Studying Symbols: 8 Fold Path
One of the newest pendants at Bead World, the 8 Fold Path is a significant Buddhist symbol. It represents 8 key tenets of Buddhism. Think of it like the Buddhist moral code, similar to that of other faiths. Unlike in many other faiths though, the 8 Fold Path focuses entirely on positive statements instead of using “don’ts”. The 8 Fold Path is meant as a guideline to be thought about, contemplated, and only embarked upon when you are ready to live the teachings.
Even though it is called the 8 Fold Path, it’s not intended to be treated like a step-by-step path where you master one at a time. Instead, all 8 rights should simultaneously be incorporated in your every day life.
The 8 Fold Path:
1. Right Understanding: Using personal experience to see the world as it truly is, not as you believe it to be or want it to be, complete with inherent suffering & change
2. Right Intent/Thoughts: Taking the knowledge gained by Right Understanding and choosing to wholeheartedly move forward with this way of life based on your passion and desires to do so; involves selflessness, renunciation of worldly pleasures, kindness & goodwill, and compassion
3. Right Speech: Remembering that words have power and should be used in a kind, thoughtful, and uplifting manner
4. Right Action: Acting in an ethical manner that is consistent with your right thoughts & right speech
5. Right Livelihood: Working a job that helps people, animals, and/or the environment and does not cause harm to any of those
6. Right Effort: Finding the correct amount of cheerful energy, determination, enthusiasm and effort that is befitting to your journey, but not so intense that it cannot be sustained throughout your daily life
7. Right Mindfulness: Being completely in the moment and aware/mindful of yourself and the world around you
8. Right Concentration/Meditation: Training the mind to be hyper focused and observant on what you choose to concentrate/meditate on, while limiting mental distractions
This is just a brief, and likely incomplete, explanation, but hopefully it will give you some understanding of the beautiful symbolism inherent in our new 8 Fold Path Pendant!