Noble Eightfold Path

Definition - What does Noble Eightfold Path mean?

The Noble Eightfold Path is one of the fundamental Buddhist teachings seeking to eradicate negative truths, and is the first step to understanding the Four Noble Truths. Following the Noble Eightfold Path leads to enlightenment and liberation. The elements are: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

Sometimes, the path is divided into three main divisions. These divisions are: wisdom, covering the right view and the right intention; ethical conduct, involving the right speech, action and livelihood; and concentration, involving the right effort, mindfulness and concentration.

Yogapedia explains Noble Eightfold Path

The Noble Eightfold Path is not linear or sequential. It represents eight elements of life, which are all equally important and should all be integrated into daily life. They are all connected and practice of one helps to cultivate all of the others as well. Each of the elements of this path start with the Sanskrit word, samyanc, translated as "right," "perfect" or "ideal," which can be explained as ethical, balanced, correct, nonharming or the middle way.

The Noble Eightfold Path is similar to the great sage, Patanjali's, Eight Limbs of Yoga. It is known that Patanjali was greatly influenced by Buddhism and used Buddhist formulations in his Yoga Sutras as well. Both systems agree that the cause of suffering is ignorance, attachment and ego; and both systems strive to achieve samadhi, or liberation.

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