The Eightfold Path

Lately, I have been introduced through a series of “lessons” to a Buddhist belief system called The Eightfold Path.  In very very lament terms,  The Eightfold Path is:

1.    Right View 2.    Right Intention 3.    Right Speech 4.    Right Action 5.    Right Livelihood 6.    Right Effort 7.    Right Mindfulness 8.    Right Concentration

The Path is divided into three main sections: wisdom, ethical conduct and mental discipline.

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.

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.

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.

 In my most recent “lesson”, I learned about #5, “Right Livelihood”.  This can mean anything from “Are you working in the right type of job” to “are you being good to your body in order to live a healthy life” and everything in between.

Since the theme of most of my writing revolved around healthy living, I made strong connection to “Right livelihood”.  Wouldn’t it be a dream if we could wake every day loving what we do for a living, loving our life and loving how we treat our bodies? 

I know I will be thinking about “Right Livelihood” this whole week; looking for areas of pure joy, acceptance and of ways to treat myself with kindness, love and respect.  I will choose to exercise in a manner which will help me live a life of vitality and eat nutritious food to allow me to feel even better than I already do!  I hope something in the Eightfold path can inspire you as well this week!