Study Materials

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Study Materials

Postby Branko » Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:02 pm

Hi everyone
here in Serbia we just organized a Theravada Buddhist Society and would like to start systematic study of the Buddha's Teachings though our mailing list. We fill it is helpful since our members are of different level of knowledge and would like to establish a sound common basis for further progress. Therefore we are looking for the appropriate study materials which would allow participants to be more active during the classes, like questions and assignments at the end of the each chapter. I found some material at the Buddhanet site, but it seems more designed for primary and high school classes. Any other idea?

Many thaks in advance
:D
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Re: Study Materials

Postby Ben » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:47 pm

Hi Branko

Have you had a look at Bhikkhu Bodhi's lecture series on the Majjhima Nikaya? Its a series of mp3 sound files that you can listen to in conjunction with reading the suttas. http://www.bodhimonastery.net/courses/MN/MN_course.html
kind regards

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Re: Study Materials

Postby cooran » Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:35 pm

Branko wrote:Hi everyone
here in Serbia we just organized a Theravada Buddhist Society and would like to start systematic study of the Buddha's Teachings though our mailing list. We fill it is helpful since our members are of different level of knowledge and would like to establish a sound common basis for further progress. Therefore we are looking for the appropriate study materials which would allow participants to be more active during the classes, like questions and assignments at the end of the each chapter. I found some material at the Buddhanet site, but it seems more designed for primary and high school classes. Any other idea?

Many thaks in advance
:D


Hello Branko,

Dhamma Wheel members are studying the Majjhima Nikaya suttas from this downloadable .pdf book. See what you think:

Pressing Out Pure Honey - Sharda Rogell
This manual has been prepared as a study guide for practitioners to Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translation of the Majjhima Nikaya, or the Middle-Length Discourses of the Buddha. Sometimes, one can feel daunted by the size of this large body of work and can be deterred from even beginning to read the text. Yet, this collection of the second of the Buddha’s discourses found in the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon contains some of the most profound teachings, and it covers a wide range of the Buddha’s radical insights into the nature of existence.
http://www.dharma.org/bcbs/Pages/publications.html

metta
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Re: Study Materials

Postby Branko » Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:42 pm

Dear Ben and Chris
Yes I know about Bhikkhu Bodhi's series, but I had something more basic in mind. Suttas should come little bit later, when basic concepts like four noble truths, three characteristics, panca sila etc. are clear enough.
And the other problem with these audio files is language. However strange it may sound, some members of our Serbian group don't speak English. So I'm looking for the study material which I would translate for them...
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Re: Study Materials

Postby AdvaitaJ » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:08 pm

Branko,

I was going to suggest basing your materials on the Dhammapada so I searched for a Serbian translation and it led me to the site posted in your signature block!

Good luck in your search.

AdvaitaJ
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Re: Study Materials

Postby Branko » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:25 pm

AdvaitaJ wrote:Branko,
I was going to suggest basing your materials on the Dhammapada so I searched for a Serbian translation and it led me to the site posted in your signature block!

Not a surprise.
This is one of only two Theravada websites in whole former Yugoslavia.
The other is this one, in Slovenian
http://www.slo-theravada.org/index.htm

:twothumbsup:
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Re: Study Materials

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:34 pm

Greetings Branko,

I'm curious as to why you think suttas should come after people have the basic concepts understood?

The best introductions to the Dhamma that I have found tend to explain the concepts in parallel with the suttas, blending Buddhavacana with modern commentary.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Study Materials

Postby Branko » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:07 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Branko,
I'm curious as to why you think suttas should come after people have the basic concepts understood?
The best introductions to the Dhamma that I have found tend to explain the concepts in parallel with the suttas, blending Buddhavacana with modern commentary.
Metta,
Retro. :)


Dear Retro,
My opinion is partly based on the talk with group members and partly on pure statistics.
At the site down from my signature, which I've maintained for last 9 years, there is a Tipitaka section with about 600 suttas.
Number of visits of those pages can't be even compared with the number of visits of some texts from the Introductory section of the site.
For example, Sh. Dhammika's "Good Questons, Good Answers" or Q & A with Venerable Kusalo.

I assume that frequent repetitions are the main obstacle for newcomers. And also it is difficult to get the whole picture of the teaching without knowing exactly what suttas one should read and in which order.

This of course doesn't mean that the materiai l'm talking about shouldn't have citations from Tipitaka, to support the modern explanations.
On the contrary. Good balance between these two is the best. But sutta's alone don't look to me too promising.

And the third reason. Suttas don't have questions and assignments at the end. :D
Which means I should make them.

:anjali:
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Re: Study Materials

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:07 am

Greetings Branko,

Branko wrote:And the third reason. Suttas don't have questions and assignments at the end. :D
Which means I should make them.

"Pressing Out Pure Honey" (which Chris refers to above) does.

The Dhamma Wheel Study Group uses this.

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: Study Materials

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:34 am

I stumbled upon this last night when looking for something else seemed like something you would be interested in
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... udents.pdf
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Re: Study Materials

Postby pt1 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:59 am

Hi Branko,

If not English, perhaps some of your members can read Russian? There’s a very good Russian website www.dhamma.ru with translated and original works for all levels. I think that website was put together by Dmytro, whom you probably know from this and other Theravada boards.

Also, good old access to insight has some useful materials:
Study guides
Self-guided tour
Beginnings
And of course the subject-index can provide a lot of useful links

Also, you might consider starting with a good beginner level book and then going 1 chapter a week or similar. I found this approach very helpful in the beginning, especially when various suttas are quoted in support. That kind of made me interested in starting to read suttas themselves. Especially if we were actually given an assignment like - "for the next week's chapter discussions, please read the following suttas beforehand:..."

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Re: Study Materials

Postby Branko » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:56 pm

Manapa and pt1
many thanks for your ideas.

Actually I'm considering W. Rahula's "What the Buddha Thought" as a good start,
since it was translated into Serbian long time ago...
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Re: Study Materials

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:06 am

Greetings Branko,

Sounds like a good idea to me!

:thumbsup:

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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