Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Eightfold Path

The Eightfold Path of Right Views, Right Thoughts, Right Speech, Right Conduct [Action], Right Livelihood, Right Effort or Lifestyle, Right Recollection [Mindfulness], and Right Meditation [Concentration] was preached by the Buddha to his first five disciples at Benares, and it remains for us the basic guide for our lives as Buddhists. It begins with Right Views and ends with Right Meditation, but each element of the path depends on all others, so really there is no first step and no last step. The key word is right, from words in Sanskrit and Chinese that mean upright, straight, right, correct. Finding what is upright in attitude, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and meditation, and then doing it - this is our life work.

-Robert Aitken, Encouraging Words
from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

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