The Eight Fold Path Essay

1067 words - 5 pages

The foundation of Buddhism as laid out by Buddha Siddharthe Guatama is summarized by The Four Noble Truths and The Eight-Fold Path. The Four Noble Truths deal primarily with the suffering and negative aspects of the human condition. The first three Truths include 1) All life entails suffering, 2) The cause of suffering is desire, 3) Removing desire removes suffering. While these three deal only with the flaws of the human condition and fail to offer a viable solution, the fourth Noble Truth attempts to lead the believer on the right path to nirvana. The way for removing desire is to follow the Eight-Fold Path. The Eight-Fold Path is a step-by-step "program" that if followed correctly ...view middle of the document...

Possibly the most broad step on the Path is right view. This idea really lays down the foundation for the steps to follow. Right view simply means seeing everything around you as what it really is and stands for. The idea of understanding karma is also found in this first step. I find that the more I try to see things for what they really are in life, the more I understand. Through practice, an unlimited amount of wisdom can be attained if I simply take time to understand the true importance of every single thing I come in contact with. Right intentions can also be related to this idea of wisdom but in a different way. The right intentions that I have are simply my mental right views being expressed in a real and tangible way. The next three steps deal with our ethical decisions and interactions with the world. There's a popular saying in today's society that goes something like this: "sticks and stones may break by bones but words can never hurt me". Each and every person on this Earth knows that saying has absolutely no truth whatsoever. Harmful words can often do more damage to an individual than any form of physical abuse could do. The third step in the Eight-Fold Path, right speech, attempts to help us tame our tongue which can often be the hardest step to follow. This idea of right speech is broken down in Buddhism to include words of honest, words of kindness, words that are nurturing, and words that are worthy. Following these guidelines in my person life would not only make me a better person but would probably lead to more friends as well. The Eight-Fold Path not only makes us stronger mentally but also physically. The fourth step of right action is similar to the Christian idea of treating your body like the temple. This step includes abstaining from anything that hurts or weakens your body, suicide,...

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