Zen Approach to the Noble Eightfold Path: A seven-week online class with Paul Haller
This class is offered by donation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Classes are every Wednesday, October 19 until November 30. Classes last 90 minutes and start at 7 pm local Belfast time, 11 am California time (except November 2 when Belfast time will be 6 pm because of the difference in Daylight Savings Time). You can participate live every Wednesday or watch the recordings at your own pace.
The path of practice is both a gift and a challenge. Though it unfolds uniquely for each practitioner, there are features of the path that are common to us all as we engage the aspects of who we are. It offers us a way to lessen our suffering and the challenge of engaging our life, relationships, and activities as opportunities to awaken. In walking the path we discover both compassion and wisdom; the former through patient acceptance of our suffering, and the latter through cultivating awareness that reveals the patterns of our thoughts, feelings, and actions and how they shape our behavior.
The traditional teachings of the Eightfold Path have been crafted from the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha and are recreated and enacted as we bring awareness to “what’s happening now”. This path to liberation—known as the Noble Eightfold Path—is made up of eight practices: Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. All are guided by, and express, Right View. The potential for practising the Eightfold Path lies within us and, as we practise these factors, they transform us.
We each have mental and emotional patterns that cause us suffering, but we also have within us what it takes to free ourselves of these afflictions. The Pali term samma, usually translated as “right”, can also mean complete or appropriate. The steps are sometimes engaged sequentially. As the understanding and resolve of the first two steps are established, then the ethical conduct of Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood establish the capacity for Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. Not that each step is mastered before engaging the next one, but rather practising each step helps practising the other steps in a more thorough manner. In this way all the steps are practised as occurring together as facets of the path
Each class will offer some suggested practices and the option of being part of a small group that will meet weekly to discuss those practices.