The eight fold path is the path to Nirvana. It comprises of eight aspects which must be practised to reach nirvana. These are: right views, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration.
The noble eight fold path is sometimes divided into three divisions. It is separated into three groups as follows: Wisdom, which includes right view and right intention, ethical conduct which includes right speech, right action and right livelihood and finally concentration which includes right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. Walpola Rahula states the divisions of the eight fold path ‘are to be developed more or less simultaneously, as far as possible according to the capacity of each individual. They are linked together and each helps the cultivation of the others’. This means without wisdom, the other noble paths wouldn’t work and vice versa.
The first ‘right way’ in wisdom is right view. Right view is the correct way of looking at life, nature and the world as they really are. It is the understanding on how our reality works. It also explains the reasons for human existence, suffering, sickness, aging, death, the existence of greed, hatred and delusion. Right view is supposed to give directions to the other seven path factors. It begins with concepts, but through the practice of right concentration, it gradually becomes transmuted into wisdom, which can eradicate the fetters of the mind. A ‘fetter of the mind’ is a chain or bond that it is in one’s mind attaching to things they don’t need, and causes Dukkha when the object goes. By cutting all fetters one achieves nirvana.
Right view has three major points that a Buddhist must understand the concept of. Firstly is the moral law of karma. This is the concept that every action (by way of body, speech, and mind) will have karmic results (a.k.a. reaction). Wholesome and unwholesome actions will produce results and effects that correspond with the nature of that action. It is the right view about the moral process of the world. The next point is everything that arises will cease (impermanence). Mental and body phenomena are impermanent, source of suffering and not-self. And finally suffering: Birth, aging, sickness, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, distress, and despair are suffering. Not being able to obtain what one wants is also suffering. ‘Life is nothing but suffering and pain’ – Buddha.
The next right way in wisdom is right intention. Right intention is the intention and resolve to give up the causes of suffering, to give up ill-will and to adopt harmlessness. It contrasts with wrong intention, which involves craving for worldly things (wealth, sex, and power) and the wish to harm. Right Intention can be mundane, or without taints. Thoughts…