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Where to start?!

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:22 am
by mettatrader
Hello there!

I have read the "Introductory Resources" post which is excellent for a beginner like me! I have also looked at the Buddhanet e-library, which again as many, many books to choose from!

The only thing is there is just too much information (not that I am complaining!)

Of all the resources listed, which would be the most useful for a beginner to study, and which have been best reviewed and most enjoyed?

Thanks for your Guidance!

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:16 am
by Marcus Epicurus
May I suggest reading the book, "What The Buddha Taught" by Walpola Rahula.
I think it is a great place to start and has gotten very good reviews, and it is easy to read and understand.

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:20 am
by Wizard in the Forest
That's actually a really good one. I think also another good one is "Buddhism in a Nutshell"

http://www.buddhanet.net/nutshell.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:54 am
by plwk
If you like a typical 'catechism' styled, topical and structured chapters...here's one:
THE BUDDHA AND HIS TEACHINGS by Venerable Nārada Mahāthera
Another one: What Buddhists Believe by the late Ven Dr K Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:14 am
by Kim OHara
Or you could go for (IMO) the simplest presentation of original teachings, the Dhammapada http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html (the alternate translation linked at the top of the page is just as good but more poetic - take your pick).
:namaste:
Kim

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:29 pm
by mettatrader
Thanks for the pointers! I have just completed "Buddhism in a Nutshell" and it's a very nice easily readable book. I will probably move onto "What the Buddha Taught" next. I find everything I have read so far very interesting!

Thanks again!

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:44 pm
by andre9999
As far as free stuff goes, I've been on and off reading through The Issue At Hand:
http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/ ... e-at-hand/

And the Access To Insight website has more information than I can manage. :)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:48 pm
by Individual
It is so nice to see three threads of this nature in the Discovering Theravada forum. :namaste:

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:05 pm
by Bonsai Doug
Kim O'Hara wrote:Or you could go for (IMO) the simplest presentation of original teachings, the Dhammapada http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html (the alternate translation linked at the top of the page is just as good but more poetic - take your pick).
:namaste:
Kim
Agree. Available as a small paperback book you can carry with you and reference often throughout the day.

I carry the Gil Fronsdal translation, and find his annotations throughout the book to be very helpful.

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:25 pm
by Wizard in the Forest
http://www.wildmind.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Has a good Anapanasati Meditation and also Metta Bhvana.

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:10 am
by nobody12345
IMHO 'In the Buddha's Words' by Bhikkhu Bodhi is the best introductory material for a beginner.

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:18 am
by Bonsai Doug
imaginos wrote:IMHO 'In the Buddha's Words' by Bhikkhu Bodhi is the best introductory material for a beginner.
I'm about half way through this work, and I too agree with the recommendation.

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:36 am
by Wizard in the Forest
Read that a few years ago. I should read it again and see what I remember... (^^);;;;

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:38 am
by Kim OHara
imaginos wrote:IMHO 'In the Buddha's Words' by Bhikkhu Bodhi is the best introductory material for a beginner.
It's really good, but it's not my top pick for beginners just because it's so long - there's so much material there that it's easy to get bogged down.
YMMV, of course.
:namaste:
Kim

Re: Where to start?!

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:14 pm
by Nibbida
My preference wouldbe to start with Bhante Henepola Gunaratana's Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path.

http://www.amazon.com/Eight-Mindful-Ste ... 0861711769" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

What the Buddha Taught is also a good choice and a classic place to start, but it's more dense reading. Gunaratana very skillfully expresses the Eightfold Path in contemporary terms, which would make reading other books like What the Buddha Taught or Bhikku Bodhi's Noble Eightfold Path more accessible.

[Edit]
From both a general practice and meditation point of view, Gil Fronsdals The Issue at Hand is very good, and a very accessible book (and free).

http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/ ... e-at-hand/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;