The Eightfold Path of Buddhism

Part of the Religion For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The Eightfold Path of Buddhism, also called the Middle Path or Middle Way, is the system of following these eight divisions of the path to achieve spiritual enlightenment and cease suffering:

  • Right understanding: Understanding that the Four Noble Truths are noble and true.

  • Right thought: Determining and resolving to practice Buddhist faith.

  • Right speech: Avoiding slander, gossip, lying, and all forms of untrue and abusive speech.

  • Right conduct: Adhering to the idea of nonviolence (ahimsa), as well as refraining from any form of stealing or sexual impropriety.

  • Right means of making a living: Not slaughtering animals or working at jobs that force you to violate others.

  • Right mental attitude or effort: Avoiding negative thoughts and emotions, such as anger and jealousy.

  • Right mindfulness: Having a clear sense of one’s mental state and bodily health and feelings.

  • Right concentration: Using meditation to reach the highest level of enlightenment.

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