1. Right Understanding is the knowledge of the Four Noble Truths.
In other words, it is the understanding of oneself as one really is.
The keynote of Buddhism is this Right Understanding. Buddhism is based
on knowledge and not on unreasonable belief.
2. Right Thoughts are threefold. They are:
- 1) The thoughts of renunciation which are opposed to sense-pleasures.
- 2) Kind Thoughts which are opposed to ill-will.
- 3) Thoughts of harmlessness which are opposed to cruelty.
These tend to purify the mind.
3. Right Speech deals with refraining from falsehood, stealing,
slandering, harsh words and frivolous talks
4. Right Action deals with refraining from killing, stealing
and unchastity. It helps one to develop a character that is self-controlled
and mindful of right of others.
5. Right Livelihood deals with the five kinds of trades which
should be avoided by a lay disciple. They are:
trade in deadly weapons trade in animals for slaughter
trade in slavery trade in intoxicants trade in poisons
Right Livelihood means earring ones living in a way that is not harmful
6. Right Effort is fourfold, namely:
Effort is needed to cultivate Good Conduct or develop one's mind, because
one is often distracted or tempted to take the easy way out of things.
The Buddha teaches that attaining happiness and Enlightenment depends
upon one's own efforts. Effort is the root of all achievement. If one
wants to get to the top of a mountain, just sitting at the foot thinking
about it will not bring one there. It is by making the effort of climbing
up the mountain, step by step, that one eventually reaches the summit.
Thus, no matter how great the Buddha's achievement may be, or how excellent
His Teaching is, one must put the Teaching into practice before one can
expect to obtain the desired result.
- the endeavor to discard evil that has already arisen.
- the endeavor to prevent the arising of unrisen evil.
- the endeavour to develop that good which has already arisen.
- the endeavour to promote that good which has not already arisen.
7. Right Mindfulness is also fourfold:
- mindfulness with regard to body
- mindfulness with regard to feeling
- mindfulness with regard to mind
- mindfulness with regard to mental objects.
Right Mindfulness is the awareness of one's deeds, words and thoughts.
8. Right Meditation
Meditation means the gradual process of training the mind to focus
on a single object and to remain fixed upon the object without wavering.
The constant practice of meditation helps one to develop a clam and
concentrated mind and help to prepare one for the attainment of Wisdom
and Enlightenment ultimately.