The Noble Eightfold Path for Politicians, Business Community, the Military and others.
Right Understanding/Right View
This is the individual and collective exploration/reflection/inquiry of the four truths, namely there is suffering, the variety of causes and conditions that bring about suffering, the resolution and the way to resolve. It would require mindfulness consultants and practitioners to address the whole ethos of any organisation to establish wisdom and compassion in that organisation from top to bottom and dissolve the poisons of the mind. That would be a major undertaking.
2. Right Intention/Attitude.
This is an unwavering commitment to a non-injurious way of life. It means addressing every aspect of greed, aggression and delusion among employers and employees to ensure a fundamental change of intention and attitude.
3. Right Speech
It is to speak, as the Buddha said, what is “true and useful” leading to right understanding. It is to speak honestly and fearlessly about the inner and the outer necessities to change harmful policies that always employ distorted and manipulative speech for selling purposes and marketing of goods. Right speech includes an end to the slagging off of thoughtful critics and competitors, as well as end to putting down the poor and the marginalised.
4. Right Action.
Deep ethics govern action to show a real care for people, whether working in factories in poor countries. Ethics ensure a change of use of chemicals and other substances used in products and action that harm people. Right action is a constructive engagement with life not a destructive one. Respect takes priority over personal or company gain. Right Action brings an end to the variety of corrupt practices, avoidance of paying taxes, money laundering, the obese lifestyles of executives, exploitation of the trust of customers and suppression of information.
5. Right Livelihood
The Buddha rejected any livelihood causing harm and suffering to people, animals or environment whether feeding addiction (such as the tobacco industry), manipulation of consciousness through certain advertising campaigns, production of harmful chemicals and systematic destruction of the environment. Authentic mindfulness generates inner and outer change touching on the conscience of the individual and the collective with the willingness to work with integrity regardless of the personal cost.
Right effort implies a creative energy to develop and maintain what is beneficial (such as all eight links to establish a noble way of life) and to overcome and abandon all what obstructs a noble way of life
7. Right Mindfulness
Sati (the Pali word for mindfulness) implies present and past. It is the capacity to look at the present, look at the conditions leading up to the present and make clear judgements in accordance with the spirit and letter of the Eightfold Path. Mindfulness belongs to the eightfold path just as the arm belongs to the body. Mindfulness has the capacity to track circumstances, to see and follow what is unfolding and be mindful of consequences, effects and fruits of action. The practitioner develops the capacity to stay steady, clear and calm in the present as well as see the relationship of past, present and future.
8. Right Concentration
Samadhi, the Pali word for concentration, includes genuine depths of meditation, a knowing of deep happiness and inner peace showing true wealth is within, a unified mind and a capacity to stay concentrated on every link in the Eightfold Path as the true expression of one’s dignity as a human being.
A noble human being lives with dignity and genuine freedom. It is a joy to hear very occasionally of a hedge fund manager, a Monsanto employee or a soldier take real steps to live a noble life after participation in a mindfulness course. He or she knows that they have liberated themselves from enslavement to a political ideology, to corporate ambitions or the military objectives of the army. These transformations do happen in mindfulness programmes. But it is rare.