Hi – I haven’t posted for over a month because I’m ensconced in reading and writing a short book on Buddhism. Once I’m done, I’ll resume blogging again, although I’m not sure when that will be: The deeper I go into things, the deeper I feel I need to go, and the deeper I go the less I feel need to say! Anyway, in the meantime (or possibly the final word) here are some useful sources on Buddhism…
Useful sources for finding out more about Buddhism in general and The Noble Eight Fold Path in particular
My recommended starting point is The Buddhist Society, based in London, which has a number of excellent resources online and runs an excellent ‘introduction to Buddhism’ course and a whole load of other courses for those wishing to take Buddhism deeper.
There are a number of excellent podcasts on Buddhism –
Sangharakshita’s (1968) The Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path is a good in-depth introduction to the N8P, although it does get quite esoteric towards the end of the series. Sangharakshita is an ordained Buddhist monk and founder of The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order.
Ryu Cope’s Bad Buddhist Radio Podcasts are a good layman’s introduction to Buddhism and the N8P – He’s not a monk, but I like his down to earth interpretation of Buddhist wisdom. Most of the series was put together between the years 2006-9 and consists of more than 50 short podcasts. The first dozen or so on basic Buddhism are especially worth a listen.
Based in British Columbia, the D.I.Y. Dharma sangha is a peer-led community of freaks, geeks, queers, trans-folk, rebels, outcasts, stream-enterers and their friends, who meditate together in the Buddhist tradition. It’s not the easiest site to navigate through, but it does have a good selection of audio podcasts (link sorted by popularity) and you can join up to the virtual community and ‘log your sits’ which I kind of like…
There are also some excellent sources online more generally – most of the above sites have written resources, and one more is The Big View is about ‘Philosophy in the widest sense’, so is about more than just Buddhism, but it has some good, brief summary notes on the basics of Buddhism including this summary of The Noble Eight Fold Path
Three recommended books for beginners
Rahula Walpola (1997) What the Buddha Taught
Bhikkhu Bodhi (2006) Noble Eightfold Path: Way to the End of Suffering
The Buddhist Society : The Dhammapada (This is a short book which outlines the basic teachings of the Buddha)