Wisdom, Morality, and Meditation
The Fourth Noble Truth is the Noble Eightfold Path, which is also referred to as “Magga.” The Noble Eightfold Path essentially has three main parts: Wisdom, Morality, and Meditation. These three sections represent the eight sections of the Noble Eightfold Path. Wisdom is broken down into “Right View” and “Right Intention.” Next, morality consists of “Right Speech,” “Right Action,” and “Right Livelihood.” Finally, meditation consists of “Right Effort,” “Right Mindfulness,” and “Right Concentration.” One may think that these eight parts must be followed in a specific order, however, all eight parts work mutually dependent of each other.
Right View is a part of Wisdom and, according to our class lectures, is the “Middle Way between eternalism and nihilism; the emptiness of all things.” Right View distinguishes wholesome (beneficial) things from unwholesome (harmful) things. A few examples of unwholesome things from our class notes are: onslaught of living beings, taking what is not given, sensual misconduct, lying speech, divisive speech (idol speech), harsh speech, covetousness, and wrong view. The roots of unwholesomeness can be narrowed down to three things: greed and desire, hatred and anger, and ignorance and confusion. Thich Nhat Hanh describes the importance of Right View and what it is within chapter 9. Right View is known as samyag drishti. TNH talks about how seeds are planted within our bodies, and everyone has them. I thought it was the coolest analogy when TNH taught of these seeds within our bodies. It seems like everyone has each kind of seed of all different traits, but it depends on whether or not those seeds are watered within our bodies. He says: If you live in an environment where your seed of loyalty is watered, you will be a loyal person. But if your seed of betrayal is watered, you may betray even those you love. You’ll feel guilty about it, but if the seed of betrayal in you becomes...
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