy.
Venerable Thubten Jigme

Venerable Jigme met Venerable Chodron in 1998 at Cloud Mountain Retreat Center. She took refuge in 1999 and attended Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle. She moved to the Abbey in 2008 and took sramanerika and sikasamana vows with Venerable Chodron as her preceptor in March 2009. She received bhikshuni ordination at Fo Guang Shan in Taiwan in 2011. Before moving to Sravasti Abbey, Venerable Jigme (then Dianne Pratt) worked as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in private practice in Seattle. In her career as a nurse, she worked in hospitals, clinics and educational settings. At the Abbey, Ven. Jigme is the Guest Master, manages the prison outreach program and oversees the video program.

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