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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Buddhism

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Old 09-01-2022, 05:20 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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The Eightfold Path - The Fourth Noble Truth

On another thread, we started to talk about the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha ...specifically the Fourth Noble Truth (The Eightfold Path). It was suggested that some one start a separate thread on this topic.

I am approaching this from the perspective of Theravada Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism is older and the more conservative of the two main divisions of Buddhism and is often referred to as the 'traditions of the elders'. Many Theravada Buddhists follow the teachings of the Buddha exactly, and many of them are monks or nuns.

The Eightfold Path is:

Wisdom/Panna

1. Right Understanding
2. Right Thought

Morality/Sila

3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort

Concentration/Samadhi

7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration

"Right Understanding is the full penetration of Truth and would have to be realized first before one could think of developing Right Thought, or of practicing Right Speech, etc." However, the Reality of the situation is that one starts with whatever understanding one considers to be right (in the moment) and acts in accordance with that ... until, through mindfulness and concentration, that understanding becomes more and more refined ... as one's understanding goes deeper and deeper in this developmental spiral ... and one becomes as aware as possible of the Reality/Truth.
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Old 09-01-2022, 05:27 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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Quoting from "The Buddhist Way of Meditation, Guide To Meditation Teachers, by Venerable Weragoda Sarada Maha Thero":

Right Understanding is actually "understanding the Four Noble Truths:

1. To understand suffering;
2. To understand the origin of suffering;
3. To understand the extinction of suffering;
4. To understand the path that leads to the extinction of suffering."

(The above clearly correspond to the Four Noble Truths taught by the Buddha.)
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Old 09-01-2022, 08:26 PM
sky sky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_Waters
"Right Understanding is the full penetration of Truth and would have to be realized first before one could think of developing Right Thought, or of practicing Right Speech, etc."
Looks so easy but the hard part is ' Understanding Right '
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Old 09-01-2022, 09:52 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sky
Looks so easy but the hard part is ' Understanding Right '

Yes. Right Understanding is indeed the "hard part" despite the fact that outwardly it "looks so easy".

Right Understanding, however, is a good place to start this thread.
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Old 09-01-2022, 10:39 PM
Gem Gem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_Waters
Yes. Right Understanding is indeed the "hard part" despite the fact that outwardly it "looks so easy". Right Understanding, however, is a good place to start this thread.
I think the main thing to understand about Buddhist philosophy is, even though they have 8 categories that define the path, it pertains to something whose aspects are inseparable (rather than discusses 8 different things).
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Old 09-01-2022, 11:33 PM
Still_Waters Still_Waters is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
I think the main thing to understand about Buddhist philosophy is, even though they have 8 categories that define the path, it pertains to something whose aspects are inseparable (rather than discusses 8 different things).

That's similar to Pantanjali's Yoga Sutras (Asthanga Yoga - Eight Limbs) where one can be working on several limbs simultaneously.

How do you suggest that we approach the Buddha's Eightfold Path?
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Old 10-01-2022, 12:24 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_Waters
That's similar to Pantanjali's Yoga Sutras (Asthanga Yoga - Eight Limbs) where one can be working on several limbs simultaneously. How do you suggest that we approach the Buddha's Eightfold Path?
I'd start with the morality aspects because morality necessitates one's self awareness and mindfulness.

In Buddhist philosophy, morality is the foundation... Kind of like a compass that keeps you on the 'right' path.
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Old 10-01-2022, 06:50 AM
Joe Mc Joe Mc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_Waters

The Eightfold Path is:

I like the breakdown into Sila/Pana/Samadhi. I've heard the 8 fold path being called 8 limbs in the past, the Pali term for 'limb' is 'Anga'. Maybe this suggests an organic or holistic relationship between the parts or maybe it doesn't. The obvious starting point would seem like Samadhi because perhaps Morality is not possible without Awareness or anything else on the path for that matter is not possible without Awareness ? However, maybe Wisdom/Panna facilitates Samadhi ? I have no primary source material on the subject of the noble 8 fold path atm but perhaps that will come and i can post it which in itself begs the question ...is the Noble 8 Fold Path a subject for study or is it a lived experience etc. etc. or both. Maybe we will find out through this thread. Thanks for starting the thread btw Still Waters.

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Last edited by Miss Hepburn : 10-01-2022 at 06:23 PM. Reason: Again, Joe, quote is too long
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Old 10-01-2022, 07:24 AM
sky sky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_Waters

Right Understanding, however, is a good place to start this thread.

As its the forerunner and guide for the rest of the path then it's the only way, unless we work backwoods
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Old 10-01-2022, 07:46 AM
sky sky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem

In Buddhist philosophy, morality is the foundation... Kind of like a compass that keeps you on the 'right' path.

But if you don't understand what morality is through ' Right understanding ' then the foundation is shaking.
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