The Eightfold Path is the means by which enlightenment may be realized. Buddha Shakyamuni explained the Eightfold Path in the first sermon after his enlightenment, preserved in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. There he sets forth a middle way between the extremes of asceticism and sensual indulgence.
The Eightfold Path is:
1. Right View – an accurate understanding of the nature of things, specifically the Four Noble Truths
2. Right Intention – avoiding thoughts of attachment, hatred, and harmful intent,
3. Right Speech – refraining from verbal misdeeds such as lying, divisive speech, harsh speech, and senseless speech
4. Right Action – refraining from physical misdeeds such as killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct,
5. Right Live – avoiding trades that directly or indirectly harm others, such as selling slaves, weapons, animals for slaughter, intoxicants, or poisons
6. Right Effort – abandoning negative states of mind that have already arisen, preventing negative states that have yet to arise, and sustaining positive states that have already arisen,
7. Right Mindfulness – awareness of body, feelings, thought, and phenomena (the constituents of the existing world),
8. Right Concentration single-mindedness.The Path is divided into three main sections: wisdom, ethical conduct and mental discipline.
1.Wisdom: Right View and Right Intention are the wisdom path.
Right View is not about believing in doctrine, but in perceiving the true nature of ourselves and the world around us.
Right Intention refers to the energy and commitment one needs to be fully engaged in Buddhist practice.
2.Ethical Conduct: Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood are the ethical conduct path.
This calls us to take care in our speech, our actions, and our daily lives to do no harm to others and to cultivate wholesomeness in ourselves.
3. Mental Discipline: Through Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration we develop the mental discipline to cut through delusion. Many schools of Buddhism encourage seekers to meditate to achieve clarity and focus of mind.
There are these two extremes that are not to be indulged in by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is devoted to sensual pleasure with reference to sensual objects: base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable; and that which is devoted to self-affliction: painful, ignoble, unprofitable. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathagata — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding.
And what is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding? Precisely this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding.
Source: Essential | Great Middle Way
Jan 4, 2018
Let us be careful in speech,
be well-restrained in mind,
and physically, too, let us abstain from harm.
Let us purify these three courses of action
and accomplish the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path
made known by all the Buddhas.
—Buddha Shakyamuni, Dharmapada
Sometimes we speak clumsily and create internal knots in others. Then we say, “I was just telling the truth.” It may be the truth, but if our way of speaking causes unnecessary suffering, it is not Right Speech. The truth must be presented in ways that others can accept. Words that damage or destroy are not Right Speech. Before you speak, understand the person you are speaking to. Consider each word carefully before you say anything, so that your speech is “Right” in both form and content.
– Thich Nhat Hanh
from the book “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation”
ISBN: 978-0767903691 – http://amzn.to/17VOZql
To be practiced in every moment.
“I have noticed that people are dealing too much with the negative, with what is wrong… Why not try the other way, to look into the patient and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”
~Thich Nhat Hanh~