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Questions tagged [reference-request]

A question asking for a single text or a set of texts. This can be from a general request on a subject area or a specific request for a text where the questioner knows a fragment or detail of it.

32
votes
19answers
2k views

Introductory books to Buddhism

I'm looking for some book(s) that are generally regarded as a good introduction to Buddhism. I know very little about Buddhism, having only read one book on it so far (What Makes You Not a Buddhist by ...
28
votes
3answers
5k views

Where is the Buddha quoted as saying do not believe anything I say until you can prove it by yourself?

If I remember rightly the Buddha is quoted as saying something along the lines of: Do not believe anything I say until you can prove it by yourself In what text(s) of the Buddhist cannon is this ...
25
votes
8answers
7k views

Is low self-esteem a Western phenomenon?

I while ago I read a story about the Dalai Lama and the metta bhavana practice. Someone was talking to him about the difficulty in practicing the first stage (wishing well for oneself) and was ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Does Zen Buddhism have canonical texts?

I'm aware that Theravada, Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism have a canon of texts. However I have never heard of a canon for Zen Buddhism. Does it have a canon or does it just not bother with such a thing? ...
13
votes
2answers
178 views

What are the texts that contain words which can be attributed directly to the Buddha?

If I understand correctly, the Buddha never wrote anything but some Buddhist texts quote him by describing meetings or situations where he was present. Is there a comprehensive list of all scripts ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a story or a mentioning about masturbation in the Buddhist teachings?

Is masturbation wrong? In what exact way is it wrong? I just need to know if the act of masturbation is wrong. This may include watching nudity while masturbating. Even though it's an addiction, I was ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Any authentic sutta from any tradition that gives guidance on what kind of partner to choose?

Any authentic sutta or part of sutta from any tradition that gives guidance on what kind of sexual relationship partner to choose? I'm thinking the Vimalikirti sutra should say something about such ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Details for Kasina Meditation

I've searched through the web and also Wikipedia regarding Kasina meditation and could not find detailed information. Can the meditation object be anything? (Say anything green or blue for those ...
11
votes
2answers
582 views

Where is the story of the non-returner who “sold” pots on the side of the road?

I'm trying to find a specific story in the Pali canon (or commentaries, probably), where an anagami who looks after his mother makes a living by firing pots and putting them out by the side of the ...
10
votes
10answers
21k views

What is the meaning of the Zen quote: “Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water”?

In the question "A question regarding the level of worldly participation for a buddhist monk", Bhante gave an answer containing a Zen quote. The quote is; "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry ...
10
votes
4answers
255 views

Are there any alternative formulations of the five skandas?

Considering the 5 skandas of Form Feeling Perception Volition Consciousness I was told during a study group once that this was only one of many possible formulations of the skandas and other ...
10
votes
2answers
127 views

Did Buddha practice group meditation with bhikkhus, bhikkhunis and laymen, just like in today's meditation center?

In today's meditation center, practitioners meditate with others in group sitting. After an hour or so of meditation, the practitioners may proceed to seek advices from the teacher on their progress. ...
9
votes
4answers
504 views

Returning to the marketplace - examples

In the Ten Ox Herding Pictures of Zen the final picture is commonly depicted as returning to the marketplace. Enlightenment is said to be doing the most ordinary things in a most extraordinary way. ...
9
votes
5answers
10k views

Who said 'if you are too busy meditate for two hours'?

There is a zen quote that goes something like Meditate for an hour every day unless you are too busy. In that case meditate for two hours. I'm not sure about the exact quote - it might be 0.5 ...
8
votes
9answers
616 views

Recommendation - Book for beginner

I am interested in knowing more about Buddhism especially the pursuit of happiness. Which book would you recommend me for introducing me to Buddhism philosophy on this subject?
8
votes
3answers
617 views

Where did the Buddha speak of his difficulty in eating almsfood as a Bodhisatta?

In this answer, I mention that the Bodhisatta had trouble keeping down coarse alms food, to the extent that he felt like his stomach was going to leap out of his throat. @ThiagoSilva asked in a ...
8
votes
4answers
607 views

Best books & articles for practicing jhanas

Which are the best books and/or articles for practicing the jhanas?
8
votes
2answers
313 views

Where's the story in which the Buddha praised a non-returner for keeping the knowledge of his attainment private?

I'm trying to find a specific story in where the Buddha spoke about the attainment of one Anagami lay person with a group of monks while praising his good qualities. Later, when those monks went for ...
8
votes
4answers
292 views

How should a lay person respond if they see a monk teaching something contrary to Dhamma?

Let's say if a lay person sees fault of a monk (something against the monastic code, or against the Dhamma). Should the lay person just stay silent (thinking it would create bad karma), or should they ...
7
votes
6answers
440 views

Is there a compassion only Buddhist path?

In a recent version of the Buddhist Geeks podcast Rick Hanson said that recent academic research is showing that in the Pali Canon there were teachings indicating that compassion is enough to progress ...
7
votes
7answers
473 views

Scientific approach of Kamma

The concept of Kamma implies that information is stored in the mind (not the brain) and after the being is dead, this mind (or this data "storage") goes on and carries with it the current position of ...
7
votes
1answer
114 views

When the Buddha changes his mind to teach

I remember reading a sutta (possibly in Majjhima or Samyutta) where a passage has the Buddha talking about his teaching attitude towards certain people when talking to them. Then, he says something to ...
7
votes
2answers
298 views

Looking for references to skeptical debates on the subject of rebirth

I am a huge proponent of scientific skepticism, rationalism and critical thinking. As a former Christian, I enjoy watching debates and more recently, discussions on YouTube. I like the debate format ...
7
votes
4answers
597 views

Depersonalization phenomenon as described in the Pali Canon

According to the gentleman in this video ... Enlightenment, DP/DR & Falling Into the Pit of the Void ~ Shinzen Young Shinzen talks about the empowering facets of enlightenment and compares ...
7
votes
1answer
273 views

Is there a legendary biography of Avalokitesvara/Kwan-Yin/Chenrezig?

I've googled this, but can't find it. I know there is a tradition of writing legendary/mythological/fictional biographies (hagiographies) of monks in the Chinese tradition. Just a few days ago was ...
7
votes
5answers
617 views

Stages of the Bardo

From the moment of death, to the moment of rebirth (or alternative outcomes) How would you map the flowchart of the bardo? or instead of a flowchart a tree map? A list of stages would also be ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Are there examples of the Buddha showing humour in the Pali Canon?

Leading on from this question - are there any examples of the Buddha showing a sense of humour or a certain lightness in his teachings within the Pali Canon? I was once told that it is possible to ...
6
votes
5answers
768 views

Where can I find a reference for someone becoming a sotapanna through meditation?

I've come across many stories in the Tipitaka where people attained arahanthood or became non-returners through meditation. However, I cannot recollect any instance where someone becomes a sotapanna ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Prajñāpāramitā Hṛdaya Sūtra in Sanskrit with English translation

Is there any book or internet resource which has Prajñāpāramitā Hṛdaya Sūtra in Sanskrit and word to word English translation? I am not exactly looking for commentaries(though I don't mind ...
6
votes
4answers
365 views

What books address various difficulties that may arise during various stages of meditation practice?

I am looking for books that go beyond the usual introduction on how to do various form of Buddhist meditation practice but rather, in addition to describing the practices themselves, discuss various ...
6
votes
3answers
518 views

Buddha's advice regarding meditation practice

It seems clear to me that the Buddha's only intention throughout his life (after becoming a Buddha) was to help as many people as possible to reach Nibbana. But I think he gives different meditation ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

“When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the dharma will come to the land of the red faces”

"When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the dharma will come to the land of the red faces" is a quote from ~700AD that is too good to check. It is also the title of a reasonably good ...
6
votes
3answers
593 views

Buddhavamsa Translations?

Do any english translations exist online for the Buddhavamsa ? I cannot find one.
6
votes
2answers
679 views

Which canon and traditions does the Flower Sermon text belong to?

I've heard of a Buddhist story in which the Buddha just holds up a flower and one monk in the audience understands then becomes instantly enlightened. I believe it is a foundational text for Zen ...
6
votes
3answers
181 views

What are 'suttas of indirect meaning' in the Pali canon?

This subsection of Wikipedia's Two Truths article says that the "two truths" distinction is not made in the suttas, but that there are some "suttas of indirect meaning". Two Truths > Origin and ...
6
votes
2answers
532 views

Ledi Sayadaw's “Anatta Dipani” in English? (And Ledi/Saya Thet relationship)

Just asking if someone is aware of a complete English translation of Anattadīpanī by Ledi Sayadaw. While an extract is contained in "A Collection of Manuals of Buddhism by Ledi Sayadaw" I was unable ...
6
votes
2answers
102 views

The Abhidamma Pitaka

Can anyone help me with finding The Abhidamma Pitaka or some of the 7 books from it? I seem not to be able to find anything when searching on google. Maybe im just not skilled enough to find books/...
6
votes
2answers
255 views

Can following Buddhist practices help me in my studies?

I am a student and follow Buddhist ideas. Can Buddhist practices increase my capabilities to be a better student? More discipline? Clearer mind? What practices would be of the most benefit to achieve ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Where is the Buddha originally quoted as saying “On heaven and earth, I alone am honored”?

In Chinese and especially Japanese Buddhism, the statement 天上天下唯我独尊 (Japanese tenjou tenge yui ga dokuson; not sure about the Chinese transliteration), which is typically translated as "On heaven and ...
6
votes
2answers
218 views

Buddhism and economics

In the present context of the world, the chain of economics and happiness as I see it is, money is necessary to fulfill one's basic necessities (even if not luxuries), to earn money we need jobs, to ...
6
votes
2answers
117 views

Breath patterns in texts

What is the canonical reference if I wanted to read about breath patterns and their mapping to specific mind states? A while back I came across an online text which contained some very hard-to-...
6
votes
3answers
173 views

What are some resources on Mahayana forms of Meditation?

Are there any sources about Meditations of Mahayana Schools?
6
votes
5answers
480 views

Looking for a Buddhist story about trust

I heard a Buddhist story about trust some time ago and am trying to locate it. The story goes, there are some men travelling (I think) to a temple or monastery and on the way they get swindled and ...
5
votes
11answers
458 views

What are some entertaining/fictional movies, books, etc. about Buddhadharma or Buddha himself?

What are entertaining/fictional movies, cartoons or books about Buddhadharma or Buddha himself?
5
votes
5answers
508 views

Searching for a Pali sutta where Buddha said “Enough!” to rebirth speculations

There is a sutta where a man kept asking the Buddha about forecasting destinations or future lives or something similar and the Buddha said to the man: "Enough!" and exhorted the purpose or goal of ...
5
votes
5answers
721 views

Zen & Dukkha — Is Everything Suffering?

Thich Nhat Hanh seems to deny a major teaching on dukkha/suffering common to both Theravada and Tibetan teachings -- the idea of all-perasive suffering ("the suffering of composite things",samskara ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the “nature of reality” according to the Buddha?

I have read that the Buddha said the cause of suffering is ignorance of the "nature of reality". Is this correct? What is the "nature of reality" that the Buddha talks about?
5
votes
4answers
812 views

Accurate translation of “Satipatthana Sutta”

I'm looking for an accurate translation of "Satipatthana Sutta". Could someone let me know what is the best available accurate translation? I don't want to be confused by just reading all available ...
5
votes
2answers
158 views

Where does it say Siddhartha Gautama mastered all types of meditation?

I vaguely recall that before he sat to meditate under the bodhi tree and was enlightened, he learned all the different techniques of meditation. Where does it say this?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the origin of the Buddhist expression “Practice as if your hair is on fire”?

I remember this phrase but I have not been able to locate it in the texts. I do not recall the correct words but it's something like this: "Meditate/practice as if your hair is/were on fire". I have ...