The Noble Eightfold Path of Buddha consists of eight practices (Meditation)



The Noble Eightfold Path of Buddha consists of eight practices (Meditation)

  1. Right View: Understanding that our actions have consequences, acknowledging the continuity of life after death, and the impact of our actions and beliefs following death. This includes the recognition of karma and rebirth and the significance of the Four Noble Truths. Insight plays a vital role, especially in Theravada Buddhism, Buddha.
  2. Right Resolve: Also known as “right thought,” “right aspiration,” or “right motivation,” it involves striving towards non-violence, avoiding hateful conduct, and the resolve to embrace the Buddhist path, including renouncing worldly life.
  3. Right Speech: Abstaining from lying, using rude language, speaking ill of others, and engaging in idle chatter that serves no purpose.
  4. Right Conduct or Action: Refraining from killing, harming others, stealing, engaging in sexual misconduct, or being driven by material desires.
  5. Right Livelihood: Avoiding occupations related to trading in weapons, living beings, meat, liquor, or poisons.
  6. Right Effort: Prevent the emergence of unwholesome states, foster wholesome states, and practice restraint of the sense faculties.
  7. Right Mindfulness: Developing a quality that guards and observes the mind, weakening unwholesome mental states. It involves being conscious and aware of actions, experiences, and the impermanence of body, feeling, and mind.
  8. Right Samadhi: Practicing meditation to achieve concentration and one-pointedness of the mind, leading to equanimity and mindfulness, and supplemented with insight meditation. The Pali canon and the Agamas contain various explanations of the “right view,” with the Mahasatipatthana Sutta summarizing it as the understanding of the Four Noble Truths and explicitly including karma and rebirth. Other suttas provide a detailed overview of the right view, emphasizing the consequences of actions and beliefs, the Buddha’s teachings, and distinguishing between mundane and noble right views. Additionally, the Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta highlights faith in the Buddha and understanding of wholesome actions as path factors. At the same time, the Mahācattārīsaka Sutta focuses on the requisites of right samadhi and distinguishes between mundane and noble right views.



In the Pali canon and the Agamas, there are various “definitions” or descriptions of the “right view.” The Mahasatipatthana Sutta (Digha Nikaya 22) summarizes the right view as understanding the Four Noble Truths: knowing about suffering, the origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering. The right view explicitly includes karma and rebirth and emphasizes the importance of the Four Noble Truths. This view of the “right view” became significant when “insight” became central to Buddhist soteriology and continues to play an essential role in Theravada Buddhism. Other suttas provide a broader overview, stating that our actions have consequences, death is not the end, our actions and beliefs have consequences after death, and the Buddha taught a successful path out of this world and the other world (heaven and underworld or hell). The Mahācattārīsaka Sutta (“The Great Forty,” Majjhima Nikaya 117) offers an extensive overview, describing the first seven practices as requisites of right samadhi c.q. Dhyana. It makes a distinction between the mundane right view (karma, rebirth) and the noble right view as a path factor, relating the noble, right view to dhamma vicaya (“investigation of principles”), one of the bojjhanga, the “seven factors of awakening” which give an alternate account of right Effort and dhyana. Alternatively, the right view (together with the right Resolve) is expressed in the stock phrase of dhammalsaddhalpabbajja: “A layman hears a Buddha teach the Dhamma, comes to have faith in him, and decides to take ordination as a monk. Similarly, the Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 9) and its parallel in the Samyukta-āgama refer to faith in the Buddha and understanding (dhamma vicaya) the path-factors of wholesome bodily, verbal, and mental actions.

Upacara and Appana Samadhi

Understanding Upacara Samadhi and Appana Samadhi: Beyond Sleep In Buddhism, achieving deep states of concentration is essential for spiritual growth. Two significant stages in this journey are Upacara Samadhi and Appana Samadhi. Upacara Samadhi, or Access Concentration, is where the mind becomes deeply focused but not fully absorbed. Think of it as preparing a garden bed: clearing away distractions like weeds and preparing to plant. Appana Samadhi, or Fixed Concentration, elevates this focus to a higher level. In this state, the mind is entirely absorbed in the meditation object, akin to a tree deeply rooted in fertile soil, undisturbed by external forces. This leads to Jhana’s profound experiences, where one feels deep peace and joy. Both states involve narrowing the mind’s focus. Upacara Samadhi is like standing at the doorstep, ready to enter a room of stillness. Appana Samadhi is stepping fully inside, closing the door behind, and immersing in tranquillity. But I often wonder – how do these states relate to sleep? While deep meditation and the state of deep sleep involve a fading awareness of the external world, they are fundamentally different. Sleep is like turning off the lights and drifting into darkness, where the mind rests but lacks control or focus. Meditation, however, is turning on a spotlight, directing it precisely, and maintaining a clear, sharp awareness. So, we should consider it this way: Sleep is like a leaf carried by the wind, moving wherever the wind takes. However, Upacara and Appana Samadhi are like a leaf floating steadily on a calm pond, guided by the meditator’s intention and focus. Sleep refreshes the body, while Samadhi refreshes and elevates the mind. Understanding these differences helps us appreciate the unique benefits of meditation. While sleep is essential for physical health, Samadhi is vital for spiritual awakening and mental clarity.

When it comes very close, as if about to sink or merge with the object, we may consider it as access concentration. By then, one has overcome the hindrances as it is close to fixed absorption. The mind has reached a very subtle and sleeplike state. If one is not careful, one may fall asleep. One must be mindful to maintain the flow of metta, yet not so energetic that it stirs it up to a restless state. At this state, visions may creep in, but one has to be mindful enough to maintain the flow of metta. The Visuddhimagga describes this state as a state when the barriers are broken. At that time, one’s metta is developed to the state that one is as if one with the person. One cannot be said to have any less or more metta one has for oneself than another or a close one from a hostile one.
As concentration develops, the object of mind likewise becomes more refined and steady. It may be very gross ideas of the person at a preliminary concentration to fine, transparent-like visualizations at access concentration. However, the development of the object is not as obvious as in Kasinas. So, in the initial stages, the states of mind and metta are more obvious and important criteria for checking one’s development. With frequent meditation, one can also be aware of the nature of this fine object. I remember that the first time I noticed it was as the person outlined on a crystal-clear surface. It has appeared again in another way.

When the mind becomes fixed on the object, it sinks and merges into it to become one. The result is the development of a different form of consciousness called (jhana citta) absorption. People often say this is like falling into a state deeper than sleep. Yet, on emerging, one is aware that at that period, one is in bliss and still has metta for the person. It has been claimed that the state is so sleep-like that one may not be aware that one has entered into it, especially when it first occurs in only very short moments. However, with frequency, it should become obvious. How long it takes to reach this level is an individual’s capability. If we go into intensive meditation, it should not take too long. Those who have undergone vipassana meditation, whose mind is already flexible and wholesome, should be even quicker. There are 4 types of these absorptions (in the 5-fold classification) in metta bhavana. They are called the 1st jhana, 2nd jhana, 3rd jhana, and 4th jhana. As for the 5th jhana, it can be attained only in the development of stability – upekkha bhavan.


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