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Topic 8-fold path.

I have just read the Noble Eightfold Path in a long passage without it being specifically mentioned there. MN112: 12-20. This passage is repeated in many other suttas and should be known to everyone. I think this makes the understanding of the noble eightfold path much more tangible.

>I conclude that the Buddha did not teach the Noble Eightfold Path in its order by chance. For me, the eightfold path is not just a loose collection of eight rules, but a chain of processes that defines a first and a final step to enlightenment.<

From this passage one can read out exactly every link of this eightfold path in exactly the same order.

Starting with the right insight or view of a householder who realizes that worldly life is painful, or very narrow and dusty. Then on to the right intention to become a bikkhu.

Further on the purification of the body and speech, i.e. right speech, right action and right livelihood. In fact, right livelihood does not only seem to refer to the layman or worldly person, but also to the monk, who is required to simply accept alms. In this context, false livelihood would be a

monk by running errands for getting food, >thus breaking the rules. (I know that this point has been discussed many times in the podcasts and the Dharma talks, but I now believe that it is correct to actually speak of rights and wrongs regarding earning a living, as I have just explained.)

And finally, one can read out the last three limbs of the eightfold path in the same order, right effort, right mindfulness and right serenity (meditation of the Jahnas).

I just wanted to share this with you, best wishes.🙏 I look forward to your suggestions or thoughts.

*I am currently wondering to what extent it actually makes sense or is right to further interpret individual elements of this noble eightfold path, e.g. the aspect of right intention. One could probably write a whole book about what could possibly be understood as noble or right intentions. There seem to be co-dependencies among these members as well and it may make sense to recognize this noble eightfold path on a different level of knowledge or on a "microscopic level of knowledge" in the context of a meditation. But The point of right livelihood speaks against any other interpretation of the 8-fold path. It seems to me that this point cannot be interpreted in any other way than as the acquisition of food.

I mean, it would not be logically consistent to explain the Noble Eightfold Path in a different context if not all of its limbs really make sense in that context.

Ryan Nkansah
May 31

Blessings of the Triple Gem, Dear Philipp,

As far as wrong livelihood for monastics is concerned, that can be found e.g. in the Net of Views, Brahmajāla Sutta, Digha Nikaya #1. Monastics take care of the Dhamma, and nothing else. :-)



2.3. The Long Section on Virtue (Mahāsīla)

45 "Or he might say: 'Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, earn their living by a wrong means of livelihood, by such debased arts as:

prophesying long life, prosperity etc., or the reverse, from the marks on a person's limbs, hands, feet; divining by means of omens and signs;

making auguries on the basis of thunderbolts and celestial portents;

interpreting ominous dreams;

telling fortunes from marks on the body;

making auguries from the marks on cloth gnawed by mice; offering fire oblations;

offering oblations from a ladle;

offering oblations of husks, rice powder, rice grains, ghee, and oil to the gods;

offering oblations from the mouth;

offering blood-sacrifices to the gods;

making predictions based on the fingertips;

determining whether the site for a proposed house or garden is propitious or not;

making predictions for officers of state;

the knowledge of charms to lay demons in a cemetery;

the knowledge of charms to cure one possessed by ghosts;

the knowledge of charms to be pronounced by one living in an earthen house;

the snake craft (for curing snake bites and charming snakes);

the poison craft (for neutralizing or making poison)

the scorpion craft and rat craft (for curing scorpion stings and rat bites, respectively);

the bird craft and crow craft (for understanding the cries of birds and crows);

foretelling the number of years that a man has to live;

the knowledge of charms to give protection from arrows;

reciting charms to understand the language of animals

— the recluse Gotama abstains from such wrong means of livelihood, from such debased arts.'

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