Posted in buddhism

The Fourth Noble Truths: 8 FOLDS

So, what do we do?

The Buddha gave us an outline called “the eightfold path”. This path gives us a practice to overcome suffering. There are these eight things that are conducive to our awakening, to helping us overcome our suffering by seeing reality as it really is. I’m going to go over those eight now.

  1. Right View: This is cultivating an expansive view that isn’t so caught up in our narrow preconceptions, emotional baggage, and I-Me-Mine thinking all the time. This is a view that sees that things are always changing and that nothing is independent of anything else. We are parts of a whole.
  2. Right Intention: This means we are in this for the right reasons. We’re doing this to lessen our suffering. Therefore we take it seriously.
  3. Right Speech: We want to be honest and forthright. Avoid lying. Lies distract us. Also avoid harsh speech and gossip. Use your words to be kind. We can do so much harm with our words.
  4. Right Action: Do good deeds, but also act from a state that’s not so connected to outcomes. Don’t help someone in the hope that they will later help you. Help them just to help them.
  5. Right Livelihood: Earn a living in a way that promotes honesty and harmony.
  6. Right Effort: Cultivate a determination to be engaged in each moment and to abandon delusion. Be diligent.
  7. Right Mindfulness: Keep in mind the real problem, suffering, and also be here now. Observe the mind and become aware of how it works.
  8. Right Meditation: Training the mind to be focused and aware, not just on the meditation cushion, but all the time.

That’s it. The four noble truths is really the first teaching that the Buddha gave and many would argue that it’s the most important.

 


 

If you like what you see here or it brings you some benefit, please consider leaving a donation. Even a dollar or two would be really awesome.

Donate

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Guidelines for Right Speech

Right Speech can sometimes be the most difficult part of the Eightfold Path.

In its simplest form, Right Speech can be defined as not using language to harm ourselves or others. Easier said than done. How often do we say things that hurt people’s feelings? How often do we gossip or tell little white lies?

Too often.

And this doesn’t just apply to Buddhist practice. All religious traditions seem to emphasize honest and positive communication. So, this is a case where talking about a fundamental part of Buddhist practice can be of benefit to everyone.

So, here are some guidelines to keep us on track.

1) Tell the truth.

Don’t tell a falsehood. Just as importantly, don’t tell lies by omission. There is far too much dishonesty in the world. If we were all just honest with one another the world would be a very different place. Dishonesty is an attack on trust between individuals.

2) Be compassionate in your speech.

Like we were told as kids. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. We should use our voices to bring kindness into the world.

3) Encourage others.

Sometimes just an encouraging word can bring endless joy to someone. If you see the opportunity to encourage someone, do it.

4) Be helpful.

Our words can help others in many ways. We can explain things they want to learn or just spread positivity and kindness.

Too often we use communication to tear each other down. Verbal attacks are much too common. We can just use our words for kindness.

Posted in Uncategorized

Noble Tenfold Path?

Every Buddhist knows about the Eightfold Path. It is the path the Buddha described for us to lead us out of suffering. It is a set of guidelines, not a rigid set of laws to follow and it is important that we remember that.

I wasn’t aware until recently that there is another version, a tenfold path that is also described in the Pali Canon. The Tenfold Path is presented in the Mahacattarasika Sutta. It is the same as the Eightfold Path, but with two extra steps at the end.

The eightfold path, remember, is Right Understanding, Thought, Speech, Action, Livelihood, Effort, Mindfulness, and Contemplation.

The Tenfold version adds Right Knowledge and Right Liberation.

Right Knowledge means simply direct knowledge. An important part of the path is that seeing is believing. The Buddha said, “Don’t believe based on what you’re told, believe only based on your own experience and reason.” So, Right Knowledge means knowledge as opposed to blind faith. We follow the eightfold path, not because we are told to, but because we can clearly see the benefits of following it in our lives. Right Knowledge also represents knowing reality, not as we wish it to be, but as it truly is.

Right Liberation is enlightenment. According to the Buddha, when we have Right Knowledge, Right Liberation comes to us naturally.

 


 

If you like what you see here or it brings you some benefit, please consider leaving a donation. Even a dollar or two would be really awesome.

Donate