In the beginning,
Prince Siddhartha lived in luxury and wealth in his father's
palace. After he renounced his privileged life and became a
wandering monk, he experienced the hardship and difficulty of
a life with nothing. He spent years torturing his mind with
hard thoughts and solitude and starved his body, enjoyed no
comforts and suffered all the experiences of a life without
before he achieved his insights and attained enlightenment,
he realised both these extreme ways of life were as fruitless
as each other. He realised that the true way to happiness was
to avoid these extremes, to follow a moderate a way of life.
He called this way of living the Middle Path.
describe the three ways of life by comparing them to strings
of a lute. The loose string is like a life of careless indulgence
and makes a poor note when played. The tight string is like
a life of extreme hardship and denial, producing another bad
sound when played and, worse, likely to snap at any moment.
Only the middle string, which is neither slack nor tense, produces
a harmonious note it has the same qualities as the Middle
Path. Those who follow this way, avoid the extremes of indulgence
and denial. They do not seek endless pleasures, and they do
not torment themselves with pain, lacking and self-torment.
The Fourth Noble Truth is that the Middle Path leads to the
end of suffering.
Path is the Buddha's treatment for the problem of suffering
in all of our lives. In the time he spent learning about the
cause and nature of suffering he learnt also about its cure
and set out to teach it. Buddhists describe the teachings as
a formula which is described in simple steps and includes both
physical and mental treatment for ridding a person of suffering.
Like all Buddhist teachings, this formula, which is called the
Noble Eightfold Path, can only work if a person chooses to apply
it to their lives, and takes full responsibility for following
To understand the Law of Cause and Effect and the Four Noble
Not harbouring thoughts of greed and anger.
Avoid lying, gossip, harsh speech and tale-telling.
Not to destroy any life, not to steal or commit adultery.
Avoiding occupations that bring harm to oneself and others.
Earnestly doing one's best in the right direction.
Always being aware and attentive.
To making the mind steady and calm in order to realise the
true nature of things.
the Eightfold path leads, ultimately, to a life free of suffering.
This is the fruit the most dedicated follower of the teachings
might hope to enjoy, however along the way to this goal the
Eightfold path helps Buddhists in other ways.
develops character and personality by showing the way to live
a virtuous life, then to cultivate concentration, develop wisdom
and finally to blossom into an individual complete with compassion
and wisdom one of the highest qualities of a human being
in Buddhism. The Path is specifically aimed at developing behaviour,
mind and knowledge and the eight steps are divided into those
three ways of practice.
power of speech is a unique gift of man. It is a power which,
when properly used, helps to bring harmony, happiness and wisdom.
If it is abused it can bring ignorance, delusion, pain and deceit.
Right Speech is about controlling the abuse of speech and cultivating
its best potentials. Students of the Eightfold Path learn to
control their words. They avoid lies, tale-bearing, harsh words
and nonsense while practicing speaking truth, gentle words,
and speaking sensibly and meaningfully.
is concerned with what we do; avoiding actions that damage ourselves
and others and taking action that improves our sense of self,
adds to a healthy society and brings goodness and culture, which
lay the foundations for Mental Development and Wisdom.
shows the way for a person to choose in which way to become
a useful, productive citizen who contributes to his or her own
welfare and the welfare of others as well as bringing about
social harmony and economic progress. Buddhist Teachings advise
against harmful professions such as trading in weapons, living
beings, flesh, intoxicants and poison. Buddhists also avoid
occupations of soldiering, fishing, hunting, and teach against
cunning and persuasive practices as well as cheating and gambling.
Mental Development Buddhist learn to be alert and aware in body
and mind. Right Effort is fourfold;
focuses us on the truth about what is happening in the body,
in feelings, with the mind, and through our ideas, thoughts,
etc. Right Concentration is a development of this attention,
enabling a Buddhist student to develop one-pointedness of the
mind which brings many strengths and freedoms, including the
clarity of mind and calmness to stay on the path of Good Conduct.
Right Attitude and Right View. The practice of developing Right
View is about distinguishing between right and wrong, good and
bad, and leads to a compete understanding of the Four Noble
Truths. Right View is free from delusion and ignorance and moves
very easily into deep wisdom, clear sightedness and acceptance.
from negative thoughts which distract, debilitate or lead to
wrong speech, actions, effort, mindfulness or concentration
is what Buddhists call Right Attitude. A follower of the Eightfold
Path who follows Right View and Right Attitude may achieve the
wisdom to understand things as they are, to perceive the relationship
between cause and effect and thus to remove ignorance and craving
and experience the end of suffering. This is the ultimate goal
of the Eightfold Path and all eight ways of practice must be
followed in order to attain it.
Eightfold Path is a very systematic and methodical approach
to solving the problem of suffering in life, and achieving a
state of wisdom, peace and Nirvana. The programme first develops
character and personality, then develops ethical conduct and
restraint which promote concentration. Concentration and mindfulness
help make the mind free of hindrances that block it from blossoming
into wisdom and accessing higher knowledge. Higher knowledge
brings a clear understanding of the truth about how things really
are. This leads craving and desire to turn into detachment,
detachment brings freedom from suffering and the end of suffering
brings Supreme Happiness.
to the end of suffering is called the Middle Path. It is an
Eightfold Path involving understanding and practice of Right
Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right
Mindfulness, Right Concentration, Right Attitude and Right View.
These eight elements can be divided into three ways of practice;
Good Conduct, Mental Development and Wisdom. The goal of the
Noble Eightfold Path is to bring a true understanding of the
Four Noble Truths and deliver their ultimate Teaching - the
end of suffering.