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Book: The Buddha's Path of Peace

Chapter: Introduction

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.39386


What are the origins of humankind’s apparent inability to live in peace? If we humans could find and stay aware of these origins with honesty it could then become possible to live in peace, or at least in greater peace. Two and a half thousand years ago Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, discovered the Path to a radical transformation of the perception and understanding of the roots of human life. In discovering the causes that lie in the human mind he also discovered the way out. His awakening was a revelation of the self-harming and self-replicating fantasy of the human story and where the fundamental possibilities of peace and compassion lie. The Buddha’s starting point, the 1st Noble Truth, is that there is an abiding malaise and insatiability in human life, and that if we do not face it, understand it and overcome or transcend it, or at least soften it, then it will continually push us into all kinds of self-destructive fantasies. He taught us how to cultivate a kind of de-centered inward-awareness that is at once an understanding of the divisive delusion of ‘me and world’ and ‘them and us’.
Part One of this book embarks on the transformative Path of right speaking, acting, and daily living. In Part Two the meditational factors of effort, concentration and mindfulness are set out. Then in Part Three the wisdom factors of understanding and intention (resolve) are presented. It is not only a Path for monks and nuns. All humans qualify.

Chapter Contributors

  • Geoffrey Hunt ( - geoffhunt) 'University of Surrey'