The Middle Path of the Buddha

"Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. What are the two? There is devotion to the indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, common, the way of ordinary people, unworthy and unprofitable; and there is devotion to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy and unprofitable."

"Avoiding both these extremes, the Tathagata ["Thus-Perfected One"] has realized the Middle Path: It gives vision, it gives knowledge, and it leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment, to Nibbana [Sanskrit: Nirvana]. And what is that Middle Path. . . ? It is simply the Noble Eightfold Path, namely, right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the Middle Path realized by the Tathagata, which gives vision, which gives knowledge, and which leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment, to Nirvana."