THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH
The eight elements of the Noble Eightfold Path are traditionally arranged into tree groups. Morality (shila) comprises right of speech, right bodily action and right livelihood or living. Concentration or meditation (Samadhi) comprises right effort, right mindfullness or awareness and right concentration. Wisdom (Prajna) comprises right view and right thought ( the “right” connotes a skillful or appropriate, rather than perfect, form).
The Buddha emphasized the path as a practical way of living, and although the path leads to emancipation it is a guide for how to live in the here and now rather than one that encourages its user to look ahead for a reward, setting up a virtuous circle that builds on itself. Although eightfold, the path is indivisible and all of one piece- like a single cloth with eight folds.
The two wisdom elements refer to understanding the causes of suffering, and this understanding deepens as the practice proceeds. The morality elements are a prerequisite for meditation and the development of concentrated awareness, which in turns deepens at oneness-with-the-moment, leading to a more profound understanding of the Four Noble Truths.
The Noble Eightfold Path is an attempt to make each of us conscious of all things that we do and think based on our own understanding of the teachings at a given time.
THE TEACHINGS OF THE BUDDHA
-THE WISDOM OF THE DHARMA FROM THE PALI CANON TO THE SUTRAS