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A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => The Dharma Express => Topic started by: Chaz on July 16, 2018, 12:53:51 pm

Title: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on July 16, 2018, 12:53:51 pm
How does one practice the Eightfold Path?  What is the scriptural basis for this practice?  Take the case of Right View for example.  View is how you see things.  Changing how you see things can be difficult, if not impossible for most people.  Seeing as the Buddha often described the practice he was teaching, what are the sutras that describe the practice as he taught it?
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: philboyd on July 16, 2018, 08:36:36 pm
Start with the Magga-vibhanga Sutta
You will find it at accesstoinsight.org
Nagara Sutta
same address
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on July 21, 2018, 12:06:28 am
Thank you for the references, philboyd.

IdleChater:  I found these also helpful:  See also: MN 117; SN 3:5; AN 4:28; AN 4:128; AN 4:245; AN 5:75—76; AN 6:20; AN 10:17

...all of which can be found here:  https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html (https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html) as well as @ https://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-sutta.html (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-sutta.html)

Magnificent question, by the way.   :hug:

https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/MN/MN117.html (https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/MN/MN117.html)

https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN3_5.html (https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN3_5.html)

Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on July 21, 2018, 03:43:09 am
Thank you for the references, philboyd.

IdleChater:  I found these also helpful:  See also: MN 117; SN 3:5; AN 4:28; AN 4:128; AN 4:245; AN 5:75—76; AN 6:20; AN 10:17

...all of which can be found here:  https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html (https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html) as well as @ https://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-sutta.html (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-
 sutta.html)

Magnificent question, by the way.   :hug:

Thanks, Ron, but I've always found those kinds of references to be patently useless.  I can never keep the abreviations straight.  You might as well be posting in binary.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on July 21, 2018, 02:21:20 pm
Thank you for the references, philboyd.

IdleChater:  I found these also helpful:  See also: MN 117; SN 3:5; AN 4:28; AN 4:128; AN 4:245; AN 5:75—76; AN 6:20; AN 10:17

...all of which can be found here:  https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html (https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html) as well as @ https://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-sutta.html (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-
 sutta.html)

Magnificent question, by the way.   :hug:

Thanks, Ron, but I've always found those kinds of references to be patently useless.  I can never keep the abreviations straight.  You might as well be posting in binary.

Sorry, Buddy.


If you go to either Access to Insight at the link provided and enter the book references in the search window, it will take you to the suttas.  The same for the other research website provided.


In the future I will send you the links so that you won't have to go through that process.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dairy Lama on July 22, 2018, 04:26:31 am
As an alternative to ATI ( Access To Insight ) there is Sutta Central, which also has a discussion forum:  https://suttacentral.net/
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on July 22, 2018, 10:30:16 pm
View is how you see things.

Its Right Understanding. Right Understanding is understanding the Four Noble Truths. When the Four Noble Truths are understood, then as said in the 1st Sermon, craving is abandoned. This is how Right Understanding is practised, namely, abandoning craving. Its pretty easy & straighforward. You give up craving because you understand craving leads to suffering. Its like how you decide to not play with lions, tigers or bears because you know a lion, tiger or bear will tear you to shreds.

Seeing as the Buddha often described the practice he was teaching, what are the sutras that describe the practice as he taught it?

They are called "sutta" rather than "sutra". If you cannot abandon this habit of calling sutta "sutra" then there is probably little hope for you giving up more sticky forms of attachment & craving.

So for beginners - the 1st step is giving up Mahayana and its associated Hindu Sanskrit.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on July 22, 2018, 10:33:32 pm
As an alternative to ATI ( Access To Insight ) there is Sutta Central, which also has a discussion forum:  https://suttacentral.net/

Its a rebirth forum. Everything is translated as "rebirth". Such asava upadhi Eternalism won't help practise the Noble Eightfold Path.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dairy Lama on July 23, 2018, 01:32:32 am
As an alternative to ATI ( Access To Insight ) there is Sutta Central, which also has a discussion forum:  https://suttacentral.net/

Its a rebirth forum. Everything is translated as "rebirth". Such asava upadhi Eternalism won't help practise the Noble Eightfold Path.

Nonsense!  I reckon this is just sour grapes because you were banned from Sutta Central, despite your attempt to return there as a sock puppet.

Anyway,  :focus:
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on July 23, 2018, 02:07:41 pm
Nonsense! 

Its all rebirth.  :wacky:

Quote
The rebirth, inception, conception, reincarnation, manifestation of the aggregates, and acquisition of the sense fields of the various sentient beings in the various orders of sentient beings.

Yā tesaṃ tesaṃ sattānaṃ tamhi tamhi sattanikāye jāti sañjāti okkanti abhinibbatti khandhānaṃ pātubhāvo āyatanānaṃ paṭilābho.

This is called rebirth.

Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, jāti.

https://suttacentral.net/sn12.2/en/sujato

Quote
Now this is the noble truth of the origin of suffering.

Idaṃ kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkhasamudayaṃ ariyasaccaṃ—

It’s the craving that leads to future rebirth, mixed up with relishing and greed, taking pleasure in various different realms. That is,

yāyaṃ taṇhā ponobbhavikā nandirāgasahagatā tatratatrābhinandinī, seyyathidaṃ—

craving for sensual pleasures, craving for continued existence, and craving to exterminate existence.

kāmataṇhā, bhavataṇhā, vibhavataṇhā.

https://suttacentral.net/sn56.11/en/sujato

Quote
They understand: ‘Rebirth is ended, the spiritual journey has been completed, what had to be done has been done, there is no return to any state of existence.’”

‘Khīṇā jāti, vusitaṃ brahmacariyaṃ, kataṃ karaṇīyaṃ, nāparaṃ itthattāyā’ti pajānātī”ti.

https://suttacentral.net/sn22.59/en/sujato

Quote
And what is right view that is accompanied by defilements, has the attributes of good deeds, and ripens in attachment?

Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi sāsavā puññabhāgiyā upadhivepakkā?

‘There is meaning in giving, sacrifice, and offerings. There are fruits and results of good and bad deeds. There is an afterlife. There are duties to mother and father. There are beings reborn spontaneously. And there are ascetics and brahmins who are well attained and practiced, and who describe the afterlife after realizing it with their own insight.’

‘Atthi dinnaṃ, atthi yiṭṭhaṃ, atthi hutaṃ, atthi sukatadukkaṭānaṃ kammānaṃ phalaṃ vipāko, atthi ayaṃ loko, atthi paro loko, atthi mātā, atthi pitā, atthi sattā opapātikā, atthi loke samaṇabrāhmaṇā sammaggatā sammāpaṭipannā ye imañca lokaṃ parañca lokaṃ sayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā pavedentī’ti—

https://suttacentral.net/mn117/en/sujato




Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dairy Lama on July 24, 2018, 01:26:33 am
Nonsense! 

Its all rebirth.  :wacky:

Again this is sour grapes.  You just don't like sutta translations which contradict your own interpretation ( though of course many of them do! ). 

 :focus:
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: zafrogzen on July 24, 2018, 05:48:38 am
Quote
They are called "sutta" rather than "sutra". If you cannot abandon this habit of calling sutta "sutra" then there is probably little hope for you giving up more sticky forms of attachment & craving.

So for beginners - the 1st step is giving up Mahayana and its associated Hindu Sanskrit.

I'm reminded of Thanissaro's sectarian attacks on Mahayana. Non-attachment?
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on July 24, 2018, 10:40:08 am
Thank you for the references, philboyd.

IdleChater:  I found these also helpful:  See also: MN 117; SN 3:5; AN 4:28; AN 4:128; AN 4:245; AN 5:75—76; AN 6:20; AN 10:17

...all of which can be found here:  https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html (https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html) as well as @ https://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-sutta.html (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-
 sutta.html)

Magnificent question, by the way.   :hug:

Thanks, Ron, but I've always found those kinds of references to be patently useless.  I can never keep the abreviations straight.  You might as well be posting in binary.

Sorry, Buddy.


If you go to either Access to Insight at the link provided and enter the book references in the search window, it will take you to the suttas.  The same for the other research website provided.


In the future I will send you the links so that you won't have to go through that process.

I appreciate your going back and adding some links.  Thanx!

I've been reading the Mahā Cattārīsaka Sutta you linked to.  It reminds me that I really HATE having to read most translations of the Pali.  They are really verbose and repetitive and it's hard to get to  I'm looking for before my eyes roll back into my head.

But I soldier on.

I think this document will have at least some of my answers. Provided I don't gouge out my own eyes first. :lmfao:

Thanks again.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on July 24, 2018, 11:46:11 am
And what is up with "effluents"  as in:

Quote
And what is the right livelihood with effluents....


I thought I knew what the word "effluents" meant, but it didn't seem to make sense in this context.  So, I looked up the definition.  I was right.

Effluents is like....sewage.   Right livelihood with.....sewage.

How does that square with right ________?  Sewage in this context could be the means of disposing of ...... shit ..... as a metaphor, but I dunno.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on July 24, 2018, 12:46:35 pm
And what is up with "effluents"  as in:

Quote
And what is the right livelihood with effluents....


Having spent over thirty years in the field of environmental safety and health, my working definition of effluents was / is about the same as yours.  However, not all effluents are as noxious as the one you chose. 

In chemistry effluent can be thought of as the same thing as a variety of solvents.  For example water is a solvent for many solutes (things that are dissolved in water).  Examples:  salts, sugars, dyes, all sorts of things that you put into soups, and etc.  So, I guess the best way to look at it is "things that dissolve" in water.

https://nortonsafe.search.ask.com/search?chn=scmpn1&cmpgn=&ctype=pictures&doi=2018-5-11&geo=&guid=3b1a6c74-dd05-4203-e3c3-e13bfb635c6a&o=APN12174&p2=%5EEQ%5Ecd00us%5E&page=1&prt=norton+security+suite&q=pictures+of+things+that+dissolve+in+water.&tpr=10&ver=2.8.0.53 (https://nortonsafe.search.ask.com/search?chn=scmpn1&cmpgn=&ctype=pictures&doi=2018-5-11&geo=&guid=3b1a6c74-dd05-4203-e3c3-e13bfb635c6a&o=APN12174&p2=%5EEQ%5Ecd00us%5E&page=1&prt=norton+security+suite&q=pictures+of+things+that+dissolve+in+water.&tpr=10&ver=2.8.0.53)

Then there are suspensions, which do not necessarily dissolve, but are suspended in fluids, such as milk fats that eventually separate out, which is why cream rises to the top. Parts of a suspension separate due to differences in density and variations in molecular attractions between solvents and solutes.

https://phys.org/news/2013-12-colloidal-suspensions-microspheres-liquid-simple.html (https://phys.org/news/2013-12-colloidal-suspensions-microspheres-liquid-simple.html)

Then there are colloidal suspension, whereby fine solids are suspended in fluids, but which eventually precipitate out  (sink to the bottom) fine solids forming a layer at the bottom of a vial of water, such as silt, which precipitates from water collected from a stream or a pond.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solubility_chart (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solubility_chart)

So, what do you make of that?

In solution chemistry we often remind ourselves of the fact that "Like dissolves like!", which explains why polar compounds such as water easily dissolve alcohols, diols, and glycols,

https://www2.chemistry.msu.edu/faculty/reusch/virttxtjml/chapt2.htm (https://www2.chemistry.msu.edu/faculty/reusch/virttxtjml/chapt2.htm)

.... while linear vegetable oils easily dissolve other vegetable oils and motor oils easily are dissolved in gasoline and kerosene, which are all straight chain hydrocarbons.

http://www.ivyroses.com/Chemistry/Organic/How-to-draw-skeletal-formulae-of-organic-molecules.php (http://www.ivyroses.com/Chemistry/Organic/How-to-draw-skeletal-formulae-of-organic-molecules.php)



Does that clear it up for you?  If so, let me know, because I still have no idea how that works with right livelihood either.  Perhaps someone wiser than the both of us could chime in and explain it to us?   :help:


Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on July 24, 2018, 01:35:53 pm
And what is up with "effluents"  as in:

Quote
And what is the right livelihood with effluents....

Having spent over thirty years in the field of environmental safety and health, my working definition of effluents was / is about the same as yours.  However, not all effluents are as noxious as the one you chose. 

Yeah.  I just think it an odd choice of words.  9 out of 10 people probably couldn't tell you what the word means.  Seeing that, there must be a better word, but hey, I'm not on the translation committee.

I may have a bit more to say on this tomorrow.  The reading's getting easier.

Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: philboyd on July 24, 2018, 02:37:27 pm
effluent comes from the Latin verb effluere (to flow out)
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on July 25, 2018, 04:18:14 am

Effluents is like....sewage.   Right livelihood with.....sewage.

 :jinsyx:
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on July 25, 2018, 04:24:30 am
.  Perhaps someone wiser than the both of us could chime in and explain it to us?   :help:

Thank you dear Ron for your gracious invitation.  :namaste:

The Pali is "asava". The translation is not important, however it is translated as "outflows", "effluents", "cankers", "fermentations", "taints", etc.

What it essentially means is "defilements".

Therefore, there is a morality based right view, right thought, right speech, right action and right livelihood that is defiled; particularly defiled with self-views.

For example, the general religious beliefs in kamma & rebirth are polluted with self-views. This is the meaning of "asava".

Regards  :namaste:

Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on July 25, 2018, 04:27:14 am
effluent comes from the Latin verb effluere (to flow out)


Thanks, philboyd.  So, what flows out of livelihood, which could be labeled an effluent?  And, in other suttas the word effluent is used in equally mysterious context.  Any ideas as to its meaning or definition in these contexts.  For example does it mean the same thing as "arise", such that thoughts, feelings and emotions arise from contacts associated with sense doors?  Example:  Feelings of anger arose when I saw my children being slaughtered by invaders. 


Substituting effluent for arose:  Effluents of anger gushed forth as my children were slaughtered before my eyes .


Does that make any sense to anyone?
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on July 25, 2018, 04:30:31 am
.  Perhaps someone wiser than the both of us could chime in and explain it to us?   :help:

Thank you dear Ron for your gracious invitation.  :namaste:

The Pali is "asava". The translation is not important, however it is translated as "outflows", "effluents", "cankers", "fermentations", "taints", etc.

What it essentially means is "defilements".

Therefore, there is a morality based right view, right thought, right speech, right action and right livelihood that is defiled; particularly defiled with self-views.

For example, the general religious beliefs in kamma & rebirth are polluted with self-views. This is the meaning of "asava".

Regards  :namaste:

Thanks, Visuddhi!  I always knew you were wiser.  Much appreciated.  So, Idler wasn't too far off in his interpretation of the meaning.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on July 25, 2018, 04:41:19 am
Thanks, Visuddhi!  I always knew you were wiser.  Much appreciated.  So, Idler wasn't too far off in his interpretation of the meaning.

Indeed. Because the Pali suttas are perfectly spoken by the Lord Buddha, the Dhamma-Eye appeared to open in the Idler.  While the run-of-the-mill religious beliefs in karma, etc, can foster morality, from a higher Buddhist viewpoint, they are considered "polluted" because they also foster self-views ("acquisitions" in MN 117).

:namaste:
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on July 25, 2018, 05:33:54 am
effluent comes from the Latin verb effluere (to flow out)


Thanks, philboyd.  So, what flows out of livelihood, which could be labeled an effluent?  And, in other suttas the word effluent is used in equally mysterious context.  Any ideas as to its meaning or definition in these contexts.  For example does it mean the same thing as "arise", such that thoughts, feelings and emotions arise from contacts associated with sense doors?  Example:  Feelings of anger arose when I saw my children being slaughtered by invaders. 


Substituting effluent for arose:  Effluents of anger gushed forth as my children were slaughtered before my eyes .


Does that make any sense to anyone?

Yes, it does.

After my last post yesterday, I read Sujato's translation and he uses the word "defilement" instead of effluent.

Like I said earlier, I suspected that the word effluent was used create imagery of something flowing, noxious, nasty, smelly, dirty, etc.  At the time, while grasping at alternatives, I missed "defilement", which, for my capacity, seems the perfect term.

I actually like Sujato's translation better - not that I think it's an inherently better translation, it's just a easier read for me.  That said, I'll stick to the translation you linked to.

Now that I'm past that little roadblock, back to study.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on July 25, 2018, 09:04:36 am

Thanks, Visuddhi!  I always knew you were wiser.

He's not.  He's pedantic.  And irritable.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on July 25, 2018, 10:05:08 am
My study is confounded by an apparent lack of clear in struction on how to practive the N8FP.

One of my problmens is I get close, but then find some marked differences in translations.  Here are quotes for Thanissaro and Sujato. While both translators agree that "effort" is needed, what one does with the effort seems to differ.  Also Thanissaro uses "resolve" and Sujato uses "thought".

Thanissaro (T) -
Quote
One makes an effort for the abandoning of wrong resolve & for entering right resolve:
Sujato (S) -
Quote
They make an effort to give up wrong thought and take up right thought:

Ok.  Effort.  Got that.  Make an effort.  T says "makes and effor for...".  S says "make an effort to..".  For and to are two different thimngs.  To make an effort for something is to make an effort with the eventual outcome of right thought/resolve.  An effort "to" is to commit to direct action such as willing thought to change.  Also we have "resolve" and "thought"  again, these are two different things.

So do we make an active effort to replace wrong with right.  Or do we make an effort in another direction, perhaps such as a meditation, mantra, nembutsu, or whatever practice that the ultimate fruition will include right thought/resolve?

If it's an active approach to thought change - like halting a thought process repeatedly - this seems a bit too Self-referencing to be beneficial.  A meditative approach allowing realizations and insights to whittle away at the obstructions on the path, might be more beneficial.  Just the same, neither way is clear to me in the sutta/sutra.

The sutta/sutra is a wealth of information on what the 8-folds actually are, but seemingly short on practice instruction. Conflicting translations don't help, either.

I imagine the two scholars are simply working with different root texts.  You see that in Mahayana materials as well.  Doesn't make things any easier, though.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dairy Lama on July 26, 2018, 01:49:49 am
Quote
They are called "sutta" rather than "sutra". If you cannot abandon this habit of calling sutta "sutra" then there is probably little hope for you giving up more sticky forms of attachment & craving.

So for beginners - the 1st step is giving up Mahayana and its associated Hindu Sanskrit.

I'm reminded of Thanissaro's sectarian attacks on Mahayana. Non-attachment?

It's all rather silly.  Some might do well to read the Mahayana Sutras, fascinating stuff! 
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on July 30, 2018, 09:11:59 am
After a few more reads of "The Great Forty" sutra, I've come to the conlclusion that there isn't really anything in the way of clear in structions as to how to "practice" the N8FP.

I read comments by Rahula that promoted the idea of simply adopting right _____ - watching what you say, what you think, etc.  I'm still not sure about it and am unconvinced this is anything more than "self improvement". 

Other say that the Path is a gradual, everything-together-more-or-less, proposition.  Basically set out on the path and let attainment dictate what aspects of the path grow, where, and when.

What then is the practice?  The best I can come up with is my meditation practice.  It worked for the Buddha.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dairy Lama on July 31, 2018, 01:42:17 am
What then is the practice?  The best I can come up with is my meditation practice.  It worked for the Buddha.

There is a 3-fold version of the 8-fold path, which is morality, meditation and wisdom.  Meditation is usually described in terms of samatha ( calm ) and vipassana ( insight ).
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: stillpointdancer on July 31, 2018, 02:33:12 am
What then is the practice?  The best I can come up with is my meditation practice.  It worked for the Buddha.

There is a 3-fold version of the 8-fold path, which is morality, meditation and wisdom.  Meditation is usually described in terms of samatha ( calm ) and vipassana ( insight ).

Yes, although following calm, you can use mindfulness in meditation (and in everyday life) to help develop morality and wisdom
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on July 31, 2018, 05:25:46 am
What then is the practice?  The best I can come up with is my meditation practice.  It worked for the Buddha.

There is a 3-fold version of the 8-fold path, which is morality, meditation and wisdom.  Meditation is usually described in terms of samatha ( calm ) and vipassana ( insight ).

Yes, although following calm, you can use mindfulness in meditation (and in everyday life) to help develop morality and wisdom

Or you can meditate and let the fruit of that practice manifest as the Path
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dairy Lama on August 02, 2018, 01:27:55 am
What then is the practice?  The best I can come up with is my meditation practice.  It worked for the Buddha.

There is a 3-fold version of the 8-fold path, which is morality, meditation and wisdom.  Meditation is usually described in terms of samatha ( calm ) and vipassana ( insight ).

Yes, although following calm, you can use mindfulness in meditation (and in everyday life) to help develop morality and wisdom

Yes, mindfulness is a key component of the path.  I work with the four frames of satipatthana regularly, this basically involves paying attention to different aspects of experience, trying to really notice how and why things happen.  My most productive times are off the cushion rather than on it.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Dairy Lama on August 02, 2018, 01:29:17 am
What then is the practice?  The best I can come up with is my meditation practice.  It worked for the Buddha.

There is a 3-fold version of the 8-fold path, which is morality, meditation and wisdom.  Meditation is usually described in terms of samatha ( calm ) and vipassana ( insight ).

Yes, although following calm, you can use mindfulness in meditation (and in everyday life) to help develop morality and wisdom

Or you can meditate and let the fruit of that practice manifest as the Path

You can, but IMO practice is best approached as something you do all the time, rather than just when you're sitting on a cushion.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: stillpointdancer on August 02, 2018, 02:21:24 am
One of my main interests is looking at meditation as part of our basic human nature, something we have been able to do since the first people evolved, maybe before Homo Sapiens. The only difference with Buddhist meditation is context and how it relates to everyday life.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on August 02, 2018, 05:36:46 am

You can, but IMO practice is best approached as something you do all the time, rather than just when you're sitting on a cushion.

Quite right, but ideally, meditation doesn't end with the gong, so to speak.

I've found that as time goes on, and my practice grows, the more in tune with the N8FP I become.  I don't make an active effort to attain "right" speech, but I do find that my speech is "righter" than it used to be.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Zen44 on February 23, 2019, 09:02:56 pm
By trying, and persisting in keeping on trying.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: paracelsus on February 24, 2019, 09:05:14 pm
The idea of the path requiring three elements to progress i.e. Study, contemplation, and meditation hints at a combined approach. My efforts to follow the Nobel 8 Fold Path as a conscious "obeying of rules"or stipulations, didn't work so well, but the combination of the above 3 elements of practice which encourage a broadening of understanding which becomes embedded as the practice continues has meant that the Nobel Eightfold Path  becomes a part of life naturally, without the need to follow it specifically. In other words it is wisdom that puts us on the right track rather than a discipline holding in check the rampant forces of Mara.

 There is a story (I might've related here before) of the "Precepts Sect" who upon attending a large gathering of Zen monks made some great show of their "holiness" due to their keeping all the precepts, but were roundly castigated for their failings in needing so many rules to keep them in line. The relevant point being that fully rounded practice will accomplish the end whereas the simple following of precepts may leave one as self centred and arrogant as if one didn't.

Following the path means developing one's mind to fulfil the description of "the path" through wisdom.
It probably means a whole lot of other things as well but .....

 :twocents: :om:
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Zen44 on March 25, 2019, 03:37:32 am
The idea of the path requiring three elements to progress i.e. Study, contemplation, and meditation hints at a combined approach. My efforts to follow the Nobel 8 Fold Path as a conscious "obeying of rules"or stipulations, didn't work so well, but the combination of the above 3 elements of practice which encourage a broadening of understanding which becomes embedded as the practice continues has meant that the Nobel Eightfold Path  becomes a part of life naturally, without the need to follow it specifically. In other words it is wisdom that puts us on the right track rather than a discipline holding in check the rampant forces of Mara.

 There is a story (I might've related here before) of the "Precepts Sect" who upon attending a large gathering of Zen monks made some great show of their "holiness" due to their keeping all the precepts, but were roundly castigated for their failings in needing so many rules to keep them in line. The relevant point being that fully rounded practice will accomplish the end whereas the simple following of precepts may leave one as self centred and arrogant as if one didn't.

Following the path means developing one's mind to fulfil the description of "the path" through wisdom.
It probably means a whole lot of other things as well but .....

 :twocents: :om:


Neat and perfect comprehensive paragraph is good enough for me.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: stevie on May 21, 2019, 10:49:02 pm
How does one practice the Eightfold Path?  What is the scriptural basis for this practice?  Take the case of Right View for example.  View is how you see things.  Changing how you see things can be difficult, if not impossible for most people.  Seeing as the Buddha often described the practice he was teaching, what are the sutras that describe the practice as he taught it?

Dear  Dharma friends,

from my perspective the Maha-cattarisaka Sutta MN 117 (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.117.than.html) may be taken as basic reference
1. because it makes clear that right view is the forerunner of right resolve, right speech, right  action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration which entail right knowledge and right release.
2. because it makes clear that right view may be of two kinds: with and without effluents.
3. because it makes clear that right view without effluents is trancendent.
4. because it makes clear that based on right view without effluents all the other path factors also are transcendent.

Now what is the meaning of 'transcendent'? The meaning of 'transcendent' is 'not belonging to this world'.

Thus the Eightfold Path may be practiced with effluents and without effluents. Practicing it with effluents is practicing it in a way the world may practice it and practicing it without effluents is practicing it in a way the world cannot know it because it is beyond the reach of the world.

 :anjali:
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on May 24, 2019, 05:28:32 am
Now what is the meaning of 'transcendent'? The meaning of 'transcendent' is 'not belonging to this world'.

Transcendent = lokuttara (https://suttacentral.net/define/uttara) = above or beyond the world

Thus the Eightfold Path may be practiced with effluents and without effluents.

The path without effluents is the Noble Path. The other path is something introduced later so the ordinary Buddhist layperson could believe they were practising the path. But from the perspective of the original teachings, there was only the Noble Path.

Practicing it with effluents is practicing it in a way the world may practice it

No. The path with effluents is, in reality, a different path. It is only a moral path. MN 117 says this path "sides with merit".

and practicing it without effluents is practicing it in a way the world cannot know it because it is beyond the reach of the world.

The above statement sounds like "mana" or "conceit" and is not the practise of the Noble Path. It is worldly.

 :namaste:
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: stevie on May 24, 2019, 06:07:36 am
Thus the Eightfold Path may be practiced with effluents and without effluents.

The path without effluents is the Noble Path. The other path is something introduced later so the ordinary Buddhist layperson could believe they were practising the path. But from the perspective of the original teachings, there was only the Noble Path.

Dear VisuddhiRaptor,

it is as you say: there is only one path. So even if "ordinary Buddhist layperson" are practicing the Eightfold Path with effluents they are actually practicing the Eightfold Path which is ultimately without effluents. How so? The Eightfold Path without effluents merely appears to practitioners according to their lineage.

Practicing it with effluents is practicing it in a way the world may practice it

No. The path with effluents is, in reality, a different path. It is only a moral path. MN 117 says this path "sides with merit".
As we agreed already above:  in reality there is only one path. Karmic visions however are different depending on lineage.

and practicing it without effluents is practicing it in a way the world cannot know it because it is beyond the reach of the world.

The above statement sounds like "mana" or "conceit" and is not the practise of the Noble Path. It is worldly. 
Since the Buddha taught the path to the world what path other than a worldly path could he teach? Even the Buddha could not teach the path without effluents. Why? Because he had to resort to worldly language to make himself understood. Therefore the world cannot know the path without effluents.
However as to practice there is worldly practice with effluents and non-worldly practice without effluents.
How can one attain the non-worldly practice without effluents when the Buddha could only teach the path with effluents? Simply through commencing with worldly practice with effluents. There is no other way to attain non-worldly practice without effluents.

 :dharma: :anjali:
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on May 24, 2019, 01:18:55 pm


The path without effluents is the Noble Path. The other path is something introduced later so the ordinary Buddhist layperson could believe they were practising the path.

How much later and who added it?  And please offer some supporting teaching on this.

The assertion that something was added so laypeople could "believe" they were practicing the N8FP (when perhaps they really weren't), kinda goes against teacher's I've heard on the subject.  So where you you get this.

Quote
and practicing it without effluents is practicing it in a way the world cannot know it because it is beyond the reach of the world.

The above statement sounds like "mana" or "conceit" and is not the practise of the Noble Path. It is worldly.

Are you calling Stevie "conceited"?  Kinda sounds like it.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on May 24, 2019, 02:35:49 pm

The assertion that something was added so laypeople could "believe" they were practicing the N8FP (when perhaps they really weren't), kinda goes against teacher's I've heard on the subject.  So where you you get this.


Which teachers? What have you heard about the subject?
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on May 24, 2019, 07:43:39 pm
What have you heard about the subject?

Not that the path with effluents was a later addition.

As far as my teachers go, you made the assertion about later additions, it's up to you to support it, not me to defend my challenge.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on May 25, 2019, 09:33:56 pm
As far as my teachers go...

Which teachers?
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on May 25, 2019, 10:10:57 pm
it is as you say: there is only one path. So even if "ordinary Buddhist layperson" are practicing the Eightfold Path with effluents they are actually practicing the Eightfold Path which is ultimately without effluents.

Thank you. However, I do not recall ever mentioning the above. Are you sure an Eightfold Path with effluents even exists?  :curtain:
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: stillpointdancer on May 26, 2019, 03:07:07 am
I found this quote if it helps:

"(4) "And what is the development of concentration that... leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.

"These are the four developments of concentration."

— AN 4.41"

at https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.041.than.html (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.041.than.html)
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: stevie on May 26, 2019, 03:28:34 am
it is as you say: there is only one path. So even if "ordinary Buddhist layperson" are practicing the Eightfold Path with effluents they are actually practicing the Eightfold Path which is ultimately without effluents.

Thank you. However, I do not recall ever mentioning the above. Are you sure an Eightfold Path with effluents even exists?  :curtain:

Dear VisuddhiRaptor,

from the perspective of the world there is only the Eightfold Path with effluents. As I have already mentioned above this is because the Buddha could only teach the Eightfold Path with effluents to the world.

Saying that this Eightfold Path with effluents is ultimately without effluents is like saying that the reflection of a face in a mirror is ultimately not a face but a reflection of a face. So 'ultimately' here is applied according to the convention known in the world.

As a consequence worldly practice of the Eightfold Path with effluents cannot be said to be 'wrong' practice which is why right view with effluents - the forerunner -  is still called right view and is not called 'wrong' view.
This is like saying 'I see my face in the mirror' cannot be said to be a wrong view although ultimately I do not see my face in the mirror when looking into the mirror but I do only see a reflection of it.

Wanting to have a look at my face there is no way other than to look into a surface that reflects, like e.g. a mirror.
In the same way wanting to practice the Eightfold Path there is no way other than to practice the Eightfold Path with effluents. Only in the course of  practicing the Eightfold Path with effluents the Eightfold Path may be revealed to be ultimately without effluents which is an attainment of the practitioner but cannot be discerned by someone else and cannot be taught. To the world a  practitioner practicing the Eightfold Path without effluents still appears as if practicing the Eightfold Path as known to the world, i.e. with effluents.

 :anjali:
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: stevie on May 27, 2019, 01:33:06 am
I found this quote if it helps:

"(4) "And what is the development of concentration that... leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.

"These are the four developments of concentration."

— AN 4.41"

at https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.041.than.html (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.041.than.html)

Dear stillpointdancer,

thanks for bringing that up.
However since your quote only refers to a part of that sutta it may be misleading to think that the four concentrations commonly known as 'the four jhanas' may be the methods to achieve the ending of effluents. But that is not the case as a study of the complete sutta will show.

What actually is elaborated on in this sutta are four developments of concentration, NOT the four concentrations as such which are commonly known as 'the four jhanas'.

What does this mean here?

This means that the 1st kind of development which leads to the jhanas does NOT lead to the ending of the effluents.

And it means that the 2nd kind of development which leads to a 'brightened mind' does NOT lead to the ending of the effluents.

And it means that the 3rd kind of development which leads to 'mindfulness & alertness' does NOT lead to the ending of the effluents.

It means that only the 4th kind of development which is an analytical meditation on the dependent origination and cessation of the clinging aggregates that entails concentration, is the kind of development of concentration that leads to the ending of the effluents.

 :anjali:
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: stillpointdancer on May 27, 2019, 03:01:26 am
Hi Stevie. Yes, I was just pointing out a reference to effluents to show that they are a 'thing' in the eightfold path. I don't really find these things useful myself, but they are of passing interest when I find some word used in a context I hadn't heard before.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: stevie on May 27, 2019, 08:51:48 pm
Dear stillpointdancer,

from a practice point of view it actually isn't useful to bother about effluents because as I have tried to express above there is no way other than practicing the path with effluents and effluents will fade away naturally once the path of meditation is attained ... which usually takes eons.

On the contrary a beginner coming across MN 117 (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.117.than.html#fnt-3) might erroneously think that right view without effluents is something better or superior than right view with effluents and wrongly conclude that collecting merit and the resolve to become liberated from samsara would be inferior because it reads 'There is right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions [of becoming]' and because only right view without effluents is called 'noble'. That then would actually be wrong view and make any progress on the path impossible!
Why?
Because right view with effluents is the forerunner of right resolve with effluents which is:
Quote
Resolve for renunciation, resolve for freedom from ill will, resolve for harmlessness. This is the right resolve with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions.
Who would dare saying that such a right resolve with effluents would be wrong resolve?

And right view with effluents is the forerunner of right speech with effluents which is:
Quote
Abstaining from lying, from divisive tale-bearing, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter. This is the right speech with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions
Who would dare saying that such a right speech with effluents would be wrong speech?

And right view with effluents is the forerunner of right action with effluents which is:
Quote
Abstaining from killing, from taking what is not given, & from illicit sex.[3] This is the right action with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions.
Who would dare saying that such a right action with effluents would be wrong action?

And right view with effluents is the forerunner of right livelihood with effluents which is:
Quote
There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones abandons wrong livelihood and maintains his life with right livelihood. This is the right livelihood with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions.
Who would dare saying that such a right livelihood with effluents would be wrong livelihood?

etc

Therefore one should embrace the Eightfold path with effluents and collect merit based on the resolve to become liberated from samsara.

 :dharma: :anjali:
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: Chaz on May 31, 2019, 01:54:54 pm
I've been giving the recent discussion, centering on effluents, some thought.

You encounter people, Buddhists, who fell that there is importance in following the N8FP simply because it says so - like was some sort of commandment to live by.  That's fine, but it occurs to me, that there is an element of self involved in such practice, an element that may serve to stymie, real progrees on the Path.  That's not to say there is something bad in such practice.  No doubt there is merit in such practice, widom to be gained, but true practice is from emptiness, with no taint of self.

So I would call such practice to be with effluents with self being the main effluent.
Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: stevie on June 01, 2019, 02:48:36 am
Dear Chaz,

I think that once one has gained certainty about Buddha Dharma there may arise an attitude to follow the Eightfold Path 'because it says so'. So it may be - but not necessarily is - a mark of cessation of doubt which actually is an attainment.

As to the effluent of self I must admit that I doubt that practice is feasible without the slightest sentiment of self.
In Prajnaparamita sutras it is said that the ideal Bodhisattva acts without there being a sentiment of actor, acting and object acted upon but I think that this ideal actually equates Bodhisattva and Buddha and thus it actually is setting the goal. So in the Prajnaparamita sutras the two kinds of self are covered: self of persons and phenomena. But from my perspective it is important that the Pali suttas and the Prajnaparamita sutras belong to different turnings of the wheel and I would assume that according to the Pali suttas there is nothing more to do once the personal self has been overcome.

Nevertheless what is puzzling me is the term 'transcendent' in the context of 'noble' because it of course makes me think of prajnaparamita -  but I think that thought is misleading here.

I think that this sutta simply posits that hoping for merits and attainments or fearing not to get those is what characterizes a worldly attitude and an attitude which is free from such hope and fear is called 'noble' and 'transcendent', i.e. not belonging to the world. So the noble Eightfold Path is one that has become one's nature without expecting, hoping for or speculating about own benefit. I think that although such an attitude may conventionally be called 'selfless' it is not necessarily without the slightest sentiment of self because otherwise the practice of  the Eightfold Path would have already been completed.

 :anjali:

Title: Re: Practicing the Eightfold Path
Post by: stevie on June 10, 2019, 11:00:07 pm
I've been thinking/meditating about this post and referring to the last sentence maybe the following expression is more appropriate:
One is practicing the Noble Eightfold Path, i.e. the path that is not 'siding with merit', and not 'resulting in acquisitions', the path that is 'without effluents, transcendent' when one has at least entered the path of seeing and at least the artificial afflictive obscurations have been abandoned.

As a further correcting comment to the last sentence I would like to add:
I think that there is no necessity to assume the absence of 'the slightest sentiment of self' because that sentiment 'only' has to be 'purified' (metaphor!) of afflictive obscurations.

 :anjali:
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