Theravada

  • Before he was the Buddha Paid Member

    Thanissaro Bhikkhu's book Skill in Questions alternates between Readings—texts from the Pali canon—and Discussion sections—in which the author, a monk in the Thai forest tradition, gives background material and analysis. Chapter 2 of Skill in Questions looks at the Buddha when he was a bodhisattva, or bodhisatta in Pali. (Though the Mahayana is sometimes referred to as the Bodhisattva Vehicle, Thanissaro Bhikkhu takes issue with this, arguing that the desire for enlightenemnt is in the Theravada as well. I'll have to find the reference.) Chapter 2 of Skill in Questions is called The Bodhisatta's Quest and follows the historical Buddha, or bodhisattva, as he is called before his enlightenment, on his journey toward Buddhahood: More »
  • The Rhetoric of Compassion Paid Member

    Most contemporary connotations of the word rhetoric are negative today, but Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes in Skill in Questions that the Buddha's enterprise was essentially a rhetorical one: More »
  • Generosity Paid Member

    Thanissaro Bhikkhu's Tricycle Retreat, "The Ten Perfections," is now in its third week. The topic is generosity and letting go. Visit the retreat here. (There's a free 2-minute preview of the teaching if you're not a Supporting or Sustaining Member of the Tricycle Community.) One of the best things about Tricycle Retreats is that you get to discuss your retreat experience directly with the teacher. Here's a great comment from this week at the retreat: More »
  • The 5 Rewards of Listening to the Dhamma Paid Member

    “There are these five rewards in listening to the Dhamma. Which five? “[1] One hears what one has not heard before.[2] One clarifies what one has heard before. [3] One gets rid of doubt. [4] One’s views are made straight. [5] One’s mind grows serene. “These are the five rewards in listening to the Dhamma.” — Anguttara Nikaya 5:202 - quoted in Skill in Questions by Thanissaro Bhikkhu In January, to accompany Thanissaro Bhikkhu's Tricycle Retreat The Ten Perfections, now in its third week, we'll be offering Skill in Questions for download. We are offering this special e-book edition for free. More »
  • Answering The Questioner's Needs Paid Member

    In his book Skill in Questions, Thai forest monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu describes the Buddha's skill in answering the needs of each questioner: More »
  • If you could ask the Buddha one question, what would it be? Paid Member

    Thanissaro Bhikkhu's new book Skill in Questions deals with the difficult business of being discriminating with our questions.  It may be true that there are no stupid questions, but there are questions which it is pointless to answer. Thanissaro Bhikkhu has pointed out the importance of questioning in the Buddhist canon for some time. Since the dialogue form dominates the better known parts of the Pali canon, we shouldn't be shocked to find questions are so important. And the role of the dialogue is of course foundational to western thought as well, with the Socratic method or elenchus. From the introduction to Skill in Questions: More »