By The Buddha himself!
Translated by Gil Fronsdal
India, 3rd Century BCE
Buddhist Scriptures, Philosophy
1. Short & Sweet
2. Arranged by Topic
3. Philosophic Images
4. Easy to Read & Understand
5. Great to Reflect Back on
6. Highly Flippable, Magazine Style
7. Clear & Concise Notes on Sanskrit
8. Bibliography of Various Translations
9. Cross-References to Parallel Verses in Other Buddhist Texts
10. Highly Quotable for DIY Gifts.
Cuisine & Delicacies
Ranked as: Summer Salad
It’s surprisingly breezy to read and friendly if you just want to flip through to read 15 words or so. Each Sutra has lots of whitespace so it’s easy to just read a couple of lines and still get some goodness. Or, huge margins if you’re a detailed pencil reader!
Each chapter has a topic or theme so you can just sample according to your mood. Some themes are: Old Age, Corruption, Oneself and Thousands. There’s even one on The Elephant or untranslated titles; The Bhikkhu which is explained in the notes at the back.
Why Visit Here
It’s a great introduction to Buddhist or Eastern Thought/Philosophy. The writing style is friendly and easy to read. It can be re-read 1000s of times. The phrases can be applied to life in so many ways. Either as a way of living, guides to follow, writing prompts for a journal, poetry or other craft. It’s a short, light book which is very portable for travel. Yet it’s so filled with snippets that can sustain the reader while standing in line. A great book to read on the go or leisurely laying out in the sun. It’s coolest when it sparks a conversation!
Off the Beaten Path
Introduction to The Buddha and his Mythical Life Story
Richard Here Talks about Buddhism, this is part one of a documentary by Everyman
✓ Music: Cello Rock Adaptations, Pan Flutes, Cedar Flutes, Korean Buddhist Chanting
✓ Light Source: Candle, Flashlight, Sunlight
✓ Beverage: Strawberry Tea or Wine
✓ Recite to a Loved one: Read Aloud or Use a Phrase to Make a Gift
✓ Journey to the West (Abridged option: The Monkey King and the Monk) (1592) By Wu Cheng'en - This Chinese epic tale is about the monk Hsuan-tsang travelling to India in search of Buddhist scriptures.
✓ Siddhartha By Hermann Hesse (1922) - Is the German author, Hesse's novelization of Siddhartha's journey towards becoming The Buddha we know today.
✓ Lao Zhang's Philosophy By Lao She (1926) - A Chinese novel that satirizes Chinese society at the time, there's elements of the 3 major religions/philosophies: Islam, Christianity & Buddhism.
✓ Samsara (2012) Directed by Ron Fricke - The meaning of the cycle of life told through images & music rather than words.
✓ I Origins (2014) Directed by Mike Cahill - A very Buddhist movie, if you like philosophy and unique storylines. The trailer gives away every spoiler & major moment, it’s a fun movie to go into knowing nothing about it.
✓ The Fountain (2006) Directed by Darren Aronofsky - Another Buddhist philosophical movie, this one is told with staggered plot lines. It all makes sense at the end!
✓ The Peaceful Warrior (2006) Directed by Victor Salva - Motivational movie adaptation of the book. Some very Buddhist themes now get out there…tiger!!
✓ Any movie title The Buddha or Buddhism, there have been lots of great adaptations of Siddhartha’s Life.