Buddhist teachings

1. Life involves suffering.
2. Suffering is caused by desire and grasping.
3. There is a way out of suffering.
4. The way is the “Noble Eightfold Path.”

Observing the five precepts at the foundation of all morality: not killing, not stealing, not engaging in sexual misconduct, not lying, and not clouding the mind with intoxicants.

Noble Eightfold Path

Right understanding. Really knowing, for example, that unwholesome acts and thoughts have consequences, as do wholesome acts and thoughts.

Right intention. Recognizing that actions are shaped by habits of anger and self-centeredness, or by habits of compassion, understanding, and love.

Right speech. Recognizing the moral implications of speech. Truthfulness.

Right action. Observing the five precepts at the foundation of all morality: not killing, not stealing, not engaging in sexual misconduct, not lying, and not clouding the mind with intoxicants.

Right livelihood. Earning a living in ways that are consonant with the basic precepts.

Right effort. Cultivating this way of living with the attention, the patience, and the perseverance that it takes to cultivate a field.

Right mindfulness. Developing “presence of mind” through the moment-to-moment awareness of meditation practice, including mindfulness of breathing, mindfulness of walking, and mindfulness of bodily sensations.

Right concentration. Developing the ability to bring the dispersed and distracted mind and heart to a center, a focus, and to see clearly through that focused mind and heart.

The Eightfold Path consists of eight practices: right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right samadhi (‘meditative absorption or union’).

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