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Does Buddhism Require You To Be a Liberal?


The Eightfold Path is broken down into three categories:

Prajña, wisdom, which I'll talk about more another time. For now, I just want to say that Sanskrit, like English, makes a distinction between "wisdom" and knowledge (jñana). Knowing how to shoot a gun is "knowledge." Knowing when to shoot a gun is "wisdom." This has two parts which I'm not going to go into.

Samadhi is basically meditation. I wrote about meditation and salad a few weeks ago. This has three parts, and I'm also not going to go into those right now.

Sila, or ethical conduct. This also has three parts (see, 2+3+3=8, it all adds up) which are correct speech, correct action and correct livelihood.

Correct speech means abstaining from lying, from malicious gossip, and from saying things meant to hurt someone else. Correct action means not killing without necessity, not stealing from someone else, and not having illicit, harmful sex.

Finally, there's correct livelihood, which means directing your work and livelihood to things which reduce suffering for yourself and others.