Ajahn Sona: What Comes Before Mindfulness?

Ajahn Sona has a new book titled What Comes Before Mindfulness.

Right Effort is a sadly neglected factor of the Noble Eightfold Path. There are endless retreats about mindfulness, but the sixth factor of the path, Right Effort, is woefully underappreciated and not talked about enough in Buddhist circles. It’s one of the most inspiring and beautiful path factors, full of so many clear instructions about how to navigate in the inner world and in the outer world. This book is an attempt to bring Right Effort out of the shadow of its glamourous sister, Right Mindfulness, by going back to the basic suttas of the Pali Canon and examining the language of the Buddha around this essential training.

I have not met him in person, but I really enjoy his take on various things that I have encountered through his videos on youtube.


Ajahn Sona has been kind enough to respond to my messages and I appreciate him very much. He is also very knowledgeable in philosophy.


I just finished What Comes Before Mindfulness. Wonderful book. It provides a great focus for practice, zero-ing in on what is key and also what you can let go of. For me, the attempt to read and understand and use everything so easily can pull me away from the core elements I need to get to the other side. This book is a great corrective to that impulse.

I’m very lucky to live a 2-hour drive from Birken Monastery, where Ajahn Sona is Abbot. He’s a great teacher and spiritual guide.


I’ve been looking forward to reading this. I’ve asked the library here to order a copy. He’s a very good teacher. You’re lucky indeed.


This is fantastic. I’ve always thought of Right Effort as the ‘work-horse’ of the Path and been surprised by how little emphasis seems to be given to it. After all this is where re-conditioning takes place.