Introductory text?

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Introductory text?

Postby Nicolas » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:26 pm

I'm looking for an online text that would introduce the Dhamma and its main concepts (the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the three marks of existence, dependent origination & the 12 nidanas, kamma & rebirth, the 5 aggregates, the main elements of the practice), as well as an explanation of those concepts.
This is not for my own understanding but rather to show friends who likely have an inaccurate understanding of what Buddhism is (my social circle is mostly devoid of Buddhists). Ideally it'd be relatively concise, yet thorough and providing textual support.

I looked at the Introductory resources thread on the forum, but i find that none of the resources listed there are satisfying as stand-alone articles.

I thought of recommending a book (e.g. Walpola Rahula's What the Buddha Taught, which i find excellent), but not everyone wants to invest time and energy into reading a book about a topic they may not care about.
I begun writing an article in the meantime. When i am done, i will submit it here first for critical review and suggestions.

Thanks!
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Re: Introductory text?

Postby culaavuso » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:24 pm

Some possibilities could be the overview of the Dhamma at accesstoinsight, Fundamentals of Buddhism by Ven. Nyanatiloka Mahathera, or Buddhism in a Nutshell by Ven. Narada Mahathera.
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Re: Introductory text?

Postby Aloka » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:19 am

Hi Nicholas,

Have a look at "Theravada Buddhism in a Nutshell" by Ajahn Amaro, who's the abbot of Amaravati monastery UK. I found it very enjoyable to read.

http://www.abhayagiri.org/books/theravada-buddhism-in-a-nutshell

Kind regards,

Aloka
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Re: Introductory text?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:55 am

Nicolas wrote:I'm looking for an online text that would introduce the Dhamma and its main concepts (the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the three marks of existence, dependent origination & the 12 nidanas, kamma & rebirth, the 5 aggregates, the main elements of the practice), as well as an explanation of those concepts.
This is not for my own understanding but rather to show friends who likely have an inaccurate understanding of what Buddhism is (my social circle is mostly devoid of Buddhists). Ideally it'd be relatively concise, yet thorough and providing textual support.

I looked at the Introductory resources [link removed] thread on the forum, but i find that none of the resources listed there are satisfying as stand-alone articles.

I thought of recommending a book (e.g. Walpola Rahula's What the Buddha Taught, which i find excellent), but not everyone wants to invest time and energy into reading a book about a topic they may not care about.


If they won't read a book, what makes you think they would study an online text?

And is this because you want to show them, or because they have specifically asked?
:namaste:

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‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Introductory text?

Postby Nicolas » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:31 am

culaavosa & Aloka, thank you!

TheNoBSBuddhist:
It's mostly because i want to show them, but that is based more on their own curiosity than my own proselytizing ;) ; when i tell them of my interest in Buddhism, they may be interested, but might not have the time for a long conversation. A pointer toward a short article (instead of a book) would allow one who is moderately curious to get a better idea of what Buddhism is without having to put in a lot of effort. (Though one has actually asked me to give them a book, and i will give it.)
Some are not as curious about Buddhism, but are interested in *me* enough that they are curious about it and my relation to it, and want to learn more.
When i have mentioned this idea of writing a short text (based on my own--and therefore naturally limited--understanding), it usually sparked more interest and people enthusiastically requested i send it to them when done -- something written in my own words seems more appealing to them, perhaps because it seems more personal or approachable, perhaps because it indicates i have made an effort ("well if he wrote something about it, he's invested in it, there is value in this to him, this makes me more curious").

I'll review the links provided by culaavosa & Aloka (thanks again). I may end up writing something regardless of what i offer others as a resource, for myself, as it could be a mirror of my own understanding and help center or structure it.
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Re: Introductory text?

Postby Sam Vara » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:19 pm

For people who know little of Buddhism, I recommend this;

http://www.cittaviveka.org/files/articles/Eightfold%20Path%20-%20Ajahn%20Sucitto.pdf

by Ajahn Sucitto.

I really wouldn't bother with nidanas, aggregates, and so on with people who don't already have a strong interest. I think the interest has to be there first, otherwise this type of material can come across as abstruse philosophy.
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Re: Introductory text?

Postby Mkoll » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:01 am

I think In the Buddha's Words by Ven. Bodhi is worth the $14 or so as an introduction to the Buddha's teachings.
Peace,
James
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Re: Introductory text?

Postby mal4mac » Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Nicolas wrote:I'm looking for an online text that would introduce the Dhamma and its main concepts...

I thought of recommending a book (e.g. Walpola Rahula's What the Buddha Taught, which i find excellent)...


I think this is a good thought. Did you know that this book is available for free online?

https://sites.google.com/site/rahulawhatthebuddha/home
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