The three categories of effort are (A) unflinching courage, (B) insatiable effort, and (C) unceasing effort.
(A) Unflinching courage is necessary to confront the immensity of the bodhisattva’s task. Sentient beings are infinite in number—as soon as you have helped one, another one comes along. After hundreds have come and gone, thousands are still waiting. Therefore, our joyful effort must extend to each one of them without becoming overwhelmed or discouraged.
(B) We often feel that we have done enough and are quite self-satisfied when we achieve even the slightest spiritual realization, or we manage to help just a few other beings. Yet the teachings explain that we should only be satisfied with the extent of our negative actions. Until all beings have been brought to the state of complete enlightenment, we must exert ourselves with energy that is never diminished by self-satisfaction or the thought that we have done enough and that’s it.
(C) If we have developed unflinching courage and diligence that is never satisfied, we will work day and night to accomplish the benefit of all sentient beings. Our effort will be enthusiastic, joyful, and unceasing.”
Ceaseless Echoes of the Great Silence: A Commentary on the Heart Sutra Prajnaparamita (pgs 73-74)
Copyright © Padmasambhava Buddhist Center at Padma Samye Ling. All rights reserved.