The Eight-Fold Path to Nirvana

Reference: The Fourth Noble Truth: Magga

The path to Nirvana is neither through the pleasures of the senses, nor through self-mortification in different forms of asceticism. The path to Nirvana is through the following actions.

(A) Wisdom

1.  Right Understanding (seeing a thing in its true nature, without name and label)

(a) The nature of life is Dukkha

(b) The origin of Dukkha is ‘thirst’ (desire)

(c) Nirvana (the Absolute Truth) is the cessation of Dukkha

(d) The path to Nirvana

 2.  Right Thought (extended to all beings)

(a) Thoughts of selfless renunciation or detachment

(b) Thoughts of love

(c) Thoughts of non-violence


(B) Ethical Conduct

 3.  Right Speech

(a) Abstain from telling lies

(b) Abstain from backbiting and slander and talk that may bring about hatred, enmity, disunity, and disharmony among individuals or groups of people.

(c) Abstain from harsh, rude, impolite, malicious and abusive language.

(d) Abstain from idle, useless and foolish babble and gossip.

(e) Do not speak carelessly: speech should be at the right time and place.

(f) If one cannot say something useful, one should keep ‘noble silence’.

 4.  Right Action

(a) Abstain from destroying life, from stealing, from dishonest dealings, and from illegitimate sexual intercourse.

(b) Always aim at promoting moral, honorable and peaceful product.

(c) Help others to lead a peaceful and honorable life in the right way.

 5.  Right Livelihood

(a) Abstain from making living through a profession that brings harm to others, such as

  • Trading in arms and lethal weapons,
  • Intoxicating drinks,
  • Poisons,
  • Killing animals,
  • Cheating, etc.

(b) Live by a profession which is honorable, blameless and innocent of harm to others.


(C) Mental Discipline

 6.  Right Effort (energetic will)

(a) To prevent evil and unwholesome states of mind from arising

(b) To get rid of such evil and unwholesome states that have already arisen within a man

(c) To produce, to cause to arise, good and wholesome states of mind not yet arisen

(d) To develop and bring to perfection the good and wholesome states of mind already present in a man.

 7.  Right Mindfulness (to be diligently aware, mindful and attentive with regard to)

(a) The activities of the body.

  • Be clearly aware of breathing
  • Whether it is deep or shallow
  • Of how it appears and disappears within the body

 (b) Sensations or feelings.

  • Be clearly aware of all forms of feelings and sensations
  • Whether pleasant, unpleasant and neutral
  • Of how they appear and disappear within oneself

 (c) The activities of the mind

  • Whether one’s mind is lustful or not, given to hatred or not, deluded or not, distracted or concentrated, etc.
  • All movements of mind, how they arise and disappear.

 (d) Ideas, thoughts, conceptions and things

  • One should know their nature
  • How they appear and disappear
  •  How they are developed
  •  How they are suppressed, and destroyed, and so on

8.  Right Concentration

(a) First Stage

  • Passionate desires and certain unwholesome thoughts like sensuous lust, ill-will, languor, worry, restlessness, and skeptical doubt are discarded
  • Feelings of joy and happiness are maintained, along with certain mental activities.

(b) Second Stage

  • All intellectual activities are suppressed
  • Tranquility and ‘one-pointedness’ of mind is developed
  • The feelings of joy and happiness are still retained.

(c) Third Stage

  • The feeling of joy, which is an active sensation, also disappears
  • The disposition of happiness still remains
  • Mindful equanimity remains

(d) Fourth Stage

  • All sensations, even of happiness and unhappiness, of joy and sorrow, disappear
  • Only pure equanimity and awareness remains

This path needs to be explained in different ways in different words to different people, according to the stage of their development and their capacity to understand and follow it. These eight categories or divisions of the Path are to be developed more or less simultaneously, as far as possible according to the capacity of each individual.


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  • lizabeth  On June 7, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Vinaire, finding your site and posts are very helpful to me with working on a special problem. I humbly thank you for your lessons and will work on them.


    • vinaire  On June 7, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      You are most welcome. You are a brave soul. 🙂


      • lizabeth  On June 7, 2012 at 5:44 PM

        Yes, brave, can be it, am, thank you. Therein lies the struggle. What’s above brave, while pan-determined or the wisest to have complete clean heart and reach Nirvana or peace on this planet. My own integrity only is valid? Ah, pan-determined integrity. Just thought of that and will consider. I am blessed, thank you dear one. I will re-read.


      • vinaire  On June 7, 2012 at 6:44 PM


        “When one is not suppressing any thoughts or feelings, and is simply looking without being judgmental, then, in that moment, one is being totally honest with oneself. This is the basis of personal integrity.”



  • lizabeth  On June 7, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Is it useful? To expose an out-ethics situation of 30 years ago which seemed ethical, if one was a scio on a volunteer mission for over 3 years for the GO/osa. Never got really handled since was a catch 22 situation. I can’t seem to not-is it anymore as a public as I did for many years. The restim keeps coming up and I live on a fine line wanting to do right or wonder what’s right? Useful? I can see some advantage, as it would help others confirm or see what and how they operated and I believe still do except differently. More importantly is myself, knowing how many people I lied to, misrepresented myself and gave their information out. Trust! Integrity to self! A moral criminal.

    When I realized that I become more humble and accurate. Living in the area of restim and growing older, getting wiser, stronger, how brave should I be and will it be useful? That is where I am and am working on. I will get through and thank you for your wisdom. This is my first comment posted anywhere in this regard.


    • vinaire  On June 7, 2012 at 5:41 PM

      It is wonderful that you are already looking and realizing things for yourself. I am simply trying to understand the ancient wisdom of Buddha by sharing it with others on this blog. Your responses to this wisdom really make me happy.

      I find that the resolution of personal suffering comes from looking at the inconsistencies in what one has experienced. Communication of the details of one’s personal situation with others is not necessary for such a resolution to take place.

      Ideally, an auditor simply acts as a guide to help another look. He is never interested in the details of the other person’s situation. Guidance can be provided without having to know such personal data. The guide knows that it is mainly the understanding of the principles of looking that is important. He simply gets the other person to apply those principles.

      On this blog, one may discuss the principles of looking, and other elements of philosophy. The details of one’s personal situation need not be alluded to because nobody else can understand that data better than the person himself or herself.

      One can help others best by getting them to look for themselves.



      • lizabeth  On June 7, 2012 at 6:02 PM

        I do understand what you are saying. I got carried away a bit and it did help me break a barrier. I’m working on talking in person with someone and you have helped me open and see better. I have no auditor here and have bravely been handling on own. Searching …. Found you on Isene’s site and really like his and your site. You may delete that comment above, may be better and Ok with me. You are right! Thank you so much.


      • vinaire  On June 7, 2012 at 7:08 PM

        Lizabeth, you post above is just fine. I was simply making a technical point. I do not understand the obsession in the Church of Scientology to probe to get personal and intimate data from a preclear. For what purpose? It is definitely not for the benefit of the individual.

        The level at which one reveals personal data in discussing one’s worries with a friend is more than enough. No probing for personal details by another should ever be done. Just mention of the inconsistencies one is struggling with, in broad terms, is sufficient for the guide to help direct a person’s looking.

        Any intelligent and compassionate person can act as a guide. Please see

        Helping Somebody with KHTK Looking



  • lizabeth  On June 7, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    This is very helpful information. So to answer my question, Is it useful? I see the answer. When I really look at inside and outside and see truth, then can act with integrity, without suppressing or being judgmental. Thank you for your guidance.


    • vinaire  On June 7, 2012 at 7:43 PM

      You are most welcome. Thank you for being so perceptive.

      I sincerely believe that with this simple technology derived from the purity of Buddhism, this planet may be cleared of aberration.



  • vinaire  On June 8, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Most of us wants others to have the same win that we just had. But this cannot be accomplished by having good intentions and being persuasive to others.

    Relief comes when a person is looking for himself or herself totally through one’s own determinism. This cannot be ensured through persuasion or by convincing others. Persuasion or convincing may appear to help the person but it never brings about true relief.

    Any persuasion or convincing is always accompanied by a certain amount of force. To the degree such force is present in getting the other person to change his or her mind, there is conditioning taking place. A “conditioned” relief is not true relief.

    The only way one can truly help is by imparting the technology of looking, and by guiding others so they can look.



  • vinaire  On June 8, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    I am averse to the idea of “selling” spiritual help. Seeing a price to be put on spritual help as done in the Church of Scientology seems to be quite inconsistent. Commerce and spirituality doesn’t seem to go together.


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