Author Topic: The Noble Eightfold Path  (Read 394 times)

raushan

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    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
The Noble Eightfold Path
« on: December 20, 2020, 02:42:19 AM »
What does it mean to practice the noble eightfold path? I have read meditation is just one part of the eightfold path. So the remaining part does it automatically grows with the meditation? Or do we need conscious effort in all the other seven factors?

For example, How can one grow the right understanding if a person doesn't know what the right understanding is?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 02:45:59 AM by raushan »

Nicky

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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2020, 11:24:51 AM »
Right understanding is merely intellectual and requires no meditation.

stillpointdancer

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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2020, 11:38:58 AM »
This is the problem with meditation when you take it out of some sort of context. It is better than not meditating, but far better when part of an overall effort to change yourself. You don't have to be a Buddhist to follow the eightfold path as it has a lot of good advice anyway if you want to control the changes that meditation brings. Right understanding, for example, doesn't arise naturally from meditation but from the idea when it is linked to meditating. It states that our actions have consequences, that things arise on conditions. Cause and effect mean that what we do, what we think, brings about change within ourselves whether we notice it or not. Once we understand this, then the other parts of the path can be understood and enhance our meditation too.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

dharma bum

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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2020, 03:35:51 PM »
I change my mind sometimes but right now it seems to me that the eightfold path is unnecessary for meditation. What is necessary and sufficient are the four noble truths. If you want to trim them down even further, then the second noble truth is all that you need. Because you are meditating, you have already implicitly accepted truths 1, 3 and 4.
Mostly ignorant

Middleway

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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2020, 02:14:16 AM »
What does it mean to practice the noble eightfold path? I have read meditation is just one part of the eightfold path. So the remaining part does it automatically grows with the meditation? Or do we need conscious effort in all the other seven factors?

For example, How can one grow the right understanding if a person doesn't know what the right understanding is?

It is not right understanding but it is actually the right view. Right view means different things to different practitioners. For me, right view means holding a steadfast view or developing a view that the three marks of manifest phenomena are unsatisfactory, impermanence, and not having inherent self. It is not enough to intellectually hold right view, one should meditate (to develop mindfulness and concentration) and be able to directly perceive this truth. Direct perception (through our senses) takes place without mediation of the mind (of thoughts and feelings). For example, when you touch some thing warm or hot, you know it is hot. You don't need your mind to tell you that it is hot. Only after direct perception, there is an echo in the mind as thought arises next and the mind says its hot. Same with seeing, tasting, hearing, and smelling. In the same way, one should have direct perception of the three marks of existence. When you are able to do that, you have the right view.

When you hold the right view, you see things as they are. Not as mediated by the mind. Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2020, 02:20:56 AM by Middleway »
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

stillpointdancer

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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2020, 11:41:11 AM »
I change my mind sometimes but right now it seems to me that the eightfold path is unnecessary for meditation. What is necessary and sufficient are the four noble truths. If you want to trim them down even further, then the second noble truth is all that you need. Because you are meditating, you have already implicitly accepted truths 1, 3 and 4.
Isn't truth 4 that you accept the rest of the path? In which case only need 1, 2 and 3 to get a handle on where you are going with your meditation. The 'right' bits are a guide to keeping you on the Buddhist path outside of meditation.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

dharma bum

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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2020, 01:59:37 PM »
Quote
Isn't truth 4 that you accept the rest of the path? In which case only need 1, 2 and 3 to get a handle on where you are going with your meditation. The 'right' bits are a guide to keeping you on the Buddhist path outside of meditation.

Yes, I was referring to meditation. But now that I thought a bit more, I think the guide is indeed important.

For example: the guideline to not kill. Because of my lifestyle and conditioning I might accept this as an obvious thing that doesn't need to be stated, but in fact if you rely only on the 4 noble truths, then it is possible to kill without anxiety or fear as some warriors train themselves to, so the 4 noble truths are by themselves not sufficient.
Mostly ignorant

Thanisaro85

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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2020, 03:37:14 PM »
I change my mind sometimes but right now it seems to me that the eightfold path is unnecessary for meditation. What is necessary and sufficient are the four noble truths. If you want to trim them down even further, then the second noble truth is all that you need. Because you are meditating, you have already implicitly accepted truths 1, 3 and 4.

I think noble 8fold path does have impact to meditation, i will think it is actually necessary.

I can only relate right speech,  right conduct, right livelihood to what i am trying to say.

For instance,  if our livelihood consists of abusing of alcohol and drug, it is an huge obstacle to the practise of meditation- addictions and withdrawal syndromes can messed up inner peace quite badly. I understand this is overlapping with the 5 precepts.

Right speech consists of genuine and kind speech, which have to be stamped from the mind. 2 type of benefits arises from genuine and kind speech. More friends in future, rather than enemy.
Genuine kindness allow one to be peaceful most of the times.

The rest of the noble paths, like the above and the rest, atually allow us to gain conveniences and inner peace for practise meditation, both mental and physical aspects.
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

Siddharth

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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2020, 04:19:49 PM »
Can someone share some lecture/link where each of the 8 parts of the 8 fold path are explained reasonably for someone who is theoretically inexperienced.
I generally either find 2 line descriptions or 2 hour video on a single part (which might be beneficial to some, but for me ends up being a hinderance to understanding the path)
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Thanisaro85

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    • Reverend father Jaran, Pramote. Theravada
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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2020, 04:36:12 PM »
It has been a long time i had visited the library section in the forum....

Just went thru it and found something related to this topic...page 43...

https://forestsangha.org/teachings/books/without-and-within?language=English
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

Dhamma

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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2020, 04:06:46 AM »
It has been a long time i had visited the library section in the forum....

Just went thru it and found something related to this topic...page 43...

https://forestsangha.org/teachings/books/without-and-within?language=English

There are so many great things in the library. I think we should be less quiet on here and do more reading of the material on this forum's library. Some real treasures in there.

Peace and enlightenment.
You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

Siddharth

  • Member
    • unlearning, relearning and letting go
Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2020, 11:29:01 AM »
It has been a long time i had visited the library section in the forum....

Just went thru it and found something related to this topic...page 43...

https://forestsangha.org/teachings/books/without-and-within?language=English

Thanks Thanisaro for this :) question 12 of this book is the specific question that I asked above, also, there seem to be some other important topics covered.
Will go through it, take my time to absorb the words of the venerable author, and open a thread if something needs clarification, seems worth a discussion.
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Siddharth

  • Member
    • unlearning, relearning and letting go
Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2020, 11:32:26 AM »
There are so many great things in the library. I think we should be less quiet on here and do more reading of the material on this forum's library. Some real treasures in there.

Peace and enlightenment.

I feel you meant, "more quiet on here" !!!
or maybe you meant we should read more and then discuss, thus being "less quiet"!

perhaps, we should try to remain centered, whatever we do! 8)
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Dhamma

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  • May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness
    • Zen/Tibetan/Theravada
Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2020, 02:44:48 AM »
I feel you meant, "more quiet on here" !!!
or maybe you meant we should read more and then discuss, thus being "less quiet"!

perhaps, we should try to remain centered, whatever we do! 8)

Yes, read more and then discuss, thus being "less quiet". I wish there were a bit more discussions on videos/excerpts from Buddhist teachers.  Some of the videos/written works posted by Thanisaro have been excellent.

But it was no criticism, friend. I was just remembering what Yutthadhammo Bikkhu said in one of his videos about mindless or idle talking. I, myself, do it too often. It wasn't meant for no personal criticism at all - just general wisdom passed on by teachers. But it was inspired for my wanting for deeper discussion of what is posted in the library.

Yes, we all should try to remain centered for sure.

Peace and enlightenment. 
You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

Siddharth

  • Member
    • unlearning, relearning and letting go
Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2020, 08:58:54 AM »
I wish there were a bit more discussions on videos/excerpts from Buddhist teachers.  Some of the videos/written works posted by Thanisaro have been excellent.

But it was no criticism, friend.

Discussions on the resources is definitely a good idea. I am not much into reading the texts, generally discuss my experiences of meditation, but increasingly the question of how to conduct oneself in various  situations in life comes up, and texts like the ones shared in the library can be useful. and I personally would like to read and discuss small portions of texts to further my understanding and practice, under time constraints.

wrt criticism, I did not take any offence, and I would encourage you and everyone in this forum to point out if it is felt that there is something un-wholesome going on. Kindness is part of right speech, but so is truth!

I remember Raushan started a thread to discuss suttas, which might also be of interest.

Regards,
Siddharth
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

raushan

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  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2020, 05:30:52 PM »
Hi ,

Many things can be done here. If we are seeing it as an e-sangha then some of the real-world sangha activities can be replicated here. For example, a Slack/Mattermost channel can be created for the weekly group meditation session via zoom/skype. That channel will be the instant medium of communication. Also, Suttas can be discussed via video or text. There are other possibilities if we think about it.

But I am also currently busy as I am doing my master's as well as a part-time job. I think everyone should initiate an activity if they have an idea.
The admins of this forum are admins mainly because of the technical knowledge to run the website. Not because we are doing meditation for long or not. So everyone is equal here. Everyone here is to learn from each other.

Kind regards
Raushan
« Last Edit: December 24, 2020, 07:19:07 PM by raushan »

 

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