Ajahn Chah had the sense that there is a pool of options and opportunities that we have to learn how to apply skillfully. Practice is not “by the book, this one method is going to work for everybody.” Ajahn Chah’s approach to practice was not to just “dig in” to a technique, meditation or training and “put your foot to the pedal” and go to the end of it. It’s not a sprint; it’s more like a marathon. You have to be able to pace yourself and be in it for the long haul. You have to be ready to gauge how to sustain practice, how to have continuity of practice, how to make the continuous effort in practice.
Continuous effort is not a “striving and pushing” effort. It’s a sustaining effort – a continuity of attention, reflection, application – because that’s what really undermines the habitual tendencies, the defilements, ignorance and delusion. Steadiness and continuity allow the practice to unfold and to reveal what we need to let go of and what we need to develop. That’s the essence of the practice.
This reflection by Luang Por Pasanno is from the booklet, Ajahn Chah’s Teachings on Nature, (pdf) p.10.