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-1- What the Buddha Taught. A series of lecture-discussions sponsored by Oxford Soto Zen Suggested by Les Kaye Led by Jimmyle Listenbee Based on What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula.

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1 what the buddha taught

-1-What the Buddha Taught

A series of lecture-discussions sponsored by

Oxford Soto Zen

Suggested by Les Kaye

Led by Jimmyle Listenbee

Based on What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula

2 lecture 8 chapter 5 c pp 49 50 the four noble truths the 4th noble truth magga the path

-2-Lecture 8Chapter 5-C (pp. 49 - 50)The Four Noble TruthsThe 4th Noble Truth: MAGGA: “The Path”

3 the four noble truths
-3- The Four Noble Truths
  • Dukkha
  • Samudaya, the arising or origin of dukkha
  • Nirodha, the cessation of dukkha
  • Magga, the way leading to the cessation of dukkha
-4-The 4th Noble Truth: The Way Leading to the Cessation of DukkhaAKA: “The Noble Eightfold Path”“The Middle Way”
5 the middle path
-5- The Middle Path

Avoids two extremes:

  • The search for happiness through the Pleasures of the Senses (“low, common, unprofitable, the way of ordinary [ignorant] people”)
  • The search for happiness through self-mortification (“painful, unworthy, unprofitable, the way of the ascetics”)
6 the noble eightfold path a composite not linear list
-6- The Noble Eightfold Path(a composite - not linear - list)
  • Right Understanding
  • Right Thought
  • Right Speech
  • Right Action

Right Livelihood

Right Effort

Right Mindfulness

Right Concentration

7 buddha s essential practice practical guide for all buddhist practice
-7- Buddha’s Essential PracticePractical Guide for all Buddhist Practice

The 8 divisions of the path are not “stepping stones”, but are to be practiced and developed simultaneously, as far as possible, according to the capacity of the individual.

They are all linked together, and each helps the cultivation of the others.

8 the three essentials of buddhist training discipline
-8-The Three Essentials of Buddhist Training & Discipline
  • Ethical Conduct (Sila)
  • Mental Discipline (Samadhi)
  • Wisdom (Pañña)

The Eightfold Path aims at perfecting and promoting these.

The Eight Divisions of the Path can be grouped under these three headings.

9 three headings
-9-Three Headings
  • Mental Discipline
    • Right Effort
    • Right Mindfulness
    • Right Concentration
    • Today we address Wisdom
  • Wisdom
    • Right Understanding
    • Right Thought
  • Ethical Conduct
    • Right Speech
    • Right Action
    • Right Livelihood
10 buddhist perfection
-10- Buddhist “Perfection”

There are two qualities to be developed:

Wisdom and Compassion

Wisdom underlies and supports each step of the Noble Eightfold Path;

Each step of the Noble Eightfold Path underlies and supports Wisdom.

11 wisdom
-11- Wisdom
  • And compassion are developed through:
  • Right Thought
  • Right Concentration
12 1 right thought
-12- (1) Right Thought
  • Thoughts of
    • Selfless renunciation (detachment);
    • Love;
    • Non-violence.
    • A lack of wisdom produces thoughts of selfish desire, ill-will, hatred and violence – in all spheres of life: individual, social, and political.
    • Continuing to hold or pursue such thoughts prevents the development of wisdom.
13 2 right understanding
-13- (2) Right Understanding
  • The understanding of Things as they Are.
  • ‘Things as they really are’ is a concept explained through the Four Noble Truths. – See slide 3
  • Right Understanding
  • therefore is ultimately reduced to
  • the understanding of the Four Noble Truths:
  • “The Highest Wisdom,
  • which Sees the Ultimate Reality”.

-14-What is “Understanding”?

According to Buddhism, there are 2 types:

  • Knowledge, or ‘knowing accordingly’
    • Accumulated memory, an intellectual grasping of a subject according to certain given data;
    • Shallow knowledge.
  • Penetration or ‘deep understanding’
    • Seeing a thing in its true nature,
    • Without naming or labeling it.
the noble eightfold path summary


The Noble Eightfold Path Summary
  • As seen from this brief account of the Tao, it is a way of life to be followed, practiced and developed by the individual.
  • It is:
    • Self-discipline in body, word and mind;
    • Self-development and Self-purification.
  • It has nothing to do with:
    • Belief
    • Prayer
    • Worship
    • Ceremony
    • In this sense, not “religious”
role of ceremonies rituals


Role of Ceremonies & Rituals

Read p. 50 “In Buddhist countries…gradually along the path.”

What about our rituals of bells, chants, bowing, lighting incense, etc.?



-17-The Four Functions we have to Perform

in Regard to the Four Noble Truths are:

  • To Understand Dukka (suffering) as a fact;
  • To discard, eliminate, destroy and eradicate the causes of suffering, ‘Thirst’ and clinging;
  • To realize the ultimate reality: the cessation of suffering;
  • To follow the Eightfold Path and keep to it.