Excerpts from the Teaching of Buddha


The following passages are excerpted from a wonderful book called Teaching of Buddha. They are in the section of the book called "The Way of Practical Attainment".

It has long been my opinion that these passages present, in a concise fashion, the essence of the physical disciplines required by the devoted Buddhist practitioner.

Long ago, I memorized all these teachings, and I try to keep them in mind constantly. What possible fault could a Jew, Christian or Muslim find in a single word of them? Are they not the very same disciplines we in the West have been teaching our own children for millennia?


Three Ways Of Practice


For those who seek Enlightenment there are three ways of practice that must be understood and followed: First, disciplines for practical behavior; second, right concentration of mind; and third, wisdom.

What are disciplines? Everyone, whether he is a common man or a way-seeker, should follow the precepts for good behavior. He should control both his mind and his body, and guard the gates of his five senses. He should be afraid of even a trifling evil, and, from moment to moment, he should endeavor to practice only good deeds.

What is meant by the concentration of mind? It means to get quickly away from greedy and evil desires as they arise, and to hold the mind pure and tranquil.

What is wisdom? It is the ability to perfectly understand and to patiently accept the Fourfold Noble Truth:


  1. To know the fact of suffering and its nature
  2. To know the source of suffering
  3. To know what constitutes the end of suffering, and
  4. To know the Noble Path that leads to the end of suffering:



Exposition of the Four-fold Noble Truth


  1. right view
  2. right thought
  3. right speech
  4. right behavior
  5. right livelihood
  6. right effort
  7. right mindfulness, and
  8. right concentration.



Exposition of the Eight-fold Noble Path



Those who follow these three ways of practice (i.e., disciplines for practical behavior, right concentration of mind, and wisdom) may rightly call themselves the disciples of Buddha.



The 4 points of view to be considered


The four points of view to be considered are:




The Four Right Procedures



One must endeavor to keep these four procedures.



The Five Faculties Of Power


The five faculties of power are:



These five faculties are necessary powers for anyone who wishes to obtain Enlightenment.


The Perfection Of Six Practices


The perfection of six practices for reaching the "other shore" of Enlightenment are:



These are explained thusly:



By following these paths, one can surely pass from the shore of delusion over to the shore of Enlightenment.



The Four Unlimited States of Mind


There are Four Unlimited States of Mind that the seeker of Enlightenment should cherish:

  • Compassion
  • Tenderness
  • Gladness
  • Equanimity

These are explained thusly:



















Book: The Teaching of Buddha

The Teaching of Buddha is the most concise and all-inclusive Buddhist reference I know of, and I strongly recommend it to all. It is published by the Buddhist Promoting Foundation (Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai), an organization established by Mr. Yehan Numata, who was the founder of the Mitutoyo Corporation, a manufacturer of precision measuring instruments. Mr. Numata was an Eastern "Gideon", who used his wealth to spread the word of Buddha throughout the world. Consequently, his book may now be found in many hotel rooms in the Orient, just as the Gideon Bible is found in the West. In America, The Teaching of Buddha may readily be obtained from: The Society for Buddhist Understanding, 16925, E. Gale Avenue, City of Industry, CA 91745. The book is free, although a contribution is appreciated. The Internet address of Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai is: http://www.BuddhistReading.com/bdk.html.