Lesson 7 The Timeless Truth (Part 2) – Noble Eightfold Path

The Fourth Noble Truth:
The Path Leading to the End of Dukkha
The Fourth Noble Truth is also known as the Noble Eightfold Path or the Middle Path. It avoids the extreme of sensual pleasure and selfmortification, eternalism and It is a planned course of nilism, optimism and inward culture and pessimism. progress and is not practised out of any fear of the supernatural. It is practised when one is convinced of the intrinsic

Noble Eightfold Path
The Path is a means and never an end. It brings about dispassion and detachment by the gradual elimination of the desire for sensual pleasure. It leads to the development of compassion and the cultivation of a selfless love for all that lives. The Path leads from selfishness to altruism, from the unreal to the Real.

Noble Eightfold Path
Wisdo m
Moralit y

The eight divisions can be grouped into 3 groups as follows:


Right Understanding Right Thought
Concentrati on

Right Effort Samadhi Right Mindfulness (concentration) Right Concentration



Right Speech Right Action Right Livelihood

SILA (Morality)
The first group of the Noble Eightfold Path deals with morality.

Three factors:

Right Speech Right Action Right Livelihood

SILA (Morality)
Sila is based on love and compassion for all beings. Both qualities, compassion and wisdom should be developed equally for a man to become perfect.
Compassion Love, charity, kindness, tolerance and such noble qualities of the heart. Wisdom Ability to penetrate into the real nature of things and understand things without being clouded with delusion.

SILA (Morality)
Right Speech (Samma Vaca) Perfect Speech or Right Speech is one
that is truthful, affectionate, helpful, and which promotes concord, harmony, and unity. It reflects inner wisdom, clear vision, and Buddha-nature and represents the Ideal of Human Communication. Imperfect Speech or Wrong Speech is untruthful, harsh, harmful, and which promotes discord, disharmony and disunity.

SILA - Right Speech Speak the Truth, Tell No LiesWords spoken without guile, conflict or
hidden agendas. Factual truthfulness is important, but truthfulness is also psychological and spiritual. Besides factual accuracy, speaking the truth involves an attitude of honesty and sincerity. It means that we are honest with ourselves. Honest communication and mutual understanding is the essence of good relationships

SILA (Morality)
Right Action (Samma Kammanta) aspects: What we do Two
and what we refrain from doing. Right action aims at promoting moral, honourable and peaceful conduct. One should refrain from:
s t o do ean ich Destroying life n m wh ctio eds a g to t Stealing igh rm de ufferin . R rfo use s others Dishonest dealings pe ca ot elf and Illegitimate sexual misconduct n ne s o Taking intoxicants

SILA (Morality)
Right Livelihood (Samma Ajiva) occupations/trades which cause Avoid
suffering to oneself and others. One should refrain from trade dealing in:

s to of le i ess ip inc ppin Arms/lethal weapons pr ha g din r the thers. Intoxicating drinks Gui o o rk f f and Poisons wo sel one Killing animals
Cheating Human beings

Right Livelihood (Samma Ajiva) Two Requirements of Right Livelihood Provide the necessities of life —food, clothing, shelter, medicine and education. The work must be ethically wholesome. Many types of work provide an adequate or even excellent income, but involve dishonesty, exploitation or cruelty.

SILA (Morality) - Summary
Right Speech (Samma Vaca) Right Action (Samma Kammanta) Right Livelihood (Samma Ajiva)
The Buddhist ethical and moral conduct aims at promoting harmony and happiness for the life of the individual and society. Morality also forms the indispensable foundation for all higher spiritual attainments.

Samadhi (Mental Discipline)
The second group of the Noble Eightfold Path deals with the human mind. Samadhi means mental discipline or mental culture. Three factors: Right Effort Right Mindfulness Right Concentration

SAMADHI (Mental Discipline)
Right Effort (Samma Vayama) Endeavour to live a moral and blameless life. The 4 Right Efforts are:
Effort to overcome evil that has already arisen.
l ays ort p t in f t Ef par m Righ rtant sdo of i po g w tion im lopin iva t e dev gh cul ental u thro e and m virtu pline. isci d very a

Effort to avoid evil that has not yet arisen. Effort to develop good not yet arisen. Effort to promote the good that has already arisen.

SAMADHI (Mental Discipline)
Right Mindfulness (Samma Sati)
Right Mindfulness is to be diligently attentive of what happens to us and in us. It is to be mindful of our thoughts, speech and actions. With mindfulness, we are less inclined to be thoughtless and careless. We establish harmony and peace by cultivating the alertness of the mind and awareness of conduct.

SAMADHI (Mental Discipline)
Right Mindfulness (Samma Sati)
The most important Sutta on the development of mindfulness is the Satipatthana Sutta. The Four Foundations of Mindfulness are awareness of: The activities of the body. Sensations or feelings. The activities of the mind.

s to ld u ts a to bjec o ddh e s u wt y u e e B e th h a vi reall Th erv wit they ive t obs dfully as ela e”, s r min thing t the “min u see witho f “I”, re epts o . a ” onc “she c ”, “he

SAMADHI (Mental Discipline)
Right Mindfulness (Samma Sati)
For example, when anger arises, don’t think “I’m angry”, as if the anger belongs to us. Be aware of the arising of anger and the state of an angry mind, and realise that it is both impermanent and devoid of its By doing so, the anger loses self. compelling power and quickly subsides. This is the technique of nipping anxiety and other negative thoughts and cultivate positive feelings such

SAMADHI (Mental Discipline)
Right Concentration (Samma Samadhi)
Concentration to the point of clear insight is the peak of Buddhist endeavour and sets Buddhism apart from other teachings. is not, as some Meditation people think, reflecting upon, thinking about a subject and pondering. It is observing with alertness and keeping the attention on the subject without wavering of the mind.

PANNA (Wisdom)
The third group of the Noble Eightfold Path deals with wisdom.

Two factors:

Right Understanding Right Thought

PANNA (Wisdom)
Right Understanding (Samma Ditthi) What needs to be understood? People differ in their realisation
and understanding of universal phenomena. Correspondingly, their practice of the Dhamma differ. But as a person gains more and more insight, he develops an unshakeable confidence in the Buddha Dhamma, when he realises for himself how true the words of the Buddha are.

PANNA (Wisdom)
Right Understanding (Samma Ditthi) What needs to be understood? Understanding the universal
truths of the Four Noble Truths (Dukkha; Arising of Dukkha, the End of Dukkha; Path leading to the end of Dukkha) Realisation that we are the owner of our Kamma, the intentional actions by body, speech and thought. Understanding of the three characteristics of life that govern everything that exists: Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta.

PANNA (Wisdom)
Our understanding of things can be viewed at two levels:
A deeper and more profound level is penetration into the very nature of things. This is experienced and realised from the very depth of our being that makes us resolve to do or to avoid doing certain things.

Intellectual grasping of a subject according to certain given data. We learn this from reading, discussing and listening.

PANNA (Wisdom)
Right Thought (Samma Samkappa)
Why Right Thought? Eliminating evil thoughts. Developing pure thoughts.

Dhammapada Verse 1 states: “Mind preceds all mental states Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts, suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.”

PANNA (Wisdom)
Right Thought (Samma Samkappa)
Right Thought constists of: a.Nekkhama – renunciation of world pleasures or selfishness, which is opposed to attachment, selfishness and selfpossessiveness. b.Avyapada – loving-kindness, goodwill, or benevolence, which is opposed to hatred, ill-will or aversion. c. Avihimsa – harmlessness or

PANNA (Wisdom)
Right Thought (Samma Samkappa)
Good and evil forces are latent in all of us. The evil forces will rise to the surface at unexpected moments. Greed and hatred, coupled with ignorance, are the chief causes of all evil.

The Dhammapada Verse 251 states: “There is no fire like lust, no grip like hate, There is no net like delusion, no river like craving.”

PractiseIn the Noble path Path This is the only Eightfold Path, the to diligently. has get Buddha out of Samsara. provided us with Sadhu!! Sadhu!! Sadhu!!a
t t S pe ec h

map of the road leading to Nibbana.
Right on ntrati Conce


Right A ction

Right Livelihood ort Right Eff





s t gh ulnes Ri df Min

a U ig n ht d e rs t



gh Ri





The gift of Dhamma excels all gifts the taste of Dhamma excels all taste, the delight in dhamma excels all delights, The Craving-Freed vanquishes all suffering. - Dhammapada verse 354

End of Lesson 7

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.