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The Noble Eightfold Path
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Hello all,

Well as the title states, I'd like to introduce you all (or in some cases re introduce) to what we call in Buddhism the "Eightfold Path" This is the 8 steps of practical realization in Buddhism that lead to Enlightenment. In this post I'm going to show you how adopting the eight fold path can greatly improve your walk in Jediism. First please understand that in Buddhism, there is no central god so you can continue your own private worship. Look at this more as a method of realization and a philosophy then a religion in the western sense. Nothing presented here will conflict with your religious views and you will find upon contemplation that there are many similarities within most of the major religious teachings. With that said I'd like to explain what the path is and how it applies to Jediism.

The Eightfold Path is as follows.

"Right Understanding"
"Right Mindedness"
"Right Speech"
"Right Action"
"Right Livelihood"
"Right Effort"
"Right Attentiveness"
"Right Concentration"

Now that we know the eight steps, let's take a closer look.

RIGHT UNDERSTANDING;

What is right understanding? Simply put, it’s the ability to view things as they really are, without our emotional bias or any preconceived notions. Everything we look at, taste, feel, and think, all of it is clouded with our own experience and former judgments weather we’re aware of it or not. We are all to one degree or another affected by these pre judgments. Developing right understanding is learning and cultivating the ability to view all things just as they are, just as they appear to the naked eye.

Right Mindedness

Right mindedness refers to right thinking. This is ones personal attitude. The first step to eliminating preconception is to be aware that you have a preconception in the first place.
These preconceptions of the world around us directly influence our reaction to life events.
Right mindedness asks us to be aware of our thoughts and be mindful of what they are and from where they come.

Right Speech

This one needs little explanation. Your thoughts you can guard and keep to yourself, but once you put forth words, their all yours, along with any consequences they incur, good or bad. Students of Buddhism are taught to reflect on the power of their words and what effect those words will have on another human being, before they speak.

Right Action

Just as what we say has power, so does what we do. It’s really simple. Good or “right” action has a good effect and will bring good to all involved. On the other hand, bad or “wrong” action will have the opposite effect. Students of Buddhism our taught to reflect on their actions and the possible effect they may have on others. To refrain from any action that may harm another, and ultimately harm ourselves is also right action.

Right Livelihood

Buddhism teaches us to be aware of our nature and work with it. We are all predisposed to do certain things in life, all given different talents. Knowing what your best at requires self awareness and commitment to reflection. If you follow what your best at ad love, provided it not harm others, you will find peace in what you do. Keep in mind that what may be appropriate for one person may not for another.

Right Effort

As I’ve stated in many posts, practice is the core of any religious path, and practice by it’s nature requires effort. When embarking on a spiritual path we must be diligent in following and doing the practices that will lead us to a further spiritual awakening and ultimately lead to our enlightenment. Beware of the entanglement of laziness and pride as this will ultimately slow or stop your progress in it’s tracks. Right effort should always be encouraged and nourished in ourselves and in others

Right Attentiveness

Right attentiveness requires some explanation. You see with even the most honest effort,
Even the most diligent practice, you will not achieve your goals without an aptitude for critical thinking. If you do not learn the ability to look within yourself and see the confusion within,
Then how can you be free from it. Your capacity for self-awareness should be cultivated with earnest. Self awareness gives us the ability to discern the negative influences in our lives and in ourselves that will pull us from our path. Once you learn to see these snares and pitfalls you should then work towards distance yourself from them until their sway is removed from your life.
Right attentiveness helps us to free ourselves from negative desires and attachments and the self destructive impulses they can create in our lives.

Right Concentration

For this I give you the words of Nicola Dixon.
“Concentration, in this sense, is the clam but intense focus that students apply in spiritual
Practice so they may penetrate through illusion to pure awareness.” When applied correctly, you, the meditator, the act of meditation, and the object of meditation, become one. Through right concentration we learn to deepen our focus over time with in turn allows us to come closer, every time, to the ultimate reality and he truth within us all.


So as you can see, these things are of great value regardless of the spiritual path you follow.
In regards to Jediism within this path lies adherence and application of all of the teachings. It
Is the river in which the water of Jediism flows. We can learn all of the holy words from all of the worlds holy texts, but without application they mean nothing. As with any valid spiritual path, it’s in it’s application that it’s value is realized. By applying the eight fold path to our walk in Jediism we not only learn to internalize the teachings, but also uphold the tenants of the path for all Jedi.

Posted on: 2007/4/5 22:24
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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
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Just thought I'd bump this one.

Posted on: 2008/11/8 10:42
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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
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It might be a good idea to see if this info could be incorporated into the KM program. Pretty interesting stuff.

Posted on: 2008/11/14 12:33
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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
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Hello all,

To continue the thread here, I'd like to get little more in depth with each aspect of the path. So first ewe have.........

Quote:
RIGHT UNDERSTANDING;

What is right understanding? Simply put, it’s the ability to view things as they really are, without our emotional bias or any preconceived notions. Everything we look at, taste, feel, and think, all of it is clouded with our own experience and former judgments weather we’re aware of it or not. We are all to one degree or another affected by these pre judgments. Developing right understanding is learning and cultivating the ability to view all things just as they are, just as they appear to the naked eye.


Like joseph Campbell said, "He who claims to knows doesn't know, but he who knows nothing knows everything."

You see it's easy to just say we understand. But do we really? Most people do understand, but only on their terms. Even the most open minded of people will always see things at least in part based on their past experience. That's not to say we don't understand, it's just that the truth gets clouded by our biases. This is just in our nature and if left alone just can't be helped. It's also easy to say "Well I don;t have any bias, you don't know what your talking about!" but that in itself is biased. In fact my trying to highlight this shows my own bias on the subject. from this point on I'll try my hardest to keep my opinions to a minimum. It's not easy, but it's necessary to learn to objectively identify our bias and "pull the weeds" so to speak.

We really can't see the true picture while looking through a filled glass. No matter how we look the image will always be distorted. It's only when we remove the water, and then the glass itself, that we see with our eyes and not our emotions or our mind. We need to see because we SEE it and not because we believe it to be there. Say we're walking and up ahead a rope like object appears. You say to me stop! it's a snake. Now say you stay where you are while I go and look at it. If i were to tell you it's just a rope and not a snake, but you believe it to be a snake, that is to say your already predisposed to believe it's a snake, then no matter how I plead with you or try to convince you you'll react to it as if it were a snake. Even though in reality it's only a rope,for all intent and purpose it IS a snake. Yet It is only because your mind made it so. So in this way we've let our bias, or belief, color the truth. This goes on all the time in our minds without our being aware of it. This is looking through the full glass.

So how do we empty the glass then? Now there's the rub! See I really can't tell you how to do it. You have to experience it for yourself. It takes diligence, commitment, and honesty and loving-kindness, but it can and will be done. Diligence to continue down a path that may have no clear end, because it's the journey that shapes us. Commitment to yourself and your betterment, because that is the true key to making the word a better place. Honesty to help you see what and why you feel and think the way you do, and the courage to accept that some things need to change, and some things need to die off altogether. And most of all loving-kindness to yourself in the process of change and transformation you've embarked on. Because as we think, so we become. If your kind to yourself in your thoughts and judgments, and in the process of change, that kindness will extend to all living things. In these acts not only lies the key to right understanding but to all of your oaths as Jedi.

Well that's all for now. I hope you all have a blessed holiday, whatever that holiday may be. I can promise you my family will have a wonderful and thankful Yule. Next time as life permits we'll talk about the next step of the eight-fold path "Right Mindedness". Till then may the force be within and without of you all.

In the mystery,
Merin

Posted on: 2008/12/16 12:34
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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
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I thought to give this one a big bump and hope to see more debate on the thread....The * fold path has wonderous affects on how we view Jediism...I encourage this as a discussion point for our initiates underneath the KM program.

*bows*

As for me I will continue to seek enlightment in this thread as well.

Posted on: 2009/1/14 10:57
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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
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Bump so I can find this. I should be commenting soon.

Posted on: 2009/1/15 9:52
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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
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I read this and put it in the back of my mind. I downloaded a video of Thatch... ((sp) the sayings, do not have the name on me readily). But it is slowly coming to me, Mindful ... (what you wish) ... is actually turning off the auto-pilot we all have when we do some tasks. I know when I drive, I keep an eye out for other vehicles, the rules of the road I am on, but I am mostly on autopilot. I do not take the time to actually feel what it is to drive, realize all the amazing technology, all within the last 75ish years, that changes this world from using domesticated animals like horses, to using a machine that was the child of someone's mind. It took men (and women) with vision and the thought of "HOW CAN I DO SOMETHING THAT WILL HELP MEN?". That is all invention is, the creation of 'something' that helps to make it easier for others.

Do any of us really think about the car, the ability to go every day 75 miles in a couple of hours and work, make money, then return that 75 miles to a home. All of this when 100 years ago, a 75 mile trek meant all day, if you were lucky.

Mindful Driving is more than seeing what it is I am passing while I drive, but also realizing what I am driving and what it took to create this magnificent tool and to give thanks to those great minds that helped to create this.

maybe I am off on this, but I am feel like I am starting to get this, at least a little bit.

Posted on: 2009/1/18 12:38
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when you say seeing how would you describe seeing

Posted on: 2009/10/26 7:55
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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
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The myth of jediism has a lot of similarities with Buddhism because of the influence Joseph Campbell had in the mind of Lucas during Lucas' creative process.

There's a major glaring problem though for one that wants to wear both hats. That is that Buddhists are pacifists. You aren't going to find Buddhists wielding light sabers or fighting the empire. Buddhists don't take up secular causes. The first vow in taking refuge in Buddhism is to not kill.

Buddhism is a practice centered in self discovery through mediation with the hope of enlightenment. We have no savior to wash away our sins and no god that judges us. We have only ourselves to be accountable to. It's not a very appealing religion for most of us because it deals with reality, that we get what we receive from life because of our actions. That the consequences of our decisions rest entirely on our own shoulders.

The more I understand about my chosen faith, which is buddhism, the more I understand the attraction of christianity, or any religion that offers salvation earned by the spilt blood of someone else and allows me to continue in my life of sin. As we are all sinners, we can only be saved by accepting Christ as our saviour. He died on the cross so we don't have to.... Man, what a marketing concept. It's no wonder that christianity is the fastest growing religion. Christians are born in sin, there's nothing they can do about that. The temptations of flesh (and the mind) make it impossible to go through life without sinning, but by accepting the son of a god, who is also the same god, one can be save and continue sinning, but be forgiven.

I mean wow! I wish I would of thought of that. Then I'd be rich like the preachers on TV.

When we put it to a practical test ... by that i mean, if we look at the way people live, something very different is revealed. It turns out that if you lie to people (which I pretty sure is a sin) then your word and reputation are suspicious and it's hard to earn trust.

Senator John Edwards finally had to admit that not only was he having an affair but has a brand new baby human by someone not his wife.

Well, Edwards can be as christian as he wants to be but his actions are not going to remove the pain and suffering inflicted on those around him. Jesus may forgive him, but the media wont, and his political career is now ruined.

Buddhism suggests that we don't do these five things:
kill
lie
steal
engage in sexual misconduct
consume intoxicants

The reason we don't kill is that we ourselves don't want to die. Fill a glass with water and put an ant in the top of the glass and see if it fights for it's life. It's scared to death and suffering. Why would we ever want to inflict pain and fear and suffering on someone.

We don't lie because it breaks the credibility of our word. Even small exaggerations will lead people to discount the words we speak. And if we lie often we will cause suffering to those around us that rely on the accuracy of our word.

To say that stealing causes suffering doesn't need much explanation. Anyone that has had their car broken into, their purse snatched, or even a couple CDs of your favorite muse dissapear, you know the suffering that comes from the sense of loss.

Sexual misconduct is any sexual activity that causes suffering in another persons life. Sexual misconduct could be as simple as a young man trying too aggressively to get to second base with his young girlfriend. She's suffering because she wants to please the boy but really isn't ready.... It can be as large as a politicians sexual affair that gets exposed to the public and subjects his whole family to the suffering of humiliation.

And why do we not drink or take drugs? Even in moderation the consumption of drugs and drink lower our inhibitions and loosen the tongue. Simple words can damage relationships and cause suffering. For the one that develops a habit or addiction the consumption of drugs and such has consequences that reach into every aspect of our lives. The proof is that people that drink and drug tend to lie and steal. Married drinkers tend to sleep around. The drinking and drugging make it impossible to end the suffering in our lives because it makes us do all the other four things that buddha warned us against.

And you don't have to have faith to discover that what the Buddha said is the Truth. It's quantifiable, measurable, predictable, understandable, inescapable. It's karma.

No faith. No sending month to the TV evangalist. No giving up red meat for a few weaks each year to prove to your god how devoted a sinner you are. There is no jesus that you can pray to that will remove the stain on your soul put there by a life of greed corruption and lust. There's only you. You are accountable. You pray to you to give you guidance. You ask forgiveness from yourself when your conscience keeps you up at night. You will be audited for cheating on your taxes and Jesus, Mary, and the three wise men cant protect you.

The myth of Jedi ism has us all flying around in space exercising mystical powers to protect the weak from a corrupt empire that seeks to control everything.

I'm not sure if there is a goal in buddhism like there is in christianity. As a christian it seems that the goal is to achive acceptance into an eternal life that we don't know anything about, spend it with a god we've never met, and to get there we have to accept a 2000 year old corpse as the binding arbitrator and judge over our life.

No where in the natural world do I see anything like that happen. Nature simply does not work that way. I can't deny the existance of angels, spirits, even gods, because they can't be disproven. But can you really expect that in a world where the evidence is that our actions are what determins the shape of our life, that what we do is what we get.... How can I believe that the simple act of faith, acceptance of a saviour .... that faith is what saves my soul.

To me it seems that science and observation of cause and effect have revealed to me a way of living that leads to less suffering and more happiness. That the consequences of just doing the right thing myself, that me being accountable for what I do, that I reap what I sow is a truth that is undeniable.

Having turned off the TV and put down the fantasy books, and just to sit still and watch what really happens in real life, I've found that all my troubles are of my own making. The devil didn't make me do it, I did. True also is that all my successes have been earned, not because of the favor I receive from some outside deity, but rather because of good actions.

And having been convinced by careful observation that I get what I give now I wonder how can I use this to minimize my own suffering.

That's when you take the first step on the eight fold path. To minimize suffering we should all exercise right concentration to work through issues, right speech to avoid any lie or misrepresentation, careful listening so that we don't miss what others are saying, etc etc.

Having been convinced that I'm the maker of my reality I know realize the value of the tools of the eight fold path. For this path is the one that will lessen suffering and increase happiness in my life.

Buddhism is a selfish philosophy. Buddhism as a religion has no missionaries. We don't have a need to convince people of anything. We only ask them to look at what is going on in their life and test the laws of cause and affect against their lives. As we believe in reincarnation there's really no urgency to spread the good news of Buddhism. lol .... People will have hundreds, maybe thousands of lives to live to discover the true nature of the universe. So what's the rush...

Buddhists don't fight wars. We don't take up causes like jedi. We'd rather leave where we're not wanted. If a community welcomes us in we'll be there to expand on the Dhama and teach all we know about how the universe works.

That's why in Star Wars there are Jedi, not Buddhists. Monks and nuns in robes walking away from a fight really wouldn't sell many movie tickets.



Posted on: 2010/2/4 2:07
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Re: The Noble Eightfold Path
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Merin was talking about: Right Livelihood

Buddhism teaches us to be aware of our nature and work with it. We are all predisposed to do certain things in life, all given different talents. Knowing what your best at requires self awareness and commitment to reflection. If you follow what your best at ad love, provided it not harm others, you will find peace in what you do. Keep in mind that what may be appropriate for one person may not for another.




---------------------------------------------------------


Last week I was asked to bid on making a website that would be highly interactive, forums, news announcements, rss feeds, a chat system, lots of videos, etc.


Had I bid on the project and actually been awarded the contract it's likely I could have made a nice amount of money.

My contact had me look at a couple sites that he wanted to have similar features.

I should mention that the website my customer wants to build is going to earn it's money by promoting hunting and fishing trips primarily in North America.

He took me to a page where there were some videos, it was a page featuring a hunter getting ready for dear season. He was setting up the dear feeder and talking about how this was going to increase his ability to kill. It was a tips video on how, when and where to set your deer feeder to maximize your killing opportunities.

I'm grateful that right now I have the luxury of walking away from this project without even bidding on it. As a professional I won't disclose any more of his idea for the site, but I'll tell you this, for people that love to kill for sport I think he's got a winner. He'll probably make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year off his unique concept.

Even my monk told me that there's a difference between pulling the trigger and hosting an information site. But in my mind I just can't get past the idea that it promotes suffering and death at the most basic level, and even worse caters to people that get a thrill out of killing.


Merin was talking about right livlihood. To me right livelyhood means that I can not work for a company that makes pesticides, guns or munitions. It's unlikely I could be a cattle rancher, an exterminator, or even a police officer. Because the karma of trophy killing, rasing live animals for food, or even killing a criminal that may very well deserve what he's getting ... I just can't see myself being happy doing that. And the karma consequences are just way too high.


Posted on: 2010/2/4 2:29
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