BUDDHA’S EIGHTFOLD PATH Charles Day* www.desmoinesmeditation.org 1.

Right (wise, skillful) Understanding: Of the Four Noble Truths: Suffering is universal. It is caused by attachment to desires, aversions, and the illusion of a independent and autonomous sense of self. It can be eliminated and the bliss of enlightenment attained by transcending the sense of self or ego and realizing that everybody and everything is interconnected. The way to end suffering and realize one’s already enlightened nature is to follow this Eightfold Path. 2. Right Thoughts: Practice wholesome thinking by intentionally acknowledging and weakening unwholesome and negative thoughts related to selfish greed, anger, harming, and self-centeredness - the primary causes of suffering - and cultivating harmonious thoughts of selfless detachment, renunciation, generosity, good will, nonviolence, lovingkindness, compassion, joy in the happiness and good fortune of others and peaceful equanimity. 3. Right Speech: Practice truthfulness and kind speech by refraining from lying, deception, and exaggeration; slander, gossip, and malicious speech; harsh, abusive, and profane speech; and useless, idle, and unnecessary speech. 4. Right Action: Practice nonharming and reverence for all life by refraining from killing and harming living beings; from stealing, exploitation, and taking what is not freely given; from abusive and inappropriate sexuality and sensuality; and from abusing alcohol, drugs, and toxic entertainment and conversations. 5. Right Livelihood: Refrain from earning a living or profiting by any means that directly or indirectly causes harm to oneself or others, such as occupations involving cheating, exploitation, deception, and greed; trade in living beings, such as slavery, prostitution, raising animals for slaughter, and butchery; or trade in weapons, meat, poisons, and intoxicants. 6. Right Effort: Diligently, courageously, energetically, and persistently practice cultivating and strengthening wholesome, beneficial, and positive thoughts, speech, and behaviors, and eliminating, avoiding, and letting go of unwholesome, harmful, divisive and negative thoughts, speech, and behaviors. 7. Right Mindfulness: Practice meditation and mindful observance of moment-tomoment sensations, perceptions, feelings, emotions, and thoughts without impulsively reacting with judgements, decisions, commentaries, and stories. 8. Right Concentration: Practice the sustained present-moment mindfulness that leads to weakening attachments; transcending desires, aversions, and the sense of an autonomous, independent self; and attaining the mental states of pure joy, equanimity, and happiness that are not dependent on external or interval events. ________________________________________________________________

*Contact Charlie Day at (515) 255-8398, www.desmoinesmeditation.org or charlesday1@mchsi.com to discuss meditation and Buddhism. 10-8

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