Truth of the Path

Pink FrangipaniThe methods of training for the liberation from all suffering are applied by following the Noble Eightfold Path of Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Living, Right Exertion, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration of Mind. The Noble Eightfold Path consists of three types of training summed up in: virtuous conduct (sila), concentration (samadhi) and wisdom (pañña). This is the truth of the way that leads to the cessation of suffering.

The prevalence of suffering and absence of freedom and happiness is due to man’s subjection to the three roots of all unskill and evil, and all unwholesome actions (akusalakamma), viz. lust, hatred and delusion (lobha, dosa, moha).

Virtuous conduct casts out lust. The calm of true concentration and mental culture conquers hatred. Wisdom or right understanding, also called direct knowledge resulting from meditation, dispels all delusion. All these three types of training are possible only through the cultivation of constant mindfulness (sati), which forms the seventh link of the Noble Eightfold Path. Mindfulness is called a controlling faculty (indriya) and a spiritual power (bala), and is also the first of the seven factors of enlightenment (satta bojjhanga).[2] Right Mindfulness (samma-sati) has to be present in every skillful or karmically wholesome thought moment (kusalacitta). It is the basis of all earnest endeavor (appamada) for liberation, and maintains in us the sense of urgency to strive for enlightenment or Nibbana.

[2] See Piyadassi Thera, The Seven Factors of Enlightenment (BPS Wheel No. 1).

Source: The above three paragraphs were excerpted from “The Foundations of Mindfulness: Satipatthana Sutta”, translated by Nyanasatta Thera. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013, .

©1993 Buddhist Publication Society.

You may copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available free of charge and, in the case of reprinting, only in quantities of no more than 50 copies; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work. Otherwise, all rights reserved. Documents linked from this page may be subject to other restrictions. The Wheel Publication No. 19 (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1993). Transcribed from the print edition in 1994 under the auspices of the DharmaNet Dharma Book Transcription Project, with the kind permission of the Buddhist Publication Society. Last revised for Access to Insight on 30 November 2013.


The Fourth Noble Truth:

The Path Leading to the End of Dissatisfaction and Suffering

The Fourth Noble Truth is the Way, the Path leading to the end of dissatisfaction and suffering.

By following and practicing the Noble Eightfold Path—Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration—we will overcome our dissatisfaction and suffering.

Following this Path, also known as the Noble Middle Path, we avoid the extremes of searching for happiness through a life of indulgence in desire and sensual pleasure, or the opposite extreme of trying to gain happiness or liberation by tormenting one’s body and mind through unreasonable, unprofitable, and painful forms of spiritual austerity (self-mortification).

The Noble Eightfold Path is the Way to the end of suffering; the Middle Way that leads to peace, discernment, supreme happiness, perfect wisdom, enlightenment, and Nirvana.

Insight into the Fourth Noble Truth: No matter how profound our conceptual knowledge of the Path may be, this will not be sufficient for true accomplishment. It is essential that we follow, cultivate, and practice the Path with diligence, sincerity, and full confidence.

Source: SourcePoint Global Outreach, The Heart of Dharma Collection (Mount Shasta, CA: Naljor Prison Dharma Service, n.d.)