Join us for this journey into the Dharma via the Four Noble Truths/Eightfold Path.
AN ANCIENT PATH REDISCOVERED
However little we may know about Buddhism we’ve all probably had some sort of encounter with it in our lives.
Maybe our first touch point with Buddhism was seeing a serene and content statue of the Buddha sitting peacefully in meditative equanimity.
Or maybe we’ve watched or read something by the Dalai Lama who’s probably the worlds most famous Buddhist monk. Followed closely by the Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh.
However we’ve come to know about Buddhism we probably have a faint idea that the Buddhist teachings supposedly will lead an individual to enlightenment via a Path or Way.
This Path or Way will hopefully bring a person to a state of realization. An understanding of not only yourself, but also a direct knowing of the way things are, the ultimate truth, or to an experience of oneness with Reality, which Buddhists or followers of the Buddha-Dharma call Enlightenment.
In the Nagara Sutra the Buddha talks about the path that he discovered. He tells a story of a man walking through the wilderness;
“It is just as if a man, traveling along a wilderness track, were to see an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by people of former times. He would follow it.
Following it, he would see an ancient city, an ancient capital inhabited by people of former times, complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful.
He would go to the king and queen saying, ‘Your majesties, you should know that while traveling along a wilderness track I saw an ancient path… I followed it… I saw an ancient city, an ancient capital… complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. King and Queen, rebuild that city!’
The king and queen would rebuild the city, so that at a later date the city would become powerful, rich, & well-populated, fully grown & prosperous.
In the same way I saw an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times.
And what is that ancient path, that ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times? Just this noble eightfold path.”
The king and queen are you and I. The Buddha, in his compassion has shared his wisdom with us so that we may lead authentic and happy lives. Lives that touch other people in positive ways.
The Buddha taught people a way to free themselves from suffering. A path that leads to true authentic happiness.
Course Text: Awaken: The Buddha’s Eightfold Path to True & Lasting Happiness by Ian Paul Marshall