|Modern Buddhist pyramid pagoda/stupa complex (Linc060/flickr.com)|
|A foundation in the Buddha's Dharma|
|The teachings are profound and complex|
|Modern Buddhist pyramid, Fo Guang Shan, Taiwan (Steven Barringer/Zosoiv71/flickr.com)|
Begin the tour by exploring the Three Guides (Triple Gem):
- THE BUDDHA: Sketch of the Buddha's life based on sutra excerpts.
- THE DHARMA: Outline of the Buddha's teachings organized according to the "gradual instruction." The Buddha frequently used this framework to guide students from first principles through progressively more advanced teachings, all the way to the culmination of the Four Noble Truths by the realization of nirvana (Pali, nibbana).
- THE SANGHA: Descriptions of the Noble Order -- the community of monastics and laypersons who have gained at least the first stage of enlightenment called stream entry. This is known as they Ariya-Sangha).
- Buddhist Dictionary, by Ven. Nyanatiloka (Kandy: BPS, 1980). A classic handbook of important terms and concepts in Theravada Buddhism.
- Path to Deliverance, by Ven. Nyanatiloka (Kandy: BPS, 1982). A systematic exposition of essential points of Dharma based on passages from the sutras.
- Study Guides: anthologies of short passages for individual and group study.
- The Wings to Awakening: An Anthology from the Pali Canon, by Ven. Thanissaro (Barre: Dhammadana Publications, 1996).