Thursday, October 1, 2009

Unpacking the Fourth Noble Truth, Part One: Wise View and Wise Intention

(Note: Members of the Society of Friends of the Buddha are the intended audience for the next four posts of Mindful Heart. MindfulHeart blogspot readers are, however, welcome to read and comment as always.)

The Fourth Noble Truth of the Buddha describes a way to increase happiness. To become happier, the Buddha would suggest you walk along the Eight Fold Path.

The Eight-Fold Path consists, logically enough, of Eight Steps:

  1. Wise View
  2. Wise Intention
  3. Wise Speech
  4. Wise Action
  5. Wise Livelihood
  6. Wise Effort
  7. Wise Mindfulness, and
  8. Wise Concentration
Countless books have been written about this subject. To thoroughly understand what is meant by the Eight-Fold Path could take ordinary people like me decades, nay, lifetimes of dedicated study.
We're going to just scratch the surface of these teachings at our next Society of Friends meeting at my house. So, to help prime the pump for this discussion next Tuesday, I would like to offer a series of four posts with just a little more information about the Eight Fold Path.

I.  Wise View:

And what is Wise View?

It is the understanding of suffering.
It is the understanding of the origin of suffering.
It is the understanding of the cessation of suffering.
It is the understanding of the path that leads to the cessation of all sorrow and the awakening to the deathless.
It is the understanding of Interdependent Transformation.
It is the understanding of the deathless and unborn.
This is Wise View.

II. Wise Intention

And what is Wise Intention?

It is the intention of renunciation.
It is the intention of good will.
It is the intention of harmlessness.
This is Wise Intention.


jinksy said...

Wise words indeed. I'd love to sit in on your discussion...

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Dan: Thank you. I always feel like any scattered parts of me return and settle and sigh after I read the Buddha's words.

Like Jinksy I would love to be a fly on the wall at your meeting.

Sarah Lulu said...

Thank you Dan, very enjoyable for me to read...I look forward to more.

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Dan~ Thanks for bringing me back to this. At my yoga studio, we use the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (basically the Eight-Limbed Path you've outlied above). If it helps in any way, i.e., gives another perspective, here are Patanjali's eight sutras:
1) Yama - Abstentions of non-violence, non-lying, non-covetousness, non-sensuality, and non-possessiveness.
2) Niyama - Observances of purity, contentment, austerity, study, and surrender to God.
3) Asana - Seated position for meditation.
4) Pranayama - The Lengthening Prana, i.e. life force or vital energy, particularly, the breath.
5) Pratyahara - Withdrawal of the sense organs from external objects.
6) Dharana - Fixing the attention on a single object.
7) Dhyana - Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation.
8) Samadhi - Merging consciousness with the object of meditation.
It seems there was something about recognizing the opposites of each of these, too.
I like how the body--in the asanas--shows where you need to be more balanced.
Good luck on Tuesday, and it will be interesting to hear how it went! Om, Margaret

Dan Gurney said...

Jinksey, thank you for leaving a comment. We do have lovely meetings here. I have had to keep the size small (less than a dozen) so that everyone to take part in our discussions.

Dan Gurney said...

Bonnie, yes, the Buddha's words and many others have me sighing. Mary Oliver works this magic in me. Seems our blogging neighborhood turns up wonderful words of wisdom daily.

Dan Gurney said...

Sarah Lulu, Thank you. More are on the way.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Margaret,

Thanks. I've seen these Yoga Sutras before. While there is some overlap, they seem more directed at the meditative practices and states as compared to the Buddha's 8FP.

Thanks for offering them here.