Self-published, free books, often (though not always) shorter than commercial monographs booklets are longer than essays.

… sexuality in its various manifestations is among the urges that are not intrinsically directed at specific objects and activities. Objects and activities come to play a role [only] because the mind has the tendency of keeping a record of objects and activities rather than of the states which are the real causes of satisfaction.

An extremely profound and exceptionally rare book, Arahattamagga gives an unfiltered first-hand account of what it’s actually like to walk the entire Path—from its tumultuous beginning to its extraordinary finish.

A concise and readable survey of early Buddhist studies, showing the wide evidence we have in support of the authenticity of the EBTs and how we can know about ancient India at all.

… when thereʼs fuel, fire will keep burning until thereʼs nothing left

Unfortunately idiosyncratic and giving undue weight to certain Thai subcommentaries, this vinaya textbook remains the gold standard for Western, Theravada monks or anyone looking to seriously study the monastic rules.

the Buddha himself rarely smiles in the Canon, and when he does, the reasons for his smile are never hilarious. Still, the Canon’s reputation for being devoid of humor is undeserved. It’s there in the Canon, but it often goes unrecognized.

From suffering arises desire to end suffering. The secular humanistic activist sets himself the endless task of satisfying that desire, and perhaps hopes to end social suffering by constructing utopias. The Buddhist, on the other hand, is concerned ultimately with the transformation of desire.

You will experience many sensual pleasures in your life: food, music, sex and zombie movies. You should become aware as well of the great joy, a pleasure beyond the sensual, that comes with generosity. Become aware that this joy is greatest when your intentions are purest, when the recipients of your generosity are worthy and when the manner of giving is proper. This joy is the direct experience of the merit you have earned.

Buddhism is a middle course, a via media; pragmatic and innovative

We had decided to sell up and establish a forest monastery somewhere in the countryside.

The Monastic Sangha is both training ground and dwelling place for the Noble Sangha, much like a university is both a training ground and a dwelling place for scholars.

My favorite translation of the Dhammapada, including accurate summaries of the stories that traditionally accompanied the verses—some of the most beloved commentarial stories in all of Buddhism.

… the practicer will become like a dead man who, while following others in their normal activities, does not give rise to the least differentiation or attachment

As a result of seeing the truth of how craving leads to suffering, we have a moment where our minds cease all craving and release us from the incessant arising of experience

An important sutta on Right Speech, giving the Buddha’s famous injunction to “not insist on local language.”

When we adopt a Buddhist perspective on the wounds that afflict our world today, we soon realize that these wounds are symptomatic: a warning signal that something is fundamentally awry with the way we lead our lives.

Ānanda’s tears and the Buddha’s expression of gratitude and thanks are testament to the close bond between the two men, one that went beyond their kin relationship.

Those who have awakened don’t talk of what they’ve awakened to, because it lies above and beyond all words.

To be female is to have the dukkha of a female. To be male is to have the dukkha of a male. […] If we deludedly think ‘I am happy’ then we must suffer accordingly.

My most highly recommended introduction to Buddhist meditation.

We must use sati-paññā to sound out and see the dukkha. To see clearly the heat with insight. Then turn to see our Heart – is that also red-hot as well? Or is it only the body parts (dhātu-khandha) that are heated? If one possesses discernment then the Heart will not be moved. It will be cool within the mass of fire which is the body burning with the fires of dukkha. This is the way of those who practise.

A straightforward and practical guide, this book gives detailed descriptions and explanations for the most important religious practices for lay Buddhists. Good reading for anthropologists of Buddhism, for those who have recently converted, or those who are thinking about it, this book is absolutely essential and remains my first recommendation for learning how to be a Buddhist.

As for the question of suffering in the future—in this life or the next—don’t overlook your heart that’s suffering right now.

In, out
Flower, fresh
Mountain, solid
Water, reflecting
Space, free

A Creative Commons licensed selection of suttas from Wisdom’s celebrated translation, representing about a third of the full book.

[In Buddhism, morality] is not concerned so much with the result of one’s actions on other people as it concerns the result of one’s actions on one’s own mind.

Traditional Indian geography was always a strange amalgam of a few facts and a lot of fiction. But facts there are.

A lucid and compelling explanation of the Noble Eightfold Path by a renowned contemporary scholar of Pāli and Early Buddhism. Highly recommended for everyone interested in Buddhism.

What lies behind this insistence on love is a worry: without a deep-seated fear that one day love would no longer exist (or exist in the same way) why would anyone feel that they have to insist upon it so much?

An excellent primer introducing, step-by-step, the basic grammatical concepts essential to understanding the Pāli language.

If you sincerely desire to develop contemplation and attain insight in your present life, you must give up worldly thoughts and actions during training…

Transcribed talks from a a retreat Ajahn Amaro taught with Drubwang Tsoknyi Rinpoche.

The world is led by craving,
By craving it is defiled,
And craving is that one thing
Controlled by which all follow.

The Buddha calls right view the forerunner of the path (pubbaṅgama), which gives direction and efficacy to the other seven path factors.

Tucked away in the Samyutta Nikaya among the “connected sayings on causality” is a short formalized text entitled the Upanisa Sutta, the “Discourse on Supporting Conditions.” Though at first glance hardly conspicuous among the many interesting suttas in this collection, this little discourse turns out upon repeated examination to be of tremendous doctrinal importance.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

This treatise explains the progress of insight, together with the corresponding stages of purification. It has been written in brief for the benefit of meditators who have obtained distinctive results in their practice, so that they may more easily understand their experience.

One of the few books written directly by Luangta, this meditation manual represents some of his clearest advice on developing the path.

This book is intended to provide an introduction to the teachings of the Buddha which will shed some light on a subject that, to non-Buddhists, can appear both unexpectedly rational and exotically strange.