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2006-06-12 — There is no Buddhist justification for war.
- Getting the Message, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (2006; 24k/7pp.)
- In today's climate of terrorism and war, we hear politicians, pundits, and even a few Buddhist teachers insisting that killing can be morally justified when it prevents others from killing. In this essay the author points out that the Buddha's teachings on the subject are uncompromising and crystal clear: killing is never skillful.
2006-06-04 — New Transcription of a Classic "Wheel" Booklet
- The Seven Factors of Enlightenment, by Piyadassi Thera (Buddhist Publication Society Wheel Publication No. 1; 1960; 62k/18pp.)
- This essay offers an overview of the seven factors of enlightenment (satta bojjhanga), one of the Buddha's own lists of his most important teachings.
2006-05-29 — Calling all beta-testers!
For well over a year now, a small group of longtime friends of ATI has quietly been plugging away at developing Vicaya, a search engine that will accompany the forthcoming 2006 CD-ROM edition of Access to Insight. Vicaya version 0.1.6 is now ready for general testing.
You can help by downloading Vicaya and trying it out. (The file is about 37 MB, so you'll probably want a fast Internet connection.) If you have any comments, please post them to the Vicaya User List.
The more people we can get testing it now, the less likely it is that there will be problems with it later on.
- P.S. I don't yet have a firm release date for the CD. Maybe autumn. Watch this space for future announcements.
2006-05-26 — The Right to Ask Questions
- The Right to Ask Questions, by Larry Rosenberg (2003; 16k/4pp.)
- Should we take the Buddha at his word? In this Dhamma talk the author explores the Buddha's admonition to put the Dhamma to the test in your own life, to challenge yourself to choose your actions with care and to learn from their results. "If you want to gain any real benefit from [these teachings]", says the author, "you have to let them stretch your own lived experience."
2006-05-21 — Samyutta Nikaya: An Anthology (Part I)
- Samyutta Nikaya: An Anthology (Part I), by John D. Ireland (Buddhist Publication Society Wheel Publication No. 107/109; 1981; 179k/62pp.)
- This anthology of seventy-eight suttas from the Samyutta Nikaya provides a good introductory taste of one of the richest books in the Pali canon. It is the first in the Buddhist Publication Society's three-part series of Samyutta anthologies published as Wheels.
2006-05-15 — An essay on emptiness
- The Integrity of Emptiness, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (2006; 33k/8pp.)
- Much has been written about the Buddhist concept of emptiness — in particular, that it refers to a metaphysical principle of the absence of any inherent existence. In this essay the author points out that this notion has very little to do with what the Buddha himself actually said about emptiness. In fact, the Buddha's teachings on emptiness are of a fundamentally practical nature, having everything to do with how to choose your actions with care and how to relate to their results with wisdom.
2006-05-05 — Legends of Somdet Toh
- Legends of Somdet Toh, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (2006; 13k/4pp.)
- Somdet Toh (1788-1872) was one of nineteenth century Thailand's most famous and beloved meditation monks. In this short article the author recounts several anecdotal stories and legends that reveal the wit and wisdom of this extraordinary monk.
2006-04-22 — Buddhism and Sex (a new transcription)
- Buddhism and Sex, by M. O'C. Walshe (Buddhist Publication Society "Wheel" No. 225; 1986; 55k/15pp.)
- In this thoughtful and down-to-earth essay, the author explores what it means to live as a sexual being in the light of the Buddha's teachings. As he points out, rigid puritanism and total permissiveness are two extreme views that lie outside the bounds of Buddhism. Says the author: "What [Buddhism] teaches us to do is to map out a sane course between the two."
2006-04-15 — A biography of Ven. Ananda (a new transcription)
- Ananda: The Guardian of the Dhamma, by Hellmuth Hecker (Buddhist Publication Society Wheel Publication No. 273/274; 1980; 143k/39pp.)
- A biography in the BPS's "Lives of the Disciples" series. Of all the Buddha's disciples, his cousin Ananda was the one most often mentioned in the suttas. For 25 years Ananda served as the Buddha's personal attendant. He played a crucial role in preserving (in his own prodigious memory) the Buddha's discourses for later generations. Although Ananda did not become an arahant until after the Buddha's death, the Buddha repeatedly heaped praise upon him for both his understanding of the Dhamma and for his tireless efforts in its service.
2006-04-12 — A brief history of Thai Buddhism (a new transcription)
- Buddhism in Thailand: Its Past and Its Present, by Karuna Kusalasaya (Buddhist Publication Society Wheel Publication No. 85; 2005; 61k/7pp.)
- A brief sketch of the history Thai Buddhism. A little dated (it was written in 1965), but still useful for getting a quick overview of key events.