Thread: Where to start

  1. #1
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    Where to start

    Hi everyone

    I have spent a few years now reading about general Buddhism. I understand the basic concepts, I have spent many hours meditating. I practice yoga on an almost daily basis. I have attempted to educate myself and I notice a huge difference in who I am from who I used to be 5 years ago. I am calmer. I am more aware. I am accepting. I have always had a spirit leaning in the direction that I am gently going.

    My question is if I wanted to delve deeper into Buddhism and the Buddha's teachings, where would I go? What resources would be the easiest to understand? I feel as though I purchase books that all say the same general things and any other books I see referenced look like they may be way over my head.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction? (please keep in mind that I am a 48 year old woman who is usually just trying to figure out where her glasses are when they are on her own darn head! )

    Thanks in advance!!!

    Kim

  2. #2
    Hi Kim,

    Its a good idea to become familiar with what the historical Buddha taught first, because quite different teachings and traditions arose after the death of Gautama Buddha... and getting them all mixed up under the general heading of "Buddhism"can become very confusing.

    You might like to read a PDF of the book "What the Buddha Taught" by Walpola Rahula:

    http://www.ahandfulofleaves.org/docu...ght_rahula.pdf

    and also there are various helpful pinned resources at the beginning of the topic list in this "Discovering Buddha's Teachings" forum on the website.

    I also recommend that you read this essay "Theravada Buddhism in a Nutshell" by Ajahn Amaro, because it will take you right back to the beginnings of how "Buddhism" began.

    https://www.abhayagiri.org/media/boo...a_nutshell.pdf

    Hope that helps.

    With metta,

    Aloka

  3. #3
    Forums Member Esho's Avatar
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    Where to start?

    Go directly to what the Buddha taught, explore the Nikkayas and their suttas after becoming acquainted with Buddhist terminology in first place.

    Last edited by Esho; 02 Feb 22 at 18:12.

  4. #4
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Hello Kim. The reported teachings of the Buddha are found in the Suttas. The types of teachings can be divided into the three aspects of the Path, namely: (i) morality; (ii) concentration; and (iii) wisdom/insight.

    The first three sermons of the Buddha are wisdom teachings, namely:

    1. Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion
    2. Anatta-Lakkhana Sutta: The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic
    3. Adittapariyaya Sutta: The Fire Sermon

    Note: The Noble Eightfold Path is explained in the Magga-Vibhanga Sutta: An Analysis of the Path.

    Examples of suttas for developing concentration are:

    1. Dvedhavitakka Sutta: Two Sorts of Thinking.
    2. Karaniya Metta Sutta: The Buddha's Words on Loving-Kindness
    3. Maha-Rahulovada Sutta: The Greater Exhortation to Rahula
    4. Anapanasati Sutta: Mindfulness With Breathing.

    Important suttas about morality are:

    1. Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta: Instructions to Rahula at Mango Stone
    2. Veḷudvāreyya Sutta: The People of Bamboo Gate Village
    3. Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta: To Cunda the Silversmith or Paṭhamanirayasagga Sutta: Heaven and Hell.
    4. Sigalovada Sutta: The Discourse to Sigala The Layperson's Code of Discipline.

    Also, the Dhammapada is a popular starting place & mini-compilation of various teachings.

    Kind regards

  5. #5
    Forums Member mjaviem's Avatar
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    Hi. I found useful the introductory videos of ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi. As Esho and Element have pointed you in the right direction, I would recommend reading specifically ven. B. Bodhi's suttas translations as they tend to be more accurate than others in my opinion.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...JWMxZmNwbHNE43

  6. #6
    Forums Member Esho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjaviem View Post
    Hi. I found useful the introductory videos of ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi. As Esho and Element have pointed you in the right direction, I would recommend reading specifically ven. B. Bodhi's suttas translations as they tend to be more accurate than others in my opinion.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...JWMxZmNwbHNE43
    Hi mjaviem,

    I enjoy a lot the translations of Bhikkhu Bodhi, too. They are very enjoyable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Hi Kim,

    Its a good idea to become familiar with what the historical Buddha taught first, because quite different teachings and traditions arose after the death of Gautama Buddha... and getting them all mixed up under the general heading of "Buddhism"can become very confusing.

    You might like to read a PDF of the book "What the Buddha Taught" by Walpola Rahula:

    http://www.ahandfulofleaves.org/docu...ght_rahula.pdf

    and also there are various helpful pinned resources at the beginning of the topic list in this "Discovering Buddha's Teachings" forum on the website.

    I also recommend that you read this essay "Theravada Buddhism in a Nutshell" by Ajahn Amaro, because it will take you right back to the beginnings of how "Buddhism" began.

    https://www.abhayagiri.org/media/boo...a_nutshell.pdf

    Hope that helps.

    With metta,

    Aloka
    Aloka,

    I actually ordered a copy of "What The Buddha Taught" earlier this week and it is on the way. (I quite enjoy having a book in front of me to read, highlight, make notations in, etc). I also started reading some of the threads in "Discovering Buddha's Teachings". It's nice to know I am starting in the right direction. Thank you so much!!! Also thank you for the link to the essay. I am headed there now....

    With so much appreciation for all your knowledge,
    Kim

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    Element, You have given me sooo much to read through!!! TY!!! I have to find a way to organize all my resources for cross-referencing.

    Mjaviem, thank you for the playlist. I saved it for listening when I am out walking.

    Both of you very much appreciated!!!
    Kim

  9. #9
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kim_rn View Post
    Element, You have given me sooo much to read through!!!
    The individual suttas I posted are quite short in length; shorter than a long book.

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