Xin An
Serenity of the Heart and Mind

Words of Buddha

The Eightfold Path

Second Step

Right Mindedness

WHAT, now, is Right Mindedness?

It is thoughts free from lust;
thoughts free from ill-will;
thoughts free from cruelty.

This is called right mindedness.

Now, Right Mindedness, let me tell you, is of two kinds:

1. Thoughts free from lust, from ill-will, and from cruelty:-this is called the "Mundane Right Mindedness," which yields worldly fruits and brings good results.

2. But, whatsoever there is of thinking, considering, reasoning, thought, ratiocination, application-the mind being holy, being turned away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the holy path being pursued-: these "Verbal Operations" of the mind are called the "Ultramundane Right Mindedness which is not of the world, but is ultra mundane, and conjoined with the paths.

Now, in understanding wrong-mindedness as wrong, and right-mindedness as right, one practices Right Understanding [1st step];

and in making efforts to overcome evil-mindedness, and to arouse right-mindedness, one practices Right Effort [6th step];

and in overcoming evil-mindedness with attentive mind, and dwelling with attentive mind in possession of right-mindedness, one practices Right Attentiveness [7th step].

Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow upon right-mindedness, namely: right understanding, right effort, and right attentiveness.

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