The eightfold path is an essential part of Buddhism. It is one of Buddha’s principal teachings. The eightfold path is a guideline to ethical and mental development with its goal being to free individuals from their attachments and delusions. When the path is followed it eventually leads one to understanding the truth about all things. Only through practice can one attain a higher level of existence and finally reach Nirvana and for that reason much emphasis is put on the practical aspect of the eightfold path. The eight different principles of the path are not meant to be understood as a sequence of single steps but instead they are to be seen as one. The paths need to be seen as having a relationship with one another as they are highly dependent on each other. A Buddhist living in today’s contemporary society may have some issue when following the eightfold path but with determination and faith it is possible live righteously and according to the path.
The right view principle, which is both the beginning and the end of the path, represents wisdom and means that one should see and understand things as they really are (Noss, 2008). It also means that one needs to understand the law of karma. For a practicing Buddhist living in contemporary society the right view principle is the most important to attain. It will help guide them through day to day life, helping them to see what is real and to learn to take things for what they are and not what someone tries to sell them as being true. The next principle is right intention. Right intention is the commitment to both ethical and mental self-improvement. There are three types of right intentions; the intention of renunciation, the intention of goodwill and the intention of harmlessness (Bodhi, 2010). Right speech is the first principle of ethical conduct in the eightfold path. This principle may be hard for some Buddhists to follow completely. There is much temptation in the world today as well as hot tempered...
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