The Buddhist Eightfold Path defines the direction to the end of suffering, as described by Siddhartha Gautama (nobel).
The first, and the last, principle of the Path is Right View. This means to see and understand the world as it really is and to understand the Four Noble Truths. The second is Right Intention. This focuses on an individual’s mental energy that controls their actions (eight-fold)
Right Speech is the first code of ethical behaviour in the eightfold path. The importance of speech is clear: “words can break or save lives, make enemies or friends, start war or create peace” (nobel). Essentially, the guidelines are to tell the truth, to speak in a friendly, warm manner, and to only speak when necessary. The second ethical principle is Right Action and refers to actions that involve the body. This code advises to act kindly and compassionately, to be honest, to respect others’ belongings, and for sexual relationships to be harmless to others.
The fifth principle is Right Action, and this simply means that a living should be earned in a righteous way. The sixth is Right Effort which can be viewed as a requirement for the other Path principles. Without effort, nothing can be accomplished, while misguided effort distracts the mind and results in confusion.
The final two principles are Right Mindfulness, the mental ability to see things as they truly are, and Right Concentration, referring to the mental force that occurs in natural consciousness. Right Concentration is described as a state of mind where all mental abilities are united and focused onto one particular object (eightfold).
The Eightfold Path appears to encourage a responsible and harmless lifestyle. If I were to follow the Path I would have to change various current elements of my life. Firstly, I would need to give up eating meat. I would also need to speak a lot less than I do now, as one of the guidelines is to speak only when necessary (nobel). Living by this code would make me more thoughtful of other people and their feelings, and about the ‘bigger picture’ of life.
“The Eight-Fold Path.” Buddhanet. Web. 21 March. 2011. http://www.buddhanet.net/e-
“The Nobel Eightfold Path.” The Big View. Web. 21 March. 2011.
“The Eightfold Path.” Access to Insight. Web. 21 March. 2011.