January 4, 2011


This is the Part 1 of the Eightfold Path: Right View. Enjoy
The Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path:
1. Right View
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration
Although this sequence isn’t particularly chronological, in my experience Right View helped the development of Right Intention, which in turn helped the development of Right Speech, and so on down the list.
Part 1. Right View
Gaining a proper understanding of Right View is the first step in realizing liberation through The Eightfold Path. Right View is sometimes translated as “right perspective”, “right vision” or “right understanding”. It revealed to me a way of seeing life as it truly is in the present moment, rather than experiencing life as conceptualized within the confines of my thinking mind. The practice of Right View helps me understand that I create my own suffering, and happiness for that matter. I learned that I must be personally responsible for maintaining peace and tranquility of mind because nobody else can do it for me. Once I had really established Right View for myself, I was able to free myself from my fear of inevitable sickness, aging and my eventual death. Once I stopped conceptualizing these states of being I was able to make my peace with them and move on. In day-to-day life, the practice of Right View helps me eradicate the moment-to-moment distractions of my thinking mind. In the big picture, the practice of Right View reveals the base nature of human existence and Ultimate Reality.
Right View has also revealed to me the Law of Karma, such that every action in body, speech and mind will have a likewise reaction depending on your intention. To put it simply, if you wish to have a life free of suffering you must act with that intention in everything you do. If your intentions cause harm to those around you, it should be no surprise that someone else intends to harm you. Violence feeds violence. Only non-violence brings peace. I have certainly found this to be the case in my own experience.
Right View also revealed to me the nature of impermanence, such that all things are subject to change. Nothing is absolute, or static. There is no birth, no death, only change. Fear of death exists in all of us, and it holds us back. We weren’t designed to last forever. We all have to make our peace with death before we can really live. Take advantage of your time right here right now before it’s too late.
As an example of how to understand Right View, consider a leaf on a tree. You may look at a leaf on a tree and allow your mind to create all kinds of distinctions about the leaf. You could compare its color to other leaves. You could compare its size and shape to other leaves. You could think about how old the leaf is or consider how long until it falls from its branch. You could give the leaf a personality and create its life story. You could consider all kinds of “What Ifs”. Like, what if a gust of wind comes along and breaks the leaf free of the branch? What if the tree catches fire? What if the leaf has magic powers?
Or, you could just sit down, quiet your mind and meditate on the leaf. This is how you get to know the leaf as expressed through Right View. With Right View, you can see that the leaf has no beginning and no end. You can see that the leaf is connected to the tree that is connected to the Earth that is connected to the sky. You can see that the rain that falls from the sky is in the leaf. You can see that the leaf produces the oxygen we all need to breathe. You can see that the veins in a leaf grow in the same way that the veins in your body grow. You can see that when the leaf is dry and old, it falls to the ground, disintegrates, becomes fertilizer for the tree, and is again reborn as the tree itself and everything around it. With Right View, you will see that you and the leaf are in fact One.
And once you have established Right View for yourself, you will also see that as a human being you were meant to be happy, content, and loved. Simple as that.
From the Dhammapada:
“All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, made by mind.
Speak or act with a corrupted mind,
And suffering follows
As the wagon wheel follows the hoof of the ox.
All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, made by mind.
Speak or act with a peaceful mind,
And happiness follows
Like a never-departing shadow.”
courtesy BY MIKE GIANT

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