The tenfold path!


Dear Venerable ,

Continuing from the thread of “can an arahant against bhikkhuni ordination” ?
So , the right insight and right liberation is after the right concentration of 8 fold path ?
But , the first two of the tevijja of the right insight is not necessary for liberation !?

Ps .(from your given link)
Presentation 1 - The Tenfold Path

  1. sammā-diṭṭhi(right view)
  2. sammā-saṅkappa(right aspiration)
  3. sammā-vācā(right speech)
  4. sammā-kammanta(right action)
  5. sammā-ājīva(right livelihood)
  6. sammā-vāyāma(right effort)
  7. sammā-sati(right mindfulness)
  8. sammā-samādhi(right concentration)
  9. sammā-ñāṇa(right insight)
  10. sammā-vimutti (right liberation)

The doctrine promoted by the famous commentator Buddhaghosa (and probably later interpolated into MN 44) that sammā-diṭṭhi and sammā-saṅkappa are paññā is certainly mistaken. This is confirmed by the additional recognition of the three insights(ñāṇā) of the tevijjā(which come after samādhi)as paññā .

#1 says clearly that the stages are sequential and all of these texts confirm that the three trainings are to be carried out in the order that they are traditionally learnt: sīla, samādhi, paññā. Therefore we cannot identify sammā-diṭṭhi and sammā-
saṅkappa with paññā .


If you look at AN10.103, it seems that the path is meant to go in order. And in MN117 it shows how right view, effort, and mindfulness, all build each other up. I don’t know if this helps at all, but it seemed to be relevant in some way.


There is a wiki on the tenfold path here which might help.

Also many topics exist already. The search function shows a few similar to your question (as I understand it).


Hi again Apeiron


No, I disagree. I believe they are necessary. For me, the first and second of the Tevijjā directly link to (or equate with) the First Noble Truth. I don’t believe this text (the Tevijjā in the Enlightenment story) is corrupted and the Buddha supposedly said he taught only what was necessary. Right?

I supply the link again, as this is a new discussion point:

I certainly agree and interesting that it is put into the mouth of a bhikkhuni (Dhammadinna), is just another unjust blow to women practitioners and seems typical of the Brahmin position: keep the other castes in their lower positions along with women! I certainly wonder if that was done along the lines of the prediction that women’s ordination would bring the Dhamma to an early end. The tradition provided some ‘evidence’ for those who look deeper, that is, tried to make Bhikkhunis blameworthy.


Another thing Dr Bucknell didn’t seem to point out in that paper, probably due to its limited scope, is that even though we call the three ‘trainings’, the tradition does not seem to clearly teach actual practices to develop wisdom (paññā). He develops a theory on what those practices could be (e.g. following trains of thought), which I think is accepted by some followers of the Thai Forest Tradition, which I don’t accept.

When I went to Wat Pah Nanachart during my first ordination, there I met Bh. Sumedho and Bh. Jāgaro and Sumedho asked if I could follow the trains of thought with equanimity, three times! That is what Dr Bucknell equates with the third super knowledge, from memory. So for me, this is teaching equanimity, interpreted as letting go, as Nibbāna, which I don’t accept. Equanimity is a stepping stone for me.

best wishes

Hi Jimi

I read: as the other, simpler and earlier definition of Right Concentration, that is, not the Jhana Doctrine.

best wishes

Hi Ven ,

You see , I would think those without deep Jhana cannot have access to the first and second Tevijja ? How would them attained liberation then ?!

At least , samma ditti can be considered panna !

Right view & right resolve come under the aggregate of discernment." -Dhammadinna. (MN44)

with metta

Hi Apeiron

It would seem your question is from the standard traditional/commentarial explanation of the path, basically how the commentator Bh. Buddhaghosa explains it, who lived about 1000 years after the Buddha, but it is (partly) based on texts ascribed to Sāriputta and Dhammadinna, but I think they were added later.

That explanation seems to say even the 4 jhaana are deep meditative experiences and are (partly?) needed before the development of Insight. So, you see the problem, this makes liberation very hard to obtain, or out of reach of more/many people.

I don’t accept Buddhaghosa’s explanation, which is dogmatically accepted/blindly believed in many Theravada circles. Other traditions follow their own commentators, such as Shantideva.

I believe the Buddha is the ultimate teacher and he does not need the help of commentators to explain/interpret his teaching, but rather we have to interpret it ourselves following the advice of the Buddha on how to study his teaching. find our own salvation (I have tried to collect that advice here: (PDF) The Method of Studying Buddha-Dhamma | Joe Smith - and would appreciate people tell me if they know of other advice I have missed.) We do need translators, of course, but it can be hard to avoid interpreting.

In another post/thread, I have spoken about my understanding of jhana, but I cannot find it at the moment. So my summary is:
-the Buddha spoke so little of sati, but so much and so clearly of jhāna
-the last words of the Buddha addressed ‘mindfulness’ or ‘heedfulness’, which I think is so very important, but the word ‘sati’ was not used, rather ‘appamāda’. We find a definition of ‘sati’ as ‘recalling things said and done long ago’ i.e. memory. This speaks to me of semantic change in the meaning of ‘sati’ and this clear simple definition, is what I believe is the original one and the way the Buddha used the term. We find uses of sati with different meanings in the EBTs, which to me, are examples of the semantic change in the meaning of ‘sati’ over time.
-he said after testing the two extremes, that he remembered a jhāna experience (with happiness) as a boy, that was not connected with the five sense-pleasures and realised ‘that was the middle way (that avoided the two extremes)’, not just the last step of the eightfold path.

So, I had to look at the explanation of the four jhāna, called ‘rūpa-jhāna’ by Buddhaghosa, but not the Buddha, because Buddhaghosa called the formless attainments ‘arūpa-jhāna’ and all jhāna seem to be deep states for Buddhaghosa.

So for me, ‘jhāna’ means, what Buddhaghosa calls and many Buddhist, who follow him, call ‘rūpa-jhāna’. From reading the suttas, even the jhāna explanation itself, they (the 4) are experienced in everyday living (viharati) and are not deep states of meditation. It is only the formless attainments that are deep states of meditation, outside of everyday life, because everyday life requires dealing with form.

From a very close look at the jhāna explanation itself, there are 11-13 factors, not Bh. Sariputta’s and Buddhaghosa’s 5 and it is only the second jhāna that is said to have ‘samādhi’. I do not accept the teaching that the (4) jhāna are the definition of Right Concentration, but I accept the simpler and I believe the original definition of: any concentration with the previous path factors is Right Concentration: SuttaCentral. (You can see my study of samādhi and jhāna here: (PDF) Concentration - Jhāna, Samādhi From Comparative Studies of Pali Texts | Joe Smith -

Comparing the 11-13 factors with other presentations of the path, shows to me that ‘jhāna is the Middle Way’ just as the Buddha said. You can see my comparative chart here, where I call jhāna ‘awareness’: (PDF) 20091228 Whoever sees Dependent Arising, sees Dhamma - Comparative Chart 2 | Joe Smith -

I would say:

  • ethics/morality is necessary for concentration
  • concentration is necessary for insight and enlightenment, but using the simpler definition, not the deep concentration generally thought of
  • awareness/mindfulness (or heedfulness) is a core aspect of the Buddha’s teaching and it is not ‘sati’, but rather ‘jhāna’, but that would mean the texts have undergone much more editing by commoners (non-noble ones) than we might like to believe/accept, but certainly with good intentions
  • awareness is a much broader practice than concentration and is a support for it

Wow, that was long.

I hope it helps.

best wishes

Hi Mat

yes, I am very familiar with that idea, which I no longer accept as an original teaching

best wishes

Hi again

No, I do not accept it as paññā, but you are entitled to do so, if you wish. That would be, following the standard, traditional explanation of the Path.

For me, Right View or Right Understanding (sammā-diṭṭhi) is theoretical and is a necessary step to develop faith, on which one starts to test the (theory of) the path.

That testing turns Right View, into Right Insight, which is more than theoretical, it is based on personal experience. It also turns the previous shakable faith into unshakable faith, which is a fruit of SE.

I think Dr Bucknell makes this quite clear, in comparing different texts talking about Right View and Right Insight. The first is said to be ‘knowledge of the Four Noble Truths’ and the second is said to be ‘knowing the Four Noble Truths, as they really are’. For me the second means, ‘in personal/direct experience’.

best wishes

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Why do you not accept it as an ‘original teaching’? It’s in a text considered an EBT. Your current level of understanding may not be in line with that text. This is the same as those arguments of secular ‘Buddhists’, is it not? They can’t see its truth so they say it is not true.

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Dear Venerable ,

I see not many people can easily be accessible to the four stage of jhana .

Your method is good , but , somehow probably could be missing something .
For example , When you explained the 10 fetters , you took it as originally from the Buddha words which I disagrees . The reason is that I believes the 5 upper fetters was added later . If I am right , that makes you are wrong even though you might have a right method/device !

belief in a self
doubt or uncertainty
Clinging to rites and rituals
ill will
Desire for form realm
Desire for formless realm

Please note that the restlessness is also belongs to the 5 hindrances . Desire for form&formless realm belongs to desire .
Conceit belongs to selfview .

Is it so ? I don’t think this is everyone experiences . I believes many people will disagrees .

Can you quote the sutta ?

Agrees if you have the 7 factors already .

This is confusing !

This is mundane right view .

Actually , I would think from the theoretical knowledge it gives rise to vision/knowing/insight which develops gradually from the first turning until the completion in the third turning of the trainings of the 12 aspects as we can see in the Dhammachakkappavattana Sutta .

Thank you .

Hi Mat

There is plenty of research out there to indicate it is a wrong understanding. I will not repeat it. It is accepted as an EBT by some. Yes, my current level of understanding is not line with that text. In the past, it was.

I don’t know the arguments you refer to.

I am not interested in this type of conversation, e.g. where you put words in my mouth. I did not say it is not true, I said I do not accept it as true. There is a big difference for me and it is about arrogance or conceit. What I said is an example of the training the Buddha gave for expressing our opinions as such and not making absolute statements.

best wishes

Yes, as the Four Jhāna are generally understood which is based on the commentaries and what I believe are later insertions or modifications of the EBTs.

The essential feature I see in the general understanding is, they do not examine the words of the Buddha directly. When I do, I find 11-13 jhāna factors, not only the 5 spoken of by Bh. Sāriputta and the famous commentator Bh. Buddhaghosa.

best wishes

Hi Apeiron

What is your method of study, do you follow the majority of advice on studying his teaching recorded in the EBTs? If not, what don’t you follow and why?

best wishes

Hi Apeiron

No, everyone does not experience Right Jhāna, because the majority would be controlled by unwholesome states. I don’t care if many people disagree, only if the Buddha does.

best wishes

It appears so many times in the periscope of the four jhāna. All you have to do is look closely at the words the Buddha uses. I highlight words here to make it easier: (PDF) Accurate translations of Catu-(rūpa)-jhāna and Te-vijjā passages | Joe Smith -

If you can’t use the link, this is the passage:

Puna caparaŋ, bhikkhu vitakkavicārānaŋ vūpasamā ajjhattaŋ sampasādanaŋ cetaso ekodibhāvaŋ avitakkaŋ avicāraŋ samādhijaŋ pīti-sukhaŋ dutiyaŋ jhānaŋ upasampajja viharati.

(we find five factors: ?3 deleted: viveka?, vitakka, vicāra, 2 repeated: pīti, sukha and 3 new ones: sampasāda, ekodhibhāva, and samādhi; these last two new terms do not appear in any of the other three jhānā)

best wishes

Dear Venerable ,

FYI , I am sorry I don’t have any method myself , and honestly I am not good at dhamma , and I don’t follow the majority of the Theravada . I follows a bhikkhu with over 30 years trainings in the monkhood whom did comparative studies of the 4 nikaya of the ebts and samyukta agama , abhidhammas , etc , and of course with the experiences in the meditations also . I don’t know for sure if he is 100% right , but , I do find his lectures very convincing . The teachings is in Chinese otherwise I can send you the book for your own references .

Thank you .

Venerable ,

Which sutta is it ?

Hi Apeiron

I guess the monk you follow is Bh. Dhammavuddho. I have had discussion with him by email in the past and found his approach limited by the lack of knowledge of the Buddha’s advice on studying his teaching and therefore not fully applying it. So it seems, as teacher, so student.

best wishes