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Eightfold Path Essay

953 words - 4 pages

Buddhists believed in order to reach a state of cessation, or nirvana, steps must be taken to achieve elimination of all suffering. These steps are considered to be the Noble Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path consists of eight steps that lead to arhatship, the “state of one who has awakened” (Noss, pg. 182). These steps do not need to be completed in order, but can be obtained simultaneously. The eightfold path was created from the fourth truth of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, one of the most important teachings of Buddhism. A contemporary Buddhist would be able to live a life in our modern times, and be able to follow the eightfold path.
The first step is right belief. This path ...view middle of the document...

The fifth step is right means of livelihood, which simply means picking an occupation that is in accordance with Buddhist principles. A contemporary Buddhist would just need to find a job that allows them to enjoy their job, and not to cause any problems for others or for nature and the environment around us. For example, a position with a company that recycles paper would be considered a right means of livelihood. The sixth step is right effort, the process of concentrating on good thoughts and pushing out the bad thoughts. This can be accomplished by focusing on kindness and honesty, and pushing away violence and mean thoughts towards others. The seventh step is right mindfulness. Right mindfulness involves being aware with every aspect surrounding us, and being conscious of our thoughts. It is considered part of the foundation for meditation. Buddhism includes the four foundations of mindfulness: focusing on your body, your feelings, your state of mind, and your mental qualities. A contemporary Buddhist can practice this through meditation and by focusing on paying attention to all the positive details in their lives. The eighth and final step is right meditation or absorption. This includes the concentration of meditation, where the mind focuses on one object, normally a positive aspect. This final step is necessary to reach arhatship, and eventually leads to nirvana. Contemporary Buddhists use right absorption to focus their meditation, and to find balance and peace in their lives.
Now that I have analyzed Buddhism, I find that the practices of the Eightfold Path to be very enlightening. Whether a person is Buddhist or not, all of these steps should be implemented just to be a better person. If I followed...

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