Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Path to Freedom (self-guided tour)

Wisdom Quarterly; FGS;, Self-guided Tour of the Buddha's Teachings
Modern Buddhist pyramid pagoda/stupa complex (Linc060/
A foundation in the Buddha's Dharma
By its nature, the truth invites us to "come and see," to question and investigate. Curious about exploring the Buddha's teachings as presented in the ancient Pali canon?
Links are to selections of short passages from the Buddhist sutras introducing or illustrating aspects of a single topic.
When encountering a particularly meaningful or interesting passage, look for the full text by simply following the link at the end. 
The teachings are profound and complex
Many passages are cross referenced with other pages, making it possible to pursue a theme to whatever depth is desired.
This is not, of course, an exhaustive tutorial. A number of the topics introduced are explored more thoroughly in the Study Guides. The General Index also contains references to additional readings on related topics.
Modern Buddhist pyramid, Fo Guang Shan, Taiwan (Steven Barringer/Zosoiv71/
Begin the tour by exploring the Three Guides (Triple Gem):
  1. THE BUDDHA: Sketch of the Buddha's life based on sutra excerpts.
  2. 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).
  3. 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).

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