An Analysis of the Eight Fold Path of Buddhism

Topics: Noble Eightfold Path, Gautama Buddha, Buddhism Pages: 3 (924 words) Published: February 6, 2011
The Eightfold Path is a way that leads to the stopping of suffering and the achievement of self awakening. This instrument was brought forth through the teachings of the Buddha, Gautama Buddha. He taught his disciples how to follow this path how he did, so they may have self awakening and liberation. The eight steps in the Eightfold Path are as follows: Right belief, Right purpose, Right speech, Right conduct, Right livelihood, Right effort, Right mindfulness, and Right meditation or concentration. In Buddha’s time, if a potential Arahat strayed from the Eightfold Path or the Four Noble Truths, he would have to confess his sin or sins to the public. They followed it very strictly and took it very seriously for they wanted to be able to reach Nirvana. Nirvana is “the unconditioned state of liberation, release from the cycle of rebirth-redeath” (Noss, 2008, 2003: 185). In present time, we live in a very fast-paced, high-stress environment. I wonder if a present day Buddhist would be able to live life in accordance with the Eightfold Path.

The first step in the Eightfold Path is Right belief. The Right belief can also be translated as "right perspective", "right vision" or "right understanding". It is the right way of looking at life, nature and the world as they really are. It acts as the reasoning for the practitioner to start practicing the path. It gives direction and efficacy to the other seven path factors (Encyclopedia, Aug.2006). Another way of looking at the Right belief phrased in a contemporary form is: First you must see clearly what is wrong (Soccio, 2007: 51). The second step is Right purpose. In this step, the Arahat should constantly try to succeed at ridding themselves of whatever qualities that they know are wrong and immoral. Correct understanding of Right purpose will help the Arahat to distinguish the differences between right intention and wrong intention (Encyclopedia, Aug.2006). A contemporary definition of Right purpose is: Next you...
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