Back when I became a seeker in 2006, even when I was playing around with experimental spellcraft (before initiating anything relevant with it), Buddhism was the first path I began to consider when I sought higher consciousness. I had known some interesting Buddhists at that time, and had great respect for this religion and philosophy. Though I didn't get far with it in any serious sense, I tried my best to unconsciously follow what the Buddha taught in relation to the Noble Eightfold Path, or at least consider it. As I examine where I have come since that time, I notice that I must be doing a pretty good job most days, and I know it has changed patterns in my life. This set of guidelines is excellent for mental health too, and I think should be more widely considered by everyone, be they an atheist, a believer, or anything in between. So now I'm going to break these components down and see how they have helped me:
Right View: This one can be tricky in a world like this, and I know I still wrestle with it. Right View implies an understanding of the way things are, of the principles of life. I have noticed humanity has a tendency, especially now, to overanalyze things, leading to false conclusions, which creates havoc in the mind, and in life. Eastern philosophical studies have helped me with having the Right View, where other areas of spirituality have fallen a bit short for me, including aspects of modern day Christianity. I think you just have to keep working at this one to find what sits right with you as a soul, and go with that once you discover it. It's a bit of an art to understand this, but well worth discovering.
Right Resolve: Also known as Right Intention... can be tricky but I think I have gotten the hang of this. I still have thoughts that I don't like, but I no longer obsess about them, can recognize they're not wanted immediately, and I constantly seek to refine this. Living the mildly ascetic life that I do (at least for a westerner) has made this easier, because I can stop obsessing about worldly things that would be a distraction. The biggie that helped me was working with Metatron, who has also helped me with other areas of the Eightfold Path, but especially with how I think. I would recommend reaching out to angels to get this one right. I think being slightly ill even now makes this one the hardest for me.
Right Speech: I'm a chatterbox and have learned to refine what I say, but I could still use some improvement as far as how much I say that is irrelevant or perhaps verging on being gossipy. I know I have improved greatly from where I was because so little comes that is detrimental of what I tell people. My aim is to say something pleasant or relevant these days, though I still have my moments due to health issues that are not fully resolved. I guess it's important to just keep trying my best to perfect this, but I know I'm on the right track. One of the healthiest things I decided to do, which is what my analyst suggested, was to engage less online with discussions that could lead to arguments. This rid me of much anxiety, and improved my relations.
Right Action: I fucked up here and there with this as a younger woman, but this is pretty easy for me now. I have reached a certain level where I am cautious with every major decision I make, weighing the options and considering whether the change is even necessary. I tend to keep things as they are unless something really needs to be changed, if things are working, I don't want to stir things up too much. I am a gentler person and am more confident that things are going to mostly remain stable with this in check. The Virgin Mary REALLY helped with this, bigtime.
Right Livelihood: This one is tricky, but only because of being a modern woman, in my opinion. It is also up for debate, depending on what culture one comes from, and what components of livelihood are being discussed. Some would suggest going vegetarian to follow this component. While I can't commit to that both as a kundalite and as someone who simply has never been able to tolerate going without meat, I did reduce my meat intake to be less cruel by becoming flexitarian. I am also learning to reduce alcohol consumption, and find any way I can to be in good health, and promote good health around me. There is more here for me to work on, but I am trying my best.
Right Effort: Here's one that I'm a bit of a champ with - the drive towards perfection is on my mind constantly. I won't even leave my mundane job for something more sophisticated because this job offers me enough downtime to maintain my practice at work. If there's one area of the Eightfold Path that I have nailed, it is Right Effort. I believe this arose from a need when I was under spiritual assault... as a result, I got a taste for it, and it's now highly enjoyable to live a life like this. I slip into an uncomfortable state if this is not regular in me. It's an obsession, but because it is good for me, it is a healthy obsession.
Right Mindfulness: Again, thank you Metatron for helping me with this! Though here and there I have my moments where I slip out of it, my base state is mindfulness, and I have that angel to thank for it. Very popular in mental health circles, especially in therapies like Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, there are many eastern teachings in relation to mindfulness, but at its core it's mainly about living in the moment. I live a life where I plan ahead, certainly, but I also examine each day and take it as it comes. I find I have more problems with events of the past that have haunted me than I do over fretting the future, which doesn't scare me - this is due to trauma and injustice, which I continue to work to overcome, and my fear of death is almost entirely gone now because of my mediumistic abilities that awakened with the death of my late father. Mostly, I'm doing well here.
Right Concentration: (Or Right Samadhi) - I feel that my mind has changed in many respects, for the better. Though I am still coming out of odd states, there are areas of my mind that are quite polished and still, and I am more self aware of components of my psyche than ever before, recognizing things as they rise to the conscious in the mind, able to understand them. My practice has brought me to this, and I know it continues to shape me. I feel I am now on the verge of something great in my healing, and though my ideas can seem all over the map when I write, I understand that's just how it might be for a while.
I would advise anyone in any Right Hand Path or Middle Path practice to consider components of the Noble Eightfold Path in their approach to the world. The more one generates good karma and relations to the world around them, the finer life becomes, and the greater one's successes will be with the soul. Taking on these simple rules to living can overtime greatly help a person to get a finer sense of who they are, and even help them to hear the messages that the Spirit has to say to them in every day events. One thing I realized is that I have to treat what others say to me as though God is saying it - what is the basic message? How is it presented? Don't read too much into it, but what do you see? This is a good way of assessing how one relates to the world, if there are any problems with it, or it things are stable. I am now better able to recognize a sign when it's in front of me, and with Jungian analysis I can sum up what the message might be saying. It's an art, one that requires a great deal of training, and I feel the Noble Eightfold Path is a good way of helping people to get there.