Monographs are books. They are distinct from booklets in that they were professionally published. They tend to be copyrighted, longer and more thoroughly edited than booklets, but this is not always the case.

The best English translation of the AN, with many helpful indexes, introductions, notes and appendixes to aid your study and use of this exquisite collection.

A beautiful collection of commentaries on sutras from both the early and later canons by one of Buddhism’s most revered contemporary teachers.

If we accept that there will always be sides, it’s a nontrivial to-do list item to always be on the side of angels. Distrust essentialism. Keep in mind that what seems like rationality is often just rationalization, playing catch-up with subterranean forces that we never suspect. Focus on the larger, shared goals. Practice perspective taking. Individuate, individuate, individuate. […] You don’t have to choose between being scientific and being compassionate.

…and maybe because of the boiling April sun, he thought about water and ice. Water and ice were made of the same thing. He thought most people were made of the same thing, too. He himself was probably a little different from the corrupt people around him. Ice was distinct from—and in his view, better than—what it was made of. He wanted to be better than what he was made of. In Mumbai’s dirty water, he wanted to be ice.

A deeply human, simple but powerful retelling of the Buddha’s life story from a renowned modern master.

I cannot recommend this classic textbook on the history of Buddhism highly enough. Short and readable, yet thorough and precise, this must-read covers the entire history of Buddhism in a couple hundred, lively pages.

Menocchio was certain that at death man reverted to the elements of which he was composed. But an irresistible yearning drove him to picture some sort of survival after death.

Perhaps this is how racism feels no matter the context–randomly the rules everyone else gets to play by no longer apply to you, and to call this out by calling out “I swear to God!” is to be called insane, crass, crazy. Bad sportsmanship.

The fossils found clearly show that there has been a development from reptile to bird, even though the particular animal whose remains have been discovered was of course not the first one to start jumping or gliding from one tree to the next. Comparable to the fossils of an archaeopteryx, some early discourses reflect particular stages in the development of Buddhist thought.

If history shows anything, it is that there’s no better way to justify relations founded on violence—to make such relations seem moral—than by reframing them in the language of debt—above all, because it immediately makes it seem that it’s the victim who’s doing something wrong.

Design is really an act of communication, which means having a deep understanding of the person with whom the designer is communicating.

A classic translation of the primary book of poetry from the Pāli Canon.

Originally published as Thus Have I Heard, this modern translation of the Digha Nikaya is striking for its rare combination of accessible erudition and respectful skepticism.

As long as they get their money, they don’t care how many of us they kill off.

… this study critically examines the traditional Buddhist distinction between the ‘practice of serenity’ (samatha-bhāvanā) and the ‘practice of insight’ (vipassanā-bhāvanā); doing so challenges the traditional positioning of the four jhānas under the category of ‘serenity (or concentration) meditation’ and the premise regarding their secondary and superfluous role in the path

Up until the middle of the first millennium, Avalokiteshvara consistently appeared in a magnificent, idealized body, yet one in accord with human norms. But sometime around the 6th century, an iconographic revolution occurred in Indian art, and he began to acquire additional arms, heads, and eyes.

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.

I have seen much death in my lifetime–war, famine, disease. I am at the end of my life now. One day soon I will die. The lesson of the flood is still with me, I know that there is no use worrying about death. The important thing is to live fully until the moment when it comes.

I invite the reader to join me in a search for what could be found in the textual corpus of early Buddhist discourses

A metaphor can also die when it becomes so common that we forget it is a metaphor. It no longer functions as a figure of speech; its meaning is taken to be literal. This is what happened to the computational theory of mind

Just as the sun is valued not only for its own intrinsic radiance but also for its ability to illuminate the world, so the brilliance of the Buddha is determined not only by the clarity of his Teaching but by his ability to illuminate those who came to him for refuge

The spread of farming from those few sites of origin usually did not occur as a result of the hunter-gatherers’ elsewhere adopting farming; hunter-gatherers tend to be conservative…. Instead, farming spread mainly through farmers’ outbreeding hunters, developing more potent technology, and then killing the hunters or driving them off of all lands suitable for agriculture.

If you want to find a resting place,
Cold Mountain will keep you long.
A gentle breeze blows the hidden pines:
The closer you come, the better it sounds.

Then one day, [the young man] utters these three words. When the young lady hears this, she trembles, because it is such an important statement. When you say something like that with your whole being, not just with your mouth or your intellect, but with your whole being, it can transform the world. A statement that has such power of transformation is called a mantra.

Three steps, one bow: that was how they made their pilgrimage. […] an unadorned account of an authentic spiritual journey.

Those who wanted to uphold the radical non-substantialist position of early Buddhism were faced with the dual task of responding to the enormously substantialist and absolutist think­ing of the non-Buddhist traditions as well as to those within the Buddhist tradition who fell prey to such thinking.

What even is the immune system and how does it actually work?

The contemporary anthology of the Buddha’s teachings, Bhikkhu Bodhi organizes the key content of the suttas into a logical and progressive series of ten chapters.

Anthropological methods and insights can be transformative, making possible the kinds of empathy and dialogue necessary to solve our global problems. The goal of this textbook is to guide you in this process of transformation as you learn about the cultural lives of the various peoples with whom you share this planet.

The rate of change is visibly unsustainable. The profiteers call this process “disruption,” while commentators on the left generally call it “neoliberalism” or “late capitalism.” Millennials know it better as “the world,” or “America,” or “Everything.” And Everything sucks.

A classic translation of this (DN 16) important and immersive tale from the Pāli Canon.

Experiencing autonomy—being allowed to make those choices that constitute an autonomous life—as a learner is a better way of learning to be autonomous than being told what to do.

I, Li Bo, love wine completely, right now. How to attain the immortality within wine? This Dao always gets muddled. Don’t look for it in a ladle! The deity of drunkenness will give transmission to whoever is chosen.

A classic biography of the Buddha collecting details scattered around the Pāli Canon to form a compelling narrative, The Life of the Buddha presents the historical record in quirky translation, relatively undiluted by the later hagiographies.

A modern classic of contemporary, Western ethics, Peter Singer persuasively argues that people with disposable income (and that probably includes you) should give more to the world’s poorest people. After all, which is more important: saving a life or buying another pair of shoes?

Traveling around the globe and living for a week with average families from a variety of countries, sixteen photographers collaborated with thirty families to make this revealing series of portraits.

The classic introduction to Buddhist meditation.

In this beautiful letter to a friend (and one of my favorite books period), Thay offers practical advice and encouragement to cultivate mindfulness: the quality of presence and wakefulness in our life. From washing the dishes to answering the phone, he reminds us that each moment holds within it the seeds of understanding and peace. Highly recommended for all, especially newcomers to Buddhism or meditation, or anyone looking to brighten their day.

A thorough examination of each discourse in the Majjhima-nikāya in the light of its parallels.

The best translation in English of the most important collection of the Buddha’s discourses, with a lengthy introduction, sutta summaries, and helpful endnotes summarizing important commentarial points, this book is a must have for any student of Buddhism.

… teachings from twelve of the greatest masters and monasteries in the Theravada tradition

The desires of the audience’s heart are as crooked as corkscrews. We continue to love what we ought to hate.

On my electric pottery wheel, a lump of freshly kneaded gray clay has already been set out for me, a gift that always makes me feel more than a little incompetent.

The surprising history of the Diamond Seat—and the drama surrounding it—in the centuries after the Buddha first sat there.

… human beings reset themselves to something altruistic, communitarian, resourceful, and imaginative after a disaster. We revert to something we already know how to do. The possibility of paradise is already within us as a default setting.

Although Ru and Dao are disparate gateways,
Clouds and grove are rather a shared mode.

Proxies function as the necessary forms of make-believe and surrogacy that enable the production of knowledge. Such knowledge production relies on accessible representations of the world, and proxies are the people, artifacts, places, and moments invested with the authority to represent the world. To interrogate the use of proxies is to ask: to whom or to what do we delegate the power to represent the world?

No explanation has ever been offered or demanded for the admiration the Chinese have had for hermits. Hermits were simply there: beyond city walls, in the mountains, lone columns of smoke after a snowfall. As far back as records go, there were always hermits in China.

With the present book I return to the Pāli version of the Satipaṭṭhāna-sutta. My exploration is entirely dedicated to the actual practice of satipaṭṭhāna, informed by the previously gathered details and overall picture as it emerges from a study of relevant material in the early discourses.

When examined closely, the doctrines of the schools cannot be explained away as simplistic errors or alien infiltrations or deliberate corruptions. It would then follow that more sympathetic and gentle perspectives on the schools are likely to be more objective

If we have learned one thing from the #MeToo campaign, apart from just how pervasive sexual violence is, it is that we as a society do not have a clear, uncontested idea of what sexual consent looks like, and that we do not all universally and equally value it.

… the Sonora passed through the Golden Gate and steamed out upon the broad Pacific, heading south, carrying five hundred passengers, thirty-eight thousand letters, and a consigned shipment of gold totaling $1,595,497.13

There are three stages in scientific discovery. First, people deny that it is true, then they deny that it is important; finally they credit the wrong person.

The best translation in English of the SN, with scholarly and helpful endnotes and introductions. The beautifully printed physical volume also comes with handy subject and proper name indexes which unfortunately were not properly included in the ebook version.

It is as if an arrow has been pulled out of your heart.

Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.

I yearned to convey to [Charles Darwin] how marvelously his simple idea has flowered and itself evolved, informing countless new fields of inquiry, and to share with him the scientific news that would have eased his troubled mind: Earth is old.

No one enters Burmese traffic with any assumptions about fundamental rights. Pedestrians, certainly, enjoy no “right of way.” No one, by the same token, is ever excluded from the game as long as they remain in motion. […] If you get ahead, you were right to try. If you don’t, you were right to yield. What’s to argue?

The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however,
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.

…when you look at a photo or realistic drawing of a face, you see it as the face of another. But when you enter the world of the cartoon, you see yourself.

Please, O Lord, may all the boons
for which I fervently pray
come true at once and come to be
from now until nirvana’s time!

Growing tolerance toward Asian peoples and cultures was fostered in a mass-mediated environment in which the role of the visual image took on increasing importance. While this environment allowed a popular engagement with Asian religious traditions, it also relied on and reinforced certain racialized notions of Asianness and Asian religiosity. These notions form patterns of representation that, because they are linked to such positive images, go unchallenged and unseen.

How fiercely independent Christian communities in America are slowly being forced to adopt modern technology and the strategies they are inventing to resist that technology’s destabilizing effects.

A surprisingly well-written and extemely helpful guide to body language, filled with entertaining case studies from Navarro’s long career. Essential reading for anyone who communicates with humans in meatspace.

The shift from hunting-gathering to farming began only about 11,000 years ago; the first metal tools were produced only about 7,000 years ago; and the first state government and the first writing arose only around 5,400 years ago. “Modern” conditions have prevailed, even just locally, for only a tiny fraction of human history

Zen practice is the direct expression of our true nature. Strictly speaking, for a human being, there is no other practice than this