Right Understanding (or Right View)

Reflecting . . .

Right Understanding (or Right View) is the ability to understand the nature of things exactly as they are, without delusion or distortion.

If we hold wrong views, misunderstanding the nature of reality, then our thoughts, speech, actions, and plans will come forth from this misunderstanding, bringing unhappiness and suffering.

If we cultivate the Right View of reality, our thoughts, speech, actions, and plans will come forth from this Right Understanding, bringing happiness and freedom from suffering.

Imposing our self-centered desires, needs, expectations, or fears onto life—being satisfied and happy when things go our way, and upset if they do not—is wrong understanding. With Right Understanding, we correctly perceive the interdependent, impermanent, ever-changing nature of life.  

We realize lasting happiness and satisfaction do not come from anything external. In addition, we understand the wholesome, life-affirming actions that bring benefit to all beings, as well as the unwholesome, negative actions which bring suffering.  

Right Understanding requires our full comprehension of the Four Noble Truths, which explain the nature of reality.

Through Right Understanding we cultivate wisdom, an essential aspect of the Path.

Source: Used with permission from Neil Cohen at Naljor Prison Dharma Service, PO Box 1177, Mount Shasta CA 96067.

Photo Credit: Intellimon Ltd.