Sometimes odd, often useless, these practices or delusions are clung to in spite of the immediately effective path being laid out.
Whatever else one may do or abstain from doing, the Noble Eightfold Path stands as a reminder that we must take eight categorical factors into consideration:
- Right View (of the Four Noble Truths)
- Right Intention (motivated by non-harming, renunciation, and non-cruelty)
- Right Speech (truthful, non-divisive, pleasant, and useful)
- Right Action (abstaining from taking life, taking what is not given, and sexual misconduct)
- Right Livelihood (avoiding dealings in flesh, poisons, weapons, slaves, and intoxicants)
- Right Effort (to abandon and prevent the unwholesome, while developing and bringing the wholesome to perfection)
- Right Mindfulness (of body, sensations, mind, and mind objects)
- Right Concentration (cultivating calm, collectedness, and serenity up to the level of "absorption" in terms of the first four jhanas)
If the core teachings are not enough, the entire path is thoroughly explained as the "Requisites of Enlightenment," also known as the "37 Things Pertaining to Enlightenment" (bodhi-pakkaya-dhamma). They were drawn from the sutras and attributed to a Buddhist missionary in ancient Greece, Ven. Nagasena ("Questions of King Menander" or Malinda-Panha).
|"Enlightenment Grove," Bodh Gaya, India|
- virtue (precepts, self-restraint, and letting go)
- meditation (calm, concentration, and absorption)
- wisdom (contemplation, clear comprehension, and mindful insight-practices).