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We can overcome our “Ego”, feel greater harmony with the world around us and eliminate the pain we experience through the Noble Eightfold Path. In this path, the Wheel (symbol of Dharma) is represented with eight rays, depicting the following eight principles:
1. Right Understanding
The Right Understanding is the first and most important step of the path, because we must first understand the truth of the Four Noble Truths in order to begin our journey.
2. Right Thought
The Right Thought follows immediately after. “Right” in this case means “according to the facts”. In other words, it suggests that we see things as they are and not as we would like them to be.
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
The Right Thought, Reason, Action and Livelihood include moral restraints that prevent lying, stealing, committing violent acts and making a living in a way that harms others. These moral restraints not only help to achieve overall social harmony, but also help us control and eliminate our sense of “ego”.
6. Right Effort
This is followed by the Right Effort which is important because the “ego” thrives on inaction and wrong effort.
On inaction because if we do not try to practice, we cannot hope to achieve anything at any level in life and on the “wrong effort” because the greatest crimes have been committed by very active people.
Therefore, the effort must be made and must be consistent with the teaching and the effort to eliminate our “ego”.
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration.
The last two steps of the path are the Right Mindfulness or knowledge and the Right Concentration. These two stages represent the first step towards liberation from pain.
Being awakened and aware at all times of what we are doing is fundamental to living well. This can be achieved in many ways, but in the West, the official practice is called “meditation” and is the way to achieve Right Mindfulness and Concentration.