The Eightfold Path
The Eightfold Path consists of “Right View”, “Right Thinking”, “Right Speech”, “Right Action”, “Right Living”, “Right Endeavor”, “Right Memory”, and “Right Meditation”.
“Right View” means to abandon a self centered way of looking at things and see all things clearly.
“Right Thinking” means not to be inclined toward a self centered attitude but to think of things rightly, from a higher standpoint. This teaches us to abandon the “three evils of the mind,” covetousness, resentment, and evil-mindedness, and to think of things with as generous a mind as the Buddha. More precisely, these three evils are the greedy mind (covetousness) that thinks only of one's own gain; the angry mind (resentment) that does not like it when things do not turn out as one wishes; and the evil mind (evil-mindedness) that wants to have its own way in everything.
“Right Speech” teaches us to use right words in our daily lives and to avoid the “four evils of the mouth”: lying (false language), a double tongue (gossip), ill speaking (slander), and improper language (careless language).
“Right Action” means daily conduct according to the precepts of the Buddha. For this purpose it is important to refrain from the “three evils of the body” that hinder right actions, careless killing, stealing. and harmful sexual practices.
“Right Living” means to gain food, clothing, shelter and the other necessities of life in a right way. This teaches us not to earn our livelihood through work that makes trouble for others or through a vocation useless to society but to live on a justifiable income that we can obtain through right work, a vocation useful to others.
“Right Endeavor” means to engage constantly in right conduct without being idle or deviating from the right way, avoiding such wrongs as the three evils of the mind, the four evils of the mouth, and the three evils of the body mentioned above.
“Right Memory” means to practice with a right mind as the Buddha did. It cannot be truly said that we have the same mind as the Buddha unless we have a right mind not only toward ourselves but also toward others, and still further, toward all things. If we hope that only we ourselves may be right, we will become stubborn and self satisfied people who are alienated from the world. We cannot say we have the same mind as the Buddha unless be address ourselves to all things in the universe with a fair and right mind.
“Right Meditation” means always be determined to believe in the teachings of the Buddha and not to be agitated by any change of circumstances. This teaches us to practice consistently the right teaching of the Buddha.
Taken altogether, the doctrine of the Eightfold Path is the teaching that shows us the right way to live our daily lives.
THE EIGHTFOLD PATH
1. Right View To see all things rightly, based on the Buddha' s wisdom,
which discerns and understands the principle of the
Reality of all Existence.
2. Right Thinking To think rightly, avoiding the three evils of the mind.
3. Right Speech To speak right words, avoiding the four evils of the mouth.
4. Right Action To act rightly, avoiding the three evils of the body.
5. Right Living To gain food, clothing, shelter, and other daily necessities
in a right way.
6. Right Endeavor Never to do evil.
7. Right Memory To have a continuous right mind toward both oneself and
8. Right Meditation To strive constantly for the true Law and be fixed and
settled in it.