"Now this, O monks, is the noble truth about the way which leads to removal of sorrow : verily, it is the Noble Eight-fold Path..."
The Noble Eight-fold Path was the path of moderation. "There are two extremes, O monks, which a renouncer ought not to follow", Buddha warned. One was "the pursuit of desires and of the pleasure which springs from desires, which is base, common, leading to rebirth, ignoble and unprofitable." Equally, the renouncer should avoid "self-mortification, which is grievous, ignoble and unprofitable. Now there is a middle path, O monks, discovered by Tathagata [Buddha], which avoids these two extremes, a path which opens the eyes, and bestows understanding, which leads to peace of mind, to the higher wisdom, to full enlightenment, to nirvana !... Verily, it is the Noble Eight-fold Path : right views, right aspirations, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right contemplation."
Source : Abraham Eraly, Gem in the lotus, Phoenix, p. 216