The Eightfold Path is a series of teachings that were first taught by Buddha after his awakening. He and his followers believed that the Eightfold Path is the only true way to attain enlightenment, and that it was necessary in order for a person to leave their fears, doubts, and negativities behind as they strive for a better existence. The different lessons in the path are related to deeper understandings and appreciations of now just our own lives, but of the lives that we interact with on a daily basis.
- Right Intention – The desire to achieve enlightenment for one’s own unselfish benefit
- Right Speech – Using the power of speech to spread compassion and wisdom
- Right Mindfulness – Being aware of the innate connection between the body and mind
- Right Action – Always striving to act in an ethical and compassionate manner
- Right View – Finding personal insights into what reality and existence is all about
- Right Effort – Spending time building and honing positive qualities
The Four Noble Truths
The Eightfold Path is the fourth and last truth of the Four Noble Truths, which is what Buddha used to achieve his own, personal enlightenment. He taught that it was important that every person take the time to find out what was causing their own unhappiness, and to take the necessary steps to try and remove the sources of that unhappiness. He believed that discovering these truths about ourselves could only be done through the act of meditation, where a person would learn self-truths that they were otherwise blind to previously, whether it’s during a session of meditation or between online bingo games.
Adopting the Eightfold Path isn’t simply following a set of rules, but integrating it fully into one’s life, from the moment they wake up to the moment they fall asleep. It revolves around adopting compassion, patience, and understanding when approaching the many challenges that life throws at us, while also showing compassion to those around us, which includes the animals of nature, and is why many Buddhists around the world are strict vegans or vegetarians.
How To Adopt The Eightfold Path
Every person will interpret Buddha’s teachings in their own way, but it’s important that it’s a long process that can sometimes take many years to fully complete. It means taking the time to learn about the different teachings of Buddha, and how he focuses on what a man or woman can do to shift their existence from one of pain and loneliness to one of solidarity and love, which can only be done by making a series of deep and powerful realisations.
These realisations are what the Buddha himself experienced after he had left his life of luxury. We don’t need to shave our heads, move to the Tibetan mountains, and spend all day, every day meditating. Instead, Buddha teaches that luxuries can be enjoyed in moderation, but that it’s important to always practice a mindful, compassionate existence.