Where to start?!

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Where to start?!

Postby mettatrader » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:22 am

Hello there!

I have read the "Introductory Resources" post which is excellent for a beginner like me! I have also looked at the Buddhanet e-library, which again as many, many books to choose from!

The only thing is there is just too much information (not that I am complaining!)

Of all the resources listed, which would be the most useful for a beginner to study, and which have been best reviewed and most enjoyed?

Thanks for your Guidance!
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Re: Where to start?!

Postby Marcus Epicurus » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:16 am

May I suggest reading the book, "What The Buddha Taught" by Walpola Rahula.
I think it is a great place to start and has gotten very good reviews, and it is easy to read and understand.
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Re: Where to start?!

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:20 am

That's actually a really good one. I think also another good one is "Buddhism in a Nutshell"

http://www.buddhanet.net/nutshell.htm
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Re: Where to start?!

Postby plwk » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:54 am

If you like a typical 'catechism' styled, topical and structured chapters...here's one:
THE BUDDHA AND HIS TEACHINGS by Venerable Nārada Mahāthera
Another one: What Buddhists Believe by the late Ven Dr K Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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Re: Where to start?!

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:14 am

Or you could go for (IMO) the simplest presentation of original teachings, the Dhammapada http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.intro.budd.html (the alternate translation linked at the top of the page is just as good but more poetic - take your pick).
:namaste:
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Re: Where to start?!

Postby mettatrader » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:29 pm

Thanks for the pointers! I have just completed "Buddhism in a Nutshell" and it's a very nice easily readable book. I will probably move onto "What the Buddha Taught" next. I find everything I have read so far very interesting!

Thanks again!
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Re: Where to start?!

Postby andre9999 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:44 pm

As far as free stuff goes, I've been on and off reading through The Issue At Hand:
http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/books-articles/the-issue-at-hand/

And the Access To Insight website has more information than I can manage. :)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/
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Re: Where to start?!

Postby Individual » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:48 pm

It is so nice to see three threads of this nature in the Discovering Theravada forum. :namaste:
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Where to start?!

Postby Bonsai Doug » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:05 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:Or you could go for (IMO) the simplest presentation of original teachings, the Dhammapada http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.intro.budd.html (the alternate translation linked at the top of the page is just as good but more poetic - take your pick).
:namaste:
Kim

Agree. Available as a small paperback book you can carry with you and reference often throughout the day.

I carry the Gil Fronsdal translation, and find his annotations throughout the book to be very helpful.
Now having obtained a precious human body,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path.

~ Tibetan Book of the Dead
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Re: Where to start?!

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:25 pm

www.wildmind.org

Has a good Anapanasati Meditation and also Metta Bhvana.
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Re: Where to start?!

Postby nobody12345 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:10 am

IMHO 'In the Buddha's Words' by Bhikkhu Bodhi is the best introductory material for a beginner.
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Re: Where to start?!

Postby Bonsai Doug » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:18 am

imaginos wrote:IMHO 'In the Buddha's Words' by Bhikkhu Bodhi is the best introductory material for a beginner.

I'm about half way through this work, and I too agree with the recommendation.
Now having obtained a precious human body,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path.

~ Tibetan Book of the Dead
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Re: Where to start?!

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:36 am

Read that a few years ago. I should read it again and see what I remember... (^^);;;;
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir
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Re: Where to start?!

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:38 am

imaginos wrote:IMHO 'In the Buddha's Words' by Bhikkhu Bodhi is the best introductory material for a beginner.

It's really good, but it's not my top pick for beginners just because it's so long - there's so much material there that it's easy to get bogged down.
YMMV, of course.
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Re: Where to start?!

Postby Nibbida » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:14 pm

My preference wouldbe to start with Bhante Henepola Gunaratana's Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path.

http://www.amazon.com/Eight-Mindful-Ste ... 0861711769

What the Buddha Taught is also a good choice and a classic place to start, but it's more dense reading. Gunaratana very skillfully expresses the Eightfold Path in contemporary terms, which would make reading other books like What the Buddha Taught or Bhikku Bodhi's Noble Eightfold Path more accessible.

[Edit]
From both a general practice and meditation point of view, Gil Fronsdals The Issue at Hand is very good, and a very accessible book (and free).

http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/ ... e-at-hand/
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