Friday, September 7, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - R is for the Right Stuff (Eight-Fold Path)

If you recall my post on the Four Noble Truths, the 4th truth tells us how to cease attachments to desires with the right stuff. The Eight-Fold path is divided into 3 sections.

  1. Right View - See things as they are. Know that your current situation and mood is not permanent.
  2. Right Intention - Give up selfish thoughts. Wish happiness for all.
Ethical Conduct
  1. Right Speech - Watch what you say. Avoid gossip and lying. Always aim to upbuild with your words.
  2. Right Action - Watch what you do. Stealing, harming others intentionally*, harming yourself, and sexual misconduct** are not proper. 
  3. Right Livelihood - We need money to survive. However, make sure that your occupation or the company you work for does not violate the other parts of the path. 
Mental Development
  1. Right Effort - Use your will to strengthen good thoughts and release bad ones.
  2. Right Mindfulness - Pay attention to what's happening right NOW. How often do we multitask? 
  3. Right Concentration - Pay attention to an object or thought and keep it there. Hard, isn't it? Meditation will help strengthen your concentration muscles.

*Some include harming animals as violating Right Action and are vegetarians. I believe this is a conscience and health matter. There is no Deity in Buddhism to condemn you to hell or some other tortuous place if you eat meat. I believe in humane killings of animals for food. I do not support hunting animals for sport.

**Sexual misconduct is not defined in Buddhism at least not that I can tell. Your personal values will come into play here. For example if you are in a monogamous relationship (gender unimportant), having another sex partner may be misconduct. If you are in a polygamous relationship, it may not be.

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