Buddha, The Word: The Eightfold Path by Nyanatiloka

By Nyanatiloka

Buddha, The Word discusses the lessons of Guatama Buddha. The 4 Noble Truths educate that soreness is inherent in existence, yet that via acknowledging the origins of pain and following the Eightfold direction, ache will be ceased. The Eightfold direction teaches how knowing, suggestion, speech, motion, livelihood, attempt, mindfulness and focus can all be undertaken with rightness.

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Example text

If you are speaking to unhearing worldlings, you need to teach them to get over their attachments, live a disciplined life, practice meditation, and develop insight. But it is not appropriate to speak in this way to people beyond measure. People in the process of self-purification have already willingly accepted discipline in full. Theirs is the power of discipline, concentration, and insight; therefore to preach to them in this way is called speaking at the wrong time, because it is not appropriate to the occasion.

This anthology of materials from the Five Houses of Zen closes with two selections from the work of Yen-shou of the House of Fa-yen. First is a summary critique of more than one hundred cultic deviations of Zen, following on the work of Fa-yen and others along these lines. This is followed by an instructive work on balancing the two basic aspects of meditation, commonly referred to as cessation and contemplation (or stopping and seeing) in the context of causative practice, and as concentration and insight (or stability and wisdom) in the context of effective realization.

Even as they hear words beyond conception, they cannot believe completely. This is why Gautama Buddha spent forty-nine days in silent contemplation under the tree where he was enlightened. Wisdom is obscure, difficult to explain; there is nothing to which it may be likened. To say people have buddha nature is to slander the buddhas, their Teaching, and their Communities. To say people have no buddha nature is also to slander the buddhas, their Teaching, and their Communities. To say there is buddha nature is called slander by attachment.

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