The eight steps on Buddhism's Eightfold path are: Right view, right thought, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. They all interact and interrelate, and are generally not considered to be some kind of linear list. Scholars such as John Snelling have subdivided the list into three main elements: wisdom, morality, and meditation.
My personal preference in life and teaching is to concentrate on the "householder" aspects, plus heart, with the belief and observation that the rest takes care of itself.
Right view--without an accurate perspective, one cannot set balanced goals, let alone achieve them. If someone says "I'm driving from New York to Los Angeles" and gets there, it is reasonable to assume their GPS was accurate.
Right Thought--without managing our thoughts, it is impossible to maintain constant action over time.
Right Speech--without the ability to communicate honestly but compassionately, it is impossible to build mastermind groups, or attract and hold lovers or customers.
Right Conduct--again, critical to nurture relationships either intimate, social, or financial
Right Livelihood--work should be in alignment with laws, ethics, passion, and the concept of "mutual benefit and welfare."
Right Effort--without constant action, all goals remain fantasies. The ego attempt to discount what discipline and simple sweat contribute to fitness, success, and loving relationships is absolute poison.
Right Mindfulness--awareness of self and environment will teach you what is necessary to understand others.
Right Concentration--really, I like the concept of "coherence" more than the usual "focus." To have body, mind, and heart all functioning in the same rhythm, flowing in the same direction. The result is uncommon efficiency.
God knows I struggle with these. My own practice has been a search for the tools necessary to deepen and grow. A few years ago I stopped searching, realizing I had everything I needed--including the chisel necessary to chip away the b.s. that still slows me down, or pulls me into illusion. The only tools I offer are those I use myself.
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Posted by Steven Barnes at 4:37 AM