The Path of a Buddhist
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Today, Buddhism has an estimated seven hundred million followers, known as Buddhists. Most practicing Buddhists believe in ideas such as karma, dharma, samsara and nirvana. In addition to these, Buddhists base their lives and actions on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. Taught by Gautama, the Noble Eightfold path is a theory, that when put into action, serves as a way to end suffering (The Noble Eightfold Path). In Buddhism, the belief is that life is suffering. Through out his life, Gautama, searched endlessly for a means of liberation from this suffering. The Noble Eightfold Path is a series of principles that serve as guidelines to ethical and mental development which ideally lead to understanding the truth about all things. These principles are also intended to teach discipline and proper ways to interact in relationships with others (Bodhi). In order to follow the Noble Eightfold Path one must not only know about each path but also put it in to action. The Noble Eightfold Path can be divided into three sections; wisdom, ethical conduct or virtue, and mental development or concentration. Each section contains a different number of principles. The category of wisdom includes Right Understanding or Right View and Right Thought or Right Intention. Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood can be found in the category of Virtue and finally Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration fall under Mental Development. Right View means to see and to understand things as they really are and to realize the Four Noble Truths. It is a teaching used to help one veer away from the politics of our everyday society and helps one to see the need to avoid harmful ways of life and negative thoughts. It also provides a means to grasp the impermanent and imperfect nature of worldly things, and to understand the law of...
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