The Fourth Noble Truth is that we can live in a way that ends craving. This way of life is called the Eightfold Path:
- Right view is understanding the Four Noble Truths.
- Right intention is a strong resolve to awaken — the kind of intention you’d have if your hair were on fire and you wanted to put it out.
- Right speech is avoiding deception, rudeness, crude conversation, and speaking ill of others.
- Right action flows naturally when we release craving and selfish intention.
- Right livelihood is making a living in ways that do not harm other people.
- Right effort in meditation avoids the extremes of laziness and exhaustion by following a “middle path” — being relaxed and alert at the same time.
- Right concentration is the ability to focus attention during meditation.
- Right mindfulness is to using attention see impermanence at work in the present moment.
Please note a few things:
- The Eightfold Path is not a journey to future destination. To practice the path is to be liberated now.
- Each step in the path begins with the word right. However, this word is not used in the sense of right versus wrong. Right in this context means effective and in tune with reality.
- Though we list the elements of the Eightfold Path as separate steps, they are not separate in practice. To take any step is to practice the whole path.
Posts in this series:
- Returning to the Roots of Mindfulness — The Four Noble Truths
- Returning to the Roots of Mindfulness — The First Noble Truth
- Returning to the Roots of Mindfulness — The Second Noble Truth
- Returning to the Roots of Mindfulness — The Third Noble Truth
- Returning to the Roots of Mindfulness — The Fourth Noble Truth
- Returning to the Roots Of Mindfulness — How Modern Authors Distort an Ancient Teaching