Saturday, May 18

Eightfold Path of Buddhism

The Wisdom Path (Prajna)

(Note that "wisdom" is prajna in Sanskrit, panna in Pali.)

Right View is also sometimes called Right Understanding. It is insight into the nature of things as they are, in particular insight into the first three Noble Truths -- the nature of dukkha, the cause of dukkha, the cessation of dukkha.

Right Intention is sometimes translated as Right Aspiration or Right Thought. This is an unselfish intention to realize enlightenment. You can call it a desire, but it is not a tanha or craving because there is no ego attachment and no desire for becoming or not-becoming attached to it (see Second Noble Truth).

The Ethical Conduct Path (Sila)

Right Speech is communicating in ways that promote harmony and understanding. It is speech that is truthful and free of malice. However, it doesn't mean being "nice" when unpleasant things must be said.

Right Action is action that springs from compassion, without selfish attachment. This aspect of the Eightfold Path is connected to the Precepts.

Right Livelihood is earning a living in a way that does not compromise the Precepts or harm anyone.

The Mental Discipline Path (Samadhi)

Right Effort or Right Diligence is the practice of developing wholesome qualities while releasing unwholesome qualities.

Right Mindfulness is a whole body-and-mind awareness of the present moment.

Right Concentration is the part of the path associated with meditation. It is focusing all of one's mental faculties onto one physical or mental object and practicing the Four Absorptions, also called the Four Dhyanas (Sanskrit) or Four Jhanas (Pali).

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