Sivali Meditation Centre
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The Eight Noble Path

Chapter I

The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching
Written by Malinee (Polte) Tantivudh, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Edited by Hal Robinson, London, UK 2003



              

              To be away from the bad
              Do good
              And purify the mind.

 

      Buddhists understand that unhappiness is a fact of life. Unhappiness is part of the process of being born, of growing old, of dying, and also part of experiencing sadness, frustration, stress or suffering. To encounter things or people we dislike make us feel unhappy, as does being away from things or people we love. Because of this, some people wish they had not been born, do not wish to grow old, nor to die, nor to exprience sadness. In brief, Buddhists understand that it is the attachment to the body, to feeling, to memory of the past and to imagination of the future. The Buddhist explanation is that the source of unhappiness is desire. People desire to have or to be what they want, and desire to not have or not be what they don't want. Desire is stimulated and experience through the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the body and the mind. Therefore to progress to each level in Jhana or to Wisdom, the right Understanding, the right Thought, the right Speech, the right Action, the right Livelihood, the right Effort, the right Mindfulness, and the right Concentration, are counted. This wise guided is called the Eight Noble Path.

1. The Noble Understanding means to accept that unhappiness is a part of life. We are not looking for it, but also not trying to run away from it. If it would happen to us, we would find the way to solve it without making more problem to other people. Understand that Unhappiness is part of the process of being born, of growing old, of dying and also part of experiencing sadness or suffering. The source of unhappiness is Desire. To End Desire, whenver desire occurs whether through the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the body or the mind, then release it and remove the desire. It is also important to understand that desire is not just a feeling, but also dwelling on and acting on the feeling. So the right Understanding, the right Thought, the right Speech, the right Action, the right Livelihood, the right Effort, the right Mindfulness, and the right Concentration, are Way to Practise to end the unhappiness permanently. The aim of each person practice is individual. It is the same as a person go for education, some people are satisfied when completed highschool, some wanted Bachalor Degree, or Master Degree or Ph.D. Meditation practice is a person's choice. The explanation here was written upto the deepest knowledge in Buddhist practice. Please read through them, and understand that wisdom level related to the Jhana level in meditation. Give yourself times.

2. The Noble Thoughts are wholesome thoughts. Thoughts of non-violence and thoughts free from cruelty. Thoughts free from hatred, free from ill-will, or selfish desire. For the deepest level in practice, thoughts free from sensuality. Sensuality desire is one of the strongest desires, can dwelling on action and acting on the feeling. The sensuality desire is stimulated and experience through these gates; the eyes, the ears the nose, the tongue, the body and the mind. Craving desires for forms act through the eyes, craving for sounds, craving for odours, craving for tastes, craving for touching, and craving for mental objects. All of those cravings are considered sensuality desire in Buddhism.

3. The Noble Speeches are good conduct in word that are used, whether spoken aloud or unspoken. The speech that purposely avoid lying, or telling a lie for the sake advantage. The speech that purposely refrains malice, and that aims to unite the discordant, encourage the united and finds words that make for harmony.

 The speech that purposely refrains harsh languare and uses gentle, loving, courteous, dear and agreeable words. And the speech that purposely refrains frivolous talk, speaking at the right time, in accordance with facts, so that the words used are useful, moderate and full of sense.

4. The Noble Action is a wholesome course of action. The right action purposely refrains killing or talking life. Life in Buddhism means an abject which has body and mind. So Buddhists do not consider trees as life in this sense. The right Action purposely refrains stealing or taking what is not given. And the right Action purposely refrains sexual misconduct. All these are the noble Action of the Buddha's teaching.

  

5. The Noble Livelihood means a living in a morally appropriate way. The right Livelihood is avoiding a dishonest livelihood and not making a living from harming other living things. And the right Livelihood means maintaining a way of life that accords with correct ethical standards of human behaviour.

6. The Noble Effort means required to prevent evil and encourage good thoughts and actions.

The right Effort prevents evil actions or evil thoughts from occuring.

The right Effort overcomes or abandons evil actions or evil thoughts that have already happened.

The right Effort develops good actions or good thoughts that they happen now and in the future.

And the right Effort maintains good actions and good thoughts that have already happened, and develops them towards perfection.

7. The Noble Maindfulness means the foundations of mindfulness. These foundations are explained in brief as follows:

7.1   Focuss on the body inside the body, make the effort to remove desire throught consciousness and awareness, put away both satisfaction and dissatisfaction with regard to the world.

 

7.2  Focus on the feelings inside the feeling, make the effort to remove desire through consciousness and awareness, put away both satisfaction and dissatisfaction with regard to the world.

 

7.3   Focuss on the mind inside the mind, make the effort to remove desire through consciousness and awareness, put away both satisfaction and dissatisfaction with regard to the world.

 

7.4   Focus on the Buddha's teaching inside the Buddha's teaching, make the effort to remove desire through consciousness and awareness, put away both satisfaction and dissatisfaction with regard to the world.

8. The Noble Concentration requires withdrawal from sensual pleasures, and withdrawn from unwholesomeness (bad action, bad words and bad thoughts). Concentrate and progress to the first Jhana. The first Jhana consists of thought, thinking, joy and happiness, which come from peace.

When thought and thinking have stopped, progess to the second Jhana. Joyfulness fills the mind and deep concentration occurs, with no thought and no thinking, and with only joy and happiness, which come from concentration.

When the joy fades, a sense of neutrality remains, with both awareness and consciousness producing a physical sensations of pleasure, and so progress to the third Jhana.

With the abandonment of pleasure and displeasure, with the disappearance of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, progress to the fourth Jhana, where there is no satisfaction or dissatisfaction, where there is neutrality and indifference, and there is only awareness, which is the pure nature of the mind.

                               

     
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