Apply the Principles of Buddhism to Improve Your Life
Wisdom can be found everywhere. Often wisdom is found where the smartest people have spent the most time applying thought. Historically the smartest people have spent there time trying to figure out the how life works under the banner of religion including Buddhism.
One such man who we know as the Buddha meditated for years and had some insights into the nature of experience. These teachings can be applied today to help guide us to happier more fulfilling lives.
The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism
The first noble truth is that life is “dukkha”. Dukkha (Duke-hah) is typically translated as suffering. Which people take to mean life is bad, or unpleasant. But what the Buddha means is life is unable to satisfy. That ultimately the temporary, transient nature of Earthly existence isn’t fulfilling. But life can be understood differently. Misery and sorrow are conditioned states.
The second is that dukkha has a cause. It’s caused by our expectations. By us expecting permanent happiness from temporary, changing things. By us hoping to continue to live even though death is inevitable. That our suffering has a cause.
The third Noble Truth is that its possible for our suffering to end. Dukkha can be stopped by halting the feelings of desire and fear. That our suffering has an end.
The fourth is that the pathway to liberation from dukkha is by following the Eightfold Path. Which is a way of living your life that disengages one from craving and clinging.
The Eightfold Path to a Fulfilling Life
The eightfold path of Buddhism is a way of living your life. It shows you which areas to prioritize and whats important.
Right attention to Understanding – This means a thorough understanding of the Buddhist principles. It can also be interpreted as only believing and acting on truthful information.
Right attention to Intention – to pay attention to what motivates our actions. Is it love? Or something painful like anger, jealousy or fear?
Right attention to Speech – Communicate in an honest, transparent way. Are you lying to achieve your own end or cause needless suffering?
Right attention to Action – to pay attention to our actions. Do they help others, or the world? Do they cause suffering?
Right Livelihood – This means making your living in a way you can be proud of. In as way that makes the world better and makes you joyful to be a part of.
Right Effort – This means an effort to make the absolute best of ourselves and our abilities to contribute to the world.
Right Mindfulness – Being mindful of our impacts on others and the world. Being empathetic and thoughtful to othe people.
Right Concentration – Following a meditation practice in order to further our spiritual practices and better regulate our emotions.
By assessing how our priorities compare to those of the eightfold path we can assess how we’re doing. I bet there are some areas you can work on, as there are for all of us.
I challenge you to pick one of these areas and focus on improving your life in that area. Good luck!
If you’re interested in reading further about Buddhism. I recommend this book.
Share this article if you found this information helpful and comment which of the eightfold path steps you’ve decided to focus on.