Do good, avoid evil and purify the mind
Sounds easy right… Well maybe not so easy when you live in today’s world.
Buddha’s advice is something that I have been trying to incorporating into my life for a number of years now. I am certainly not saying I am perfect at it, in fact I am downright shocking at it most of the time. My spiritual program is Pagan centric with Buddhist Philosophy and elements of many other religious paradigms.
One thing I am trying to develop however is my spiritual maturity. Part of this process is to live according to the Noble Eight-Fold Path. This level of spiritual maturity is not superficial observance. It means a serious and mindful adherence to each and every fact of the Path.
It takes determination and diligence to a level I might not have acquired as yet but something I can work towards. Life is about progress not perfection after all.
The Eight-Fold Path can be summarised into its three aspect of sila (morality), samadhi (mental development), and panna (wisdom).
1. Right Speech – To refrain from lying, slander, harsh words and gossip. To cultivate truthful, peaceful, kind and meaningful speech.
2. Right Action – To abstain from killing, stealing and sexual misconduct. To cultivate harmlessness, honesty and faithfulness.
3. Right Livelihood – To avoid occupations involving killing (both humans and animals), the sale of animal flesh, the trading of humans, weapons, poisons and intoxicants. Occupation which are unethical, immoral and illegal should also be avoided.
Mental Development Group
4. Right Effort – To apply mental discipline to prevent unwholesome thoughts from arising, and to dispel unwholesome thoughts that have arisen. To develop wholesome thoughts, and to maintain those wholesome thoughts that have arisen.
4. Right Mindfulness – To be aware of the body, and bodily postures and sensations. To be aware of the mind and its thoughts, emotions and feelings. To be aware of the Dhamma.
6. Right Concentration – To practice meditation to train the mind to be focused and disciplined in order to cultivate and acquire wisdom.
7. Right Understanding – To understand and accept the Four Noble Truths
8. Right Thought – To cultivate thoughts of generosity, loving-kindness and compassion.
If you are unaware the Four Noble Truths are:
1. All beings are subject to Dukkha (suffering)
2. Dukkha arises from desire and craving.
3. Dukkha can be overcome by the elimination of desire and craving.
4. There is a way out of the Dukkha, which is the Noble Eight-Fold Path.
Lofty goals and a simple yet difficult path to live. I will continue to live life as closely as I can to these principles while facing life’s adventures head on!
What spiritual path do you follow?
P.S. All photos are from my 2011 trip to Nepal where I stayed at Kopan Monastery just outside Kathmandu. It was at Kopan I got the courage to start this blog with this First Blog Post