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Facing our Problems

Module 11 of An Introduction to Buddhism

Right Effort is when we stop turning away from complexity.

Photo by Sumantha Photography, CC BY-SA 4.0

Assigned Readings

Biography of Shakyamuni Buddha – Ven Master Hsing Yun (.pdf) (.epub) (.pdf) (.epub)

We continue with Chapters 32–36 on how the Buddha’s community grew under his leadership.

Being Nobody, Going Nowhere: Meditations on the Buddhist Path – Ayya Khema (.pdf)

Chapter 6: “The Five Hindrances” introduces us to the primary obstacles to mental clarity in our meditation (and life).

The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering – Bhikkhu Bodhi (.pdf) (.epub)

Feel free to skip Chapter 4 on Buddhist Ethics (which we discussed already in lesson 7) but Chapter 5 is our main reading for this module, introducing “Right Effort”

Lecture

This module, I’d like to introduce you to two teachers in the Thai Forest Tradition.

Beyond Faith – Ajahn Jayasaro (.mp3)

Ajahn (“Teacher”) Jayasaro was born in Britain, but has lived in Thailand as a Buddhist monk for most of his life. In this talk aimed at a mixed audience, he encourages us to think more deeply about spiritual matters and to put our faith to the test.

Some Dhamma Advice – Ajahn Suchart (.mp3)

And Ajahn Suchart is a Thai monk who originally studied Engineering in California, but eventually realized the true road to happiness:

Homework

To begin thinking about how to apply today’s lesson to your own life, please take a few minutes to check out this module’s reflection questions.

Further Reading

More of Ajahn Jayasaro’s teachings can be found on his website: panyaprateep.org.

And Ajahn Suchart answers many frequently asked questions about Buddhist Practice in his book, Dhamma for the Asking 2. You can find volume 1 of that series—and many other transcriptions and recordings—on his website: PhraSuchart.com.