The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

The Dharma Is A Wheel

Source: The Dharma Is A Wheel | Great Middle Way

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RuedaTibWhen we first hear the teachings of the Buddha, if they strike us as reasonable, we accept the validity of the Noble Eightfold Path conceptually, and may begin to practice its components: Right View, Thought, Speech, Conduct, Livelihood, Effort, Mindfulness, and Concentration.

Once we make some advancement in the cultivation of the Path, we notice its efficacy, and realize the reason why it is represented as a Wheel —its eight components not only support each other interdependently, but also gradually transform our initial conceptual approach into the direct experience of enlightenment.

Thus, Right Concentration —the “last” component— leads to a Right View that is lived and experienced directly. We no longer merely conceptually accept the Four Noble Truths, but rather see clearly the truths of suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering, and the path leading to the end of suffering.

Not only do we understand that Right Thought, Speech, Conduct, and Livelihood are necessary and beneficial, but rather we cultivate them spontaneously. Right Effort, Mindfulness, and Concentration are no longer disciplines that we adopt provisionally, but rather become the essential foundation of our spiritual experience.

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