The Path(s) to Awakening

The Eightfold Noble Path

Although this path can be developed and pursued by anyone at anytime, especially by associating with admirable/spiritual friends (SN45.2); it is only the stream-enterer (sotāpanna) who is truly on the path.
SN55.5 “This noble eightfold path…is the stream”

  1. sammā diṭṭhi
  2. sammā saṅkappo
  3. sammā vācā
  4. sammā kammanto
  5. sammā ājīvo
  6. sammā vāyāmo
  7. sammā sati
  8. sammā samādhi

A Tenfold Path?

[9.] sammā ñāṇa
[10.] sammā vimutti

tenfold path wiki entry

The Eightfold Noble Path (in detail)


  1. sammā diṭṭhi
  • dukkhe ñāṇaṃ
  • dukkhasamudaye ñāṇaṃ
  • dukkhanirodhe ñāṇaṃ
  • duk­kha­nirodha­gāminiyā paṭipadāya ñāṇaṃ
  1. sammā saṅkappo
  • nekkhamma saṅkappa
  • abyapāda saṅkappa
  • avihiṃsa saṅkappa
  1. sammā vācā
  • musāvādā veramaṇī
  • pisuṇāya vācāya veramaṇī
  • pharusāya vācāya veramaṇī
  • samphappalāpā veramaṇī
  1. sammā kammanto
  • pāṇātipātā veramaṇī
  • adinnādānā veramaṇī
  • abrahmacariyā veramaṇī
  1. sammā ājīvo
  • ariyasāvako micchāājīvaṃ pahāya sammāājīvena jīvitaṃ kappeti
  1. sammā vāyāmo
  • anuppannānaṃ pāpakānaṃ akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ anuppādāya
  • uppannānaṃ pāpakānaṃ akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ pahānāya
  • anuppannānaṃ kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ uppādāya
  • uppannānaṃ kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ ṭhitiyā
  1. sammā sati
  • kāyānupassanā
  • vedanānupassanā
  • cittānupassanā
  • dhammānupassanā
  1. sammā samādhi
  • paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ
  • dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ
  • tatiyaṃ jhānaṃ
  • catutthaṃ jhānaṃ

Three Pillars of Dhamma / Three Meritorious Actions (for laypeople?)

  • dāna (generosity, gift-giving and gratitude)
  • sīla (moral practice, virtuous conduct)
  • bhāvanā (cultivation/development — meditation)

Three Constituents of the Path

[mn44] — Dhammadinnā, an Arahant Nun, answers a layman’s questions on the Dhamma.
The Noble Eightfold Path is comprised within the three constituents (and not the other way around):

  • Virtue Constituent

  • Right Speech

  • Right Action

  • Right Livelihood

  • Samādhi Constituent

  • Right Endeavor

  • Right Mindfulness

  • Right Samādhi

  • Wisdom Constituent

  • Right View

  • Right Aim

Threefold Higher Trainings (for monastics)


  • adhisīla-sikkhā (the training in higher morality/virtue)
  • restraining oneself according to the patimokkha, seeing danger in the slightest fault
  • adhicitta-sikkhā (the training in higher mind)
  • the four jhānas
  • adhipaññā-sikkhā (the training in higher wisdom)
  • destroying the āsavas

The Gradual Training

pdf of the Suttas on the topic of the Gradual Training
there are many versions of the gradual training in the suttas, these are the major steps that occur most frequently:

  • gaining faith/confidence in the teaching and going forth (into the monastic order)
  • moral training and virtuous conduct
  • guarding the senses
  • satisampajañña
  • contentment with little (contentment with the four requisites or basic needs)
  • overcoming the 5 hindrances
  • jhāna
  • destruction of the taints

The satta bojjhaṅgā (7 Enlightenment Factors)

these are factors leading to awakening [sn46.5]

yoniso manasikāra (root of all 7 factors) SN46.13
ayoniso manasikāra as root of all 5 hindrances, conversely, yoniso manasikāra as root of all 7 Enlightenment Factors sn46.24

  • sati
  • dhamma vicaya
  • viriya
  • pīti
  • passaddhi
  • samādhi
  • upekkha

these are sequential?

sati [is the first factor and] is always useful
for overcoming sloth & torpor - dhamma vicaya, viriya, pīti
for overcoming restlessness & worry - passaddhi, samādhi, upekkha

5 Spiritual Senses/Faculties

  • Faith/Confidence/Trust (saddha)
  • Vigor (viriya)
  • Mindfulness (sati)
  • Samādhi
  • Wisdom (pañña)

“tuning” the spiritual faculties [an6.55]

5fold sequence leading to samādhi


Can someone help me with the Right View factor? I think the other details I have listed in the detailed 8FNP are pretty straightforward, but I think what I have there currently for Right View might be incomplete.

in MN 9 distinguishing between wholesome and unwholesome which forms the basis of following the precepts is also classified as the Right view

then there’s the stock formula of mainly the wrong view, from which the right view can be inferred, but which at a number of places appears also in positive mode explicitly describing the right one

He holds right view and has a correct perspective thus: There is what is given, sacrificed, and offered; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings spontaneously reborn; there are in the world ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.

AN 10.211, AN 10.216

to the satta bojjhanga i believe yoniso manasikara is worth being added as a precursor according to you own citation from SN 46.13

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Starting to think Right View might require a separate topic.

How about Right livelihood? I can’t seem to find any suttas where it’s stated in the positive, is it only defined negatively as not working in poisons, slaughter, etc?

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These two seem like resultant factors as opposed to causal factors.
I.e. it seems like one can develop the first eight factors, but cannot develop the latter two factors.
Developing the first eight factors seems to automatically lead to the latter two factors.

There is a "10fold path of sorts,’ but it seems to be called the 10 courses of right actions:

Yes, it is correct to say Right View, according to the SN/SA, is certainly more than the 4 noble truths (knowledge of suffering, knowledge of the arising of suffering, knowledge of the ceasing of suffering, and knowledge of way leading to the ceasing of suffering).

Right view in SN/SA for the development of wisdom (Pali: pa~n~ā, Sanskrit: praj~nā) also refers to fully knowing (jānāti) and seeing (passati) phenomena (the five aggregates or sense objects) as “they really are” (yathābhūtaṃ) as:

  • Impermanence (anicca), suffering (dukkha), and not-self (anatta)

  • The middle way (P. majjhima-pa.tipadaa, Skt. madhyama-pratipad).
    It is empty of the two extremes: existence (eternalism) and non-existence (nihilism), or the happiness of sense-pleasures and the suffering of self-mortification.

See Choong Mun-keat, The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism: A Comparative Study Based on the Sūtrāṅga portion of the Pāli Saṃyutta-Nikāya and the Chinese Saṃyuktāgama, pp. 53 (cf. 34), 60-62, 91, 192-195, 207-208, 210-211 (cf. sammaddasa indicated in the book’s Index, p. 269).

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Ven. Kaccayana Gotta approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: “Lord, ‘Right view, right view,’ it is said. To what extent is there right view?” Kaccayanagotta Sutta: To Kaccayana Gotta (on Right View)

If this link may be of interest: Dhamma Lists – Insight Meditation Center

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