Buddhist Right Effort, by Thich Nhat Hanh
“We can organize our life in such a way that the good seeds can be touched and watered daily.”
The first practice of right effort is to allow the negative seeds to sleep in our store consciousness and not give them a chance to manifest. If they manifest too often their base will be strengthened.
The second practice is that when a negative seed manifests, we help it go back as quickly as possible. If it stays too long, we will we suffer, and its base will also be strengthened.
The third practice of right diligence is to replace a negative mental formation with a positive one; we shift our attention. We call this “changing the peg.” When a peg joining two pieces of wood has become rotten, the carpenter drives a new peg into the hole, driving out the old peg at the same time.
The fourth practice is that when a good mental formation has manifested, we try to keep it there as long as we can. Just as when a good friend comes to visit and the whole house is joyful, so we try to keep him with us a few more days.
We can also help another person to change the mental formation. If a dark thought, anger, or fear manifests in her, we can practice watering a good seed in her that will manifest and replace the other mental formation. We call this practice “selective watering.”
We can organize our life in such a way that the good seeds can be touched and watered several times a day.