The Path

Bolton Abbey Path (02-PJL 2014) s

 

Whenever I see a path I am reminded of the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path or Middle Way…

 

 

 


The Path

Whenever I see a path I am reminded of the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path or Middle Way –

“And this, monks, is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of dukkha: precisely this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

— SN 56.11[1]

 

The Path

The Path

 

I. Samma ditthi …. Right view

dukkhe ñana …. understanding suffering

dukkhasamudaye ñana …. understanding its origin

dukkhanirodhe ñana …. understanding its cessation

dukkhanirodhagaminipatipadaya ñana …. understanding the way leading to its cessation

II. Samma sankappa …. Right intention

nekkhamma-sankappa …. intention of renunciation

abyapada-sankappa …. intention of good will

avihimsa-sankappa …. intention of harmlessness

III. Samma vaca …. Right speech

musavada veramani …. abstaining from false speech

pisunaya vacaya veramani …. abstaining from slanderous speech

pharusaya vacaya veramani …. abstaining from harsh speech

samphappalapa veramani …. abstaining from idle chatter

IV. Samma kammanta …. Right action

panatipata veramani …. abstaining from taking life

adinnadana veramani …. abstaining from stealing

kamesu micchacara veramani …. abstaining from sexual misconduct

V. Samma ajiva …. Right livelihood

miccha ajivam pahaya …. giving up wrong livelihood,

samma ajivena jivitam kappeti …. one earns one’s living by a right form of livelihood

VI. Samma vayama …. Right effort

samvarappadhana …. the effort to restrain defilements

pahanappadhana …. the effort to abandon defilements

bhavanappadhana …. the effort to develop wholesome states

anurakkhanappadhana …. the effort to maintain wholesome states

VII. Samma sati …. Right mindfulness

kayanupassana …. mindful contemplation of the body

vedananupassana …. mindful contemplation of feelings

cittanupassana …. mindful contemplation of the mind

dhammanupassana …. mindful contemplation of phenomena

VIII. Samma samadhi …. Right concentration

pathamajjhana …. the first jhana

dutiyajjhana …. the second jhana

tatiyajjhana …. the third jhana

catutthajjhana …. the fourth jhana [2]

 

“The noble eightfold path is included under the three aggregates. Right speech, right action, and right livelihood come under the aggregate of virtue. Right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration come under the aggregate of concentration. Right view and right resolve come under the aggregate of discernment.”

— MN 44 [3]

 

“Sorry to break it to you, that you’re really not following the Middle Way unless you’ve already become an Arahant or at least a Sotāpanna… We’re on a path, there are the same eight factors [See above] but it’s not the Middle Way – it’s not the Noble Eightfold Path, not technically speaking… You don’t try to stay on the Middle Way, you try to come closer to it and eventually attain perfect balance, perfectly balanced mind; it doesn’t come from doing a balancing act – it comes from letting go of the extremes.”

— Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu [4]

 

According to my understanding, the Buddha taught attainment of Nibbåna through the destruction of all defilements. However, because rebirth inevitably continues as long as there remains even a hint of craving or aversion, the monastic lifestyle which the Buddha established is therefore regarded by Theravadins as the ‘fast track’ to enlightenment. Although the ability of lay people to achieve enlightenment is recognised, it is by adopting the celibate lifestyle of a monk or nun that a lay person attains enlightenment in the present lifetime; for the non-celibate, the path to nibbana is a more gradual affair – a matter of developing morality, compassion and wisdom in order to look after oneself with ease and to facilitate a happier rebirth in the next round of samsara. [5]

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Notes

[1] ‘The Fourth Noble Truth: The Noble Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of dukkha’, edited by Access to Insight (2005). Access to Insight.
<http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/index.html>

[2] Appendix to ‘The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering’, by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Access to Insight.
<http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/waytoend.html#app>

[3] ‘The Fourth Noble Truth…’ Ibid.

[4] ‘Ask A Monk: How to Stay on the Middle Way?’ by Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu (2011), YouTube. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpmKgTD3FLY&list=LLkWPsh7QYBugE6ycx8lHObQ>

[5] ‘Lifestyles and Spiritual Progress’, by Bhikkhu Bodhi (2005). Access to Insight.<http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/bps-essay_39.html>

[6] Image Details –

The Path
Location: Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire, UK
Camera: Sony Ericsson SK17i Xperia Mini Pro
Date: 02 Feb 2014
Processing: Picassa

 



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