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Entering the Path

Module 7 of An Introduction to Buddhism

The Buddha's recommended approach is one of humility and pragmatism.

Photo by เทวประภาส, CC BY 3.0

Reading Assignments

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

We continue with the Buddha’s biography by reading Chapters 14–17 on the Buddha-to-be’s wanderings in search of the path.

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

We skip ahead this module to Chapter 12 on the Four Noble Truths and The Noble Eightfold Path.

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

And this module, we finally begin reading Bhikkhu Bodhi’s own book about the Buddha’s teachings, beginning with (appropriately enough) Chapter 1, wherein he discusses the character of the Buddhist path to awakening.

AN 8.53: In Brief (.pdf)

In this story from the Buddhist canon, the Buddha teaches a nun which character traits the practice should produce when followed correctly: an important “compass” to help guide our understanding and spiritual efforts. Read it carefully. Do any of the “bad” qualities surprise you?

Fundamentals of Buddhism – Peter D. Santina (.pdf)

And Chapter 5 of Fundamentals covers Buddhist morality: the cornerstone of the path.

Lecture

This module, I’d like to introduce you to Doug Smith. He runs a popular YouTube Channel where he teaches “secular” Buddhism.

A Secular Introduction to Buddhism – Doug Smith

A short introduction from a more academic perspective.

Further Watching

If you enjoyed Doug’s video and want to watch more, consider continuing with The Three Schools of Buddhism or maybe What of us continues? which sets up the next lesson on rebirth and karma well. Or feel free to watch whatever videos of his sound interesting to you!

Homework

You can find this week’s reflection questions here.