The Eightfold Path is the means by which enlightenment may be realized. Buddha Shakyamuni explained the Eightfold Path in the first sermon after his enlightenment, preserved in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. There he sets forth a middle way between the extremes of asceticism and sensual indulgence.
The Eightfold Path is:
1. Right View – an accurate understanding of the nature of things, specifically the Four Noble Truths
2. Right Intention – avoiding thoughts of attachment, hatred, and harmful intent,
3. Right Speech – refraining from verbal misdeeds such as lying, divisive speech, harsh speech, and senseless speech
4. Right Action – refraining from physical misdeeds such as killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct,
5. Right Live – avoiding trades that directly or indirectly harm others, such as selling slaves, weapons, animals for slaughter, intoxicants, or poisons
6. Right Effort – abandoning negative states of mind that have already arisen, preventing negative states that have yet to arise, and sustaining positive states that have already arisen,
7. Right Mindfulness – awareness of body, feelings, thought, and phenomena (the constituents of the existing world),
8. Right Concentration single-mindedness.
The Path is divided into three main sections: wisdom, ethical conduct and mental discipline.
1.Wisdom: Right View and Right Intention are the wisdom path.
Right View is not about believing in doctrine, but in perceiving the true nature of ourselves and the world around us.
Right Intention refers to the energy and commitment one needs to be fully engaged in Buddhist practice.
2.Ethical Conduct: Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood are the ethical conduct path.
This calls us to take care in our speech, our actions, and our daily lives to do no harm to others and to cultivate wholesomeness in ourselves.
3. Mental Discipline: Through Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration we develop the mental discipline to cut through delusion. Many schools of Buddhism encourage seekers to meditate to achieve clarity and focus of mind.
I read the above on White Tara Facebook page and it really resonated with me and I wanted to share.