The Buddha ‘s Eightfold Path

from Chogyam Trungpa’s The Path of Indivdual Freedom, volume Among the Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma

There are 8 categories of the course of meditation, which are collectively referred to as the noble eightfold course. * The eight limbs of the noble course are best view, perfect understanding, ideal speech, best end of karma, best income, best effort, best recollection, and ideal meditation. At the level of the course of seeing, you started to see, and now you
have the ability to make something of it. Your whole being has been completely trained physically, emotionally, and in regards to working with others.

Perfect View. The very first limb of the worthy course is yang-dak-pe tawa, or “best view.” Perfect view indicates that you have the ability to cut through the absorptions and set views of your previous experiences, which may have made you somewhat drowsy and theoretical. At the level of the path of seeing, you might have been able to gaze at the supreme fact, however yang-dak-pe tawa allows you in fact to translucent.

“View” does not imply good view or bad view, however simply understanding things as they are. You are able to cut through and you are able to examine and to think in the favorable sense. This does not mean that you are scholastic or that you psychologize, however you are able to see the differences between the first, 2nd, and 3rd courses. You have the ability to see how things work geographically and chronologically. Due to the fact that you can translucent things at this moment, you are becoming less depending on your instructor, or elder. Your senior is sensible and scholarly, brilliant and thoughtful, but you do not have to depend on him or her. You have the ability to see through on your own; therefore, you are ending up being rather independent.

Perfect Understanding. The 2nd limb is yang-dak-pe tokpa, “best understanding,” or “best realization.” You have discovered how to relax. Based upon what you have experienced, there is no questioning and no doubt. You have understood, and you appreciate what you have comprehended; for that reason, you discover how to unwind and let yourself go.

Perfect Speech. The 3rd limb is yang-dak-pe ngak, “perfect speech.” You have actually found a method of stating yourself fully and thoroughly– how you are, why you are, what you are– without being big-headed, aggressive, or too simple. You have learned how to be moderate in providing yourself. Ngak, “speech,” does not refer simply to how you speak, however also to how you reflect yourself to the world– your basic disposition, or decorum. You can end up being sensible, good, and enlightened.

Perfect End of Karma. The 4th limb is yang-dak-pe lekyi tha, which indicates, the “ideal end of karma.” You start to understand how to avoid karmic domino effect unexpectedly, exactly, and completely. The end of karma suggests that you may return once or twice to the world since your immediate karmic situation has actually not yet been cut through; nevertheless, your previous karma has actually been cut through already by ways of ideal view, ideal understanding, and perfect speech. Your habitual patterns and your entire behavior start to be more precise, more enlightened. By behaving naturally, you are able to cut through karma and karmic repercussions.

In cutting through karma, you are constantly handling lack of knowledge, the first nidana. Because volitional action is driven by ignorance, if you are able to cut through that ignorance, you stop the course of volitional action. You can do so, due to the fact that at the level of the path of meditation, your style of relating with the dharma becomes really natural and instinctive. In contrast, the design of volitional action is that you are constantly looking forward to the next carrot. You see the carrot as rather distant from you, and you work yourself as much as range from here to there, from yourself to the carrot. In doing so, you crank up more karma; and when you arrive, you wind up with the next karmic cause. So you end up with a lot more karma– and you have developed the carrot, also! We never ever say that in the samsaric world, but in the informed world we can state it.

In cutting karma, disgust and renunciation are considered crucial. Although it is a neat, awful technique for you to put the carrot in front of yourself, you understand you should not be doing that. By renouncing that, you are able to cut the second nidana, which is formation, or spontaneous build-up. At this moment, you are ending up being so achieved in this that even if you plant a karmic pledge in other individuals, you are able to cut through their karmic domino effect also.

Perfect Income. Number five is yang-dak-pe tsowa, which indicates “best livelihood.” Because you are able to handle karmic cause and effect, you can also relate with your own life and income. You do not need to depend on others. You have enough skill to be able to handle your livelihood thoroughly and fully.

Perfect Effort. The 6th limb is yang-dak-pe tsölwa, which indicates “ideal effort.” This has the sense of not keeping back, but applying yourself. You have incredible energy. You cultivate real energy in both dealing with yourself and working with others. As you go from path to path, you establish increasingly more effort, more and more market. You start to become a decent individual, no longer an annoyance.

Perfect Recollection. The seventh limb is yang-dak-pe trenpa, “best recollection.” As before, trenpa refers to mindfulness, or one-pointed mind, and to the recollection of your previous experiences.

Perfect Meditation. The 8th and last limb of the worthy course is yangdak-pe tingdzin, or “best meditation.” In this context, tingdzin means that you have the ability to enter into specific samadhis. You start to look ahead towards the notion of knowledge. At this moment, you may be able to completely cut through twofold ego fixation (ego of self and ego of dharmas).

* Trungpa Rinpoche likewise discusses the eightfold course in The Misconception of Liberty and the Method of Meditation (Boston: Shambhala, 1988).


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