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Following Ryuho Okawa’s renowned work, The Essence of Buddha (IRH Press 2016), The True Eightfold Path: Guideposts for Self-Innovation explains how we can apply the Eightfold Path, one of the main pillars of Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings, as everyday guideposts in the modern-age to achieve self-innovation to live better and make positive changes in this era of uncertainty.
Chapter 1, Introduction describes the meaning of self-reflection and its precondition. This chapter presents the fundamental themes of ‘what is a human being?’, ‘how did we come into being?’, and ‘how we can achieve true happiness?’ The author explains the path of self-reflection as an essential part of the Principle of Happiness – The Fourfold Path of Love, Wisdom, Self-reflection, and Progress.
In the following eight chapters, from Chapter 2 to Chapter 9, Okawa explains each path of the Buddhist teachings of the Eightfold Path with a deep spiritual understanding. Each chapter also gives useful advise concerning the practice of wisdom in our daily lives.
Chapter 2, Right View gives insights to look at ourselves, others and our surroundings from multiple viewpoints so that we can help our spiritual awakening and improve relationships. We might think that we are not expected to be held responsible in how we look at the world, but Okawa explains that we have full responsibility for perceiving the world that is created by God.
Chapter 3, Right Thought is the focal point of the Eightfold Path, as what we think determines who we are. Here, the author provides the criteria to discern ourselves whether we are thinking rightly from the eyes of Buddha, or God. Okawa explains the three practical checkpoints of Right Thought.
Chapter 4, Right Speech gives practical ideas of how we can practice self-reflection, as what we speak is the result of how we see ourselves, others and the world, and how we think. In this chapter we can realize the importance of practicing Right Speech, as happiness or unhappiness is largely determined by what comes out from our mouth.
Chapter 5, Right Action deals extensively with today’s work life. Unlike the world when Shakyamuni Buddha lived more than 2,600 years ago, the modern world gives us a variety of opportunities through work, but also difficulties related to busy lives and economic issues. Spiritual seekers today cannot pursue only meditative lives but can also find ways to improve spirituality in business life. In this chapter you will find positive meaning in work, how to achieve success and attain spiritual progress.
Chapter 6, Right Living focuses on the right way of spending time and what lifestyle we may choose. Each and every person is equal in the face of time, as everyone without exception is given 24 hours a day. How we spend time determines our success or failure, not only in a worldly way but also in terms of spiritual progress.
Chapter 7, Right Effort explains the effort necessary to progress in the path to attain enlightenment. As the author explained in his former book, The Essence of Buddha, enlightenment is not easily achieved and difficult to maintain. He gives advice to continue Right Effort to upkeep any level of enlightenment we may have achieved.
Chapter 8 Right Will highlights the positive meaning of self-reflection. Usually self-reflection is connected to repentance for past sins and wrongdoings, but Okawa also talks about Right Will in relation to the path of Progress. When we think about something strongly and continuously, this concentrated thought becomes will, and this will power is the key to create a positive future. This subject is explained in a variety of ways based on examples and the author’s experiences.
Chapter 9, Right Meditation begins with the importance of peace of mind in the pursuit of happiness. Nowadays meditation is popular everywhere as we wish to achieve inner peace, but there is no established method of measuring the achievement of meditation. Okawa explains the methods of practicing meditation rightly based on the Eightfold Path and what we can expect as a result of right meditation, in relation to receiving inspiration from the higher spiritual worlds.
Chapter 10, General Description sums up the methods of self-reflection and purpose of the True Eightfold Path. Firstly, the True Eightfold Path is taught in a way that people living in this modern world can practice. Secondly, the True Eightfold Path gives specific, not abstract guideposts of spiritual discipline. Thirdly, the True Eightfold Path is the principle of making this world into an ideal world, Utopia, as it realizes inner peace within an individual, and spreads to fill this world with Light.
In this comprehensive and practical guide, The True Eightfold Path is imbued with wisdom and power to bring out the potential of our souls to the fullest and transform our personalities into virtuous leaders to help guide others. That’s why the Eightfold Path is called a ‘treasure for humanity’.
List Price: $16.95
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: IRH Press (March 30, 2021)