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Eightfold Path
Latter Day Buddhism


The buddha-dharma's fourth truth contains eight aspects, which is why it's also called the eightfold path.

Just what is this path? It is, first of all, [1] to see what our problem is, and then [2] to resolve to deal with it. In seeing you will realize that you must live consciously, not for your sake or someone else's sake or for the sake of some goal or belief or idea, but for the sake of being fully engaged in the moment. Once you see, you will speak, act, and maintain your life in a conscious way. [3] Wise speech, [4] action, and [5] livelihood then follow naturally. These provide the foundation for a morality that actually works.

The moral teaching that derives from the buddha-dharma is not a goody-goody code of behavior where we pretend virtue, curry favor, or promise to be good so that we can claim a reward at some later date. Rather, sound morality takes place wholly in the moment. It is based on the immediacy, in here and now, not in a never-never land.

The eightfold path also includes [6] effort, [7] mindfulness, and [8] meditation. It's neither an exercise in relaxation nor a striving toward some special state of mind. This meditation is simply about learning to be here -- to be present in each moment and to notice what is going on.

The buddha-dharma does not invite us to dabble in abstract notions. Rather, the task it presents us with is to attend to what we actually experience, right in this moment.

-- See: Buddhism Plain and Simple
by Steve Hagen, 1997 Printing, pg 23, paragraphs 1 - 5.


















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