Two and a half millennia ago, the Buddha wrote down eight rules to end suffering.
It became known as the Buddhist Eightfold Path, and following it can be quite difficult.
It requires a certain amount of self-discipline, self-awareness, and courage, as well as the knowledge of the 4 Noble Truths, which are:
- Existence is suffering, because it is in a state of constant change.
- Attachment to pleasure and aversion to pain trap you within existence.
- By ceasing the attachment/aversion cycle, you can experience liberation from existence.
- The Eightfold Path is the way to end suffering.
Here are the rules of the Noble Eightfold Path:
1) Right View
The Right View is the understanding that reality is temporary; it is not the truth.
Everything we sense in this world is nothing more than a magic show, a pause before we reach the ultimate truth.
When you see the world in this way, then you see that all suffering is virtual; none of it is real.
Suffering is only as real as the world in which it exists in real, and this world does not truly exist at all.
2) Right Resolve
The Right Resolve is also known as the Right Thought, Right Intention, or Right Aspiration.
This means to cut yourself from your worldly ties, and to leave all your wants and desires behind.
In some cases, the Right Resolve means to become harmless—giving no harm unto others and wishing no ill will unto any other being.
In more extreme examples of the Right Resolve, it means to consider that everyone around you is impermanent and unreal, and is just a possible source of suffering from which you should become unattached.
3) Right Speech
Right Speech means exactly what you think it would mean—to have honor in every word you say.
To hold yourself by your word, and to exercise truth in your claims and interactions with others.
The Right Speech teaches that the words you speak shape the world around you, and by being mindful of your words, you can shape a better reality than someone who wastes them.
Never lie, never abuse, and never manipulate. Even gossip and idle chatter are considered wasteful.