The noble eightfold path is a summary of the components to proper Buddhist practice. They comprise:
- view: The view that actions have karmic consequences, and these consequenes outlive us reflecting into eternity. Also that all things are impermanent, void, and hold the potential for suffering. The teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha illustrate the path to self-liberation by realizing these truths.
- intention: The resolution to be harmless, positive, selfless, undistracted by sensual pleasures, and free of ill will.
- speech: Avoiding lies, hateful, rude, or violent speech, etc; and cultivating truthfulness and positive speech.
- action: Taking only what is willfully given; not killing or physically harming other sentient beings; avoiding sexual misconduct; avoiding sensual pleasure and material greed for their own sake.
- livelihood: Making a living according to right action — not making a living by swindling, killing, trafficking in meat, drugs, poison, weapons, etc; not hoarding one's gains from their living.
- effort: Cultivating wholesome states of body-and-mind and breaking down unwholesome states; having faith in the Path; dispelling and transforming states of anger, hatred, resentment, etc. into states of compassion, selflessness, and inspiration.
- mindfulness: Maintaining a clear perspective of the present moment and our relationship to reality; pay attention, get out of your head.
- absorption: Focusing the awareness to extinguish dualistic and discursive thought. This is the essence of Zen.