Winter and Spring Sangha-wide Study of the Eightfold Path
Right speech, right action, and right livelihood
-these states are included in the aggregate of virtue.
Right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration
-these states are included in the aggregate of concentration.
Right view and right intention
-these states are included in the aggregate of wisdom.
Majjhima Nikaya 44
During April, the sitting groups are investigating Right Concentration. Gil’s essay and reflections on this topic are here – Right_Concentration_Study_Guide Much of the material we are using is from dharma teacher Gil Fronsdal’s online program on this topic, which is an essay and dharma talk on each path factor. The teachers are also referencing 2 other sources: Bhikkhu Bodhi’s book available online noble-8-fold-path-bhikkhu-bodhi and Bhante Gunaratana’s Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness which is widely available for sale.
Gil’s short essays introduce each path factor and include the weekly reflections.
In May, we’ll conclude the Path study with a discussion of the Right Knowledge and Right Release, described in Gil’s essay Eightfold_Path_Program_Conclusion.
Frequently the practice of the Buddha’s Eightfold Path is described as a journey. It is also seen as a map which the practitioner uses to navigate this journey. The path is defined by virtue (sila), concentration (samadhi), and wisdom (panna).
In the Buddha’s lifetime, the exploration of the teachings was never a solely intellectual undertaking. It always involved the investigation of experience through meditation; in this way, there is a blending of study and practice in daily life. As we begin our journey, we invite you to bring this very personal approach of the teachings into your life, to make a full commitment to them, keeping in mind this statement from Bhikkhu Bodhi:
“A spiritual tradition is not a shallow stream in which one can wet one’s feet and then beat a quick retreat to the shore. It is a mighty, tumultuous river which would rush through the entire landscape of one’s life, and if one truly wishes to travel on it, one must be courageous enough to launch one’s boat and head out for the depths.” The Noble Eightfold Path, p. 3
During April, the teachers will guide their sits at their individual pace as they introduce the elements of Right Concentration. If you want to know the exact topics of the Monday and Tuesday sits, please check those webpages. For the Thursday sit topic within Wise Concentration, please contact Doreen directly.