The Buddha’s Pathway to Enlightenment
- Right View
See and to understand things as they really are and to realize the Four Noble Truth
- Right intention
the intention of renunciation, which means resistance to the pull of desire
the intention of good will, meaning resistance to feelings of anger and aversion
the intention of harmlessness, meaning not to think or act cruelly, violently, or aggressively, and to develop compassion.
- Right Speech:
to abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and not to speak deceitfully
to abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against others
to abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others
to abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth. Positively phrased, this means to tell the truth, to speak friendly, warm, and gently and to talk only when necessary.
Test everything: Is it truthful? Is it useful? Is it kind? Is it time?
- Right conduct (action):
to abstain from harming sentient beings, especially to abstain from taking life (including suicide) and doing harm intentionally or delinquently,
to abstain from taking what is not given, which includes stealing, robbery, fraud, deceitfulness, and dishonesty
to abstain from sexual misconduct. Positively formulated, right action means to act kindly and compassionately, to be honest, to respect the belongings of others, and to keep sexual relationships harmless to others.
- Right Livelihood: Having a job that helps others or at least doesn’t harm others
Any occupation that would violate the principles of right speech and right action should be avoided.
- Right effort
to prevent the arising of unarisen unwholesome states
to abandon unwholesome states that have already arisen
to arouse wholesome states that have not yet arisen, and
to maintain and perfect wholesome states already arisen
- Right mindfulness
contemplation of the body
contemplation of feeling (repulsive, attractive, or neutral)
contemplation of the state of mind
contemplation of the phenomena
- Right concentration
one-pointedness of mind, meaning a state where all mental faculties are unified and directed onto one particular object. The Buddhist method of choice to develop right concentration is through the practice of meditation. The meditating mind focuses on a selected object. It first directs itself onto it, then sustains concentration, and finally intensifies concentration step by step. Through this practice, it becomes natural to apply elevated levels of concentration also in everyday situations.