Right understanding (sammā diṭṭhi) is the first step on the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. The English word understanding means, literally, ‘to stand under,’ to be very close to something so as to get to know it well. The Pāḷi word diṭṭhi literally means ‘vision.’ Therefore, Right Understanding is to cultivate those qualities of mind which will allow one to have a complete and realistic apprehension of things, or as the Buddha often put it, ‘a knowledge and vision of things as they really are’ (e.g. S.III,59). Some of the attitudes that can help the development of Right Understanding include trying to get a direct experience of something rather than relying on the opinions of others, not having preconceived ideas, not jumping to conclusions, being open to different explanations, taking time to draw conclusions, being ready to change one’s opinion when presented with facts that contradict it, not mistaking a part for the whole, etc. All these attitudes are mentioned by the Buddha in one or another of his discourses. Sāriputta mentioned that listening to others, paying careful attention, discussion, virtue and having a peaceful mind can all help develop Right Understanding (M.I,294). Very clearly, Right Understanding is a process rather than a fixed idea, belief or opinion. And the culmination and finality of this process will be enlightenment.