Print Friendly, PDF & Email

More on 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.

  • Enthusiastic thoughts keep us going on the path
  • The three types of laziness and their antidotes
  • Overcoming the three kinds of discouragement
  • Verses from Shantideva’s Engaging in the Bodhisattva’s Deeds
  • Developing the four forces of favorable conditions

Gomchen Lamrim 109: Joyous Effort (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Why its beneficial to practice joyous effort:
    • Consider each of the three kinds of joyous effort: armor-like, joyous effort of gathering virtue, joyous effort of benefitting others.
    • What are some benefits of cultivating these three?
    • What does embodying these qualities do for you? What are the benefits to others?
  2. Identifying the obstacles:
    • Consider some of the hindrances to cultivating joyous effort.
    • What keeps you from having the three kinds of joyous effort? What holds you back? Where do you experience resistance?
    • Consider the three types of laziness as obstacles (laziness of procrastination, laziness of busyness, laziness of discouragement). Think about each form. How do they operate in your life (make specific examples in your own life).
  3. How to overcome the obstacles:
    • What are some antidotes to the obstacles you identified in the previous point?
    • Have you tried some of them in the past? If so, what do you find most works for your mind?
    • If you tend to have resistance to apply antidotes, why do you think that might be?
  4. Positive factors that encourage our joyous effort to grow:
    • Consider the four forces that keep our joyous effort growing: the power of aspiration, the power of steadfastness, the power of joy, and the power of relinquishment.
    • Really spend some time thinking about how each of these can work to grow your joyous effort.
    • Think of specific things you can do to use these four to support your practice.
  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 with great joy.
Venerable Thubten Damcho

Ven. Damcho (Ruby Xuequn Pan) met the Dharma through the Buddhist Students’ Group at Princeton University. After graduating in 2006, she returned to Singapore and took refuge at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See (KMSPKS) Monastery in 2007, where she served as a Sunday School teacher. Struck by the aspiration to ordain, she attended a novitiate retreat in the Theravada tradition in 2007, and attended an 8-Precepts retreat in Bodhgaya and a Nyung Ne retreat in Kathmandu in 2008. Inspired after meeting Ven. Chodron in Singapore in 2008 and attending the one-month course at Kopan Monastery in 2009, Ven. Damcho visited Sravasti Abbey for 2 weeks in 2010. She was shocked to discover that monastics did not live in blissful retreat, but worked extremely hard! Confused about her aspirations, she took refuge in her job in the Singapore civil service, where she served as a high school English teacher and a public policy analyst. Offering service as Ven. Chodron’s attendant in Indonesia in 2012 was a wake-up call. After attending the Exploring Monastic Life Program, Ven. Damcho quickly moved to the Abbey to train as an Anagarika in December 2012. She ordained on October 2, 2013 and is the Abbey’s current video manager. Ven. Damcho also manages Ven. Chodron’s schedule and website, helps with editing and publicity for Venerable’s books, and supports the care of the forest and vegetable garden.

More on this topic