Structured Reading

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Structured Reading

Postby FairyFeller » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:20 am

As a relative newcomer I am still finding the beginnings of my path through Buddhism. I am starting to get the hang of sitting still and finding my breathing but also want to do some reading.

I was thinking about starting of with basics and reading translations of the Suttas before moving on to other people's interpretations and theories (that makes more sense in my head than I can put into words). I like the look of the Dhamma Wheel Study Group section but I was wondering if there is a good starting point for a beginner?
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Re: Structured Reading

Postby Ben » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:28 am

Yes, there is probably no better primer than Bhikkhu Bodhi's "In the Buddha's Words".
You can also read the Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Majjhima Nikaya along-side mp3 files of lectures he gives on the suttas in that collection.
Google "Bodhi Monastery" and search through the menu to get to the relevant lecture series. You will also find that the archived sutta study group threads a great aid and will include alternative translations to Ven Bodhi's excellent work.
kind regards,

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Re: Structured Reading

Postby reflection » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:33 am

Hi,

There are various anthologies of the suttas. They can have a bit of commentary, but not so much.

For example:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0861714911

or which I like:
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/wordofbuddha.pdf

Otherwise I would suggest just to start reading the Majhima Nikaya. It is quite a varied collection with most of the 'famous' suttas. You can buy it or for example use this site which has links to various translations:
http://suttacentral.net/mn

What could be interesting collections of talks on this are:
http://bodhimonastery.org/a-systematic- ... ikaya.html
And the suttas mentioned in this also form a systematic approach:
http://media.bswa.org/documents/EarlyBu ... seBSWA.pdf


Have fun!
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Re: Structured Reading

Postby FairyFeller » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:24 am

Ben wrote:Yes, there is probably no better primer than Bhikkhu Bodhi's "In the Buddha's Words".
You can also read the Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Majjhima Nikaya along-side mp3 files of lectures he gives on the suttas in that collection.
Google "Bodhi Monastery" and search through the menu to get to the relevant lecture series. You will also find that the archived sutta study group threads a great aid and will include alternative translations to Ven Bodhi's excellent work.
kind regards,

Ben

Thank you. I have just invested in the complete set including 'In the Buddha's Words' and 'Great Disciples', it's sort if sitting there waiting for me to find a starting point.
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Re: Structured Reading

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:40 am

Hi FairyFeller,

I'd just start reading In the Buddha's Words (that's what I did...). The first chapter is available as a PDF here: http://wisdompubs.org/Pages/display.lasso?-KeyValue=104 in the link: "A PDF file of the table of contents and other frontmatter".

There is a series of talks based on the book here: http://www.noblepath.org/audio.html (scroll down to the bottom section).

Bhikkhu Bodhi has organised a selection of suttas in a classification scheme that I found very helpful.
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:In an ongoing series of lectures I began giving at Bodhi Monastery
in New Jersey in January 2003, I devised a scheme of my own to organize
the contents of the Majjhima Nik›ya. This scheme unfolds the
Buddha’s message progressively, from the simple to the difficult, from
the elementary to the profound. Upon reflection, I saw that this scheme
could be applied not only to the Majjhima Nik›ya, but to the four
Nik›yas as a whole. The present book organizes suttas selected from all
four Nik›yas within this thematic and progressive framework.

I have found what he says here to be very true:
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:Once one understands the scheme in this book, one should come away with
a clear idea of the architecture of the teaching. Then, with a little
reflection, one should be able to determine the place any sutta occupies
in the edifice of the Dhamma, whether or not it has been included
in this anthology.


:anjali:
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