The Buddha

Karen Armstrong

What the
Buddha Taught

Walpola Rahula


Eknath Easwaran

in Plain English

Ven H. Gunaratana

Blue Jean

Sumi Loundon
Jack Kornfield


...The Urban Dharma Reading List...

The Complete Guide to Buddhist America Don Morreale

Don Morreale has managed to compile a database of over a thousand Buddhist meditation centers throughout the United States and Canada, including for each a capsule description, address, phone, e- mail, lineage, spiritual head, date established, facilities, publications, meditation program, and retreats offered. And it is more than just a yellow pages of American Buddhism. Morreale has gathered together numerous essays by masters and by regular practitioners to get their take on this specific Zen center or that particular sangha.


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism Gary Gach, Michael Wenger

Gary Gach is like that teacher you always wanted--easygoing, full of information, able to communicate in humorous and meaningful ways, and a little bit wacky. So he's the perfect author for The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism. In this trademark easy-to-read format, Gach introduces us to a very human Buddha, along with the rules for living that make a Buddhist a Buddhist.

Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction Damien Keown

This accessible volume provides information about both the teachings of the Buddha and the integration of Buddhism into daily life. What are the distinctive features of Buddhism? Who is Buddha, and what are his beliefs? How has Buddhist thought developed over the centuries, and how can contemporary dilemmas be faced from a Buddhist perspective? It is clear, concise, accurate, and respectful.

Buddhism: Introducing the Buddhist Experience Donald W. Mitchell

Buddhism: Introducing the Buddhist Experience focuses on the depth of Buddhist experience as expressed in the teachings and practices of a wide array of its religious and philosophical traditions. Taking a broad and inclusive approach, this unique work spans over 2,500 years, featuring chapters on Buddhism's origins in India; Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism; and Buddhism in Southeast Asia, Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan. It also includes an extensive discussion of modern, socially engaged Buddhism and a concluding chapter on the spread of Buddhism to the West. Mitchell provides substantial selections of primary text material throughout that illustrate a great variety of moral, psychological, meditative, and spiritual Buddhist experiences.

Landscapes of Wonder: Discovering Buddhist Dhamma in the World Around Us Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano, Bhikkhu Bodhi

Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano teaches us the basics of Buddhism: Theravada Buddhism, the Sri Lankan storehouse of India's ancient tradition. Landscapes of Wonder is a primer on the basics of Buddhism: the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, karma, meditation, and such. But the lessons are to be discovered in fallen trees, soaring birds, and winter landscapes.

Teachings of the Buddha ...Edited by Jack Kornfield, Gil Fronsdal

A treasury of Buddhist writings drawing from the most popular sources of Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese literature, this book offers traditional instruction on how to practice sitting meditation, cultivate calm awareness, and live with compassion. Also included are a number of new selections on the role of women in early Buddhism.

Radiant Mind: Essential Buddhist Teachings and Texts ...Edited by Jean Smith

The selected writings draw fairly equally from the three major branches of Buddhism represented in the US today (Theravada, Zen and Tibetan) giving the reader a broad, balanced picture.


Who Is My Self?: A Guide to Buddhist Meditation Ayya Khema

Ayya Khema is a meditator's meditator, a real expert, as clear about the nuts and bolts of technique as she is about the basic sanity and profound peacefulness that is the goal of all technique. Who Is My Self? is a truly astonishing book. It discusses, the well-known eight stages of absorption, based not on textual sources but on personal experience.

The Experience of Insight: A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation Joseph Goldstein

This is a book of gentle westernized Buddhist philosophy and rightful thinking. Stressing simple, easy to understand and follow instructions and thoughts. It is not filled with ponderous sayings. Simply mind healthy practices easily incorporated into daily life.

The Heart of Buddhist Meditation: Satipatthna ...Nyanaponika Thera

The book is subdivided into three parts : the first explains what Insight meditation is about, the second part is a text taken from the "Collection of Long Discourses" of the Buddha, and the third part is a set of various classical texts illustrating the principles explained in the previous parts.

Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation Larry Rosenberg

A must read for anyone who wants to take their meditation practice further. Larry Rosenberg explains indepth how to use the breath to be in the moment.


The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living ...Howard Cutler

In this guide toward personal happiness, His Holiness the Dalai Lama offers daily meditations and stories to aid listeners in regaining lost happiness in their daily lives. Working closely with him is Dr. Howard C. Cutler, a renowned psychiatrist and neurologist, who takes a closer look at the psychology of our happiness and blocks that may keep us from it.

Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana has summarized all of the Buddha's path to happiness, everything we know about affecting change in our lives, and everything that psychology teaches us about healthy living into a single, easy to read, easy to apply manual for happiness. This book is a gem!

Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness Sharon Salzberg, Jon Kabat-Zinn

Sharon Salzberg, a meditation teacher and the founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts, focuses on a Buddhist practice that emphasizes feelings of love, happiness, and compassion.

The Way of the Bodhisattva: A Translation of the Bodhicharyavatara Shantideva

The Bodhicharyavatara is a manual for the practice of compassion. It regards compassion, the foremost quality of a bodhisattva, as beneficial for both the recipient and the giver. By unselfishly aiding others, the giver not only improves the lives of others but his action helps him eliminate his own miseries. No doubt that it is hard to extend love in our society, but Shantideva anticipates the practitioner's reservations by providing several exercises that allieviate the dread of exploitation by others.


The Life of the Buddha: According to the Pali Canon Bhikkhu Nanamoli

Nanamoli was one of the best Pali translators and has produced an authentic and lucid account of the Buddha's life based on the Pali Cannon.

Great Disciples of the Buddha: Their Lives, Their Works, Their Legacy Nyanaponika

Like Jesus's apostles...the main disciples of the historic Buddha were transformed by his awe-inspiring spiritual force!

The First Discourse of the Buddha Ven. Rewata Dhamma

Includes a history of the Buddha's life, background on Buddhism, and a contemporary translation of and commentary on the Four Noble Truths that explain how to become free from suffering and gain insight into the truth of enlightenment.

The Path of Purification: Visuddhimagga Bhadantacariya Buddhaghosa

The most esteemed commentary in all of Pali literature, the Path of Purification (or Visuddhimagga) is a systematic examination and condensation of Buddhist doctrine and meditation technique. The various teachings of the Buddha found throughout the Pali Canon are organized in a clear, comprehensive path leading to the final goal: Nibbana, the state of complete purification.

Swallowing the River Ganges: A Practice Guide to the Path of Purification Matthew Flickstein

This book offers the reader gentle and illuminating guidance to the Path of Purification. Matthew Flickstein's style of writing is simple, yet direct. In the tradition of the great Buddhist teachers, he offers insightful and meaningful explanations of the important teachings contained in the Path of Purification in a timeless and relevant manner.

The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya Maurice Walshe

Maurice Walshe was not only a master of languages but a practicing Buddhist -- and it certainly shows. This particular product of his knowledge and his faith is one of the most inspiring and elucidating volumes of Buddhist text available to the English-speaking reader.

The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya Bhikkhu Nanamoli, Bhikkhu Bodhi

If there is one book in English that all Buddhists should read, this is the one. The Majjhima Nikaya (Middle-length Discourses) is, along with the other nikayas of the Pali Canon, probably as close as we can come today to reading the actual words of the Buddha.

The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya Bhikkhu Bodhi

With painstaking care, the eminent Buddhist scholar monk, Bhikkhu Bodhi, has translated the 2889 discourses of the Buddha. No one is better qualified. Collected into their different themes, The Connected Discourses point the way to enlightenment. This book serves as one of the finest resources available for insight into the human condition. The Buddha addresses issues such as body/mind, daily life realities, suffering and joy, awareness and meditation. This book is rich in spiritual teachings, suitable for daily reflection, study, a manual for psychologists, a teaching guide at universities, and offering a wealth of benefits to anyone interested in the true heart of the Buddha's teachings.

Numerical Discourses of the Buddha Nyanaponika Thera, Bhikkhu Bodhi

This book brings together teachings ranging from basic ethical observances recommended to the busy man or woman of the world, to the more rigorous instructions on mental training perscribed for monks and nuns.

Songs of the Sons & Daughters of Buddha Andrew Schelling, Anne Waldman

In this volume Andrew Schelling teams with Anne Waldman to translate selections from the Therigatha (Songs of the Nuns) and Theragatha (Songs of the Monks) collections in the Pali Tripitaka (Buddhist Canon) into English. In some cases they include the prose which sets the scene in which the song/poem was created. They have found the true gems and given us translations which do not depend upon having detailed knowledge of the Theravadan Buddhist tradition.

Buddhist Dictionary: A Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines Nyanatiloka Mahathera

There is simply no other book like this one, and its importance cannot be overstated. It translates and clearly explains a lexicon of Pali terms that are of vital importance to a proper understanding of Buddhist philosophy. Anyone who aspires to a proper understanding of the Dhamma discovered and proclaimed by the Buddha should obtain this book and study it closely. It is one of the brightest jewels of modern Buddhist scholarship.


Buddhist Cosmology: Philosophy and Origins Akira Sadakata

This extensively researched and illustrated volume offers Western readers a rare introduction to Buddhism's complex and fascinating views about the structure of the universe. The book begins by clearly explaining classical cosmology, with its symmetrical, India-centered universe and multitudinous heavens and hells, and illuminates the cosmos's relation to the human concerns of karma, rebirth, and enlightenment.


One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism ... Joseph Goldstein...

Insight Meditation cofounder Joseph Goldstein ponders the possibility that all Buddhist teachings could be distilled into One Dharma. As Buddhism continues to grow in the West, Goldstein shows us the value of uniting this movement rather than allowing it to become fractured by its subtle differences. He does not advocate a watering down or mixing up of the various traditions. Rather, "We can practice each of them in its own integrity and come to a genuine depth of understanding."

Buddhism in America Richard Hughes Seager

The first comprehensive treatment of Buddhism in America to take seriously the experiences of immigrants, Buddhism in America is a fascinating road map to the contemporary Buddhist landscape, with Seager as the expert guide.

The Faces of Buddhism in America Charles S. Prebish, Kenneth Kenichi Tanaka

Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in the United States, with adherents estimated in the several millions. But what exactly defines a "Buddhist"? This has been a much-debated question in recent years, particularly in regard to the religion's bifurcation into two camps: the so-called "imported" or ethnic Buddhism of Asian immigrants and the "convert" Buddhism of a mostly middle-class, liberal, intellectual elite.

Luminous Passage Charles S. Prebish

Since the 1960s Buddhism in America has been viewed through the lens of idealism, generally associated with the spiritual quest of baby boomers. This portrayal has been accurate only to a degree. Charles Prebish's Luminous Passage is the first account in a new generation of commentary to demonstrate the complexity and variety of this tradition as it establishes roots in America.

The White Buddhist: The Asian Odyssey of Henry Steel Olcott Stephen Prothero

Largely forgotten in his own country, the first American convert to Buddhism, Henry Steel Olcott, is still revered as a religious hero in Sri Lanka. Having played a key role in the revival of Buddhism there, he also championed Hinduism, Islam, and Zoroastrianism in India and was co-founder of the influential Theosophical Society.

Three Steps... One Bow - The Journal's of Heng Sure and Heng Ch'au  (in 9 volumes)

In May of 1977 American Buddhist monks Heng Sure and Heng Ch'au started their unique journey from downtown L.A. to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Talamage, California. A journey of more than 800 miles that took two years and nine months to complete. They bowed in peace, and for peace. Touching their foreheads to the ground, opening their hearts with one wish for the world. Peace. For everyone, everyday, everywhere.

Saffron Days in L.A.: Tales of a Buddhist Monk in America Bhante Walpola Piyananda

Ven. Piyananda is a Theravadan Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka who came to Los Angeles almost 25 years ago and established a Buddhist center there. In this pleasant collection of 20 stories about his experiences in the U.S., Bhante weaves narrative, sacred texts and cultural observations into a serviceable whole cloth.

Dreaming Me: An African American Woman's Spiritual Journey Janice Dean Willis

A self-described Baptist-Buddhist, Willis relates her fascinating personal journey from a small Alabama mining town to a life of teaching and writing about Buddhism. She took the first opportunity to leave behind the racism and poverty of her childhood. A student activist at Cornell University, she participated in demonstrations against war and racism, and she gravitated to Buddhism as a means of learning to overcome the anger, bitterness, and fear engendered by racial injustice.


Making Friends With Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality Judith L. Lief

This is an excellent down to earth guide to the various issues surrounding death. The first section is entitled "Cultivating a personal awareness of death." Many analogies and examples that we can all relate to are given about our views of the subject. Simple excercises at the end of each chapter give the reader a chance to illuminate his or her views.

Living in the Light of Death: On the Art of Being Truly Alive Larry Rosenberg, David Guy

This book stands out from the crowded genre of authors dealing with loss, pain, and death. Most of the books on this subject seem to focus on the struggle against death and against pain, but while Larry Rosenberg certainly supports the idea that you should embrace life, he takes an honest look at what happens to people who will lose the fight--a group that, in the final analysis, includes everyone.

Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die: Death Stories of Tibetan, Hindu & Zen Masters Sushila Blackman

Graceful Exits offers guidance in the form of 108 stories recounting the ways in which Hindu, Tibetan, and Zen Buddhist masters, both ancient and modern, have confronted their own deaths. By directly presenting the grace, clarity, and even humor with which great spiritual teachers have met the end of their days.

Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber Ken Wilber

The compelling story of the five-year journey of Ken Wilber (author of The Spectrum of Consciousness) and his wife Treya through marriage, illness, and, finally, Treya's death. Ken's brilliant and wide-ranging commentary is combined with Treya's journals to create an inspiring portrait of healing, suffering, wholeness and harmony.


The Spectrum of Consciousness Ken Wilber

This tour de force of the mapping of transcendental awareness is both brilliantly conceived and delivered by one of the foremost thinkers of our time. Anyone on the path of enlightenment can not afford to miss studying and assimilating the nondual seeing of Ken Wilber.

Up from Eden: A Transpersonal View of Human Evolution Ken Wilber

Wilber develops in detail his model of consciousness as applied to human evolution from the earliest prehistoric levels, to levels beyond those attained by average human beings today. Typical of all his works, he incorporates insights from the anthropological, sociological, biological, physical and psychological sciences for his exposition of evolution in the body/mind realms, and the explanations provided by both Eastern and Western mysticism for the higher levels of consciousness.

No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth Ken Wilber,

A new, easy-to-grasp map of human consciousness against which the various therapies from both Western and Eastern sources are introduced. Designed to help individuals understand the practice of each therapy. Wilber presents a simple, elegant, well explained map of human concious development, all encapsulated by an understandable theory - our mind is divded up, separated by barriers, and by seeing through them we grow.

Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution

Ken Wilber wrote SEX, ECOLOGY, SPIRITUALITY during a "three-year silent retreat"--"I lived the hermit's life; I saw exactly four people in four years," he recalls (p. xii), and he lays the foundation for his integral philosophy, which he develops more fully in his subsequent books. Wilber was seeking "a world philosophy," he explains. "I sought an integral philosophy, one that would believably weave together the many pluralistic contexts of science, morals, aesthetics, Eastern as well as Western philosophy, and the world's great wisdom traditions. Not on the level of details--that is finitely impossible, but on the level of orienting generalizations: a way to suggest that the world really is one, undivided, whole, and related to itself in every way: a holistic philosophy for a holistic Kosmos: a world philosophy, an integral philosophy"

Boomeritis: A Novel That Will Set You Free Ken Wilber...

"Ken Wilber. America's bad-ass bodhisattva, is the best philosopher-sage alive--- And now this! The great postmodern novel. Characters that are so alive, so outrageous, and most of all, so damn lovable! I had a dozen satoris reading this novel, and so will you. It's a manual for falling awake." --- Stuart Davis, singer/songwriter... Kid Mystic, Bright Apocalypse.

Audio CD... Speaking of Everything ...Ken Wilber...

This CD is extremely well done. It is educational, stimulating, entertaining, and fun. It brings out Wilber's human side and helps to flesh out many aspects of his theory. Jordan Gruber, the interviewer, keeps the tone fresh and interesting. While targeted to those who have read some of Wilber's work, I would still recommend the CD as a provacative introduction to Integral Theory.


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values Robert M. Pirsig

Robert Pirsig's "Chautauqua," or traveling tale, takes the reader on a profound tour of ancient Greek philosophy, the steppes of Montana, and even a little bit of Zen Buddhism, with endless surprises and much original if not truly inspired thought along the way.

Guidebook to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Ronald L. Disanto, Thomas J. Steele

For fans of ZMM, this is an incredible book that summarizes various aspects of the ZMM book. First and foremost, it gives you the necessary background on philosophy to get a better understanding of where Robert Pirsig is coming from.

Zen Driving K. T. Berger

K. T. Berger (who's actually two brothers, journalist Kevin Berger and psychotherapist Todd Berger) lay out their meaning in understandble terms by applying the principles of Zen to something that all of us can relate to--driving. And by not even trying to exlpain Zen at all, they do a masterful job--a true example of wu-wei in action!

Zen Philosophy, Zen Practice Thich Thien-An

A little-known gem in a sea of literature referring to Zen Buddhism. A Vietnamese Zen Master offers a concise and thorough teaching in Zen theory and technique, with simplicity and style.


The World's Religions Huston Smith

This book is the single best primer to the basic beliefs and tentets of the major world religions available. Smith's prose is accessible and a joy to read. He is able to distill some very complex theological principles down to their essence to allow their easy digestion by the reader.

Benedict's Dharma: Buddhists Reflect on the Rule of Saint Benedict ...edited by Patrick Henry

When four senior Buddhists sit down to discuss the rules of Christian monasticism, ideas fly. In Benedict's Dharma, Zen priest Norman Fisher, meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein, professor Judith Simmer-Brown, and Yifa, a nun of the Chinese Buddhist tradition, flesh out The Rule of Saint Benedict, which has guided the organization and daily life of the Western Christian monastic tradition since the ninth century.

The Gethsemani Encounter: A Dialogue on the Spiritual Life by Buddhist and Christian Monastics Donald W. Mitchell, James Wiseman

The Gethsemani Encounter was perhaps one of the great overlooked religious moments in the past decade. In the hills of Kentucky, in the oldest Trappist monastery in the United States, monastics from all over the world gathered to dialogue, to learn, to agree and disagree. The meeting place was suggested by the Dalai Lama, who in a moving afterword says, "And so for the rest of my life, the impact of meeting him will remain until my last breath." The him is Thomas Merton, who met with the Dalai Lama on his final journey through the east in 1968. The talks in this book are broken up into sections... Journey and Dialogue, Prayer and Medidtation, Method and Expierence, Growth and Development, etc... with speakers from both the Buddhist and Christian monastic tradition sharing their expierence and strength.


___Free Buddhist e-Books___
"e-books are PDF files... Click on the links
below to read or free download the e-books to your computer."


From Vulnerability to Virtuosity  (287 KB)

From Vulnerability to Virtuosity:
Buddhist Reflections on Responding to Terrorism and Tragedy — Peter D. Hershock

My intention is not to analyze the complex geopolitics of the "war on terror." Neither is it to critically assess either specific policy decisions or their effects on the quality of daily life and civil liberties. Instead, I want to offer some general observations about terrorism and tragedy and then, from a Buddhist perspective, to begin reflecting on our broad strategies for responding to them and to the realization of our individual and collective vulnerability. From - The Journal of Buddhist Ethics


Guide to the Early Buddhist Cannon  (637 KB)

Guide to Tipitaka — Compiled by U Ko Lay.

The Guide to the Tipitaka is an outline of the Pali Buddhist Canonical Scriptures of Theravada Buddhism from Burma. This is a unique work, as it is probably the only material that deals in outline with the whole of the Pali Buddhist Tipitaka. The Tipitaka includes all the teachings of the Buddha, grouped into three divisions: the Suttanta Pitaka, or general discourses; the Vinaya Pitaka, or moral code for monks and nuns; and the Abhidhamma Pitaka, or philosophical teachings. An excellent reference work which gives an overview of the Pali Buddhist texts.

The Nobel Eightfold Path  (192 KB)

The Noble Eightfold Path — by Bhikkhu Bodhi

One of the best explanations of the Eightfold path in print today... The present book aims at contributing towards a proper understanding of the Noble Eightfold Path by investigating its eight factors and their components to determine exactly what they involve. Bhikkhu Bodhi is concise, using as the framework for his exposition the Buddha's own words in explanation of the path factors, as found in the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon.

Word of the Buddha  (128 KB)

Word of the Buddha — by Ven. Nyanatiloka - A Classic from the Buddhist Publication Society.

The Word of the Buddha, was the first strictly systematic exposition of all the main tenets of the Buddha's Teachings presented in the Buddha's own words as found in the Sutta-Pitaka of the Buddhist Pali Canon.

While it may well serve as a first introduction for the beginner, its chief aim is to give the reader who is already more or less acquainted with the fundamental ideas of Buddhism, a clear, concise, and authentic summary of its various doctrines, within the framework of the allembracing `Four Noble Truths,'

The Eightfold Path for Householders  (486 KB)

The Eightfold Path for the Householder — Jack Kornfeld.

This text is a transcript of teachings given by Jack Kornfeld on the Eightfold Path. These teachings are aimed at the householder. Each part of the Eightfold Path is explained in a separate chapter. The tone of the teaching is contemporary and non-technical. The universality and relevance of the Buddha's teaching are illustrated by numerous quotations from more recent luminaries. There are also some useful exercises which enable the reader to experience the truth of these teachings.

Handbook for Mankind  (350 KB)

Handbook For Mankind — Buddhadasa, Bhikkhu.

The Principles of Buddhism explained by Buddhadasa, Bhikkhu. As a guide for newcomers to the Buddha Dhamma (the Truth which the Buddha awakened to and subsequently taught), this book is an invaluable guide. In it are contained the essential teachings of Buddhism. The Handbook is especially useful for those who approach the Buddha's teaching not as a subject for scholarly study but as a means to understand and ennoble their lives. It includes chapters on 'Looking at Buddhism' and the 'True Nature of Things'.

The Buddha and his Disciples  (320 KB)

The Buddha and His Disciples — Ven. S. Dhammika.

Taking a different perspective from the usual biographies of the Buddha, the author retells the great man's story using the society of the time as the backdrop and the Buddha's interactions with his contemporaries as the main theme. We discover what the Buddha was like as a person, how he taught and how he changed the lives of all who were blessed enough to come into contact with him.

Early Buddhist Dictionary  (1.5 MB)

Pali Buddhist Dictionary [4th Edition] — Ven. Nyanatiloka [Pali Studies]

This is an authentic dictionary of Buddhist doctrinal terms, used in the Pali Canon and its Commentaries. It provides the reader not with a mere enumeration of Pali terms and their English equivalents, but offers precise and authentic definitions and explanations of canonical and post-canonical terms and doctrines, based on the Suttas, Abhidhamma and the Commentaries.

The Four Noble Truths  (254 KB)

The Four Noble Truths — Ven. Ajahn Sumedho.

The Four Noble Truths are the central Teaching of the Buddha. This booklet was compiled and edited from talks given by Venerable Ajahn Sumedho on the teaching of the Buddha: that the unhappiness of humanity can be overcome through spiritual means. The teaching is conveyed through the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, first expounded in 528 BC in the Deer Park at Sarnath near Varanasi and kept alive in the Buddhist world ever since.

The Dhammapada  (241 KB)

The Dhammapada — Ven. Acharya Buddharakkita.

Translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita and with an introduction by Bhikkhu Bodhi. The Dhammapada is the best known and most widely esteemed text in the Pali Tipitaka, the sacred scriptures of Theravada Buddhism. The work is included in the Khuddaka Nikaya ("Minor Collection") of the Sutta Pitaka, but its popularity has raised it far above the single niche it occupies in the scriptures to the ranks of a world religious classic. Composed in the ancient Pali language, this slim anthology of verses constitutes a perfect compendium of the Buddha's teaching, comprising between its covers all the essential principles elaborated at length in the forty-odd volumes of the Pali Canon.

The Debate of King Milinda  (896 KB)

The Debate of King Milinda — Bhikkhu Pesala.

The Milinda Panna is a famous work of Buddhist literature, probably compiled in the 1st century B.C. It presents Buddhist doctrine in a very attractive and memorable form as a dialogue between a Bactrian Greek king, Milinda, who plays the 'Devil's Advocate' and a Buddhist sage, Nagasena. The topics covered include most of the questions commonly asked by Westerners. This abridgement provides a concise presentation of this masterpiece of Buddhist literature. The introduction outlines the historical background against which the dialogues took place, indicating the meeting of two great cultures that of ancient Greece and the Buddhism of the Indus valley, which was the legacy of the great Emperor Asoka.


Women in Buddhism - Question & Answers  (795 KB)

Women in Buddhism - Question & Answers — Ven. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh Ph.D.

Ven. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh provides answers to questions often asked about women and the ordination issue and related topics. She responds to such questions as: In the Buddha's time what role did women play in Buddhism? Why cannot women become buddhas? What is the Buddhist attitude towards prostitution? What is an attitude of a Buddhist towards abortion? What is the unique characteristic in American Buddhism which might interest a feminist?

Facing the Future  (543 KB)

Four Essays - Facing the Future — Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi uses the Buddha's teaching as a lens through which to examine some of the confusions about social values that have engulfed us at the dawn of the new century.

The opening essay, "A Buddhist Social Ethic for the New Century," sets the pace by drawing a contrast between the social system fostered by global capitalism and the type of social organization that might follow from a practical application of Buddhist principles.

"A Buddhist Model for Economic and Social Development" continues the argument by highlighting the economic, social, and ecological costs of industrial-growth society, sketching a more "people-friendly" alternative based on Buddhist values.

"The changing face of Buddhism" opens with the question why, in traditional Buddhist countries, Buddhism today is losing its appeal to the young, on its way to becoming little more than a fossilized expression of ethnic culture; in attempting to answer this question he proposes some new lines of emphasis that might help to reverse this trend.

In "Sangha at the Crossroads" he explores the problems that young monks face in finding a meaningful role in today's rapidly changing world.


Loving-kindness Meditation — Ven. Sujiva.  (211 KB)

Loving-kindness Meditation — Ven. Sujiva

Loving-kindness Meditation or Metta Bhavana and other Sublime States by Ven. Sujiva is a clear and comprehensive step-by-step explanation of the systematic practice. It is based on the Visuddhimagga or The Path of Purification by Buddhagosha. The texts describe metta as characterised by promoting the aspect of welfare. Amity, goodwill, friendliness and loving-kindness are some words used to describe this mental state. There is no better way to know it than to study it as it occurs in one's own and others' minds. It is a totally unselfish and pure state of mind that brings profit to oneself and others now and hereafter.

Anapanasati - Mindfulness of Breathing — Ven. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.  (1.2 MB)

Anapanasati - Mindfulness of Breathing — Ven. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

For the first time in the English language a comprehensive manual of Buddhist meditation known as ânàpànasati (the development of mindfulness of breathing ) is available. Although this manual is primarily intended for the benefit of monks, it will greatly assist laymen, too, who wish to undertake a course of meditation but who do not have the guidance of a teacher.

Originally published in Thai, this manual is one of the major works of the Ven. Buddhadàsa Bhikkhu and delivered in 1959 in the form of a series of lectures to monks of Suanmokkha Monastery, Chaiya, Thailand. Ven. Buddhadàsa Bhikkhu, a major voice in the Buddhist world, is an accepted master of Buddhist meditation. In constructive positive language, the manual guides the meditator through the 16 steps of ânàpànasati.

Analysis of the Jhãnas in Theravãda Buddhist Meditation - Ven. H. Gunaratana  (1.3 MB)

Analysis of the Jhãnas in Theravãda Buddhist Meditation - Ven. H. Gunaratana

This work, by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana, provides an analytical study of the Jhãnas, as they are an important set of meditative attainments in the contemplative discipline of Theravãda Buddhism. Despite their frequent appearance in the texts, the exact role of the Jhãnas in the Buddhist path has not been settled with unanimity by Theravãda scholars, who are still divided over the question as to whether they are necessary for attaining Nibbana. The primary purpose of this dissertation is to determine the precise role of the Jhãnas in the Theravãda Buddhist presentation of the way to liberation.

For source material the work relies upon the three principal classes of authoritative Theravãda texts: the Pali Tipitaka, its commentaries, and its sub-commentaries. To traditional canonical investigations modern methods of philosophical and psychological analysis are applied in order to clarify the meanings implicit in the original sources. The examination covers two major areas: first the dynamics of Jhãna attainment, and second, the function of the Jhãnas in realizing the ultimate goal of Buddhism, Nibbana or final liberation from suffering.


Teachings in Chinese Buddhism  (784 KB)

Teachings in Chinese Buddhism — The Most Venerable Yin Shun.

The Most Venerable Yin Shun’s expertise and writings in Buddhism have been widely acknowledged by Chinese Buddhists this century. The "Miao Yun Collection" (Teachings in Chinese Buddhism) provides us with important information and a systematic approach to Buddhism. These teachings give us a clear insight into, and a deep understanding of Chinese Mahayana Buddhism. This book also includes a section on the position of the Chinese Tripitaka in World Buddhism.

Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms  (607 KB)

Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms — Fa-Hien.

Fa-Hien was a Chinese monk of the Eastern dynasty (4th-5th Century). In 399 he left China for India, finally arriving there after six years of hard travel. After studying Sanskrit and obtaining many Sanskrit texts of the Tripitaka (Buddhist canon), he returned to China by sea in 414. This text is an Account by Fa-Hien of his travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414) in Search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline. Translated and annotated with a Korean recension of the Chinese text by James Legge.

Mind Seal of the Buddhas  (936 KB)

Mind-Seal of the Buddhas — Patriarch Ou-i's... Commentary on the Amitabha Sutra.

Of all the forms of Buddhism currently practiced in Asia, Pure Land has been the most widespread for the past thousand years. At the core of this school is a text of great beauty and poetry, the Amitabha Sutra, intoned every evening in countless temples and homes throughout the Mahayana world. This important text shares with the Avatamsaka and Brahma Net sutras the distinction of being among the few key scriptures preached spontaneously by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, without the customary request from the assembly. Although several translations of the sutra itself are available no major commentary appears to have been published in English. The Van Hien Study Group is therefore privileged to be associated with J.C.Cleary’s present rendering of The Essentials of the Amitabha Sutra — a seminal Chinese commentary by the T’ien-t’ai Master Ou-i (1599- 1655), later recognized as the ninth Patriarch of the Pure Land school.

The Heart Sutra  (743 KB)

The Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra (2nd Edition) — Tr. by Tripitaka Master Hsuan Tsang.

The Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese by Tripitaka Master Hsuan Tsang Commentary by Grand Master T'an Hsu Translated into English by Ven. Dharma Master Lok To. The Prajna Paramita Hrydaya Sutra is the core of the Maha Prajna Paramita in six hundred scrolls. This book is based on a nine-day teaching in which Grand Master T'an Hsu went through the sutra line by line, giving a clear and extensive commentary on each one, using many carefully chosen examples along the way to make his discourse more relevant in terms of everyday life. [French Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada New York - San Francisco - Toronto 2000 First published 1995 Second Edition 2000 Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada.


Guide to a Buddhist Funeral  (1,084 KB)

A Guide to a Proper Buddhist Funeral — Koperasi Buddhisme Malaysia Berhad.

This is a hand book on Buddhist Funerals, with sections on practical advice as to what is to be done when a family member is critically ill; the final moments; when death takes place; preparing for the funeral; paying last respects; the final rites; verses for contemplation; the burial / cremation ceremony and the memorial service.

A Theravadin Buddhist Funeral  (1,542 KB)

A Theravadin Buddhist Funeral — Ven. Suvanno.  

Generally, a Chinese funeral is a mixture of Taoist, Confucian and Buddhist rites. How then should a Theravadin Buddhist funeral be conducted? Venerable Suvanno, a respected and senior Theravadin Buddhist monk of Chinese descent explains how a Theravadin Buddhist funeral may be conducted.

The Many Faces of Death  (485 KB)

The Many Faces of Death — Jacqui James

Imagine a life partner, a family member or a close friend of yours is dying. How might she or he be feeling? Facing death, being in pain maybe. What are her or his intimate needs and wishes? What happens to us when staying with a dying person? How can we deal with the sorrow, the confusing thoughts and the trying situation? How should we communicate with her or him and with the family members and friends? When a beloved person is dying we are touched to our deepest core. Difficult, painful emotions may rush up, stirring in our hearts. Dying and death becomes a great challenger, breaking into our lives – which we try so hard to keep smooth and under control.


Benedict's Dharma 2, A Buddhist/Christian - Benedictine Experience  (425 KB)

"Benedict's Dharma 2"...
Forty Episcopalian men and women from around the country gathered for this very special "Benedictine Experience" inspired by the book, "Benedict's Dharma," in historic New Harmony, Indiana. Join Sister Mary Margaret Funk, OSB, executive director of MID (Monastic Inter-religious Dialogue), Rev. Kusala Bhikshu a Buddhist monk, and Mr. Karl Peterson a specialist in early Christian music as they guide participants through a week-long Benedictine Experience.



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