Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration refer to your spirit, your heart. When we think of the spirit, we point to the centre of the chest, to the heart. So we have panna (the head), sila (the body) and samadhi (the heart). You can use your own body as a kind of chart, a symbol of the Eightfold Path. These three are integrated, working together for realisation and supporting each other like a tripod. One is not dominating the other and exploiting or rejecting anything.
They work together: the wisdom from Right Understanding and Right Intention; then morality, which is Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood; and Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration – the balanced equanimous mind, emotional serenity. Serenity is where the emotions are balanced, supporting each other. They’re not going up and down. There’s a sense of bliss, of serenity; there is perfect harmony between the intellect, the instincts and the emotions. They’re mutually supportive, helping each other. They’re no longer conflicting or taking us to extremes and, because of that, we begin to feel a tremendous peacefulness in our minds. There is a sense of ease and fearlessness coming from the Eightfold Path – a sense of equanimity and emotional balance. We feel at ease rather than that sense of anxiety, that tension and emotional conflict. There is clarity; there is peacefulness, stillness, knowing. This insight of the Eightfold Path should be developed; this is bhavana. We use the word bhavana to signify development.