The Noble Eightfold Path is the fourth Noble Truth in the Four Noble Truths that can help us prevent problems or deal with any problems we may come across in our daily life. This is the path that leads to the end of sufferings and afflictions. If we follow it, we are on the way to less suffering and more happiness. The eight right (correct) ways. The path leading to release from suffering, the goal of the third in the four noble truths. These are eight in the 37 bodhi ways to enlighten-ment. Practicing the Noble Eight-fold Path can bring about real advantages such as im-provement of personal conditions. It is due to the elimination of all evil thoughts, words, and actions that we may commit in our daily life, and to the con-tinuing practice of charitable work; improvement of living conditions. If everyone practiced this noble path, the world we are living now would be devoid of all miser-ies and sufferings caused by hatred, struggle, and war between men and men, countries and countries, or peoples and peoples. Peace would reign forever on earth. Besides, to cultivate the Eightfold Noble Path also means to practice medi-tation to attain of enlightenment or Bodhi Awareness. The Noble Eigh-fold Path is the first basic con-dition for attaining Bodhi Consciousness that is untarnished while Alaya Con-sciousness is still defiled.
First, Buddhist practitioners of mindfulness should not speak what is untrue. Right speech means not speaking what is untrue, or using slanderous, abusive or harsh language; rather, speaking words which are honest and helpful, creating a vibra-tion of peace and harmony. Right speech implies sincere, sound, impartial, direct, not distorting, cautious, affable, harmless, useful words and discourses. Avoid-ance of lying, slander and gossip (false and idle talk), or abstaining from lying, tale-bearing, harsh words, and foolish babble. Right speech is one of the methods that can help us to live in harmony with other people and the world. Correct or Right Speech or Perfect Speech is one of the three higher trainings in Ethics (two other trainings are Right Action and Right Livelihood). Speech can influence mil-lions of people. It is said that a harsh word can wound more deeply than a weap-on, whereas a gentle word can change the heart and mind of even the most hard-ened criminal. Therefore, right speech implies respect for truth and respect for the well being of others. Right speech begins with avoiding four destructive actions of speech: lying, divisive words, harsh words and idle talk. Not only that, devout Bud-dhists should always try to communicate in a way pleasing to others. Rather than venting our anger or frustration onto another, devout Buddhists should think about effective ways to communicate our needs and feelings to them. Besides, Right Speech also means to sincerely make an effort to notice and comment upon oth-ers’ good qualities and achievements, or to console people in time of grief, or to teach people Dharma. Speech is a powerful tool to influence others and if we use it wise-ly, many people will benefit. Speech can influence millions of people. It is said that a harsh word can wound more deeply than a weapon, whereas a gentle word can change the heart and mind of even the most hardened criminal. There-fore, right speech implies respect for truth and respect for the well being of others. It is to say right speech means the avoidance of lying, backbiting or slander, harsh speech and idle talk.
Second, Buddhist practitioners of mindfulness should choose a right way to do things for ourselves. Right action means to choose a right way to do things for our-selves, not killing, not inflicting pain and afflictions on others, not stealing, not tak-ing what is not ours, not committing sexual misconduct, and not causing suffer-ing to others out of greed or desire for pleasant sensations. Right action involves action beneficial to both others and ourselves. We must always act for the happi-ness of the community, conforming to our sense of duty, without any ulterior mo-tive for damaging others’ interests, occupations, positions, honors, or lives. We must also keep strict control of our "“action, speech, and mind," carrying out ten meritorious actions and avoiding ten evil ones. Right action also means to abstain from injuring living beings, from stealing and from unlawful sexual intercourse. No one among us can avoid our past karma; however, we have the right to choose the right way to do things for ourselves. To say this so we can understand that we have to reap what we sowed in the past; however, we have the right to try to culti-vate to have a more peaceful life in the present time. Right action is one of the three higher train-ings in Ethics (two other trainings are Right Speech and Right Livelihood). Right action implies respect for life, respect for property, and respect for personal rela-tionships. Respect for life means not to kill or tell others to kill liv-ing beings, re-spect for property means not to steal or tell others to steal, respect for personal re-lationships means to avoid sexual misconduct (avoid adultery). Right action means acting properly. Right action can help us avoid creating the three destructive ac-tions of the body (killing, stealing and unwise sexual behavior). Right action teach-es us to be aware of the effects of our actions on others. Once we possess Right Ac-tion, instead of doing whatever pleases us at the moment, we’ll be considerate of others, and of course, automatically our relationships will improve and others will be happier in our company. Right Action also includes giv-ing old people a hand in their house work, helping storm and flood victims, and rescuing people from dan-ger, and so on.
Third, practitioners of mindfulness should choose a right career for ourselves. Right livelihood means to choose a right career for ourselves, which is not harmful to oth-ers; not having work which involves killing, stealing or dishonesty. Right live-lihood also involves action beneficial to both others and ourselves. We must al-ways act for the happiness of the community, conforming to our sense of duty, without any ulterior motive for damaging others’ interests, occupations, positions, honors, or lives. We must also keep strict control of our "action, speech, and mind," carry-ing out ten meritorious actions and avoiding ten evil ones. Perfect conduct also means avoidance of actions that conflict with moral discipline. Right livelihood means earning a living in a way that does not violate basic moral values. Right livelihood is an extension of the rules of right action to our roles as bread-winners in society. Right Livelihood also means that to earn a living in an appropri-ate way. Devout Buddhists should not engage in any of the physical or verbal negative ac-tions to earn a living, nor should we cause others to do so. Wisdom and under-standing in Buddhism must be integrated into our lives, then Buddhism can be called a living Buddhism. No one among us can avoid our past karma; however, we have the right to choose a right career for ourselves because it is very much within our freedom. To say this so we can understand that we have to reap what we sowed in the past; however, we have the right to try to cultivate to have a more peaceful life in the present time. Right livelihood is one of the three higher train-ings in Ethics (two other trainings are Right Speech and Right Action). Right liveli-hood means to have a right work or a right occupation that can help us avoid creat-ing the three destructive actions of the body (killing, stealing and un-wise sexual behavior). Right livelihood teaches us to be aware of the effects of our actions on others. Once we possess Right Action, instead of doing whatever pleases us at the moment, we’ll be considerate of others. The Buddha taught: “There are five kinds of livelihood that are discouraged for Buddhists: trading in animals for food (selling animals for slaughter), slaves (dealing in slaves), arms (selling arms and lethal weapons), poisons, and intoxicants (drugs and alcohol, selling intoxicating and/or poisonous drinks). These five are not recommended be-cause they contribute to the destroy of society and violate the values of respect for life and for the welfare of others.” Right Livelihood is an extension of the rules of right action to our roles as breadwinners in society. In the contrary, Buddhists should live by an honest pro-fession that is free from harm to self and others. Ac-cording to the Adornment Su-tra, right livelihood is a weapon of enlightening be-ings, leading away from all wrong livelihood. Zen practitioners who abide by these can annihilate the afflic-tions, bondage, and compulsion accumulated by all sentient beings in the long night of ignorance.
Fourth, Buddhist practitioners of mindfulness should try to understand the natural laws which govern our everyday life. Right understanding or right view is viewing things objectively; seeing them and reporting them exactly as they are without be-ing influenced by prejudice or emotion. Right view helps differentiate the true from the false, and determines the true religious path for attaining liberation. Right un-derstanding means to understand the natural laws which govern our everyday life. One of the most important of these is the law of karma, the law of cause and ef-fect, every action brings a certain result, without any exception. There is no such ‘no wholesome nor unwholesome’ in Buddhism. Zen practitioners should always remember that whenever we act with greed, hatred, or delusion, pain and suffer-ing come back to us. On the contrary, when our actions are motivated by gener-osity, love or wisdom, the results are happiness and peace. Devout Buddhists should always have a mindful mind to skilfully integrate the understanding of the law of karma into our lives. Right understanding also means profoundly and subtly understand our true nature. In Buddhism, right understanding means the under-standing of suffering or the unsatisfactory nature of all phenomenal existence, its arising, its cessation and the path leading to its cessation. Right Understanding or Right View is one of the two trainings in Wisdom (the other training is Right Thought). Right understanding can be said to mean seeing things as they really are, or understanding the real truth about things, rather than simply seeing them as they appear to be. According to Buddhist point of view, it means insight, pene-trative understanding, or seeing beneath the surface of things, etc., under the lens of the Four Noble Truths, Interdependent origination, impermanence, impersonali-ty, and so forth. Right understanding can be acquired by ourselves or by acquiring the truths that are shown by others. The process of acquiring right understanding must follow the following order: first we must observe objectively the facts which we are presented, then consider their significance. It is to say first to study and then to consider and examine them, and finally attaining right understanding through contemplation. At this point, the two types of understanding, either by ourselves or through others, become indistinguishable. To summarize, the pro-cess of acquiring right understanding are as follows: to observe and to study, to examine intellectually what we have observed and studied, to contemplate what we have examined. In short, Right Understanding means the understanding of the four no-ble truths: the truths of suffering and its causes perpetuate cyclic exist-ence, the truths of cessation and the path are the way to liberation. Through Right under-standing and right thought we eliminate greed, anger and ignorance: Qua chánh kiến và chánh tư duy chúng ta đoạn trừ tham, sân, si. The mind supported by wis-dom will bring forth the Right Understanding which help us wholly and entire-ly free from the intoxication of sense desire (kama), from becoming (bhava), wrong views (ditthi) and ignorance (avijja). Buddhist practitioners should develop right understanding by seeing impermanence, suffering, and not-self in everything, which leads to detachment and loss infatuation. Detachment is not aversion. An aversion to something we once liked is temporary, and the craving for it will re-turn. Practitioners do not seek for a life of pleasure, but to find peace. Peace is within oneself, to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Practitioners meditate to inves-tigate suffering, see its causes, and put an end to them right at the very moment, rather dealing with their effects later on. Right Understanding, in the ul-timate sense, is to understand life as it really is. For this, one needs a clear com-prehen-sion of the Four Noble Truths, namely: the Truth of Suffering or Unsatis-factori-ness, the Arising of Suffering, the Cessation of Suffering, and the Path lead-ing to the Cessation of Suffering. Right understanding means to understand things as they really are and not as they appear to be. It is important to realize that right understanding in Buddhism has a special meaning which differs from that popular-ly attributed to it. In Buddhism, right understanding is the application of insight to the five aggregates of clinging, and understanding their true nature, that is under-standing oneself. It is self-examination and self-observation. Right understanding is the understanding of suffering or the unsatisfactory nature of all phenomenal ex-istence, its arising, its cessation, and the path leading to its cessation. Right un-derstanding is of the highest important in the Eightfold Noble Path, for the re-main-ing seven factors of the path are guided by it. It ensures that right thoughts are held and it co-operates ideas; when as a result thoughts and ideas become clear and wholesome, man’s speech and action are also brought into proper relation. Moreover, it is through right understanding that one gives up harmful or profitless effort and cultivates right effort which aids the development of right mindfulness. Right effort and right mindfulness guided by right understanding bring about right concentration. Thus, right understanding, which is the main spring in Buddhism, causes the other limbs of the co-ordinate system to move in proper relation. There are two conditions that are conducive to right understanding: Hearing from others, that is hearing the Correct Law (Saddhamma), from others (Paratoghosa), and sys-tematic attention or wise attention (Yoniso-manasikara). The first condition is ex-ternal, that is, what we get from outside, while the second is internal, what we cul-tivate (manasikara literally means doing-in-the-mind). What we hear gives us food for thought and guides us in forming our own views. It is, therefore, neces-sary to listen, but only to that which is conducive to right understanding and to avoid all the harmful and unwholesome utterances of others which prevent straight think-ing. The second condition, systematic attention, is more difficult to cultivate, be-cause it entails constant awareness of the things that one meets with in every-day life. The word ‘Yoniso-manasikara’ which is often used in the discourses is most important, for it enables one to see things deeply. ‘Yoniso’ literally means by-way-of-womb instead of only on the surface. Metaphorically, therefore, it is ‘radi-cal’ or ‘reasoned attention’. These two conditions, learning and systematic atten-tion, to-gether help to develop right understanding. One who seeks truth is not sat-isfied with surface knowledge, with the mere external appearance of things, but wants to dig deep and see what is beyond the reach of naked eye. That is the sort of search encouraged in Buddhism, for it leads to right understanding. The man of analysis states a thing after resolving it into its various qualities, which he puts in proper order, making everything plain. He does not state things unitarily, looking at them as a whole, but divides them up according to their outstanding features so that the conventional and the highest truth can be understood unmixed. The Bud-dha was discriminative and analytical to the highest degree. As a scientist resolves a limb into tissues and the tissues into cells, the Buddha analyzed all component and con-ditioned things into their fundamental elements, right down to their ulti-mates, and condemned shallow thinking, unsystematic attention, which tends to make man muddle-headed and hinders the investigation of the true nature of things. It is through right understanding that one sees cause and effect, the arising and ceasing of all conditioned things. The truth of the Dhamma can be only grasped in that way, and not through blind belief, wrong view, speculation or even by abstract phi-losophy. According to the Anguttara Nikaya, the Buddha says: “This Dhamma is for the wise and not for the unwise.” The Nikaya also explains the ways and means of attaining wisdom by stages and avoiding false views. Right understanding per-meates the entire teaching, pervades every part and aspect of the Dhamma and functions as the key-note of Buddhism. Due to lack of right un-derstanding, the ordinary man is blind to the true nature of life and fails to see the universal fact of life, suffering or unsatisfactoriness. He does not even try to grasp these facts, but hastily considers the doctrine as pessimism. It is natural perhaps, for beings en-grossed in mundane pleasures, beings who crave more and more for gratification of the senses and hate pain, to resent the very idea of suffering and turn their back on it. They do not, however, realize that even as they condemn the idea of suffering and adhere to their own convenient and optimistic view of things, they are still be-ing oppressed by the ever recurring unsatisfactory nature of life.
Fifth, Buddhist practitioners should be free from sensual desire, ill-will, and cruel-ty. Right thought means thoughts that are free from sensual desire, ill-will, and cruel-ty. Thoughts free from ill-will means thoughts that are free from anger, for when anger is burning in the mind, both us and people around us will suffer. Right thoughts includes thoughts of renunciation, good will, and of compassion, or non-harm. These thoughts are to be cultivated and extended towards all living beings regardless of race, caste, clan, or creed. As they embrace all that breathes there are no compromising limitations. Right thought means that our reflection must be con-sistent with common sense, useful both to others and ourselves. We must strive to correct our faults, or change our wicked opinions. While meditating on the noble formula of“Precept, Concentration, and Wisdom,” we must realize that ‘ig-norance’ is the main cause of suffering, the root of all wicked acts; therefore, we must look for a way to get rid of suffering for us and for others. A mind free from sensual lust, ill-will and cruelty. Right thought means resolve in favour of renuncia-tion, goodwill and nonharming of sentient beings. Through meditation, we can rec-ognize anger and let it go. At that time, the mind becomes light and easy, ex-pressing its natural loving-kindness. Also through meditation, we can recognize cruelty and let it go. At that time, we will have the mind of understanding the suf-fering of others and wanting to alleviate it. Right Thought is one of the two train-ings in Wisdom (the other training is Right View or Right Understanding). Right thought or right thinking means avoiding attachment and aversion. According to Buddhism, the causes of suffering and afflictions are said to be ignorance, at-tachment, and aversion. When right understanding removes ignorance, right thought removes attachment and aversion; therefore, right understanding and right thought remove the causes of suffering. To remove attachment and greed we must cultivate renunciation, while to remove aversion and anger we must culti-vate love and compassion. Renunciation is developed by contemplating the unsat-isfactory nature of existence, especially the unsatisfactory nature of pleasures of the senses, for pleasures of the sens are likened to salt water, the more we drink, the more we feel thirsty. Through understanding the unsatisfactory nature of ex-istence and recognizing the undesirable consequences of pleasures of the senses, we can easily cultivate renunciation and detachment. To develop love and com-passion through recognizing the essential equality of all living beings. Like human beings, all other beings fear death and tremble at the idea of punishment. Under-standing this, we should not kill other beings or cause them to be killed. Like hu-man be-ings, all other beings desire life and happiness. Understanding this, we should not place ourselves above others or regard ourselves any differently from the way we regard others. Right thought means the thoughts of non-attachment, benevolence and non-harmfulness. On a deeper level, Right Thought refers to the mind that subtly analyzes Emptiness, thus leading us to perceive it directly.
Sixth, Buddhist practitioners of mindfulness should be always hard-working, help-ful to others and ourselves. Right effort means we must be always hard-working, helpful to others and ourselves. Do not kill, cheat, or lead a wanton, gamble life. On the contrary, always try to perform good deeds for having good karma. Cor-rect (Right or Perfect) Zeal or Effort or Energy also means to try to avoid the aris-ing of evil, demeritorious things have not yet arisen. Try to overcome the evil, de-meritorious things that have already arisen. At the same time, try to produce meri-torious things that have not yet arisen and try to maintain the meritorious things that have already arisen and not let them disappear, but to bring them to growth, to maturity and to the full perfection of development. Right effort also means culti-vation of what is karmically wholesome and avoidance of what is karmically un-wholesome. When developing right effort we must be sincere about our thoughts. If we analyze them we will find that our thoughts are not always good and whole-some. At times they are unwholesome and foolish, though we may not always ex-press them in words and actions or both. Now if we allow such thoughts to rise re-peatedly, it is a bad sign, for when an unhealthy thought is allowed to recur again and again, it tends to become a habit. It is, therefore, essential to make a real ef-fort to keep unwholesome thoughts away from us. Until we succeed in stopping them to rise in our mind, unhealthy thoughts will always be taking possession of our mind. It is not only during the time of meditation that we need to cultivate our right effort. Right effort should be cultivated always whenever possible. In all our speech, actions and behavior, in our daily life, we need right effort to perform our duties wholeheartedly and successfully. If we lack right effort and give in to sloth and indolence, we can not proceed with our cultivation. Right effort is one of the three trainings in meditation (two other trainings are Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration). Right effort means cultivating a confident attitude toward our un-dertakings, taking up and pursuing our task with energy and a will to carry them through to the end. In Buddhism, right effort means cultivating a confident atti-tude of mind, being attentive and aware. To progress on the path, we need to put our energy into Dharma practice. With enthusiastic effort, we can purify negative ac-tions already done to prevent doing new ones in the future. In addition, effort also is necessary to maintain the virtuous states we’ve already generated, as well as to induce new ones in the future.
Seventh, Buddhist practitioners of mindfulness have correct memory which retains the true and excludes the false. Right remembrance, the seventh of the eightfold noble path, means remembering correctly and thinking correctly. The looking or contemplating on the body and the spirit in such a way as to remain ardent, self-possessed and mindful. Right remembrance means looking on the body and spirit in such a way as to remain ardent, self-possessed and mindful, having overcome both hankering and dejection. Right mindfulness means to give heed to good deed for our own benefit and that of others. According to the eightfold noble path, right mindfulness means the one-pointedness of the mind, and Zen will help practitioner to have Right Remmbrance. Through Zen we always have Right mindfulness. In fact, in our daily life activities, we should always be aware and attentive. We should always be aware of what we think, say and do. We must concentrate on eve-rything we do before we can do it well. For instance, if we concentrate in class, we would not miss anything the teacher says. Right mindfulness also means re-membrance including old mistakes to repent of and deep gratitude towards par-ents, country, humankind, and Buddhist Triple Gems. Right mindfulness also means the reflection on the present and future events or situations. We must medi-tate upon human sufferings that are caused by ignorance and decide to work for alleviating them, irrespective of possible difficulties and boredom. Correct Memory which retains the true and excludes the false. Dwell in contemplation of corporeali-ty. Be mindful and putting away worldly greed and grief. Correct mindful-ness also means ongoing mindfulness of body, feelings, thinking, and objects of thought. Mindfulness means being aware of what is happening in the present mo-ment. It means noticing the flow of things, when walking, to be aware of the movement of the body; in observing the breath, to be aware of the sensations of the in-out or raising-falling; to notice thoughts or feelings as they arise or as they disappear. Mindfulness brings the quality of poise, equilibrium and balance to the mind. Mindfulness also keeps the mind sharply focused, with the atttitude of sitting back and watching the passing show of our surroundings. The function of the right effort is to be vigilant and check all unhealthy thoughts, and to cultivate, promote and maintain wholesome and pure thoughts arising in a man’s mind. Right Mind-fulness is one of the three trainings in meditation (two others are Right Effort and Right Concentration). Mindfulness is awareness or attention, and as such it means avoiding a distracted or cloudly state of mind. In the practice of the Dharma, right mindfulness plays as a kind of rein upon our minds for our minds are never con-centrated or still. The Buddha taught: “The practice of mindfulness means mind-fulness of the body, mindfulness of feelings, mindfulness of consciousness, and mindfulness of objects of the mind.” In short, right mindfulness means to watch our body and mind and to know what we are doing at all times. Right Mindfulness is an important mental factor that enables us to remember and keep our attention on what is beneficial. Right Mindfulness plays an important role in meditation, i.e., Right mindfulness can help us clear the flurry of thoughts from our minds, and eventually, we’ll be able to concentrate single-pointedly on our breath. Right mind-fulness is the application or arousing of attention: be attentive to the activities of the body with the practice of concentration on breathing; be aware of all forms of feelings and sensations, pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral, by contemplating their appearance and disappearance within oneself; be aware whether one’s mind is lust-ful, hatred, deluded, distracted or concentrated; contemplate the imperma-nence of all things from arise, stay, change and decay to eliminate attachment.
Eighth, Right Concentration. Right Concentration or Correct Concentration. De-tached from sensual objects, detached from unwholesome things, and enters into the first, second, third and fourth absorption. Right concentration means a strong concentration of our thoughts on a certain subject in order to set it clearly, con-sistent with Buddhist doctrine and for the benefit of others and ourselves. Right meditation means to keep the mind steady and calm in order to see clearly the true nature of things. This type of mental practice can make us become more un-derstanding and a happier person. “Correct concentration” requires the previous steps. Unless one has a concentrated mind that can fix itself calmly and one-pointedly on a single object without being distracted by laxity or excitement, one cannot properly enter into meditation, which requires intense concentration. Culti-vating concentration in meditation means to learn to concentrate. In our medita-tion, we think that noises, cars, voices, sights, and so forth, are distractions that come and bother us when we want to be quiet. But who is bothering whom? Actu-ally, we are the ones who go and bother them. The car, the sound, the noise, the sight, and so forth, are just following their own nature. We bother things through some false idea that they are outside of us and cling to the ideal of remaining qui-et, undisturbed. We should learn to see that it is not things that bother us, that we go out to bother them. We should see the world as a mirror. It is all a reflection of mind. When we know this, we can grow in every moment, and every experience re-veals truth and brings understanding. Normally, the untrained mind is full of wor-ries and anxieties, so when a bit of tranquility arises from practicing meditation, we easily become attached to it, mistaking states of tranquility for the end of medi-ta-tion. Sometimes we may even think we have put an end to lust or greed or ha-tred, only to be overwhelmed by them later on. Actually, it is worse to be caught in calmness than to be stuck in agitation, because at least we will want to escape from agitation, whereas we are content to remain in calmness and not go any fur-ther. Thus, when extraordinarily blissful, clear states arise from insight meditation prac-tice, do not cling to them. Although this tranquility has a sweet taste, it too, must be seen as impermanent, unsatisfactory, and empty. Practicing meditation without thought of attaining absorption or any special state. Just know whether the mind is calm or not and, if so, whether a little or a lot. In this way it will develop on its own. Concentration must be firmly established for wisdom to arise. To concen-trate the mind is like turning on the switch, there is no light, but we should not waste our time playing with the switch. Likewise, concentration is the empty bowl and wisdom is the food that fills it and makes the meal. Do not be attached to the object of meditation such as a mantra. Know its purpose. If we succeed in con-centrating our mind using the Buddha Recitation, let the Buddha recitation go, but it is a mis-take to think that Buddha recitation is the end of our cultivation. Right concentra-tion is the intensified steadiness of the mind comparable to the unflicker-ing flame of a lamp in a windless place. It is concentration that fixes the mind right and causes it to be unmoved and undisturbed. The correct practice of “samadhi” main-tains the mind and the mental properties in a state of balance.
Many are the mental impedments that confront a practitioner, a meditator, but with support of Right Effort and Right Mindfulness the fully concentrated mind is capable of dispelling the impediments, the passions that disturb man. The perfect concentrated mind is not distracted by sense objects, for it sees things as they are, in their proper perspective. Right Concentration is one of the three trainings in Samadhi (two other trainings are Right Effort and Right Mindfulness). Right con-centration means to concentrate the mind single-pointedly on an object. Our con-centration or single-pointedness slowly improves through effort and mindfulness, until we attain calm abiding. Right Concentration may also help us progress to deeper states of concentration, the actual meditative stabilizations (form and form-less realms).