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.
With all the greatest intentions and wish for a spiritual awakening I stepped forward on April 1st with a vision. My vision was to be and become a more connected human being. I was to accomplish this via an online group of people doing a month long food cleanse together. We were a group of 7 Southern Hemisphere plus 6 Northern Hemisphere women with an additional wonderful male musician from Italy. It sounded very straight forward and luscious. Together as a group we would fast, meditate and support each other while eliminating nasty foods such as dairy, sugar,meat and coffee etc. What a great way to start lockdown.
So like a keen little participant I followed all the instructions and went cold turkey on cold turkey and deep dived into eating veggies, fruits, drinking smoothies and eating nuts. Man, after one week and many withdrawal headaches the weight came piling off. Weight loss was not my goal. My goal was to rid my temple of toxins and honour my soul with goodness and positivity and feel like a new clean me. But, it’s always nice to feel a bit lighter and float in the air with the ego boosted that yes, I’m losing weight.
At the end of every week we gathered on Zoom to create a space for a workshop. We were never told ahead of time what to expect but I was open to the lessons and wanted to honour my commitment to the group, so keenly joined with eyes wide open. I’m not sure what I was expecting, I think my mind was blank with no expectations. As week one and week two passed I came to realise that the workshop was a sacred place to talk about our emotional progress, awareness and awakening and the class was very positive. The workshops were about creating awareness and connecting to our bodies.
Additionally, we were to partake in a second Zoom call the following day each weekend for a more informal catch up and chat. I felt so many emotions shifts from detoxing, and sharing my insights made me feel enlightened. We were all very valuable, opening up and being supportive to each other.
By the third week I was being to get the feeling of a major shift – and not in a good way. I had somehow, unbeknownst to me started to think I had joined in some kind of eating disorder group. The group chats felt sacred and I didn’t t want to judge anyone especially as we had all let down our guard and were incredibly vulnerable. People were sharing their deepest and darkness burdens and in some way I felt special to be a part of people healing. However, I was now also hearing how fucking shit they really felt about themselves. How much they really felt they were victims and powerless. Issues with ex husband’s, childhood trauma and abuse was freely discussed.
Now, I’ve never seen myself as a victim even, after all the crap been dished out in my life and I’ve never had body issues, but this tone of conversation makes me dark. Pouring out your problems in a group makes me very uncomfortable when there’s a victim mentality. This is when I started to become very confused. I was feeling shame for judging them and was fighting within myself all this torment. I hated myself for the thoughts I had while they poured out their problems. I did want to find something awful in my life to contribute so I confessed to my son being in prison. After revealing this I immediately got the vibe that this was the kind of thing I should not be sharing. I should be only sharing my body issues and self hate.
I felt dark, very dark, very unseen and unheard. However, I wanted to give love a support back and mirror back their courage. I tried to shake off the bad thoughts but really I just wanted the last week to be over.
I dug deep, took a deep breath and exhaled ready for the final chapter and conclusion: a virtual party zoom meet up. We were to say our thank you’s, award ourselves honours for participating and transforming into beautiful butterflies. We clapped and cheered our new found confidence and added fuel to our self driven selfish egos. We were all on fire and totally lit with enthusiasm. It was concluded by the majority that the next step forward in their new life was to put themselves first – in other words to be more selfish and ego driven. Their end note was on a high. We said our good byes.
The parting words to me were ” thanks for bringing your brown energy!”
Er……what the fuck do they mean about brown energy?
On hearing those words in an instant any previous positive inclusiveness transcended into morphing alienation.
Brown bloody energy! Thanks for objectifying me. Thanks for only seeing me skin deep. Go fuck your cleanse and transcending self serving guru shit. You all transformed,top job, congratulations, well done.
I’m currently doing a 3 day fast online via a support group on Facebook. I normally for a 18/6 fast every day, fast for 18 hours and only eat during a 6 hour timeframe. However, due to a cold damp winter I introduced breakfast back into my day. This resulted with me feeling hungrier than normal, wanting to eat non stop and my moods becoming imbalanced. I recently had 2 massive emotional meltdown downs and endless suicidal thoughts. Hence, a 3 day fast.
So, I’m half way through my fast, I choose to do a broth fast, and already I feel better. The hunger cravings are non existent and emotionally I am calmer. As my mind becomes clearer I am reevaluating my life. Detoxing my body leads to detoxification of the mind. I have been tolerating behaviour from friends that have made me very unhappy which increased my anxiety. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am best to detox the friends list, again.
Fasting can make life easier by making me focused. My body, mind and soul are connected and I’m more confident in my thoughts and feels. Sometimes I can be so lost in life that I can barely get out of bed to face people. My conclusion is that I’d rather be true to myself and on my own than living a life filled with people who don’t really care about me.
Only 36 more hours to go on my fast. Detox, detox, detox…………
As 2019 is drawing closer to an end I ask myself to reflect on what lessons I have learnt.
Firstly, there is always brightness to be found in dark situations, no matter how dark the situation is.
Walk, live and breathe with dignity. Living a dignified life will help you sleep better at night. Your shoulders will also not hold so much weight and your body won’t feel so heavy.
Never give up no matter how hard things become. I have been through hell and back with my son’s drug habit and incarceration. Just when I think he is making progress it is short lived and we seem to be back at square one, repeating the same cycle. But, I will not give up on him, even when things seem exasperated.
Good friends are hard to find. I have ended so many friendships this year. Some friends have lied, disrespected and bad mouthed me. I have a three strikes and your out motto. One friend drunkenly flirted with my husband three times and not once has she apologised. Another friend made jealous comments behind my back. I gave her three chances to apologise. Another friend used me and then played the victim when I explained my boundaries. Anyway, down to two friends.
Let go of ego.
Look after your soul and body and be kind to both.
My marriage has had some massive challenges and obstacles. However, with truth and honesty I have overcome these and we have become stronger. We have been together for nearly 20 years and at times we have spoke of separation. Talking openly with truth and honesty we have managed to communicate well, mend and heal. Be brave and honest.
Lastly, family is everything. My focus is on my family. I am going to keep our family strong. My vision is to one day to have a drug rehabilitation centre and I would like my son to be part of that. My mission is to help people with addiction issues and people who have lost their souls to find them.
What lessons have you learnt in 2019? Before the end of the year, I ask that you write these down and reflect.
“My soul, where are you? Do you hear me? I speak, I call you – are you there? I have returned, I am here again. I have shaken the dust of all the lands from my feet, and I have come to you, I am with you. After long years of long wandering, I have come to you again. Should I tell you everything I have seen, experienced, and drunk in? Or do you not want to hear about all the noise of life and the world? But one thing you must know: the one thing I have learned is that one mustlive this life. Do you still know me? How long the separation lasted! Everything has become so different. And how did I find you? How strange my journey was! What words should I use to tell you on what twisted paths a good star has guided me to you? Give me your hand, my almost forgotten soul. How warm the joy at seeing you again, you long disavowed soul. Life has led me back to you. Let us thank the life I have lived for all the happy and all the sad hours, for every joy, for every sadness. My soul, my journey should continue with you. I will wander with you and ascend to my solitude.”
― C.G. Jung, The Red Book: Liber Novus
I absolutely love this passage.
Do you know your soul?
I lost mine but found it a few months ago and now we are best friends. It was the most friendliest homecoming inside me. I’m stronger and happier more now than ever. I love my soul.
Twenty years ago when I was at a cross road regarding my future. One path was to get back with my old flame, who I have a drug past with, who came close to killing me in an automobile accident, whose acquaintance raped me and made me lose my soul. The other path was to create a life with a gentle, kind and handsome Welsh boy that I met whilst on an overseas trip.
Now, never one to opt for an easy journey I first choose the Welsh boy who’s so handsome with a massive heart and impressive big willy. But, while waiting for my Welsh Knight in shining armour I thought it a rather brilliant idea to have my bad ass exboyfriend help keep my bed warm until the Knight flew in from overseas.
The old flame dutifully warmed my bed and dutifully fucked me. I soon had those old feelings back, I was back in love with him and fully prepared to let him make an honest women out of me. I had visions of us riding off into the sunset and being together forever. My ex had promised to take me out for a romantic dinner and I was so full of joy, jumping with excitement. Wow, he was really showing signs of being really serious with me. So I got all dressed up and made my hair real pretty and waited. Two days I waited! Two days! It was then it dawned on me that perhaps he didn’t really love me and I was pissed at myself for being naive. When he finally did show his muggy face it turns outs that bad ass ex was also seeing Bubbles the stripper. He was now keeping her bed warm. I recall him gleefully describing playing with her nipples and sharing this with me like I was one of the lads. Oh, yeah he also had a girlfriend! I was part of a love square! My feeling were smashed into bits and thrown to the cold wind to blow straight back into my face to slap me hard. My body went stone cold in a split second. The immense pain was turning my heart dark, I felt like a complete fool. In that moment new I was done for good. Never mind though, I told myself, my Knight was due to arrive soon. I just pretended those last few weeks never happened and buried it deep to save my pride and ego. It’s like nothing ever happened.
Finally my Knight arrives and we spend the next few weeks having passionate, glorious quivering sex for hours, with such intense pleasure. Mr Knight who was originally my plan A, then my plan B (when my ex turned up in my life again) was soon my plan A again and my life journey felt like it was back on track, full steam ahead. All was going marvellously until I realised my period hadn’t arrived. I was excited but worried as a pregnancy this early in a new relationship wasn’t what I had planned and I didn’t want this new journey to get complicated. Off to the doctors for the routine check up was next. I laid on the table for an internal examination expecting to have my dates confirmed to be about 6 weeks. But, no, not 6 weeks along, I was 3 months along! Shit!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, terminated pregnancy, cried, married the Knight, had 4 more children, and thought the journey with the Knight was set in stone for a happily ever after………….
When a handsome demigod with a physique of a Spartan warrior and the face of a GQ model came prancing into the local gym I totally creamed my knickers instantly. Now, I have been a gym bunny off and on for over a decade and a half and have therefore have seen my fair share of fit men. However, there was something uniquely special about this man, he totally took my breath away.