Right Livelihood As Right Lifestyle

The traditional rendering of samma ajiva in english is Right Livelihood; during this talk, Peter revises this part of the Noble Eightfold Path as Right Lifestyle, as life is more complex and more stressful psychologically in contemporary American culture.  He describes the demands of work, finances, societal conflict, physical well-being, and environmental disruption through the way we live from waking to sleeping each day–our lifestyle patterns–and how the Four Noble Truth’s concepts and practices can be effectively applied to create a lifestyle that is more resilient, more serene, and more responsible.  His presentation is followed by comments from those participating in the meeting.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk, which include several relevant quotes from Theravada Buddhist suttas that support the cultivation of Right Lifestyle:  Creating Right Lifestyle

The topic reviewed next week by Lezlie Laws will be the first aspect of the Mental Discipline Aggregate of the Noble Eightfold Path, Right Effort.


Reviewing Right Action

This talk continues a thorough review of the Four Noble Truths, focusing on the second attribute of the Fourth Truth, within the Virtue Aggregate of the Noble Eightfold Path–Right Action.  During the talk, Lili describes the characteristics of the Precepts, which are the ethical guidelines to be understood and acted upon to further the path of Awakening.  This recording also includes additional questions and comments from thos3 attending related to the topic.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  RIGHT ACTION

The topic for next week’s talk will continue to review the Virtue Aggregate, focusing on Right Livelihood.  In and effort to apply the principles of the Virtue Aggregate to contemporary life, the topic will be represented by an alternative term, “Right Lifestyle”, focusing on how a virtuous lifestyle addresses the complexities and challenges presented by health and well-being, global warming, and the iniquities of cultural imbalances.


Reviewing the Value of Virtue and Right Speech

During this talk, Peter provides an overview of Sila, the Buddhist Virtue Aggregate, which is found within the Noble Eightfold Path, with an emphasis on the importance of mindfully recognizing the non-virtuous elements of contemporary cultural conditioning, which create disharmony and dysfunction with significant negative consequences for social cohesion and the environment, renouncing them, and instead orienting one’s thoughts and actions through the filter of Virtue–harmlessness, compassion, generosity and equanimity.  He then focuses on Right Speech in the context of a person’s internal self-talk, as well as interpersonal communications.  He adds another consideration he calls Right Listening, the ability to bring skillful attention and discipline to bear on the cognitive distortions that prevail in contemporary media and counter their effect on one’s clarity, purpose and peace of mind.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  THE VIRTUE OF RIGHT SPEECH  The contents of these notes are more expansive and descriptive than the verbal recording of the talk.

Next week’s talk will focus on another function of the Virtue Aggregate of the Noble Eightfold Path: Right Action.


Reviewing Right Intention

This talk by Allie Vaknin continues an ongoing review of the Four Noble Truths, specifically focusing on a function of the Wisdom Aggregate of the Noble Eightfold Path, Right Intention.  Allie describes different manifestations of Right Intention: Renunciation of unwholesomeness, Kindness, and Compassion.  This recording includes several comments and questions posed by those participating in the group.

Next week’s talk will begin a review of the Virtue Aggregate of the Noble Eightfold Path, during which Peter will focus on Right Speech, including the value of bringing Right Intention to our internal self-talk as well as what we say interpersonally.


Reviewing Right Understanding

During this talk, April continues the ongoing review of the Noble Eightfold Path by sharing her research about the Wisdom Aggregate, specifically Samma Ditthi, translated as Right View or Right Understanding.  This part of the Path provides the conceptual basis for understanding the law of Karma–cause and effect.  Her presentation includes several questions and comments from others participating in the meeting.

Next week’s talk will review the other half of the Wisdom Aggregate. Right Intention.


Overview Of The Noble Eightfold Path

This talk continues an ongoing review of the Four Noble Truths, with emphasis on the Fourth Noble Truth, the Noble Eightfold Path.  This overview describes the general structure of the Path categories, which represent the ways and means for realizing the spiritual aspirations developed in the first three Noble Truths.  Peter describes a more contemporary view of Buddhist teachings called Secular Buddhism, which avoids ritualistic practices and integrates modern neuroscientific and psychological research that validates some basic concepts found within the original teachings that have great significance during these trying sociocultural and ecological times.

There will be an extensive and more detailed review of the eight subcategories of the Noble Eightfold Path over the next several meetings.  Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  OVERVIEW OF THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH

The focus for next week’s talk will be a review of Right Understanding, the first subcategory of the Noble Eightfold Path.