Recently, I wrote about the faculties of mindfulness, confidence and wisdom. Today, I would like to discuss energy and effort and concentration. When we refer to energy and effort in meditation, what we are referring to is the effort to be mindful. It is the volitional tendency to bring the mind into the present moment to observe what we are doing. When this tendency is absent, the mind can seem dull, sluggish and uninterested. Rousing the mind to observe these very qualities is the first step to overcoming them and this is what we call application of energy and effort.

The energy and effort to be mindful helps us to ensure that we are applying right concentration for an insight meditation practice. That means that we are observing what is happening from moment to moment without trying to change the reality that we are observing. Since energy and effort rouses mindfulness, it is natural that momentary concentration would arise in tandem. This kind of momentary concentration is very valuable, because as long as the mind stays in the present moment we are happy.

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