Right View

These words of wisdom came to me from the Tricycle Daily Dharma for January 17,2014. They come from an article by Mark Epstein. Dr. Epstein is an American psychiatrist trained at Harvard who has been a practicing Buddhist since his early twenties. He is a frequent contributor to Tricycle Magazine.

The quote from his article, Shattering the Ridgepole. He talks about changing views. We can easily ask the questions, “What is the right view?”

Tricycle Daily Dharma January 17, 2014

Changing Views

For, as the Buddhist view has consistently demonstrated, it is the perspective of the sufferer that determines whether a given experience perpetuates suffering or is a vehicle for awakening. To work something through means to change one’s view; if we try instead to change the emotion, we may achieve some short-term success, but we remain bound by forces of attachment and an aversion to the very feelings from which we are struggling to be free.

– Mark Epstein, “Shattering the Ridgepole”

Mark Epstein

Right View is one of the elements of the Eightfold Path of the Buddha. The other elements, as we have seen before, are Right Speech, Right Thought, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Diligence, Right Concentration, and Right Meditation.

According to Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh,

“Our happiness and the happiness of those around us depend on our degree of Right View. Touching reality deeply — knowing what is going on inside and outside of ourselves — is the way to liberate ourselves from the suffering that is caused by wrong perceptions. Right View is not an ideology, a system, or even a path. It is the insight we have into the reality of life, a living insight that fills us with understanding, peace, and love.”

So, according to Epstein, changing our view helps us work through our stuff. If we adopt Right View, we’ll be in good shape.

What do you need to do to change your views to Right View? Please share.

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