Prajna (wisdom), śīla (self-discipline), samādhi (settled clarity)
Are the essence of the noble eightfold path.
With prajña discerning right and wrong, there settles śīla.
In stainless śīla, there dawns samādhi.
In the clarity of samādhi, there deepens prajña.
In the rise of prajña’s brilliance, effortless are śīḷa and samādhi.
As life takes its course, with deepening prajña, śīla, samādhi,
The mind comes to face its innate simplicity.
There, we discover the freedom as never before.
Lightness indestructible in the play of body, speech and mind.
The open expanse of the basic space of all experiences.
Freedom from the torrents of karmic thrusts.
The luminous clarity of true knowledge.
There, with nothing to gain and nothing to lose.
With no cause for holding back tightly,
In the withering away of the matrix of ego and concepts,
Is the explosive joy of empty mind!
(These lines explore the connection between the foundational noble eightfold path of the Buddha and the experience of ultimate awakening. The unconditional joy and luminous wisdom of awakening are indeed the result of the noble eightfold path, with layers of deepening wisdom, discipline and samadhi, as it leads to the never-before expanse of awareness.)