Lama Surya Das – Ep. 47 – Right View on the Noble Eightfold Path

Excellent View

On this episode of Awakening Now, Lama Surya Das takes a look at practicing Right View on the Noble Eightfold Path.

Show Notes

Excellent View (Opening) – Lama Surya Das reflects on the practices of the Noble Eightfold Path taught by the Buddha, the first of these being Right View. He helps us to more fully understand the meaning of the term in its original language, Pali.

“We don’t like to pound on the word “right” in Right View. Right is a really weak translation; it sounds like it is opposed to wrong. It really means impeccable, not perfect, but excellent view, wise view.

View is not just views and opinions, there is a different word for that in the original language, we are not talking about that. Reality is not a popular Buddhist word either, but that is the area we are in. Wise view; clear view; seeing things as they are, not as they are not. Seeing things as they are, not as we are with our projections and interpretations.”

Awakening Wisdom (7:20) – The purpose of the first two steps of the Eightfold Path, Right View and Right Thought, is to awaken our inner wisdom. Lama Surya Das breaks down the three aspects of wisdom in Buddhism.

“Our happiness and the happiness of those around us depend on our degree of Right View. Touching deep reality, knowing what is going on inside and outside ourselves is the way to liberate ourselves from Dukkha which is caused by wrong perceptions. Right View is not an ideology, a system or even a path. It is the insight we have into the reality of life, a living insight which fills us with understanding, peace, and love.” – Thich Nhat Han, “Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching

Pure Intuition (23:15) – In the Prajnaparamita, the 100,000 versed Mahayana wisdom scriptures, we are told that the perfection of wisdom (paññā) is Gnosis, the intuitive knowing beyond subject and object. Surya Das reflects on this naked awareness and how to find it.

“Learning, reflection, analysis, contemplation; that is how we develop wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism.”

To dig deeper into practicing Right View, listen to Episode 33 and Episode 34 of Joseph Goldstein’s Insight Hour

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Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash