2021 Eightfold Path Retteat Talks

These are the most recent talks on this subject. As of December, 2019, There are more than 600 Dhamma talks on this and other teachings of the Buddha in my audio and video archives:

AUDIO ARCHIVEAND PODCAST

LIVE STREAMINGAND VIDEO ARCHIVE

SUPPORTJOHN HASPEL

2021 New Year’s Eightfold Path Online Retreat January 8, 9, 10

Dependent Origination Four Noble Trurtsh Flow Chart
Jens Dhamma Cheat Sheet
Julias Eightfold Parth Flow Chart

Session One Friday 7:00 PM – John Haspel, Dhamma Teacher – Agamtuka Sutta – For All Who Reside In the Dhamma ↓    

Session Two Saturday 9:00 AM – Matt Branham, Dhamma Teacher – Sikkha Sutta – Three Trainings For Liberation ↓

Session Three Saturday 1: PM – Kevin Hart, Dhamma Teacher – Magga-Vibhanga Sutta – Analysis Of The Path ↓

Session Four Saturday 7:00 PM – Ram Manders, Dhamma Teacher – Tissa Sutta – Uncertain ↓

Session Five Sunday 9:AM – Jen Seiz, Dhamma Teacher – Sacca-Vibhanga Sutta – Analysis Of Four Noble Truths Part 1 ↓

Session Six Sunday 1:00 PM – David Allen Dhamma Teacher – Sacca-Vibhanga Sutta – Analysis Of Four Noble Truths Part 2 ↓

 

AGANTUKA SUTTA: FOR ALL WHO RESIDE IN THE DHAMMA

INTRODUCTION

In the Agantuka Sutta, the Buddha uses the metaphor of a common residence to show that the Eightfold Path is a true refuge for anyone seeking to develop the profound understanding of the nature of stress and suffering, gain insight into There Marks Of Existence, and abandon all views rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths.

Notice here the relationship between the requisite condition for stress and suffering – ignorance of Four Noble Truths – and the requisite condition for release from stress and suffering – direct knowledge and profound wisdom developed through the Eightfold Path.

My comments below are in italics.

AGANTUKA SUTTA: FOR ALL WHO RESIDE IN THE DHAMMA

SAMYUTTA NIKAYA 45:159

“Friends, I will teach the value of developing direct knowledge and profound wisdom. Listen carefully. Suppose there is a guest house where people from all directions and all professions and positions take residence.

“In this same way, anyone who cultivates and methodically practices the Noble Eightfold Path will comprehend with direct knowledge and profound wisdom whatever phenomena are to be comprehended with direct knowledge and profound wisdom. [1]

“Furthermore, they will abandon whatever phenomena are to be abandoned through direct knowledge and profound wisdom.

“Furthermore, they will experience whatever phenomena are to be experienced through direct knowledge and profound wisdom.

“Furthermore, they will develop whatever phenomena are to be developed through direct knowledge and profound wisdom.

“And which phenomena are to be comprehended with direct knowledge and profound wisdom? The form aggregate, the feeling aggregate, the perception aggregate, the mental fabrication aggregate, and the consciousness aggregate. These Five Clinging-Aggregates are the phenomena to be comprehended with direct knowledge and profound wisdom. [2]

“And which phenomena are to be abandoned with direct knowledge and profound wisdom? Ignorance and craving for becoming (further ignorant) are the phenomena to be abandoned with direct knowledge and profound wisdom.

“And which phenomena are to be experienced with direct knowledge and profound wisdom? Knowledge with regard to stress and release from ignorance (of Four Noble Truths) are the phenomena to be experienced with direct knowledge and profound wisdom. [3]

This relates directly to Dependent Origination. The Buddha awakened to the profound wisdom and understanding that it is ignorance of Four Noble Truths that is the requisite condition for “all manner of confusion, deluded thinking, m and stress and suffering.”[4]

“And which phenomena are to be developed with direct knowledge and profound wisdom? A calm mind and insight (into Three Marks Of Existence) are the phenomena to be developed with direct knowledge and profound wisdom. [5]

“And how does anyone who cultivates and methodically practices the Noble Eightfold Path, through direct knowledge and profound wisdom, comprehend appropriate phenomena, abandon appropriate phenomena, experience appropriate phenomena,and develop appropriate phenomena?

“Anyone who develops Right View dependent on seclusion and on dispassion and on cessation (of ignorance) that results in release (from wrong views). Through direct knowledge and profound wisdom, they develop Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Meditation that is dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation that results in release (from clinging to wrong views).

“In this way, anyone who cultivates and methodically practices the Noble Eightfold Path will, with direct knowledge and profound wisdom, comprehend phenomena to be comprehended, abandon phenomena to be abandoned, experience phenomena to be experienced, and develop phenomena to be developed.

End Of Sutta

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THREE TRAININGS FOR LIBERATION – THE SIKKHA SUTTA

INTRODUCTION

For a complete understanding of this sutta within the context intended by an awakened human being, please read the suttas linked at the end of this article. ([x])

Everything the Buddha taught was taught in the context of Dependent Origination and the ongoing stress, suffering and distraction that results from ignorance of Four Noble Truths.[1]

His first teaching was taught to describe the results of this common ignorance and the singular path the Buddha taught to recognize and abandon ignorance. [2,3]

The Eightfold Path is the Buddha’s complete and single path to awakening – gaining full human maturity.

The Sikkha Sutta teaches that the Eightfold Path is a path that incorporates the three aspects or trainings necessary for becoming Rightly Self-Awakened as the Buddha instructs. The Eightfold Path is a path directly developing heightened virtue, heightened concentration, and heightened wisdom.

The factors of the Eightfold Path that develop heightened virtue are Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood.

The Factors of the Eightfold Path that developheightened concentration are RightEffort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Meditation.

The factors of the Eightfold Path that develop heightened wisdom are Right View and Right Intention.

As a complete path to awakening the wise Dhamma practitioner gains a profound and penetrative understanding of the nature of stress and suffering and establishes a calm and peaceful mind.

My Comments below are italicized.

 

SIKKHA SUTTA: THREE TRAININGS FOR LIBERATION

ANGUTTARA NIKAYA 3:91

The Buddha addressed those gathered:

“Friends, there are three trainings that I teach. I teach training in heightened virtue. I teach training in heightened concentration. I teach training in heightened wisdom. [3]

“The training in heightened virtue brings restraint in speech, actions, and livelihood. This Dhamma practitioner remains pure in their behavior at all times.

Restraint at the six-sense-base is the immediate application of a well-informed Dhamma practice. [4]

“They train themselves following these rules of behavior and understand the danger of even the slightest deviation.

“This is called training in heightened virtue.

“The training in heightened concentration – jhana – develops the concentration necessary to support refined mindfulness. This Dhamma practitioner remains secluded from sensory indulgence and unskillfulmental qualities.

The Buddha taught a singular meditation method for the singular purpose of deepening concentration, for deepening jhana. [5]

“They enter and remain in the first jhana characterized by rapture and pleasure born of seclusion and accompanied by directed thought and evaluation.

“As concentration deepens further they enter and remain in the second jhana. Focused thoughts and insight still. Delight and pleasure born of composure and inner assurance arise.

“As concentration deepens further they enter and remain in the third jhana. Delight and pleasure and the perception of pleasure and pain disappear. Equanimity and refined mindfulness increases and a peaceful mind prevails.

“As concentration deepens further they enter and remain in the fourth jhana. Mindful equanimity prevails. Greed and aversion disappear. This is the development of concentration that brings peace and calm here and now.

“The training in heightened wisdom brings the ending of greed, aversion, and deluded thinking. Through the ending of these defilements the wise Dhamma practitioner remains in the defilement-free release from ignorance.

“The wise Dhamma practitioner has established profound wisdom fully mindful moment-by-moment as life occurs. This is called heightened wisdom.

“These are the three trainings of my Dhamma.

“The trainings in heightened virtue, concentration, and wisdom establish:

  • Persistence
  • Steadfastness
  • Absorption in Jhana
  • Refined Mindfulness
  • Wise Restraint

“These three trainings should be practiced consistently and in all situations with unlimited concentration.

“These are the three trainings that brings pure understanding.

“Developing these three trainings you will be called a Rightly Self-Awakened one who has completed the Path.

“The cessation of ignorance (of Four Noble Truths) and craving for self-satisfaction extinguishes the fires of passion.

End Of Sutta

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MAGGA-VIBHANGA SUTTA: ANALYSIS OF THE PATH

INTRODUCTION

In the Nagara Sutta [1] the newly awakened Siddhartha Gotama, now a Buddha, explains the path he discovered and then taught as the path to becoming free of ignorance and become Rightly Self-Awakened:

“In this way, I saw a timeless path to be traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones. And what is this timeless path traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones? Just this noble eightfold path:

Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Meditation.”

The Eightfold Path is the Fourth Noble Truth, [2] the truth of the path developing the cessation of confused and deluded thinking ignorant of Four Noble Truths. It is ignorance of Four Noble Truths that results in all manner of distracting, disappointing, and unsatisfactory experiences.

“Timeless” refers to the timeless nature of these Four Truths. These Four Truths remain true throughout the unfolding of time. Ongoing ignorance requires a reference to linear time, a mind constantly reverberating between past experiences and future desires, distracted from what is occurring. (Thank You, Jen for this description!)

The Buddha awakened to Dependent origination which clearly states that from ignorance of Four Noble Truths all manner of confusion, deluded thinking, and ongoing suffering (Dukkha) arises. Everything the Buddha would teach for his forty-five-year teaching career was taught in the context of Dependent Origination [3] and Four Noble Truths to develop profound insight of Three Marks Of existence. [4]

The single path the Buddha taught to overcome ignorance of Four Noble Truths is this Eightfold Path. Adapting, accommodating, embellishing, diminishing, or dismissing outright the Eightfold Path only results in a “spiritual” or “religious” practice that can only ignore an awakened human being’s teaching. This is a common,  subtle, and powerful strategy of a mind rooted in ignorance of these Four Truths to continue to ignore its own ignorance.

The simple and direct path that an awakened human being established as the “Heartwood of His Dhamma” brings a calm and peaceful mind, a mind resting in equanimity, to anyone who avoids distraction and wholeheartedly engages with the path.

The title of this sutta literally means Suffering-Analysis.

MAGGA-VIBHANGA SUTTA

THE ANALYSIS OF THE EIGHTFOLD PATH

SAMYUTTA NIKAYA 45.8

I have heard that at one time the Buddha was staying in Savatthi at Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s monastery.

There he addressed those assembled:

“Friends, I will now give you a detailed analysis of the Noble Eightfold Path. Listen mindfully.

This is the Noble Eightfold Path:

  1. Right View
  2. Right Intention
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Meditation

And what is Right View?

  • Knowledge with regard to stress
  • Knowledge with regard to the origination of stress
  • Knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress
  • Knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress

This, friends, is Right View.

And what is Right Intention?

  • Being mindful of the intention to recognize and abandon wrong views
  • Being mindful of the intention to remain free from ill will
  • Being mindful of the intention to remain harmless to all beings

This, friends, is Right Intention

And what is Right Speech?

  • Abstaining from lying
  • Abstaining from divisive speech
  • Abstaining from abusive speech
  • Abstaining from gossip
  • Abstaining from idle chatter

This, friends, is Right Speech.

And what is Right Action?

  • Abstaining from taking life
  • Abstaining from taking what is not freely given
  • Abstaining from sexual misconduct

This, friends, is Right Action.

And what is Right Livelihood?

  • Right Livelihood abandons dishonest livelihood.
  • Right Livelihood is honest Livelihood.

This, friends, is Right Livelihood.

And what is Right Effort?

  • Right Effort is effort developing the skillful desire and ongoing persistence to avoid unskillful qualities that are not present.
  • Right Effort is effort developing the skillful desire and ongoing persistence to to abandon unskillful qualities that are present
  • Right Effort is effort developing the skillful desire and ongoing persistence to  establish skillful qualities that are not yet present
  • Right Effort is effort developing the skillful desire and ongoing persistence to  end confusion and increase the full development of skillful qualities that are present

This, friends, is Right Effort.

And what is Right Mindfulness?

  • Right Mindfulness is remaining mindful of the body free of distraction, ardent, alert, and mindful of abandoning greed and reaction to worldly events.
  • Right Mindfulness is remaining mindful of feelings arising and passing away free of distraction, ardent, alert, and mindful of abandoning greed and reaction to worldly events.
  • Right Mindfulness is remaining mindful of mental qualities arising and passing away free of distraction, ardent, alert, and mindful of abandoning greed and reaction to worldly events.
  • Right Mindfulness is remaining mindful of the quality of mind arising and passing away free of distraction, ardent, alert, and mindful of abandoning greed and reaction to worldly events.

This, friends, is Right Mindfulness. [5]

And what is Right Meditation?

  • For one who has developed Right Meditation their concentration increases and they withdraw from the need for sensual stimulation
  • For one who has developed Right Meditation their concentration increases and they withdraw from unskillful mental qualities
  • For one who has developed Right Meditation their concentration increases and they enter and remain in the first Jhana, the first level of meditative absorption, which is joyful engagement and pleasure in the Dhamma born from withdrawal, and accompanied by directed thought and mindful evaluation.
  • For one who has developed Right Meditation their concentration increases and their directed thoughts and mindful evaluation quiets. They enter and remain in the second Jhana, the second level of meditative absorption, which is joyful engagement and pleasure born of deepening concentration free from directed thought and mindful evaluation and confident within.
  • For one who has developed Right Meditation their concentration increases and their joyful engagement fades. Equanimity arises with mindfulness of pleasure in a mind united with the body. They enter the third Jhana. The wise know this as equanimous and mindful – a pleasant abiding.
  • For one who has developed Right Meditation their concentration increases, their mind rests in equanimity, neither pleasure nor pain have a footing. They enter and remain in the Fourth Jhana. Their mindfulness and equanimity is pure, free of wrong views rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths.

This, monks, is Right Meditation.” [6]

This is what the Buddha declared. Those gathered were gratified and delighted at his words.

End Of Sutta

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TISSA SUTTA: UNCERTAIN

INTRODUCTION

This is a powerful and typical sutta in the depth of knowledge that is presented to Tissa in a concise and direct manner. Tissa is a cousin of the Buddha and a monk in the original Sangha. Tissa’s mind is still troubled from continued clinging to wrong views rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths.

This is a common occurrence when one begins authentic Dhamma practice and is confronted by the challenges to long-held belief structures. This is often experienced as Tissa describes here with confusion, lethargy, indecision, and uncertainty. Indulging in the distracting modern common practice of over-analysis of these fleeting mind-states seeking “insights” only continues ignorance.

The Buddha teaches Tissa to frame his uneasy and troubling mind-states in the Eightfold Path. In doing so, Tissa avoids further dictation from self-indulgence and gains profound understanding and useful insight into the Three Marks of Existence. [1]

This sutta also shows the importance of learning the Dhamma from one who knows the Dhamma and the importance of a well-focused Sangha. As can be seen here, it is a well-focused and well-informed Sangha, engaging in Right Speech, that points Tissa back to the learned teacher. It is important to note that the Sangha avoids compassion rooted in ignorance and did not attempt to reassure Tissa that “all is well and things will work out according to a higher plan” as they knew that this would only continue Tissa’s ignorance and resulting suffering.

The Buddha’s reference to sorrow, regret, pain, distress, and despair is to the First Noble Truth: Dukkha occurs from ignorance of Four Noble Truths. [2]

The Buddha’s reference to form, feelings, perception, fabrications, and consciousness is to his decoration of the ongoing personal experience of suffering, Five Clinging-Aggregates. [3]

This fifth aggregate, consciousness, is ongoing thinking rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths.

TISSA SUTTA

SAMYUTTA NIKAYA 22:84

The Buddha was at Savatthi, in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s monastery. Tissa, a monk in the Sangha was distressed. He told a group of Sangha members, “Friends, I feel lost and uninspired. My mind is cloudy and overwhelmed. I am lethargic. I find this life unsatisfying. I am uncertain about the Dhamma.”

The Buddha heard of Tissa’s comments from the Sangha members and summoned him for a talk. Tissa went to the Buddha. He bowed in respect and sat to one side.

“Tissa, is it true that you feel lost and uninspired? Is your mind cloudy and overwhelmed? You are lethargic? You find this life unsatisfying? You are uncertain about my Dhamma?”

“Yes, great teacher.”

“Tissa, do you understand that one who is passionate, driven by desire, craving for and clinging to form and sensory satisfaction, will experience sorrow, regret, pain, distress, and despair due to change to form and loss of sensory satisfaction?”

“Yes, I understand, great teacher.”

“Good. This is what follows for one craving for form and sensory satisfaction.

“Tissa, do you understand that one who is free from passion and released from craving for form and sensory satisfaction does not experience sorrow, regret, pain, distress, and despair due to change to form and loss of sensory satisfaction?”

“Yes, I understand, great teacher.”

“Good. This is what follows for one released from craving for or clinging to form and sensory satisfaction.

“Tissa, do you understand that one who is released from craving for and clinging to feelings or perceptions or fabrications or consciousness does not experience sorrow, regret, pain, distress, and despair due to change to any of these aggregates?”

“Yes, I understand, great teacher.”

“Good. This is what follows for one released from craving for or clinging to any of these aggregates.

“Tissa, do you understand that form is impermanent and subject to change? Do you understand that feelings, perceptions, fabrications, and consciousness, that all of these five aggregates are impermanent and subject to change?”

“Yes, I understand, great teacher.”

“Tissa, do you understand that what is impermanent, always subject to change, is stressful?”

“Yes, I understand, great teacher.”

“Well, Tissa, is it wise to cling to what is impermanent and stressful through self-identification as ‘this is me, this is mine, this is what I am?”

“No, it is not wise to cling through self-identification to what is impermanent and stressful.”

“Then, Tissa, I teach that any form, feeling, perception, fabrication, or consciousness shovel be known through wisdom and Right View as ‘this is not me, this is not minim this is not who I am.

“Train yourself, Tissa, in this manner:

“Any form or feeling or perception of fabrication or consciousness whatsoever that is past, present, or future, whether seen as internal or external, whether obvious or subtle, whether unique or pervasive, whether far to near, should through Right View be known as ‘this is not me, this is not minim this is not who I am.

“Understanding this, the well-instructed Dhamma practitioner becomes disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feelings, disenchanted with perceptions, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness. From disenchantment, passions fade away. Dispassionate, the well-instructed Dhamma practitioner is released from clinging to wrong views. With release they know through direct experience ‘I am released.’ Released through their own efforts they know that ‘Birth is ended, life integrated with the Eightfold Path has been completed. There is no further clinging to the world.’

“Friend, Tissa, think of it this way. Imagine two men, one skilled in the Dhamma, and one not. The man unskilled in the Dhamma asks the skilled man to describe the Eightfold Path. The skilled man would answer ‘the path is like this: you walk along and come to a fork in the road. You avoid the left fork and take the right. You walk further and come across a thick forest. Further still is a swamp. Even further you come along a steep cliff. Continuing on the path you arise at a delightful place of spacious and level ground.

“Ii tell you this story to teach you that the unskilled man is an ordinary person with no knowledge of my Dhamma. The skilled man is a worthy and Rightly Self-Awakened man. The fork in the road represents uncertainty. The left fork is the wrong eightfold path. This path continues wrong views, wrong intentions, wrong speech, wrong actions, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, and wrong meditation. The right fork is the Noble Eightfold Path. This path develops Right Views, Right Intentions, Right Speech, Right Actions, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Meditation. The thick forest represents ignorance of Four Noble Truths. The swamp represents sensual desires. The cliff represents anger, resentment, and despair. The delightful place of spacious and level ground represents release from craving for and clinging to wrong views ignorant of Four Noble Truths.

“Rejoice now, Tissa, rejoice! A Rightly Self-Awakened one is here to inspire you, to guide you, to teach you!”

This is what the Buddha said. Tissa was gratified and delighted at hearing these words.

End Of Sutta

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ANALYSIS OF FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS – THE SACCA-VIBHANGA SUTTA

INTRODUCTION

For a complete understanding of this sutta within the context intended by an awakened human being, please read the suttas linked inline and at the end of this article. ([x]) Inline links will open in a new window.

Everything the Buddha taught was taught in the context of Dependent Origination and the ongoing stress, suffering and distraction that results from ignorance of Four Noble Truths.

 [1] Dependent Origination – The Paticca Samuppada Sutta

[2]Four Noble Truths – The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

His first teaching was taught to describe the results of this common ignorance and the single path the Buddha taught to recognize and abandon ignorance. [3]  Eightfold Path – The Magga-Vibhanga Sutta

In the Sacca-Vibhanga Sutta, one of the Buddha’s chief disciples, Sariputta, presents a complete analysis of the Four Noble Truths including a simple and direct explanation of the Eightfold Path.

In this sutta, one of the Buddha’s chief disciples, Sariputta, teaches in plain and simple terms the qualifications one should look for in choosing a skillful Dhamma teacher and what an authentic Dhamma practice must be based on: “Sariputta is able to declare, teach, describe, set forth, reveal, explain, and make plain the Four Noble Truths in detail.”

The reference in this sutta to established brahmans, disincarnate “beings”, and imagined creator gods as having no more understanding of Four Noble Truths as ordinary human beings is common throughout the Buddha’s Dhamma. [4] Mara And Metaphor

A critical aspect of the Dhamma is that ignorance that arises within, and is resolved within individual human beings through their own individual Right Effort, as described in this sutta, through direct engagement with an Eightfold Path. The Buddha referred to imaginary, disincarnate beings, devas, and gods to show that even though these fabricated beliefs were as widespread then as they are today, they are merely metaphors for a confused,distracted, and conflicted minds lacking understanding of Four Noble Truths. [5] Modern Buddhism – A Thicket Of Views

Simply put, an awakened human being’s Dhamma, as seen here and throughout the Buddha’s Dhamma, resolves solely within the mind and body of each individual Dhamma practitioner.

My comments below are in italics.

 

ANALYSIS OF FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS – THE SACCA-VIBHANGA SUTTA

MAJJHIMA NIKAYA 141

On one occasion the Buddha was staying at the Deer Park in Isipatana. He addressed those gathered: “Friends, it was here that I set in motion the unexcelled Wheel Of Dhamma. My Dhamma cannot be corrupted by any brahman, deva, Mara, Brahma, or any one in the entire world.

No one can corrupt the revelation, declaration, the description, the structure, the explanation, and the clear and direct teaching of Four Noble Truths:

  1. The Noble Truth of stress and suffering.
  2. The Noble Truth of the origination of stress.
  3. The Noble Truth of the cessation of stress.
  4. The Noble Truth of the Eightfold Path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.

“Friends, associate with wise disciples such as Sariputta and Moggallana. Sariputta and Moggallana are well-trained, focused, wise, and sympathetic to those developing a life integrated with the Eightfold Path.

“Sariputta is like a mother giving birth and Moggallana is like the nurse that attends to the baby. Sariputta trains others on developing the Dhamma, Moggallana, to the highest culmination.

This last may seem to show Sariputta as a lesser teacher. The Buddha always held Sariputta as his most effective Dhamma teacher. When seen clearly it is much more difficult to introduce an ordinary person to the Dhamma than to continue to support the development of one already engaged with the Eightfold Path. Both Sariputta and Moggallana were critical support to the Buddha and the original Sangha.

“Sariputta is able to declare, teach, describe, set forth, reveal, explain, and make plain the Four Noble Truths in detail.”

Having said these words, the Buddha left for the days abiding.

Sariputta then addressed those gathered: “Friends, it was here that the Tathagata set in motion the unexcelled Wheel Of Dhamma. This Dhamma cannot be corrupted by any brahman, deva, Mara, Brahma, or any one in the entire world. No one can corrupt the revelation, declaration, the description, the structure, the explanation, and the clear and direct teaching of Four Noble Truths:

  1. The Noble Truth of stress and suffering.
  2. The Noble Truth of the origination of stress.
  3. The Noble Truth of the cessation of stress.
  4. The Noble Truth of the Eightfold Path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.

Friends, what is the noble truth of stress and suffering?

  • Birth is stressful.
  • Sickness is stressful.
  • Aging is stressful.
  • Death is stressful.
  • Sorrow, regret, pain, distress, and despair are all stressful.
  • Not getting what is desired is stressful.
  • Receiving what is undesired is stressful.
  • In short, the Five-Clinging-Aggregates are stressful.

The Five Clinging-Aggregates are the ongoing personal experience of stress and suffering in an impermanent world – the personal experience of Anicca, anatta, and Dukkha. [6] Five Clinging-Aggregates

It is the Eightfold Path that develops useful Vipassana, useful introspective insight, into these Three Marks Of Existence. [7] Vipassana – Introspective Insight

“And what is birth? Whatever takes birth. The descent, the coming-to-be, the coming forth, the arising of the Five-Clinging-Aggregates, the fabrication of sensuous realms of diverse beings. This is called birth.

One of the grossest misunderstandings of the Buddha’s Dhamma is what he taught as Karma and Rebirth.Rather than teaching Karma and Rebirth as a magical and mystical system of behavior modification through reward and punishments, reward based on ambiguous “merit” and good deeds with the ultimate reward in a vague realms of emptiness or nothingness or eternalestablishment in some form of Buddhist “heaven” and punishment similar to all other salvific religions in some type of “hell”, the Buddha taught that Karma is the conditioning of past intentional actsmanifesting in the present moment that is moderated by the present level of mindfulness. If what is held in mind continues to be rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths than individual experience of what one is “giving birth” to in the present moment can only “give birth” to continued ignorance in the present moment. Holding in mind the framework and guidance of the Eightfold Path will “give birth” to a present-moment-experience that continues the non-distracted development of wisdom of Four Noble Truths.[8] Karma And Rebirth

Many translations state “acquisition of (sense) spheres of the diverse beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth” rather than the content-relevant “the fabrication of sensuous realms of diverse beings. This is called birth.” The improper (relevant to context) translation encourages a subtle grasping-after establishment on speculated and imaginary non-physical realms that the Buddha consistently and emphatically taught to abandon. [9] Right Mindfulness And Authentic Dhamma

“And what is aging? Aging is (increasing) decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, diminishing of mental faculties, of diverse beings. This is called aging.

“And what is death? Death is the passing away, the breaking up, the disappearance, the completion of time, the casting off of the body, the interruption of the life faculty, and the dissolution of the Five Clinging-Aggregates of diverse beings. This is called death.

“And what is sorrow? Sorrow is sadness, this suffering of misfortune, being touched by pain. This is called sorrow.

“And what is regret? Regret is the grieving, the crying , the weeping, the wailing, the regret of suffering from misfortune, of being touched buy pain, this is called regret.

“And what is pain? Pain is bodily pain. bodily discomfort, pain or discomfort from bodily contact this is called pain.

“And what is distress? Distress is mental pain and mental discomfort, pain or discomfort from mental contact. This is called distress.

“And what is despair? Despair is despondency anddesperation of anyone suffering from misfortune or touch buy a painful thing. This is called despair.

“And what is the stress of not getting what is desired? In those beings subject to birth, the wish arises, ‘May I not be subject to birth, may birth not come to me.’ Wishing does not bring cessation. This is the the stress of not getting what is desired.

“Furthermore, In uninformed human beings subject to birth, sickness, aging, death, sorrow, regret, pain, distress, and despair the wish arises ‘O, may I not be subject to birth, sickness, aging, death, sorrow, regret, pain, distress, and despair. May these not befall me.’ These things are not avoided by wishing.This is the the stress of not getting what is desired.

The result of continued grasping after continued establishment of a fabricated view of self clinging to any impermanent phenomena, including the fabricated phenomena of external realms and the fabricated belief of salvific intervention of beings from external imaginary realms is what is referred to here. Wishing to avoid any experience that is determined by simply having a human life is rooted in self-referential wrong views self and always results in continued distraction and continued stress and suffering.

“And what are the Five Clinging-Aggregates that continue stress?

  1. The clinging-to-form-aggregate.
  2. The clinging-to-feeling-aggregate.
  3. The clinging-to-perception-aggregate.
  4. The clinging-to-fabrication-aggregate.
  5. The clinging-to-consciousness-aggregate.

“These are the Five Clinging-Aggregates that continue stress.

“This, friends, is the Noble Truth of Stress.

“And what is the Noble Truth of the origination of stress? The very craving that makes for becoming father ignorant, craving clinging to passion and delight (after what is craved including adapted, accommodated and/or embellished modern dharmas), entranced here and there with craving for sensuality, craving for continued becoming (further ignorant), craving for non-becoming (escape from the effects of ignorance rather than cessation of ignorance, annihilation into nothingness, emptiness, non-duality). This is called the Noble Truth of the origination of stress.

Wise and skillful disciples understand that the Dhamma is practiced within individual life as life unfolds. Each moment holds the potential to become further ignorant or become further awakened.[10] Becoming Explained

“And what friends is the Noble Truth of the cessation of stress? The renunciation, the relinquishment, the release, the letting go, he remainderless fading away and complete cessation of craving. This is called the Noble Truth of the cessation of stress.

“And what is the Noble Truth of the path of Dhamma practice that leads directly to the cessation of stress? This path is the Noble Eightfold Path:

1. Right View. Right View is knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress, knowledge with regard to the Eightfold Path of practice leading to the cessation of stress. This is Right View.

2. Right Intention. Right Intention is maintaining mindfulness of the intention for renunciation, for freedom from ill-will, for harmlessness, for cessation. This is Right Intention

3. Right Speech. Right Speech is abstaining from lying, abstaining from divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, and abstaining from gossip and idle chatter. This is right Speech.

4. Right Action. Right Action is abstaining from taking life, abstaining from stealing, and abstaining from sexual misconduct. This is Right Action.

5. Right Livelihood. Right Livelihood is when a skillful disciple of the Noble Ones has abandoned dishonest livelihood and provides for themselves with honesty. This is Right Livelihood.

6. Right Effort. Right Effort is when a skillful disciple of the Noble Ones (internally) generates the skillful desire, who is persistent, who remains mindful of their intent for the non-arising of unskillful qualities that have yet arisen, who remains mindful of their intent for the abandoning of unskillful qualities that have arisen, who remains mindful for maintaining non-confusion and for increasing, developing, and the culmination of skillful qualities that have yet arisen. This is Right Effort.

7. Right Mindfulness. Right Mindfulness is when a skillful disciple of the Noble Ones remains mindful of the body in and of itself while remaining ardent, alert, and mindful of putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world. Right Mindfulness is when a skillful disciple of the Noble Ones remains mindful of feelings in and of themselves while remaining ardent, alert, and mindful of putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world. Right Mindfulness is when a skillful disciple of the Noble Ones remains mindful of thoughts in and of themselves while remaining ardent, alert, and mindful of putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world. Right Mindfulness is when a skillful disciple of the Noble Ones remains mindful of the (present) quality of mind in and of itself while remaining ardent, alert, and mindful of putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world. This is right mindfulness. [11] Satipatthana Sutta – Four Foundations of Mindfulness

8. Right Meditation. Right Meditation is when a skillful disciple of the Noble Ones has established seclusion from sensuality and unskillful mental qualities. The enter and  remain in the First Jhana. This First Jhana is experienced as rapture born of that very seclusion. It is accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. [12]  Right Meditation – Samadhi – Jhanas

This first Jana is simply the initial pleasant calming that occurs from taking refuge in seclusion and becoming mindful of the breath in the body.

“Furthermore, the ending of the defilements depends on the Second Jhana which is the stilling of directed thought and evaluation.  This Second Jhana is experienced as rapture and pleasure born of concentration. Free of directed thought and evaluation, the joy of concentration permeates their entire mind and body.

This second Jhana is a deepening awareness of the mind calming in the body as a point of concentration. “Furthermore, the ending of the defilements depends on the Third Jhana which is the fading of rapture. They remain equanimous, mindful, alert, sensitive to pleasure. With the fading of rapture, this pleasant abiding permeates their entire mind and body.

This third Jhana is characterized by the stilling of directed thought and evaluation and now able to experience the subtle pleasure of a mind calmly united with the body. This is a pleasant abiding free of comparison to what is no longer present.

“Furthermore, the ending of the defilements depends on the Fourth Jhana which is the abandoning of evaluation. They enter and remain in the Fourth Jhana which is pure equanimity and mindful. Being pure, neither pleasure nor pain is seen. They sit permeated in mind and body with pure, bright awareness. The Fourth Jhana which is a pleasant abiding. This is Right Meditation.

This fourth Jhana is simply a deepening level of concentration and resulting pleasant abiding that remains at peace no matter what arises. This pleasant abiding is the defining characteristic of a well-concentrated mind having integrated the Eightfold Path.

“This is the Noble Truth of the Eightfold Path of practice that leads directly to the cessation of stress.

“Friends, it was here that the Tathagata set in motion the unexcelled Wheel Of Dhamma. This Dhamma cannot be corrupted by any brahman, deva, Mara, Brahma, or any one in the entire world. No one can corrupt the revelation, declaration, the description, the structure, the explanation, and the clear and direct teaching of Four Noble Truths.”

This is what Venerable Sariputta said. Gratified, those in attendance were delighted in Venerable Sariputta words.

End Of Sutta

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Dependent Origination Flow Chart

Jens Dhamma Cheat Sheet

 

Julias Eightfold Parth Flow Chart

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