Right Action. I feel this is another one I need to have better control of or grasp of. Most of the time I can make decisions and act on them pretty consciously. But there are times when all decision seems to be after the fact. When my actions or reactions just take over. Anger, depression, and anxiety all add to this factor for me. Sometimes my action is some sort of tantrum….punching inanimate and perfectly innocent objects. Other times I have struggled with controlling my emotions and overeating is the action. I need to challenge these actions now…and daily. I think one of my favorite things about the Path is that it is a constant practice. It reminds me that I am not perfect and nor do I need to be.
The second ethical principle, right action, involves the body as natural means of expression, as it refers to deeds that involve bodily actions. Unwholesome actions lead to unsound states of mind, while wholesome actions lead to sound states of mind. Again, the principle is explained in terms of abstinence: right action means 1. to abstain from harming sentient beings, especially to abstain from taking life (including suicide) and doing harm intentionally or delinquently, 2. to abstain from taking what is not given, which includes stealing, robbery, fraud, deceitfulness, and dishonesty, and 3. to abstain from sexual misconduct. Positively formulated, right action means to act kindly and compassionately, to be honest, to respect the belongings of others, and to keep sexual relationships harmless to others. Further details regarding the concrete meaning of right action can be found in the Precepts.
Part of this series is a little soft on the gifts to others….they are mostly gifts to myself. I need that right now. Plus I am catching up on some lost paintings. So thanks for hanging in there. Take care.