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Living Well

Module 14 of An Introduction to Buddhism

While aimed at renunciation and liberation, the Buddha's teachings also offer practical advice for living in the world.

Photo by Joi Ito, CC BY 2.0

Readings

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

Continue with Chapters 45–46, which introduce the Buddha’s greatest disciples: monastics and laity who still set the example for Buddhists to this day.

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

Chapter 11 covers the Ten Virtues (or “Perfections”) we can cultivate in every moment of our lives.

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

We conclude our study of the Noble Eightfold Path with Chapter 8: “Wisdom”—and the ability to act for the benefit of others.

What the Buddha Taught – Walpola Rahula (.pdf)

(Optional) Chapter 8 covers “The World Today”—or at least the world of the 1960s (when it was written!).

Khp 5 Maṅgala Sutta: The Highest Blessings (.pdf)

Read the Buddha’s own overview of ‘the good life’

The Highest Blessings Chant – Abhayagiri Monastery (.mp3)

And then listen to it chanted aloud.

I would like to offer you this blessing: May your life be thus blessed! 😊

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

We’ll conclude with the short “Conclusion” at the end of Fundamentals

Lecture

Buddhism and the World – Bhikkhu Bodhi (.m4a)

In this, Bhikkhu Bodhi’s final lecture, he discusses the relevance of the Buddha’s teachings to lay life.

Further Reading

If you enjoyed studying with Bhikkhu Bodhi, you may want to check out his course on the Early Buddhist Texts next. He’ll go more systematically through the core teachings of the Pāḷi Canon, guiding you through the Buddha’s teachings in his own words.

Homework

This also marks our final set of reflection questions, which can be found here. Thanks for sticking with them so diligently!

And when you’re ready for our final section…