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Buddhism

Step 4: Made a decision to follow the Eightfold path.

Principle: Courage

The Precepts, the Hindrances and the Eightfold Path are all available for taking inventory. Classic Buddhist inventory uses the training precepts. These are the fundamental moral principles the Buddha taught to avoid creating negative karma. This step requires making a decision to follow the Buddhist path of liberation by taking refuge in the practice of wakefulness, truth and fellowship.

The Eightfold path is a series of steps developed by the Buddha which, if followed, will result in an "awakening," much like the 12 Steps. The only criteria necessary to follow the path is a sincere desire for lasting happiness and a commitment to do the work (the practices).

The path is divided into three practice areas:

  1. Wisdom - Right View and Right Intention
  2. Morality - Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood
  3. Concentration - Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration

The path is designed to help us address our harmful habitual mental and physical patterns which we have developed during our lifetime. It requires practicing new skills with persistence. If successful, we will find ourselves living a more virtuous life, feeling more serene and awakened to a higher understanding of consciousness.

Text or Verse

Those who are pure in heart and single in purpose are able to understand the most supreme Way. It is like polishing a mirror, which becomes bright when the dust is removed.
The Dhammapada

Looking within, finding stillness - free from fear, free from attachment - know the sweet joy of the Way.
The Dhammapada

The Way is not in the sky. The Way is in the heart.
The Buddha

Practice

  1. I undertake the training Precept to refrain from harming or killing all living beings.
  2. I undertake the training Precept to refrain from stealing and taking that which is not mine (over-consumption).
  3. I undertake the training Precept to refrain from causing harm through sexual misconduct.
  4. I undertake the training Precept to refrain from harmful speech.
  5. I undertake the training Precept to refrain from the misuse of intoxicants and substances that cause the loss of awareness and dull the mind.

Resources

Mapping the Dharma: A Concise Guide to the Middle Way of the Buddha (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

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