SUMMARY OF THE EIGHTFOLD NOBLE PATH
Wrong View is basically of two kinds; eternity view and annihilation view.
Eternity View sees the existence of an indestructible essence in phenomena; in particular this manifests as belief in an eternal personal Self or soul.
Annihilation View denies the reality of a spiritual life, the laws of karma and that which is transcendent of mundane reality. It always contains an unspoken assumption that there does exist a personal self of some sort which is annihilated at death.
Right View is seeing things clearly; it is the Middle Path between the two wrong views. Right View means seeing the nature of all mundane reality as being marked with the three characteristics of suffering, impermanence and not-self.
Wrong Thoughts are thoughts of greed (and lust etc.), cruelty and ill-will (and anger etc.)
Right Thoughts are thoughts of renunciation (and/or contentment), compassion and loving-kindness,
The Buddha gave us a fivefold method of controlling the mind;
Note: nos. 3 & 4 refer specifically to thoughts occurring during insight meditation; the others may be used at any time. The steps should be tried in this order and #5 in particular is a last resort.
Wrong Speech is speech that is
untruthful, harsh (hurtful), slanderous (eg. gossip etc.) or
Right Speech is that connected with the truth, that which is gentle, that which makes peace and that connected with meaning.
Wrong Actions are actions of killing
and harming, theft and sexual misconduct (eg. adultery)
Right Actions are their opposites; actions of healing & helping, actions of generosity and actions of sensual restraint (or loving conduct in the context of a wholesome relationship.)
Wrong Livelihood is any way of making
a living that causes suffering to others. The Buddha listed five
trades as particularly unwholesome; dealing in animals for
slaughter, human slaves, poisons, weapons and intoxicants.
Right Livelihood is any profession or trade that does not cause suffering and is conducted honestly and to the best of one's ability.
This includes all aspects of diligence, wakefulness and perseverance etc. but the Buddha put special emphasis on the Four Right Efforts. If these are practiced fully, then all other aspects will occur naturally;
the Four Right Efforts are
Right Mindfulness refers to the Four Foundations of Mindfulness as described in the Satipatthana Sutta. The Practice of Insight Meditation is based upon these;
Right Concentration Refers to the Four Jhanas and concentration tending towards those states
There is such a thing as Wrong Concentration; eg. a hunter sighting down the barrel of his rifle must concentrate to kill the deer.