Right Action: Noble Eightfold Path - Part 4

The forth tenant of the Nobel Eightfold Path is Right Action. Right action covers a wide range of activities and behaviors.

Buddha breaks Right Action down as follows:

1. One should not harm others  and abstain from taking the life of a sentient being, including suicide.

2. To abstain from taking what is not given which includes stealing, robbery, fraud, deceitfulness and dishonesty.

3. To abstain from sexual misconduct.

In a nutshell, right action means to act kindly and with compassion. It also means to be honest with ourselves and others, even though honesty may bring a bit of pain in the short term.

We are faced each and every day with monumental choices - we can choose to act rightly or wrongly. Wrong choices lead to suffering. Right choices to amazing joy.

I'll be the first to admit that lately I've made a lot of wrong choices and acted in ways that have brought me suffering. It's been all too easy to complain about things surrounding work. Some of my comments have brought suffering to others and anguish to my soul. I realize that making the right choices and deciding to act rightly is something I have to work at constantly.

Each action I take has an effect. This is something that cannot be denied or forgotten. I know when I act rightly - I know when I'm on the verge of choosing wrong action. No matter how easy it is to deny it...most of us know deep down inside what we should do.

So how do we begin living a life of Right Action? It's all to easy to get bogged down by our past actions as we think back over all of our wrong actions. But it is vital that we let go of our past actions and live in the present.

Beginning is simpler than we think. It all starts this moment and continues moment by moment! We must forgive ourselves for past wrongs and ask for forgiveness - then move on. Powerful is the moment in which we realize that our pasts don't have to tie us down in the present. We are free to act rightly and boldly NOW!

- Post by Jen Engevik of Project BE Bold