The Thirty-seven Aids to Enlightenment are a set of fundamental teachings of Buddhism in the form of a list. The list’s seeming simplicity belies the fact that it is in fact a kind of road map to enlightenment for anyone who follows it with diligence and sincerity. The Thirty-seven Aids comprise seven practices conducive to awakening. Each of the seven practices is itself a set of elements, which add up to the total of thirty-seven: (1) The Four Foundations of Mindfulness, (2) The Four Proper Exertions, (3) The Four Steps to Magical Powers, (4) The Five Roots, (5) The Five Powers, (6) The Seven Factors of Enlightenment, and (7) The Noble Eightfold Path.
Master Sheng Yen’s down-to-earth teachings take the reader on a progression through each of the practices—many of which are familiar to all major schools of Buddhism—illustrating how they relate to the reader’s own practice on the path toward enlightenment.
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