Discovering Theravada ...

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Discovering Theravada ...

Postby pererin » Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:16 am

... no, but really.

I'm getting bogged down here. Can anyone recommend a good, systematic and reasonably comprehensive introduction (or introductions) to Theravada Buddhism which you would put in the hands of a beginner?

:reading:

With thanks,

Pererin
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby stuka » Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:21 am

pererin wrote:... no, but really.

I'm getting bogged down here. Can anyone recommend a good, systematic and reasonably comprehensive introduction (or introductions) to Theravada Buddhism which you would put in the hands of a beginner?

:reading:

With thanks,

Pererin



Buddhadhamma: Natural Laws and Values for Life by Phra Prayudh Payutto.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Buddhadhamma-by-Phr ... 18Q2el1247

Ebay Item # 260335181036

Some excerpts here: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy ... ayutto.htm
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby Element » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:00 am

Buddhadhamma for Students by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa :reading:
Last edited by Element on Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:02 am

pererin wrote:... no, but really.

I'm getting bogged down here. Can anyone recommend a good, systematic and reasonably comprehensive introduction (or introductions) to Theravada Buddhism which you would put in the hands of a beginner?

:reading:

With thanks,

Pererin



http://www.wisdom-books.com/SiteSearchR ... ubmit=+Go+
or a very similar book
http://www.wisdom-books.com/ProductDetail.asp?PID=16955

I have both and the second link I know the author and he has an easy to read and listen to style
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby bodom » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:34 pm

What is Theravada Buddhism?
by John Bullitt

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... avada.html

:namaste:
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: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:37 pm

Greetings Pererin,

See also the pinned thread on:

Introductory Resources
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=148

Feel free to post your comments and questions here or in a new thread.

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: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby pererin » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:56 pm

Thank you to each of you who went to the time and trouble of suggesting study material; I am trying to acquire copies, but my usual outlets don't seem to have all the titles you mentioned. I'll keep looking.

:namaste:

Mark
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:17 pm

Element wrote:Buddhadhamma for Students by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

I would not say a man who says "all Theravada teachers have gotten it wrong for the past 1000 years" provides a good introduction to Theravada Buddhism. He may offer an introduction to how he personally understands the Dhamma, but that's a different thing than saying he introduces Theravada.

I would recommend "In the Buddha's Words" by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby pererin » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:20 am

Following your good advice I started to put an order together on a certain well-known online book company. Instantly divining my intent, its computer helpfully offered me the following top titles to match my enquiries:

(1) Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

(2) In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by Bhikkhu Bodhi

(3) What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula

(4) The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh

(5) Mamma Mia! with Meryl Streep

:jawdrop:
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:22 am

Greetings,

Any of the top 3 would be good.

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: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby Element » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:28 am

Peter wrote:
Element wrote:Buddhadhamma for Students by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

I would not say a man who says "all Theravada teachers have gotten it wrong for the past 1000 years" provides a good introduction to Theravada Buddhism. He may offer an introduction to how he personally understands the Dhamma, but that's a different thing than saying he introduces Theravada.

I would recommend "In the Buddha's Words" by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

Since we are trading opinions, I would avoid "In the Buddha's Words" by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Whilst it is full of wonderful suttas, it has been weighted, giving wrong and over-emphasis towards certain teachings.

When we read the suttas, it is best to read them as a whole. For example, the beginning with the most authentic collections, which would start with the Majjhima, Samyutta & Anguttara Nikayas, avoiding the Digha Nikaya.

When we read for example, the Majjhima Nikaya, we learn about what the Buddha emphasised in his teaching.

Regarding the book, Buddhadhamma for Students by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa, it is very clear. Whenever I have used it to clarify difficult topics on internet chat sites, the readers have always praised it. However, this book is for sincere practitioners.
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:54 am

Hi Element,
Element wrote:Since we are trading opinions, I would avoid "In the Buddha's Words" by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Whilst it is full of wonderful suttas, it has been weighted, giving wrong and over-emphasis towards certain teachings.

I haven't noticed this "weighting". I've read "In the Buddhas Words, studied most of the Majjhima Nikaya (not just the Suttas that Bhikkhu Bodhi has recorded talks on), and dipped into the other Nikayas. What exactly do you think is over-emphasised?

The useful thing about reading "In the Buddhas Words" is that it introduces you coherently to a variety of types of Suttas. My experience is that most Suttas that I read now I can see which chapter of ITBWs they could be classified in (suttas about everyday life, kamma and rebirth, meditation, dependent origination, etc).

It may be redundant if you already know your way around the Suttas.

What I certainly wouldn't recommend for a beginner is starting with Sutta 1 of the Majjhima Nikaya...

Metta
Mike
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby Element » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:05 am

For me, the term "beginner" is vague, subjective but most of all, extremely dangerous.

If one studies certain Buddhist subjects & considers them essential then one will always remain a "beginner" because one will have never actually started.

It does not matter how many years that one has been a Buddhist. One will never start if one has wrong grasp of the teachings.

Buddha said in AN X.61 that the cause of ignorance is associating with unenlightened beings and listening to the wrong teachings.

Buddha has advised in teachings such as the Ani Sutta (on the internet) that his suttas connected with emptiness should be studied.

Of course, each of us can only recommend according to our experience. When I first learned Dhamma, as a beginner, I was taught about the sense bases and about how feeling, cravings (greed, hatred & delusion), attachment, self-view & suffering arose from sense contact and of course, how these things that generate suffering can be controlled and ended.

Thus when Bhikkhu Buddhadasa titles a book: "Buddhadhamma for Students", it is intended for beginners who aim to end suffering.

But if the ending suffering is not one's primary goal then I suppose some can certainly recommend other aspects of dhamma.

With metta,

Element :reading:
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby pererin » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:53 am

As the OP of this thread I would like to renew my thanks to all those who have suggested material for me to study; I will most certainly follow these through as diligently as I may. I note that the work of Buddhadasa has led to a number of exchanges between contributors. May I respectfully ask that my specific thread not become a forum for debating his work, as doing so might thereby prevent others from contributing their own further suggestions, any of which I would be more than happy to receive.

I also note that Element considers the term 'beginner' (which I used of myself in my initial posting) to be "vague, subjective but most of all, extremely dangerous". I regret any unskilful use of language on my part, but I knew of no other word I should use in its place.

Metta,

Mark
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:17 am

Hi Pererin
here is a pdf of mindfulness in plain english may be cheeper to just print or go to a self publish site (Lulu.com)than to order it?
I would also add Twins with Arnold Schwarzenegger

pererin wrote:Following your good advice I started to put an order together on a certain well-known online book company. Instantly divining my intent, its computer helpfully offered me the following top titles to match my enquiries:

(1) Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

(2) In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by Bhikkhu Bodhi

(3) What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula

(4) The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh

(5) Mamma Mia! with Meryl Streep

:jawdrop:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby pererin » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:22 am

Manapa wrote:Hi Pererin
here is a pdf of mindfulness in plain english may be cheeper to just print or go to a self publish site (Lulu.com)than to order it?


Sorry Manapa - did I miss that pdf?

Metta
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:26 am

Dear Element,
Element wrote:For me, the term "beginner" is vague, subjective but most of all, extremely dangerous.

How about "someone who not read any Suttas yet"?
Element wrote:If one studies certain Buddhist subjects & considers them essential then one will always remain a "beginner" because one will have never actually started.

Yes, but there appear to be some different opinions on what is essential...
Element wrote:When I first learned Dhamma, as a beginner, I was taught about the sense bases and about how feeling, cravings (greed, hatred & delusion), attachment, self-view & suffering arose from sense contact and of course, how these things that generate suffering can be controlled and ended.

There are Suttas on those subjects in Chapters VII to IX of "In the Buddha's Words".

Metta
Mike
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:26 am

Hi Manapa,

Manapa wrote:here is a pdf of mindfulness in plain english


I don't think the board's software allows the uploading of pdf files. But the book can be downloaded here:
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe.html

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby pererin » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:29 am

Thank you, Bhante.

Metta
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Re: Discovering Theravada ...

Postby Element » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:31 am

pererin wrote:I regret any unskilful use of language on my part, but I knew of no other word I should use in its place.


Please do not 'regret' Mark.

Buddhism is something quite vast and nebulous.

I suppose what I was trying to say is what one studies depends on one's personal objectives.

Sooner more than later, each must choose what is suitable for them.

Peace,

Element
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