In the Buddha's Words

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

In the Buddha's Words

Postby Stephen K » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:32 pm

I hear a lot of people mention this book. What is it? Is a collection of suttas; commentaries?
With metta,
Upāsaka Sumana (Stephen)


My philosophy is simple: Saying 'yes' to the positive and 'no' to the negative; because the positive is so much better than the negative.

Stop the evil; start and continue the good.
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Re: In the Buddha's Words

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:40 pm

Stefan wrote:I hear a lot of people mention this book. What is it? Is a collection of suttas; commentaries?

http://www.wisdompubs.org/pages/display ... yValue=104
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: In the Buddha's Words

Postby Stephen K » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:48 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Stefan wrote:I hear a lot of people mention this book. What is it? Is a collection of suttas; commentaries?

http://www.wisdompubs.org/pages/display ... yValue=104

:thanks: :twothumbsup:
With metta,
Upāsaka Sumana (Stephen)


My philosophy is simple: Saying 'yes' to the positive and 'no' to the negative; because the positive is so much better than the negative.

Stop the evil; start and continue the good.
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Re: In the Buddha's Words

Postby bodom » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:03 am

The best introduction to the suttas of the pali canon in my opinion.

: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: In the Buddha's Words

Postby Tex » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:11 am

bodom_bad_boy wrote:The best introduction to the suttas of the pali canon in my opinion.

:namaste:


Seconded. It's very well organized and Bhikkhu Bodhi writes several pages to introduce each section. Every Buddhist bookshelf should have a copy of this one.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: In the Buddha's Words

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:13 am

Greetings Tex,

Tex wrote:Every Buddhist bookshelf should have a copy of this one.


But why get the greatest hits collection, if you have all the albums?

(Serious question, I'm not being a smart ass)

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


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Re: In the Buddha's Words

Postby bodom » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:25 am

In the introduction bodhi stated that his purpose in writing this book was two fold: first for those who are not yet acquanted with the suttas who feel the the need for a systematic introduction as the "Nikayas apear to be like a jungle - entanglng and bewildering, full of unknown beasts like the ocean". Second is for those "already acquanted with the suttas who still cannot see how they fit together in an intelligable whole. Individual suttas are comprehensible in themselves. but the texts in there totality appear like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle scattered across a table". This book has definitely helped me in those two regards. I dont feel it necessary anymore to read all of the nikayas after reading this book. Plus it can get quite expensive collecting all those "albums" lol.

: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: In the Buddha's Words

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:35 am

Greetings BBB,

Thanks for the summary of Bhikkhu Bodhi's intent behind the compilation.

Just be mindful though that as with any other selected compilation of suttas, you will be getting that particular editor or translaters view of the Pali Canon and what is important to them... and as we know from interacting with others, the degree to which certain people prioritise different suttas (let alone the Pali Canon as a whole) means we should at least be aware that BB is providing a systematic framework that accords to his understanding, not the systematic framework that is in any way official, absolute or exclusively correct.

To keep with the music analogy, pop into a forum of one of your favourite bands and start up a conversation on what tracks should be on the "ultimate greatest hits CD"... see if you can find any 2 people who agree on both the tracks and the sequencing!

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: In the Buddha's Words

Postby Kare » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:37 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tex,

Tex wrote:Every Buddhist bookshelf should have a copy of this one.


But why get the greatest hits collection, if you have all the albums?

(Serious question, I'm not being a smart ass)

Metta,
Retro. :)


And why get only the cover versions, when you can get the original?

(Trying to be a smart ass ... ) :stirthepot:
Mettāya,
Kåre
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Re: In the Buddha's Words

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:49 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:Just be mindful though that as with any other selected compilation of suttas, you will be getting that particular editor or translators view of the Pali Canon and what is important to them...

Of course, but Bhikkhu Bodhi seems to have been quite careful in his selections. After studying that collection, I find that when I read other Suttas they usually turn out to be an expansion on concepts that are at least touched on in that collection.

One of the big differences between that collection and most others I am aware of is that it covers quite a breadth, including Suttas on worldly things such as "how to be a good son/wife/husband/king/etc" and a small selection of devotional and mythological passages, as well as the key Suttas on meditation, dependent origination, and so on that most collections seem to focus on.

By the way, I don't think your comparison between "albums" and "greatest hits" is particularly accurate. The organisation of most of the Nikayas is rather obscure and fragmented (the Samyutta Nikaya is the only one that has any real organisation by subject). It's more like Bhikkhu Bodhi's selection being a play list selected from an Ipod's worth of tracks... :reading:

Mike
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Re: In the Buddha's Words

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:54 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:By the way, I don't think your comparison between "albums" and "greatest hits" is particularly accurate. The organisation of most of the Nikayas is rather obscure and fragmented (the Samyutta Nikaya is the only one that has any real organisation by subject). It's more like Bhikkhu Bodhi's selection being a play list selected from an Ipod's worth of tracks... :reading:


That may be true to a point with regards to the internal structure of each nikaya (though I'm sure the original editors had their reasons), but viewed across nikayas, the SN has a different feel to the MN which has a different feel to the (frustrating) DN and so on.

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: In the Buddha's Words

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:05 am

Hi Retro,

There is certainly a difference is feel, but my point was that the SN is the only place where there is much value in reading Suttas sequentially. I'm most familiar with the MN, and there are various ways of approaching that, including Bhikkhu Bodhi's talks (which were the basis of the structure of "In the Buddha's Words"), and reading lists by Shaila Catherine which we've used locally to study it.

Of course, there's nothing to stop you just reading the Nikayas in sequence, but if you do that then, apart from a few groupings, the topics are largely in a random sequence (apart from in the SN).

Metta
Mike
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Re: In the Buddha's Words

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:30 am

i just wish he woundnt use words like niggardly... seriously, modern translation bodhi, modern
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: In the Buddha's Words

Postby adamposey » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:41 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tex,

Tex wrote:Every Buddhist bookshelf should have a copy of this one.


But why get the greatest hits collection, if you have all the albums?

(Serious question, I'm not being a smart ass)

Metta,
Retro. :)


Quick access to the hits. :)
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Re: In the Buddha's Words

Postby appicchato » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:38 pm

Image
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Re: In the Buddha's Words

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:00 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tex,

Tex wrote:Every Buddhist bookshelf should have a copy of this one.


But why get the greatest hits collection, if you have all the albums?

(Serious question, I'm not being a smart ass)

Metta,
Retro. :)

For the essays that accompany the translated texts, and not everyone wants to read all those texts in the Nikayas.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: In the Buddha's Words

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:03 pm

Greetings Tilt,

On that point then, how much of the book is "In The Buddha's Words" and how much in Bhikkhu Bodhi's words in the form of modern commentary (ignoring any footnotes for now).

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: In the Buddha's Words

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:10 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

On that point then, how much of the book is "In The Buddha's Words" and how much in Bhikkhu Bodhi's words in the form of modern commentary (ignoring any footnotes for now).

Metta,
Retro. :)

Probably around a quarter. There are a number of new anothologies of Pali suttas that are available now and most of them are worth reading.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: In the Buddha's Words

Postby BlackBird » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:38 pm

That photo made me smile Bhante

:anjali:
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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