All posts by Martha Lee Turner

bookcover In the Buddha's words: an anthology, by Bhikkhu Bodhi

In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology, by Bhikkhu Bodhi

This volume makes an excellent introduction into reading the suttas. More compact than the four volumes so far published of the Nikāyas, this anthology also features a helpful introductory essay and a thematic organization: I. The Human Condition II. The Bringer of Light III. Approaching the Dhamma IV. The Happiness Visible in this Present Life … Continue reading In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology, by Bhikkhu Bodhi

The Udana and the Itivuttaka, translated by John D. Ireland

The Udāna is the third book of the Khuddaka Nikaya. Each of its eighty short suttas ends in a short verse uttered by the Buddha. The suttas are arranged into eight chapters or vaggas. The Itivuttaka is composed of 112 short discourses, each beginning and ending with a statement that the words are those of … Continue reading The Udana and the Itivuttaka, translated by John D. Ireland

The Connected Discourses, A Translation by Bhikkhu Bodhi of the Saṃyutta Nikāya

The Saṃyutta Nikāya organizes teachings of the Buddha mostly by topic. After a first section of discourses containing verses, the remaining four sections take on philosophical principles and meditative applications. Causation, practicing with the aggregates, the senses, the factors of enlightenment, the jhanas, and stream entry are included.

The Experience of Samadhi: An In-Depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation, by Richard Shankman

Richard Shankman’s valuable book The Experience of Samadhi lays out the main concepts surrounding the samadhi and the jhanas, then presents eight interviews on this subject with well known contemporary teachers. An excellent orientation.

The Buddha, by Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong’s lively and appreciative biography The Buddha was a New York Times best seller. Scholar, writer, and sometime journalist, Armstrong has also written fluently and sympathetically about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, focusing on ethical commitments and interpreting unfamiliar lifeways. In this book she offers a blend of early records and later legends as a biography of the founder of Buddhism.

The Sociology of Early Buddhism by Greg Bailey and Ian Mabbett

Early Buddhism flourished amid buoyant economic conditions and cultural changes in north-eastern India from the fifth century BCE onwards. This book begins with the apparent inconsistency of Buddhism, a renunciant movement, surviving within a strong urban environment, and draws out some implications. In spite of the Buddhist ascetic imperative, the Buddha and his monks moved … Continue reading The Sociology of Early Buddhism by Greg Bailey and Ian Mabbett