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Thread: The Noble Eightfold Path

  1. #1
    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    The Noble Eightfold Path

    By suggestion and out of common sense I thought it a good time to start a thread on the Noble Eightfold Path. We often speak of the Four Nobler Truths, the Five Precepts, Meditation and so forth, but really haven't delved much into the Noble Eightfold Path. In my reasoning at least, this is a majority part of the practice, as it is integral to the fundamental Four Noble Truths, being the road map tot he path out of samsara. Many many dhamma related questions can often be answered by one's ownself in daily decision making by having even a basic understanding of this Noble Eightfold Path.

    My hope is that this post can be migrated into a new forum dealing with the Noble Eightfold Path as its focus. I will be presenting the factors of the path one by one, much as the Five Precepts have been presented as individual topics elsewhere on this site. I will be using Ven. Bikkhu Bodhi's book "The Noble Eightfold Path" as reference, however, anyone is welcome to add to rebut or refute the posts using teachings from other teachers (i.e. Ajahn Brahmali, another world renown Buddhist and Pali Scholar).

    The first post regarding the first factor of the path shall follow shortly in another thread. May all beings be well and happy.

    Jerrod Lopes

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    5 Precepts Keeper Senior Member Rudite Salina's Avatar
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    That`s great, thanks Jerrod!

    With metta.

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    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    The Noble Eightfold Path: A prologue

    Parts of this post are paraphrased form the book The Noble Eightfold Path: Way to the End of Suffering by Bhikkhu Bodhi, published by BPE/BPS Pariyatti Editions 1984, 1994.


    The Noble Eightfold Path, according to Bhikkhu Bodhi, is comrpised of components rather than as sequential steps. All eight parts can be present with time and practice, but until then, may require a sequential approach.

    The Noble Eightfold Path can be broken down for purposes of training into three groups; the moral discipline group (silakkhanda), made up of right speech, right action and right livelihood; the concentration group (samadhikkhanda), made up of right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration; and the wisdom group (pannakkhanda) made up of right view and right intention. These can be said, then, to approach training through three stages; higher moral discipline, higher consciousness and higher wisdom.

    Since the aim of the practice really is to achieve liberation by uprooting ignorance, wisdom must be cultivated. Wisdom cannot be attained by will, kind acts or meditation alone. A clear view of the dhamma, its aims and its application must be had. Right view, while not a stand alone doctrine, is a logical starting point for our purposes and for any practice. Right view will be our first component of the Noble Eightfold Path here.

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    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    You're welcome Rudite.

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    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    This is taken from access to insight http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/d.../samma-ditthi/

    Right View is the first of the eight path factors in the Noble Eightfold Path, and belongs to the wisdom division of the path.

    The definition
    "And what is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view."

    There is the definition. So begins the discussion.

    Jerrod

  6. #6
    Jerrod thank you for taking time and effort in doing the initial work.

    My interpretation goes this way:

    Initially these 4 kinds of knowledge start with being aware of that stress(dukka) exists : through the Buddhist teaching(scriptures, communities) combined with contemplation of one's life in and out.

    Then the Buddhist teachings plant the knowledge for knowing the roots of stress, the knowledge that it is possible to get out of it, and the knowledge about how it is being done.

    Initially they were knowledge, taken on merit, rather guiding assumptions I would say.

    Now these, in a spiral movement of continuous effort, lead to wisdom.(different from knowledge)

    Repeat : Initially they were knowledge, taken on merit, rather guiding assumptions.

    This spiral movement is nothing but the Noble Eightfold Path- other 7 plus right view itself.

    with metta
    sunil

  7. #7
    however what is the place for the rebirth concept and karma-vipaka concept in the Right view?

    with metta
    sunil

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrod Lopes View Post

    The definition
    "And what is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view."

    Jerrod
    Of course there are other definitions in the suttas eg.

    "There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves."

  9. #9
    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunil Dandeniya View Post
    however what is the place for the rebirth concept and karma-vipaka concept in the Right view?

    with metta
    sunil
    Sunil,

    I apologize as I do not have right view in hand well enough myself to understand your question! LOL Would you be kind enough as to rephrase your question?

    Jerrod

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    Administrator/ 5 Precept Keeper Senior Member Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
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    Here is another definition of Right View, also known as Right Understanding, taken from here;
    http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/eightfoldpath.html

    1. Right View

    Right view is the beginning and the end of the path, it simply means to see and to understand things as they really are and to realise the Four Noble Truth. As such, right view is the cognitive aspect of wisdom. It means to see things through, to grasp the impermanent and imperfect nature of worldly objects and ideas, and to understand the law of karma and karmic conditioning. Right view is not necessarily an intellectual capacity, just as wisdom is not just a matter of intelligence. Instead, right view is attained, sustained, and enhanced through all capacities of mind. It begins with the intuitive insight that all beings are subject to suffering and it ends with complete understanding of the true nature of all things. Since our view of the world forms our thoughts and our actions, right view yields right thoughts and right actions.

    I think in simpler terms that right view is the facet of wisdom allowing us to see what truly is, without preferences, perceptions and pre-conceived ideas.

    For example. I believe there was a simile of a table or some such thing. When we see that a "table" does not exist, but that it is comprised of a mostly flat surface and a platform or legs to raise, support and suspend it above the ground...we then have a "table". Without the parts, there is no table. Even when the parts are present and integral, is there really a table? If an object is of one piece, but has the shape of a table; is it still a table? But does it really only have one part? What about the atoms, molecules, the space between these particles?

    Jerrod

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