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A reflection on the Noble Eightfold Path

KeromeKerome Lovingness is the wayThe Continent Veteran

A Buddhist friend recently wrote to me about the Noble Eightfold Path, and what he said made me think. He encouraged me to take a holistic view, and just let the mind play with the eight areas of the path, and see how I was doing in all eight areas.

  1. Right view
  2. Right intention
  3. Right speech
  4. Right conduct
  5. Right livelihood
  6. Right effort
  7. Right mindfulness
  8. Right concentration

The path always gets big and complex when you start looking at the detail of each area, and it is easy to get bogged down. But when you take a step back, and you just consider in what areas you are weak or strong, then the path as a whole becomes clearer.

I thought it was interesting...



  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    It sounds like you have a good friend.

    The noble 8 FP is an essential and very useful teaching when looked at as an 8 spoked Buddhist wheel that rolls directly towards suffering's cessation. One of the most useful manifestations for each of our respective practices with this wheel is how it can show that the greatest weight that this wheel can ever carry is actually dependent on the strength of the weakest spoke. While the human condition encourages us to work with our strengths, this wheel points out over focusing on those spokes that are well established and strong is of little help if that means other less established and weaker spokes are getting ignored.

    While for some this wheel is a simple teaching but after spending 48 years attending to the balancing of this wheel, no two turnings of it ever looked the same.

    Today it looks like
    1. understandings that illuminate the 4 noble truths
    2. thoughts ''
    3. speech "
    4. actions "
    5. livelihoods "
    6. efforts "
    7. mindfulness "
    8. concentrations

    I think livelihoods, in todays world should include any of our relationships with others.

  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran

    Yes it would seem that Right Understanding (or some might say Right View) is the scope from which one views the other seven..

    For example...
    One develops an awareness of how to use thought,
    (You are what you think...but you are not your thoughts )
    an awareness of what to say,
    an awareness how to act,
    an awareness of one's approach to one's work,
    an awareness of where one's effort should be targeted,
    constant awareness of what's going on in one's mind (aka minding one's own business )
    I guess developing one's concentration through meditation and contemplation in order to be able to focus on each aspect of the step at a time...

    Awareness having a bird's eye view....of the workings of the mind... so to speak...

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