For me, the words "right action" evoke social and environmental activism, and such work can be examples of right action. But in the context of Buddhism it also means acting mindfully and compassionately without selfish attachment to our acts. How do you practice Right Action?
- I believe right action to be an extension of self awareness. As events unfold in our lives before us, we become aware of of any situation rising before us and most importantly, we are aware of the quick egoic response, a "knee jerk" reactions. Being aware empowers us to patiently observe the event to determine if any action is necessary. We can determine of all the options we have, what would be the right action. From stillness we can be gifted with the right action based on love and compassion for all concerned and if it complies with the other aspects of the eight fold path. I believe that right action is the transition from awareness (being) into the domain of doing. Doing what is right based on the criteria of love and compassion.
- —Guest sbeasley
What is "Right"?
- How to judge a ceratin daily action as being "right"? For example, Anger is generaly regarded as "wrong" in Buddhism, but a mother angry at a dangerously behaving chid is doing the right action because that action emerges from motivation for protection and compassion.
Right Action is the 'Effect' of revealing one's Buddha nature (of compassion, wisdom and courage). The Buddha nature is the 'Cause' and the generator of all "Rights" of the Eightfold Path.
- I think guest Dean Crabb is spot on about this subject !Thanks for the excellent website, Barbara
- —Guest Ellen Steadman
- Right action is possibly not so much in the action itself,but in the mental attitude during the course of the action.If the intent is harmful that action is harmful and vice versa.It is the same with vegetarianism.It does not really matter what food you eat ,but your attitude to food in general is that matters.Are you eating a food to satify a craving?Or to improve your health or as a matter of compassion.I suppose all these are not right reasons.The right action would be to eat to sustain life.
Right Action, Right Now
- I think often we get too caught up in the thought of what Right Action is as we try to wrap some thought of Right Action around our other thoughts, our values, our beliefs, or what we see is wrong in the world or ourselves. With this Right Action becomes action based on an obscured thought and is not grounded in Right View.
To me Right Action is much more simple and direct and not thought based. Through Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration we are present in this moment awareness. Right here, right now, this is where Right Action occurs. If we are properly mindful, in this very moment we correctly perceive our place, our function and what needs to happen to save all beings. With this then Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood and Right Effort all line up in the simplicity of this present moment awareness. So we should ask "What is my function in this moment?" With mindfulness and without thought this Right Action arises.
- —Guest Dean Crabb
- For me, right action is understanding our wrong action and accepting it as wrong. Slowly mind will respond negatively to wrong actions. I do this because I am not a preacher and I hate to say I walk my talk, I never lie etc. Being in this world, I know the lies I tell to my son, wife, colleagues and to larger extend to myself. Showing the anger is also a lie....I feel like abusing a motorist takes a wrong turn on road and gives a "panic". Some times I abuse or some times I suppress...at the end of the day, when I do a stock taking, I do the corrections in my mind analytically with the Dhamma I know...for me...that is right action.. I will say, understanding the wrong actions, understanding the origination of the same and thinking, can't I act better?...ok..let me try next time...my "right action" goes on like that..one day I may reach a stage where when I analyze, there won't be anything wrong..I mean I will be enlightened. Till then, I think I have to live with this "Right Action"
- —Guest Rajeev G
- For me, right action is observing the Buddhist moral code and trying to maintain a postiive state of mind, although I admit sometimes I fail in this regards.
- —Guest georgedeane
Right Action starts with Right Intention
- How do I practice? I pray morning and night for my enlightenment. I pray for my friends, my relatives, my acquaintances. I follow the Way of the Lotus, and respond to Shakyamuni, when he says: "This is my constant thought: How can I cause all living things to gain entry to the highest way and quickly attain Buddhahood?" I practice for myself, and encourage others to practice with me. As a teacher, I try to help my fellow Buddhists to deepen their understanding and strengthen their faith. But most of all, I try to practice joyfully. I may not always be able to follow the Boddhisattva way, but I do my best. This is how I practice.
- —Guest JoeBuddha
Practicing right action
- For me living my practice is about being there and doing what needs to be done.
Mundane, practical stuff and at other times getting in getting involved and my hands dirty. Right action also involves speaking up for those you haven't got a voice or aren't being heard or listened to. The environment comes into this equation. In a non-violent and not agressive but an assertive way and this can be risky. Sometimes right action can mean being in with-hold and keeping your word to someone for the long term greater good and it can also mean speaking out to break down walls.
Its not easy to walk your talk. It can be challenging and it can make you a bullseye target for the unwanted attention, criticim and abuse. What's most important, is to do what's right from your heart and the benefits of any actions benefits being shared by others. There are times when its a battle and there are times it is sheer wonder and magical. At all times integrity ought to be the foundation.
- —Guest Margot-deepa
Practicing Right Action
- For me, practicing "right action" boils down to being true to my core beliefs. Most importantly, this means treating others with the grace and love with which I want to be treated; the Golden Rule, if you will.
- In addition to no effort that involves potential harm, physical or mental to others, I want to act in a way of giving to others more than I receive. Perhaps as simple as a friendly hello to a stranger can be an uplifting act.
- —Guest Bob Kemper