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What Did Buddha Leave Out of the Eightfold Path? And What Does It Have to Do with Blogging?

So there was this guy named Buddha. Perhaps you’ve heard of him.

He had a lot to say about a lot of things, and one of those things was the Noble Eightfold Path.

This particular octagonal path consists of a bunch of groovy activities to help you have a groovy, enlightened life. Things like right speech and right action.

But here’s the deal: Buddha left something out.

photo: William Opdyke on flickr

I know, he was enlightened. And that’s all well and good. But even enlightened people make mistakes. Or at least oversights.

So here’s what Buddha forgot:

Right blogging.

Sure, right speech and right action – and right view, intention, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration – are important. But so is right blogging. Indeed, I maintain that right blogging holds the key to an enlightened life.

But Z¸ you say. Right blogging is the same as right speech. Buddha didn’t forget anything! Don’t be dissing the Buddha!

To that I say: I’m not dissing anyone! That would be un-right speech. I’m not about that!

But I am about right blogging.

Let me tell you about it:

Several years ago, I started this blog. At the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing.

Actually, I still have no idea what I’m doing.

But that’s part of the magic. In becoming a blogger, I’ve realized I’m not alone. I need to rely on others.

Like Melissa Phillippe, my wonderful editor. And Graham Beattie and Jess Nunez, my tech support peeps. And WordPress, my software. And the amazing Flickr photographers whose images I use. And most important of all – you readers who enrich this blog with your comments and attention.

And then there’s the Divine.

Without a doubt, my dance with the Divine has strengthened and deepened since starting this blog.

photo: Peverus on flickr

Like when I’ve received less-than-complimentary comments from readers. I’ve learned to chill, take a breath, and reply from a sense of Oneness, not combativeness.

I’ve learned that I have a voice. That my particular expression of the One Creative Energy is valuable and important.

I’ve learned that I can laugh at myself. The sense of perspective and freedom this gives is invigorating.

And I’ve learned that it’s both me and an-expanded-version-of-me that’s writing these posts.

Case in point:

I wrote a post called Dominos and Donuts: The Truth About Change. When I first got the idea for the post, I only knew it was going to be about the domino-like nature of change. That was it.

photo: Smabs Sputzer on flickr

And then, out of the blue, the word “donuts” popped into my head. Shortly after, the entire title formed itself in my mind.

The title made no sense to me. What did change have to do with donuts? I had no idea.

But the more I thought about it, the more I began to understand. Before I knew it, the entire post was written.

But I didn’t do it alone.

It required opening up to ideas and information beyond my small, rational brain. That is, it required opening up to the Divine within and all around me.

So back to right blogging.

It’s true that right blogging could fall under the category of right speech. For that matter, there are all kinds of new-fangled activities that could fall under this category.

Things like right texting. And right LOL’ing. And right friending and unfriending.

photo: Timothy Krause on flickr

Well, except friending and unfriending move beyond the category of right speech into right use of technology. Which is also true of blogging. It doesn’t fall into just one category.

Here’s my point:

It’s complicated. All of the categories ultimately blend together into one: Right living. And right blogging, I’ve found, is ultimately about right living.

And right living is all about alignment with the Power that’s both us and way bigger than us.

So whatever we do – be it texting or LOL’ing or unplugging from the whole frickin’ thing and taking a nap – the most important thing is that we do it with love and attention. That we remember how powerful and amazing we are. That we remember we’re not alone, that Help always surrounds us.

Buddha wasn’t big on a personal relationship with the Divine, so perhaps he’d disagree with some of what I just said. But I’m pretty sure he’d be on board with right blogging.

Or at least right LOL’ing.

photo: Petteri Sulonen on flickr

How do you practice right living? And how often do you LOL?

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11 Responses to What Did Buddha Leave Out of the Eightfold Path? And What Does It Have to Do with Blogging?

  1. Deborah Jordan August 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Thanks Z for this post! I appreciate the humor and love in your writing.

    I really needed to hear that Help is all around me.

    Experiencing some fear today as I am in a time of intense change. Mostly I feel like the caterpillar in the cocoon except for I’m having a hard time being here as I imagine a caterpillar just surrenders into this phase of its life. There is a lot dropping away, dying and I cannot see the wings of the new life.

    As a blogger and spiritually-minded individual I value “right action” whether it is speech, the written word, or the choices I make. I make mistakes and I have learned to embrace these as opportunities to grow beyond what I’ve known and allow myself to feel loved in my humanity.

    The practice of Real Love is part of how I practice living rightly with others. I know that this time of intense change is a healing and letting go of old patterns of behavior that have never led to my happiness. Its good work and it isn’t always easy. The present moment is truly all we have so I am looking for the beauty of cocoon phase.

    To right blogging and so much more!

    • Z Egloff August 30, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

      Hi Deborah,

      Oh yeah, that whole caterpillar thing can be challenging. Especially when you feel like you’re in the middle part, where you’re neither caterpillar or butterfuly, but just some sort of cater-fly soup. Kudos to you for growing beyond what you’ve been, and loving yourself in the process. Good work!

      I also appreciate that you’re looking for the beauty of the cocoon place – what a wonderful thing to do!

      To right blogging and right cocooning!


  2. squirrel August 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm #


    this blog post brought to mind Ruiz’s First Agreement – be impeccable with your word…

    i lol frequently. well, i chuckle, chortle and guffaw frequently – at least once or ten times per day. :)

    as far as right living goes, there are a few acronyms with which most of us are familiar – THINK – is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind? and WAIT – Why Am I Talking? – both of which Bruner referenced a couple of Sundays ago.

    one that i use that’s not really an acronym but it is a simplified version of THINK – is, is it Truthful, Helpful and Kind? those are the big 3. i don’t think everything we say needs to be inspiring or necessary, necessarily. 😉 but i do think it would benefit everyone if we were all coming from a place of conscientiousness and love. we are all human, and i’m aware that i’m not as enlightened as i’d like to be. so it’s good for me to pay closer attention to what is coming out of my mouth… is it truthful, helpful and kind? 2/3 doesn’t cut it…

    part of right living, for me, is practicing forgiveness. it’s stepping out of self-righteousness and embracing the Truth of who i am and what the situation is, and realizing that there’s nothing to forgive. it’s all god and none of it is personal. whenever someone is criticizing me, s/he is telling me his/her story, not mine.

    and i am becoming more and more aware of my reactions and responses, knowing that however i react or respond is directly connected to what i think about myself at a conscious or subconscious level. it’s my story.

    you know, now that i think about it, i pretty much follow the Four Agreements… i didn’t realize that before now…

    one of my favorite things about your blog, z, is that it gets me to go deeper. i actually have really amazing realizations when i’m thinking about what i’m reading here. so, thank you! (i hope that was helpful on some level, cuz it was truthful and kind.) :)


    • Laura Feahr August 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

      It is easier for me to be thoughtful as I write than when I talk, but in both I have become quieter, and slower to respond. I use the social networking to focus on concise and clear statements. Knowing that so many are seeing this, I do want to be on point and keep positive energy. It has given me practice for the one on one talking, because I keep seeing the point of clear, honest expression. I do LOL and not say I do. But I never say I do if I don’t. Again, thanks for presenting a simple situation and setting an internal inquiry in motion.
      A Faithful Follower of the Inquiring Mind that is Z.

      • Z Egloff August 30, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

        Hi Laura,

        I like how you describe that the process of written communication has changed your other forms of communication. I appreciate the pondering of the subject of the impact of blogs and social networking on our lives. There are many consequences that are truly helpful and engaging and progressive. Your comment touches upon this.

        For the record, I rarely LOL. Either in “real” life or virtual life. Melissa finds it annoying, as it’s really hard to get me to laugh at her jokes. Not totally sure why that is. But there you go. Did Buddha LOL a lot? I wonder. . . .

        Thanks for dropping by! Always good to see you here. :)


    • Z Egloff August 30, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

      Hi Sqqqqqquirrel!

      I’m glad to know that you’re such a frequent chuckler, chortler and guffawer. The world needs more people like you! 😉

      I agree with you about the THK part of the THINK, and not always needing the IN. Or the NI. That sounds even better. I personally like saying things that aren’t at all necessary. There’s much fun to be had there, if you know what I mean. And I think you do.

      And congrats on that 4 agreements thing. Seriously. Those are some mighty agreements. Before I knew them better, I would plaly a game of trying to remember them. Whichever one I couldn’t remember was invariably the agreement that I needed to work on the most.

      Also, it’s awesome that this blog helps you go deeper. I’m hearing from more people these days that this blog is actually meaningful to them, and that’s incredibly meaningful to me because, well, I’m putting my time and attention into writing it.

      So thank you for your true, helpful and kind comment. And personally, I think it was also inspiring and necessary. But maybe that’s just me. 😉


      • squirrel August 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

        ah, yes, forgetting which agreement is which or forgetting an agreement altogether… i do that on occasion. and after i google it, i do a personal inventory around it and see where in my life i could apply it more. like that.

        and you are very welcome, dear one.


  3. Jill Shinn August 30, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Z, this is so timely for me for various reasons. Mainly because the BLOG post I wrote this week was on taking social action in a responsible, Buddha-like way. We don’t rush out there with all our anger and just mow people down with it. It doesn’t work very well and it leaves a path of destruction for us and the others involved. You and I think alike, sister. Thanks for a great post.

    • Z Egloff August 30, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

      Hi Jill,

      I agree. Anger and mowing people down is not usually an effective strategy. At least, not for me. 😉

      I’m glad you think that we think alike, because I also think that, and I like the way you think. :)

      Here’s to right thinking about right blogging!



  4. River September 1, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    Hi Z,
    If right blogging could also be define as that which causes us to inhale – to in-spire, then you are wayy well on your way. Your blog often inspires me.

    As for my own right blogging/living, I think what I can most say is I show up as authentic. I am a fairly WYSIWYG kind of woman. (Does that also mean I come under right techy too?)

    I too am in an in between place but am finding the needed plateau as a time of integration before the next big screaming jump with my bungee cord of Life. I am still working on that surrender thing. Found out that if I don’t keep the commitments to myself then how could I begin to trust and surrender to the great Unseen. I guess that is right speech even if spoken in a whisper in my head.

    Thanks always for your words that provoke my thoughts. You are a blessing.

    • Z Egloff September 5, 2012 at 11:31 am #

      Hi River!

      Thanks for letting me know that this blog inspires you. Sometimes it’s hard to feel connected to my readers – give the virtual nature of this whole enterprise – and so I always appreciate hearing from folks that the words are meaningful, or inspiring, or something groovy like that.

      It sounds like you are in an interesting and powerful place. Big things going on there. Right whispering is a mighty thing.

      Thank you, as always, for your comments. :)


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