The Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddha is an 8-limbed model of yoga practice. In this episode, Pobsa situates the Buddha's yoga path in the context of other models from 4 to 15 limbs (anga). An example of the Buddha's pedagogical creativity is that he offers these eight limbs in two different formulations: as the Noble Eightfold Path, but also as the Threefold Training and the difference in the ordering of the limbs itself is a teaching!
The Eightfold Path begins with the two limbs associated with wisdom (prajna) to signify that there is wisdom behind one's decision to enter upon the path. Then there limbs of ethical training (sila) follows, showing that the heart, so to speak, of the path is the ethical commitment to non-harming (ahimsa) which itself prepares the mind for the deeper practices of meditation (samadhi) which make up the final three limbs of the path.
Howegver, as the Threefold Training, we begin with sila as ethical training is the foundation of practice as well as permeating the other trainings. Sila sets us up for meditative training (samadhi) in order to access and cultivate greater, liberating wisdom (prajna).
The image below shows the Threefold Training read left to right and the Eightfold Path read from the bottom to the top of the image. Note: This image uses the Pali terminology so the Sanskrit for wisdom prajna here is panna.
In this second episode of Pobsa's Dharma Lounge, the beautiful practice of dana is explored. As a form of "gift exchange," the practice of dana may be one of the most anti-capitalist forms of exchange based upon joy and not commodification. For many raised in the consumerist cultures of the west, to break out of a "fee for service" mentality can prove quite challenging and yet also amazingly liberating.
The podcast is an example of dana as I do not take any advertising or sponsorship and there is no exclusive content only for "patrons" or "members." If you wish to share your support of this project, whether as a one-time offering or as a periodic sharing, you can be assured that all dana will be received gratefully!
In this first episode, I present an introduction of myself and my background, as well as an overview of what to expect from this podcast: mostly short episodes looking at a particular Buddhist teaching or practice; occasional conversations with other teachers and practitioners; and very occasional "salons" where a group of teachers and/or practitioners will discuss some theme related to Dharma.
I also argue that there is no one alive that is offering "original" Buddhism as all forms of Buddhism currently practiced are various interpretations of texts written down hundreds of years after the Buddha's death and even at the time of his death, there were already a variety of interpretations being offered.
When I first came to Buddhist practice, a metaphor of a "Tree of Buddhism" was offered, with one root in "original Buddhism" and then a trunk with diverging branches. But now, we know that there is no single root and that a more accurate metaphor is of braided streams. For more about this, you may wish to read the first essay, "Whose Buddhism is Truest" in this free pdf from Linda Heuman: Shifting the Ground We Stand On