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According to the Buddha, the Middle Way is a life lived between the extremes of self-denial and self-indulgence. Neither hedonist nor ascetic are to be imitated, for the Noble Eightfold Path weaves its way through life avoiding both these unenlightened lifestyles. To see the world in the light of the Buddhadharma is to have Right View, not only recognizing the suffering that is caused by desire, but also the Path that leads to the ending of all such suffering, based in the Right Intention to let go of lust, ill-will, and cruelty. In other words, to lead a harmless life. Right Speech, Action, and Livelihood grow out of such an intention, directing one’s lifestyle in a more selfless, rather than selfish, direction. Right Effort is the avoidance of unwholesome states and the cultivation of wholesome ones. Right Mindfulness and Concentration take this well-directed mind and hone it to the point where it is on the precipice of the great void that is known as Nirvana. The perfection of the Path (that is, the Middle Way), is the ripening of the spiritual life; it becomes a fruit ready to drop into the infinity of enlightenment…forever.
Originally posted by Gauss