Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

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Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby starter » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:16 pm

Hello friend,

Thanks a lot for your kind help with my previous posts. I plan to visit Ven. Thanissaro, and I’m starting to read his writings (starting with Wings to Awakening) and listen to his talks (downloaded some talks from http://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html, starter sets). But it’s a bit difficult for me to choose from his many essays and talks. Would it be possible for you to kindly recommend some of his writings and talks which you consider the best and most helpful?

I have to admit that so far "Wings to Awakening" (Intro and part 1) has touched my intellect, but not my heart. It's highly analytical and intellectual, but I'd rather read some of his writings which can practically guide my practice. I'd highly appreciate your recommendations of such writings and talks of his.

Metta,

Starter

PS: I recommend Meditation4.
Last edited by starter on Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby cooran » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:28 pm

Hello starter,

Here is a list of Ven. Thanissaro’s online essays. Run through the titles and see what attracts your attention:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/

with metta
Chris
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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:00 pm

Greetings Starter,
starter wrote:I have to admit that so far "Wings to Awakening" (Intro and part 1) has touched my intellect, but not my heart. It's highly analytical and intellectual, but I'd rather read some of his writings which can actually lead my heart to peace and liberation (from sufferings), and practically guide my practice.

Cooran's list should be amenable to your stated purposes, but it might be worth reflecting on why you imply that "analytical" teachings cannot "lead my heart to peace and liberation (from sufferings), and practically guide my practice".

Do you seek an emotional salve or the wisdom of the Buddha?

All the best.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:16 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Cooran's list should be amenable to your stated purposes, but it might be worth reflecting on why you imply that "analytical" teachings cannot "lead my heart to peace and liberation (from sufferings), and practically guide my practice".

Do you seek an emotional salve or the wisdom of the Buddha?


I would have worded it differently than the OP did but it appears to me what he/she wants is practical instruction on the path of practice rather than an indepth analysis coming from a more theoretical perspective (such as "Wings of Awakening").

To answer the question I find his MP3 dhamma talks quite practice oriented, you can download lots of them from Dhammaseed.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:23 pm

Greetings Goofaholix,

Perhaps, but as Ven. Thanissaro says in the Preface...

Many anthologies of the Buddha's teachings have appeared in English, but this is the first to be organized around the set of teachings that the Buddha himself said formed the heart of his message: the Wings to Awakening (bodhi-pakkhiya-dhamma). The material is arranged in three parts, preceded by a long Introduction. The Introduction tries to define the concept of Awakening so as to give a clear sense of where the Wings to Awakening are headed. It does this by discussing the Buddha's accounts of his own Awakening, with special focus on the way in which the principle of skillful kamma (in Sanskrit, karma) formed both the "how" and the "what" of that Awakening: The Buddha was able to reach Awakening only by developing skillful kamma — this is the "how"; his understanding of the process of developing skillful kamma is what sparked the insights that constituted Awakening — this is the "what."

With this background established, the remainder of the book focuses in detail on the Wings to Awakening as a detailed analysis of the "how."
Part I focuses on aspects of the principle of skillful kamma that shaped the way the Wings to Awakening are formulated. Part II goes through the seven sets that make up the Wings to Awakening themselves: the four foundations of mindfulness (here called the four frames of reference), the four right exertions, the four bases for power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors for Awakening, and the noble eightfold path. Part III reduces all the terms in the seven sets to the five faculties, and then deals with those faculties in detail. With the fifth and final faculty, discernment, the book concludes by returning to the "what" of Awakening, showing how discernment focuses on the Wings themselves as topics to be observed in such a way that they will spark the insights leading to total release.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby dhammapal » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:01 am

Hi Starter,

Yes Wings to Awakening is very intellectual and advanced.

Most of his talks on dhammatalks.org are given during meditation sits whereas at audiodharma.org he has his eyes open and laughs with the audience. My favorite is "Happiness":
http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/16/

This workshop on the Brahmaviharas is with an audience
http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Retr ... Audio.html

For the reason why he translates metta as goodwill rather than lovingkindness, see the first 15 minutes of:
June 26 Early PM Lecture Q & A
http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Retr ... Audio.html
From: Audio Downloads & Resources for Thanissaro Bhikkhu's June 2010 Saskatchewan Retreat on "The Ten Perfections"

I also recommend these articles on Access to Insight:
All About Change
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... hange.html
Life Isn't Just Suffering
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... eisnt.html

For dozens of quotes by Thanissaro Bhikkhu on the Brahmaviharas (metta, compassion, mudita and equanimity), go to the message archives of my Yahoo Group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Buddhaviharas

With metta / dhammapal.

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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby Individual » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:21 am

The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby Hoo » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:41 am

starter wrote:....I have to admit that so far "Wings to Awakening" (Intro and part 1) has touched my intellect, but not my heart. It's highly analytical and intellectual, but I'd rather read some of his writings which can actually lead my heart to peace and liberation (from sufferings), and practically guide my practice. I'd highly appreciate your recommendations of such writings and talks of his....


Hi Starter,

I've been out to the site http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Buddhaviharas and like the practice-oriented stuff usually found there. If you want to do some trolling in the messages, there is quite a lot to read and absorb. I'd keep "Wings" handy to see what he said about some of the topics as they come up. In time, what seems intellectual now may speak more clearly to your practice.

Just because it's said in a message, though, doesn't make it right. I'd suggest taking those as leads to what is actually said in the Suttas.

Just my two cents. With Metta,

Hoo

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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby bazzaman » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:02 am

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Last edited by bazzaman on Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby starter » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:58 am

Dear Friends,

Your very kind help has been most appreciated. I'll check into what you've recommended.

I didn't imply that "analytical" teachings cannot lead my heart to peace and liberation (from sufferings), and practically guide my practice". Goofaholix was right about my intention ["what he/she wants is practical instruction on the path of practice rather than an indepth analysis coming from a more theoretical perspective"]. Thanks for the feedback of Retrofuturist, and I've changed the phrasing accordingly.

I don't know how others feel while reading something. Some writings/talks can let my heart feel so peaceful and tranquil ("touched my heart") but some others don't. That's what I meant "can actually lead my heart to peace and liberation (from sufferings)". I listen to my heart to select the right writings/talks for me. Of course insights and wisdom are very important for our practice which can touch one's heart to let-go the attachments and defilements, and I think I'm not seeking emotional salve.

Happy Thanks-giving! Metta,

Starter

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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby dhammapal » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:54 am

Hi Starter, Hoo,

At first when I was studying Thanissaro Bhikkhu's teachings I found it frustrating that although his monastery is called Wat Metta I couldn't find much of his writing or talks on loving-kindness. Later I found that he translates metta as goodwill and Brahmaviharas as Sublime Attitudes.

My Buddhaviharas Yahoo Group actually comes up with 236 message archive Thanissaro search results, which include suttas he translated and some posts have been recycled and/or commented on.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu bases his teachings on the early suttas, sometimes showing up the commentaries written 500 years after the Buddha's parinibbana. See:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... andha.html

If you liked Wings to Awakening I found an excellent introduction to Buddhism hidden at the end of a study guide “A Refuge in Skillful Action”:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... e.html#act

With metta / dhammapal.

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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby gavesako » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:39 am

His latest 500 page book is out! It is called "Skill of Questions" and looks very interesting. It develops the theme touched upon in many of his articles, but with lots of Sutta quotations as well. It should soon appear on http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index.html
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby dhammapal » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:34 am

gavesako wrote:His latest 500 page book is out! It is called "Skill of Questions" and looks very interesting. It develops the theme touched upon in many of his articles, but with lots of Sutta quotations as well. It should soon appear on http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index.html

Hi Bhante, it's online here.
http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... tions.html

With metta / dp.

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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:23 am

Greetings,

Some posts have been split into a new topic...

Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6382

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: Recommendation of of Ven. Thanissaro's essays and talks?

Postby dhammapal » Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:33 am

Hi Starter,

I found this 20 minute talk by Ven Thanissaro which addresses your threads about teachings for monks and laypeople, the gradual training:
Cleaning Up Your Personal Environment - October 2009
http://www.dhammatalks.org

With metta / dhammapal.


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