Basics of Buddhism: The Noble Eightfold Path (Step Four)

March 1, 2021   |   16 Comments

Audio-only version is here.
Meditation practice begins at 20:55

Dear Open Heart Project,

I’m so happy to send you the fourth video in our eight video series on the noble eightfold path of Buddhism. We have already discussed Right View, Right Intention, and Right Speech. Today we discuss Right Action. Interestingly, right action has more to do with what we do not do than anything else. Please have a listen and let me know what you think! I always love to hear from you.

The discussion ends with a guided 10-minute meditation.

Hope you are well! See you in two weeks.

Love, Susan

P.S. Please join Buddhist teacher and author, Michael Carroll, for a five week program, starting on April 12th: Lending a Hand: Avalokitesvara and the Art of Mind Protection. This program is FREE! Sign up here. Program description:

The traditional Buddhist image of compassion is the many armed Bodhisattva, Avalokitesvara, whose nature is to “lend a hand” to those who suffer: to nourish, inspire, heal, and protect. But how does such compassion work?  When life presents us with demanding challenges that can be disheartening, captivating and at times terrifying, is it possible to “protect” ourselves and others from such challenges or is such a prospect futile? During this 5-session program, we will explore the principle of “mind protection” and how the skillful means of Avalokitesvara can offer us insight into living a more compassionate and fulfilled life.


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  • Posted by:  Irene Klay

    Thank you for these lessons. Although I am a third generation American of Japanese decent, and speak fluent Japanese, I was never exposed to Buddhist teachings until now. I find your lessons meaningful and comforting. I have been sharing these videos with my friends. Thank you very much for teaching us!
    With great appreciation,

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Hi Irene. I’m so glad our paths crossed and our minds are mixing in this rich way! Warmly, Susan

  • Posted by:  Marsha J Gehl

    Thank You Susan!

    Your presence is felt as very natural and authentic, very refreshing.
    Your teachings are concise and meaningful, greatly appreciated.

    Blessings to you!

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Many thanks, Marsha! Your kind words are also appreciated. Warmly, S

  • Posted by:  Kevin J Waters

    Susan, so glad to with you once again…. The 4th. step of the 8 foldpath, Each Time I listen to your, &, others Explanation’s it makes it a little easer for me to understand / or not, But surely helps when “Teaching / Learning Moments Arise ! Right Action, it’s Inportant to me to hear more about, the ( the non action) Aspect. It took some time, and Events to begin to see the wisdom, of both sides of this truth. I came to a point where I had to Seriously Look at my Daily Life Activites, My AM. readings, belief’s ( one might say Attachments), my Spiritual truths,&, Path, in order to simply begin to see this Wisdom….. These Talks / Reminders help me Keep A Balance in my “World” Thank you Again, Namaste

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Always nice to hear from you, Kevin! Glad we remain in touch on these very important topics Warmly, S

  • Posted by:  Virginia Mitchell

    Oh, Susan, this teaching is bursting with richness and complexity, for sure worthy of my repeat listening. I can never hear teaching on 8 fold path enough.
    Karma related to past lives – a concept I cannot, yet, understand. Your story of physical recovery, and your intention to persevere for benefit of future lives – phew – lot to absorb. Thank you, as always.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Thank you as always, too, Virginia! Wishing you well in all your explorations With love, S

  • Posted by:  Bernie

    Hi Susan,
    I have been a member of the Open Heart Project for many years and have listened to your presentations on The Noble Eightfold Path in the past.

    Perhaps my readiness to absorb has increased or perhaps your presentations are richer and more extensive, or both, but I’m finding this series to be more intensive and moving. Your willingness to share about your accident and bout with Hepatitis C, and the vulnerability you displayed, drove the meaning of the topic home and personalized it. So Thank You. Namaste

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So wonderful to read this, Bernie. Very glad we continue to practice together. So much to share and discover! With love, Susan

  • Posted by:  Jennifer Goodine Goodine

    Thank you for your candor, always! Your personal touch to the dharma helps it land more deeply for me. I’m so glad you survived all those odds. Oddly, I am also bearing some very weird odds around auto immune hepatitis and so we are purifying our lives in sync! Wishing you good health for all of your days and thank you for sharing your brilliant mind and heart with us!

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Jennifer, thanks so much for taking the time to comment and I send all my best wishes for your good health! May we purify for the benefit of all beings. With love, Susan

    • Posted by:  Kiesha Battles

      agree, appreciate your sharing your experiences which are teachings in themselves

  • Posted by:  Delia

    Thank you so much Susan for your teachings and for sharing your experiences with us with such a sincere kindness. I have been following your videos and receiving your emails with joy for a few years and I never get tired of listening to your explanations of Buddhism. You make it so easy to understand even if I need to listen again and again to the same concepts in order to make them gradually part of my life. I feel it is a very long and winding path, but I enjoy following it with your guide.
    With gratitude,
    Delia (from Italy)

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Delia, what a delight to read these words! Many thanks and I am very happy we are on the long and winding path together. With love, Susan

  • Posted by:  Becky Lyon

    Thank you so much for your courageous story Susan! After studying public health in Ontario I’ve been working in a nonprofit in blood borne disease, specifically hepatitis C since 2018.
    Overcoming interferon treatment is a feat and I’m so grateful that you shared your story. Interestingly my aunt had hepatitis C when it was only identified as non-A non-B. Please know that your stories are powerful and important to help us all feel connected. I’ve been listening to you since 2012 and on a personal level your lessons and generosity have helped me get to where I needed to be. It’s funny that the synergies of life can only reveal itself in time.

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