hornets wrote:I don't know about my fellow beginners but I STILL keep swamping myself with far too much information. It's like I can't just patiently and methodically develop my practice. More books! Look at really advanced posts on forums! Get confused! Get disheartened! Get another book! Repeat!
I keep forgetting that Dhamma really is very simple stuff (but also hard work, like anything worthwhile). Strip away hundreds and hundreds of years of acculturation, commentary, etc it has a profound relevance to my life in 2012.
First of all, it's great that you recognize that practice is more important than knowledge. A lot of people get hung up on the books and forget to practice. A good rule of thumb is to meditate as much as you study. Always keep the meditation practice as the highest priority.
I would reccomend you put aside the more advanced materials altogether for a while. I would highly recommend listening to some of the talks at www.dhammatalks.org
by the Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu. His knowledge of the Dhamma is very good, but he speaks in a normal straightforward, easy to understand way, and everything that he has to say is above all else practical.
You might also want to go through the Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi's lectures on the Majjhima Nikaya, as the Majjhima nikaya is an excellent place for beginners especially and is also very practical. The link to the lectures is http://bodhimonastery.org/a-systematic- ... ikaya.html
You might also want to check out the Majjhima Nikaya (and other Nikayas as well) at www.accesstoinsight.org
as a good grounding in even the more simple suttas goes a tremendous way in terms of understanding the more complicated books. Make use of your copy of the Anguttara Nikaya as well.
I hope you find that helpful.