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Eightfold Path 

Eightfold Path

From The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen translated by Michael H. Kohn; © 1991 by Shambhala Publications, Inc. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., www.shambhala.com

(Skt., ashtangika-marga [as­tangika-mārga]; Pali, atthangika-magga); the path leading to release from suffering (duh­kha), constituting the contents of the last of the four noble truths. It is one of the thirty-seven limbs of enlightenment (bodhipākshika­dharma) and encompasses all aspects of the threefold training (trishiksha). The eight parts of the path are (1) perfect view (Skt., sa­myag-dristhi; Pali, sammā-ditthi), i.e., the view based on understanding of the four noble truths and the nonindividuality of existence (anātman); (2) perfect resolve (Skt., samyak-samkalpa; Pali, summā-sankappa), i.e., resolve in favor of renunciation, goodwill, and nonharming of sentient beings; (3) perfect speech (Skt., samyag-vāch; Pali, sammā-vāchā), i.e., avoidance of lying, slander, and gossip; (4) perfect conduct (Skt., samyak-karmānta; Pali, sammā-kamanta), i.e., avoidance of actions that conflict with moral discipline (shīla); (5) perfect livelihood (Skt., samyag- ājīva; Pali, sammā-ājīva), i.e. avoidance of professions that are harmful to sentient beings, such as slaughterer, hunter, dealer in weaponry or narcotics, etc.; (6) perfect effort (Skt., samyag-vyāyāma; Pali, sammā-vāyāma), i.e., cultivation of what is karmically wholesome and avoidance of what is karmically unwholesome; (7) perfect mindfulness (Skt., samyak-smriti; Pali, sammā-sati), i.e., ongoing mindfulness of body, feelings, thinking, and objects of thought (satipatthāna); (8) perfect concentration (Skt., samyak-samādhi; Pali, sammā-samādhi), i.e., concentration of mind that finds its highpoint in the four absorptions (dhyāna).


 

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