One of the tenets of the eight fold path is developing right view which in my opinion can be subjective based on variables or factors such as your upbringing, exposure, experience and like.

How does one develop right views when there is a lack of information and knowledge and there is a constraint of time?

Alternatively how does one maintain right views when you may have some information and little knowledge and there is a constraint of time?


4 Answers 4


Firstly, here is a short quote on "Right View" by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi:

"Right view is placed first because right view is the eye that guides and directs all the other factors. In the practice of the path, we need the vision and understanding supplied by right views, in order to see the way to travel along the path. Then we need the other factors, conduct or practice, in order to bring us to our destination. Right view is placed at the begining of the path to show that before we can set foot on the actual practice, we need the understanding provided by right view, as our guide, our inner director, to show us where we are starting from, where we are heading, and what are the successive stages to be passed through in practice.

Usually the Buddha defines right view as the understanding of the Four Noble Truths: suffering, the origin, its cessation and the way to its cessation. To follow the path right from the start we need a correct perspective on the human condition. We have to see that our lives are not fully satisfactory, that life is impermanent, that it is subject to suffering, and we have to understand that suffering is something that we have to penetrate by means of knowledge, something that we have to conquer, and not something we should escape from by pain removers, entertainment, distractions or dull forgetfulness.

At the deepest level we have to see that all things that make up our being, the five aggregates, are impermanent, constantly changing, and therefore cannot be held to as a basis for security or unchanging happiness. Then we have to see that the cause of Dukkha lies in our own mind. Nobody is imposing it on us. We cannot put the blame outside ourselves. It is through our own craving and clinging that we produce suffering and pain for ourselves. Then when we see that the cause of the Dukkha lies in our own mind, we understand that the key to liberation too lies in our own mind. That key is the overcoming of ignorance and craving by means of wisdom. Then, to enter the path, we need the confidence that by following the Noble Eightfold Path we can reach the goal, the cessation of suffering.

The Buddha defines right view as the understanding of the Four Noble Truths for a very improtant reason, namely, that he does not want his disciples to practice his teaching merely out of feelings of devotion. Rather, he wants them to follow the path on the basis of their own understanding. Their own insight into the nature of human life.

As we'll see later, the path begins with an elementary level of right understanding. As the mind develops in the course of practice, the understanding will gradually deepen, expand and widen, and as it does so we come back again and again to right view."

Here is a more in-depth quote on "Right View" from the book "The Noble Eightfold Path - The Way to the End of Suffering" by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, p. 13-15:

"Right view provides the perspective for practice, right intention the sense of direction. But the two do not expire in this preparatory role. For when the mind has been refined by the training in moral discipline and concentration, it arrives at a superior right view and right intention, which now form the proper training in the higher wisdom.

Right view is the forerunner of the entire path, the guide for all the other factors. It enables us to understand our starting point, our destination, and the successive landmarks to pass as practice advances. To attempt to engage in the practice without a foundation of right view is to risk getting lost in the futility of undirected movement. Doing so might be compared to wanting to drive someplace without consulting a roadmap or listening to the suggestions of an experienced driver. One might get into the car and start to drive, but rather than approaching closer to one’s destination, one is more likely to move farther away from it. To arrive at the desired place one has to have some idea of its general direction and of the roads leading to it. Analogous considerations apply to the practice of the path, which takes place in a framework of understanding established by right view.

The importance of right view can be gauged from the fact that our perspectives on the crucial issues of reality and value have a bearing that goes beyond mere theoretical convictions. They govern our attitudes, our actions, our whole orientation to existence. Our views might not be clearly formulated in our mind; we might have only a hazy conceptual grasp of our beliefs. But whether formulated or not, expressed or maintained in silence, these views have a far-reaching influence. They struc- ture our perceptions, order our values, crystallize into the idea- tional framework through which we interpret to ourselves the meaning of our being in the world.

These views then condition action. They lie behind our choices and goals, and our efforts to turn these goals from ideals into actuality. The actions themselves might determine consequences, but the actions along with their consequences hinge on the views from which they spring. Since views imply an “ontological commitment,” a decision on the question of what is real and true, it follows that views divide into two classes, right views and wrong views. The former correspond to what is real, the latter deviate from the real and confirm the false in its place.

These two different kinds of views, the Buddha teaches, lead to radically disparate lines of action, and thence to opposite results. If we hold a wrong view, even if that view is vague, it will lead us towards courses of action that eventuate in suffering. On the other hand, if we adopt a right view, that view will steer us towards right action, and thereby towards freedom from suffer- ing. Though our conceptual orientation towards the world might seem innocuous and inconsequential, when looked at closely it reveals itself to be the decisive determinant of our whole course of future development. The Buddha himself says that he sees no single factor so responsible for the arising of unwholesome states of mind as wrong view, and no factor so helpful for the arising of wholesome states of mind as right view. Again, he says that there is no single factor so responsible for the suffering of living beings as wrong view, and no factor so potent in promoting the good of living beings as right view (AN 1:16.2).

In its fullest measure right view involves a correct understanding of the entire Dhamma or teaching of the Buddha, and thus its scope is equal to the range of the Dhamma itself. But for practical purposes two kinds of right view stand out as primary. One is mundane right view, right view which operates within the confines of the world. The other is supramundane right view, the superior right view which leads to liberation from the world. The first is concerned with the laws governing material and spiritual progress within the round of becoming, with the principles that lead to higher and lower states of exist- ence, to mundane happiness and suffering. The second is concerned with the principles essential to liberation. It does not aim merely at spiritual progress from life to life, but at emancipation from the cycle of recurring lives and deaths."

Lastly, here is a very detailed audio dhamma talk called "The Noble Eightfold Path" by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi. In here he talks about all the path factors and explains them. This is a very good talk that i highly recommend.


Right view is basically the knowledge/realisation of Four Nobel Truth, which is not subjective. Our current view about things we observe is subjective and we need to have the right effort to get to the right view. The main constraint is not the time, it's the priority I suppose.

  • Yes I think that 'right view' is defined, in the Maha-satipatthana Sutta: "And what is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view."
    – ChrisW
    Jun 19, 2015 at 0:25
  • Hi Xelber and welcome to Buddhism SE. Good answer you made. If you want to make it even better then you could put in some references to the texts. Also here is a guide for new users: meta.buddhism.stackexchange.com/questions/1502/…
    – user2424
    Jun 19, 2015 at 10:19
  • 1
    @Lanka Thanks, will do from now on. Really glad buddhism is in SE.
    – xelber
    Jun 19, 2015 at 16:31
  • Sounds great. I am too:)
    – user2424
    Jun 19, 2015 at 17:13

Seeing things as they are(ultimate reality) is right view. When practicing mindfulness any conceptual view is wrong view. When we have a foundation of virtue, we see things as they are in the present moment, moment by moment, second by millisecond and along with concentration, that is the basic practice(mindfulness) we need to understand the difference between ultimate reality and conceptual reality. A view can't fit into ultimate reality. It would be great if you could get a teacher. One can actually get by with little theoretical knowledge, especially if they have a teacher. We all have a constraint on time, that's what we are trying to see deeply: Impermanence as well as dukkha and not-self.

Bhante Yuttadhammo on right view:

"The first step towards enlightenment is right view, which simply means seeing reality from the proper paradigm. The theory, which holds perfectly in practice, is that if you are not looking at reality in the right way, you will never be able to approach the understanding of it. A physicalist paradigm is useless in practice - it gives rise to stress, depression, anger and immorality for the simple reason that it doesn't describe the first-hand experience of the mind that subscribes to it. An idealist paradigm (which says that reality is entirely mental) is equally useless, for similar reasons. An experientialist paradigm fits perfectly, by its very definition, with the reality it seeks to describe, focusing only on those phenomena as can be understood first-hand without postulating a physical or mental substratum. As a result, it can never fall prey to the dissociation from reality that plagues the other, more theoretical paradigms."

from his Bhante's blog here: http://yuttadhammo.sirimangalo.org/2013/05/a-skeptic-guide-to-neuroscience.html?m=1


Developing and maintaining right view when there is a lack of information, knowledge and a constraint of time can be achieved with few things in mind. What view produces the most positive result in my environment and how can my view be improved is a good starting place. If you feel happy with your new found insight and your view seems to be doing wonders for your environment than you can rest assured that you (and your people) have generated a 'right view'. If you feel as if your energies are reducing after sometime though, than it may be time for some improvement (like tuning your car when its running a bit sluggish). Unfortunately there is no 'right view' that you can cling to that will keep you happy and satisfied. Hence the core teaching of Buddhism which refers to 'attachment'. Fortunately however, right views that have been generated overtime need not be thrown out and forgotten. Combining your best views can produce wonders for your life (kind of like the art of chemistry where two seemingly useless chemicals are combined to make a great product)! This makes view creation and maintenance a constant effort, as so mentioned in the eight-fold noble path. So don't be satisfied with one view no matter how shiny it is and don't be quick to chuck out other views because they deem no significance. Instead play with your box of views life a scientific lab and see what you can come up with! :D

Hope this helps :)

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