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The Eight-fold Noble Path

Buddha shows us The Eight-fold Noble Path to stop suffering and to enter the Nirvana. They are simple guidelines anyone can follow and practice in daily living.

I. Definition: The Eight-fold Noble Path is the right way to lead a person toward enlightenment.

II. Characteristics:

1. Right understanding (Samma Ditthi): Deep and through understanding

A. Correct understanding:

1) Understand things are a union of many causes, impermanent and will disappear.

2) Understand the results of all actions and ideas.

3) Understand worthiness of the life: self, others, living being.

4) Understand all living beings have the same pure mind.

5) Understand karma is the result of actions (good and bad).

6) Accept truly morality for one's goal.

B. Incorrect understanding:

1) Thinking the existence of things is natural.

2) Accepting God and denying the law of cause and effect.

3) Recognizing predestination, denying the results of karmas.

4) Distinguishing the levels between humans, and between humans and animals.

5) Following the Divine and superstitions.

2. Right thought (Samma Sankappa): Means thinking truefully. It will be beneficial to you and


a. Correct thoughts:

1) Think about precepts, concentration of the mind (Samadhi) and wisdom for practicing Buddhism.

2) Think of the causes of sufferings to explain and encourage all beings to practice.

3) Think about the mistakes and bad ideas and to repent and correct them.

b. Incorrect thoughts:

1) Think about witchcraft to hurt people.

2) Think of bad way to hurt the humans and animals.

3) Think of tricky ways to revenge enemies.

4) Think about sensuous pleasures and reputation.

3. Right speech (Samma Vaca): Speaking truthfully with nice words. The words are beneficial and skillful.

a. Right speech:

1) Honest and clear speech.

2) Straight forward speech.

3) Clear, simple and amiable speech.

4) Beneficial, harmonizing and encouraging and unique speech.

b. Incorrect speech:

1) Untruthful speech.

2) Unrighteous, partial, flattering.

3) Harmful, bad-tempered, curseful, scolding, slanderous, and ill-mannered.

4) Disuniting and harmful to all beings.

4. Right action (Samma Kammanta): Any action that is right and beneficial to everyone.

a. Right actions:

1) Reasonable actions. Respect the life and happiness of humans and animals.

2) Respect people's occupations and properties.

3) Maintain the purity precepts. Avoid corruption.

4) Be responsible and dedicated to one's jobs.

5) Know how to sacrifice to liberate oneself and other's from suffering.

b. Incorrect actions:

1) Killing.

2) Theft and seizure.

3) Living in luxury and corruption.

4) Invent dangerous weapons to kill human and animals.

5) To construct fake things to lie and deceive people.

6) Take advantage of music and entertainment to lead people into corruptive activities.

5. Right livelihood (Samma Ajiva): Select an occupation that avoids killing or is harmful to others.

a. Right livelihood:

1) Work hard but do not hurt others and animals.

2) Take advantage of one's abilities but do not use it deceitfully.

3) Maintain a noble living, never unreasonably beg before anyone.

4) Follow the Dharma, not superstition.

b. Incorrect livelihood:

1) Hurt living beings.

2) Use astrology, destination, predict the fate and tell fortunes to make a living.

3) Follow one's power, treachery and lie to someone for a living.

6. Right effort (Samma Vayama): Work hard on any job or your practice to receive benefits for yourself and others.

a. Right effort:

1) If one has made mistakes or are guilty, one has to repent and avoid repeating mistakes.

2) If evils and mistakes have not arisen, try to prevent them by continuing good work.

3) If one does not have a good karma, try to build one.

4) If one already has a good karma, try to maintain and develop it more.

b. Wrong effort:

1) Frequently killing.

2) Frequently lying and stealing.

3) Frequently using sensual pleasure.

4) Frequently distorting and flattering.

5) Frequently drinking (alcohol).

7. Right mindfulness (Samma Sati): Observe the present see the way things are from moment to moment.

a. Remember the past:

1) Remember the gratitude one has for one's parents, teachers and friends in order to repay them.

2) Remember the gratitude one has for one's society in order to serve and protect it.

3) Remember the gratitude one has for living being in order to help them.

4) Remember the gratitude one has for Buddha, Dharma, Shanga for self cultivation.

5) Remember old mistakes for repentance.

b. Incorrect mindfulness:

1) Remember someone's faults to mock and criticize.

2) Remember old hatred for revenge.

3) Remember old sensual pleasures to corrupt the pure will.

4) Remember treacherous and cruel actions in order to be satisfied and proud.

c. Right observations:

1) Be mindful of compassion: Observe hunger, illness, ignorance of living beings at the present time and numerous accidents in the future. One should develop a merciful soul, help, and search for a method to defend and protect living beings from these sufferings.

2) Observe wisdom: Observe the cause of the rising and changing of the universe: living being, hatred and love, good and evil... in order to cultivate and educate in a clear, concise and liberated way.

d. Wrong observation:

1) Remember sensual pleasures.

2) Remember dangerous ways to hurt someone.

3) Remember distorting words.

4) Remember untruthful words.

5) Remember savory dishes.

8. Right concentration (Samma Samadhi): Practice the right meditation; do not practice the wrong meditation.

a. Right meditation:

1) Meditation on impurities: Meditate on the impurities in order to suppress the desires.

2) Meditation on compassion: Meditate that all living beings have the same pure mind and are equal in order to build more respect and compassion so as to terminate all vengeance.

3) Meditation on causation: Meditate on all forms: big as mountain, small as a bacteria; if

there is form then it is only temporary and impermanent. Meditate on forms to eliminate

the ignorance.

4) Meditation on sensation: Distinguish and meditate on the temporary existence of 18 senses (6 seeds, 6 senses, 6 kind of consciousness) in order to eliminate the concept of permanent existence of all forms.

5) Meditation on breathing: Concentrate on breathings is the easiest way to cultivate mindfulness.

b. Incorrected meditations:

1) Meditation to eliminate the changing of 7 kind of consciousness and wish to attain the untrue Nirvana.

2) Meditation of the formless to eliminate six senses and wish to enter heaven worlds.

3) Meditation to attain supernatural power, and miracles.

III. Classification:

1. Wisdom (Panna): Right understanding and right thought.

2. Moral (Sila): Right speech, right livelihood and right action.

3. Concentration (Samadhi): Right endeavor, right mindfulness and right concentration.

IV. Effectiveness:

1. Improve oneself: One who practices the Eight-fold Noble Paths will improve oneself, one will have a true, beneficial and good life.

2. Improve surroundings: If one follows the Eight-fold Noble Paths, it could make the world a

peaceful and beautiful place.

3. Foundation of enlightenment: The Eight-fold Noble Paths is the foundation of enlightenment

of Buddhas. A Buddhist who wants to become a good person needs to practice these Paths.

V. Benefit: Practicing the Eight-fold Noble Paths will gain:

1. Right view will not be deceived.

2. Right thought will not be misunderstood.

3. Right speech will help oneself and others.

4. Right action will not harm living beings.

5. Right livelihood will earn other's respect.

6. Right endeavor will get good results.

7. Right mindfulness will help to understand the situations and receive good results.

8. Right concentration will help to develop the knowledge and lead to enlightenment.

VI. Conclusion:

The principle of the Eight-fold Noble Paths explains the good methods to be applied in daily living. They will improve life. They are the foundation of enlightenment and liberation from sufferings. As a Buddhist, one needs to learn and practice these Noble Ways to help one's life and to change the world around one.