Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Eightfold Path

1.Right Understanding
2.Right Thought

3.Right Speech
4.Right Action
5.Right Livelihood

6.Right Effort
7.Right Mindfulness
8.Right Meditation

This path is not meant to be followed in number order. You don't need to achieve the first before moving on to the second. The aim is to apply all to your life at the same time.

To clear up any confusion about the term Right used here interpret it as Appropriate. The intent is to see things with an open mind, free from our own prejudices, or beliefs.

Wisdom: Wisdom is not about intellect, but about insight and understanding and gathering truth through your own experiences in the world:

Right Understanding is also called right view. Again it is about viewing happenings as they are without our own issues to color them.
Right Thought also known as right resolve, is about the intentions behind your actions. Intentions should be without harm to yourself or anyone else.

Morality: These are basic ethics to apply to your every day life:

Right Speech would of course pertain to how you use your voice, no lying, gossip, or harming another's reputation with your words.
Right Action is fairly simple, do the right thing, don't steal, kill, commit adultery, ethical behavior should always be the goal.
Right Livelihood would be work that is honorable and healthy for yourself and others.

Mental Discipline: It is training yourself to focus, using the power of your mind to attain wisdom and morality, not giving in to laziness or distractions:

Right Effort is engaging to practice the Dharma in your every day life. Efforts should be aimed at suiting all involved, and will sometimes be pleasant and will sometimes require more severity. In each situation it will be different.
Right Mindfulness is being present in the moment. All that you do, think and feel is about the moment you are in. It is very important not to be harboring thoughts of the past or future especially if they are not constructive.
Right Meditation is about quieting the mind, to stop the constant restless thought processes that generate so much of our suffering. For those new to the practice of meditation it is OK to start with focusing activities such as visualization.

This is a very basic explanation of the Eightfold Path. As we get further along it will come up again in more depth.

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