Wisdom : Right View
Praj˝ā : samyag-dṛṣṭi

Right view is the beginning and the end of the path, it simply means to see and to understand things as they really are and to realize the Four Noble Truths. As such, right view is the cognitive aspect of wisdom. It means to see things through, to grasp the impermanent and imperfect nature of worldly objects and ideas, and to understand the law of karma and karmic conditioning. Right view is not necessarily an intellectual capacity, just as wisdom is not just a matter of intelligence. Instead, right view is attained, sustained, and enhanced through all capacities of mind. It begins with the intuitive insight that all beings are subject to suffering and it ends with complete understanding of the true nature of all things. Since our view of the world forms our thoughts and our actions, right view yields right thoughts and right actions. (From The Big View)

This is where one begins when first studying the dharma. It's the process of studying the basic Buddhist principles. In one sense, you could pick up a textbook on world religions and study up, but as stated in the above quote, it is not just an intellectual exercise. It is something that must be grasped and internalized at every level of being. It's understanding, at a basic, intuitive, and instinctual level. I've heard this step called Right Understanding, and I actually prefer that name, as it better relates this idea.

I tend to over-analyze things and find this level of understanding to be difficult to achieve. I live in my head a little too much sometimes. Fortunately for me, anyhow, there really was no element of faith (in the traditional sense) involved here. The basic teachings of the Buddhadharma just plain makes sense to me. Not that they are easy to grasp, or that I have some perfect understanding of them, I have much work to do in gaining additional insight. It's just that they do not seem in conflict with reason and so I don't have that internal hurdle to leap.

So Right View/Understanding is the idea of looking at the world as it really is. But what is the true nature of reality? Start with the Four Noble Truths, throw in the Natural Law of Karma, stir in equal measures of Dependent Origination and Uncontrolled Rebirth(Samsara), blend in anātman until creamy smooth. Pour onto a hot griddle of Emptiness in 6" cakes and cook until bubbles of Wisdom begin to form, flip over and repeat until golden brown. Presto! Buddhist Worldview Flapjacks.