A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Honest it’s not a course on Cognitive Psychology

I was asked why I talk about everyday actions, instead of discussing a sutra or mantra and delving into the meanings. I try to include the teaching in my blog, as part of everyday living. For example, The Nobel Eightfold Path, also known as the Dharma Wheel, is meant to be part of our daily life. These are grouped into three divisions, wisdom, ethical conduct and concentration, or in Mahayana Buddhism, higher moral discipline, higher wisdom and higher concentration as these are part of the path leading to liberation or enlightenment. The three divisions are further divided. Wisdom is made up of right view and right thought. Ethical conduct consists of right speech, right action and right livelihood. Concentration consists of right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. All three should be developed concurrently if possible, and during our Dharma lecture after meditation class, we are frequently reminded knowledge must be applied to be useful and effective. Meditation, reading tend to be solitary aspects of practicing Buddhism, in my blog I try to highlight how living as a learning Buddhist I can apply it, or find that knowledge from other sources or applications. Read the stories about the scientists who helped build the world’s first atomic bombs, the theory was intriguing, useful and exciting, however afterwards many had grave doubts about the application of this knowledge. If you survey most prisoners, they were all exposed to a moral code as children, but for whatever reason chose not to apply it in their daily life. Knowledge must go hand in hand with application. All eight parts of the dharma wheel should turn at the same speed for best advancement. I will attempt to not make it feel like you’re taking Cognitive Psychology as I cover the lessons we have received from the Buddha.

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