Greetings, I hope all are well and healthy.
I think that right effort is the most neglected and misunderstood factor of the path. There is a tendency to put all our eggs in the basket of one meditation technique and not having good results for a while.
I believe that correct understanding and application of right effort is where the balance between tradition and modern implementations is possible.
The guidelines of what is right effort are very clear and open.
Whatever practice you know akusala qualities decline and kusala qualities increase those are right practices. And the opposite are wrong practices. -
First we need to have a clear understanding of the questions that are mentioned in the suttas that one should ask to a wise person :
what is kusala? what is akusala?, what is blameworthy? and what is blameless? What things if I do will be for my long-term benefit and happiness?
These are at the heart of the Noble Eightfold Path together with a notion of right view of the 4 Noble Truths and the range of wrong views.
Once you have those things quite clear by reading the suttas and comparative studies, then you can incorporate a variety of practices within the Noble Eightfold Path.
Here is a list of the best practices I have explored with and without robes that are very effective and recommendable.
Kusala promotion (wellbeing & inspiration)
• Generosity (give at least one thing or nice words a day)
• Gratitud ( at least 3 things to be grateful for a day)
• Forgiveness (forgive at least 1 thing or person a day)
• Enjoying and reflecting on the benefits of sila
• Brahma viharas in different modalities
• Reflect in dangers of sensual pleasures
• Contentment and simplification of life and requisites (minimalism)
• Positive psychology techniques
• Silva method
• TWIM Method
• Relaxation techniques
• Meditation techniques
• Fundamental Wellbeing practices
• Integral Life practices
• Reading one sutta a day
• Sharing Dhamma and practices
Akusala removing techniques (healing)
Body oriented (somatics)
• TRE Trauma Release Shaking
• Feldenkrais Method (sati sampajjano)
• Foam rolling
• Breathing techniques
• Qigong (Zhineng Qigong)
• Laying down meditation
• EFT tapping
• Sedona Method
• IFS Internal Family System
Remove limiting beliefs and identities
• Body and emotion code
• Powerful questions
• Auto suggestions
• Past lives regressions therapy
• Family constellations
As you can see there is a wide range of possibilities and plenty of tools to play with. Some might be useful for different people and at different times. So is better to have a good toolbox.
We can measure the degree of how effective and efficient any practices is while we practice the. But specially in our daily life mood, if we are becoming happier, peaceful and content most of the time or if we are equanimus and apply the appropriate techniques in more and more situations.
The important part is to keep in mind that these practices are aplications of only 2 factors of the path: right effort and right mindfulness, therefore they need to be combined with the others, specially the wisdom factors.
But all these methods and techniques can be very beneficial as part of a balanced Dhamma practice. Actually, I think they are widely use and famous because they work and they work because there is some Dhamma in them.
Of course all these can and should be applied in monastic and lay environments.
I will be happy to know any comments and feedback on this topic.
Also I’m open to explore other techniques if you have some recommendations.
I hope you found all this helpful.