Suffering Part 2: The 8Th Foldpath to seek & achieve Nirvana
Some 2500 years ago, few days before dying the Buddha ( the awakened one ) declared: "I teach suffering, its origin, its cessation and path to cessation. That's all I teach". He was around 83 years old
Last week we talked about the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Noble Truths dealing with suffering, causes of suffering and extinction of suffering. The 4tThe final Noble Truth called the Eightfold Path is the Buddha's prescription, sort of road map & “know how” to end of suffering & achieve a better life. It is is also called the Middle Way: it avoids both indulgence and severe asceticism, neither of which the Buddha had found helpful.
This is a list of 8 rules that one should apply in our life in order to achieve serenity, Nirvana and compassion for others.
You will see that this set for inner peace is not based on any external divine entity. You are the driver.
1-Right thought or view:
Proper understanding to achieve right thinking, proper judgment, decisions and actions.
The opposite to right thought is our illusions and delusions that is how we see life and
its contents as we want and not as they are in reality.
2-Correct intention/ aspiration:
Commitment to achieve better ethical, mental and behavioural attitude not only for self but
also for others.
Ethical / Moral conduct:
Words are weapons and harm others. Speak truthfully. No lie, harsh words, slander, gossip
and abusive speech.
Behave peacefully in a proper manner to achieve no harm, no death and positive deeds
for self and others.
Earning our living in a legal, ethical and peaceful way: no greed, stealing, deception
and no trading of arms and intoxicants.
6-Right mental effort / diligence:
Cultivating positive state of mind in order to behave and work for what is right for self and others.
To develop awareness and pay attention to our body, sensations, thinking, feeling, actions,
in a non-judgmental way that is to see things as they are and not as we want them to be.
Mindfulness is a non-judgmental and non-decisional concentration or intense contemplation.
8- Proper concentration:
Concentration is the state where all your mental faculties are unified and directed onto one
particular object in order to recall, analyze, deduct, judge and possibly making decision.
As we can see all these 8 rules are closely interrelated.
Fulfilling all of them, all the time is very difficult.
Quote from Thich Nhat Hanh:
“ If we suffer it is not because things don’t last, it is because we believe things are permanent. When a flower died we don’t suffer too much because we know flowers are transient. But we cannot accept the impermanence of a loved one and we suffer dearly when they past away. Most of our suffering comes from our illusions made of wrong thinking, wrong perception and wrong believing”