Last week, I wrote about the teachings of Buddha, which said that life is suffering and that desire causes that suffering. Buddha also taught that the Eightfold Path was a way to end that suffering. 

What is this path that not only removes suffering but also brings us to Nirvana (a place of peace and happiness)? 

Right View: We remember our actions have consequences and can prevent future unnecessary pain by becoming more mindful of every act of body, speech, and mind.

Right intention: We become committed to fostering moment-to-moment mindfulness of thought. Beneficial living begins with a calm, present, and stable mind. 

Right Speech:  We refrain from lying, clearly communicating, speaking divisively, harshly, or abusively,  and avoiding idle speech (gossip).

Right Action: We refrain from physical misdeeds, i.e., killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct.  Instead, we actively support life, practice giving, and respect the relationships and boundaries of others.

Right Livelihood: We are committed to ethical business practices, which means not harming others or our planet, cheating, deceiving, or behaving in harmful ways.

Right Effort: We persistently nurture skillful, beneficial behaviors. 

Right Mindfulness:  We train ourselves to watch our thoughts, speech, and actions, avoiding slipping into the habitual behaviors that cause harm. 

Right Concentration: The previous elements successfully withdraw us from the distractions that keep us in an unbeneficial state of mind. This results in experiencing the bliss (Nirvana) that arises from having freed ourselves from our pain. 

Although Buddhism may not be our spiritual path, we can strive for a life of peace and happiness regardless of where our spiritual journey takes us.

Quote of the Week

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

For more of Arlene’s weekly messages, her book Finding Your Way: Weekly Messages to Guide You on Your Journey is available on Amazon.

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