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Middle Way (중도)

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Writer Jogye Date13 Aug 2015 Read3,171 Comment0

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Middle Way
중도

 

Avoiding both these extremes, the Tathagata has realized the Middle Way; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment and to Nirvana. And what is that Middle Way realized by the Tathagata...? It is the Noble Eightfold Path, and nothing else.

  -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (SN 56.11)

 

The Middle Way refers to the direct knowledge that transcends the polarized duality of existence. The Middle Way does not mean a mid-point on a straight line joining two extremes. The Middle Way is a dynamic teaching. The Buddha realized the meaning of the Middle Way when he sat by a river and heard a lute player in a passing boat. He understood that the lute string must be tuned neither too tight nor too loose to produce a harmonious sound.

Reality is ultimately indefinable. Nothing can be pinned down to be either "this" or "that." Everything in life arises dependent on other things, which keep changing. This means that nothing is completely independent. When we understand the principle of dependent origination in this way and practice the Noble Eightfold Path based on that understanding, we can practice the Middle Way.

 

- excerpt from Buddhist English (Elementary 1) published in 2014 by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism 

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