8 Steps to Stop Suffering: Step 1 is…

June 3, 2024   |   6 Comments

Audio only version is here.
Meditation practice begins at 16:14.

Hello, wonderful Open Heart Project. I hope you are well and enjoying this series of videos on foundational Buddhist teachings. The idea here is not to make you (or anyone) into “Buddhists” but to draw from this extraordinary wisdom what can be applied to your life.

In the last few weeks, we talked about the first three of the Four Noble Truths:

  1. How to accept the unacceptable (Life is suffering)
  2. How to stop grasping (The cause of suffering)
  3. The secret of unhappiness (Is the cessation of suffering possible — yes, it is)

This week, we move on to the fourth noble truth which is The Noble Eightfold Path. It describes the eight steps we can take to realize what it means to stop suffering. Then we can help others to stop suffering in a more direct way.

The eight steps along the path are:

  1. Right View
  2. Right Intention
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Concentration

In this video I offer a brief overview of the eightfold path (and how it is organized according to three categories: ethical conduct, living a mindful life, and true wisdom). (Many numbers!) And then go on to discuss what is meant by Right View.

Next video: Right Intention!

Thoughts? Love to hear them.

Much love,


PS Our wonderful friend of the Open Heart Project, Marisa Viola, is teaching a meditation immersion retreat July 12-16 at Shantigar in beautiful Western Massachusetts. Can’t recommend Marisa highly enough so if you’re in New England, this is totally worth checking out. All the details are here.

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  • Posted by:  Stephanie

    Thank you for “translating” Buddhist lingo into words that are understandable and relatable. In years past I tried to read books about Buddhism and when they would start talking about duality or other terms it was hard to know if I was the only one who did not follow what they were talking about in terms of what it meant to me as an individual. I appreciate you take it further than the lingo which takes a while to wrap one’s head around.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      so glad this resonates, Stephanie! <3 s

  • Posted by:  James

    Thank so much. Your teachings and meditations have been so helpful to me. I look forward to your Monday emails.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So glad to hear it, James! Susan

  • Posted by:  Obrian

    It is interesting when someone comes into a gathering that is based in action and stops the show by inquiring as to the ethical basis of the workings of (say the dmv). There may be considerations as to why that person who just arrived on the action scene should be attended to first. And, so everyone, including the next person in line, pauses to examine the reality of the person coming in. No one has done this for half of the other people in the line yet who think they, too, are very special people.

    I guess it is my rumination on why reflective wisdom as a path might irritate some people (me???oh no). From what I gather, all paths have positive and negative characteristics. Is overcoming duality, arriving at place of acceptance of all possible avenues of thought and behavior in such a manner as we no longer find them either good or bad, positive or negative etc.?

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      I share your ruminations and appreciate them, Donna. If we could manage acceptance, that would be great. In the meantime, we could accept our inability to accept. It’s always good to start where we are. <3 S

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