This is the Middle Path which the Perfect One discovered and expounded, which gives rise to vision and knowledge, which leads to peace, wisdom, enlightenment, and nibbana – the Noble Eightfold Path:
1. Right Understanding: of suffering, of its origin, of its cessation, of the way leading to the cessation of suffering.
2. Right Intention: of renunciation, free from craving; of good will, free from aversion; of compassion, free from cruelty.
3. Right Speech: abstaining from false speech, abstaining from malicious speech, abstaining from harsh speech, abstaining from useless speech.
4. Right Action: abstaining from taking life, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from sexual misconduct.
5. Right Livelihood: giving up wrong livelihood, one earns one’s living by a right form of livelihood.
6. Right effort: to prevent unarisen unwholesome evil states of mind from arising by making effort, stirring up energy and exerting mind.
To abandon unwholesome evil states of mind that have already arisen by making effort, stirring up energy and exerting mind;
To develop wholesome mental states that have not yet arisen by making effort, stirring up energy and exerting mind. To maintain and perfect wholesome mental states already arisen and not to allow them to disappear, but to bring them to growth, to maturity and to the full perfection of development by making effort, stirring up energy and exerting mind.
7. Right mindfulness: mindful contemplation of the body, mindful contemplation of feelings, mindful contemplation of the mind, mindful contemplation of mental objects.
8. Right Concentration: Quite secluded from sense pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states of mind one enters and dwells in the first jhana (meditative absorbtion), which is accompanied by applied thought and sustained thought with rapture and happiness born of seclusion.
With the subsiding of applied thought and sustained thought one enters and dwells in the second jhana, which has internal confidence and unification of mind, is without applied and sustained thought, is filled with rapture and happiness born of concentration.
With the fading away of rapture, one dwells in equanimity, mindful and discerning; and one experiences in one’s own person that happiness of which the noble ones say: ‘Happily lives one who is equanimous and mindful’ – thus one enters and dwells in the third jhana.
With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous disappearance of joy and grief, one enters and dwells in the fourth jhana, which has neither-pain-nor-pleasure and has purity of mindfulness due to equanimity.