THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH
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1-Right view (understanding)
2-Right thought (intentions)
Wisdom Training: Seeing things as they are.
Ethics Training: Living a pure and sacred life.
Meditation Training: Awareness, attention and focus.
Quote from Master Thich Nhat Hahn’s Old Path White Clouds: “The Noble Eightfold Path is the path of living in awareness. Mindfulness is the foundation. By practicing mindfulness, you can develop concentration which enables you to attain understanding. Thanks to right concentration, you realize right awareness, thoughts, speech, action, livelihood and effort. The understanding which develops can liberate you from every shackle of suffering and give birth to true peace and joy.”
I-RIGHT VIEW (UNDERSTANDING):
Right view is the wisdom of clear vision. Seeing things as they are. Right view means to thoroughly understand the Four Noble Truths, to believe in the law of Cause and Effect and not to be deceived by appearances and desires. To have right view is to look at ourselves and the world without any delusions or distortions about reality.
Quote from the Prajna Paramita Sutra ‘The Eight Similes of illusion’:
The radiant Buddha said, “Regard this fleeting world like this: Like stars fading and vanishing at dawn, like bubbles on a fast moving stream, like morning dewdrops evaporating on blades of grass, like a candle flickering in a strong wind, echoes, mirages and phantoms, hallucinations and like a dream.”
2-RIGHT THOUGHT (INTENTION):
Right thought means the resolution not to cherish desires, not to be greedy, not to be angry and not to do any harmful deed. Thoughts free from lust, attachment, ill-will, cruelty, covetousness, jealousy, harmful intent and the wrong view.
The Lord Buddha said, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak or act with an impure mind, and trouble will follow you, as the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart. We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak or act with a pure mind, and happiness will follow you, as your shadow, unshakable.”
Right speech means speech free from lying, slandering, using harsh and abusive words and idle gossip. Speak truthfully, to unite, skillfully and meaningfully.
Quote from the Dhammapada: “Better than a meaningless story of a thousand words is a single word of a deep meaning which, when heard, produces peace.”
Right action means actions free from:
(a)-Killing. (Respect life).
(b)-Stealing. (Don’t take what is not freely given).
The Buddha said: “Do not do anything harmful, do only what is good, purify and train your mind. This is the teaching of the Buddha, this is the path to enlightenment.”
Right livelihood means to abstain from trading in anything that would bring harm to yourself and others.
Do not trade in:
(a)-Human beings. (Slavery, prostitution).
(b)-Flesh. (Breeding animals for slaughter).
(c)-Intoxicants. (Drugs and alcohol).
Virtue should always out-weigh material gain.
Right effort means to try to do one’s best diligently toward the right direction.
The Four Great Efforts:
1-The effort to avoid any new unwholesome thoughts.
2-The effort to overcome any existing unwholesome thoughts.
3-The effort to develop only good and wholesome thoughts.
4-The effort to maintain the goodness that already exists.
We should make an effort to relinquish grasping and clinging. (to things such as ego, opinions, pleasure/pain principle, gain/loss principle, praise/blame principle, fame/shame principle, meaningless religious rites and rituals, the limited and short-sighted view that sees only this world and this life).
Quote from the Dhammapada: “With sustained effort and sincerity, discipline and self-control, the wise become like islands which no flood can overwhelm.”
Right mindfulness means to maintain a pure and thoughtful mind. Mindfulness with regards to body, feelings, mind and mind objects (phenomena, mental formations, ideas, thoughts and perceptions, intentions, conceptions and all things).
Right concentration means to keep the mind right and tranquil for its concentration. Seeking to realise the minds pure essence. We must tame our mind, train our mind, test our mind, transform our mind and transcend our mind.
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~Dharmacharya Andrew. J. Williams~