Dip into the Vinaya Pitaka with Buddhist Stories from the Khandhakas

Cover: Buddhist Stories from the KhandhakasThis week we are happy to announce the publication of a new e-book:  Buddhist Stories from the Khandhakas, Translated by I. B. Horner

By now you are familiar with the Sutta Pitaka. The other section of teachings that date back to the Buddha are found in the Vinaya Pitaka. The Pali word vinaya means dicipline. The Vinaya Pitaka has two main parts. The first is a rule-by-rule explanation of the training for monastics. They give background on how the rules were formed as well as details about how to follow them.

The second part of the Vinaya Pitaka is called the Khandhakas. This section contains not only rules but also Dhamma teachings and stories about the lives of monastics and lay people. Because some of the rules are quite long and complex, it can be hard to navigate if you are just looking for the teachings and stories. This book includes only the Dhamma teachings and the other stories.  The complete translation was done by I. B. Horner and has be released by the Pali Text Society for free distribution making this edition possible.

You may like to use this text as a dail reading. But you may find that the stories keep you reading longer than you planned. ūüôā

Here are some highlights:

Chapter One: The story of the creation of the monastic order starting with the moments right after the Buddha’s enlightenment, including the first three discourses.
Chapter Four: The Buddha criticizes vows of silence.
Chapter Eight: The story of the physician Jivaka’s medical training.
Chapter Fourteen and Fifteen: The scandalous accusations against Dabba the Mallian
Chapter Sixteen: The story of Anathapindaka’s conversion
Chapter Seventeen: The going forth of the six Sakyans and Devadatta’s exploits.
Chapter Twenty-One: The story of the First Council
Chapter Twenty-Two: The scandal of the Second Council

So get your free ebook now as epub, Kindle, or PDF:  Buddhist Stories from the Khandhakas

Also this week: Realms of Rebirth

 

Causes of Rebirth

Check out the three new refrence charts explaining the different realms we can be reborn into including the causes to be reborn there as well as the average lifespans.

 

Realms of Rebirth PDF’s¬†

And join us on Facebook…

Check us out now on Facebook: facebook.com/readingfaithfully/

And a Facebook Group: Faithful Readers

 

 

 

 

 

New Facebook Page and an Effective Technique to Keep Your Reading Daily

Stay connected to ReadingFaithfully.org through Facebook. And stay connected to your reading with the Don’t Break the Chain technique.

New Facebook Page:

Happy to announce that ReadingFaithfully.org now has its own Facebook page. This will be a place to get the latest information about new material on Readingfaithfully.org as well as Real Buddha Quotes.

There is also a Facebook group called Faithful Readers. This is a place where you can discuss your sutta reading practice and get and give encouragement.

If you aren’t already on Facebook, then by all means don’t start!. But if you are, why don’t you consider unfollowing people and groups and pages you don’t care about to cut down on distractions. If you want to be sure to always see the latest on our page, then under the follow button, be sure to select the option to “see posts from this page first.”

Keeping your daily practice daily

In 2011 we shared a technique called Don’t Break the Chain to help us keep our determination to read at least a few words of the Buddha’s Dhamma teachings each day. It is so easy to get distracted with life and put off our reading. And if we are doing our reading on a digital device, then we don’t even have the reminder of a physical book to bring us back to our practice. So check out this article to learn a simple technique to keep us on track.

Read the Article: Motivate with Links of Dhamma

 

 

A Personal Anthology Could Take your Sutta Reading Practice to the Next Level

If you’ve been reading suttas on a regular basis, then you know how they can speak to you personally. But we may not always be able to find the passages that speak to us directly when we really need to work with them. That’s why we should create a Personal Anthology. Then we know right where to go. It’s easy and you can start experiencing the benefits right away.

Have you already started making a Personal Anthology but it doesn’t seem to be helpful? Or making it seems stressful? Well check out these tips for overcoming common problems.

Don’t have a regular sutta reading practice yet? Well it’s time to begin!

Have you been using a Personal Anthology? Share your experience in the comments. Never commented on a blog before? Now’s your chance. Your comment could help inspire someone. You can leave your comment anonymously.

  Articles:

 

Realms of Rebirth Taught by the Buddha

Although the Buddha never used charts as visual aids when preaching, we can sometimes benefit from seeing the teachings laid out in a table. These three charts give a perspective on the Buddha’s teachings on the realms of rebirth.

  • Basic Realms of Rebirth
  • Causes of Rebirth in the different realms
  • Lifespan in different realms of rebirth

Download A4 size PDF

Download Letter size PDF

 

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Sutta Practice Life List

A sutta practice life list is a record of all the complete sutta collections you have read, either canonical collections or anthologies, including the dates of each cycle.

There are several benefits of doing this.

  • It acts as an incentive to read a book completely. It only goes on the list if you read every single sutta.
  • It adds an incentive to read it again. You note each time, and preferably the dates, you read each book.
  • You can see at a glance what books you have not yet read. This is especially valuable for the main books in the Khuddaka Nikaya as they can be easily overlooked.
  • If you fall away from a text, the unfinished entry on the list reminds you to go back and give it another shot. Often the hindrances will be less acute on our second reading of a text.

Of course, simply reading lots of suttas in and of itself is not enough. It must be done with faith and wisdom, always trying to bring the teachings deeply into our lives. Even so, it is beneficial to be able to look back on a tangible record of all the effort you have made to connect with the teaching. As long as you don’t go around bragging about all the complete sutta collections you have read (either out loud or in your mind) you won’t have problems.

Getting started

There are two methods for recording. Either filling in a pre-made list of all the possible collections(as in this Sutta Practice Life List form PDF above), or a chronological list that you add to each time you start a book. Using the form has the advantage of reminding you of collections you have not yet worked with. In this way it becomes like a to-do list, although of course, you will want to do them again and again.

To begin, go ahead and record complete reads that you have done in the past. Just take a guess at the year. Then write in any sutta books you are currently reading from beginning to end. Estimate the month and year that you began. Put a dash so you can see that it is not complete. So it would start out something like “March2011 ‚Äď ” You might even want to pencil in an empty box in the space for the completion date. When you finish the book, write the month and year. For a book like the Dhammapada that you may read hundreds of times using the chapter a day practice, you can just use tick marks to note each complete read. Consider including the initials of the translator for the different versions you read.

You may also want to note when you read a canonical anthology completely, such as all the Majjhima Nikaya suttas included in the Handful of Leaves series. In that case, either note the anthology name or just mark it with an “A” so you know it was not an entire nikaya.

In the same way, many anthologies of suttas based on a particular topic are worth recording on your life list. Some of the more popular anthologies are included on page two of the form below with space to include others. Remember this reminds us of the value in reading the book completely and then re-reading it again and again. With anthologies especially, the suttas near the end may be dealing with some of the highest and noble qualities of the Dhamma, so we want to be sure to read about them even if we are not able to manifest them in our lives right away.

There are a growing number of complete suttas collections available in audio format. Currently there is a complete Dhammapada by Gil Fronsdal, a complete Udana by Bhante Anandajoti, and a complete Itivuttaka available for download from this site. If you listen to the complete book, mark it with an “L” so you know you listened to it.

Download the form from the top of the page and get started now.

Have you used a life list for the sutta collections you have read? Share your experience in the comments below. If you would like your comment to remain unpublished, simply write “Private” at the end.

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Motivate with Links of Dhamma

There is a very simple motivational technique that has become popular on the internet called “Don’t Break the Chain,” and it is perfectly suited for a daily sutta reading practice.

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You take a one year calendar, either poster size or a single sheet (see below for sources) and you mark an X each day you do your sutta reading practice, however much you have committed to do. You can also write the number of the sutta you read. In this way you start to make a chain of days that you have done your practice. Then you Don’t Break the Chain.

That’s it. Could not be any simpler. It doesn’t add more than 10 seconds to your practice time. But here’s what it does. It gives you a tangible indicator of what you are doing. Every day you are bringing the Blessed One’s teachings into your life. On days when the hindrances are strong and the joy of reading the suttas is not enough to motivate you, the satisfaction of knowing that you have this unbroken practice might be enough to help you pull out your main text or your backup text and practice for a few minutes. Then before you know it, you haven’t broken the chain. Hindrances overcome for one more day, and you make your X.

Any time we spend with the teachings of the Blessed One is beneficial. And this unbroken connection, day after day, is especially beneficial. We may need the teachings the most on those very days that we don’t think we have enough time to read. And making daily contact keeps things familiar and in the front of our mind.

Post the calendar in a prominent place in your home. That way if you haven’t been able to link your practice to a regular daily activity, or if your schedule gets disrupted, you will have a reminder. When you travel, take your text and your calendar with you. And Don’t Break the Chain.

Year Calender resources

Related Pages:

To find out more about the Don’t Break the Chain technique in general, just do a web search for “Don’t Break the Chain” and you’ll find lots of articles and even some computer tools to do tracking.

Have you tried this technique with your sutta reading practice? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.