Posts in Category: LRC

7 ~ Texts and sutras

Theravada

The Pali Canon

The Tipitaka (Pali ti, "three," + pitaka, "baskets"), or Pali canon, is the collection of primary Pali language texts which form the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism. The Tipitaka and the paracanonical Pali texts (commentaries, chronicles, etc.) together constitute the complete body of classical Theravada texts.

The three divisions of the Tipitaka are:

  • Sutta Pitaka
    The collection of suttas, or discourses, attributed to the Buddha and a few of his closest disciples, containing all the central teachings of Theravada Buddhism. (More than nine hundred sutta translations are available on this web site.) The suttas are divided among five nikayas (collections):

    • Digha Nikaya — the "long collection"
    • Majjhima Nikaya — the "middle-length collection"
    • Samyutta Nikaya — the "grouped collection"
    • Anguttara Nikaya — the "further-factored collection"
    • Khuddaka Nikaya — the "collection of little texts" which includes among them:
      • Dhammapada
      • Sutta Nipata
      • Jatakas
  • Vinaya Pitaka
    The collection of texts concerning the rules of conduct governing the daily affairs within the Sangha — the community of bhikkhus (ordained monks) and bhikkhunis (ordained nuns). Far more than merely a list of rules, the Vinaya Pitaka also includes the stories behind the origin of each rule, providing a detailed account of the Buddha's solution to the question of how to maintain communal harmony within a large and diverse spiritual community.
  • Abhidhamma Pitaka
    The collection of texts in which the underlying doctrinal principles presented in the Sutta Pitaka are reworked and reorganized into a systematic framework that can be applied to an investigation into the nature of mind and matter.

The Pali canon

The Pali canon is a vast body of literature: in English translation the texts add up to thousands of printed pages. While much of the Canon has been published in English over the years, only a small fraction of these texts are available on the web at the following sites:

Tipitaka: The Pali Canon
Access to Insight

The Sutta Pitaka
www.vipassana.com

The Pali Tipitaka
Tipitaka Network

Tipitaka
Nibbana.com

The Tipitaka
Mettanet - Lanka

Pali Canon Online Database
DCD Digital Documents

The Tipitaka

Suttas
BudhaSasana

Two selections of suttas: Suttas I and Suttas II
A Buddhist Library

Gemstones of the Good Dhamma An Anthology of Verses from the Pali Scriptures
Ven. S. Dhammika

The Five Mental Hindrances and Their Conquest
Selected Texts from the Pali Canon and the Commentaries
Nyanaponika Thera

Association with the Wise
Bhikkhu Bodhi

A Look at the Kalama Sutta
Bhikkhu Bodhi

Overview of Tipitaka Scriptures
Narada Maha Thera

 A Systematic Study of the Majjhima Nikaya 
Taught by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Right View: The Sammaditthi Sutta and its Commentary
Bhikkhu Nanamoli (translation), Bhikkhu Bodhi (editor)

The Dhammapada

The Dhammapada: The Buddha's Path of Wisdom
Acharya Buddharakkhita (translation), Bhikkhu Bodhi (introduction)

The Dhammapada
Thanissaro Bhikkhu (translation)

The Dhammapada
F. Max Müller (translation- 1881)

The Living Message of the Dhammapada
Bhikkhu Bodhi

 The Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic with Annotations
Gil Fronsdal (translator) (Shambhala)


For a broader selection of translations see the following publications:

In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon 
Bhikkhu Bodhi (Wisdom Publications)
A new concise single-volume collection of the Buddha's discourses, making this the definitive introduction to the Buddha's teachings. Divided into ten thematic chapters, In the Buddha's Words reveals the full scope of the Buddha's discourses, from family life and marriage to renunciation and the path of insight. A concise, informative introduction precedes each chapter, guiding the reader toward a deeper understanding of the texts that follow.

 The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya
Bhikkhu Nanamoli (Wisdom Publications)

 The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya
Bikkhu Bodhi (Wisdom Publications)

 Numerical Discourses of the Buddha
Bhikkhu Bodhi, Nyanaponika Thera (Alta Mira Press)

 Discourse on Right View: Sammaditthi Sutta & Commentary
Nanamoli Bhikkhu and Bhikkhu Bodhi

 The Jatakas: Birth Stories of the Bodhisatta
Sarah Shaw (Penguin Global)

 Sallekha Sutta
Mahasi Sayadaw

 

 

 

Mahayana

Mahayana sutras began to be compiled from the first century BCE. They form the basis of the various Mahayana schools, and survive predominantly in primary translations in Chinese and Tibetan of original texts in Sanskrit. From the Chinese and Tibetan texts, secondary translations were also made into Mongolian, Korean, Japanese and Sogdian.

Unlike the Pali Canon, there is no definitive Mahayana canon as such. Nevertheless the major printed or manuscript collections, published through the ages and preserved in Chinese and Tibetan, each contain parallel translations of the majority of known Mahayana sutra. The Chinese also wrote several indigenous sutras and included them into their Mahayana canon.

Mahayana Buddhists believe that the Mahayana sutras, with the possible exception of those with an explicitly Chinese provenance, are an authentic account of teachings given during the Buddha's lifetime. However, Theravada Buddhists believe them to be later inventions of monks striving to change the original teachings of Buddha, and consider the Mahayana sutras apocryphal.

While scholars agree that the Mahayana scriptures were composed from the first century CE onwards, with some of them having their roots in other scriptures, composed in the first century BCE, some Mahayana Buddhists believe that the Mahayana sutras were written down at the time of the Buddha and stored secretly for 500 years, uncovered when people were ready for these "higher teachings."

Vast collections of translations of Mahayana sutras exist; only a small fraction of these texts are available on the web. Primary collections can be found at the following sites:

Mahayana Buddhist Sutras in English

Mahayana Sutras - Online sutras

Mahayana Sutras
Quang Duc Buddhist

Mahayana Sutra translations

Sutra translations

Chinese Buddhist Canon

The Prajnaparamita Sutras

The Prajnaparamita or Perfection of Wisdom sutras represent a genre of Mahayana Buddhist scriptures addressing the aspiration for the perfection of wisdom. Held in the highest veneration in Mahayana traditions, there numerous versions in Mahayana countries such as China and Japan. The Prajnaparamita-Sutra is regarded as the source that feeds the bodhisattva with the amrita (nectar) of prajna (transcendental wisdom), and guides him to paramita (the other shore). It is the "utmost great perfection" which gives full enlightenment to the bodhisattva after he has successfully completed the other five paramitas: dana (charity), sila (morality), ksanti (patience, forbearance), virya (energy), and dhyana (concentration). Tibetan Buddhists believe Prajnaparamita to be the most infallible text to arouse them from the illusion of samsara (round of births and deaths).

The original sutra was expanded into larger and larger versions in 10,000, 18,000, 25,000 and 100,000 lines, collectively known at the "Large Perfection of Wisdom". These differ mainly in the extent to which the many lists are either abbreviated or written out in full; the rest of the text is mostly unchanged between the different versions. Since the large versions proved to be unwieldy they were later summarized into shorter versions, produced from 300 to 500. Shorter versions include the Heart Sutra and Diamond Sutras, widely popular sutras that have had a great influence on the development of Mahayana Buddhism (see below).

The Prajnaparamita literature

The Perfection in Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines and Its Verse Summary
Edward Conze

Heart Sutra

Prajnaparamita-Hridayam (hridaya means heart) -- the most condensed recension of the Sutra -- was rendered into Chinese in the year 400 AD by the famous Indian scholar and Buddhist missionary, the Venerable Kumarajiva, and even today is used as a protective spell or charm by all Buddhists of Tibet, China, and Japan, monks and laymen alike. It was translated into English by D. T. Suzuki of Japan in 1934, by Edward Conze of England in 1958, and in America by Dwight Goddard in 1969. My verbatim translation, which follows, is made directly from the original Sanskrit.

Parallel Tibetan and English translation

Some translations

 H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama - teachings on the Heart Sutra

Lectures on the Heart Sutra
Sojun Mel Weitsman

Wisdom and Compassion in Limitless Oneness
Dr. Yutang Lin

The Heart Sutra and Key Concepts of Buddhism

The Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra
Commentary by Grand Master T'an Hsu

 The Heart Sutra
Red Pine (Shoemaker & Hoard - 2004)

 Essence of the Heart Sutra: The Dalai Lama's Heart of Wisdom Teachings
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama (Wisdom Publications - 2005)

 The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra
Thich Nhat Hanh (Parallax Press - 2005)

Diamond Sutra

The Diamond Sutra is probably the most popular among the texts of Prajnaparamita after the Heart Sutra, especially within the East Asian traditions of Chan, Son and Zen. The sutra's primary themes are the realization of the illusory nature of all phenomena and the theme of non-abiding. "Non-abiding, in a Buddhist, and especially a Chan context, refers to the continual practice (i.e., not just while one is sitting in zazen) of being aware of the stoppings and goings of the mind, and avoiding being tricked and ensnared by the web of mental constructs that one continually weaves for oneself. The ongoing proliferation of these deluded constructs has as its causes and conditions not only in the thought processes in which one is engaged at the present moment, but also the flowing river one's entire multi-lifetime load of previous karma." (Charles Muller - see below )

The Diamond Perfection of Wisdom Sutra

The Vajracchedika-prajna-paramita Sutra

The Diamond Sutra
Translation - Charles Muller

The Diamond Sutra
Plum Village Chanting Book

Thich Nhat Hanh Dharma talks: first talksecond talk

 The Diamond Sutra
Red Pine (Counterpoint Press - 2002)

 Buddhist Wisdom: The Diamond Sutra and The Heart Sutra
Edward Conze (Translator), John F. Thornton (Editor) (Vinatge - 2001)

 The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Diamond Sutra
Thich Nhat hahn (Parallax Press - 2005)

 The Diamond Sutra: Transforming the Way We Perceive the World 
Mu Soeng (Wisdom Publications - 2000)

Lankavatara Sutra

An encyclopedic work of Mahayanist thought and practice, including the bodhisattva vows, discipline, and compassion. Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen, based his teachings on the Lankavatara Sutra.

The most important doctrine issuing from the Lanka is that of the primacy of consciousness, often called simply "Mind Only", meaning that consciousness is the only reality. The sutra asserts that all the objects of the world, and the names and forms of experience, are merely manifestations of the mind. It is the erroneous concept of subject/object that ties us to the wheel of rebirth.

Lankavatara Sutra

Online version of full text of the Sutra translated and introduced by D. T. Suzuki

BIONA version

Lotus Sutra

The Lotus Sutra is a large Mahayana scripture which scholars today seem to feel was compiled in four strata, between sometime in the 1st century B.C.E. and about 150 C.E. in India. Written originally in Sanskrit, the sutra was translated several times into Chinese in the 3rd to 5th centuries C.E, with the most famous and highly regarded of these translations by Kumarajiva (died c. 406 C.E.), who translated a great number of other Buddhist sutras and writings as well. Most if not all of the English translations currently available are based upon Kumarajiva's translation.

The Lotus Sutra emphasizes devotion and faith, noting that the path to buddhahood is not restricted to those who practiced monastic austerities but to those who worship the buddha (or buddhas) in a number of ways. In China, the Lotus Sutra was elevated to most-favored-sutra status and was transmitted to Japan by the Japanese monk, Dengyo (Saicho) in the 8th century C.E. and soon became the most revered sutra in that land.

Sutra of the Lotus of the Wonderful Dharma
Translation - Burton Watson

Inside the Lotus Sutra
Stephen L. Klick

Zen and the Lotus Sutra 
Ryuei Michael McCormick

Henry David Thoreau’s (Brief) Translation Of "The Lotus Sutra"

 Opening the Heart of the Cosmos: Insights on the Lotus Sutra
Thich Nhat Hanh (Parallax Press - 2005)

 The Lotus Sutra
Burton Watson (Columbia University Press - 1993)

Shurangama Sutra

Generally considered to be the most complete teaching concerning the mind in the Mahayana Canon. According to tradition, the sutra was translated in 705. Its main themes are importance of meditational ability (samadhi) and the importance of moral precepts as a foundation for the Path.

Shurangama Sutra

Shurangama Sutra: Text, Commentaries, and Articles
Da Fo Ding Shou Leng Yan Jing (Compiled by Ron Epstein)

The Surugana Sutra
Master Sheng Yen (Dharma Talk, Chan Magazine)

 The Shurangama Sutra: Sutra Text and Supplements Only
Hsuan Hua (Buddhist Text Translation Society - 2003)

Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra

Sometimes referred to as the "crown jewel of the Mahayana" and regarded as the main Sutra on non-duality. In the sutra, the layman bodhisattva Vimalakirtu expounds the doctrine of emptiness in depth to the Buddha's main disciples. The sutra is notable for the liveliness of its episodes and frequent touches of humor, rarities in a religious work of this type. Because the sutra centers on a lay person, and because of its enduring literary appeal, it has been particularly popular among lay Buddhists in China, Japan, and the other Asian countries where Mahayana doctrines prevail, and has exercised a marked influence on literature and art.

Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra

A Talk On The Vimalakirti Sutra
Hisamatsu Shin'ichi Preface

Vimalakirti's Gate of Nonduality
John Daido Loori, Roshi - Dharma Discourse

Other sutras

The Phenomenal Universe of the Flower Ornament Sutra
Though not widely known, the Huayan, or Flower Ornament Sutra, has had a lasting impact on the way Zen and Chan Buddhism are practiced. 
Taigen Dan Leighton

The Great Flower Garland Scripture of the Buddha's Expanded Mahayana Teachings
Buddhist Text Translation Society

Caught in Indra’s Net: the Huayan Sutra
Robert Aitken Roshi

 

 

Tibetan

The Tibetan canon of essential Buddhist scripture consists of two parts:

  • The Kangyur ("Translation of the Buddha's Word")—the texts that are attributed to the Buddha. Esteemed and worshipped for centuries in Tibet, it is regarded as the single most authoritative repository of Buddhist thought by Tibetan speakers throughout Asia and beyond. The Kangyur unquestionably ranks among the most important sources for the study of Buddhism in India and Tibet. Containing many hundreds of Buddhist texts translated in the eighth and ninth centuries by teams of scholars from India, China, Tibet and Central Asia in order to create the literary foundation for Buddhism in Tibet, it is unrivalled in doctrinal authority and historical value. On account of its vast scope and the reliability of its translations, the Kangyur is widely used as a principle point of access to centuries of Buddhist developments in the Indo-Tibetan cultural world.

    As a Mahayana tradition, Tibetan Buddhism's Kangyur includes most of the Mahayana sutras. In addition it includes tantric (esoteric) texts.

  • The Tengyur ("Translations of treatises")—traditional commentaries attributed to subsequent learned and realized masters of Buddhism. In the Tibetan tradition, it is common for a meditation master to offer explanations and interpretations, sharing his understanding with students and shedding light on centuries-old texts that may be difficult for contemporary practitioners to fully understand.

There are a number of popular Tibetan editions of these scriptures.

 

Sources of the Tibetan Buddhist canon:

The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center
The TBRC Digital Library is a vast repository of digital texts

Tibetan Sutra Teachings
Alexander Berzin

The Kangyur
Tibetan & Himalayan Digital Library (THDL)

The Tengyur
Tibetan & Himalayan Digital Library (THDL)

The Kangyur Collection and The Tengyur Collection
Asia Classics Institute

The Institute of Tibetan Classics

 The Tibetan Tanjur and Associated Literature
American Institute of Buddhist Studies

 The Library of Tibetan Classics
Spanning more than a millennium, the literature in The Library of Tibetan Classics will eventually encompass thirty-two volumes covering such diverse fields as philosophy, psychology, spiritual practices, and ethics, as well as poetry, linguistics, plays, history, and classical Tibetan medicine.

 The Mahayana Sutra & Tantra Press

 A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage (A Spiritual History of the Teachings of Natural Great Perfection) 
Jam-dbyans-rdo-rje (Padma Publishing - 2005)

 

  

6 ~ Integration

Study and practice

The recent upsurge of interest in Buddhism, both East and West, has been marked by a vigorous practical orientation and a drive to discover the peace and freedom to which the practice of Dhamma leads. This zeal for practice, however, has often been accompanied by another trait which may not be so fruitful, namely, a tendency to neglect or even belittle the methodical study of the Buddha's teachings.

The interrelationship of study and scholarship with practice is . . . a complex issue . . . What can be said unequivocally is that scholarly knowledge without practical application is barren; vigorous meditation practice without the guiding light of clear conceptual understanding is futile.

Bhikkhu Bodhi


In classical Buddhism, the three avenues to understanding are study, reflection, and meditation.

  1. Study: learning the material, listening to teaching, studying texts.
  2. Reflection: thinking about what you've learned, clarifying questions and understanding, making the material your own.
  3. Meditation: holding the teaching in attention until it becomes part of how you live and function in your life.

Unfettered Mind

Study and Practice Guide
Ken McLeod's Unfettered Mind

Advanced Study and Practice Program
The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS) is offering a one-year program of advanced dharma study and practice. The program provides experienced dharma students with the opportunity to 1) delve more deeply into the meaning and significance of the Buddha's teachings by study of the textual tradition; 2) creatively explore the relationship of these teachings to meditation practice and daily life.

Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies
The Buddhist path engages us in a balanced program of both practice and study. The Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies (SSBS) teaches the tenets of this path.

Where to Begin: Study, Reflection and Meditation

The Case for Study
Bhikkhu Bodhi

 

 

 

1 ~ Getting Started

Getting started

Buddhism and the Dharma

The founder of Buddhism is neither a deity nor a prophet, but a man who has awakened from ignorance to perfect enlightenment; his name, Buddha, is in fact a title meaning the Enlightened One. The Buddha's teaching, known to his followers as the Dhamma, is taught on the basis of his own clear comprehension of reality, free from appeals to divine authority and demands for unquestioning faith. Open to reason and critical inquiry, the Dhamma calls out for personal verification.

The teaching begins with the observation that human life is beset by a sense of dissatisfaction pain or suffering and the cause for the suffering is the self centered desires. Then follows the most optimistic affirmation of the Buddha that suffering can be totally overcome! Hence liberation from suffering is the goal of the teaching and the Noble Eightfold Path has been laid down as the way to liberation.

Buddhism offers, as integral to its path, a profound philosophy, an intricate analysis of the mind, lofty ethics and well-tested methods of meditation. The fruits of the Buddhist Way show in serene understanding, in kindness and compassion towards others, and in equanimity amidst the vicissitudes of life. Free from dogma, emphasizing personal responsibility as the key to right conduct and direct experience as the key to truth, Buddhism has an important role to play in the modern world.

Buddhism in Modern Life
Ananda W.P. Guruge

Getting to know Buddhism
Dr. Sunthorn Plamintr

Introduction to Buddhism
Dr. Sunthorn Plamintr

The Essential Points of the Buddhist Teachings
Ajahn Buddhadasa

The Buddha and His Message: Past, Present and Future
Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Buddha and Dhamma
Bhikkhu Bodhi

What is Buddhism?
Jack Kornfield

About Buddhism

Buddhism: A Method of Mind Training
Leonard Bullen

What is Buddhism?
Lama Thubten Yeshe

Is Buddhism a Religion?
Ajahn Sumhedo

Is Buddhism a Religion?
Dorothy Figen

Living in the World with Dhamma
by Ajahn Chah

An Introduction to Buddhism
Dr. C. George Boeree, Shippensburg University

Special Characteristics of Buddhism
Yat-Biu Ching

The Dhamma
Dr. Sunthorn Plamintr

Good Question Good Answer
Ven. Shravasti Dhammika

Basic Buddhism,
A Modern Introduction to the Buddha's Teaching

Dr Victor A. Gunasekara

Meditation

Meditation:
The Heart of Buddhism
Ajahn Brahmavamso

The Basic Method of Meditation
Ajahn Brahmavamso

Threefold training - morality, concentration & insight

The Threefold
Training

Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

See Paths in the Learning Center.

Buddhsit Traditions

Mahayana, Hinayana, and Theravada Compared
Ron Epstein

 See the DharmaNet Learning Center to learn about Buddhist schools and traditions.

 

2 ~ Fundamentals

 

What is Buddhism

The Meaning of the Buddha's Awakening
Thanissaro Bhikkhu


The Fundamentals in Practice

Peter Della Santina

Buddhism In Practice
Peter Della Santina

Dharma

The Buddha's teaching is called the Dhamma (Dharma). Dhamma comes

from the Pali root dar, which means to support, to sustain,to hold up.In the most basic sense, Dhamma is the true nature of things—the fundamental element of lawfulness operating in the universe, structuring all events, all experience and all phenomena.

Dhamma also means the fundamental principle of righteousness,
the cosmic law of virtue and goodness.

Dhamma also has a practical sense, something applicable to our
own life. Dhamma is that which sustains us, which supports us, or which upholds our own effort to live in virtue and goodness. In this sense Dhamma is the path. It is both the lower path of virtue and the supramundane path, the higher path that leads to realization of the true nature of things, that brings
the attainment of truth.

The Buddha's teaching is called the Dhamma, because this teaching makes known the true nature of things, disclosing the true nature of all existence.

The Buddha's Dhamma
Bhikkhu Bodhi

Qualities of the Dhamma
Bhikkhu Bodhi – from the Ashoka course The Buddha's Teaching As It Is

Dharma
Wikipedia

Three Jewels

The central focus of inspiration and devotion for Buddhists is the Triple Gem (also known as the Three Treasures, the Three Refuges,and the Three Jewels):

Buddha (Enlightened One or Awakened
One) — Shakyamuni Buddha.

Dharma (or Dhamma) — the Buddha's teachings. Dharmra as well refers to the eternal Truth which the teachings convey to us. Dharma is threefold:

the Dharma we study, the Dharma we practice, and the Dharma of realization.

Sangha — 'community' or 'assembly.'
In Buddhism sangha is both the community of disciples (whether ordained or not) who have gained realization of any of the stages of awakening as well as the community of ordained disciples, bhikkhus (monks) and bhikkhunis (nuns). Today sangha is also used to refer to a broader community of practioners and students.

Taking refuge in the Triple Gem represents confirmation of one's belief in Buddhist principles and one's dedication to Buddhist practice.

The Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha

Refuge: An Introduction to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Taking Refuge in the Triple Gem

The Triple Gem

Buddha Dhamma Sangha
Ven. Ajahn Sumedho

What Is The Triple Gem
Ajahn Lee Dhammadaro

Refuge in the Buddha
Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Practice of Sangha
Thich Nhat Hanh explains that sangha is more than a community, it’s a deep
spiritual practice.

Three marks

 

The Buddha said that there are three marks of existence—characteristics that are always present in existence and that can help us understand what to do with existence.

The three characteristics of existence (Dharma Seals) are:

  • Impermanence (Anicca)
  • Suffering (Dukkha)
  • Not-self (Anatta)

These three characteristics are always present in or connected with existence, and they tell us about the nature of existence. They help us know what to do with existence. Once we understand that existence is universally characterized by impermanence, suffering, and not-self, we eliminate our attachment to existence. And once we eliminate our attachment to existence, we gain the threshold of nirvana.

Understanding the three marks removes attachment by removing delusion—the misunderstanding that existence is permanent, pleasant, and has something to do with the self. This is why understanding the three characteristics is part of the development of wisdom.

 

Three Marks of Existence

The Three Universal Characteristics
Dr. Peter Della Santina

Three Universal Characteristics
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

The Practice of Looking Deeply Using Three Dharma Seals: Impermanence, No-self and Nirvana
Thich Nhat Hanh

Tri Lakshana: The Three Characteristics of Existence
Amarasiri Weeraratne

Dukkha

No-self or Not-self?
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The Not-Self Strategy
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Meditating on No-Self
Sister Khema

Anitya Anicca
by Ven. Dr. Karuna Dharma

Anatta (Non-Self)
Ajahn Brahmavamso

The Ending of Things A Discourse On "Non-Self"
Ajahn Brahmavamso

Emptiness
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Whatis the Use of the Knowledge of Impermanence?
H. Gunaratana Mahathera

The Four Noble Truths

 

With the Four Noble Truths we enter the real heart of the teaching of the Buddha. The Four Noble Truths are one of the most fundamental of the schemes delineated by the Buddha. In many important particulars, they virtually coincide with the whole of the doctrine of Shakyamuni. The understanding of the Four Noble Truths is synonymous with the attainment of the goal of Buddhist practice. The Buddha himself indicated as much when he said that it is failure to comprehend the Four Noble Truths that has caused us to run on so long in the cycle of birth and death. The Buddha's first discourse was on the Four Noble Truths and the Middle Way.

  • The first truth says that existence is characterized by suffering (duhkha) and does not bring satisfaction.
  • The second truth gives as the cause of suffering craving or desire for sensual pleasures, for becoming and passing away. It is this craving that binds beings to the cycle of existence (samsara).
  • The third truth says that through elimination of craving, suffering can be brought to an end.
  • The fourth truth gives the Eightfold Path as the means for ending suffering.

In the formula of the Four Noble Truths we have a summary of the teaching of the Buddha in theory and in practice.

 

The Four Noble Truths
Ajahn Chah

The Four Noble Truths
Ajahn Sumedho

The Nobility of the Truths
Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Four Noble Truths
Peter Della Santina

Excerpts from the teachings of the Buddha on the Four Noble Truths

Suffering Zen and The Four Noble Truths
Rev. Chuan Zhi Shakya

The Four Noble Truths
H.H. The Dalai Lama

The Four Noble Truths
Thrangu Rinpoche

The Four Noble Truths
Gil Frosndal, four talks

Eightfold path

The essence of the Buddha's teaching can be summed up in two principles: the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The Fourth Noble Truth—the truth of the way, the way to the end of Dukkha—is the Noble Eightfold Path, the path made up of the following eight factors divided into three larger groups:

wisdom

1. right view
2. right intention

moral discipline

3. right speech
4. right action
5. right livelihood

concentration

6. right effort
7. right mindfulness
8. right concentration

We say that the path is the most important element in the Buddha's teaching because the path is what makes the Dhamma available to us as a living experience. Without the path the Dhamma would just be a shell, collection of doctrines without inner life. Without the path full deliverance from suffering would become a mere dream.

 

The question is whether you want to liberate yourself. If you do, practice the Noble Eightfold Path. Wherever the Noble Eightfold Path is practiced, joy, peace and insight are there.

Buddha

The Eightfold Path
Damien Keown

The Noble Eightfold Path The Way to the End of Suffering
Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Noble Eightfold Path
Ajahn Jagaro

Backs to Basics Chan and The Eightfold Path
Rev. Chuan Zhi Shakya

Eightfold Path for the Householder – Ten talks
Jack Kornfield

Meditation

Here a bhikkhu (monk), gone to the forest or to the root of a treeor to an empty hut, sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, set his body erect, and established mindfulness in front of him. . .

sBuddha

Meditation: Why Bother
Bhante Gunaratana

Buddhist Traditions of Meditation
John Snelling

Basic Breath Meditation Instructions
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The How and the Why
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Mindfulness With Breathing: Getting Started
Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Meditation in the Tibetan Tradition
The Dalai Lama

Introduction to Zen Meditation
John Daishin Buksbazen

For much more, see the Meditation section of the DharmaNet Learning Center.

Dependent arising

Whoever sees Dependent Origination sees the Dhamma; whoever sees the Dhamma sees Dependent Origination.

Buddha

Common to all schools of Buddhism, dependent origination ("dependent arising," "conditioned genesis," "dependent co-arising," "interdependent arising," etc.) shows how phenomena arise together in a mutually interdependent web of cause and effect.

The Buddha awakened to the truth of dependent origination, the understanding that any phenomenon ‘exists’ only because of the ‘existence’ of other phenomena in an incredibly complex web of cause and effect covering time past, time present and time future.

Wise human beings, who ‘see things as they are’, renounce attachment and clinging, transform the energy of desire into awareness and understanding, and eventually transcend the conditioned realm of form becoming.

Interdependent Origination
Peter Della Santina

Dependent Arising
Bhikkhu Bodhi - from the Ashoka course The Buddha's Teaching
As It Is

Dependent Origination
Christina Feldman

Dependent Origination
Zen Master Seung Sahn

The Three Poisons

 

The Three Poisons, the negative mental attitudes or delusional emotions of anger, attachment and ignorance, underly all negative emotions. Ignorance– lack of wisdom or insight into the actual way that things exist–is said to be the basis of all negative emotions.

The Three Poisons: Desire, Hatred, Ignorance

Transforming the Three Poisons: Greed, Hatred, and Delusion

Working with Delusional Emotions

The Three Poisons and the Three Jewels: An Outline of the Buddhist Schools
Peter Morrell

The Three Poisons

 

Karma and rebirth

Contrary to common misconception, the Buddhist
interpretation of karma does not refer to preordained fate. Karma
refers to good or bad actions a person takes during her lifetime.
Good actions, which involve either the absence of bad actions, or
actual positive acts, such as generosity, righteousness, and meditation,
bring about happiness in the long run. Bad actions, such as lying,
stealing or killing, bring about unhappiness in the long run. The
weight that actions carry is determined by five conditions: frequent,
repetitive action; determined, intentional action; action performed
without regret; action against extraordinary persons; and action
toward those who have helped one in the past. Finally, there is also
neutral karma, whcih has no benefits or costs.

Karma plays out in the Buddhism cycle of rebirth. There are six
separate planes into which any living being can be reborn—three
fortunate realms, and three unfortunate realms. The realm of man
is considered the highest realm of rebirth as it offers one other
aspect lacking in the other five planes—an opportunity to achieve
enlightenment. Given the sheer number of living things,
to be born human is to Buddhists a precious chance at spiritual bliss,
a rarity that one should not forsake.

An introduction to karma and rebirth

An introduction to rebirth

Another basic introduction to karma and rebirth

Karma
Peter Della Santina

Buddhist Karma

Karma
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Good and Evil in Buddhism
Bhikkhu P.A. Payutto

Kamma on the Social Level
Bhikkhu P.A. Payutto

Kamma
Dr. Sunthorn Plamintr

Buddhist Theory of Kamma
Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw

Ethical Implications of the Buddhist Theory of Kamma
Bhikkhu Thich Nhat-Tu

Rebirth and Death
John Snelling

Rebirth
Peter Della Santina

Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

 

8 ~ In practice

Ethics

Spirituality and ethics are two aspects of the same thing, or even two ways of talking about the same thing. By practicing Buddhism, one is endeavoring to become more and more selfless, more and more capable of higher and higher levels of nonviolence, loving kindness, and altruism. The Buddhist path is all about transforming and developing one's character in a specific way defined by the Buddhist community. Moreover, the Buddha as prototype embodies that perfection of character.

Sallie King, Being Benevolence: The Social Ethics of Engaged Buddhism

The goal of ethics is to become a person who does good or virtuous things freely from the ground of a well-tempered character, supported by a matured, resolute, and reasonable knowledge of what one is doing. The path of Buddhism does not dissolve character (which is different from ego and personality). It awakens and illuminates moral character and establishes a 'noble' selfhood in the wide, deep, expressive freedom of creative forms of life and its perfections.

James Whitehill, Buddhist Ethics in Western Context: The "Virtues" Approach

Journal of Buddhist Ethics

 Ethics for the New Millennium
H.H. the Dalai Lama

 Being Benevolence: The Social Ethics of Engaged Buddhism 
Sallie King

The Ethical Precepts and Philosophical Tenets of Zen Buddhism

The Inner Ecology: Buddhist Ethics and Practice
Ronald Epstein

Everyman's Ethics: Four Discourses of the Buddha
Adapted from the translations of Narada Thera

Buddhist Morality and Practice
Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda

Buddhist Morality 
Dr. C. George Boeree, Shippensburg University

Sometimes Full, Sometimes Half Full
Norman Fischer
All of our actions, however small, can have wondrous effects, but only if we are wholehearted enough in our practice of ethical conduct.

Dogen's "Ceaseless Practice"
Dogen Zenji
A non-authoritarian basis for ethics

 

Spirituality and ethics are two aspects of the same thing, or even two ways of talking about the same thing. By practicing Buddhism, one is endeavoring to become more and more selfless, more and more capable of higher and higher levels of nonviolence, loving kindness, and altruism. The Buddhist path is all about transforming and developing one's character in a specific way defined by the Buddhist community. Moreover, the Buddha as prototype embodies that perfection of character.

Sallie King, Being Benevolence: The Social Ethics of Engaged Buddhism

The goal of ethics is to become a person who does good or virtuous things freely from the ground of a well-tempered character, supported by a matured, resolute, and reasonable knowledge of what one is doing. The path of Buddhism does not dissolve character (which is different from ego and personality). It awakens and illuminates moral character and establishes a 'noble' selfhood in the wide, deep, expressive freedom of creative forms of life and its perfections.

James Whitehill, Buddhist Ethics in Western Context: The "Virtues" Approach

Journal of Buddhist Ethics

 Ethics for the New Millennium
H.H. the Dalai Lama

 Being Benevolence: The Social Ethics of Engaged Buddhism 
Sallie King

The Ethical Precepts and Philosophical Tenets of Zen Buddhism

The Inner Ecology: Buddhist Ethics and Practice
Ronald Epstein

Everyman's Ethics: Four Discourses of the Buddha
Adapted from the translations of Narada Thera

Buddhist Morality and Practice
Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda

Buddhist Morality 
Dr. C. George Boeree, Shippensburg University

Sometimes Full, Sometimes Half Full
Norman Fischer
All of our actions, however small, can have wondrous effects, but only if we are wholehearted enough in our practice of ethical conduct.

Dogen's "Ceaseless Practice"
Dogen Zenji
A non-authoritarian basis for ethics

 

 

Engaged Buddhism

 

Learning
Center

Engaged Practice


Engaged practice

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
The Middle Way Life in a World of Polarity

What's Buddhist about Socially Engaged Buddhism
David Loy

The Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism
Thich Nhat Hanh

Dharma for Healing the World
Joanna Macy

New Voices in Engaged Buddhist Studies
Kenneth Kraft

Engaged Buddhism 
Joan Halifax Roshi

Practices for Activists
Joanna Macy

Rules of Engagement
Kazuaki Tanahashi

In Engaged Buddhism, Peace Begins with You
Thich Nhat Hahn interview

Comprehensive Bibliography - Socially Engaged Buddhism
Buddhist Peace Fellowshio (compiled by Donald Rothberg - 2005)

Justify Your Love: Finding Authority for Socially Engaged Buddhism: Ways of Relating Buddhist Tradition and Practice with Social Theory
Diana Winston

How Shall We Save the World? 
Nelson Foster
Can Buddhism Save the World? A Response to Nelson Foster
David R. Loy

Socially Engaged Buddhism & Modernity: What Sort of Animals are They?
Santikaro Bhikkhu

Global problem-solving: A Buddhist perspective
Sulak Sivaraksa

Books >>>

Groups

Buddhist Peace Fellowship
BPF serves as a catalyst for socially engaged Buddhism, helping beings liberate themselves from the suffering that manifests in individuals, relationships, institutions, and social systems. BPF's programs, publications, and practice groups link Buddhist teachings of wisdom and compassion with progressive social change.

Zen Peacemakers
Zen Peacemakers are individuals, groups and organizations dedicated to realizing and actualizing the interconnectedness of life. The effects of Zen practice unfolds in the meditation halls, at work, within families and within community. For the past 25 years Zen Peacemakers have been developing new forms, methods and structures in the areas of peacemaking, social enterprise and Zen practice, emphasizing the transformation of the individual and society.

Think Sangha
A socially engaged Buddhist think tank affiliated with the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF) in the United States and the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) using a Buddhist sangha model to explore pressing social issues and concerns. The group's methodology is one based in friendship and Buddhist practice as much as theory and thought. The Think Sangha's core activities are networking with other thinker-activists, producing Buddhist critiques of social structures and alternative social models, and providing materials and resource persons for trainings, conferences, and research on social issues and grassroots activism.
Article about: Exploring the Method of Socially Engaged Buddhism

International Network of Engaged Buddhists (UK)

International Network of Engaged Buddhism/
Sathirakoses-Nagapradeepa Foundation
A network committed to social justice with ecological vision and based on engaged spirituality and Sulak Sivaraksa, Our Founder, Honouring seventy years if living and working for justice, peace, democracy and sustainable livelihoods.

Consumerism 
Consumption and consumerism are now central global issues, touching concerns such as environment, community development, education, and sex and gender issues. Buddhists are exploring what unique contributions the Dharma can offer.

Key Characteristics Of Consumerism & Buddhist Foils
Think Sangha

An alternative to consumerism
Sulak Sivaraksa

Consumerism and the Precepts
Taigen Leighton

Consumerism & The Way Out Of Consumerism
Ken Jones

The Religion of Consumption: A Buddhist Rebuttle
David Loy & Jonathan Watts

Shall We Pave the Planet, or Learn To Wear Shoes? A Buddhist Perspective on Greed and Globalization
David R. Loy

Demythologizing Consumerism: A Buddhist Pathway
Jonathan Watts, Think Sangha
The First Noble Truth (Dukkha): The Spiritual Roots And Delusion Of Consumer Culture
The Second Noble Truth (Samudaya): Deconstructing Consumer Behavior
The Third Noble Truth (Nirodha): A Life Beyond Consumer Attachment
The Fourth Noble Truth (Magga): Practicing Personal and Social Connnection

Spiritual Materialism and the Sacraments of Consumerism: A View from Thailand
Phra Phaisan Visalo

Overcoming the Grip of Consumerism
Stephanie Kaza

 Buddhism And Consumerism
Venerable Thubten Chodron

The Crisis of Comsumerism
Judith Simmer-Brown

Books >>>

Environment
"The ecological crisis we witness today is, from a Buddhist perspective a rather predictable outcome of the kinds of deluded behaviour the Buddha described 2500 years ago. Greed, hatred and stupidity, the three poisons the Buddha spoke of, have now spilled beyond the confines of the human mind and village politics, to poison quite literally the seas, the air and the earth itself. And the fire the Buddha spoke of as metaphorically engulfing the world and its inhabitants in flames is now horribly visible in nuclear explosions and smouldering rainforests, and psychologically apparent in the rampant consumerism of our times."Stephen Batchelor

Buddhism and Ecology: Challenge and Promise
Donald K. Swearer

Principles and poetry, places and stories: The resources of Buddhist ecology
Donald K. Swearer

Green Buddhism
Stephanie Kaza

The Greening of Buddhist Practice
Kenneth Kraft

Can We Keep Peace with nature?
Stephanie Kaza

An Assessment of Buddhist Eco-Philosophy
Donald Swearer

To Save All Beings: Buddhist Environmental Activism
Stephanie Kaza

The Ecological Self
Joanna Macy

The Deep Ecology Platform
Joanna Macy

Deep Time
Joanna Macy

Interdependence
Joanna Macy

The New New (Buddhist?) Ecology
J. Baird Callicott

The Foundations of Ecology in Zen Buddhism
Ven. Sunyana Graef

The Relevance of Vipassana for the Environmental Crisis
Prof. Lily de Silva

Books >>>

Ethics

See Learning Center's ethics page >>>

Gender and Buddhism

Feminism and Buddhism: A Reflection through Personal Life & Working Experience
Ouyporn Khuankaew

Buddhism, Feminism, and the Environmental Crisis: Acting with Compassion
Stephanie Kaza

See Learning Center's Women and Buddhism >>>

Gay Buddhist Fellowship

Globalization
"The relentless drive by world-wide corporate entities to force their products on to the richer sectors threatens the global balance of natural resources and the lifestyle of indigenous people." Sulak Sivaraksa

Globalisation Represents Greed
Sulak Sivaraksa

A Buddhist Critique of Transnational Corporations
David Loy

The Religion of the Market
David Loy

Globalization and Buddhism
Alfred Bloom

Globalization from a Buddhist Perspective
Pracha Hutanuwatr and Jane Rasbash

Hospice

See Learning Center's Dying and Death page >>>

India and Dr. Ambedkar

Dr. Amedkar & His People web site

Writings of Dr. Ambedkar

Arising Light - a film on Dr B. R. Ambedkar and the untouchables

Peacemaking and non-violence

Buddhism and Non-Violence
Sulak Sivaraksa

Non-violence: A Study Guide
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The Budhha Taught Nonviolence, Not Pacifism
Paul Fleischman, M.D.

Mindfulness is the Key to Peace
Sulak Sivaraksa

Buddhism and Peace
Jan Willis

Buddhist Ideas for Attaining World Peace
Ron Epstein

Vowing Peace in an Age of War
Alan Senauke

The Personal Roots of Peace
Thich Nhat Hanh

 Peace Making
Thich Nhat Hanh - audio CDs

Buddhism and Nonviolence Global Problem-Solving
Glen Paige

Books >>>

Prison Dharma

Symbols and Narration in Buddhist Prison Ministry: The Timelessness of Skillful Means
Virginia Cohn Parkum, Blue Mountain Meditation Society

Prison Dharma Network
A nonsectarian Buddhist network for prisoners, prison volunteers, and correctional workers supporting prisoners in the practice of contemplative disciplines, with emphasis on the meditation practices of the various Buddhist traditions. An affiliate of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and a village of the Peacemaker Community.

The Prison Monk
Fleet Maull interview

The National Buddhist Prison Sangha
Zen Mountain Monastery's National Buddhist Prison Sangha is a right action program offering spiritual guidance and support to prison inmates.

Angulimala Buddhist Prison Chaplaincy Organisation
Teaching and practice of Buddhism in UK Prisons

The Engaged Zen Foundation
An independent organization of Buddhist practitioners involved with prison ministry, dedicated to fostering meditation practice in prison.

Racism and Buddhism

On Race & Buddhism
Alan Senauke

Engaged Buddhism in Asia

Sarvodaya
Joanna Macy

A Thai perspective on socially engaged Buddhism: A conversation with Sulak Sivaraksa
Donald Rothberg

Engaged Environmental Projects in Asia

The Search for Socially Engaged Buddhism in Japan
Jonathan Watts, Earth Sanha

The Ordination of a Tree: The Buddhist ecology movement in Thailand
Susan M, Darlington

Buddhism and Deep Ecology for the Protection on Wild Asian Elephants
Danniel Henning

Steering the middle path: Buddhism, non-violence and political change in Cambodia
Yos Hut Khemacaro

National Political Violence and Buddhism Response in Cambodia
Ubasak Ros Sotha

Nonviolent Buddhist Problem-Solving in Sri Lanka
A.T. Ariyaratne

60 Years of Achieving Peace in Siam
Sulak Sivaraksa

Engaged Buddhism in the West

Activist Women in Buddhism


Web sites

Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Network of Engaged Buddhists UK


Books

Engaged practice

 The Engaged Spiritual Life: A Buddhist Approach to Transforming Ourselves and the World
Donald Rothberg (Beacon - 2006)

 Engaged Buddhism in the West
by Christopher S. Queen

 Action Dharma: New Studies in Engaged Buddhism 
Christopher Queen (editor) (RoutledgeCurzon - 2003)

 Engaged Buddhist Reader
by Arnold Kotler (Parallax -2005)

 Interbeing: Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism 
Thich Nhat Hahn (Parallax - 2005)

 Socially Engaged Buddhism
by Sulak Sivaraksa (B.R. Publishing - 2005)

 Not Turning Away: The Practice of Engaged Buddhism
Susan Moon (editor) (Shambhala 2004)

 The New Social Face of Buddhism: A Call to Action
Ken Jones (Wisdom - 2003)

 Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia
Christopher S. Queen (editor), Sallie B. King (editor) (SUNY - 1996)

 Being Benevolence: The Social Ethics of Engaged Buddhism 
Sallie B. King (U. Hawaii Press- 2006)

 Conflict, Culture, Change: Engaged Buddhism in a Globalizing World
Sulak Sivaraksa (Wisdom - 2005)

 The Path of Compassion: Writings on Socially Engaged Buddhism
Fred Eppsteiner (editor) (Parallax - 1988)

Consumerism

 Mindfulness in the Marketplace: Compassionate Responses to Consumerism
Allan Hunt Badiner (editor) (Parallax - 2005)

 Hooked!: Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume 
Stephanie Kaza (editor) (Shambhala - 2006)
Key Buddhist thinkers reflect upon aspects of consumerism, greed and economicspairing of consumerist critiques with core Buddhist concepts.

Environment

 Buddhism and Ecology: The Interconnection of Dharma and Deeds 
Mary Evelyn Tucker (editor), Duncan Ryuken Williams (editor)

 Dharma Rain
Stephanie Kaza, Kenneth Kraft (editors) (Harvard Center for World Religions - 1998)

 Dharma Gaia: A Harvest of Essays in Buddhism & Ecology
Allan Hunt Badiner (editor) (Parallax - 2005)

 Nature in Asian Traditions of Thought: Essays in Environmental Philosophy
J. Baird Callicott, Roger T. Ames (editors) (SUNY - 1989)

 World as Lover, World as Self
Joanna Macy (Parallax - 2005)

 Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World 
by Joanna R. Macy, Molly Young Brown (New Society Publishers - 1998)

Peacemaking

 Buddhist Peacework: Creating Cultures of Peace
David Chappell (editor) (Wisdom - 2000)

 Peace Is Every Step
Thich Nhat Hahn (Bantam - 1992)

 

Buddhism and science

With its focus on the nature of mind and its implications for the concept of reality, Buddhism offers explanations for metaphysical issues within psychology and studies of consciousness. Some popular conceptions of Buddhism connect it to discourse regarding evolution, quantum theory, and cosmology, though most scientists see a separation between the religious and metaphysical statements of Buddhism and the methodology of science. Nevertheless, commonalities have been cited between scientific investigation and Buddhist thought. The Dalai Lama in a speech at the meeting of the Society for Neuroscience listed a "suspicion of absolutes" and a reliance on causality and empiricism as common philosophical principles shared between Buddhism and science. As both Buddhism and science are open to criticism from within, there is some disagreement over whether one is being badly influenced by the other. (Wikipedia)

Buddhism and Science: Probing the Boundaries of Faith and Reason
Dr. Martin J. Verhoeven

What Buddhism Offers Science
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

Toward a Buddhist Philosophy of Science
Jim Kukula

Buddhism, The only real science
Ajahn Brahmavamso

Future Directions in Study of Buddhism and Science
Bhikkhu P.A. Payutto

Buddhism Meets Western Science: A dialogue on the mind and consciousness
Gay Watson

Buddhism and the Brain
Derek Ellerman

A Dhammic Pedagogy: True Religion and True Science
Jonathan Watts

Dharma, Dogma and DNA
Jose Reissig

 Buddhism and Science: Breaking New Ground
B. Alan Wallace (editor) (Columbia University Press - 2003)

 Contemplative Science: Where Buddhism And Neuroscience Converge
B. Alan. Wallace (Columbia University Press - 2006)

 The Universe in a Single Atom
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama (Morgan Road Books - 2005)

 Two Views of Mind: Abhidharma & Brain Science
Christopher deCharms (Snow Lion - 1997)

 Consciousness at the Crossroads: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Brainscience and Buddhism
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama (Snow Lion- 1999)

 Toward Sustainable Science
P.A. Payutto (Buddhadamma Foundation)


Web sites for Buddhism and science

Mind and Life Institute 
Establishing a mutually respectful working collaboration and research partnerships between modern science and Buddhism and promoting the creation of a contemplative, compassionate, and rigorous experimental and experiential science of the mind which could guide and inform medicine, neuroscience, psychology, education and human development.

 

Dying and death

Using Meditation to Deal with Pain, Illness and Death
Ven.Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The Spritual Needs of the Dying: A Buddhist Perspective
Ven. Pende Hawter

Ministering to the Sick and the Terminally Ill
Lily de Silva

Buddhist Approach to Patient Health Care
Kusala Bhikshu

Preparing for Death & Helping the Dying
Sangye Khadro

Death & Dying in Tibetan Buddhist Tradition
Ven. Pende Hawter

Death and Rebirth
Dr. Nick Ribush
Excerpts from FPMT’s Discovering Buddhism at Home correspondence course

Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

Caring for the Dying
Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Death and Dying
Ajahn Jagaro

Our Real Home: A Talk to an Aging Lay Disciple Approaching Death
Ven. Ajahn Chah

Being with Dying: Contemplative Approaches to Working with Dying People 
Joan Halifax

Organizations - hospice and care

Maitri Compassionate Care
San Francisco

Zen Hospice Project 
San Francisco

Amitabha Hospice Service
Auckland, New Zealand Affiliated withFoundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT)

Buddhist Lotus Hospice Care Foundation
Taiwan

Spiritual Care Program
West Cork, Ireland - Tibetan tradition

Books and tapes

 Making Friends with Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality
Judith L. Lief
A 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 exercises at the end of each chapter give the reader a chance to illuminate his or her views.

 Living in the Light of Death
Larry Rosenberg
Rosenberg 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
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.

 Being With Dying
Joan Halifax Roshi (Sounds True)
the Being with Dying audio learning course combines Eastern and Western psychology, philosophy, and contemplative practices from many spiritual traditions. This innovative, hands-on approach has taught medical professionals, social workers, clergy, community activists, and spiritual seekers an elegant path for taking the fear out of the dying experience.

 The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo 
Francesca Fremantle (Shambhala - 1998)

 The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
Sogyal Rinpoche

 Death and the Art of Dying in Tibetan Buddhism
Bokar Rinpoche

Buddhism and psychology

5 ~ Study


Theravada
Learning
Center

Theravadan Buddhism &
Insight Meditation

Learning Center -> Study -> Theravada Buddhism

Web sites with extensive teachings  
Web sites with audio teachings 

Background

See the Ashoka online course The Buddha's Teaching As It Is taught by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

All of Us (Beset by Birth Decay and Death)
Twelve Dhamma talks on practice.
Ayya Khema

The universal teaching of the Buddha
S.N. Goenka

Walking the Path
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

A Look at the Kalama Sutta
Bhikkhu Bodhi
Some popular contemporary teachings claim that the Buddha advocates putting one's trust solely in what one can know and experience directly for oneself. In fact, when we take into careful consideration the context of this sutta, it becomes clear that this interpretation altogether misses a much more important point.

Meditation

Introduction To Insight Meditation
Amaravati Buddhist Centre, U.K. (1988)

Practical Vipassana
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Instructions to Insight meditation
Mahasi Sayadaw

Two Styles of Insight Meditation 
Bhikkhu Bodhi
With the surging worldwide popularity of insight meditation, teachers have occasionally been tempted to "streamline" the practice, by teaching it as a secular activity divorced from the framework in which the Buddha originally presented it. Bhikkhu Bodhi urges meditators not to neglect the development of the full range of qualities necessary to bring about transcendent release.

Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation
S.N. Goenka

The Basic Method of Meditation
Brahmavamso, Ajahn

The Five Mental Hindrances And Their Conquest
Nyanaponika Thera

Insight Meditation: Basic and Progressive Stages
Mahasi Sayadaw

 Thinking 
This talk explores the role and nature of conceptual thought, how to relate to it skillfully, as well as acknowledging the value and right use of reflective thinking.
Ajan Amaro

The Benefits of Walking Meditation
Sayadaw U Silananda

 Samadhi Is Pure Enjoyment
Ajahn Sucitto

Mindfulness on Breathe – Anapanasati Sutta

Anapana Sati: Meditation on Breathing
Ven. Mahathera Nauyane Ariyadhamma

Anapana Sati: Meditation on Breathing
Ven. Mahathera Nauyane Ariyadhamma

Anapanasati Sutta– Mindfulness of Breathing
Thanissaro Bhikkhu (translation)

The Anapanasati Sutta – A Practical Guide to Midfulness of Breathing and Tranquil Wisdom Meditation
Ven. U Vimalaramsi

Triple Gem, refuge and the precepts

What is the Triple Gem?
Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Buddha Dhamma Sangha
Ven. Ajahn Sumedho

Refuge in the Buddha

Bhikkhu Bodhi

Refuge An Introduction to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Sangha: The Ideal World Community
Ven. Prayudh Payutto

Going for Refuge & Taking the Precepts 
Bhikkhu Bodhi
An excellent introduction to the purpose, meaning, and fruits of taking refuge in the Triple Gem and of observing the precepts.

Precepts

The Five Precepts - panca-sila
Access the Insight

Taking the Precepts
Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Healing Power of the Precepts 
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Four Noble Truths

The Four Noble Truths
Ajahn Sundeho

Four Noble Truths
Bhante Gunaratana

Understanding Dukkha
Ajahn Chah

The Nobility of the Truths
Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Four Noble Truths
Thanissaro Bhikkhu- from The Wings to Awakening

 The Four Noble Truths
Steve Armstong

Eightfold Path

The Way to the End
Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Path to Freedom: A Self-guided Tour of the Buddha's Teachings
Access to Insight

The Fourth Noble Truth: The Noble Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of dukkha

The Noble Eightfold Path
Ajahn Jagaro

The Eightfold Path for the Householder
Jack Kornfield

Samma Ditthi: Right View
Bhikkhu Seelawimala

Dependent origination

Transcendental Dependent Arising: A Translation and Exposition of the Upanisa Sutta
Bhikkhu Bodhi
The seldom-studied Upanisa Sutta contains an important alternative presentation of the principle of dependent arising, offering a "roadmap" of the entire path of practice as it progresses toward final liberation.

A Discourse on Paticcasamuppada or The Doctrine of Dependent Origination
Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw

The Wheel of Birth and Death 
Bhikkhu Khantipalo

Paticca Samuppada - Dependent Origination
Ajahn Brahmavamso

Kamma

Buddhist Theory of Kamma
Venerable Narada Mahathera

Kamma and Its Fruit
Ven. Nyanaponika Maha Thera

Kamma
Dr. Sunthorn Plamintr

The Buddha's Words on Kamma: Four Discourses of the Buddha from the Majjhima Nikaya
Ñanamoli Thera (translation)

Buddhist Theory of Kamma
Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw

The Undeclared and the Declared 
Steven Batchelor

Anatta or not-self

No-self or Not-self?
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Meditating on No-Self
Ayya Khema

The Not-self Strategy
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Self and Self-Naughting
Ajahn Sumedho

Anatta (Non-Self)
Ven. Ajahn Brahmavamso

 Anatta: Understanding Not Self
Myoshin Kelley

The Ten Perfections (paramis)

The Ten Perfections: A Study Guide
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

A Treatise on the Paramis
From the Commentary to
the Cariyapitaka
Acariya Dhammapala

Generosity First
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Dana: The Practice of Giving 
Bhikkhu Bodhi (editor)

Discernment
Thanissaro Bhikkhu, The Wings to Awakening

Paramis: The Heart of Buddha's Teaching and Our Own Practice
Sylvia Boorstein

 The Paramis
Gil Fronsdal

The Five Spiritual Faculties

The Five Spiritual Faculties 
Bhikkhu Bodhi
An introduction to the five indriya, or spiritual faculties (faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom), and their role in the practice of Dhamma.

 The Five Spiritual Faculties
Gil Fronsdal

The Way of Wisdom: The Five Spiritual Faculties 
Edward Conze

The Spiritual Faculties
Ajahn Nyanadhammo

The Five Faculties
Thanissaro Bhikkhu, The Wings to Awakening

 Five Spiritual Powers
Sarah Doering

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness: Satipatthana Sutta

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness: A Summary
Ven. Sayadaw U Siilaananda

Satipatthana Vipassana
Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw

Satipatthana Sutta – The Foundations of Mindfulness
Nyanasatta Thera (translation)

Satipatthana – The Fourfold Focus of Mindfulness
Ajahn Brahmavamso

 The Satipatthana Sutta
Read by Sally Clough (SuttaReadings.net )

The Five Hindrances

See the Ashoka online course Rest Your Weary Mind: Letting Go of the Hindrances taught by Joseph Goldstein

The Five Hindrances
Ajahn Sumedho

The Five Mental Hindrances and Their Conquest
Selected Texts from the Pali Canon and the Commentaries
Nyanaponika Thera (compilation and translation)

Concentration: Abandoning the Hindrances
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The Five Hindrances (Nivarana)
Ajahn Brahmavamso

The Five Aggregates

The Five Aggregates
Dr. Peter Della Santina

The Five Aggregates: A Study Guide
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

 The Five Aggregates
Guy Armstrong

The Seven Factors of Enlightenment

The Seven Factors of Enlightenment
Piyadassi Thera

 The Seven Factors of Enlightenment
Sally Clough

Bodhipakkhiya-Dipani, A Manual of The Factors Leading to Enlightenment
Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw,

The Seven Factors of Enlightenment
Saddhamma Foundation

The Brahma-Viharas

See the Ashoka online course Liberating the Heart: The Brahma Viharas taught by Sharon Salzberg

The Four Sublime States – Contemplations on Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity
Nyanaponika Thera

Mudita
Eileen Siriwardhana

Metta

Lovingkindness, or metta as it is known in Pali, is a universal, unselfish and all-embracing love that protects, supports and heals both oneself and others.

Meditation on Loving-Kindness (Metta)
Bhante Gunaratana

Universal Loving Kindness
Ajahn Sumedho

Reflecting on kindness
Ajahn Candasiri

The Practice of Loving-Kindness (Metta) As Taught by the Buddha in the Pali Canon
Ñanamoli Thera (compilation and translation)

Facets of Metta
Sharon Salzberg

 The Power of Metta
Guy Armstrong

 Guided Lovingkindness Meditation
This guided meditation for cultivating the power of metta begins by directing positive sentiments towards oneself and progresses to radiate this well-wishing outward towards specific people and finally to all beings everywhere, without limit.
Sharon Salzberg

Texts & sutras

Befriending the Suttas: Tips on Reading the Pali Discourses
John Bullitt
Why should I read the suttas? Which ones should I read? How should I read them?

Wings to Awakening: An Anthology from the Pali Canon
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

 See the Learning Center's Theravadan Texts and Suttas page

Miscellaneous

Suffering on the Road
Ajahn Chah

The Problem of Personality 
Ajahn Sumedho

Dhamma Nature 
Ajahn Chah

 The Second Arrow 
Ajahn Amaro

Turning The Mind Toward The Dharma 
Reflections on impermanence and karma that in the midst of our lives in the world can help turn the mind towards the Dharma, towards liberation.
Joseph Goldstein

Opening the Dhamma Eye
Ajahn Chah

 Papanca
Papanca is a Pali word meaning proliferation of thought in the mind. Mental proliferation leads into the creation of self and into craving and comparing, as well as holding on to views and opinions.
Sally Clough

"Not Sure!" - The Standard of the Noble Ones
Ajahn Chah

The Peace Beyond
Ajahn Chah

The Things We Cling To & Aves
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Grasping and Clinging
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

 Forgiveness: The Most Tender Part of Love 
Myoshin Kelley

 No Second Arrow
Jose Reissig
Pain and Loss are inevitable occurrences in our lives, but the self-torture that follows -the "second arrow" we habitually shoot at ourselves - is entirely avoidable.

Knower Of The Worlds 
Ajahn Sumedho
We can be empowered in practice through getting to know the nature of the world we live in and through learning from the way it is. Taking refuge in knowing the truth-- the laws of nature-can free us from a selfish struggle with the way things are.


Web sites with extensive teachings

Access to Insight

Buddhist Publication Society

BudhaSasana

Buddhism Today

Forest Sangha
Teachings by Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho and others in the forest tradition

Nibanna.com

Dhammatalks.org

Buddhist Library

Bhavana Society -

Buddhist Society of Western Australia


 Web sites with audio teachings

Dharma Seed and Dharma Stream
Preserves the oral tradition of contemporary dharma teaching by taping talks and meditation instructions given by teachers at various retreat centers around the country, and supports the daily practice of students everywhere by making these tapes and other materials inexpensively available to all.

Sutta Readings 
A library of free audio recordings of English translations of Pali suttas, selected and read aloud by respected Dhamma teachers within the Theravada Buddhist tradition.

Audio Dharma 
Chanting and Dhamma Talks from a Buddhist community in Redwood, California, in the tradition of Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho & Amaravati Buddhist Monastery.

Abhayagiri Monastery

Audio Dharma
Audio at Mid-Peninsular Insight Meditation Center; this site is an archive of dharma talks given by Gil Fronsdal and various guest speakers at the center since 2000.

Dhamma Talks
Dhamma talks given by various teachers in the Theravada Forest Sangha tradition.

Audio at Seattle Insight Meditation Society 
Dharma talks offered by Rodney Smith and guest teachers at the Seattle Insight Meditation Society.

Satipanya Association
Guided meditations and talks by Bhante Bodhidhamma.

Sutta Readings
A selection of the Buddha's Suttas, read aloud by senior teachers and practitioners in the Theravada Buddhist tradition.

Mahayana

The Mahaya traditions of Zen, Tibetan Buddhism and Pure Land Buddhism are each represented in the Learning Center with resource pages. This page offers study resources for the major themes of the Mayahana.

The bodhisattva | Bodhicitta | Compassion | Shunyata - emptiness | The Paramitas Bodhisatta Vows | The Middle Way School

The bodhisattva

Coming soon: Ashoka online course Bodhisattvas of Compassion 
Taigen Dan Leighton

The Way of the Bodhisattva
Peter Della Santina

Eight Bodhisattvas
www.khandro.net

The Bodhisattva Ideal - Buddhism and the Aesthetics of Selflessness
Nitin Kumar

Bodhisattva Vows
Gelong Tsewang Samdrub and Geshe Tashi

The Heart of the Bodhisattva
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

The Thirty Seven Practices of the Path of the Bodhisattva
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

 37 Practices of a Bodhisatta
Ken McLeod

 A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life
Shantideva

The Bodhicaryavatara (Shantideva)
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

 Compassion: The Key to Great Awakening: Thought Training and the Bodhisattva Practices
Geshe Gyeltsen

 Uniting Wisdom & Compassion: Illuminating The Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva 
Chokyi Dragpa

Avalokiteshvara (Kuan-Yin) (Chenrezig)

The Enlightenment Of Bodhisattva Kuan-Yin (Avalokiteshvara)
Dr. C.T. Shen

Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) – Embodiment of Compassion in Tibetan Buddhism

The Creation of a Goddess of Mercy from Avolokiteshara
Bagyalakshmi

 Bodhisattva of Compassion: The Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin
John Blofeld

Manjushri

Manjushri

Manjushri: The Young Prince of Wisdom
Taigen Dan Leighton

Bodhicitta

Bodhicitta is a mind (including thought, action, feeling and speech) totally dedicated to others and to achieving full enlightenment in order to benefit all sentient beings as fully as possible. Bodhicitta is often called the "Wish Fulfilling Jewel," because like a magic jewel it brings true happiness.

Bodhicitta teachings

Generating Bodhicitta Mind-Stream

The Teaching on Aspirational Bodhicitta
H.H. the 14th the Dalai Lama

The Eight Verses of Thought Transformation
H.H. The Dalai Lama

The Seven Points of Mind Training of Atisha
Shamar Rinpoche

Loving Kindness
Mingyur Rinpoche

How to Generate Bodhicitta
Ribur Rinpoche

Bodhicitta: the Perfection of Dharma
Lama Thubten Yeshe

Bodhicitta
Tai Situ Rinpoche

Compassion

Living the Compassionate Life
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Compassion and the Individual
H.H Dalai Lama

Awakening Compassion
Ken McLeod

The Practice of Compassion
Pema Chodron

 An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

 Compassion: The Key to Great Awakening: Thought Training and the Bodhisattva Practices
Geshe Gyeltsen

Emptiness (shunyata)

Causality and Emptiness: The Wisdom of Nagarjuna
Peter Della Santina

The Experience of Shunyata: Recognizing the True Nature of the Mind
Kenpo Karthar Rinpoche

Emptiness
Stephen Batchelor

Being and Emptiness: Buddhist Perspectives on Compassion
Ruben L.F. Habito

The Wisdom of Emptiness

The paramitas (the perfections)

The Practice of the Perfections
Peter Della Santina

 The Practice of Perfection: The Paramitas from a Zen Buddhist Perspective
Robert Aitken (out of print but highly recommended)

 The Six Perfections
Geshe Sonam Rinchen

 The H. H. Dalai Lama: The Six Paramitas
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

Bodhisattva vow

Bodhisattva Vows

Bodhisattva Vow

Bodhisattva Vows
Taitaku Pat Phelan

Mahayana sutras

See DharmaNet Learning Centers Sutras section >>>

The Middle Way

The Development of Mahayana Philosophy
Peter Della Santina

Tibetan

Background

Introductory Comparison of the Five Tibetan Traditions of Buddhism and Bon
Alex Berzin

What is Tibetan Buddhism?

The Five Principal Spiritual Traditions of Tibet
The Government of Tibet in Exile web site

Advice on Spiritual Practice
H.H. Rangjung Rigpae Dorje, 16th Gyalwa Karmapa

What Is the Mind?
H.H The Dalai Lama

A Survey of the Paths of Tibetan Buddhism
H.H. The Dalai Lama

Understanding the Need for Spiritual Practice
Kalu Rinpoche

An Outline of the Path to Enlightenment
Dr. Nick Ribush

Basic Buddhist Topics: Mind, Rebirth, Cyclic Existence and Enlightenment
Thubten Chodron

The Kagyu Tradition
Traleg Rinpoche

Sakya Resource Guide

The spiritual guide

Lama-The Source of Blessings
Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

Four thoughts that turn the mind

The Four Ordinary Foundations
Kenpo Karthar Rinpoche

Ashoka online course Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind 
Robert Thurman

Refuge

What is Refuge
Aenpo Kyabgon

The four noble truths

The Four Noble Truths
H.H. The Dalai Lama

Death and rebirth  

Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth
H.H. The Dalai Lama

Dependent origination

Interdependent Origination
Aenpo Kyabgon

Bodhicitta

Sending and Receiving 
Kenpo Karthar Rinpoche

The Eight Verses of Thought Transformation
H.H. The Dalai Lama

The Benefits of Cherishing Others
Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The Seven Points of Mind Training of Atisha
Shamar Rinpoche

Loving Kindness
Mingyur Rinpoche

How to Generate Bodhicitta
Ribur Rinpoche

The Practice of Compassion
Pema Chodron

The four immeasurables

The Four Immeasurable States
Traleg Rinpoche

The paramitas

The Six Paramitas
Jigme Rinpoche

Meditation

The Heart of Mindfulness
Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche

The Significance of Meditation in Tibetan Buddhism
Khenpo Migmar Tsering

Meditation
Lama Yeshe

Seven Points On Meditation
Shamar Rinpoche

Essential Advice on Meditation
Sogyal Rinpoche

Questions and Answers on Meditation
Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche

Mastering the Mind
Shamar Rinpoche

Meditation
The Dalai Lama

The Essental Two Wings: Concentration and Insight
Sakya Trizin

Calm Abiding and Insight Meditation Wisdom
Shamar Rinpoche

Calm abiding/Shamatha

Ashoka online course Taming the Mind
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche & William McKeever

How to Meditate
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

A Guide to Shamatha Meditation
Thrangu Rinpoche

Calm Abiding Meditation
Shamar Rinpoche

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
The Foundational Practice Of Tranquility Meditation

Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche
An Introduction to Sitting Meditation

Dagom Rinpoche
Calm Abiding Meditation

Geshe Dagpa Togyal
Shamatha Meditation 1
Shamatha Meditation 2
Shamatha Meditation3

Insight

Vipashyana Meditation
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

Mahamudra

Shamar Rinpoche
introduction to Mahamudra Meditation

Alex Berzin
The Gelug-Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra 

Tai Situpa
Introduction to Mahamudra

Dzogchen

Brief History of Dzogchen & Introduction to Dzogchen
Alex Berzin

Nature of mind

The Experience of Shunyata: Recognizing the True Nature of the Mind
Kenpo Karthar Rinpoche

Realization of  the Nature of the Mind
Dezhung Rinpoche

The Essence of One's Heart: How to Recognise the Nature of Mind
Tai Situpa Rinpoche

Nature of the Mind
H.H. Sakya Trizin

Emptiness

Emptiness
Tai Situpa Rinpoche

Introduction to Voidness and Mental Labeling
Alex Berzin

Emptiness
Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Interview on emptiness

 Meditation on Emptiness - Jeffrey Hopkins

Selflessness of persons

In Search of the Self
Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey

Selflessness of phenomena

Correct View
Denma Locho Rinpoche

Tantra

 Introduction to Tantra
Dr. Alex Berzin


Web sites with extensive teachings

Berzin archive

Lama yeshe Archive

Ven. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche web site

Dharma Media

Simanhada

Dhagpo Kagyu Mandala

Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche web site

Kagyu Samye Ling

Kagyu Asia

Diamondway Buddhism

Sherab Ling

Nalandabodhi

Bodhicitta.net

Buddhist Information of North America

Karma Triyana Dharmachakra

A Buddhist Library

Kyegu Buddhist Institute

Dharmaweb.org


 Web sites with audio teachings

Berzin archives

Kurukulla center

Ven. Thubten Chodron web site

Dharma media

Jamyang Buddhist Centre

Unfettered Mind (Ken McLeod)

Lamrim.com

Diamondway Buddhism

Ven. Khechen Thrangu Rinpoche web site

Rokpa Finland

Talkingbuddhism.com

The Dalai Lama web site

Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition

Lama Yeshe Archive

Mangala Shri Bhuti

 

Zen

 

The teachings of the masters

Bodhidharma
His devotion to meditation
was his legacy to China. He was later honored as father of the Chinese
Dhyana—or "Meditation"—school
of Buddhism, called Chan.

The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma
Red Pine, translator (Wisdom Publications - 2003)

Daruma-ki
Bodhidharma and his teachings

From SotoZenNet's Zen Friends Zen quarterly

Bodhidharma.com
An introduction to Bodhidharma, his journey and his legacy

The Bodhidharma Anthology: The Earliest Records of Zen
In question-and-answer style Bodhidharma fields
questions from his students on dharma, the mind, and reality.
Jeffrey Broughton (U. California Press - 1999)

Sengsan's Hsin Hsin Ming
Sengsan,
the third ancestor, is best know for his beloved poem, the Hsin
Hsin Ming ("The
great way is not difficult for those who do not pick and choose...").

Master Sheng Yen's teaching on the Hsin-hsin ming

Trust in Mind
Mu Soeng (Wisdom Publications - 2003)

A page about the poem and Sengsan

Richard
Clarke's translation

Commentary by Robert Blyth

The Eye Never Sleeps
Dennis Genpo Merzel (Shambhala - 1991)

Faith in Mind: A Guide to Chan Practice
Master Sheng Yen (Dharma Publishing - 1987)

Huineng and The Platform Sutra

The Sixth Patriarch's Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra: With the Commentary
of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
-
Buddhist Text Translation Society

The sixth ancestor

How Huineng Became the Sixth Patriarch

Philip Yampolsky's translation of The Platform Sutra

The Platform Sutra - translated by The Buddhist Text Translation Society

The Platform Sutra
With the commentary of
Tripitaka Master Hua

Carl
Bielefeldt and Lewis Lancaster on the Platform Sutra

The Dharma of Mind Transmission: Zen Teachings of Huang-po and dharmaweb
- no source

The
Sutra of Hui Neng
old translation

Mazu
Mazu Daoyi (Ma-tsu Tao-i) (709-788), is
celebrated for being the source of what was to become, through his famous
descendent Linji, Rinzai Zen. Mazu's uncompromising methods foreshadowed
those of Linji.

From the Ashoka online course The Story of Zen

Dogen
Zenji

The Soto master and founder Dogen (1200-1253) is probably the most revered
figure in all Japanese Zen. It was Dogen who first insisted on intensive
meditation, who produced the first Japanese writings explaining Zen practice,
and who constructed the first real Zen monastery in Japan, establishing
a set of monastic rules still observed. Moreover, the strength of his
character has inspired many Zen masters to follow.

Understanding Dogen
When students approach the work of Dogen Zenji, they
find enigma and obscurity, as well as blinding clarity. Taigen Dan Leighton,
Bonnie Myotai Treace, Steven Heine and Norman Fischer help us penetrate Dogen's
teachings. With an introduction by Carl Bielefeldt.

Are There Any Who Are Not Beginners?
Teachings by Dogen from a new collection of translations focusing on his advice
to practitioners.

Excerpts from Beyond Thinking: A Guide to Zen Meditation, edited by
Kazuaki Tanahashi (Shambhala Pub - 2004)

Norman
Fisher's talks on Fukazazengi, Bendowa, and Genjo
Koan

Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma,
Book 29 -
Mountains and Waters Sutra - translation by Prof. Carl Bielefeldt

Treasury
of the Eye of the True Dharma, Book 28 - Getting
the Marrow by Doing Obeisance
- translation by Stanley
Weinstein

Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma, Book 13 - Ocean
Seal Samadhi
-translation by Carl Bielefeldt with Michael Radich

Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma, Book 11 - Principles
of Zazen
-translation
by Carl Bielefeldt with Michael Radich

Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma,
Book 31 - Not
Doing Evils
- translation by William Bodiford

Ashoka course on the Genjo Koan
Taught by Michael Weanger, San Francisco Zen Center

Genjo Koan - translated by Kaz Tanahashi and Robert Aitken

Shohaku
Okumura wonderful lectures on Genjo Koan #7
#8 #9 #10
#11

Guidelines for Studying the Way. The first half - from Moon
in a Dewdrop.

Reflections on Translating Dogen
Rev. Taigen Leighton

Moon
in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen

The True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen's Three Hundred Koans

Beyond Thinking: A Guide to Zen Meditation

Linji
As the founder of the Linji school (in Japanese, Rinzai), Linji plays
a key role in the history of Zen.

The Zen Teachings of Rinzai
Irmgard Schloegl's 1975 translation,
now out of print

The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-Chi
Thomas Burtom, translator

From the Ashoka online course The Story of Zen

Hakuin Ekaku (1685-1768)
Hakuin Ekaku possessed an unusual ability to convey the meaning
of Zen to large numbers of people from all classes and religions. Though
he chose to work at a small temple in the countryside, he was frequently
invited to lecture, and his writings were published, eventually bringing
him fame. His writings could be rough, humorous, or sometimes even
shocking, intended to rouse his followers from their complacency into
a deeper contemplation of religion and spiritual life. His copious
writings continue to maintain pivotal importance within the Rinzai
Zen sect. His work, both as spiritual leader and as painter, had a
profound effect on all subsequent Zen study and Zen painting.

hakuinA
selection of Hakuin's writings

Song of Zazen
Norman Waddell translation

Ode to Sitting Meditation

Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin

Song of Zazen
Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun translation

Hakuin's paintings

Hakuin's
Letter in Answer to an Old Nun of the Hokke Sect Actually, two letters.
In the first, Hakuin talks about the Lotus Sutra. In the second he
discusses his own experiences. translated by Philip Yampolsky

The Ten Ox-Herding Pictures
Paintings by Master Jikihara, verses by Master K'uo-an

The Five, Ranks of The Apparent and the Real
The
Orally Transmitted Secret Teachings
of the [Monk] Who Lived on Mount To

What Is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?

s Zen Master Hakuin: Selected Writings
Translated by Philip Yampolsky

s Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin
Translated by Norman Waddell

Ikkyu (1394-1481)
Ikkyu Sojun was perhaps the most celebrated of the iconoclastic throwbacks
to authentic Zen. A breath of fresh air in the stifling, hypocritical
world of an institutionalized Zen, he seemed almost a reincarnation
of the early Chan masters of the Tang.

Zen
Rebel Ikkyu: Ikkyu was a Zen monk of Muromachi

Crow With No Mouth : Ikkyu–Fifteenth Century Zen Master

Wild
Ways: Zen Poems of Ikkyu

s Ikkyu and Koans
Alexander Kabanoff

Bankei (1622-1693)
Bankei has long been an underground hero in the world of
Zen. At a time when Zen in Japan had become overly formalized,
the eccentric master Bankei stressed natural spontaneity and Zen's
relevance to everyday life. Bankei is best known for his talks
on what he called "the Unborn."

Excerpts from the Ashoka course The Story of Zen

The Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei
Norman Waddell (North Point Press - 2000)

Bankei Zen: Translations from the Record of Bankei
Peter Haskel, translator (Grove - 1997)

Contemporary Zen teachings

Taizan Maezumi
Roshi

Maezumi Roshi received Dharma transmission from Hakujun Kuroda, Roshi
in 1955. He also received approval as a teacher (Inka) from both Koryu
Osaka, Roshi, and Hakuun Yasutani, Roshi, thus becoming a Dharma successor
in three lines of Zen.

Maezumi Roshi devoted his
life to laying a firm foundation for the growth of Zen Buddhism in
the West. In 1967, he established the Zen Center of Los Angeles and
later established six temples in the United States and Europe. He
founded the White Plum Asanga and transmitted the Dharma to twelve
successors: Bernie Glassman, Dennis Genpo Merzel, Charlotte Joko Beck,
Jan Chozen Bays, John Daido Loori, Gerry Shishin Wick, John Tesshin
Sanderson, Alfred Jitsudo Ancheta, Charles Tenshin Fletcher, Susan
Myoyu Andersen, Nicolee Jikyo Miller, and William Nyogen Yeo. These
twelve successors have further transmitted the Dharma to a number of "second-generation" successors.
In America, Maezumi Roshi ordained 68 Zen priests and gave the lay
Buddhist precepts to over 500 people.

Your Zazen Is The Zazen Of The Buddhas

What
Are We Ignoring About Breathing?

Five teishos on breathing,
energy and the practice of qi gong.

The
Mind and Spirit of Zazen

Abundant Life

Commentary
of Fukanzazengi

Appreciate
Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice

On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, Mind

Zen Center of Los Angeles

Life
and Death

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi
Shunryu Suzuki, a Japanese Zen priest belonging to the Soto lineage,
came to San Francisco in 1959 at the age of fifty-five. He was impressed
by the seriousness and quality of "beginner's mind" among
Americans he met who were interested in Zen and decided to settle here.
As more and more people joined him in meditation, Zen Center came into
being and he was its first abbot. Although an obscure figure
on the Japanese Zen landscape, he is one of principle founders of Buddhism
in America. Some of his edited talks have been collected in the books Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, Branching
Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai
and Not
Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen
.

Buddha Is Right Here
Two talks by Suzuki Roshi addressing
the fundamental koan-the life we lead at this moment.

The Lamp of Zazen
The point of zazen, says Suzuki Roshi, is to live each moment in complete
combustion, like a clean-burning kerosene lamp.

A talk on Buddha nature

Another talk on Buddha nature
The importance
of accepting that we have buddhanature, beyond the realm of good
and bad.

Zazen practice

Whole Body Zazen

A few quotes from Shunryu Suzuki Lectures

Suzuki Roshi's last talk

Norman Fischer on Suzuki Roshi's Way

Crooked Cucumber -
an archival site on the life and world of Shunryu Suzuki and those
who knew him

Branching
Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai

Hakuun Yasutani Roshi
Yasutani Hakunn Roshi (1885-1973) studies under
the great Zen master of both Soto and Rinzai linage, Harada Daiun Sogaku
Roshi. Starting in the summer of 1962 Yasutani Roshi made the first
of six trips to the United States, continuing to do so basically yearly
up through 1969. Yasutani Roshi had a fervent drive
to synthesize what he considered the strengths and best of the Soto
and Rinzai sects, in the process creating a new linage of Zen called
Sanbo Kyodan, 'The Fellowship of the Three Treasures,' emphasizing
both the Koan andKensho backed by Zazan and Shikantaza.
Yasutani's initial hard core 'Three Treasures' converts have gone on
to establish and promote many highly successful Zen centers and Zendos
throughout the U.S. and the world under the Diamond Sangha banner.

Why do we recite Sutras?

A biographical note

Nyogen Senzaki

Kosho Uchiyama Roshi
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi (1912 - 1998), one of the most highly
respected modern Japanese Zen Masters, was ordained as a Soto Zen priest
in 1941 under Kodo Sawaki Roshi. Upon Sawaki Roshi's death in 1965,
Uchiyama Roshi became the abbot of Antaiji, a monastery and temple
then located in Kyoto, Japan.

On Zazen

Laughter Throught the Tears: Life as a Zen Beggar
Buddhadharma Magazine

Opening the Hand of Thought: Foundations
of Zen Buddhist Practice

Wisdom Publications – 2004

How to Cook Your Life: From the Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment
Shambhala 2005

Master Seung Sahn
The founding teacher of our School is Zen Master Seung Sahn, the 78th
Patriarch in his line of transmission in the Chogye order of Korean
Buddhism. In 1972 he came to the United States and started the Providence
Zen Center, the first center in what is now the Kwan Um School. He
and his students have founded over a hundred temples, centers, and
groups around the world. His books include Ten
Gates
, The Compass of
Zen
, Dropping Ashes on the Buddha, Only
Don't Know
and The Whole World
is a Single Flower -- 365 Kong-ans for Everyday Life
.

What
is Zen?

Zen
Is Understanding Yourself

Dropping
Ashes on the Buddha

A
New Zen is Appearing

Teaching Letters of Zen Master Seung Sahn

Over
100 talks by Seung Sahn
- The Kwan Um School of Zen

Robert Aitken Roshi
Aitken Roshi established, with his wife Anne, the Diamond Sangha in 1959,
which has zendos in Hawaii, California, and Australia. Aitken's introduction
to Zen came in a Japanese prison camp during WWII. He was friends
with D.T. Suzuki and studied with Nagakawa Soen Roshi and Yasutani
Hakuun Roshi. In 1974 Aitken was given the title "Roshi" and
authorized to teach by Yamada Koun Roshi. He is the author of The
Mind of Clover
, Taking
the Path of Zen
, The Gateless Barrier, The
Practice of Perfection: The Paramitas from a Zen Buddhist Perspective
,
A Zen Wave and other books.

What's
the Meaning of This?

Aitken Roshi on "The Meaning of the
Ancestor's Coming from the West."

On
Zen Teaching

Sila

Some
Words About Sesshin For Newcomers To Zen Practice

The
Future of Zen Buddhism in the West

s The
Mind of Clover

c Encouraging
Words

s The
dragon who Never Sleeps

s Zen
Master Raven

s A
Zen Wave

Shodo Harada Roshi
Shodo Harada Roshi (born 1940) is abbot of Sogenji monastery in Okayama,
Japan, where he has taught since 1982. Harada Roshi
is heir to the teachings of Rinzai sect Zen Buddhism as passed down
in Japan from Hakuin and his successors and his teaching
includes the traditional Rinzai practices. Harada Roshi now teaches
part-time at Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery on Whidbey Island, Washington.

The Way of Zazen

Original Mind

Freshly Fallen Snow in a Newly Made Silver Bowl

The Key to Zen
A series of short teachings by SekkeiHarada Roshi

 

Zoketsu
Norman Fisher

Norman Fischer, a Zen priest and abbot,is a poet and teacher with wide-ranging
interests and passions. During almost 30 years at San Francisco Zen Center,
he served as director, tenzo, tanto, operations manager and other positions.
Norman retired as abbot of Zen Center in 2000 to take his teaching out
into the world. Norman believes in the possibility of "engaged renunciation":
living a fully committed religious life that does not exclude family,
work, and a passionate interest in the world. Norman is also active
in interreligious dialog.

There’s No Such Thing as American Zen

Some Zen Stories

Basic Zen Lectures

Many talks at Everyday Zen

Roshi Bernie Glassman
Zen Master (Roshi) Bernie Glassman is a world-renowned pioneer in the American
Zen Movement. He is a spiritual leader, published author, accomplished academic
and successful businessman with a PhD in Applied Mathematics. Bernie
currently teaches and travels, giving talks and workshops on spiritual practice,
socially responsible business and international peacemaking. He is the founder
and co-spiritual director of the Zen Peacemakers.

Interview

Bearing
Witness: A Zen Master's Lessons in Making Peace

s Instructions
to the Cook: Living a Life That Matters

s On
Zen Practice: Body, Breath, Mind

with Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi

John Daido Loori

Daido
Loori is the abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, NY,
and the founder/director of the Mountains and Rivers Order. Dharma
heir of Hakuyu Taizen Maezumi Roshi, he is author of The
Eight Gates of Zen
, The Heart of Being, and Two
Arrows Meeting in Mid Air
.

Mountains
Meeting Mountains: Teaching of Mountains and Rivers

All-Pervasive Spiritual Knowledge

Thinking Non-Thinking
On the meaning of non-thinking and why Dogen said it "must
become the eye through which you view phenomena."

Zen Art as Practice: Painting Spring

Dharma talks from Zen Mountain Monastery

Dennis Genpo Merzel
Dennis Genpo Merzel Roshi leads Kanzeon Sangha, an international
group he named centered in Salt Lake City,
Utah, with affiliates througout Europe. Genpo trained
at the Zen Center of Los Angeles under Maezumi Roshi and became Maezumi
Roshi’s second Dharma Successor in 1980. Genpo combines Zen tradition
with the insights of such visionary western figures as Carl Jung,
Fritz Perls, and Hal Stone, enabling virtually anyone to realize
their true nature, a realization they can further deepen through
meditation. He is the author of four books, The
Eye Never Sleeps
, Beyond Sanity and Madness, 24/7
Dharma
, and The Path
of The Human Being
.

Big Mind: An Introduction

Facilitation of Ying-Yang Big Heart
An excerpt from a Big Mind workshop.

Sojun Mel Weitzman
Sojun Mel Weitsman began to practice at San Francisco Zen Center ,
and in 1969 was ordained by Suzuki Roshi as resident priest at the
Berkeley Zendo. Sojun received Dharma Transmission from Suzuki Roshi's
son, Gyugaku Hoitsu, at Rinso-in temple in Japan in 1984, and was
officially installed as abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center in 1985.
Currently abbot of Berkeley Zen Center,
Sojun continues a long involvement with the San Francisco Zen Center
and Tassajara, having served as co-abbot at these practice centers
for nine years.

Zazen
Is Vast Openness

Stages of Practice

The Form of Our Life

Other contemporary teachers

Talks by Kobun
Chino

Talks by Taigen
Dan Leighton

James
Ford, Western
Zen

Talks
by Roshi
Wendy Egyoku Nakao

Being
Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts
Reb Anderson

Patience

Enter
Zen From There

Gerry Shishin Wick

The
Buddha We Are

Taitaku Pat Phelan

Thinking
Mind and Correct View

Ven. Hyunoon Sunim

Alan Watts
on Zen

For talks by contemporary
Zen teachers see Talks
On Zen Pracrice

Talks on Zen
Practice - various (N Carolina)

Refuge

Peaceful
Life
Dainin Katagiri

Precepts

The
Ethical Precepts and Philosophical Tenets
of Zen Buddhism

The
Five Wonderful Mindfulness Trainings
Thich Nhat Hanh

The
Bodhisattva Precepts in Soto Zen Buddhism

Rev. Shohaku Okumura

The
Second Precept: Generosity
Thich Nhat Hanh

Zazen

Ashoka
course on the Zen
Meditation: Entering the Path
Taught by John daishin Buksbazen, Zen Center of Los Angeles

My
Zazen Sankyu Notebook #6 #7
#8 #9 #10
#11
#12
#13
#!4
Rev. Issho Fujita

The Practice
of Zazen

A brief illustrated guide.

Texts and Sutras

Faith Mind Inscription (Hsin-hsin Ming)
See Sengsan above

The
Heart Sutra

Compare
42 translations of the Heart Sutra

Edward Conze's
translation

From the Japanese

Robert Aitken Roshi and Diamond Sangha's version

Talks
on by Sojun Mel Weitzman

Translated and chanted by Allen Ginsberg

The Lotus Sutra

Zen And the Lotus Sutra
A Series of Seminars at the Berkeley Zen Center ~ 1999

Diamond Sangha
Sesshin Sutra Book

Lankavatara Sutra

Introduction
to the Lankavatara Sutra
, D.T. Suzuki

The Lankavatara Sutra

These sites have extensive sutra translations:

Mahayana Buddhist Sutras
in English

Sutras

Koans

Working with Koans
John Tarrant, Roshi

Norman Fischer
Talks and essays on koans at
Everyday
Zen

An Introduction to Zen with Stories and Riddles Told by the Zen Masters

The
Gateless Gate

Ekai, called Mumon

The Gateless Gate
Translated by Eiichi Shimomisse

Is There a Zen Person Around Here?
John Daido Loori comments on koans from Dogen's Treasury of the True Dharma Eye.From The
True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen’s Three Hundred
Koans
,
translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi (Shambhala Pub.)

Quick! Who Can Save This Cat?
"Nanchuan Cuts the Cat," that most controversial of koans
Zoketsu Norman
Fischer

John
Tarrant talks

Practice

Notes on Gassho and Bowing
Taizan Maezumi Roshi with John Daishin Buksbazen (On Zen Practice)

Schools

Rinzai Zen

The
Rinzai Roku by Zen Master Rinzai
The Sayings of Master Rinzai
(A Selection)
D.T. Suzuki

Soto Zen

sotozen-net

History
of the Soto Zen School

T. Griffith Fouke

White Plum Asanga

Harada-Yasutani School of Zen Buddhism

Diamond Sangha

Art

Sengai's
Zen paintings

Hakuin Ekaku's Zen paintings

The
Face of Buddhism and Shintoism in Japanese Art

 

Poetry

A
Zen Wave: Basho's Haiku and Zen

Robert Aitken

Zen
Poems of China and Japan: The Crane's Bill

Lucien Stryk, translator

Misc

Kamakura

Coming Down
from the Zen Clouds: A Critique of the Current State of American
Zen

Stuart Lachs

Liturgy Project - On Creating American Zen
By John Tarrant and Joan Sutherland source?

Purifying the Mind
By Nonin Chowaney

The Dharma of "Homeless
Kodo"

Sawaki Kodo with commentaries by Uchiyama Kosho

 

Web sites with extensive teachings

Buddhist
Library

The
Zen Site

Dharmaweb

Everyday
Zen

 

Web
sites with audio teachings

Clouds
in Water Zen Center talks

Audio
Dharma Zen talks

Upaya
Zen Center's Podcasts

Everyday
Zen

 

Zen masters

 

Learning
Center

Zen

Learning Center ->Study -> Zen -> Masters and teachers

Learning Center ->Study -> Zen -> Teachings s

Web sites with extensive teachings  
Web sites with audio teachings 

The teachings of the masters

Bodhidharma
His devotion to meditation was his legacy to China. He was later honored as father of the Chinese Dhyana—or "Meditation"—school of Buddhism, called Chan.

 The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma 
Red Pine, translator (Wisdom Publications - 2003)

Daruma-ki Bodhidharma and his teachings 
From SotoZenNet's Zen Friends Zen quarterly

Bodhidharma.com
An introduction to Bodhidharma, his journey and his legacy

 The Bodhidharma Anthology: The Earliest Records of Zen
In question-and-answer style Bodhidharma fields questions from his students on dharma, the mind, and reality. 
Jeffrey Broughton (U. California Press - 1999)

Sengsan's Hsin Hsin Ming
Sengsan, the third ancestor, is best know for his beloved poem, the Hsin Hsin Ming ("The great way is not difficult for those who do not pick and choose...").

Master Sheng Yen's teaching on the Hsin-hsin ming

 Trust in Mind
Mu Soeng (Wisdom Publications - 2003)

A page about the poem and Sengsan

Richard Clarke's translation

Commentary by Robert Blyth

 The Eye Never Sleeps
Dennis Genpo Merzel (Shambhala - 1991)

 Faith in Mind: A Guide to Chan Practice
Master Sheng Yen (Dharma Publishing - 1987)

Huineng and The Platform Sutra

 The Sixth Patriarch's Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra: With the Commentary of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua - Buddhist Text Translation Society

The sixth ancestor

How Huineng Became the Sixth Patriarch

Philip Yampolsky's translation of The Platform Sutra

The Platform Sutra - translated by The Buddhist Text Translation Society

The Platform Sutra
With the commentary of Tripitaka Master Hua

Carl Bielefeldt and Lewis Lancaster on the Platform Sutra

The Dharma of Mind Transmission: Zen Teachings of Huang-po and dharmaweb - no source

The Sutra of Hui Neng old translation

Mazu
Mazu Daoyi (Ma-tsu Tao-i) (709-788), is celebrated for being the source of what was to become, through his famous descendent Linji, Rinzai Zen. Mazu's uncompromising methods foreshadowed those of Linji.

 From the Ashoka online course The Story of Zen

Dogen Zenji

The Soto master and founder Dogen (1200-1253) is probably the most revered figure in all Japanese Zen. It was Dogen who first insisted on intensive meditation, who produced the first Japanese writings explaining Zen practice, and who constructed the first real Zen monastery in Japan, establishing a set of monastic rules still observed. Moreover, the strength of his character has inspired many Zen masters to follow.

Understanding Dogen
When students approach the work of Dogen Zenji, they find enigma and obscurity, as well as blinding clarity. Taigen Dan Leighton, Bonnie Myotai Treace, Steven Heine and Norman Fischer help us penetrate Dogen's teachings. With an introduction by Carl Bielefeldt.

Are There Any Who Are Not Beginners?
Teachings by Dogen from a new collection of translations focusing on his advice to practitioners. Excerpts from Beyond Thinking: A Guide to Zen Meditation, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi (Shambhala Pub - 2004)

 Norman Fisher's talks on Fukazazengi, Bendowa, and Genjo Koan

Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma, Book 29 - Mountains and Waters Sutra - translation by Prof. Carl Bielefeldt

Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma, Book 28 - Getting the Marrow by Doing Obeisance - translation by Stanley Weinstein

Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma, Book 13 - Ocean Seal Samadhi -translation by Carl Bielefeldt with Michael Radich

Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma, Book 11 - Principles of Zazen -translation by Carl Bielefeldt with Michael Radich

Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma, Book 31 - Not Doing Evils - translation by William Bodiford

 Ashoka course on the Genjo Koan
Taught by Michael Weanger, San Francisco Zen Center

Genjo Koan - translated by Kaz Tanahashi and Robert Aitken

Shohaku Okumura wonderful lectures on Genjo Koan #7 #8 #9 #10 #11

Guidelines for Studying the Way. The first half - from Moon in a Dewdrop.

Reflections on Translating Dogen
Rev. Taigen Leighton

 Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen

 The True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen's Three Hundred Koans

 Beyond Thinking: A Guide to Zen Meditation

Linji
As the founder of the Linji school (in Japanese, Rinzai), Linji plays a key role in the history of Zen.

The Zen Teachings of Rinzai
Irmgard Schloegl's 1975 translation, now out of print

The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-Chi 
Thomas Burtom, translator

From the Ashoka online course The Story of Zen

Hakuin Ekaku (1685-1768)
Hakuin Ekaku possessed an unusual ability to convey the meaning of Zen to large numbers of people from all classes and religions. Though he chose to work at a small temple in the countryside, he was frequently invited to lecture, and his writings were published, eventually bringing him fame. His writings could be rough, humorous, or sometimes even shocking, intended to rouse his followers from their complacency into a deeper contemplation of religion and spiritual life. His copious writings continue to maintain pivotal importance within the Rinzai Zen sect. His work, both as spiritual leader and as painter, had a profound effect on all subsequent Zen study and Zen painting.

hakuinA selection of Hakuin's writings

Song of Zazen
Norman Waddell translation

Ode to Sitting Meditation

 Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin

Song of Zazen
Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun translation

Hakuin's paintings

Hakuin's Letter in Answer to an Old Nun of the Hokke Sect Actually, two letters. In the first, Hakuin talks about the Lotus Sutra. In the second he discusses his own experiences. translated by Philip Yampolsky

The Ten Ox-Herding Pictures
Paintings by Master Jikihara, verses by Master K'uo-an

The Five, Ranks of The Apparent and the Real
The Orally Transmitted Secret Teachings
of the [Monk] Who Lived on Mount To

What Is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?

s Zen Master Hakuin: Selected Writings
Translated by Philip Yampolsky

s Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin
Translated by Norman Waddell

Ikkyu (1394-1481)
Ikkyu Sojun was perhaps the most celebrated of the iconoclastic throwbacks to authentic Zen. A breath of fresh air in the stifling, hypocritical world of an institutionalized Zen, he seemed almost a reincarnation of the early Chan masters of the Tang.

Zen Rebel Ikkyu: Ikkyu was a Zen monk of Muromachi

 Crow With No Mouth : Ikkyu–Fifteenth Century Zen Master

 Wild Ways: Zen Poems of Ikkyu

s Ikkyu and Koans
Alexander Kabanoff

Bankei (1622-1693)
Bankei has long been an underground hero in the world of Zen. At a time when Zen in Japan had become overly formalized, the eccentric master Bankei stressed natural spontaneity and Zen's relevance to everyday life. Bankei is best known for his talks on what he called "the Unborn."

 Excerpts from the Ashoka course The Story of Zen

 The Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei
Norman Waddell (North Point Press - 2000)

 Bankei Zen: Translations from the Record of Bankei
Peter Haskel, translator (Grove - 1997)

Contemporary Zen teachings

Taizan Maezumi Roshi
Maezumi Roshi received Dharma transmission from Hakujun Kuroda, Roshi in 1955. He also received approval as a teacher (Inka) from both Koryu Osaka, Roshi, and Hakuun Yasutani, Roshi, thus becoming a Dharma successor in three lines of Zen.

Maezumi Roshi devoted his life to laying a firm foundation for the growth of Zen Buddhism in the West. In 1967, he established the Zen Center of Los Angeles and later established six temples in the United States and Europe. He founded the White Plum Asanga and transmitted the Dharma to twelve successors: Bernie Glassman, Dennis Genpo Merzel, Charlotte Joko Beck, Jan Chozen Bays, John Daido Loori, Gerry Shishin Wick, John Tesshin Sanderson, Alfred Jitsudo Ancheta, Charles Tenshin Fletcher, Susan Myoyu Andersen, Nicolee Jikyo Miller, and William Nyogen Yeo. These twelve successors have further transmitted the Dharma to a number of "second-generation" successors. In America, Maezumi Roshi ordained 68 Zen priests and gave the lay Buddhist precepts to over 500 people.

Your Zazen Is The Zazen Of The Buddhas

What Are We Ignoring About Breathing?
Five teishos on breathing, energy and the practice of qi gong.

 The Mind and Spirit of Zazen

 Abundant Life

Commentary of Fukanzazengi

 Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice

 On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, Mind

Zen Center of Los Angeles

Life and Death

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi
Shunryu Suzuki, a Japanese Zen priest belonging to the Soto lineage, came to San Francisco in 1959 at the age of fifty-five. He was impressed by the seriousness and quality of "beginner's mind" among Americans he met who were interested in Zen and decided to settle here. As more and more people joined him in meditation, Zen Center came into being and he was its first abbot. Although an obscure figure on the Japanese Zen landscape, he is one of principle founders of Buddhism in America. Some of his edited talks have been collected in the books Zen Mind, Beginner's MindBranching Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai and Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen.

Buddha Is Right Here
Two talks by Suzuki Roshi addressing the fundamental koan-the life we lead at this moment.

The Lamp of Zazen
The point of zazen, says Suzuki Roshi, is to live each moment in complete combustion, like a clean-burning kerosene lamp.

A talk on Buddha nature

Another talk on Buddha nature
The importance of accepting that we have buddhanature, beyond the realm of good and bad.

Zazen practice

Whole Body Zazen

A few quotes from Shunryu Suzuki Lectures

Suzuki Roshi's last talk

Norman Fischer on Suzuki Roshi's Way

Crooked Cucumber - an archival site on the life and world of Shunryu Suzuki and those who knew him

 Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai

Hakuun Yasutani RoshiShunryu Suzuki Roshi
Yasutani Hakunn Roshi (1885-1973) studies under the great Zen master of both Soto and Rinzai linage, Harada Daiun Sogaku Roshi. Starting in the summer of 1962 Yasutani Roshi made the first of six trips to the United States, continuing to do so basically yearly up through 1969. Yasutani Roshi had a fervent drive to synthesize what he considered the strengths and best of the Soto and Rinzai sects, in the process creating a new linage of Zen called Sanbo Kyodan, 'The Fellowship of the Three Treasures,' emphasizing both the Koan andKensho backed by Zazan and Shikantaza. Yasutani's initial hard core 'Three Treasures' converts have gone on to establish and promote many highly successful Zen centers and Zendos throughout the U.S. and the world under the Diamond Sangha banner.

Why do we recite Sutras?

A biographical note

Nyogen Senzaki

Kosho Uchiyama Roshi
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi (1912 - 1998), one of the most highly respected modern Japanese Zen Masters, was ordained as a Soto Zen priest in 1941 under Kodo Sawaki Roshi. Upon Sawaki Roshi's death in 1965, Uchiyama Roshi became the abbot of Antaiji, a monastery and temple then located in Kyoto, Japan.

On Zazen

Master Seung Sahn
The founding teacher of our School is Zen Master Seung Sahn, the 78th Patriarch in his line of transmission in the Chogye order of Korean Buddhism. In 1972 he came to the United States and started the Providence Zen Center, the first center in what is now the Kwan Um School. He and his students have founded over a hundred temples, centers, and groups around the world. His books include Ten GatesThe Compass of ZenDropping Ashes on the Buddha, Only Don't Know and The Whole World is a Single Flower -- 365 Kong-ans for Everyday Life.

What is Zen?

Zen Is Understanding Yourself

 Dropping Ashes on the Buddha 

A New Zen is Appearing

Teaching Letters of Zen Master Seung Sahn

Over 100 talks by Seung Sahn - The Kwan Um School of Zen

Robert Aitken Roshi
Aitken Roshi established, with his wife Anne, the Diamond Sangha in 1959, which has zendos in Hawaii, California, and Australia. Aitken's introduction to Zen came in a Japanese prison camp during WWII. He was friends with D.T. Suzuki and studied with Nagakawa Soen Roshi and Yasutani Hakuun Roshi. In 1974 Aitken was given the title "Roshi" and authorized to teach by Yamada Koun Roshi. He is the author of The Mind of CloverTaking the Path of ZenThe Gateless BarrierThe Practice of Perfection: The Paramitas from a Zen Buddhist PerspectiveA Zen Wave and other books.

What's the Meaning of This?
Aitken Roshi on "The Meaning of the Ancestor's Coming from the West."

On Zen Teaching

Sila

Some Words About Sesshin For Newcomers To Zen Practice

The Future of Zen Buddhism in the West

s The Mind of Clover

Encouraging Words

s The dragon who Never Sleeps

s Zen Master Raven

s A Zen Wave

Shodo Harada Roshi
Shodo Harada Roshi (born 1940) is abbot of Sogenji monastery in Okayama, Japan, where he has taught since 1982. Harada Roshi is heir to the teachings of Rinzai sect Zen Buddhism as passed down in Japan from Hakuin and his successors and his teaching includes the traditional Rinzai practices. Harada Roshi now teaches part-time at Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery on Whidbey Island, Washington.

The Way of Zazen

Original Mind

Freshly Fallen Snow in a Newly Made Silver Bowl

The Key to Zen
A series of short teachings by SekkeiHarada Roshi

Zoketsu Norman Fisher
Norman Fischer, a Zen priest and abbot,is a poet and teacher with wide-ranging interests and passions. During almost 30 years at San Francisco Zen Center, he served as director, tenzo, tanto, operations manager and other positions. Norman retired as abbot of Zen Center in 2000 to take his teaching out into the world. Norman believes in the possibility of "engaged renunciation": living a fully committed religious life that does not exclude family, work, and a passionate interest in the world. Norman is also active in interreligious dialog.

There’s No Such Thing as American Zen

Some Zen Stories

Basic Zen Lectures

Many talks at Everyday Zen

Roshi Bernie Glassman
Zen Master (Roshi) Bernie Glassman is a world-renowned pioneer in the American Zen Movement. He is a spiritual leader, published author, accomplished academic and successful businessman with a PhD in Applied Mathematics. Bernie currently teaches and travels, giving talks and workshops on spiritual practice, socially responsible business and international peacemaking. He is the founder and co-spiritual director of the Zen Peacemakers.

Interview

Bearing Witness: A Zen Master's Lessons in Making Peace

s Instructions to the Cook: Living a Life That Matters

s On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, Mind 
with Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi

John Daido Loori

Daido Loori is the abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, NY, and the founder/director of the Mountains and Rivers Order. Dharma heir of Hakuyu Taizen Maezumi Roshi, he is author of The Eight Gates of ZenThe Heart of Being, and Two Arrows Meeting in Mid Air.

Mountains Meeting Mountains: Teaching of Mountains and Rivers

All-Pervasive Spiritual Knowledge

Thinking Non-Thinking
On the meaning of non-thinking and why Dogen said it "must become the eye through which you view phenomena."

Zen Art as Practice: Painting Spring

Dharma talks from Zen Mountain Monastery

Dennis Genpo Merzel
Dennis Genpo Merzel Roshi leads Kanzeon Sangha, an international group he named centered in Salt Lake City, Utah, with affiliates througout Europe. Genpo trained at the Zen Center of Los Angeles under Maezumi Roshi and became Maezumi Roshi’s second Dharma Successor in 1980. Genpo combines Zen tradition with the insights of such visionary western figures as Carl Jung, Fritz Perls, and Hal Stone, enabling virtually anyone to realize their true nature, a realization they can further deepen through meditation. He is the author of four books, The Eye Never SleepsBeyond Sanity and Madness24/7 Dharma, and The Path of The Human Being.

Big Mind: An Introduction

Facilitation of Ying-Yang Big Heart
An excerpt from a Big Mind workshop.

Sojun Mel Weitzman
Sojun Mel Weitsman began to practice at San Francisco Zen Center , and in 1969 was ordained by Suzuki Roshi as resident priest at the Berkeley Zendo. Sojun received Dharma Transmission from Suzuki Roshi's son, Gyugaku Hoitsu, at Rinso-in temple in Japan in 1984, and was officially installed as abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center in 1985. Currently abbot of Berkeley Zen Center, Sojun continues a long involvement with the San Francisco Zen Center and Tassajara, having served as co-abbot at these practice centers for nine years.

Zazen Is Vast Openness

Stages of Practice

The Form of Our Life

Other contemporary teachers

Talks by Kobun Chino

Talks by Taigen Dam Leighton

James Ford, Western Zen

Talks by Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao

 Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts 
Reb Anderson

Patience

Enter Zen From There 
Gerry Shishin Wick

The Buddha We Are
Taitaku Pat Phelan

Thinking Mind and Correct View
Ven. Hyunoon Sunim

Alan Watts on Zen

For talks by contemporary Zen teachers see Talks On Zen Pracrice

Talks on Zen Practice - various (N Carolina)

Refuge

Peaceful Life
Dainin Katagiri

Precepts

The Ethical Precepts and Philosophical Tenets of Zen Buddhism

The Five Wonderful Mindfulness Trainings
Thich Nhat Hanh

The Bodhisattva Precepts in Soto Zen Buddhism
Rev. Shohaku Okumura

The Second Precept: Generosity
Thich Nhat Hanh

Zazen

Ashoka course on the Zen Meditation: Entering the Path
Taught by John daishin Buksbazen, Zen Center of Los Angeles

My Zazen Sankyu Notebook #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #!4
Rev. Issho Fujita

The Practice of Zazen
A brief illustrated guide.

Texts and Sutras

Faith Mind Inscription (Hsin-hsin Ming)
See Sengsan above

The Heart Sutra

Compare 42 translations of the Heart Sutra

Edward Conze's translation

From the Japanese

Robert Aitken Roshi and Diamond Sangha's version

Talks on by Sojun Mel Weitzman

Translated and chanted by Allen Ginsberg

The Lotus Sutra

Zen And the Lotus Sutra
A Series of Seminars at the Berkeley Zen Center ~ 1999

Diamond Sangha Sesshin Sutra Book

Lankavatara Sutra

Introduction to the Lankavatara Sutra, D.T. Suzuki

The Lankavatara Sutra

These sites have extensive sutra translations:

Mahayana Buddhist Sutras in English

Sutras

Koans

Working with Koans 
John Tarrant, Roshi

Norman Fischer
Talks and essays on koans at Everyday Zen

An Introduction to Zen with Stories and Riddles Told by the Zen Masters

The Gateless Gate
Ekai, called Mumon

The Gateless Gate 
Translated by Eiichi Shimomisse

Is There a Zen Person Around Here?
John Daido Loori comments on koans from Dogen's Treasury of the True Dharma Eye.From The True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen’s Three Hundred Koans, translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi (Shambhala Pub.)

Quick! Who Can Save This Cat?
"Nanchuan Cuts the Cat," that most controversial of koans
Zoketsu Norman Fischer

John Tarrant talks

Practice

Notes on Gassho and Bowing
Taizan Maezumi Roshi with John Daishin Buksbazen (On Zen Practice)

Schools

Rinzai Zen

The Rinzai Roku by Zen Master Rinzai The Sayings of Master Rinzai (A Selection)
D.T. Suzuki

Soto Zen

sotozen-net

History of the Soto Zen School
T. Griffith Fouke

White Plum Asanga

Harada-Yasutani School of Zen Buddhism

Diamond Sangha

Art

Sengai's Zen paintings

Hakuin Ekaku's Zen paintings

The Face of Buddhism and Shintoism in Japanese Art

Poetry

A Zen Wave: Basho's Haiku and Zen 
Robert Aitken

Zen Poems of China and Japan: The Crane's Bill 
Lucien Stryk, translator

Misc

Kamakura

Coming Down from the Zen Clouds: A Critique of the Current State of American Zen
Stuart Lachs

Liturgy Project - On Creating American Zen
By John Tarrant and Joan Sutherland source?

Purifying the Mind
By Nonin Chowaney

The Dharma of "Homeless Kodo" 
Sawaki Kodo with commentaries by Uchiyama Kosho

Web sites with extensive teachings

Buddhist Library

The Zen Site

Dharmaweb

Everyday Zen

 Web sites with audio teachings

Clouds in Water Zen Center talks

Audio Dharma Zen talks

Upaya Zen Center's Podcasts

Everyday Zen

 

Jodo Shinshu

Study & Writings

s

A Primer of Shin Buddhism
Journal of Shin Buddhism

Essential and Pure: Core Principles in Shin Buddhism
Jeff Wilson

What is Shin Buddhism?
Professor Takamaro Shigaraki

Shin Buddhism
Taitetsu and Mark Unno

The Buddha of Infinite Light and Life
An interview with Mark and Taitetsu Unno

The Collected Works of Shinran
White Lotus Center

What is Shin Buddhism
Dr. Nobuo Haneda

Shin Buddhism: Bits of Rubble Turn Into Gold (excerpt)
Taitetsu Unno

Shin Sutras to Live By
Shin Dharma Net

Ordinary Struggles
An interview with Bishop Socho Koshin Ogui

Beyond Religion
An interview with Dr. Alfred Bloom

The Importance of Self Effort
Reverend Joren MacDonald
Florin Buddhist Temple

Amida's Dharma in the Modern World
John Paraskevopoulos

The Shin Buddhist Way
Rev. Jack Austin
Pure Land Notes

Jishin Kyoninshin – Sharing Our Faith with The World
Alfred Bloom

Shinjin: The Center of Experience 
Jerry Bolick

The Tannisho

The Tannisho
Dr. Taitetsu Unno (translation)
Reading the Tannisho is perhaps the most meaningful way for today's Shin Buddhists to touch the thought of Shinran Shonin.

The Foundation of Shinran's Faith: Supremacy of the Vow in the Tannisho
Dr. Alfred Bloom

The Tannisho
Dennis Hirota (translation)
White Lotus Center for Shin Buddhism

The Tannisho Today
Rev Tairyu Furukawa
Pure Land Notes

Reference

Glossary of Shin Buddhism Terms
Dr. Aldred Bloom

Glossary of Shin Buddhist Terms

The Living Dharma Library
Sermons and essays on Shin Buddhism by ministers and lay people. A valuable resource for insights and information on Shin Buddhism, presented by the West Covina (California) Buddhist Temple.

Academic resources and databases

Buddhist databases & input projects

General

Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project
Study, editing, and publication of what may be the oldest surviving Buddhist texts–a unique collection of fifty-seven fragments of Buddhist manuscripts on birch bark scrolls, written in the Kharosthi script and the Gandhari (Prakrit) language in the first century A.D.

Electronic Buddhadharma Society (EBS)

Electronic Buddhist Text Initiative (EBTI)

Buddhist Canon Translation Project (Numata Center)

Buddhist Studies WWW Virtual Library

Pali and Pali Canon

Access to Insight
Many excellent translations of the Pali Canon

Andy's Pali Page

Buddhist Scripture Information Retrieval (BUDSIR)
Digial Tipitaka and Atthakatha. The Siamratha version of the Pali Tipitaka.

Dhammakaya Foundation - Pali Tipitaka

International Buddhist Research & Information Center (IBRIC)

Pali Language Sources & Resources

Pali language resources

Pali Text Society

Sri Lanka Tripitaka Project

Vipassana Research Institute – Tipitaka search engine

The Pali Tipitaka: The Teachings of the Buddha

Tibetan

The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center
TBRC's Digital Library is comprised of a vast archive of digital images from the scanning operations, totaling approximately 4 million pages of texts to date. Their Knowledge Base provides access.

Institute of Tibetan Classics
A non-profit educational organization dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of classical Tibetan thought and culture.

Asian Classics Input Project

The Kangyur Text Input Project

Buddhist Studies Academic Resources

Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library [AU].

Barre Center for Buddhist Studies [Barre MA].

Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley.

Buddhapia Network [Korea] - Korean Buddhism, in English and Korean.

Buddhism in the National Capital of Canada [Ottawa ON].

Buddhism in Vietnam.

Buddhist Association at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Buddhist Library [Singapore].

Buddhist Studies WWW Virtual Library [AU].

Buddhist Worlds in the USA [Hamilton College].

Center for Buddhist Studies [National Taiwan University].

Centre for Buddhist Studies [University of Bristol].

Centre of Buddhist Studies [University of Hong Kong].

Dharma Realm Buddhist University [Sagely City of 10,000 Buddhas, CA].

Digital Dictionary of Buddhist Terms, by Charles Muller.

Dr. Ron Epstein's Resources for the Study of Buddhism

European Buddhist University [Paris, France] - founded in 1995 by French Buddhists to promote Buddhist studies in France and Europe.

Links of Interest to Resources for Buddhist Studies [UCLA International Institute]

Graduate Programs in Asian Philosophy and Religion

Harvard Buddhist Community.

International Association of Buddhist Studies [U. North Carolina, Wilmington NC] - a non-profit international professional organization devoted to the academic study of Buddhism in all its manifestations and from any disciplinary perspective.

International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism (IRIZ) [Hanazono U - Kyoto Japan] - an academic research institution devoted to the study of Zen Buddhism serving the needs of researchers, students, teachers, and practitioners of Buddhism, plus electronic tools -- such as a 48,000 character Chinese character database.

Kalavinka Dharma Jewels Buddhist Translation Archive [Portland OR] - Original translations & links to other translations on the Web.

Le Bouddhisme Theravada.

Naropa University [Boulder CO] - started by Ven. Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche. It offers Bachelors and Masters Degrees including a Bachelors Degree in Religion, and a Master's in Buddhist Studies.

National Taiwan University Digital Library & Museum of Buddhist Studies

Numata Center for Buddhist Translation & Research (Berkeley CA).

Resources for the Study of Buddhism [San Francisco State University].

South Asia Resource Access on the Internet (SARAI).

Tibetan Studies WWW Virtual Library [AU].

UK Association for Buddhist Studies [UK] - lists members' postal addresses, telephone/fax numbers, E-mail addresses, research interests, and publications. It also gives details of UK courses relating to Buddhism, contains links to other web-sites and gives information on useful discussion lists.

Zen Buddhism WWW Virtual Library

 

Demo Content

4 ~ Meditation

 

Meditation

A person intent on serious practice of Buddhism is not content with mere intellectual understanding of the teaching and will wish to experience and realize the teaching. This can only be done by practising awareness and meditation, which goes beyond intellectual analysis and understanding.

Bhavana, the Pali word for developing the heart is translated as meditation but has a much wider meaning than spending some time in formal concentration. Practicing awareness means extending awareness so that all actions, thoughts and words are performed with increasing concentration/absorption and consciousness. It applies to bodily actions, feelings, mental states and activities and to the teaching.

Meditation involves the formal training of the mind, concentration and the development of insight. It is generally accepted that some personal guidance is needed in meditation. The aim is to empty and transform the mind/heart and to
develop awareness, energy and tranquillity leading to realizing the truth or Nibbana.

Mental Development
Peter Della Santina

Meditation: The Heart of Buddhism
Ajahn Brahmavamso

The Basic Method of Meditation
Ajahn Brahmavamso

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness Meditation
Trungpa Rinpoche

Mindfulness With Breathing: Getting Started
Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Essential Advice on Meditation
Sogyal Rinpoche

Walking Meditation
Bibliography, Links, Resources

Vipassana
Practical Vipassana
What is missing in focusing total attention to one single object all the time is wisdom. Your total attention should be coupled with wise attention.
Bhante Gunaratana

Anapana Sati: Meditation on Breathing
Ven. Mahathera Nauyane Ariyadhamma).

Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation
S.N. Goenka

See Ashoka's online course Zen Meditation: Entering the Path, for an in-depth introduction to the Zen meditation.

See Ashoka's online course Turning the Mind Into an Ally for an in-depth introduction to taming the mind withShamatha meditation.

Mindfulness

You will find that "mindfulness" is often used synonymously with meditation. Mindfulness usually refers to the practice of intentional awareness of one's thoughts and actions in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Mindfulness is applied to both bodily actions and the mind's own thoughts and feelings.

In Buddhism, the second kind of mindfulness is considered a prerequisite for developing insight and wisdom. Right Mindfulness is the seventh path from the Noble Eightfold Path, which is in its turn the fourth of the Four Noble Truths.

Right mindfulness is also known as Right Meditation. There are many, many forms of mindfulness and meditation. One example of mindfulness is to mentally give a verbal label to each in breath and out breath during sitting meditation. However, mindfulness does not have to be constrained to a formal meditation session. Mindfulness is an activity that can be done at any time; it does not require sitting, or even focusing on the breath, but rather is done by bringing the mind to focus on what is happening in the present moment, while simply noticing the mind's usual "commentary". One can be mindful of the sensations in one's feet while walking, of the sound of the wind in the trees, or the feeling of soapy water while doing dishes. One can also be mindful of the mind's commentary.

Right Mindfulness
With right mindfulness comes the awareness of ones true nature and the ability to deal with the feelings and movements of the mind peacefully with detachment and right understanding.

The Basics of Buddhist Meditation
Dr. C. George Boeree
Buddhism began by encouraging its practitioners to engage in smrti (sati) or mindfulness, that is, developing a full consciousness of all about you and within you -- whether seated in a special posture, or simply going about one’s life. This is the kind of meditation that Buddha himself engaged in under the bodhi tree, and is referred to in the seventh step of the eightfold path.

How to do Mindfulness Meditation
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

What Does It Mean to Be Mindful?
Sharon Salzberg

Sati (Mindfulness) 
Venerable Henepola Gunaratana
Excerpt from Mindfulness in Plain English

The Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation
A Basic Buddhist Mindfulness Exercise
Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw

The Miracle of Mindfulness
Thich Naht Hanh

A moment of Mindfulness: A 10 minute mindfulness practice >>>
Tara Brach

The Five Mindfulness Trainings
These trainings were offered by the Buddha for lay practitioners. The version presented here was developed by Thich Nhat Hanh to support and encourage our mindfulness practice in modern times.

 

Loving-kindmness and the Four Immeasurables

The Brahma-Viharas & the four immeasurables

The four immeasurables, known also by the Sanskrit Brahma Viharas, are found throughout Buddhist traditions. They are summed up in this meditation/prayer:

May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes,
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes,
May all sentient beings never be separated from bliss without suffering,
May all sentient beings be in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.

The Buddha taught these to his son Rahula:

Rahula, practice loving kindness to overcome anger. Loving kindness has the capacity to bring happiness to others without demanding anything in return.

Practice compassion to overcome cruelty. Compassion has the capacity to remove the suffering of others without expecting anything in return.

Practice sympathetic joy to overcome hatred. Sympathetic joy arises when one rejoices over the happiness of others and wishes others well-being and success.

Practice non-attachment to overcome prejudice. Non-attachment is the way of looking at all things openly and equally. This is because that is. Myself and others are not separate. Do not reject one thing only to chase after another.

I call these the four immeasurables. Practice them and you will become a refreshing source of vitality and happiness for others.

From Thich Nhat Hahn's Old Path White Clouds"

The Four Sublime States – Contemplations on Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity
Nyanaponika Thera

Mudita
Eileen Siriwardhana

The Four Immeasurable States
Traleg Rinpoche

The Practice of the Four Immeasurables" Awakening a Kind Heart
Ven Sangye Khadro

The Four Immeasurables
Ven. Thubten Chodron

See the Ashoka online course Liberating the Heart: The Brahma Viharas taught by Sharon Salzberg

Metta / loving-kindness

Lovingkindness, or metta as it is known in Pali, is a universal, unselfish and all-embracing love that protects, supports and heals both oneself and others. Metta is one of the four immeasurables.

Meditation on Loving-Kindness (Metta)
Bhante Gunaratana

Universal Loving Kindness
Ajahn Sumedho

Reflecting on kindness
Ajahn Candasiri

The Practice of Loving-Kindness (Metta) As Taught by the Buddha in the Pali Canon
Ñanamoli Thera (compilation and translation)

Facets of Metta
Sharon Salzberg

 The Power of Metta
Guy Armstrong

 Guided Lovingkindness Meditation
This guided meditation for cultivating the power of metta, taught by Sharon Salzberg, begins by directing positive sentiments towards oneself and progresses to radiate this well-wishing outward towards specific people and finally to all beings everywhere, without limit. From Dharma Stream.

 

 

 

 

3 ~ The traditions

Buddhist traditions: introduction

As Buddhsim spread through Asia, the teachings came to be interpreted in different ways, and distinct practices became associated with the different "schools" that evolved. Although the schools found today do reflect unique beliefs and practices, they all share a xxx with the fundamental teachings of the Buddha as outlined in the Fundamentals section of DharmaNet's Learning Center.

It is common to see the Buddhist traditions presented as three main "schools"– Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayan (Tibetan Buddhism). Although these categories have a useful purpose, they also oversimplify the distinctions between traditions and obscure the connections between all the traditions. With that caveat in mind, we present an introductiom to Buddhist traditions using this formula.

DharmaNet's introduction to Buddhist traditions

Brief introductions to the Buddhist traditions

Mahayana, Hinayana, and Theravada Compared
Ron Epstein

Theravada

One factor that distinguishes Theravada from the other Buddhist schools is the importance it places on the preservation of the original Dharma. From the time of Mahakassapa, the Theravadans have emphasized the importance of preserving the Dharma in its most authentic form possible.

Meditation

Theravada emphasizes the practice of mindfulness meditation, often called Vipassana meditation (or Insight meditation). Through observing our experience, from moment to moment, in the here and now, without immediately reacting to it or getting absorbed into it, we learn to develop mindfulness and awareness. This clear seeing gets us in touch with our mental, physical and emotional processes. Meditation is a journey of self-discovery and developing a capacity to be realistic, to be in touch with our experience of what is real here and now, and to see the true nature of that reality. Through practising vipassana we learn to relate to the suffering of ourselves and other beings in a more skilful way, not getting overwhelmed by it, nor becoming indifferent to it.

Introduction to Insight Meditation

What Meditation Isn't
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

What Meditation Is
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Mindfulness Meditation as a Buddhist Practice
Gil Fronsdal

Metta

Theravada also teaches meditations on love and compassion– metta or lovingkindness meditation. Metta meditation was taught by the Buddha as a way of protecting ourselves from internal and external dangers. Cultivating metta means opening our heart and relearning loveliness, thereby releasing ourselves from the internal chronic critic that often is sabotaging our commitment to waking up. Metta is an antidote to fear, and it helps to overcome anger, hatred and resentment. Practising metta is about befriending ourselves and others in an unconditional way. Through the force of metta we begin to loosen the boundaries we have created around ourselves, and we experience the interconnectedness of all beings. What unites us is our wish to be happy, and in practising metta meditation we give expression to this wish for happiness and well-being, our own and that of other sentient beings.

Facets of Metta
Sharon Salzberg

The Four Noble Truths

All the diverse teachings of Buddhism fit together into a single unifying frame, the teaching of the Four Noble Truths. The Buddha compared the Four Noble Truths to the footprints of an elephant. Just as the footprint of an elephant can contain the footprints of any other animal, the footprints of tigers, lions, dogs, cats, etc. So all the different teachings of the Buddha fit into the single framework of the Four Noble Truths.

The Buddha made it clear that the realization of the Four Noble Truths coincides with the attainment of enlightenment itself. The special purpose of the Dhamma is to make known the Four Noble Truths and the special aim of those treading the path to enlightenment is to see for themselves the Four Noble Truths.

The Four Noble Truths are:
1. The truth of Dukkha
2. The truth of the origin of Dukkha
3. The truth of the cessation of Dukkha
4. The truth of the path, the way to liberation from Dukkha

The word 'Dukkha' has often been translated as suffering, pain and misery. But 'Dukkha' as used by the Buddha has a much wider and a deeper meaning. It suggests a basic unsatisfactoriness pervading all existence, all forms of life, due to the fact that all forms of life are changing, impermanent and without any inner core or substance. The term, dukkha, indicates a lack of perfection, a condition that never measures up to our standards and expectations.

Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Four Noble Truths 
Access to Insight

The Four Noble Truths
Ajahn Sumedho

The Nobility of the Truths
Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Eightfold Path

Dukkha, its origin, its cessation, and the way to its cessation—these are the Four Noble Truths, the "elephant's footprint" that contains within itself all the essential teachings of the Buddha. It might be risky to say that any one truth is more important than the others. since they all hang together in a very close integral unit. But if we were to single out one truth as the key to the whole Dhamma it would be the Fourth Noble Truths, the truth of the way, the way to the end of Dukkha. That is the Noble Eightfold Path, the path made up of the following eight factors divided into three larger groups:

Wisdom

1. right view
2. right intention

Moral discipline

3. right speech
4. right action
5. right livelihood

Concentration

6. right effort
7. right mindfulness
8. right concentration

We say that the path is the most important element in the Buddha's teaching because the path is what makes the Dhamma available to us as a living experience. Without the path the Dhamma would just be a shell, collection of doctrines without inner life. Without the path full deliverance from suffering would become a mere dream.

Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering
Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Noble Eightfold Path
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The Brahma-Viharas

The four "sublime states"

  • Metta — caring, loving kindness displayed to all you meet.
  • Karuna — compassion or mercy, the special kindness shown to those who suffer.
  • Mudita — sympathetic joy, being happy for others, without a trace of envy.
  • Uppekha (Upeksa) — equanimity or levelness, the ability to accept others as they are.

"They are so important in the practice of Vipassana meditation that they are included in the second step of the Noble Eightfold Path. In fact, no concentration is possible without these sublime states of mind because in their absence the mind would be filled with hatred, rigidity, worry, fear, tension and restlessness." Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

The Four Sublime States: Contemplations on Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity
Nyanaponika Thera

 

Mahayana

The Mahaya movement which began 2000 years ago led to a wide range of practices, and the Mahayana schools of today are known by the traditions that evolved in places such as Tibet, China and Japan, rather than as "Mahayana." This section introduces the major themes of the Mayahana; for specific Mahayana traditions see the sections on Zen and Pure Land schools.

The bodhisattva

Mahayana practitioners seek to follow the bodhisattva path. Central to a bodhisattva's practice are:

  • Development of bodhicitta, the 'thought of enlightenment,' which inspires one to become a bodhisattva in order to save others.
  • Cultivation of compassion (karuna). From bodhicitta and an understanding of emptiness (shunyata) arises a profound compassion for the suffering of others and a determination to free others from suffering.
  • Cultivation of the paramitas, the perfections of generosity, virtue (morality), patience (tolerance, forbearance), energy (diligence, courage, enthusiasm, effort), meditation (absorption, concentration, contemplation), and transcendental wisdom.
  • The bodhisattva vow, the intention to save all beings by leading them to
    nirvana, regardless of how long it takes.

Although it is common today for people to talk about acting "like a bodhisattva," in the Mahayana schema a potential bodhisattva is already well-advanced on the path, with a deep understanding of the teachings such as dependent arising, karma, rebirth and emptiness. Some bodhisattvas are said to have already become buddhas and then chosen to practice as bodhisattvas. Others are said to have postponed their own enlightenment to be bodhisattvas of compassion. Fundamentally a bodhisattva is a buddha to be, motivated by altruistic compassion.

Bodhisattva archetypes

The Mahayana spawned a plethora of Bodhisattva archetypes, bodhisatvas who had reached the highest stages of compassion. These great bodhisattvas such as Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara, and Maitreyacame came to be visualized as enormously powerful beings–celestial bodhisattvas.

See the Ashoka course Bodhisattas of Compassion.

The historical Buddha was not an archetypal bodhisattva but was, rather, a human being, one whose life had a profound impact on human history. The dramatic story of his life as Siddhartha Gautama, prior to his becoming the Buddha, or Awakened One, in a sense establishes the basic archetype for all bodhisattva practice.

Shunyata - emptiness

With the rise of the Mahayana, the teaching of no-self (Anatman) becomes the concept of Shunyata ('Emptiness'). This emptiness is not pure nothingness, of course; nor is it a kind of transcendental something. Rather it is a medicine to remedy the compulsive illusion-making habits of our minds, particularly their tendency to think of persons and things as separate, self-created and self-sustaining. Shunyata indicates, therefore, not the presence of something but rather a resounding lack or void, specifically a lack of inherent existence or 'own nature' (svabhava). This goes as much for dharmas, those ultimate essences of the world-process, as it does for people and things. In Abhidharma there is a general tendency to think that dharmas are somehow real, though not to the extent of posses, sing atman. In the Mahayana, however, dharmas are decreed unequivocally to be empty, along with everything else. Even Emptiness is ultimately empty! Buddhism, John Snelling

Mahayana sutras

Central to the rise of the Mahayana was the new "technology" of the written word.

With the development of the Mahayana in the beginning of the Christian era came a new body of scriptures. Mahayana Buddhists believe that the Mahayana sutras, with the possible exception of those clearly of Chinese origin, are an authentic account of teachings given during the Buddha's lifetime. However, Theravada Buddhists believe them to be later inventions of monks striving to change the original teachings of Buddha, and consider the Mahayana sutras apocryphal. Generally, scholars conclude that the Mahayana scriptures were composed from the first century CE onwards, with some of them having their roots in other scriptures, composed in the first century BCE.

Regardless of their authenticity as the teachings of the Buddha, these sutras came to have great authority because they seemed visionary and inspired. With these new sutras came a new Buddhist cosmology. And with this cosmology, which included planes above the human, came the notion that the Mahayna sutras emanated from the Buddha's wisdom, even if not from his earthly life.

Prajnaparamita - "Perfection of Wisdom"

One of the earliest Mahayana sutras–and one of the most important and enduring–is the Prajnaparamita ("Perfection of Wisdom) sutra, which came to exist in many versions, from 100,00 lines to the short Heart Sutra.

At first sight, The Perfection of Wisdom is bewildering, full of paradox and apparent irrationality. Yet once one accepts that trying to unravel these texts without experiencing the intuitions behind them is not satisfactory, it becomes clear that paradox and irrationality are the only means of conveying to the reader those underlying intuitions that would otherwise be impossible to express. Edward Conze succinctly summarized what The Perfection of Wisdom is about, saying, 'The thousands of lines of the Prajñāparamitā can be summed up in the following two sentences:

1. One should become a bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2. There is no such thing as a bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a 'being', or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment. To accept both of these contradictory facts is to be perfect.'

The central idea of The Perfection of Wisdom is complete release from the world of existence. The Perfection of Wisdom goes beyond earlier Buddhist teaching that focused on the rise and fall of phenomena to state that there is no such rise and fall — because all phenomena are essentially void. The earlier perception had been that reality is composed of a multiplicity of things. The Perfection of Wisdom states that there is no multiplicity: all is one. Even existence (samsara) and nirvana are essentially the same, and both are ultimately void. The view of The Perfection of Wisdom is that words and analysis have a practical application in that they are necessary for us to function in this world but, ultimately, nothing can be predicated about anything.

Within this context of voidness, The Perfection of Wisdom offers a way to enlightenment. It represents the formal introduction to Buddhist thought of a practical ideal — the ideal of a bodhisattva. Unlike an arhat or pratyekabuddha, beings who achieve enlightenment but cannot pass on the means of enlightenment to others, a bodhisattva should and does teach. A bodhisattva must practice the six perfections: giving, morality, patience, vigour, contemplation and wisdom. Wisdom is the most important of these because it dispels the darkness of sensory delusion and allows things to be seen as they really are. The Perfection of Wisdom, R.C. Jamieson (Penguin Viking - 2000

The Middle Way School

Along with the new sutras came commentaries that laid out the philosophical basis of Mahayana beliefs. Of all the commentators, Nagarjuna is the most celebrated. (In fact, he is often referred toas the second Buddha.) Nagarjuna is said to have systematized the Prajnaoparamita teachings and to have founded the Madhyamaka or "Middle Way" school.

He used the traditional concept of the 'middle way' in a sophisticated dialectical manner, and in so doing pushed the implications of certain of the early teachings to their logical conclusion. When discussing . . . the doctrine of origination-in-dependence, the early Theravada scholastic tradition, known as the Abhidhamma ('higher dharma'), had understood this doctrine as referring to the origination and destruction of real elements, which they termed 'dharmas'. Dharmas were thought of as the building-blocks of which all phenomena were composed. They were conceived of as impermanent, but none the less real. On this basis, objects such as tables and chairs were analysed as compounds of elements rather than as entities having an enduring nature of their own. A chair, for example, might be seen as consisting only of legs, a seat, and a back: there is no 'chair' over and above these parl~s.

Nagarjuna, however, interpreted the doctrine of origination-in-dependence in a more radical way. He taught that dharmas were not just impermanent, but lacked any inherent reality at all. He summed this up by saying that all phenomena - tables, chairs, mountains, people - are simply empty of any real being. The Madhyamaka argued strongly, however, that this was not a doctrine of nihilism: the teaching does not claim that things do not exist, merely that they do not exist as independent realities in the way people normally assume. It claimed that the true status of phenomena is something midway between existence and non-existence, and it was from this interpretation of the 'middle way' that the school derived its name.

This line of thought had another important implication, namely that there can be no difference between nirvana and the realm of cyclic rebirth (samsara). If everything is void of real existence, Nagarjuna reasoned, then in a profound sense everything is on the same footing, so on what basis can the distinction between nirvana and samsara be made? No difference can be found in things themselves since they are all ultimately 'empty;' the difference, therefore, must lie in our perception of them.

The example is given of the person who mistakes a coil of rope for a snake at twilight and becomes terrified. When he realizes his mistake his fear subsides and his desire to run away disappears. What is needed for liberation, then, Nagarjuna reasoned, is essentially correct vision - to see things as they really are - rather than to embark on a flight from one supposedly imperfect reality (samsara) to a better one (nirvana). Nirvana is thus reinterpreted by the Madhyamaka as a purified vision of what is seen by the ignorant as samsaraIt follows that nirvana is here and now if we could but see it. The removal of spiritual ignorance and the realization that things are empty destroys the fear—or craving—we have for them. Nagarjuna and his followers called this complex of ideas "the doctrine of emptiness" (Sunyavada) and it has been the inspiration of Mahayana thought down the centuries. Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction, Damien Keown (Oxford U. Press - 1996)

Transcendental Buddha

With the Mahayana sutras came a new vision of Buddhist history and the essential nature of Buddha. The Theravadan idea of the Buddha achieving enlightenment in one human lifetime was replaced with the vision of the Buddha as a being who had had been enlightened for endless aeons who compassionately took birth as Siddhartha Gautama in order to assist the humans beings of our era. Being eternal and omnipresent, this transcendental Buddha could apprear in different forms at different times and could reveal different aspects of the Dharma at different times and to different people.

Mahayana and Theravada

None of the Buddha's early teachings is rejected by the Mahayana, although they are sometimes reinterpreted in radical ways. The Mahayana saw itself as recovering their true meaning which, it claimed, had been lost sight of by the early tradition. Indeed, much of what is found in the Mahayana is not new. For example, the notion of selfless compassion—which finds expression in the bodhisattva ideal—was already evident in the Buddha's life of service to others. The doctrine of emptiness can be seen in embryonic form in the teachings on impermanence and no-self. Finally, the meditator's experience of the mind in the higher trances as luminous and pure, could easily foreshadow the conclusion that consciousness itself is the underlying reality.

The areas where the Mahayana was most innovative were in its revamped Buddhology and the devotional cults which sprang up around the various Buddhas and bodhisattvas. . . On balance it is most likely that devotionalism—along with . . . other innovations . . .—was an autonomous development which arose naturally at a certain cycle in the evolution of Buddhism as ideas implicit in the early teachings were worked out. Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction, Damien Keown (Oxford U. Press - 1996)

For another presentation of the Theravada/Mahayana development process, see:

The Origins of the Mahayana Tradition
Peter Della Santina

 

Tibetan/Vajrayana

Tibetan Buddhism and Vajrayana
Tibetan Buddhism and Vajrayana are usually lumped together and often confused. Tibetan Buddhism is a form of Mahayana Buddhism that developed in Tibet and the Himalayan region beginning in the 8th century C.E. It combines Mahayana philosophy, meditation, tantric symbolic rituals, Theravadan monastic discipline and the shamanism of Bon, the indigenous religion. Tibetan Buddhism is, then, a form of Mahayana Buddhism that inorporates the practice of tantra (Vajrayna).

Tibetan Buddhism derives from the convergence of Buddhism and yoga which started to arrive in Tibet from India briefly around the late eighth century and then more steadily from the thirteenth century onwards. Indian Buddhism around that time had incorporated both Hindu yogic and tantric practices along with the classical teachings of the historical Buddha who lived around 500 BC. It acknowledged that there were two paths to enlightenment ( complete transcendence of identification with the personal ego ).

One path was that taught in the sutras according to the historical teachings (the sutrayana). The heart of sutra practice was based on morality, concentration, and wisdom ( not identifying with the personal ego ).
The other path, which has become the cornerstone of Tibetan variations, was tantric. This practice blended the sutra teachings with techniques adapted from Hindu systems of yoga and tantra.
It is very important to understand that the core teachings of the Theravada tradition embodied in the Pali scriptures are the foundation of the Buddha's teachings. Beginning with these teachings, one can then draw on the insights contained in the detailed explanations of the Sanskrit Mahayana tradition. Finally, integrating techniques and perspectives from the Vajrayana texts can further enhance one's understanding. But without a foundation in the core teachings embodied in the Pali tradition, simply proclaiming oneself a follower of the Mahayana is meaningless.

If one has this kind of deeper understanding of various scri-tures and their interpretation, one is spared from harboring mis-taken notions of conflicts between the "Greater" versus the "Lesser" Vehicle (Hinayana). Sometimes there is a regrettable tendency on the part of certain followers of the Mahayana to disparage the teachings of the Theravada, claiming that they are the teachings of the Lesser Vehicle, and thereby not suited to one's own personal practice. Similarly, on the part of followers of the Pali tradition, there is sometimes a tendency to reject the validity of the Mahayana teachings, claiming they are not actually the Buddha's teachings.

As we move into our examination of the Heart Sutra, what is important is to understand deeply how these traditions complement each other and to see how, at the individual level, each of us can integrate all these core teachings into our personal practice.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Heart Sutra

Tantra

Tantric practices are psychologically very profound techniques to quickly achieve Buddhahood. This is considered important, not for oneself, but because as a Buddha one has the best achievable qualities to help others. The motivation is: 'the faster I can achieve Buddhahood, the sooner I can be of maximum benefit to others'.

Depending on the class of tantra, extra vows may need to be taken on top of the Refuge and Bodhisattva vows. Also, specific commitments may be required like doing a specific retreat, daily recitation of mantras or a daily meditation practice. (For more details see the page on Tantra.)

In the 8th. century, the Mahayana and Tantrayana (or Vajrayana) traditions of (North) Indian Buddhism were introduced into Tibet. In fact, only in Tibet, Bhutan and Mongolia a virtually complete set of tantric teachings was preserved. The Tibetan tradition can also be found in the Himalayan range of Ladakh (Northwest India), Sikkhim (Northeast India) and Nepal, and in Mongolia (which is virtually identical to the Tibetan tradition). In China and countries like Korea and Japan, remnants of Vajrayana can be found.

The term Sutrayana is used within the Mahayana to indicate the non-tantric Mahayana teachings.
The Origins of the Vajrayana Tradition
Peter Della Santina

The three yanas
In tibetan Buddhism the path is described as being made up of three vehicles:

In Buddhist writings many different systems of belief and tradition are explained. These are referred to as vehicles, the vehicles of divine beings and human beings and the low vehicle (Hinayana), the great vehicle (Mahayana), and the vehicle of Tantra. The Dalai Lama

The Three Vehicles
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

The schools of Tibetan Vajrayana
As Vajrayana Buddhism spread from India to Tibet and then throuhout Tibet, various schools or sects developed over time. Although there is and has always been communication between and overlap of these traditions, Tibetan Buddhism today still consists of several schools, each with its own distinct set of practices and its own description of the path.

DharmaNet introduction
The Schools of Tibetan Buddhism

Introduction to the Five Principal Spiritual Traditions of Tibet
H.H. The Dalai Lama

For study resources on Tibetan Buddhism see the Learning Center's Study section.

Zen

See the Study section for Zen learning resources.

What is Zen, and how does it differ from other schools of Buddhism?

Through the centuries, Indian Buddhism gradually spawned hundreds of sects and sub-sects, and thousands of scriptures, and tens of thousands of commentaries on those scriptures. When Buddhism spread over Central Asian trade routes to China, all this material came at once. The Chinese were blasted with a cacophony of religious insight that was exotic, extravagant and, most importantly, foreign. The Chinese had long cherished their own twin traditions of Confucianism and Taoism and were resistant to ideologies introduced by barbarians from beyond the borders of the "Middle Kingdom." There was also a severe linguistic challenge for the Chinese in digesting the Buddhist message from abroad. The Sanskrit language was so different from Chinese in sensibility and syntax that translation was almost impossible.

Gradually, Indian and Central Asian Buddhism began to be reshaped by its encounter with Chinese culture. This reshaping eventually led to the creation of Zen, an entirely new school of Buddhism. (The word "Zen" is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese "Ch'an," which means "meditation." Here we use "Zen" because it is the word generally used in the West. Ch'an, though, did not come to Japan and become "Zen" until around the eighth century.)

Bodhidharma is the legendary founder of Zen in China. He is said to have arrived in China about 520. (Buddhism had by then been known in China for about 400 years.) He was soon summoned to the emperor, who had questions for him. "According to the teachings, how do I understand the merit I have accrued in building temples and making donations to monks?" the emperor asked. Bodhidharma, usually depicted as a scowling, hooded, bearded figure, shot back, "There is no merit." "What then is the meaning of the Buddha's Holy Truths?" the emperor asked. "Empty, nothing holy," Bodhidharma replied. Shocked, the emperor imperiously asked, "Who addresses me thus?" "I don't know," Bodhidharma replied, turned on his heel and left the court, to which he never returned.

He repaired to a distant monastery, where, it is said, he sat facing a wall for nine years, in constant meditation. A single disciple sought him out, and to test the disciple's sincerity, Bodhidharma refused to see him. The disciple stood outside in the snow all night long. In the morning he presented Bodhidharma with his severed arm as a token of his seriousness. The monk become Bodhidharma's heir, and thus began the Zen transmission in China. So, at least, the story goes.
This legend illustrates Zen's style and values. Zen is a pithy, stripped-down, determined, uncompromising, cut-to-the-chase, meditation-based Buddhism that takes no interest in doctrinal refinements. Not relying on scripture, doctrine or ritual, Zen is verified by personal experience and is passed on from master to disciple, hand to hand, ineffably, through hard, intimate training.

Just don't seek from others,
Or you'll be far estranged from Self.
I now go on alone;
Everywhere I meet It:
It now is me; I now am It.
One must understand in this way
To merge with thusness.
Dongshan Liangjie

Though Zen recognizes-at least loosely-the validity of normative Buddhist scriptures, it has created its own texts over the generations. Liberally flavored with doses of Taoism and Confucianism and Chinese poetry, and written in informal language studded with Chinese folk sayings and street slang, Zen literature is built on legendary anecdotes of the great masters. Buddha is barely mentioned, and when he is he is often playfully reviled. "Old man Shakyamuni," the saying goes, "is only halfway there."

Although the Zen school created controversy at first in all the countries it spread to, it eventually became by far the most successful school of Buddhism in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. By the mid-1980's, the Zen traditions of all these countries had been transmitted to America.

Zen Methods
Although Zen eventually developed traditions of study and ritual, its emphasis on personal experience has always made it a practice-oriented tradition. The practice is meditation. "Sitting Zen" (Japanese: zazen) has, as Bodhidharma's legend shows, always been central in Zen training centers, where monks rise early each morning for meditation practice and do long retreats consisting of many, many silent unmoving hours on the cushion. Zazen is an intensely simple practice. It is generally taught without steps, stages or frills. "Just sit!" the master admonishes, by which he or she means, sit upright in good posture, paying careful attention to breathing in your belly until you are fully alert and present. This sense of being present, with illumination and intensity, is the essence of zazen, and although there are many approaches to Zen meditation, they all come back to this. Life's secret, life's essence, and the truth and power of Buddhist liberation all come down to this intense and illuminated presence which is beyond words and concepts. Though it cannot be explained, it can be experienced and expressed through the daily actions of a Zen life.

Because the practice of intensive zazen is so central, Zen practice is essentially monastic. That is to say, it depends on a life that allows for long periods of concentrated meditation. In the Zen monastery, life is entirely organized around sitting in the meditation hall. But zazen is also understood to be something more than this sitting. It is conceived of as a state of mind or being that extends into all activities. Work is zazen; eating is zazen; sleeping, walking, standing, going to the toilet-all are zazen practice. In Soto Zen, the Japanese school practiced extensively in the West, there is an especially strong emphasis on this "moving Zen."

Zen schools are more or less divisible into those that emphasize a curriculum of verbal meditation objects-like koans-and those that do not. Emphasizing daily life practice as zazen, Soto Zen centers generally do not work with a set koan curriculum and method, though koans are studied and contemplated. Because of this, Soto Zen has traditionally been criticized by the koan schools (the best-known koan school is the Rinzai school of Japan) as dull, overly precious and quietistic, in contrast to the dynamic and lively engagement of the koan path. But the koan way also has its critics, who see the emphasis on words, meaning and insight as working against real non-conceptual Zen living. Koan training systems also have the disadvantage of fostering competition and obsession with advancement in the system.

To study the Buddha way is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget oneself is to be actualized by myriad things.
When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away.
Dogen Zenji

In koan Zen, contemplation of a koan begins with zazen practice. The practitioner comes to intense presence with body and breath, and then brings up the koan almost as a physical object, repeating it over and over again with breathing, until words and meaning dissolve and the koan is "seen." This practice is done in the context of an intensive retreat led by a qualified Zen koan teacher. Like all systems, the koan system can degenerate into a self-protective and self-referential enclosure. It's the teacher's job to see that this doesn't happen, but sometimes it is not preventable. There are many different systems of koan study, but most of them emphasize humor, spontaneity and openness. The koan method is, at its best, a unique and marvelous expression of human religious sensibility.

Zen Schools
Zen has had a long and varied history in several different Far Eastern cultures. Each culture has produced a tradition that is recognizable as Zen, but differs slightly from all the others. Vietnamese Zen is the one most influenced by the Theravada tradition. It tends to be gentle in expression and method, to emphasize purity and carefulness, and to combine Zen with some Theravadin teaching and methodology. In China, Zen eventually became the only Buddhist school, inclusive of all the others, so contemporary Ch'an includes many faith-based Mahayana practices that existed initially in other Buddhist schools, especially faith in and repetition of the name of Amida Buddha, the savior Buddha who will ensure rebirth in an auspicious heaven to those who venerate him. Korean Zen is the most stylized and dramatic of the Zen schools, and also the most austere. Korean Zen includes prostration practice (repeated, energetic full-to-the-floor bows of veneration) and intensive chanting practice, and has a hermit tradition, something virtually unknown in Japanese Zen.

Within each of the Asian Zen traditions there are several schools, and within schools the styles of individual teachers often differ greatly. Still, it is remarkable how essentially similar the various teachers within a particular Zen "dharma family" can be in personal style and mode of expression, even though, paradoxically, each one is quite distinctive and individualistic. This uncanny fact-radical individuality within the context of shared understanding-seems to be an indelible feature of Zen.

Lineage and Teacher
A key Zen story, shared by all the schools: Once Buddha was giving a talk on Vulture Peak. In the middle of the talk he paused and held up a flower. Everyone was silent. Only Mahakasyapa broke into a smile. Buddha then said, "I have the Treasury of the True Dharma Eye, the ineffable mind of Nirvana, the real form of No Form, the flawless gate of the Teaching. Not dependent on words, it is a special transmission outside tradition. I now entrust it to Mahakasyapa."

This story, however historically unverifiable, represents the beginning of the Zen transmission, said to start directly with the Buddha. The story tells us two things: first, although the Buddha taught many true and useful teachings and techniques, the essence of what he taught is simple and ineffable. Holding up a flower is one expression of this essence. Second, the very simplicity and ineffability of this essential teaching requires that it be handed on from master to disciple in mutual wordless understanding. While wordless understanding seems a bit mystical and precious, it may not be as strange as it seems. We are all familiar with the transformation that takes place in apprenticeship and mentorship relationships, processes that involve a wordless give and take between individuals, and in which something quite hard to define is passed on. feel it.

While Zen practice can be done without benefit of a teacher, having a teacher is important, and, in the end, crucial if one is to realize the depth of Zen practice and make it completely one's own. Although the Zen teacher must embody Zen and express it in all his or her words and deeds, a Zen teacher is not exactly a guru, a Buddha archetype at the center of a student's practice. To be sure, respect for and confidence in the teacher is essential if one is to undergo the transformation in consciousness that Zen promises. But the Zen teacher is also an ordinary, conditioned human being, simply a person, however much he or she has realized of Zen. This paradox-that the teacher is to be appreciated as a realized spiritual adept and at the same time as an ordinary individual with rough edges and personality quirks-seems to go to the heart of Zen's uniqueness. Through the relationship to the teacher, the student comes to embrace all beings, including himself or herself, in this way.

Taking the Path of Zen in the West
In the West, however, most Zen practitioners are not monastics. While this may seem strange, it is not at all strange if we consider "monastic" to be an attitude and a level of seriousness, more than a particular lifestyle. Unlike Zen laypeople in Asia, whose main practice is to support the monastic establishment, Western Zen lay practitioners want to understand Zen deeply and to practice it thoroughly, regardless of what their life circumstances may be. In this sense, all Western Zen students are "monastic," regardless of their life circumstances. All of them do some form of monastic-style training within the context of their lay lives. They sit meditation regularly, either at home or at a local temple, attend retreats and live their daily lives with full attention (or at least coming as close to this as they possibly can). They take lay or priest vows, and even sometimes enter monastic training at one or more Zen centers for periods of time.

Norman Fischer, "Nothing Holy: A Zen Primer"

Soto and Rinzai Zen
The two main contemporary schools of Zen, Soto and Rinzai, have their roots in the Chinese Caodong and Linji schools of a thousand years ago. These two branches of Zen were transmitted to Japan around 1200.

The distinctions between the schools goes back to to teachers, Shitou and Mazu. While Shitou's style was gentle and harmonious emphasizing the skillful use of words, Mazu's demeanor was stern and uncompromising, often using shouts and blows. This difference in style was carried through their descendants until the founders of the Rinzai and Soto schools, Linji (J. Rinzai) and Dongshan (J. Tozan).taught ( Ch. Ts'ao, J. So).

Soto
Soto's style of practice can be traced back to Shitou (700-790) whose poem "The Harmony of Difference and Sameness" (Sandoaki) is an important early expression of Zen Buddhism and is chanted in Soto temples to this day. Two masters in Shitou's lineage, Dongshan and his disciple Caoshan,are so closely associated with each other that heir names were used together to form the name of their Zen school, Caodong (which became Soto in Japan).

One of Donshan's poems "The Song of the Jewel Mirror Awareness" is also still chanted in Soto temples. Another set of poems on the Five Positions of Absolute and Relative is important as a set of koans used in the Rinzai school.

It was Eihei Dogen Zenji (1200-1253). who transmitted Caodong Zen to Japan. Dogen Zenji is probably the most revered figure in all Japanese Zen. Yet only recently has he become read and studied in the West, perhaps because that great popularizer of Zen in the West, D. T. Suzuki, followed the Rinzai school and managed to essentially ignore Dogen throughout his voluminous writings.

But it was Dogen who first insisted on intensive meditation, who produced the first Japanese writings explaining Zen practice, and who constructed the first real Zen monastery in Japan, establishing a set of monastic rules still observed. Moreover, the strength of his character has inspired many Zen masters to follow.

Rinzai
RInzai Zen is said to be founded by Linji (J. Rinzai). Linji is known for his dramatic and iconoclastic style which is recorded in The Record of Linji.

Although Eisai is credited with bringing Rinzai to Japan, it was Hakuin Zenji who reformed and gave Rinzai Zen its impetus, formulating Japanese Rinzai koan practice and reviving Rinzai Zen in Japan. Endowed with enormous personal force and spirit, Hakuin was a rarity among Zen Masters and a lion among men. He was an accomplished artist and calligrapher and a voluminous author—he left a written legacy that is arguably the most extensive of the masters of the Chan or Zen, traditions. His caustic tongue and pen were legendary, and his words still breathe fire today. Yet his compassion was equal to his fire, and he was beloved by the common folk of his time and remains a favorite among lay practitioners of Zen. Hakuin single-handedly transformed the moribund Rinzai school into a tradition focused on arduous meditation and koan practice. Essentially all modern practitioners of Rinzai Zen use practices directly derived from the teachings of Hakuin.

Although hybrids schools like the Harada-Yasutani line of Zen are not part of the Rinzai lineage, these lines comprise the greater part of Western Zen; and, some of these teachers were, in fact, Rinzai Dharma heirs. Teachers, like Roshi Robert Aitken were at one time students of Rinzai Teachers.

How different?
Shitou jousted with Mazu, and they often swapped students, Mazu sent his pupils on their way with a wink and the advice that Shitou was "slippery."

Much has been made about the differences between Rinzai and Soto Zen. Writers and teachers often emphasize Rinzai's emphasis on kensho (seeing into one's self nature) and Soto's emphasis on zazen, but this has lead to the misconception taht Soto rejects the concept of enlightenment and Rinzai practitioners don't practice zazen. There also seems to be misinformation regarding koan practice or study. Koans are examples drawn from the awakening of past practitioners and often seem to be illogical or intuitive. But they are not puzzles to be solved or intuited. They are expressions of awakening.

Both Rinzai and Soto Zen Buddhists study koans and practice zazen. The differences are of a more subtle nature. To even say Rinzai "stresses" koans over zazen would be inaccurate. It is accurate to say that Soto Zen continues to consider the practice of zazen to be the sole means of realization. But Soto Zen has never discarded the koan. Soto teachers lecture on koans and their students study koans outside the practice of zazen. Soto Zen practices zazen as awakening itself to the already realized koan. In Rinzai Zen practice, a koan is examined while sitting in order to deepen insight.

Isshu Miura says that the difference of the Rinzai Zen school from Soto is that "zazen is, first of all, the preliminary practice by means of which mind and body are forged into a single instrument for realization. Only the student who has achieved some competency in zazen practice is, or should be, permitted to undertake the study of a koan. Proficiency in zazen is the basic ground for koan study. During the practice of zazen the koan is handled. To state that it is used as the subject of meditation is to state the fact incorrectly. The koan is taken over by the prepared instrument, and, when a fusion of instrument and device takes place, the state of consciousness is achieved which it is the intent of the koan to illumine and in this instant the koan is resolved." He also writes: "When the koan is resolved it is realized to be a simple and clear statement made from the state of consciousness which it has helped to awaken."

Nothing Holy: A Zen Primer
Norman Fischer

See the Study section for Zen learning resources.

Chan

Chan Buddhism has been practiced in China since around the 6th century C.E. and, when exported to Japan around the 11-12th century, became the source of "Zen." This section of the Learning Center presents modern-day Chan as practiced in China and Taiwan, as well as in the West.

For an introduction to Chan, see the Ashoka online course The Legacy of Chan.

What is Chan?
Master Sheng Yen

History
For an introduction to history of Chan and Zen , see the Ashoka online course The Story of Zen.

Ch'an & Sudden and Gradual Debates in China and Tibet

The teachings of the masters
Faith in Mind: A Guide to Ch'an Practice
Master Sheng Yen on Sengcan's Xinxinming

Writings of the Chan Patriarchs
Ron Epstein

Contemporary Zen teachings
The Principles of Chan
Dharma Drum Mountain

Teachings of Chan Patriarch Hsuan Hua

Web sites with extensive teachings
From Dharma Drum Mountain: Chan Magazine, Chan Newsletter and Master Sheng Yen's Dharma talks.

Chan and Zen Buddhism: Writings of the Chan Patriarchs

Pure Land & Jodo Shinshu

Pure Land and Shin Buddhism
In the West there is a tendency to focus on the do-it-yourself nature both of Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment and his guidance to us to work towards liberation though our own effort.

Buddhists in the West often downplay (or reject) the role of faith and devotion. Yet these components of have been a part of Buddhsim from the beginning, as we can see in the practices of bowing to Buddha, bodhissatvas , monks and teachers, lighting insence, reciting (and copying) sutras, and decorating monasteries and temples with sculpture and paintings.

From early on devotional practices such as "Recollecting of the Buddha"—bringing the Buddha to mind, reciting his name, and by visualizing his image and/or his Pure Land or field of activity—were common. With the advent of the mahayana and its cults of divine buddhas and bodhisattvas, bodhisattas such as
 Avalalokiteshvara, Maiijushri, Maitreya and Kshitigarbha each had
 his (or her) own Pure Land.

Background

Pure Land Buddhism is described as the Path of Serene Trust, or faith. One has serene trust and confidence in the power and wisdom of Buddhas, or one has the firm conviction that the Bodhisattva Vow made by all Buddhas, namely, to lead all sentient beings to Enlightenment, has been or will be fulfilled.

Praising a Buddha's virtues and keeping a Buddha in mind at all times has been practiced since the earliest days of Buddhism. Indeed, the act of taking refuge in the Buddha means to put one's trust in the Buddha as an honored teacher.

The object of Pure Land Buddhism is rebirth into the Realm of Bliss. This may be seen as literal rebirth into the Buddha-realm called Sukhavati and/or as experiencing the direct realization of the realm of the Purified Mind, in which a person becomes one with the limitless Compassion and Widsom which are the prime characteristics of Buddha Amitabha (Amida in Japanese). Pure Land Buddhism rests on:

Faith

Aspiration or the Vow for rebirth

Practice—single-minded effort aimed at Buddha Remembrance Samadhi (Buddhanusmrti in Sanskrit). "Staying mindful of the Buddha" has been a central practice of Pure Land Buddhism since its beginnings, as has the recitation of the Buddha's name.

While the Japanese Pure Land schools became characterized as "faith-only" schools (see below), classical Pure Land Buddhism continued to relie on the tripod of faith, aspiration and practice as expedients.

Key Concepts
In order to understand Pure Land Buddhism it is helpful to be familiar with some specific aspects of Buddhist teaching:

Merit and its transfer
There are benefits to be derived from the non-attached practices of Wisdom and Compassion; these practices include the Buddhist Precepts which are guidelines for enlightened living. These benefits, or "merit," may be accumulated and subsequently transferred to any or all sentient beings for their benefit (transpersonal) or rededicated so as to transform it into a benefit for one's self (personal).

Other Buddhas
Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha of our age, is not the only Buddha to ever have existed. Indeed, all beings have the nature to become totally awakened to the Truth of the Universe. One of the first Buddhas other than Shakyamuni to be mentioned in the Buddhist tradition was the Buddha Maitreya, the next Buddha who will appear in our own world-system which is known as the Saha World.

Buddha-realms, buddha-fields
Buddhas spread their influence over a system of worlds in which they teach Dharma and exert their benevolence. Shakyamuni is the Buddha of our own world system. Buddha-realms may be seen as both literal and metaphorical.

A bodhisattva's relationship with a buddha
Bodhisattvas are "Enlightenment Beings" who are on the path toward Nirvana, the end of suffering, the realm of Perfect Peace. They work not only for their own Enlightenment, but also for the Enlightenment of all sentient beings. Once Bodhisattvahood is attained, the Bodhisattva is instructed by a Buddha. Shakyamuni Buddha's teacher was the Buddha Dipamkara; in turn, Shakyamuni Buddha is the teacher of the Buddha to come, Maitreya.

Self-power, other-power
Self-power refers to to methods we practice on our own, the power of our own mind. Other-power refers to the power of the vows of Amitabha Buddha which facilitate rebirth in the Realm of Bliss, as well as the manifestation of these vows through the transference of Amitabha's own merit to us.

In classical Pure Land Buddhism, self-power and other-power work together. Through recitation, meditation and visualization practices, vowing to be reborn and manifesting the mind of faith, we attain Buddha Remembrance Samadhi, uniting one's Self-Power with the other-power of Buddha Amitabha, the essence of Universal Compassion and Wisdom.

Jodo-fShinshu

The Ch'an Pure Land tripod of faith, aspiration and practice was modified in 12th century Japan. Both Jodo-Shu and Jodo-Shinshu arose at a time when many believed that enlightenment was no longer attainable through personal effort (jiriki) alone. With the intervention of Amida—through reciting Amitabha's name—one could be reborn in the Pure Land.

In Jodo Shinshu Buddhism there is an exclusive reliance on other-power (as opposed to self-power). Reciting the Buddha's name with faith is all that is necessary, and other-power practices are seen as essentially useless. A person is totally reliant on the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha; essentially, the saying of the Buddha's name arises solely from the power of Amida's vows. This causes Japanese Pure Land to be more of a salvation-based form, unlike the classical Pure Land Buddhism that originally developed in China.

Aspects of Shin Buddhism
For Shin Buddhists, the true nature of things is a lively wisdom and compassion that resonates in the lives of ordinary people. This wisdom and compassion takes form as Amida Buddha.

To ordinary people, especially those who were unable to follow him in his monastic way of life, Shakyamuni Buddha explained how Amida Buddha could bring everyone, without exception, to Buddhahood, which is the highest level of human fulfillment.

The final objective for Buddhists is to become a Buddha because Buddhas have perfect understanding, are completely free of attachments and therefore always act in ways that are genuinely beneficial. This objective meets the highest aspiration of the human heart. We remain spiritually and morally immature and ill-at-ease until we are fully developed and perfected Buddhas, full of love, kindness and freedom from fear and anxiety - transcending the thrall of birth and death.

In the Larger Sutra on Immeasurable Life, Shakyamuni explained how a monk called Dharmakara ('Dharma Treasury') made vows to lead all beings to enlightenment by creating a Pure Land, a realm that is free from the misleading ignorance that hinders our progress to Buddhahood, and how he would enable us all to be born there. Furthermore, Shakyamuni explained that Amida has attained enlightenment in the deep boundless past and has achieved his purpose for us.

Amida also made vows in relation to us, people stranded in the realm of ignorance. These are the vows of infinite light and infinite life.

Light is wisdom, and life is the compassion that results from perfect wisdom. Amida Buddha's understanding is so complete that when he thinks of us he knows us exactly as we are and, indeed, accepts us as we are because of his perfect wisdom.

The primary focus for Shin Buddhists is Nembutsu, the Name of the Buddha, Namu Amida Butsu, which means, "I take refuge in Amida Buddha". Amida vowed that his Name would be heard "throughout the ten directions," (Larger Sutra 7) that is, everywhere, and that those who say his name, entrusting themselves to him, will be born in the Pure Land and attain Buddhahood.

Although the names of ordinary people can have immense power, Amida Buddha's Name has limitless power. The name of someone we love may evoke fond memories and longing but the Name is Amida Buddha - active in our lives and our consciousness. All of Amida Buddha's virtues, his Life and Light, are embodied in his Name.

Namu Amida Butsu is the Japanese pronunciation of the original Sanskrit phrase, Namo'mitabhaya buddhaya, which was also transliterated into Chinese characters and pronounced Namo 'mito fo. The six Chinese characters are still the main written form of the principal image in Shin Buddhist temples and home shrines. Indeed, the correct iconic representation of Amida Buddha is really his written Name: Namu Amida Butsu. In Shin Buddhism, if statues and pictures of Amida Buddha are used, these are actually graphic representations of the Name.

Nembutsu people live in the Light and Life of Amida Buddha and see their own reality as distinctly different from his. Because Amida is fully enlightened, we become ever more deeply aware of our own profound ignorance: a kind of blindness, which is a sense of being trapped and unable to overcome the evil oppression of our egocentricity.

Although we may practice meditation and seek to control our desires in order to free ourselves, we begin to become aware of the intractable nature of our karmic evil and of our bondage to self-centeredness. Even the good we do can become a source of spiritual pride and arrogance that may frustrate any progress we make. Shin Buddhism encourages us to heed the bidding of Shakyamuni in the Larger Sutra, and to relinquish all of our spiritual needs to Amida Buddha. In so doing we accept the Vow (will, mind or intention) and the Name of Amida ("Namu Amida Butsu") and, therefore, our ultimate destiny - Buddhahood, Nirvana. When this happens, our life becomes a joyful adventure, characterized by a sense of indebtedness.

The difficulty many of us have is in accepting that we are really taken in by wisdom and compassion just as we are: unable to become good or better people. All of us have an unendurably painful dark side: deep and terrible greed and anger. Worse, we are profoundly ignorant and constantly shocked at our own insensitivity. Within ourselves, we discover the existential pain that afflicts us all in this "Last Dharma Age", the age of mappo.

The person who awakens to Amida's Mind - in other words, accepts the Primal Vow - is born in the Pure Land. However, since the time of the great Shin Buddhist master Shan-tao, who lived in seventh-century China, it has been clearly understood that the Pure Land is, in fact, Nirvana or Buddhahood - ultimate realization of transcendence; in Buddhist terms "extinction of birth and death".

A Buddha is free of all attachment and aversion and has realized the true nature of things: wisdom and compassion. For this reason, he or she understands other people perfectly and moves to free them from the delusions that keep them in suffering and anxiety. So it is that our goal does not end in self-absorbed bliss but in reaching out to others to help them as well.
From Buddhist Information of North America web site

Jodo Shinshu: A Brief Introduction
Rev. Kenryu Tsuji

Introduction to Pure Land Tradition
Dr. Alfred Bloom

Shin Buddhism
Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji

Shin Buddhism
Buddhist Churches of America (BCA)

For study resources on Jodo Shinshu Buddhism see the Learning Center's Virtual Shin  section.

Korean Buddhisn

The Korean style of Buddhism has both academic and practical components. The Avatamsaka Sutra and the Lotus Sutra have been the main focus of study in Buddhist academic study. Pure land and Zen Buddhism have been the most popular and effective forms of practice, with Pure Land Buddhism concentrating on Amitabha and Avalokitesvara and Zen Buddhism (Son or Seon in Korean) emphasizing meditation and direct experience.

Although Buddhism was first introduced to Korea during the Three Kingdoms period (?-668 A.D.), the distinctive character of Korean Buddhism emerged during both the Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.) and the Goryeo (935-1392 A.D.) periods. During these two periods Korean monks continually traveled to China to study new Buddhist ideas. After mastering their study, most of them came back and tried to introduce new Buddhist ideas to Korean culture and people.

The study of the Avatamsaka and the Lotus Sutras and the worship of Amitabha (the Buddha of Light) and Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva characterized Korean Pure Land Buddhism during the Unified Silla period. Towards the end of the Unified Shilla Period, the Chan School (Son of Korean, Zen in Japanese) was introduced from China and this added a new dimension to Korean Buddhism. Meditation and direct experience were emphasized over concentration on studying the texts. Nine different schools emerged and they were known as the Nine Mountains of Son.

In the 14th century the Nine schools of Zen were unified by Master Taego under the name of Jogye, which has remained the main sect to this day.

Korean Zen (Son)
Korean Zen is both less formal and less martial than Japanese Zen. The monastic order (and the vinaya) is central to Korean Buddhism with nuns (bhikshuni) of equal status with monks. Still, Korean preserves something of the flavour of classic Chinese Chan.

Korean monastic practice incorporates the elements of study, meditation (Son) and chanting (a Pure Land element). There are separate halls for each of these activities in the monasteries, and monks or nuns are free to specialize in whichever they find most conducive. Study focuses mainly on the Zen records and Mahayana sutras, chanting on the repetition of the names of the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas, and meditation on sitting and koan (hwadu) practice.

Korean Buddhis has been transmitted in only limited ways to the modern West. One teacher with a profound impact was Zen Master Seung Sahn, who was called Dae Soen Sa Nim (Great Honored Zen Teacher) by his students. The 78th Patriarch in his line of Dharma transmission in the Chogye order of Korean Buddhism, he founded temples in Japan, Hong Kong and the United States.

Korean Buddhism: A Short Overview
Charles Muller

Buddhapia: Korean Buddhism Information Center

Native tradition in Korean Zen
Mu Soeng

One Dharma

Far from pressing his own brand of Buddhism upon others, Ryokan repeatedly stressed the essential unity of all Buddhist teaching. And when writing poems for friends who belonged to the Shin sect . . . he extolled such practices as the recitation of the Namu Amida Butsu . . . His religious name, Ryokan, means "Good tolerance" . . .

Burton Watson, Ryokan: Zen Monk, Zen Poet

An excerpt from One Dharma 
Joseph Goldstein 

 

LRC5

dadadadadadadaddad

LRC4

,nb,n,mn./,>M;lknmlkn;ih k.