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Pali Canon - Dhamma Wheel

Pali Canon

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
greggorious
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Pali Canon

Postby greggorious » Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:29 am

For someone new to Theravada where do you think is the best starting place in terms of the Pali cacon? All I know so far is the Dharmapada which I've ordered off the internet.
Also I assume that the Pali canon isn't meant to be Gospel like the Bible? Are you meant to believe and accept all that you read? I'm a natural born sceptic :)
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

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retrofuturist
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Re: Pali Canon

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:39 am

Greetings,

The Pali Canon consists of three baskets (aka ti-pitaka).

There's the Sutta Pitaka which contains the Buddha's teachings (of which Dhammapada is a small part)
There's the Vinaya Pitaka which covers the monastic discipline, and finally...
There's the Abhidhamma Pitaka which covers psychological analysis of mindstates, and was ratified at the Third Buddhist Council.

The teachings are to be investigated, and if they seem reasonable, put into practice to see whether they are beneficial.

If/when they are seen to be beneficial, one is inclined to investigate and test them more deeply.

Whilst of course you can't validate the existence or truth of certain milestones before you get there, you can determine whether the application of these teachings (as best as you understand them and are capable and committed to following them) is bringing you happiness, calmness and a reduction in suffering.

If you like what you see in the Dhammapada, I would recommend further investigation of the Sutta Pitaka, either through books, or on sites like Access To Insight where suttas can be read for free.

If you wish to pursue meditation to complement your investigations, there are also many options available in that space too.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

greggorious
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Re: Pali Canon

Postby greggorious » Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:53 am

Thanks Retro. At the moment I'm in the process of finding the right Theravada tradition for me. I'm going to stay at a Thai Forest centre in a few weeks, though the nearest centre to me is a Sri Lanken one. I've heard that the Thai tradition doesn't concentrate on the pali cannon? Not sure about the Sri Lanken one though. Apologies for my ignorance :D
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

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retrofuturist
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Re: Pali Canon

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:38 pm

Greetings,

Regardless of which sub-tradition appeals to you most, all follow the same path - namely the Noble Eightfold Path. They just have slightly different ways of going about it, and slightly different emphases.

Regardless, all of them accept the Sutta Pitaka as the Buddha's teaching - some might just focus more on meditation than study or vice versa, for example. Therefore I wouldn't regard them as being in any way incompatible for the very reason that they each take the Buddha's teachings as their anchor.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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puppha
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Re: Pali Canon

Postby puppha » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:06 pm


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Jason
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Re: Pali Canon

Postby Jason » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:50 am

"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" ().

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nicholas
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Re: Pali Canon

Postby nicholas » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:07 am


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Zom
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Re: Pali Canon

Postby Zom » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:08 pm


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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Pali Canon

Postby Modus.Ponens » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:20 pm

He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

BKh
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Re: Pali Canon

Postby BKh » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:15 pm

The link below is for a site focused on developing a daily practice of reading the suttas with suggestions on texts to start with, overcoming hindrances to reading, etc.



If you are just beginning I would recommend starting to make a personal anthology as explained in this article.



That way if you ever stop a daily reading practice you will still have those suttas close by that have touched you most deeply.
Daily Practice with the Suttas |
Audio Sutta Recordings | Images of the Buddha across time and space

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mikenz66
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Re: Pali Canon

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:42 pm

I would start with "In the Buddhas Word" by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
http://www.wisdompubs.org/pages/display ... n=&image=1

This has a great selection of Suttas that give a good overview of the Buddhas teachings to a variety of followers.

And the odd Deva... As Retro and Modus.Ponens say, you don't have to take everything literally, but everything is worth looking into.

:anjali:
Mike

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puppha
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Re: Pali Canon

Postby puppha » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:51 am


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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Pali Canon

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:40 am

Thank you for the clarification puppha. :smile:
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Ben
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Re: Pali Canon

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:56 am

Moderator note:

Please read the following guidelines for the Discovering Theravada forum prior to responding to this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=9992
Many thanks,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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