The Buddha gave us fundamental principles to live by in the Noble Eight Fold Path. They are Right understanding; R/ thoughts; R/Speech; R/actions, R/livelihood; R/effort; R/mindfulness & R/ concentration. To put this into practice we need to know just what is meant by all these Right things he mentioned & knowing is not enough these principals have to be practiced. Every day we need to be aware or mindful of our thoughts, speech & actions. This is not easy it takes effort, perseverance & concentration; we will be distracted, falter, forget & make mistakes. Life is about learning skills to improve things & what better improvement than to improve our self to be calm contented & live in harmony with the world & all its inhabitants. Right understanding is to realise all things are subject to change. So to crave & cling to impermanent things will only cause us anguish. Life is passing all is in flux. We cannot change the inevitable we must accept the universal truths & natural laws. The river runs to the ocean & we will have difficulty unless we go with the flow. Knowing this we can appreciate & share the good fortune & cope with adversity knowing that it will pass. Right thoughts: What we think controls our mood & our outlook on life. If we are aware or mindful of our thoughts we can wisely monitor our thinking & take more control of our life. Our thoughts shape our personality the thoughts we dwell on make us what we are.
Right Speech: The wise know the truth is essential eventually a liar gets found out then trust & credibility is lost. Be mindful & consider before making a comment, what effect will it have, will it help the situation or am I qualified to comment on this subject. Are people interested in my opinion or am I boring them, is my voice disturbing in tone or volume? If what we have to say has no useful purpose then silence is preferable. These are right thoughts to have before airing our views. After all this considering & thinking the opportunity to give our opinion may have passed but no comment is better than foolish remarks we could regret. Sometimes the mouth can run away without the brain.
Right actions are mindful, when you wash dishes are you washing dishes, or trying to get them clean so you can do something else, then you are not mindful. When you eat savour the foods do not gorge consider all your actions carefully. Except in an emergency, circumstances where alert prompt action is essential. Although fear can sometimes lead to wrong decisions, there is a danger in taking action when under strong emotions such as fear, pride, impatience & especially anger. Anger is like temporary insanity. If the occupation we choose to earn a living is something we enjoy work is not drudgery. That is a good thing to remember when deciding on a profession. Right Livelihood involves more than this, others have to be considered besides ones self. The work we do should promote good and do no harm to any sentient being. Every step on The Eight Fold Noble Path complements the other, Right Effort needs Right Thought, Right Mindfulness, and Right Actions, consider how our actions affect others. A calm mind is necessary to advance on The Eight Fold Path.
In the modern world there are so many options, in every aspect of this technological world, where everything is clamouring for attention. We need to stop and calm down to let our thoughts settle. Meditation is needed to achieve a calm mind. Right Concentration, controlling the thoughts that are stirring our mind. Till you try to sit in meditation and concentrate on one single thing, such as counting the inhalation and exhaling of your breath, you may not realise how your thoughts are racing. Once you have learned how to still your mind and get your thoughts under control. You can use the time you would normally be impatiently waiting for an appointment or any dreary wait, to calm your mind and let the world catch up to you. Also to take a few deep breaths can ease pain, control nerves and trigger calmness in stressful situations. In short. Be mindful and the most important thing is, what we are doing now. Give it our best shot, try to stay on target, give it a go make it our life’s aim to do our best and not stray off the righteous path. It’s not a command it’s a challenge a commitment for life that can benefits all.