on 29 May 2011
Some books on Buddha's teachings are quite large folios with few Buddha's words and a lot of author's thoughts and commentaries. But not this one.
This is a very small book, almost pocket format, and once I started reading it, I understood why.
Every word author placed in this book is carefully and precisely chosen to deliver Buddha's teaching of a Noble Eightfold Path with as little distortions as possible. It must have taken years to write this little book, but the results are remarkable. Every notion is made absolutely clear and easy to understand. The book is very easy to read, but it requires a long time to fully absorb the message and move on to the next page, or paragraph, or even sentence. Once again, it's not one of those books where you need to search a jewel hidden in hundred of pages, every word here is a jewel, a piece of a jigsaw absolutely required to have a complete picture.
I am so impressed with Bhikkhu Bodhi's work that I intend to buy all his other books once I finish this book.
UPDATE: I did buy most if not all Bhikkhu Bodhi's books, they are totally worth it.
on 3 October 1999
Having greatly enjoyed this book, I have just ordered a second copy to give it to a friend.
Bhikkhu Bodhi writes with clarity and simplicity, allowing the teaching of the Eightfold Path to speak for itself. The Path is set into the context of the Four Noble Truths and to other essential teachings of the Buddha such as the teachings of impermanence, selflessness and suffering.
Bhikkhu Bodhi presents the Path as follows: "The eight factors of the Noble Eightfold Path are not steps to be followed in sequence, one after another. They can be more aptly described as components rather than as steps, comparable to the intertwining strands of a single cable that requires the contribution of all the strands for maximum strength."
Thus understanding leads to understanding. And in his Epilogue he says: "The eight factors of the path are always accessible to us...We have to begin by straightening out our views and clarifying our intentions. Then we have to purify our conduct - our speech, action and livelihood. Taking these measures as our foundation, we have to apply ourselves with energy and mindfulness to the cultivation of concentration and insight...Liberation is the inevitable fruit of the path and is bound to blossom forth when there is steady and persistent practice."
It is this adventure that Bhikkhu Bodhi lays before us and invites us along! A wonderful journey in the company of a wise friend.
on 24 September 2012
Buy this book! It has done more to enhance my intellectual understanding of the holistic nature of the path and inspire me to persist in my efforts of mindfulness than any other resources on Buddhism.
Unlike most other dialogues on the path, which inform us that the whole idea of thinking of the path is misleading, because 'all the aspects are equally as important' this book actually treats the path, well, as a path - You start with stage 1 - Right Understanding, then develop through moral purification - stages 3-5, and these set the foundations for the great effort invovled in mindfulness and meditation practises.
Having finished, reread and taken notes on the book I have realised my previous approach to Buddhism was somewhat wishy-washy, and am now enthused about the prospect of perservering in right effort to 'kill my mind' and refine my consciousness.
I am deliberately not going to outline the content in too much depth for fear of not doing it justice, but if you are already into Buddhism I recommend it.
on 12 March 2015
This is a gem of a book, and I can say that it is currently the best book that I own.The Noble Eightfold Path is a very comprehensive and sophisticated psychology, philosophy, and spiritual practice. As a sports and exercise scientist I am in awe of its level of brilliance.
I have been seeking a path (I think I've found it). I have been researching and studying various esoteric sciences including Hermeticism, Kabbalah, Alchemy, Qigong, Taoism, and now Buddhism.
This is a very clear and beautifully written book. I would recommend it to all of humanity.