Overseas News


The Eightfold Path to Joyful Living

On Sunday, November 15, 2009, DDRC resident monastic Chang Chi Fashi gave a talk entitled, “The Eightfold Path to Joyful Living.” Fashi's talk was based on the Eightfold Noble Path taught by the Buddha to “help people let go of suffering and embrace happiness.”

Fashi introduced the talk by sharing calligraphy by Master Sheng Yen, “The Hu people from the West talk about the Eightfold Noble Path.” This pun can be interpreted as, * "The Hu people talk nonsense." . Through this play on words, Fashi referred to his own humble attempt to teach the Eightfold Noble Path without making it sound like gibberish.

There are three aspects of suffering--the suffering of suffering, the suffering of impermanence, and the suffering of the mind. The eight kinds of suffering are--birth, old age, sickness, death, being parted from the ones you love, dealing with those you do not like, failure to get what you want, and suffering caused by the five skandhas. According to Buddhism, suffering is caused by the different karmic seeds that we have planted in previous lives and in the present lives, and ignorance of the way things really are-- impermanence, emptiness and no-self.

Fashi had planned on highlighting his talk with a PowerPoint presentation and a selection from the movie, “The Titanic”, but experienced some technical difficulties. In a relaxed and playful manner, Venerable referred to this malfunction as impermanence and proceeded to act out, with translator Robert Weick, a scene between Rose and Jack, illustrating the different levels of suffering we face in our lives.

Fashi explained the Eightfold Noble Path, or eight different ways of getting rid of suffering and gaining happiness, and shared different methods for dealing with problems. Fashi concluded his talk by emphasizing the importance of relying on one's own efforts to use the Buddhadharma . Fashi encouraged the audience to not only listen to the dharma but to put it into practice so that we may be able to reduce suffering. Even if one were to become an expert on Buddhism, it would all be useless if one doesn't use this knowledge to benefit oneself and others.

*The “Hu people” refer to non-Han people who lived outside of China proper, or the area south of the Great Wall. When China first learned about the Buddhadharma from the Hu people, it was thought of as nonsense because of language barriers. The Chinese characters for “Eightfold Noble Path” and “nonsense” are the same.


(Report by Chang Jie)

| More
Back to news list

Your are here : OverSeas News > The Eightfold Path to Joyful Living