Interpretation of The Eightfold Path of Buddhism

I would just like to tell you a little bit about the Eightfold Path according to the Buddhist tradition.

Now, first of all, I am not an expert on Buddhism nor an expert on the Noble Eightfold Path or the Four Noble Truths, but I am studying and getting ready for our trip to Thailand. I thought I would try to learn a little more about the Buddhist tradition. It’s so fascinating because it is a tradition that predates Christianity. It’s a tradition that in its simplest form is a practice and not a religion.

So, in the next few weeks, we’re going to be discovering the Noble Eightfold Path. And then who knows? We may go into the Four Noble Truths. But to just give you a little bit of background on what the Noble Eightfold Path is:

The Eightfold Path is truly steps that are referred to as a path and not meant to be done in sequential order. It is about eight aspects of life. It is about the integration of those aspects into your everyday life.


What is the Eightfold Path of Buddhism?

The Eightfold Path is meant to be the heart of the middle way, or to bring balance from the extremities of life, the extremes of pain and suffering, and bring them into a place of balance, and seeking a sort of a tradition. It’s properly understood or right understanding, as is one of the Eightfold paths, to be a forerunner of the Buddhist tradition.

It encounters the symbolism that all of Buddhism teaches.

The simplicity of right view, right speech, and right intent, right understanding, right concentration, and right focus.

eightfold path of buddhism steps
Illustration by Joeaux Robey from Awakening the Buddha Within Series

There are eight. We’ll be hearing them in the next few weeks. And again, everywhere you look, they may have just a few different words to describe it. I taught it at a church, I was attending, about the Eightfold Path, as a means of self-discovery. It’s about the Buddhist tradition or the Buddhist practice of being mindful of where you are and what you’re doing. It’s about being present in your life. With the Eightfold Path, it is truly a means of rebirth.

And without suffering, rebirth, moving towards Nirvana, which is, again, part of what the Four Noble Truths are and the Eightfold Path. As you are discovering in the next few weeks about this tradition, I would like you to just really sort of sit with this after each of our weekly messages. Just sit with the energy of it and see what the descriptions mean to you? What does it mean to focus on the right view or the way you choose to carry your vision into the world? What does it mean to focus on right speech, what you are choosing to communicate?

How does right livelihood play into your life at all or right effort? What effort are you putting forth in the world that would be considered the busy work, non-tradition, working against your soul? In Buddhism…again, I’m not an expert, so I don’t want to hear from all the Buddhists out there and tell me what I’m doing wrong. This is my interpretation of the Eightfold Path, and that is to develop a practice of living in your life with your focus on what would be a consistent realm of presence. A consistent realm of information and connection with the world around you that brings everything into a place of balance in its simplest form. That’s the Eightfold Path according to Marilyn Harper.

Eightfold Path Steps

  1. Right vision or Right Understandingto see things in a different light, to see things in the way of seeing their differences and seeing their similarities. If you do all things and view them in a standpoint of peace, or as the Buddhist might, see how that changes your view of things for right view according to the Buddha.
  2. Right Intent is the second of the Eightfold Path, and that is about viewing the world with the intention of compassion.
  3. Right Speech it is really about speaking and communicating your truth in a way that others can hear it. And speaking your truth in the way of sharing it in peace, love, and compassion. It is about acknowledging the intent of always speaking with integrity, but it is also about how you communicate things.
  4. Right Action – it means truly an ethical approach to anything that you intend to take action on. And the ethical action that is full of integrity is about approaching any task, anything that is laid before you, with an honoring of connection, an honoring of integrity, that is the right action.
  5. Right Livelihood – If you are not in the right livelihood if you are not in your work or your service that you provide to the world that resonates with your soul, then that is going against the integrity of your soul. So, how can you shift that? Find the reason, and remember what that action is, what is that service that you are providing.
  6. Right Effort – it is about doing things with an attitude that is enthusiastic, an attitude that matches your energy, an attitude of grace, an attitude of excitement, an attitude of clarity. Right Effort is about putting forth the effort to do whatever it takes as congenially and positively as possible, in the way of honor, in the way of connection. It could be enthusiasm.
  7. Right Mindfulness – It means to simply be mindful of your present situation, of your presence, of your divine presence, being mindful of how you are moving through the world, being mindful of others in the world, and what their needs, and wants, and desires are in relationship to yours.
  8. Right Concentration – Being able to hold the focus in an uncluttered mind. Right concentration. Being able to hold that intention without allowing the state of the universe, or your house, or your energy, or anything to interrupt your flow of focus, concentration.

So check it out in the next few weeks, and see how the Eightfold Path enters into your world, how paying attention to the way you intend to be mindful in your world, or you intend to focus or concentrate on the task at hand and see how that changes your consciousness. I don’t know, but feel free to make comments down below here, and share your stories. Have a great eight weeks for the Eightfold Path.


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