Having established the reality, cause, and end of suffering, in the final noble truth the Buddha taught his disciples the eight-step path to awakening. Because they represent the actions and comportment of one who lives in accord with the dharma, these eight aspects of Buddhist practice are described as “wise,” “skillful,” “correct,” or simply, “right.”
1. Right View
A true understanding of how reality and suffering are intertwined.
2. Right Resolve
The aspiration to act with correct intention, doing no harm.
3. Right Speech
Abstaining from lying, and divisive or abusive speech.
4. Right Action
Acting in ways that do not cause harm, such as not taking life, not stealing, and not engaging in sexual misconduct.
5. Right Livelihood
Making an ethically sound living, being honest in business dealings.
6. Right Effort
Endeavoring to give rise to skillful thoughts, words, and deeds and renouncing unskillful ones.
7. Right Mindfulness
Being mindful of one’s body, feelings, mind, and mental qualities.
8. Right Concentration
Practicing skillful meditation informed by all of the preceding seven aspects.
These eight steps are considered to be of three types: right view and right resolve are related to our development of wisdom; right speech, right action, and right livelihood to ethical conduct; and right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration to meditation.