20.8.08

Thought doodles: Noble Eight Fold Path

I like this page on the eight fold path.

http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/eightfoldpath.html



Warning: Rampant idealism ahead!



Instead of just regurgitating the nice stuff said in the link above I am going sum up what each step means to me with as few words as I can, without going to deep into each one,. Besides I have done this before here: Slow Zen: Asura Dharma: The Four noble Truths (again). Below is just the thoughts that come up when I think about these steps in the path at the moment, your opinion may very.


1. View: I strive to see things as they are, interconnected and impermanent.

2. Intention: I intend to be of service to others.

3. *Communication: I think right speech is a bit narrow, so I like the term communication better. My rule of thumb for communicating is: Everything I say to someone else I am also saying to myself. See also:
Slow Zen: Asura Dharma: Be nice to each other! And be sincere!

Slow Zen: Asura Dharma: Kind Speech

Slow Zen: Asura Dharma: Love Words

4. *Action: This follows the same line as I wrote for communication, If I do something for or to someone it also affects me.

* These two, action and communication, are the hardest for me to follow in practice. I have harped on them in the past because of this.

5. Livelihood: To me service to others is the highest calling, and I view my current vocation as such. It has not always been the case. Aside: when I first joined the Marine Corps circa 1990 I really was a cliché; when the first Gulf War was on and I wanted to be the first kid on my block with a confirmed kill ala Full Metel jacket. As fate or karma or whatever would have it; I missed that war.

6. Effort: Thankfully, the Marine Corps has blessed me with the gift of self discipline.
Strangely the way to develop self discipline is through self discipline. So I suppose I am kind of lucky in this aspect. If I make up my mind to make an effort, I do. The making up my mind in the first place is sometimes a challenge though.

7. Cognition: (Staying away from that mindfulness word.) To me cognition is about how I choose to deal with sensory input.

8. Concentration: The core of my practice really. ZaZen, SuiZen, dish washing Zen, Taking care of the kids Zen, Wii bowling Zen.


I would enjoy other peoples thought doodles on this subject; to compare notes and whatnot.

With deference to all,
Jordan

10 comments:

Harry said...

Hello Jordan,

Yes, seems idealistic to me in spots but then, if you really feel its the right way to proceed, what is counter-intuitive about that?

Clarify the mind (which informs and is supported by) trying to do what we know to be right... that's how it boils down for me at the moment (that and remembering with a little humour that we are prone to making mistakes!)

Regards,

Harry.

Jordan said...

Hi Harry,

Clarify the mind (which informs and is supported by) trying to do what we know to be right... that's how it boils down for me at the moment (that and remembering with a little humour that we are prone to making mistakes!)

Yes! I think that is a wonderful expression!

Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts.

Take care,
Jordan

Carol said...

I love this post, Jordan. And I love how you've changed with the years! I love seeing you being so positive. It gives me hope.

Love,

Mom

Yamakoa said...

Hola Jordan,
I really appreciate your last couple of posts.

I also get the feeling that a lot of what afflicts us comes from not being totally present in the moment
(or that is how I interpreted one of your previous posts).

Right action. Aghh. Just yesterday I had the chance to do something nice for somebody and I flunked. I don't know if this may be the hardest of all, but I believe it is the one "step" with the most impact in the world.

People who are truly caring and compassionate impress me way more than gurus and zen masters that are assholes. I would go on to say that unless one truly manifests compassion in this world all your intellectual, metaphysical and religious acumen are not worth the soiled toilet paper that you discard. This is highly idealistic on my part, but I think that is why buddhism put such a premium on developing wisdom. One can be highly learned and capable but be an intellectual dilettant. One can be caring and yet be a fool. Developing the eightfold path I think leads to true wisdom.

PS - Three or Four days ago, while in Japan a tea ceremony was arranged for me. It was quite beautiful. And tasty too!

Take care,
Yamakoa

Jordan said...

Mom, I enjoyed our conversation last night. Thanks for the comments!

Love
Jordan

Jordan said...

Yamakoa,

a lot of what afflicts us comes from not being totally present in the moment

That too, but it may be imposable to be totally in the present moment, and also imposable to not be totally in the present moment. I think part of us is always dwelling and part of us is always anticipating but we are also right here all the time too. Whoa!

But I think the moral of the story is not to dwell on the past to much or anticipate the future to much and pay attention to the road in front of your face. At least that is the lesson I am re-learning over and over again.

People who are truly caring and compassionate impress me way more than gurus and zen masters that are assholes. I would go on to say that unless one truly manifests compassion in this world all your intellectual, metaphysical and religious acumen are not worth the soiled toilet paper that you discard. This is highly idealistic on my part, but I think that is why buddhism put such a premium on developing wisdom. One can be highly learned and capable but be an intellectual dilettant. One can be caring and yet be a fool. Developing the eightfold path I think leads to true wisdom.

I think we are all compassionate caring people, gurus, zen masters, and assholes.

Developing the eightfold path I think leads to true wisdom.

I think so too.

Glad you were able to be served some tea.

If your back in Florida now, please take care and try and keep above water.

Jordan

Anonymous said...

I read the following and thought of you, Jordan. Then I thought maybe you'd like to see it. So, here it is. Enjoy!
Lloyd

Zen sayings of the day

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me for the path is narrow. In fact, just bugger off and leave me alone.

2. Sex is like air. It's not important unless you aren't getting any.

3. No one is listening until you fart.

4. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.

5. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

6. If you think nobody cares whether you're alive or dead, try missing a couple of mortgage payments.

7. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

Jordan said...

Uncle Lloyd,

Thanks, it is always nice to start the day with a smile!

Jordan

Mike Cross said...

Hi Jordan,

Spontaneous thought doodlings as requested:

"Beware the devil that is concentration" is a saying I have heard in Alexander work.

A student of Alexander's named Frank Pierce Jones suggested the word "un-concentration." But that probably works better as a translation of no. 7, smrti -- on a par maybe with "non-mindfulness."

Then how to translate the word "samadhi"? Before that, how to understand it?

Master Dogen said that just to sit in the full lotus posture is the samadhi that is king of samadhis. But is just sitting a kind of concentrating?

Energetically, maybe it is a kind of temporary uphill diversion of energy, obstructing the 2nd law of thermodynamics which predicts that energy will tend to spread out eventually into a less concentrated state. So maybe in that sense concentration is OK. But the Chinese character they chose for Samadhi is JO or TEI, as in TEISHOKU -- fixed menu. That character suggests something stable, unmoving, constant, still. So if I had to choose a word for no. 8, I would go with stillness.

Jordan said...

Mike,
Thank you for sharing your spontaneous thought doodlings.

My sitting has not been very unmoving lately. Bodily I sit in the full lotus posture, but my mind has been running sprints. Today I think being still takes a lot of concentration, and I don't really bother trying to concentrate at all. Last week, sitting was quite still and took no concentration at all. Really joyful ease. Tonight will be different too.

I do not know.

the word "Still", I think is nice. Perhaps tonight my sitting will be still.

Take care,
Jordan

Thanks for looking!