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I'm pretty new to Buddhism, so I'm not very knowledgeable about what's most commonly considered as the path towards enlightenment. I already have a pretty subjective idea of it - I have to unify my mind through rigorous and diligent meditation in order to create fruitful conditions in which insightful experiences would emerge from, subsequently leading into enlightenment.

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The 8fold path. Though the 8fold path can be further divided into the 3 higher trainings.

  1. Morality (sila)
  2. Concentration, or Mindfullness (sati)
  3. Wisdom (prajna)

There are different versions, translations etc of the actual path, though the 8fold path itself is what the Buddha himself taught. My above explanation is intentionally vague as there is a more deeper understanding of Buddhas teachings that are more complex and can only be understood by practice, so me explaining them here would be a waste.

Essentially Buddhas teachings are kind of like a jigsaw puzzle of understanding, that the concepts once studied, cannot often be completely understood until later when you have practised other concepts which gain you a further understanding of the original concept.

As for the 3 higher trainings. The point of the practice is that it is a means to an end, the end being the widsdom we can gain, but we can often only gain this wisdom through gradual progression. The progression starting with morality which cleans your mental processes of regret and further transgression, which allows you to live with few distractions and in turn gain mindfulness of the present moment always, where actual reality is, and with this experience you can gain ability for further complexities in formal meditation sessions to be able to gain more concentration and eventually wisdom of the more complex concepts, like sunyata and the 4 noble truths.

When it comes to a more systematic study process of the teachings, Firstly I would suggest to seek actual help IRL from Buddhist monks, known as refuge in sangha. This website is neither a key place for personal help, but is more of a source of reference for questions.

Secondly I would suggest you to study Buddhas teachings systematically. From starting with the key concepts, to practical trainings, to then more comprehensive understanding of the entirety of Buddhas teachings.

Teachings order I would probably suggest:

  • 4 Noble truths
  • 8 fold path
  • 3 marks of existence
  • As well as karma and rebirth

Then probably you will have doubts and would need advice on to what you are finding hard to understand. Using what you need to study to sate the doubts, which again you would benefit more from personal advice.

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  • Thank you a lot for the useful insights!
    – zeozea
    Apr 7 at 18:18
  • There is also this bodhimonastery.org/… if you don't have any help you can find locally, Bikkhu Body is a monk who is about systematic study, he has a YT channel and goes through each concept or section of the canonical texts, though that link I just posted it more about actual practical advice on how to actually practice.
    – Remyla
    Apr 7 at 18:21
  • Bikkhu Bodhi idk why i completely misspelt his name
    – Remyla
    Apr 7 at 19:28
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The Buddhist Path is comprised of Three Trainings.

  1. Morality
  2. Concentration
  3. Insight

Morality is non-harming. Morality is not blindly following rules but is understanding with wisdom that the moral precepts result in non-harming of oneself and not-harming of others.

When the mind has a clear conscience & joy in knowing clearly it is not harming one-self and not harming others, then the mind will be able to concentrate because the mind is free from the obstructive distracting discursive vexatious mental states that are caused by immorality and the mind is also free from obstructive ignorant desires, particularly ignorant obstructive sexual desires, such as thinking it is OK to have casual uncommitted (unmarried) sex or OK to watch porn.

When the mind can concentrate, it will attain a basic level of satifying calm & joy. From this basic calm & joy, the path will develop further, with more advanced deepr calm & joy and also with liberating insight.

In Buddhism, another name for the Path is "brahmacariya"; which means no porn, no illicit sex. The scriptures say: "The goal, heartwood and final end of the brahmacariya is the unshakable freedom of heart". (MN 29).

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  • The last paragraph might include a mistranslation. brahmacariya means "the religious life", which may mean "life as a monk or nun, or with monks or nuns" and (I believe) implies no sex at all. Conversely, "mo illicit sex" is an interpretation of Kamesu-micchacara -- it's a difference between the Five Precepts and the Eight Precepts.
    – ChrisW
    Apr 8 at 18:42
  • Yes, brahmacariya means celibacy. the Noble Eightfold Path is a celibate path, per the Right Action component. Have you not read about the Noble Eighfold Path? Therefore, why would what i wrote be contrary to the Path? Apr 8 at 20:28
  • "No illicit sex" is from the five precepts, conversely "brahmacariya" is from the eight precepts and from the vinaya and is associated with "no sex at all" (though I think it means more than "no sex" i.e. it's "the religious life").
    – ChrisW
    Apr 9 at 3:33
  • Maybe but sexual morality has more hope than the hopeless sexual immorality. Apr 9 at 4:07
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What's the path towards enlightenment?

I think it's traditionally taught as starting with the 4 Noble Truths, of which the fourth enumerates the Noble Eightfold Way.

I say "traditionally taught as starting with" because it's said that this was the first doctrine of the Buddha after his enlightenment.

I have to unify my mind through rigorous and diligent meditation in order to create fruitful conditions in which insightful experiences would emerge from, subsequently leading into enlightenment.

Maybe. There's another theory which says that it's to do with remembering or being mindful of the Buddha's Dhamma (doctrine).

Maybe it's sometimes taken for granted (e.g. by Buddhist teachers of meditation) that you know that doctrine -- but if you don't then, how can you remember it? An important advantage we have is that the Buddha already discovered and explained it well -- so it should be easier for us than it was for him, who had to develop those "liberating insights" for himself without being taught them.

Perhaps I'm wrong but what I'd call a "fruitful condition" or "insightful experience" might be seeing how an experience matches or can be explained according to what I know of the doctrine.

There are different schools of Buddhism. I don't know but maybe "Zen" might emphasise "rigorous and diligent meditation", instead of ... book-learning? But someone on this site said something like that they did a lot of Zen to begin with, which only made more sense after they studied the suttas also.

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  • While the teachings of the Buddha started with the 1st turning of the wheel of dharma, stating the 4 noble truths, only the 4th noble truth, which IS the 8fold path is really a practice. The former 3 are what need to be understood by practising the 4th. The 4th noble truth is the path. Also remember the Buddha was speaking to men skilled already in things as jhana meditation. You try to explain the 1st and 2nd noble truths to a complete unknowing lay person and they may get depressed and find disdain for the teachings. Hence why the 4th noble truth is the more adequate thing to teach.
    – Remyla
    Apr 8 at 21:19
  • It's the first three that I find acutely helpful. But its being difficult to explain to some people may be my experience too, see e.g. this question.
    – ChrisW
    Apr 9 at 3:36

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