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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 self-
mortification, 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
The eight divisions can be
grouped into 3 groups as
follows:

Wisdo
m
Panna Right Understanding
(wisdom) Right Thought

Right Effort

Concentrati
Samadhi Right Mindfulness
(concentration) Right Concentration

on
Right Speech
Sila Right Action
(morality) Moralit
Right Livelihood y
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 Wisdom
Love, charity, Ability to penetrate
kindness, tolerance into the real nature of
and such noble things and understand
qualities of the heart. 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)Two aspects: What we do
and what we refrain from
doing.
Right action aims at promoting
moral, honourable and peaceful
conduct.
One should refrain from: s to
e a n h do
Destroying life n m h ic
c t io s w t o
ht a d
ee ferin g
Stealing i g d
R
f o r m suf ers.
Dishonest dealings per cause d oth
not self an
Illegitimate sexual misconduct
o n e
Taking intoxicants
SILA (Morality)
Right Livelihood
(Samma Ajiva)
Avoid occupations/trades which cause
suffering to oneself and others.

One should refrain from


trade dealing in: t o
l e i s
s of
c i p n e s
Arms/lethal weapons prin appi
i ng e h r s .
Intoxicating drinks Gui d rt h t he
k fo d o
o r an
Poisons w self
on e
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.
v e ry Effort to avoid evil that has
yas
t pl a not yet arisen.
ffo r in
t E a r t
Righ rtant p isdom f Effort to develop good not
po n g w on o
im o p i v a t i yet arisen.
e l ti
dev gh cul ental
u
thro e and m Effort to promote the good
virtu pline. that has already arisen.
i s ci
d
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:
s to
l d u
a to ects The activities of the
d d h u b j to
Bu the s a vie ally w body.
e
Th erve with re
s y h e y v e
ob u l l s t t i Sensations or
i n df gs a e rela e”,
m thin t t h m in feelings.
u “
see witho f “I”,
r e t s o The activities of the
a c e p ” .
n e
co ”, “sh mind.
“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
By doing so, the devoid
anger of its
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.
Meditation is not, as some
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 A deeper and more profound level
viewed at two is penetration into the very nature
of things. This is experienced
levels: 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 Eliminating evil thoughts.


Right Developing pure thoughts.
Thought?

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 self-
possessiveness.
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.”
Practise
This isInthe Path path
only
the Noble
Eightfold Path, the
to diligently.
get Buddha
out ofhas
Samsara.provided us with a
Sadhu!! Sadhu!! Sadhu!!
map of the road
leading to
Nibbana.
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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