In Buddhism, Enlightenment refers to the moment one learns the ultimate truth about life. The cycle of reincarnation ends, and one ascends to nirvana, a heavenly place of perfect contentment.
So how does one learn the ultimate truth?
How does one end the cycle, and become Enlightened?
According to the Buddha, it all has to do with suffering, and the cessation of that suffering.
"I teach suffering, its origin, cessation and path. That's all I teach", declared the Buddha 2500 years ago.
And so, he gave us his 4 Noble Truths.
1. The truth of suffering (Dukkha)
2. The truth of the origin of suffering (Samudāya)
3. The truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha)
4. The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (Magga).
It is towards the realization of this final truth that the Buddha gave us the directions of the 8 fold path.
The 8 Fold Path
Each step should be undertaken in order. However, all of these steps are developed simultaneously.
- 1. Right View or Understanding: To gain insight into the true nature of reality.
- 2. Right Intention: The unselfish desire to realize enlightenment.
- 3. Right Speech: Using speech in compassion & kindness.
- 4. Right Action: Striving towards ethical conduct and compassion.
- 5. Right Livelihood: Making a living through ethical means.
- 6. Right Effort: Cultivating positive qualities and releasing negative ones.
- 7. Right Mindfulness: To always be thinking, aligned in body and mind.
- 8. Right Concentration: Meditation through mantras or through breathing.
How can you begin your own unique path towards Enlightenment?
Start this very moment!
Inspired by the Buddha’s 8 fold path, nine unique individuals, together with the team at Backpack Buddha, created a daily self guided meditation journal designed to help you begin your journey towards enlightenment.
Buddha’s teachings can often be difficult to comprehend, and apply to our contemporary world. In response, this journal makes a point of presenting this path in such a way as to compliment our modern lives.
To begin, each day you’ll find an inspiring quote by the Buddha, as well as other inspiring philosophers.
This is followed by simple questions designed to help you better understand nature of yourself, and suffering. As the days progress you’ll find further questions that aim to inspire gratitude and compassion. All of these questions directly encourage the realization of steps 1 and 7.
Next you’ll find a modern Mantra that compliments each days theme, and directly relates to step 2, "Right Intention." We recommend you recite this Mantra on your Mala 108 times. However, you can also simply bring this mantra with you throughout your day.
Towards the realization of step 8, "Right Concentration," each day you'll slowly learn Anapana Sati, a meditative breathing technique developed by the Buddha himself.
Finally, the last step of each day has to do with action. Here, you’ll be dared to do things out of your normal routine, such as smiling at yourself in front of your mirror, or calling a loved one to tell them how much they mean to you. These actions help us to work towards steps 3 and 4. "Right Speech," and "Right Action."
"Everyday Enlightenment" doesn’t promise true Enlightenment after just 3 weeks. Instead, it represents a strong first step in that direction.
Whether you're striving towards Enlightenment, or simply wish to free yourself from negative routines and change your outlook on life, this journal has the ability to help.
No matter where you are on your path towards Enlightenment, we wish you the greatest inner peace, self love, discipline, and contentment.