- Right Understanding
- Right Thought
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Concentration
The eightfold path is the heart of Buddhism, but it can be followed by everybody, even if they are atheists.
Once a friend of mine who was a non-believer couldn’t join an esoteric society, because it was necessary to swear on the Bible to be admitted. Despite he liked esotericism very much, he refused to swear on the Bible. In fact, he had no intention of giving up his atheistic ideas. Later, he said to me that he wouldn’t have raised difficulties if he had been asked to swear on Gautama Buddha’s Eightfold Path which was compatible with his ideas.
Actually, the Eightfold Path is a way of living; it can help everybody to live a better life.
- Right Understanding means to understand things as they really are, not as they appear to our deluded mind. How many times we misunderstand people and situations, and mistake candles for lanterns!
- Right Thought. Our thoughts are subject to the “Law of Attraction”; the more pure they are, the more they attract pureness.
- Right Speech – Right Action – Right Livelihood are related to keeping good moral conduct.
- Right Effort indicates that we have to put an effort in our spiritual life. A little effort is needed if we want to grow as spiritual beings. Without a proper effort we live a lazy life, which clouds the mind instead of elevating the spirit.
- Right Mindfulness. This recommendation is particularly useful when a person is too sensitive to self-pride. As for me, in the past whenever somebody offended or made fun of me, my self-proud was so wounded that I easily lost my self-control and was unable to see things, people and situations as they real are. Nowadays I strive to be more mindful, without ever being clouded, whether good or bad, by life events.
- Right Concentration is also called right meditation. Whenever we meditate, we should focus our attention on one single object, without being distracted by trivial worries.What about trying the Eightfold Path in your ordinary daily life? Is it difficult for you?
- Ettore Grillo, author of A Hidden Sicilian History