Various Authors [info icon]
The Buddhist Layman, four essays by R. Bogoda, Susan Elbaum Jootla, and M.O'C. Walshe (2006; 44pp./133KB)
Four introductory practical essays on the challenges of life as a Buddhist layperson. Essays included are: "Principles of Lay Buddhism" (by R. Bogoda); "Right Livelihood: the Noble Eightfold Path in the Working Life" (Susan Elbaum Jootla); "Having Taken the First Steps" and "Detachment" (M. O'C. Walshe).
Dana: The Practice of Giving, selected essays edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi (1995; 38pp./115KB)
Dana — the Pali word means giving, generosity, self-sacrifice: the quality of the heart that moves a person to give away his or her own possessions for the sake of others. Giving in Buddhism is not a mere moral virtue to be randomly engaged in or followed as an obligatory duty. It is, rather, an aspect of training, a means of practice, by which a spiritual aspirant learns to overcome selfishness and attachment and to express a compassionate concern for the welfare of others. In this Wheel booklet four practicing Buddhists of today (Susan Elbaum Jootla, Lily de Silva, M.O'C. Walshe, and Nina van Gorkom), and one classical Buddhist commentator (Acariya Dhammapala), set forth their understanding of giving and examine it in relation to the wider body of Dhamma practice. The writers demonstrate the great range of the Buddhist practice of giving and its vital connections with the quest for enlightenment and final liberation from suffering. [From the back cover.]
Mudita: The Buddha's Teaching on Unselfish Joy, four essays by Nyanaponika Thera, Natasha Jackson, C.F. Knight, and L.R. Oates (2005; 16pp./49KB)
The Buddha frequently taught the cultivation of the sublime emotions (brahma-vihara) — four skillful qualities that assist in the development of Right Resolve and that, when systematically practiced, can lead to jhana. The short essays in this book explore the role in Buddhist practice of one of the most often overlooked of these qualities: mudita — sympathetic or unselfish joy. Essays unclude "Is Unselfish Joy Practicable?" (by Nyanaponika Thera), "Unselfish Joy: A Neglected Virtue" (Natasha Jackson), "Mudita" (C.F. Knight), "The Nature and Implications of Mudita" (L.R. Oates). Also includes a passage on cultivating mudita from Buddhaghosa's fifth-century commentarial work Visuddhimagga.
Pride and Conceit, by Dr. Elizabeth Ashby, and Brian Fawcett (1994; 8pp./25KB)
In these two short essays — "What Can Be Done About Conceit?" (Ashby) and "The Mastery of Pride" (Fawcett) — the authors offer some reflections on the nature of these unskillful qualities, along with a few practical tips on how to work with them in the context of one's daily life and Dhamma practice.
Introducing Buddhism, by Venerable Dr. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thera and Jayasili (Jacquetta Gomes) (2011; 28pp./222KB) [PDF icon]
Originally published in 1988 to accompany the London Buddhist Society's Introducing Buddhism course, this book provides an outline of the history and basic teachings of Theravada Buddhism. Also includes a bibliography and glossary of Pali terms. [Not available in HTML]
Taming the Mind: Discourses of the Buddha, edited by The Buddhist Publication Society (1995; 17pp./52KB)
An anthology of passages from the Pali canon that reveal how the essence of Buddhist practice consists of learning how to tame skillfully the unruly tendencies of the mind and heart.
The Three Basic Facts of Existence: I. Impermanence (Anicca), with a preface by Nyanaponika Thera (2006; 47pp./140KB)
These five introductory essays address various facets of impermanence (anicca), an important recurring theme in the Buddha's teachings. The style of these essays ranges widely, from reflective/experiential ("A Walk in the Woods," by Khantipalo) to intellectual/philosophical ("Aniccam: The Buddhist Theory of Impermanence," by Ñanajivako).
The Three Basic Facts of Existence: III. Egolessness (Anatta), with a preface by Ñanamoli Thera (2006; 58pp./175KB)
This book, although more difficult reading than the other titles in the "Three Basic Facts" series, offers a valuable overview of the Theravadan understanding of not-self (anatta). The book includes an extensive collection of passages from the suttas concerning the Buddha's teachings on this essential topic.