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Study Guides

These anthologies on particular topics are designed as aids for individual or group study. The texts are drawn from the Pali Canon, teachings of the great Thai forest ajaans, and other sources. Unless otherwise indicated, they were prepared and introduced by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Beyond Coping: The Buddha's Teachings on Aging, Illness, Death, and Separation
Body Contemplation
An overview of the Buddha's teachings on contemplation of the body, and its role in the development of mindfulness, jhana, and discernment.
The Five Aggregates
This anthology of short readings from the suttas explains how the teachings on the five aggregates (pañcakkhandha) — form, feeling, perception, mental fabrications, and consciousness — function in the Buddhist path to liberation.
The Four Noble Truths
An introduction to the Four Noble Truths, the basic framework on which all the Buddha's teachings are built.
An overview of the Buddha's teachings on kamma (karma; intentional action).
Often misunderstood in the West as quaint and irrelevant to serious practice, the Buddha's teachings on puñña (merit) actually play an essential role in the development of a wise sense of self. This anthology explores the meaning of merit and how it functions to instill in the practitioner the qualities necessary to carry him or her to stream-entry and beyond.
Noble Conversation
An exploration of right speech, based on the Buddha's list of ten ideal topics for conversation.
Recognizing the Dhamma
In an age when the marketplace is teeming with spiritual books and teachings of every description, it is reassuring to know that the Buddha left behind clear guidelines by which we can judge the validity of a spiritual teaching. These eight principles, sometimes called the "Constitution of Buddhism," show us that any teaching must finally be judged by the results that come from putting it into practice.
"Stream-entry" (sotapatti) is the first of the four stages of Awakening. This study guide is in two parts:
The Ten Perfections
The ten paramis (perfections) are skillful qualities that develop — perhaps over many lifetimes — as one follows the Buddha's path of practice. This study guide includes readings both from the Pali Canon and from the teachings of Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo.
The Ten Recollections
The ten anussati (recollections) are a set of practical tools for meditators to use when confronted with particular challenges (physical pain, for example) or unskillful states of mind (doubt, restlessness, complacency, etc.).

See also:

Revised: Tuesday 2005-05-31