BuddhaDust DhammaTalk Forum
A Living Archive
Contents: With Abstracts
Miscellaneous subjects not covered by the other Subject Areas.
DN #15: MahaNidana Sutta: The Great Downbinding Spell, Discussing some difficult passages in DN 15 with specific reference to the translation of Michael Olds.
Miscellaneous Sutta Translations Suttas posted here that do not fall into any convenient category and which deserve special notice.
Rhys Davids: Buddhist Suttas Announcing the availability of these important suttas on BuddhaDust
The Buddha's India A gathering place for information and links on the subject of locations and ideas concerning the state of the territories and time covered by the idea "Buddha's India."
Glossology A section which seeks to gather together various resources on the study of the meanings of the words of the Pali system. Provides a comparative vocabulary of the major translators understanding of the important terms used in Buddhism. Reasonably fleshed out to this point, this will be a continuously evolving resource.
To the Glossology TOC
To the Glossology discussion
Finding the Suttas in Pali Locating original texts and translations on and off line. Editorial about the quality of the translations in general.
Sutta Resources Introduction to the Sutta Index. This index lists all the individual suttas from the 4 Nikayas with page numbers in the Pali Text Society Pali texts and translations and Wisdom Publications editions and with links to suttas. It is the goal of this site to contain within it all digitized versions of any reasonably competant sutta translation in any language.
Finding Information. An overview of ways to dig up information on your subject of interest.
This is the place to find out about how to start studying the Pali, what to read, what something means or how to practice.
Start HereA whole mess of ways to begin the study of the Pali...with recommendations.
Ratthapala's Faith Discussing the four teachings of the Buddha that resulted in the astounding faith demonstrated by Ratthapala. Links to the sutta and other resources.
Sasana Discussion, suttas and other resources on the subject of the time when the Buddha's Dhamma fades into oblivion.
The End of the World is at Hand! Personal message and discussion of the Buddha as a Fire and Brimstone Preacher man.
Garland of Thumbs Introducing a sutta translation dealing with the story of Angulimala. One of the many great stories that run through the suttas, this one of a fierce bandit converted by the Buddha.
Advantage: Giver A good collection of small suttas on giving. A "kamma calculator", and numerous other resources.
Making Good Kamma The three avenues of action which lead to good results.
Four Characteristics of the Streamwinner Discussing various aspects of the problem of recognizing whether or not one is a streamwinner.
What is One? The One Question, illustrated.
Skillful Means The Buddha gives a simile demonstrating the rarity of even coming in contact with this system and then tells a story of two friends: one who is wise and understands that skill involves knowing what to let go of and what to retain; and one who does not have such an understanding and who ends up in a mess.
On Make'n Mula Good reasons for making money.
The Bowman A short sutta giving a simile for the swiftness of time; leads to a discussion of the power of words to carry memory and then to a discussion comparing Buddhism with other systems out there that claim to solve people's problems.
Motivation for Achieving The Goal How does one resolve the idea that one needs desire to end desire? A step-by-step method is given. Discusses the problem of describing Nibbana.
Incalculable is the Beginning Original posting of short suttas now incorporated into the main body of the site. Suttas pointing to ways to ponder the endless round of rebirth.
Fall'n on Hard Times
It's Elementary A sutta "outline" (breakdown, analysis); of the Samyutta-Nikaya, Nidana-vaggo, Dhatu-samyuttam, II.140; on elements and the way the perception of elements should be understood.
Teachers Not Worth/Worth following Outlining Majjhima Nikaya #76: Sandakasutta; good rich detail on an important question for the beginning student today: how do you distinguish between a teacher who is worth following from one who is worth less.
On Omniscience The distinctive way Omniscience is understood in the Pali.
Stumbling Block K2 states what is probably the most frequently-heard position voiced by non-Buddhists to Buddhists: "So what if there is pain associated with living; enjoying the pleasures of the senses is worth the price." Suttas and similes in an attempt to shake up this complacent view.
Leaves of Concrete Another angle on how to deal with the situation when teachers express opposing views; this leads to a detailed discussion concerning issues related to describing Nibbana and the Jhanas. The latter half of this discussion may be a little heavy going for beginners.
The Good Example Another sutta dealing with determining whether or not to listen to some teacher. The second half of this discussion deals with recognizing the state of Streamwinning.
The Middle Way How it is to be understood that "The Middle Way" does not mean the way of moderation. Side trip into the idea of what is reasonable for a layman's practice today.
"I'm sorry." does cut it Apology is for the benefit of the one apologizing; it is irrelevant how the apology is received. Contrasting the Buddhist system of ethics with currently held values based on the importance of "self," and making "me" feel good.
Who is the Potter, Pray? and Who the Pot? Another contrast between Buddhist values and modern values. Here the Buddha explains why he does not coddle his students. How the student shows respect for the teacher through diligent practice, not flattery.
Kamma and Fate Kamma as fate. Contrasting Don Juan's Man of Power with the practitioner of the Pali.
A Beginner's Question Still another discussion on how to evaluate what is worth learning and what can be put to one side. This deals with the ideas as opposed to the teachers. Then there is some discussion of the idea of faith. Last is some discussion of the problem of the physical pain that arises during sitting practice.
Attachment A grim simile for attachment.
Direct Insight Discussing this idea as it is defined on BuddhaDust; covers the spectrum of terms used in this system to describe the process of understanding and what it is that is to be understood.
Just This and This Responses to statements made on Buddhist Discussion boards around the net. (abandoned idea)
Examines questions concerning High Principles, High Talk, High Works, High Lifestyle, and High Self Control
One Meal A Day A page focused on the practice of eating only one meal a day; a daily routine for Buddhist Bhikkhus; a "sabbath" observation for lay practitioners; a healthy practice for one and all.
Pulling the Plug On the subject of the kamma involved in the idea of withdrawing life support in the case of irreversable coma and other "vegatative" states.
Defeat or Vesali A blending of the Samyutta Nikaya and Vinaya versions of the sutta describing the "Meditation on the Foul", a mass suicide of Bhikkhus, the formulation of the rule concerning killing a human being, and a very early description of the "Breathing" meditation technique.
The First Lie A Jataka Story describing the occasion of the first lie. A lie almost as absurd as those we hear from the kings of this day and age (Friday, April 18, 2003 9:03 AM CE)
On Suicide A resources center for this subject...one of the most frequent search terms used by visitors to BuddhaDust that arrive hear using a search engine
On Worldly Activism If you are going to get involved in politics do not try and claim justification for your activism in Buddhism. Beware of provocateurs. Activist Buddhist Bhikkhus (or Lamas) do not represent the teaching of the Buddha in their activism.
Thinking in Ethical Terms The difficulty of switching from the moral views with which one was raised to the ethical position suggested in the Pali. Case studies. How kamma works.
Buddhism and the Idea of Evolution An explanation of the Buddhist view of evolution. A resolution of the apparent conflict between creationism and evolutionary theory.
Ethics or Morality More on the difference between ethics and morality. Case study.
He handles gold and silver Personal recollection. How charging money for teaching cheats self, student and disrespects what is taught. The essentially fraudulant nature of psychotherapy. "Stealing in the name of the Lord."
Sex and the Lay Buddhist For the Bhikkhu celebacy is a rule; what is the suggested practice for laymen? Theory and practice.
On Eating Meat The rules and the basis for the rules in Kamma; countering the myth that Buddha taught vegetarianism.
Kamma A wide-ranging discussion of the workings of kamma. Debunks some wrong ideas about kamma floating around out there.
Haste How haste can be read by seers as indicating lust, weakness and vulnerability.
Giving Giving for gain and to understand kamma. Includes link to Anthology on giving compiled by John Bullitt, Access to Insight.
Focused discussions in Dhamma Research
Examining the Mulapariyaya Discussing the various translations of MN 1: The Mulapariyaya Sutta, The Root of All Evil
A Lucky Night An old time Lucky Charm recast by the Buddha in a way that is for one's good and profit and is made by that into a part of the fundamentals of living life in the dhamma.
The Cesspit A satipatthana exercise in the contimplation of the repulsive nature of the body.
Closed Fist The Commentary clears up the idea of the meaning of the Buddha's statement that he does not teach with a closed fist.
A Jay of Extraordinary Beauty On the relative nature of Beauty and the absurdity of passion for the beautiful.
The Stream On the danger of grasping at straws. In Graphical format.
This is not the Measure of My Life A Spell of Reflection
On Reliance on Authority The method for eliminating doubtful materials.
Respect Worthy Dhamma Sutta translation of Sanyutta Nikaya, Part IV, Salayatana group #133 (10). Verahaccani; illustrating the respect given to the Dhamma by the Beggars of Old; some modern suggestions as to how to show respect for the Dhamma; showing respect to modern Bhikkhus
The Seven Thoughts of A Great Man This article replaced by various translations of AN 8.30
Feelings Personal experience of a meditator trying to understand the mechanism of action of sense experience and to cope with it in actual practice. The limitations of the Vipassana practice for dealing with sensations. A reader aserts his authority and understanding insisting on humbleness and a "don't know" attitude, objects to criticism of Vipassana and the Zen Koan and faces the impass created by one who insists on the authority of authority.
Anatta = "Not-Self," Not "No Self" Tackling the difficult idea of "anatta" or "not-self." Also some discussion of the ideas supposedly left unanswered by the Buddha; summary of section of Alagaddupama Sutta (Parable of the Water Snake) where the Buddha states directly that he does not teach "no self" or the "annihilation of self."
The Asavas Sutta outline of the Sabbasava sutta. Read this to break down the idea that there are only 3 or 4 Asavas and by that to get a better idea of what the word "asava" is really intended to mean.
Something for Teachers A variety of resources that deal with the special situation of Dhamma teachers. Encouragement, techniques, the satisfactions, the right time, the decision to teach. This section will grow as resources turn up.
Free Will and Determinism? The issue of free will. East meets west. The difference between events being determined by the presence of their causes and being dependant on the presence of their causes. Discussing the Paticca Samuppada.
Cracking the Code of Practice Placing the Buddha's system in context. In a world where virtually no one seeks the answers to the big questions, the seeker after understanding the Buddha's Dhamma must go even farther.
Emptiness Understanding the approach taken by the Emptiness suttas. Techniques, tricks and resources.
On Eel-Wriggling Understanding equivocation. Dealing with the so-called "unanswered questions" and the issue of "not-self."
The Six Relms of Mastery Excerpt from Samyutta Nikaya, Salayatana-Samyutta, Salavaggo #96 Parihaanam. On losing one's grip and on Mastery. Dealing with the six sense realms.
The Five Fetters to the Lower Rebirths It isn't the thing itself that is the fetter, it is the attachment to the thing that is the fetter.
Subdivisions of Hell Relative length of life in various divisions of Hell
The Art of Disengagement Introduction to the translation of Majjhima Nikaya, III.139: Aranavibhangasutta, Pali, discussion of Pali vocabulary, excerpt; links to the full translation. The art of walking the Middle Way
Now is the Time! It is well done by you friends that you have been born when the Buddha's Dhamma is still being taught. Do not waste the opportunity!
The Fingernail A little sutta with a simile for the huge accomplishment of the Streamwinner
The Knack of Burning Off Old Bad Kamma An outline/summary of the Devadahasutta. This sutta adds to the picture concerning reliance on authority, and to our understanding of how, exactly it is, in this system, that one overcomes or escapes from kamma.
Discussing the Subhasutta Deals with the idea of how kamma done in one situation is to be experienced in another, how there is no doing a deed without experiencing appropriate consequences, and how the consequences can undergo metamorphosis.
Where is Memory Stored? Also where are the consequences of kamma stored. Provides a model based on the mechanics of the eye where the eye does not store sights, but is only a receptor of sensory contact.
The Magandiya Spell Introducing the Magandiya Spell; A really supurb illustration of debating skill as well as a very clear picture of the technique (a technique) used by Gotama to bring about conversion in an opponant. The issue: is the Buddha a kill-joy?
Imaginary Dialog with Chai Na Pol A A dialogue in the style of the Old Time Debators: "Anything you can say, I can say better; Any style you can use, I can use better; I can teach Dhamma better than you."
Outlining the Mahavedallasutta Discussing wisdom. Perception, sense experience and consciousness are one continuous process and it is not possible to distinguish the parts separately. The two ways of acquiring Samma Ditthi. The Jhana factors, The Ending of Perception and Sense Experience and Freedom. There is a way to see Boundless Freedom of Mind, No-Thing-There Freedom of Mind, Empty Freedom of Mind, and Signless Freedom of Mind as different both in connotation and denotation and there is a way to see them as the same in connotation, different only in denotation.
This Dhamma is for the Here and Now An exercise in understanding that the tools for seeing the truths taught by this Dhamma are available to one and all right here in this world right now.
Helpful in the Beginning On one of the running themes on BuddhaDust: The Buddha taught using words that simultaneously could be found helpful to beginning students and masters.
The Simile of the Snake A sutta that should be given careful examination because it deals with various ways the Dhamma can be wrongly grasped.
2500 Years Before Freud A beggar intent on vision attends to whatever may be the subject of his thoughts considering it from the aspect of what is skillful and what is not skillful...and deals with the unskillful in various ways.
The Mirror Image A different understanding of the simile of the mirror.
Certainty without Faith How can a Buddhist be certain he understands this Dhamma without having to rely on faith?
The Eight Worldly Concerns Another answer to The Eight Question.
Tanha vs Upadana A little bite of the Paticca Samuppadapple
Equanimity Here Upekkha is translated Objective Detachment
On Ven Punnaji An introduction to Bhante Punnaji, some discussion of his vocabulary, and three of his essays: Buddhism as a Psychotherapy, Buddhist Meditation, and A Process Of Personal Growth, Maturity
Pajapati's Problem This is the description of the problem and the solution previously located in the Dhamma Discussions section. This is a revised (I hope somewhat more easily read) version.
Satipatthana Sutta: The Hindrances A little on how to understand and deal with the hindrances. Links to other Satipatthana resources.
The Ones A good look at the terms in the phrase: "The tamed, guarded, protected, controlled mind"
Understanding Understanding Part I Part II A very long, very popular dialog that took place on the forum early on. I think it is being found interesting because "A" represents an archtype of a certain type of western thinker trying to come to grips with the Buddhist idea in terms of western theology and philosophy.
Discussion of technique in Sitting Practice
The Art of War An arsenal of techniques aimed at assisting the modern lay seeker in his battle to attain ultimate freedom.
The Seat A Graphic presentation of a good technique for putting the body in the optimum sitting posture. May be a little hocus pocus to getcha inni moo. Graphic means "graphics intense" illustrations. Discussion is at: P.P. Explains The Seat
Start Here A (growing) resource list for beginning meditators.
Sit Down Practice Discussion of the terminology of meditation practice as recommended on BuddhaDust. Contrasts certain terms with those same terms used by other systems.
What Is the Purpose of Meditation? Some pointers, and the point of using sit down practice as a tool for liberation from pain.
Metta, Karuna, Mudita, Upekkha Resources, tricks and tips, and examples on the subject of the Four Godly Thoughts: Friendly Vibrations, Sympathetic Vibrations, Empathy, and Detachment.
Breathing Practice Understanding the practice of minding the breath. Resources as well as answers to some specific questions about the practice.
Jhana Practice without A Teacher A QandA on various aspects of jhana practice. Definitions, translations, references.
Between the Koan and Samma Ditthi The flaw in Koan practice and Samma Ditthi as a koan without that flaw.
40 Objects of Meditation The 40 "devices" used to develop concentration. Listed and discussed; with references.
Make an Earth Kasina A HOWTO.
Meditation on Death Response to the suggestion that this was an inappropriate subject for meditation for beginners.
Using Paticca Samuppada Putting one's understanding of the mechanics of Rebounding Appearances to practical use in ordinary circumstances
The Place to Pace My place to pace (picture); making a place to pace; technique; resources; advantages.
Sitting under the Tree of Knowledge The thought which turned Gotama's attention away from austerities and onto the method that worked. A dramatic illustration of what it means to be "aloof from pleasures of the senses."
The Maelstrom The image of the maelstrom to illustrate the idea that paying attention must be paying attention in such a way as to create penetrating knowledge leading to disgust for, repulsion from, and abandonment of the body, sense experiences, emotions, and the world as seen through Dhamma as opposed to making it an end in and of itself where it becomes a source of blindness, the cause of liking and disliking, the beginning of attachment to and re-formation of the world, the very origin of old age and death, grief and lamentation, pain and misery and despair.
Iddhi - Magic Powers - Small Magic Some hints for those seeking magic powers; some examples of magic potions available here today (Saturday, April 19, 2003 8:34 AM)
To Be Seen For One's Self On one of the running themes of BuddhaDust that the goals of this Dhamma are not unattainable as is held to be the case by some teachers and schools. A straight-forward statement that the goals of this system are attainable. Gives resources.
On the same theme see also: Give Ear: Re-Thinking Vitakka
Personal Experiences during Jhanic Meditation? Some experiences (as opposed to techniques); and some techniques.
The Powers of the Aristocrats Outline of the Indriyabhavana Sutta; Becomming Indra; a special set of powers (ways of managing The Force) available to one accomplished in this system. Not your usual interpretation of Indriyani.
Don't Chase Progress Hands on experience; a trick in technique for those making a little progress.
On Nibbana without Jhana It is the fundamental argument of those who contend that the jhanas are necessary for attaining Nibbana that it is the Jhana that is effecting the attaining. This is an incorrect perception: it is the letting go that is the characteristic of the Four Jhanas that is the fundamental tool for attaining Nibbana. (Interestingly it is also those who hold that the jhanas are necessary for attaining Nibbana who say that the jhanas are unattainable.)
Temporary Vimutti Two quick ones on: what things cause one to lose one's High; a clear statement that "vimutti", freedom, a synonym for Nibbana, can be attained "samaya," temporarily.
Walk'n the Talk Sutta translation of Anguttara Nikaya III, V, viii, 73; as always, The Buddha takes this up a couple of notches.
On the First Burning Are you ready to try the First Jhana? Here is some basic information.
Entering the Second Burning Notes and excerpts describing details of the process of entering the second burning...references an interesting quirk in the Dhamma where entering the second burning is accomplished without reference to the first burning.
On Some Aspects of Samadhi Introducing a complete translation of the Jhanasamyutta - not available anywhere else, on or off the web.
My Computer Making use of the remarkable parallels between the computer and the mind to better understand the mind and the practice of this Dhamma.
Leg Muscles and Attachment Another of the popular search phrases that brings people to this site. Pain in the legs as it relates to sit-down practice; the body/mind relationship.
The Crock of Butter The simile for the way the streamwinner breaks through and rises to the surface.
Two Hints On the importance of actually practicing letting go, and a little trick to make giving up one's sitting session more difficult.
For the Sotapatti - One with the Ear for the Patter of Pat; A Translators corner discussing all issues relating to translation of the Dhamma; includes word appreciation.
Glossology: A Section providing resources on a relatively complete list of the 'Dhammas' (major building-blocks of the system) and the important terms used in the Dhammas; a table showing various translator's translations is provided for each term; pre-defined searches are set up to make searching on line very easy.
Green Tea On the Invisible Consciousness (Vinnana Anidassana) and on knowing when it is time to Quit. A summary essay with links to a new resources section on this topic vital to understanding the distinction between the Mahayana position and that of the Pali.
On Vibhava A couple of thoughts on the word "Vibhava," a word that has had some doubt connected with it.
In the Days of Unrighteous Kings Transferred to sutta collection. On the responsibility of leaders to be righteous. Sutta translation of Anguttara Nikaya: Book of the Fours. VII. Pattakamma vagga, II.#70 Adhammika
Outline of the Canki Sutta Here's one that adds significantly to three topics here: a crystal clear delineation of the failings of reliance on authority; a detailing of the steps that lead to a reasonably grounded faith; and a Paticca Samuppada-like treatment of the steps from a well grounded faith to actual attainment.
The First Word On the single word given more emphasis in the suttas than any other.
Brahmi Some information on the script in which the Dhamma was first written. References. Examples.
Translation Bias: Is the Pali the Word of the Buddha? On the subject of the language used by the Buddha, and on my own personal perspective on the Pali "language." Read this article to understand some of my more unusual translations. See also next topic for this.
Using "Beggar" for "Bhikkhu" Answering objections to my use of this term. My translation is not disrespectful to the bhikkhus, other's attitude towards beggars is. "Beggar" is the meaning of "Bhikkhu"; it's disrespectful to the Buddha to try and worm out of that.
On Bhava and Vibhava On understanding these terms and on how that understanding changes practice.
Live in a Body Overseeing Body Analysis of the meaning of this phrase from the Satipatthana.
Who Likes A Mystery? A gathering place for references that might help to explain an inconsistancy in the circumstances for the delivery of the Sangiti sutta (or prove that it was a later compilation).
Remembering Sati On "sati" as "memory" rather than as "Paying Attention."
Come All Ye Sutta Men of Old More on defending the idea that the Dhamma was well-taught by the Buddha and does not need any commentary to improve it.
Digha Nikaya #33 The Sangiti Sutta Announcing the new translation of Digha Nikaya #33: Sangitisutta: The Compilation, this page provides a TOC to the full translation; whether or not this is an authentic Pali Buddhist sutta, it is important in that it provides a huge catalog of the authentic teachings.
Paticcasamuppada X4 Comparing various translators terms for the Paticca Samuppada.
Samma, Miccha, Ariya and Angika These terms are closely bound up with our understanding of the Eightfold Path. The difference between the take presented here and that of almost all other translators is significant and it is important to understand in order to get the proper orientation to the approach suggested here
ReThinking Vitakka More on demystifying the terminology of the Dhamma. Vitakka and Vicara as synonyms for "thinking".
N'evasa~n~naanaasa~n~naa Discussion of the Pali Buddhist term: N'evasannanasanna, or the Jhana or meditative state translated 'Neither Perception nor Non-Perception'; and, additionally, some discussion of the four 'arupajhanas' or the meditative states characterized by their non-materiality.
Un-do'n the K-kha Cha-Cha Introducing and outlining the Chachakkhasutta, with vocabulary study. A sutta of the "mental gymnasium" variety; a real mind-twister.
Rapture Playing with the reader here a little; two very different translations from the same words, one describing the tricks women use to ensnare men, the other describing the hard work men must employ to attract women. With vocabulary study.
The Mara Suttas A couple of translations from this collection of suttas telling of an onslaught of attempts by Mara to throw the Buddha off track.
Adam's Apple Introducing an Exercise section on BuddhaDust focused on the development of the magic power known as Nirutti.
The Seven Types of Individuals Analysis of the terms used to describe various types of individuals attaining liberation in this system.
One Sure Way Inspirational personal discourse. How Nibbana can be seen for one's self in the here and now.
Give Ear A new word enters the vocabulary; on how words enter the vocabulary.
Q & A with Dr. Pruitt A not very lively exchange in response to Dr. Pruitt's offer to answer questions on the new translation of the Patimoccha.
Spelling-Bound On the word "shpiel"
Winds in the Upper Atmosphere Lust compaired to the hurricane-like winds in the upper atmosphere; a warning to the untrained beggar not to become careless.
Discussing aspects of the practice of Observing the Phases of the Moon
Basic How to HOWTO on observing the Buddhist Sabbath. References.
MB Observes Uposatha Personal narration by MB.
Keep on Trucking! Another personal narration, experiences keeping the wakeful watch, past experiences.
Further Reports on Observing Uposatha Continued personal narration of MO.
Preparing for Uposatha On one-meal-a-day.
Reviews and discussions of books relating to Dhamma Study and Practice
Readers are invited to submit book reviews of books (old or new) dealing directly with the study of the suttas, meditation practice, the history of Buddhism or Buddhist India, or the study of Pali and related Languages.
Warren: Buddhism in Translations Announcing the availability of this collection of suttas