If we understand where suffering comes from (afflictive emotions) and where well-being arises from (virtue), we willingly follow this path as a map to living a wholesome life. Imagine if every person, every organization, every government committed to this pathway? We indeed would create a peaceful society and healthy planet. Global change starts from individual responsibility. When we change, we influence our family, friends, co-workers, community, and beyond.
The 8-Fold Path is a map to awaken our innate goodness. This is a daily life training to orient our lives to become meaningful and contribute to the well-being of others (therefore inherently giving rise to our own happiness). The path is broken down into categories called “The Three Trainings" : ethical conduct, meditation, and wisdom.
TRAINING IN WISDOM:
The 8-fold path is based on the wisdom of interconnection- which is called “right view.” All life is independently linked. Nothing exists on its own, therefore every action impacts the whole. This leads us to “right intention” in which we train to act in ways that benefit others, rather than through simply benefitting ourselves.
TRAINING IN ETHICAL CONDUCT:
To put that into practice, we develop speech that is kind, respectful and true. Words that bring about a better society, rather than cause harm. Naturally, we become inspired to act accordingly in ways that bring about benefit in everyday life. With this commitment in mind, we are naturally moved to live a lifestyle and choose work that is in alignment with our values.
TRAINING IN MEDITATION:
Samadhi means deep, calm, concentration. In order for innate wisdom to naturally arise, we must cultivate a calm mind. This requires diligent effort in our commitment to ethical conduct, and dedication to act joyfully for the welfare of others. Therefore right effort is a support for all three trainings. We develop right mindfulness to remember our commitment to virtue and cultivate keen awareness in our everyday moment to moment actions. Right concentration is training our mind to come into single minded focus, not allowing our mind to wander aimlessly lost in meaningless or negative thoughts. Mindfulness remembers what we are focused on, they go hand in hand.
Each pillar of the 8-fold path is interconnected and interdependent. We encourage you to contemplate this wisdom and bring it deeply into your life. These are the direct causes for the rise of a just and thriving world.
To bring these Daily ask yourself, "How can I apply the 10 virtues?"