The Eightfold Path are 8 Principles of Buddhism to Enlightenment and Awareness
Mind over Matter. If anything, The Mind comes first and then techniques come last.
These Principles can be applied to leadership, attraction, seduction, social interactions (romantic, sexual, platonic, professional intentions), confidence, inner peace, and building one’s own personal, professional and social growth in the mind and of an individual’s lifestyle.
1. Right View: Having the right understand and moral/ethical perspectives of oneself and others both internally and externally. Right View means holding no view and having no idea (being open-minded). Put down all your thinking, opinions, and see this world exactly as it is. Realize that we’re all human and wanting to connect with ourselves and others deeply. Also, think about why you do want or need something? Reflect on your authentic, genuine, honest, sincere motivations and aspirations.
2. Right Thought: We all have our opinions, thoughts, biases, perspectives, experiences, emotions and are often very attached to them. We have strong dislikes and likes. We are also attached to our condition and situation. “I’m a woman.”, “I’m a man.”, etc. When we hold onto these conditions, we can’t completely connect with this world and all the human beings. We only see this small “I, my, me” world we have made, and we can’t help others. (Refer to Ego Suspension as a one of the Build Rapport Principles to get more detail on it). Right Thought means not becoming attached to any views, not holding our opinion, condition, and situation, and only keeping a before-thinking mind that spontaneously wants to help all beings. Think less, Use Unattached Emotions. Your before-thinking mind is your substance; my before-thinking mind is my substance. Then your substance, my substance, and this whole universe’s substance are the same substance. However, that point is before thinking. If you attain that before-thinking mind, your mind is clear like space. Then you perceive that you are the same as all beings, and true thinking can appear by itself. You no longer harbor thoughts of selfish desire, ill will or malice. The name for this is wisdom.
3. Right Speech: Many people are attached to their tongue. This tongue is very fascinating. We have two eyes, two ears, and two nostrils. Why do we only have one mouth and one tongue? This mouth has a very big job! It’s always eating and talking, nonstop. It always desires some good feeling- from food, drink or from the pleasure of making lots and lots of speech. Most of our strongest attachments come from the desires of this tongue. Not so many attachments come from our ears, nostrils or eyes. Perhaps, if we have another mouth and tongue, our life would be much easier, because then this one month and tongue wouldn’t feel they always have to do so many things all the time. However, this tongue already causes many, many problems for this world, so we’re lucky not to have another one. In fact, one could say that, of our five primary senses (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and sense of touch), when we’re not careful this tongue causes the most suffering for ourselves and for this world. Control this tongue and all its desires. In Zen, “The tongue has no bone.” This is because what one says and does (actions) aren’t congruent.
4. Right Action: Talk is Cheap. Action is Quality and of Value. Use the tongue to help others with clear, compassionate, leadership quality, confident, charismatic speech. Action comes from our mind and returns to our mind. Whatever one does in the world is a reflection of our thinking. This is sometimes called the path of precepts. He taught that we shouldn’t take any life to produce heedlessness. Whenever we do something, if we are thinking, that action becomes Karma. We create a kind of mental habit for that action. If we don’t do good things, we naturally make bad Karma. However, if we only try to do good things for other people, then we make Bodhisattva Karma. This is action that only tries to serve other people. Right Action means always being aware of how our actions affect other beings, because that also affects our mind. This is why Right Action is sometimes, interpreted as Right Karma.
5. Right Livelihood (Lifestyle and Objectives: Everybody has two jobs, goals, objectives in life. Our inside work is keeping clear mind. Our outside work is cutting off selfish desires and helping others. Saying this is one thing, yet how do we actually do it? We have jobs. Some person’s job is to go and work in an office to make money; another person’s job is to live in a temple and teach other people. However, how does this outside job help other beings? Is this work done only for me, only for my family, or for all beings? It’s certainly true that in this world, everyone has to make money. However, many people’s work entails killing many animals, or polluting the air and water. This is not so good. Selling alcohol, drugs, explosives, or guns to other people only makes more and more bad Karma. It can’t help this world at all. Even if one is doing this to make money to help their family, in the end one will only add suffering to this world, just in order to get money. Be careful: in this world, cause and effect are always very, very! So, Buddha taught that we must have jobs that don’t hurt this world. As I said before, the most important thing is, Why Do this or that? If you ask this question, then your Right Livelihood becomes very clear.
6. Right Effort (Energy): Always trying hard in your meditation and spiritual practices. Sick or healthy, busy or free, tired or rested, it doesn’t matter. Only try, try, try, nonstop! Only do it. That’s all!
7. Right Mindfulness (Presence): How do you keep your mind, right now? Just as a ray continues out from one point to another to make a straight line, how you keep your mind in this very moment makes your whole life. Many people only follow their thinking, their desire, anger, and ignorance. So, they get suffering in situations after situations. However, if one wakes up right now, one gets happiness. Which one do you like? Happiness is a choice. It’s a decision that one makes internally to better their presence, their present and future. The name for this “wake up” is sometimes called paying attention. The Buddha called it the Right Mindfulness.
8. Right Meditation (Clarity): Correct Meditation is the most important thing that one can do to wake up, be enlightened and aware. Right Meditation means from moment to moment keeping a not-moving mind. In any situation and any condition, keep a mind that’s clear like space, yet that functions as meticulously as the tip of a needle. Some people think the point of meditation is just to experience some kind of “peace mind”. They only like stillness and quiet. Finding quiet in the quiet isn’t true quiet. Quiet in the noisy is true quiet. Yes, having a quiet place to meditate is desirable. However, we shouldn’t become attached to a quiet experience alone, because life isn’t always like this. If your mind isn’t moving, then even the loudest and busiest areas are beautifully Zen. There are also people who think that correct meditation just has to do with doing very had sitting meditation practice. However, doing this alone isn’t complete meditation practice. This kind of thinking is attachment to body-sitting. True Meditation means correct mind-sitting: regardless of condition or situation, how do you keep your mind, right now? That makes your life. If your mind is clear, the whole universe is clear. If your mind isn’t clear, the whole universe isn’t clear. That’s a very important premise. So doing strong meditation is important. Having a good sitting practice is very, very important. On the other hand, the most important point of all this is cutting off all attachment to thinking and returning to your before-thinking mind. “What am I? Only don’t know…” Can you do that in every condition and situation, off the cushion as well as on it? If you can do this while driving, that’s driving meditation. If you do it while eating, that’s eating meditation. If you can do it while cleaning your house, that’s working meditation. **Apply meditation to the relationship with yourself and others.**
True Meditation and Spiritual Practices means keeping a great question: only, “What or Whom Am I?”
It’s good to control your breathing. Breathe in slowly and breathe out slowly. Your exhalation should be a little more than twice as long as the inhalation. If you breathe in and out very slowly, one can more easily cut off all thinking and not be attached to the coming and going of your mind. Over time, your energy comes down, down, down into your central core, and you can better control your feelings and emotions. Through all of this, however, it’s important to emphasize that true meditation isn’t bodily posture. It’s how one keeps their mind, from moment to moment, in the midst of any daily activity.
Source: The Compass of Zen- Zen Master Seung Sahn, Foreword by Stephen Mitchell
Applications: Applied Eightfold Path Models to the Human Mind, Completing Objectives, achieving leadership success, being socially confidence, developing personal growth through charisma.