The Teachings of the Buddha: Where to Begin?
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So I've been reading a lot of books with Buddhist teachings filtered and interpreted by other authors. I really want to start digging into Siddartha Guatama's own actual teachings to his disciples, but I'm not sure where to start. I picked up a copy of the Dhammapada and I'm about halfway through that. Where should I go next?
There are 84,000 sutras, walden_girl, so I'd start by reading the Heart Sutra (the shortest) and, if you want a good book on his life told by a modern-day master, read Old Path, White Clouds by Thich Nhat Hanh. It's fictionalized biography but very good. It's also very long.
Actually, Nhat Hanh's book has been optioned for a movie, so I am waiting to see when it will come out.
Thank you for that book recommendation, mplcreative, I had never heard of it,
and I just went to Amazon and ordered it, it sounds great!
Again, not the actual teachings, but I enjoy reading about the life of the Buddha, and somehow that one slipped by me. I look forward to reading it.
I'm currently reading What the Buddha Taught by Ralpola Wahula and it's been very helpful so far. I'm having trouble getting ahold of a copy of Old Path, White Clouds. None of the libraries nearby seems to have it. I may have to call in an inter-library loan...much metta!
Psychotherapy without the self-a Buddhist perspective is an immensely readable and more importantly, helpful book for gathering an understanding of what meditation IS and is NOT from a Westerners point of view - especially in the light of the confusions arising from such terms as 'ego' and 'self' so prevelant both among Western laypeople and psychological practitioners of all schools of thought.
Mark Epstein, a longtime Buddhist practitioner of Buddhism and Psychotherapist, clarifies the distinction between the concentrative forms of meditation and the practice of mindfulness, clearly and concisely. Having had some experience of the Gurdjieff Fourth Way Work with its practices of Self-Remembering and Self-Observation I suspect that the seeming two methods are essentially one and the same.
Whether one is interested in comparative studies or wants to gain a better understanding of what meditation actually entails, this is a good book to have perused - Apologies for double posting, forgot to bracket correctly
I have heard the Book "In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon (Teachings of the Buddha)" is a good choice. I am going to read that myself.
Just read Bodhicaryavatara, really wonderful for the most part. Essential Buddhist epic poetry. A good place to start. I have been told to follow that up with Patrul Rinpoche Words of my Perfect Teacher, and will be diving into that soon.
Weird. I say above, on June 1, that I ordered the book, Old Path, White Clouds and yet I don't have it in my catalog. I am unnerved by this. Could it have been a different me? Is the book hiding? Has the book reached nibbana without me? *goes to look*
When it comes to the sutras, in the Buddha's Words is probably the best book to read. Its thick, but it gives a reasonably good introduction to the Buddha's thought as he put it forth. It should be noted that although the book is listed as written by His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, it is actually written by Bhikkhu Bodhi, with a preface by His Holiness.
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