which dhamma texts would you pick?

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which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby alan... » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:04 am

500 people are going to be moving permanently to an island in the middle of nowhere. they know almost nothing about the dhamma but they all want to study it on the island. the island is cut off from the rest of the world for good, the people will move to it and have zero contact with the world forever more.

they have asked you to pick texts for them to study, there is no internet and no computers, no tvs or mp3 players on the island. you have a budget of $60 and that's it, and twenty minutes on a computer that is locked on amazon to order them. you will not see the books or the people, the books will be delivered to the people just before they depart, they will not come to your house or anything. you cannot go to the island with them. your only contact with them will be that the books you order will reach them, that's all.

what do you give them?

EDIT: the people have everything else they need, all they need is dhamma books.
Last edited by alan... on Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:19 am

In the Buddha's Words by Bhikkhu Bodhi. The 5 Dialogues by Plato (Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, are the important ones). The Experience of Samadhi: An In-Depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation By Richard Shankman. The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods. Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation by Larry Rosenberg.

Or alternatively if I were not to supply them the philosophy books I'd add:

The Majjhima Nikaya
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby alan... » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:27 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:In the Buddha's Words by Bhikkhu Bodhi. The 5 Dialogues by Plato (Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, are the important ones). The Experience of Samadhi: An In-Depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation By Richard Shankman. The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods. Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation by Larry Rosenberg.

Or alternatively if I were not to supply them the philosophy books I'd add:

The Majjhima Nikaya


good answer!!!
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby manas » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:47 am

alan... wrote:500 people are going to be moving permanently to an island in the middle of nowhere. they know almost nothing about the dhamma but they all want to study it on the island. the island is cut off from the rest of the world for good, the people will move to it and have zero contact with the world forever more...


Crikey, for a minute there I thought you were talking about Australia...

Regarding dhamma books, I would want the entire sutta-pitaka, and comprehensive texts on learning pali fluently and thoroughly, for starters...I'll have to think about the rest though

:anjali:
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby alan... » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:51 am

manas wrote:
alan... wrote:500 people are going to be moving permanently to an island in the middle of nowhere. they know almost nothing about the dhamma but they all want to study it on the island. the island is cut off from the rest of the world for good, the people will move to it and have zero contact with the world forever more...


Crikey, for a minute there I thought you were talking about Australia...

Regarding dhamma books, I would want the entire sutta-pitaka, and comprehensive texts on learning pali fluently and thoroughly, for starters...I'll have to think about the rest though

:anjali:



$60 budget.
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby manas » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:02 am

Oops I forgot about this bit
you will not see the books or the people, the books will be delivered to the people just before they depart, they will not come to your house or anything. you cannot go to the island with them. your only contact with them will be that the books you order will reach them, that's all.

in which case I'm really stumped. I don't know if people could actually learn the Dhamma *just* from books, without losing their way. I thought that *some* occasional guidance and correction from someone who has walked the Path before is essential.

:anjali:
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby reflection » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:16 am

Depends on the persons. Some people who never have read anything about Buddhism before, I gave books that I taught would fit their personalities and interests. Doesn't have to be Therevada. For example, Buddhism Plain and Simple or something by Thich Nhat Hahn can fit people. If I'd given them suttas instead, they would not have been impressed.

I don't read a lot, but if I were to ship a clone of myself $60 worth of texts to use on the island, they'd be: The Brahmajala Sutta for sure, Nyanatiloka's The Word of the Buddha and Ajahn Brahmavamso's Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond. Those all seem to work for me. Still enough money left to buy an anthology of the suttas in my own language and a manual on how to build a boat. And I would include a note: read the heart most of all.
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby Ben » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:21 am

What is the point of this thread?
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:51 am

Ben wrote:What is the point of this thread?


My guess is that Alan is trying to formulate some kind of perfect or near perfect collection of Buddha dhamma texts that he will read to the exclusion of all others until he has a comprehensive grasp of the overall whole of the path and goal and until his practice has become as strong as a river rushing towards the sea. Or something like that but less intense.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby Ben » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:30 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:
Ben wrote:What is the point of this thread?


My guess is that Alan is trying to formulate some kind of perfect or near perfect collection of Buddha dhamma texts that he will read to the exclusion of all others until he has a comprehensive grasp of the overall whole of the path and goal and until his practice has become as strong as a river rushing towards the sea. Or something like that but less intense.

:anjali:


Yes I understand. But I think its a mistake.
As the saying goes, 'the proof of the pudding is in its eating'.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby Mr Man » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:51 am

I imagined it was just a bit of fun.
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby Ben » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:14 am

Mr Man wrote:I imagined it was just a bit of fun.


Sure. Don;t mind me I'm just being a cranky old man.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby alan... » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:44 pm

Mr Man wrote:I imagined it was just a bit of fun.


Mr Man for the win.
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby alan... » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:45 pm

reflection wrote:Depends on the persons. Some people who never have read anything about Buddhism before, I gave books that I taught would fit their personalities and interests. Doesn't have to be Therevada. For example, Buddhism Plain and Simple or something by Thich Nhat Hahn can fit people. If I'd given them suttas instead, they would not have been impressed.

I don't read a lot, but if I were to ship a clone of myself $60 worth of texts to use on the island, they'd be: The Brahmajala Sutta for sure, Nyanatiloka's The Word of the Buddha and Ajahn Brahmavamso's Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond. Those all seem to work for me. Still enough money left to buy an anthology of the suttas in my own language and a manual on how to build a boat. And I would include a note: read the heart most of all.


yes i'm interested in other traditions as well if they get the ball rolling and keep up the momentum. i'm reading alan watts way of zen right now and am pretty impressed. not sure as of right now, i'm not even half way through it, but it might be on my list.
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby lojong1 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:23 pm

manas wrote:I don't know if people could actually learn the Dhamma *just* from books, without losing their way.

They would have each other. They ought to be able to make some progress with...

the MAJJHIMA NIKAYA
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby Nyana » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:32 pm

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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby bodom » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:10 pm

Without a doubt the two texts I would be bringing are Nyanatiloka"s anthology of suttas The Buddhas Path to Deliverance and Ajahn Chah's Food for the Heart.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby alan... » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:28 am



all sound great. ajahn chah is really popular! i know little about him. is he as meticulous and specific as ajahn brahm? all i've read by him are snippets and quotes that seem vague, but then again snippets and quotes are frequently in themselves vague.

why the dhammapada? is it a commentary along with it?
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby alan... » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:29 am

bodom wrote:Without a doubt the two texts I would be bringing are Nyanatiloka"s anthology of suttas The Buddhas Path to Deliverance and Ajahn Chah's Food for the Heart.

:anjali:


never read any nyanatiloka, i'll have to look into that. another ajahn chah mention! he must be good.
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Re: which dhamma texts would you pick?

Postby alan... » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:30 am

lojong1 wrote:
manas wrote:I don't know if people could actually learn the Dhamma *just* from books, without losing their way.

They would have each other. They ought to be able to make some progress with...

the MAJJHIMA NIKAYA


seriously! along with bhikkhu bodhi's notes that book is extremely comprehensive and useful!!! it's my desert island book if i had to pick one for sure.
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