Nirvana is defined as a peaceful state of mind that is free from craving, anger, and mental suffering. The concept of Nirvana is based on the philosophy and beliefs attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as Buddha.
Everyone’s lives are full of desire, anger, competitiveness and what not. How can you leave all this behind and achieve a peaceful state of mind? Well, I’m not here to preach Buddha’s message. Nirvana is one thing I want to achieve in life and this I can do at any stage, but it is important to know how. First thing, nirvana is possible for any person, all you need to have is the right intentions and willpower. In order to achieve nirvana, you must follow the eightfold path, which is also called as the Middle Path. Do you remember balancing a scale on one finger? That’s the Middle Path, if you try to balance on either corner (back or forth) you won’t be able to. So, in Buddhism, it is interpreted as, “do not regret about your past” and “do not worry about your future”. Like I see it, all you have to do is enjoy the present. When you’re enjoying life there are no regrets and no worries. That’s my spin on the Middle Path. Deep, huh?
Okay, so coming to the eightfold path:
1. Perfect Vision: Also interpreted as the right view or understanding. The vision of nature, of reality and the path of transformation.
2. Perfect Emotion: Meaning, right thought or attitude. Liberating emotional intelligence in your life and acting from love and compassion. An informed heart and a feeling mind that are free to practice letting go.
3. Whole Speech: Also called right speech. Clear, truthful, uplifting and non-harmful communication.
4. Integral Action: Right action. An ethical foundation for life-based on the principle of non-exploitation of oneself and others.
5. Proper Livelihood: Also called right livelihood. This is a livelihood based on the correct action the ethical principle of non-exploitation. The basis of an ideal society.
6. Complete Effort: Full Effort, Energy or Vitality. Also called right effort or diligence. Consciously directing our life energy to the transformative path of creative and healing action that fosters wholeness. Conscious evolution.
7. Right Mindedness: Complete or Thorough Awareness. Also called “right mindfulness”. Developing awareness, “if you hold yourself dear, watch yourself well”. Levels of awareness and mindfulness – of things, oneself, feelings, thought, people and Reality.
8. Right Contemplation: It is also known as Holistic Samadhi. This is often translated as concentration, meditation, absorption or one-pointedness of mind. None of these translations is adequate. Samadhi literally means to be fixed, absorbed in or established at one point, thus the first level of meaning is concentration when the mind is fixed on a single object. The second level of meaning goes further and represents the establishment, not just of the mind, but also of the whole being in various levels or modes of consciousness and awareness. This is Samadhi in the sense of enlightenment or Buddhahood.
I know, I know, it is very tough to follow and stay on track and be able to walk this eightfold path, but you won’t know, if you don’t try. Imagine not worrying about the exam tomorrow and just enjoying your prep today. When tomorrow and day after fade to yesterdays, there will automatically be no regrets. (I know, it’s deep).
I am definitely going to try this. Wish me luck!