The Eightfold Path Pt. 1: Right View

This is the first in a series of, you guessed it, 8 parts. Firstly, I am no expert on any of this, these are just my opinions, and I am hoping to hear yours as well, so feel free to comment.

Most Buddhists strive for liberation and to reach the ultimate goal of enlightenment, which means getting rid of all negative states of mind and to end the cycle of Samsara. The Eightfold Path was left for us from Buddha as a way to get there from here. It is obviously much more than that, but it’s a good start to accomplishing our goals of liberation from suffering.

An article on Buddhanet.net describes Right View as this “the right way to view the world. Wrong view occurs when we impose our expectations onto things; expectations about how we hope things will be, or about how we are afraid things might be. Right view occurs when we see things simply, as they are. It is an open and accommodating attitude. We abandon hope and fear and take joy in a simple straight-forward approach to life.”

What does this all mean? Let’s look at it and break it all down. It basically tells us, the layperson, that the way we look at the world is wrong, not that we’re idiots, but that we aren’t seeing what is really going on. Not talking about grand government conspiracies or anything, but just seeing the things that we don’t acknowledge or pay attention to. I’m no expert, but what I gather from this Right View is that we already have preconceived notions (habits) and need to change them. Buddha said that we are all born in original ignorance, and I believe Right View is one of the keys to start unlocking this ignorance we are born with.

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Do men and women have different types of “spiritual realizations”?

Last night at dinner my wife, my father and myself were all talking about our different experiences, or lack of experiences, with spirituality.

Mine in particular is pretty evident. My father, like previously mentioned in another post, was quite sick last year. After hearing news that he may not make it (which he did) he said he had a moment of realization. While not quite a spiritual realization, he did say it put him on a different path than he had already been on. For whatever reason he was drawn to Deepak Chopra’s books and was particularly inspired by his book SynchroDestiny. He was blown away about the idea of interdependence and has been thinking about it quite a bit.

My wife than chimed in about how she didn’t necessarily need a religion or spiritual practice, that she was happy leading the life she is. Which to me is great, she’s really centered, caring and knows what she wants.

This was where the profound words came out of my fathers mouth. He said something like…

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‘Spiritual dream team’ to gather in B. C. for peace

From The National Post

The Dalai Lama will headline a “spiritual dream team” of Nobel Peace Prize laureates and international activists at a peace summit this September in Vancouver.

Victor Chan, co-founder of Vancouver’s Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education, said the Vancouver Peace Summit: Nobel Laureates in Dialogue will take place Sept. 26-29.

Joining the Dalai Lama will be Bishop Desmond Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end apartheid, former Irish president Mary Robinson, and spiritual writer Eckhart Tolle, as well as educators, philanthropists and entertainers such as the Blue Man Group.

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Charles Darwin ‘may have been inspired by Tibetan Buddhism’

From The Times Online

Charles Darwin’s moral philosophy may have been inspired by the writings of Buddhist monks, according to one of the world’s leading experts on the evolution of emotions.

Research by Paul Ekman, a psychologist whose work has shown how the facial expressions that signal emotion are universal across all cultures, has identified striking similarities between Darwin’s attitude to compassion and morality and that of Tibetan Buddhism.

Darwin, who was born 200 years ago last week, believed that compassion for other sentient beings was the highest moral virtue. This informed other aspects of his world view, such as his passionate opposition to slavery.

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Google Opens ‘School of Personal Growth’

From BNET

With the number of tech-watchers following Google’s every move, it’s almost impossible to get a scoop on the Silicon Valley darling. But one blogger has uncovered a stealth project that Google launched last summer. It was first announced at a San Francisco conference back in November — so why has no one else written about it?

Because the conference was not a tech event but a spirituality seminar called “Happiness and Its Causes” — and the launch was not a new product but the School of Personal Growth at Google University, an in-house education program for company employees.

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Mormons well-served by self-reliance in hard times

Reading this at this time in our history, I can only agree that we all need to be more self reliant and also look at the ones that are less prepared than we are for the current times. A few years ago my area was struck by several major hurricanes. I was okay and prepared. I looked out for others in my area that needed help and did my best to assist them. I worked with the county to go to a local retirement community. We went door to door and checked on each resident. Most seemed, okay they were assisting the ones less able to care for themselves.

Whether it is time of natural disasters or man made economic ones, the ones that are prepared should look to the ones that are not and offer assistance.

Soldiers surround Rangoon’s Kaba Aye Pagoda

From Mizzima.com – Soldiers and riot police have surrounded Kaba Aye monastery in Rangoon and have increased their presence at other monasteries as well, local eyewitnesses say.

“Soldiers have surrounded Kaba Aye monastery. We don’t know why but they have closed the gates and do not allow anyone to enter. In front of the gate there are several soldiers and four trucks,” an eyewitness told Mizzima.

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