Diligence. Right effort, one of the Noble Eightfold Paths, teaches us to persevere. When confronted with the hardships of doing the right thing, and there are hardships in this, diligence keeps us on task and upright. We should live our lives deliberately. Each moment should be a moment lived with an eye toward living it fully and completely. Sometimes it takes all of our strength to “just sit” for ten minutes, or find the right response to a loved one, or set aside the temptation to cheat on our vows. Indeed, without diligence, we would not see these threats to our peace coming at all.
Diligence is defined as: taking joy in what is virtuous, positive or wholesome. "Taking joy" means that diligence is concerned with the positive actions of the mind, rather than the body and speech. And the word "wholesome", distinguishes diligence from its opposite, laziness, which is taking joy in unwholesome, worldly pursuits.
There are three subdivisions:
Chökyi Drakpa says:
- "Diligence is divided into armour-like diligence; diligence in action, which means exerting yourself to practice the Dharma and fearing laziness with as much energy as someone who discovers a poisonous snake in his or her lap; and insatiable diligence. Insatiable diligence is never being satisfied by a little, or a few months, or even a few years of virtuous practice, and instead exerting yourself to practice throughout your entire life."
- Enthusiastic effort
- Heroic perseverance (Padmakara Translation Group)
- Joyful effort