What Is Right View?

Early Morning LightRight view is seeing in line with the truth. This means seeing the four Noble Truths as follows.

Dukkha: physical and mental stress and discomfort.

Samudaya: the origin of physical and mental stress, that is, (a) ignorance and (b) such forms of craving as sensual desire. Right View sees that these are the causes of all stress.

Nirodha: the ending and disbanding of the causes of stress, causing stress to disband as well, leaving only the unequaled ease of nibbana.

Magga: the practices that form a path leading to the end of the causes of stress, that is, (a) ignorance (avijja) — false knowledge, partial and superficial; and (b) craving (tanha) — struggling that goes out of proportion to the way things are. Both of these factors can be abandoned through the power of the Path, the practices we need to bring to maturity within ourselves through circumspect discernment. Discernment can be either mundane or transcendent, but only through the development of concentration can transcendent discernment or insight arise, seeing profoundly into the underlying truth of all things in the world.

In short, there are two sides to Right View: (a) knowing that careless and inconsiderate thoughts, words, and deeds lead to stress and suffering for ourselves and others; and (b) that giving rise to good in our thoughts, words, and deeds, leads to ease of body and mind for ourselves and others.

Source: Adapted from “The Path to Peace and Freedom for the Mind”, by Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo, translated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 1 December 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/pathtopeace.html

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