Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 39 – The Eightfold Path: Right Action and Livelihood

Right Action

Joseph Goldstein continues his series on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. This week: right action and livelihood.

On this episode of the Insight Hour Podcast, Joseph explores how right action and livelihood create the moral foundation which makes happiness possible.

Click here to catch up with part one of the Eightfold Path series.

Right Action and Livelihood

Joseph examines the necessity to practice right action and right livelihood.

“The importance of personal integrity and responsibility needs to be continually re-articulated, so we don’t simply get lost in the confusion of our own desires and impulses.” – Joseph Goldstein

Do No Harm (5:20)

Right action is cultivating the clarity and strength of mind to abstain from the actions of the body which causes harm to one’s self or to others. The first precept of right action is to abstain from killing or causing physical harm. Joseph explores the many ways in which this practice presents itself in our lives.

“When we are killing or causing harm it creates the ultimate alienation and separation from other beings. This part of the path is learning how to relate to other forms of life as fellow living beings.” – Joseph Goldstein

Don’t Steal (21:20)

The second aspect of right action is to abstain from taking what does not belong to us. Joseph examines how impactful this practice of taking only what is ours and what we need can be; not only for ourselves, but also for society as a whole.

Gradual Cultivation (30:00)

Joseph contemplates the role of mindfulness in right action. He explores the habits and patterns we get into and how the illumination of mindfulness allows us to gradually cultivate right action in our lives.

 Sexual Misconduct (37:10)

The last precept of right action is to abstain from sexual misconduct. Joseph explains this precept and explores the ways in which our minds relate to sexual desire.

Right Livelihood (45:00)

So often, we separate our work from our spiritual practice, and yet the Buddha puts this in a central place on the Journey of Awakening. We explore the importance of combining our spiritual and worldly work.

“Right livelihood is central to our path, because it is central to our lives. Can we begin to relate to livelihood in the context of our highest aspirations? This is what the practice of this step on the path means.” – Joseph Goldstein

Image via Analogvibestudio