Old News Archive
January-February 2006

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  • SN 22.60: Mahali Sutta — To Mahali {S iii 68; CDB i 903} [Thanissaro]. The Buddha points out that attachment to things comes from paying more attention to the pleasure they give than to the stress and pain (dukkha) they cause. By turning your attention to the dukkha, however, you can gain release.
The Discourse on the Snake Simile, by Nyanaponika Thera (Buddhist Publication Society Wheel Publication No. 48/49; 1974; 103k/24pp.) [PDF icon]
The Discourse on the Snake Simile (MN 22) contains important presentations of the Buddha's teachings on not-self and on the dangers of clinging to views. It also contains two of the Canon's most memorable similes: that of the raft, and that of the snake. Nyanaponika's translation is here accompanied by an Introduction and copious detailed footnotes.
Positive Response: How to Meet Evil With Good, by Acharya Buddharakkhita (Buddhist Publication Society Bodhi Leaves No. 109; 1987; 41k/14pp.) [PDF icon]
What's the best response when we're threatened by provocative people or challenged by difficult situations? In this short article the author reviews some of the Buddha's fundamental teachings on this theme.
Purity of Heart, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (2006; 10k/2pp.)
What does it take to become a truly trustworthy person?

This brand-new website offers a library of free audio recordings of English translations of Pali suttas, selected and read aloud by respected Dhamma teachers within the Theravada Buddhist tradition. The suttas in this library were hand-picked by the teachers themselves, which means that, although the collection may be small, it contains of some of the most important suttas in the entire Pali canon.

Whenever you see the SuttaReadings icon [suttareadings icon] on Access to Insight, you've found a link to the SuttaReadings website. Clicking on that icon from a sutta page (e.g., MN 143) will take you to an audio recording of this sutta being read aloud. If the icon appears next to an author's name (e.g., in the list of Contributing Authors), you can click on the icon to learn what sutta readings by that author are available.

I hope you find this new service valuable. Listen well.

Pushing the Limits: Desire & Imagination in the Buddhist Path, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (2006; 24k/6pp.)
One popular misconception of Buddhism maintains that the Buddha's teachings basically boil down to ridding ourselves of desire. In this essay the author reminds us that the path to liberation is, in fact, firmly rooted in desire—in skillful desire. Says the author: "The path to liberation pushes the limits of skillful desires to see how far they can go."
Bag of Bones: A Miscellany on the Body, by Bhikkhu Khantipalo (Buddhist Publication Society Wheel Publication No. 271/272; 1980;107k/50pp.) [PDF icon]

One of the most deeply rooted deceptions in the mind is its tendency to identify the body as "self." Recognizing that this seductive but distorted view of reality can be a stubborn impediment to progress in the Dhamma, the Buddha taught his students some practices and reflections specifically designed to undercut this illusion. This book is a marvelous anthology of many of these teachings, taken from the Pali canon and related texts, plus many more from the author's own writings.

Caution: The readings in this book are very powerful, and are probably not suitable for beginning meditators. To paraphrase the author's comments in the Introduction: Meditation on the unattractiveness of the body should be practiced with moderation and care, especially if one has no personal contact with a meditation teacher.