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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) (.pdf)

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

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

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.

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.

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.