Restlessness and Effort

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 15th March 1959

In vipassanā practice, effort (viriya) always should take one object. As example, the impermanence of physical phenomenon (rūpa object) or the impermanence of mind (nama object). Instead seeing many things or objects, e-g like light, color, images, it becomes restlessness (uddhacca). But the yogi can take these things as right effort and thinks that his practice is on the right track. What about on samatha practice? It also should stay with the meditation object, e-g the breath. Becoming restless is wasting time.

Viriya and samādhi must take an object only. The object of restlessness can be lobha or dosa (greed or anger). Therefore, viriya and the object are different. Viriya makes effort on the object without taking pleasure or displeasure. Viriya must stay with the impermanent object. If other things arise, it’s uddhacca.

On talking about samatha and vipassanā practices; e-g for samatha, during contemplation on loathsomeness (asubha), the mind should be stay with the object of loathsomeness and should not go out. Then it’s viriya. Except the asubha object, if many objects come in, then it becomes restless. Viriya makes effort on an object (Sayadaw gave an example of using a gun.) If you are aiming a gun without moving is viriya, if shaking then it’s uddhacca.), if too much effort it becomes restless. In this case making adjustment with samādhi. If viriya and samādhi become level out the practice will take short period of times. Over viriya the mind becomes restless. Over samādhi becomes sleepy and wasting times. (Sayadaw gave example of over viriya and samādhi with the stories of Sona and Mahā Mogallana. Because over viriya and samādhi that the practice can’t develop. Some yogis become low spirits and make conclusion on many reasons. They are thinking that don’t have the paramis and doubt about the practice. In reality, they don’t have a teacher and don’t know how to adjust them. Connection with this, faith (saddha) and wisdom (paññā) have to be adjusted. These 4-factors becoming level out can discern impermanence. Without that can’t realize the Dhamma. No faith can’t finish a task, over faith become tanhā, and over paññā become cunning. Sāriputta had to practice for 2 weeks because of over paññā and more contemplation was needed. Mahā-Mogallana took only a week to finish his practice.

  • Content of "Dhmma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

cited from