The Eightfold Path
- Fourth Noble Truth- 'the way'
- Set of ethical and practical principles, part of the dharma
- Often referred to as a wheel with 8 spokes because they are inter-linked components and each factor supports each other
- Samma means 'perfect' or 'complete'
- Its purpose is to provide an interpretation of human existence
- Set of instructions left behind by the Buddha to help Buddhists achieve the ultimate goal, nibbana
- Wisdom and meditation help Buddhists understand why this is worthwhile and provide a perspective on life, which gives it meaning and purpose
- The idea of it being a wheel is significant as it suggest effort should be divided equally across all aspects and if it isn't, like and uneven wheel, it will inhibit your progress in life
- Wisdom (prajna) : Right understanding, right though
- Morality (sila) : Right speech, right action, right livelihood
- Meditation (samadhi) : Right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration
- Right Understanding/View- Samma Ditthi
- Involves a correct understanding of how things actually are
- Some see it as the most important part because it is the starting point
- Buddha - 'right view is the forerunner'
- Two stages of right view: mundane and supramundane
- Mundane- right ownership of action. You get it by understanding karma, samsara and overcoming the 3 mental poisons, it is also known as 'worldly knowledge'
- Supramundane- must be developed in order to achieve enlightenment. It involves a deep understanding that 'penetrates' the truths
- Buddha- 'sees no single factor so responsible for the arising of unwholesome states of mind as wrong view'
- Right Thought/Intention- Samma Sankappa
- When Buddhists fully commit to the path, it must come from the heart
- Intention is just as important as actions, bad intention leads to bad karma phala
- It is placed between right view and the three moral actions because it forms a crucial link between mental formulations and actions. When actions are pure, so are intentions
- On his quest to enlightenment, the Buddha learn that bad thought obstruct wisdom
- Buddha- 'an informed heart and feeling mind that are free to pratice letting go leads to nibbana'
- The Buddha highlighted 3 sections of right thought
- Renunciation- oppposes the intention of desire. The pull of desire is to be resisted because it is a root of suffering. Buddha- 'the intention of renunciation dislodges the intention of desire'
- Good will- opposes the thought or intention of ill-will. the Buddha encouraged his followers to cultivate feelings of metta or loving kindness towards others
- Harmlessness- opposes the thought of harmfulness. This is thought guided by compassion (karuna) and is around in oppositin to cruel and aggresive thoughts
- Right Speech- Samma Vaca
- Characterised by wisdom and kindess, allowing for an understanding and appreciation of the dharma
- It involves the avoidance of bad things (varitta) which includes gossiping and abusive speech, as these are considered akusala (unskilful) and lead to bad karma phala (karmic…