The Noble Eightfold Path: An At-Home Dharma Study and Practice Retreat
April 24 - 30, 2023
The Noble Eightfold Path is the heart of the Buddha’s teachings. This Buddhist path to liberation from suffering involves the cultivation of eight interconnected practices: right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration – alternatively, equanimous meditative awareness. The term “right” comes from the Pali word samma, which is directly translated as righty, thoroughly and completely. Each step is viewed as “right” or “wise”. The term “right” (Pali: samma) is used to mean skillful or helpful, instead of implying the moralistic judgments of right or wrong.
The metaphor of the path draws on the image of a pathway through life that’s free of obstacles. The eightfold path is referred to as the practical “means” to clear the path of obstacles, by uprooting deep underlying causes of suffering. When we realize that both the path and the obstacles to the path are within, this generates a sense of purpose and responsibility, to become more intentionally aware of the ways we use our minds, the process of speech, and our bodily actions.
This online study and practice retreat will offer an opportunity to immerse oneself in the exploration of the multidimensional nature of the eightfold path and how it transforms the ordinary journey of life into a journey of awakening.
When cultivating the eight dimensions of awakened living, they come alive in ways that benefit every moment, on and off the cushion. As a result, dormant seeds begin to bloom in the form of beautiful, wholesome qualities of mind and heart, manifesting in a wise and kindhearted presence in life – within oneself, others and our troubled, deeply divided world. So, although we may not be able to change the world, by living in the light of Dharma, we can change the way we live in the world.
This echoes the Buddha’s statement that, “The dharma is beautiful in the beginning, the dharma is beautiful in the middle, and the dharma is beautiful in the end.” May it be so.