The Buddha had experienced the greatest pleasures in worldly life: beautiful, comfortable, delightful experiences through the five senses. And he had experienced the most profound, refined pleasures through the mind in meditation practice. He said that when he found a path between these two extremes it was like walking through a dense forest and finding an ancient path that had been forgotten. Following that path led to an overgrown city, where there had once been gardens, pools, and mansions—places of peace and joy now lost and forgotten. The Noble Eightfold Path is this forgotten path that leads to that place of freedom, awakening, peace, joy, and contentment.