David N. Snyder wrote:
How can I choose only one?
Okay, easy: Samma Ditthi
That covers everything; understanding of the Four Noble Truths, the way to end suffering, and the Path out of suffering.
David is correct here. There is
no "one most important" item of Dhamma
that can be deemed the
most important. The practice of the Dhamma
is a response to a process
: a process that is made up of many
moving parts, the process of being born into the physical realms with a body and a mind. Every element of that process must be addressed if the "person" is to become "free" from the constraint that can be imposed upon it through ignorance of how
that process works. So, in this respect, David is absolutely correct to point out the dependent
(further hint, hint) nature of the process itself.
That said and properly digested, my first thought is to agree with Tilt and "mindfulness." That is, mindfulness based upon a "correct understanding" (samma ditthi
, with thanks to David) of several other factors that make up the teaching of the Dhamma
. Within that
context, then, mindfulness is unquestionably indispensable, as it informs our every moment of activity. Yet, as mentioned before, with the caveat that the whole of this process is kept in mind.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV