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- Most of these books are also available as paperbacks free of charge by requesting them from Metta Forest Monastery.
The Noble Eightfold Path: 13 Meditation Talks
. The Noble Eightfold Path forms the framework for all the Buddha’s teachings. It was the first topic he mentioned in his first sermon, and the last topic he mentioned in his last. These edited transcripts correspond to the 13 Noble Eightfold Path mp3s
available on the Talk Collections page.
Handful of Leaves, Volume III: an Anthology from the Samyutta Nikaya. (revised Dec. 12, 2014)
The Samyutta Nikaya, a collection of short to medium-length discourses, takes its name from the way the discourses are organized into groups connected (samyutta) by a particular theme. In some cases, the theme is a topic. In others it may be the name of an interlocutor, a place, a group of people, or—as in the Simile-Connected discourses—a formal attribute of the discourses themselves. The complete collection, counting all its formulaic expansions, contains more than 2,900 discourses, of which 370 are translated here.
Handful of Leaves, Volume II: an Anthology from the Majjhima Nikaya.
The Majjhima Nikaya—the Middle Collection—is the second collection in the Sutta Pitaka. It takes its name from the length of the discourses it contains: shorter than those in the Long Collection, longer than those in the Connected and Numerical Collections. There are 152 suttas in all. This anthology offers complete translations of 76 of these suttas, and excerpts from five.
The Heightened Mind: Dhamma Talks of Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo
. In previous collections of Ajaan Lee’s talks, the main focus has been on technique. Here the focus is more on attitudes to bring to the practice of concentration. As he once said, the three trainings are like posts supporting a bridge over a river. The posts on the near shore and far—virtue and discernment—are not that hard to set in place, for they lie in shallow water away from the main current of the river. The posts in the middle of the river—concentration—are the ones requiring special effort, and so they need to be treated in depth.
The Sublime Attitudes: A Study Guide on the Brahmaviharas
. The sublime attitudes (brahmaviharas) are the Buddha’s primary heart teachings—the ones that connect most directly with our desire for true happiness. They’re the qualities of heart that motivated the Buddha to find awakening and then to teach the path of awakening to others. At the same time, they function as part of the path itself.
Handful of Leaves, Volume I: an Anthology from the Digha Nikaya.
This volume is the first in a four-volume anthology of suttas (discourses) drawn from the Sutta Pitaka (Discourse Basket or Repository) of the Pali Canon. This volume contains suttas drawn from the first of the five collections comprising the Sutta Pitaka: the Digha Nikaya—or Long Collection—named after the length not of the collection, but of its individual suttas. There are 34 in all, many of them among the most polished literary compositions in the Pali Canon. This anthology contains complete translations of eight suttas, and partial translations of two.
Itivuttaka: This was said by the Buddha
. (revised Dec. 10, 2014)
The Itivuttaka is a newly updated translation of a collection of 112 short Suttas, each one a prose passage followed by a verse. This collection is shaped less by literary considerations than the Dhammapada or Udana and is more straightforwardly didactic. The itivuttakas cover the full range of Buddhist practice. On the basic levels, they focus on skillful and unskillful behavior, and on the advanced, they cover some topics found nowhere else in the Canon.
. (revised Dec. 16, 2014)
A complete translation of the book of the Udana from the Khuddaka Nikaya collection of the Pali Canon. The role of the Udana within the context of the Pali Canon is to focus on the values and principles“meaning” in the larger sense of the termthat underlie the Buddha’s teachings.
Dhammapada: A Translation
. (revised Dec. 10, 2014)
An anthology of verses attributed to the Buddha long recognized as one of the masterpieces of early Buddhist literature. This edition has the full Introduction, Historical Notes, and extensive Endnotes, which are hyper-linked in the epub & mobi versions.
The Buddhist Monastic Code, Volumes I & II
. (revised Jan. 10, 2014)
Both volumes are newly revised. These new eBooks combine both volumes into one and take advantage of the cross-referencing, search, and nested Table of Contents features of the eBook formats. The the pdf is one very large, continuous file, and will render very poorly compared to the other eBook formats.
This two-volume set attempts to give an organized, detailed account of the Vinaya training rules and the traditions that have grown up around them. The Patimokkha training rules as explained in the Sutta Vibhanga are the topic of the first volume; the rules found in the Khandhakas, the topic of the second. The book as a whole is aimed primarily at those whose lives are affected by the rules—bhikkhus who live by them, and other people who have dealings with the bhikkhus — so that they will be able to find gathered in one location as much essential information as possible on just what the rules do and do not entail. Students of Early Buddhism, Theravadin history, or contemporary Theravadin issues should also find this book interesting, as should anyone who is serious about the practice of the Dhamma and wants to see how the Buddha worked out the ramifications of Dhamma practice in daily life.
Thai Forest Ajaans
The Autobiography of Phra Ajaan Lee
. (revised Dec. 12, 2014)
Phra Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo was one of the foremost teachers in the Thai forest ascetic tradition of meditation founded at the turn of the twentieth century by Phra Ajaan Sao Kantasilo and Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatto. His life was short but eventful. Known for his skill as a teacher and his mastery of supranatural powers, he was the first to bring the ascetic tradition out of the forests of the Mekhong basin and into the mainstream of Thai society in central Thailand.
The Skill of Release: Teachings of Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo
. A selection of Ajaan Lee’s teachings, including a few full talks, some short passages, and sometimes even half-thoughts, if they seemed provocative enough. Although the passages presented here have been arranged so that the book will stand on its own, they are also meant to fill in some of the gaps left by Ajaan Lee’s other writings.
Basic Themes: Four Treatises on Buddhist Practice
, by . Uniquely among the ajaans in the Thai Wilderness tradition Ajaan Lee composed systematic treatises on the practice. These are valuable documents, giving a wilderness perspective on basic Dhamma topics.
Fistful of Sand & The Light of Discernment: Teachings of Phra Ajaan Suwat Suvaco
. In 1989 Ajaan Suwat, the founder of Metta Forest Monastery, guided a meditation retreat for Westerners at Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. Fistful of Sand
contains the translations of the Dhamma talks and question and answer sessions from that retreat. The Light of Discernment
is a collection of translations of Dhamma talks by Luang Pu Suwat given at Metta Forest Monastery.
Keeping the Breath in Mind & Lessons in Samadhi
, by . A fundamental guidebook for breath meditation and practicing the jhanas.
Food for Thought: Eighteen Talks on the Training of the Heart
, by . The title of this collection reflects how it invites the reader to fill in the spaces suggested by the talks to reflect on how the images and teachings they contain relate to one another and to one’s own situation in life.
Inner Strength & Parting Gifts: Talks by Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo
. A collection of 20 Dhamma Talks by , from the basics of breath meditation to longer talks with extended metaphors on consciousnesses, knowledge and the defilements.
Frames of Reference
, by . A practical explanation for meditators of the four frames of reference from the Satipatthana Sutta.
, by . A collection of teachings spanning the whole range of practice by Ajaan Lee’s principal student and Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s teacher.
Still Flowing Water: Eight Dhamma Talks
, by . A collection of eight new or significantly revised translations of Ajahn Chah’s Dhamma talks by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Two of them have never been translated before into English, and four of them are based on entirely new Thai transcriptions of the best and most complete source recordings available.
It’s Like This: 108 Dhamma Similes
, by . Ajahn Chah was a master at using the apt and unusual simile to explain points of Dhamma. He was especially talented at exploiting the open-ended nature of the simile - using a particular image to make one point in one context, and a very different point in another. This book is a companion to In Simple Terms
In Simple Terms: 108 Dhamma Similes
, by . Ajahn Chah was a master at using the apt and unusual simile to explain points of Dhamma. The translations of these similes have been polished as little as possible, for their unpolished nature is precisely what reveals unexpected layers of meaning. This book is a companion to It’s Like This
. Dhamma talks on breath meditation and various aspects of the Buddhist Path given during the evening meditation sessions at Metta Forest Monastery from 2009-2011.
. (revised April 2, 2014)
Dhamma talks on breath meditation and various aspects of the Buddhist Path given during the evening meditation sessions at Metta Forest Monastery from 2006-2009.
Dhamma talks on breath meditation and various aspects of the Buddhist Path given during the evening meditation sessions at Metta Forest Monastery from 2004-2008.
Dhamma talks on breath meditation and various aspects of the Buddhist Path given during the evening meditation sessions at Metta Forest Monastery from 2001-2005.
Dhamma talks on breath meditation and various aspects of the Buddhist Path given during the evening meditation sessions at Metta Forest Monastery from 2000-2005.
Dhamma talks on breath meditation and various aspects of the Buddhist Path given during the evening meditation sessions at Metta Forest Monastery from 1996-2003.
epublished Dhamma Talks, vol. III
. Dhamma talks from 2003-2011 similar to those in the Meditations
series, but which were never published as a book.
epublished Dhamma Talks, vol. II
. Dhamma talks from 2002-2008 similar to those in the Meditations
series, but which were never published as a book.
epublished Dhamma Talks, vol. I
. Dhamma talks from 1995-2004 similar to those in the Meditations
series, but which were never published as a book.
Individual Talk Transcriptions.
Dhamma talk transcriptions are also available from the mp3 audio download page
where links to pdf files appear next to their respective mp3 source files. Please note that newest transcription is from March 2011, and they get more plentiful as you scroll down. You also might want to use the new search function
on the site (or go to ‘more > search’ on the menu). This uses the Duck Duck Go search engine to search dhammatalks.org and allows you to search the content of all the pdf transcriptions for particular topics of interest.
Beyond All Directions.
The fifth collection of essays. Includes: Beyond All Directions, Lost in Quotation, An All-around Eye, Metta Means Goodwill, On Denying Defilement, Virtue Without Attachment, The Limits of the Unlimited Attitudes, The Essence of the Dhamma, The Middles of the Middle Way, and The Arrows of Thinking.
Head & Heart Together.
The fourth collection of essays. Includes: The Lessons of Gratitude, No Strings Attached, The Power of Judgment, Think like a Thief, Strength Training for the Mind, Mindfulness Defined, The Joy of Effort, Head & Heart Together, The Wisdom of the Ego, Ignorance, Food for Awakening, The Buddha via the Bible, and Freedom from Buddha Nature.
Purity of Heart.
The third collection of essays. Includes: Purity of Heart, Faith in Awakening, Untangling the Present, Pushing the Limits, All About Change, The Roots of Buddhist Romanticism, Right & Wrong Reconciliation, Getting the Message, Educating Compassion, Jhana Not by the Numbers, The Integrity of Emptiness, A Verb for Nirvana, The Practice in a Word.
The Karma of Questions.
The second collection of essays. Includes: Life Isn't Just Suffering, Opening the Door to the Dhamma, Questions of Skill, Freedom from Fear, Samsara, Samsara Divided by Zero, The Agendas of Mindfulness, De-perception, The Weight of Mountains, Five Piles of Bricks, Perennial Issues, and When You Know for Yourselves.
This first collection of essays is recommended for new practitioners. Includes: Affirming the Truths of the Heart, Karma, The Road to Nirvana Is Paved with Skillful Intentions, The Healing Power of the Precepts, Right Speech, Trading Candy for Gold, A Guided Meditation, The Path of Concentration & Mindfulness, One Tool Among Many, What Is Emptiness?, No-self or Not-self?, and The Image of Nirvana.
Essays that have appeared in various Buddhist publications, but which have not yet been included in a collection.
Ten Perfections: A Study Guide
. For people in the modern world facing the issue of how to practice the Dhamma in daily life, the ten perfections provide a useful framework for how to do it. When you view life as an opportunity to develop these ten qualitiesgenerosity, virtue, renunciation, discernment, persistence, endurance, truth, determination, good will, and equanimityyou develop a fruitful attitude toward your daily activities so that any skillful activity or relationship, undertaken wisely and in a balanced way, becomes part of the practice.
Discernment: The Buddha’s Strategies for Happiness II
. This study guide is an introduction to the Buddha’s teachings on how to use discernment to find an unending happiness. The book consists of passages from the Pali Canon and a substantial introduction by Thanissaro Bhikkhu providing context. This book is a companion to Merit
Merit: The Buddha’s Strategies for Happiness I
. This study guide is an introduction to the Buddha’s teachings on merit. The practice of merit (puñña) is often discounted by western Buddhists, yet the Buddha warns that higher levels cannot be practiced safely without merit as the foundation. This book is a companion to Discernment
Recognizing the Dhamma: A Study Guide
. The Buddha taught eight principles for recognizing what qualifies as Dhamma and Vinaya, and what does not. They form the standards against which the validity of any interpretation of the Dhamma or Vinaya must be judged. They are an indispensible guide in solitary practice and illustrate the application of his teachings in the well-known Kalama Sutta.
Mindful of the Body: A Study Guide
. This study guide focuses on the primary sutta in the Pali Canon dealing with the contemplation of the body: The Discourse on Mindfulness Immersed in the Body (MN
119). Early Buddhism teaches that the body can be used to develop mindfulness and concentration, which in turn can be used to free the mind of its attachments to the body. Then the mind and body can live in peace.
Beyond Coping: A Study Guide on Aging, Illness, Death, & Separation
. Passages from the Pali Canon arranged in five sections: the Buddha as physician; diagnoses of the conditions of aging, etc.; the conditions as motivations for heedfulness and diligence; specific remedies; and examples set by the Buddha and his disciples.
Into the Stream: A Study Guide on the First Stage of Awakening
. For your practice to lead to Awakening, you must develop reliable standards for judging — which practices lead to stream entry, what indicates a true experience of it, and what its necessary results are.
A Burden Off the Mind: A Study Guide on the Five Aggregates
. An explanation of the Buddha's teaching of the five khandhas
and its proper place on the path of practice.
With Each & Every Breath: A Guide to Meditation
. (revised Oct. 19, 2013)
A new breath meditation manual by Thanissaro Bhikkhu drawing on two sources: the Buddha’s own set of instructions on how to use the breath in training the mind, and Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo’s method of breath meditation which builds on the Buddha’s instructions, explaining in detail many of the points that the Buddha left in condensed form. A page has been added to this site with download links to all of the .mp3 dhammatalks referenced in this manual: With Each & Every Breath audio files
Right Mindfulness: Memory & Ardency on the Buddhist Path
. For the past several decades, a growing flood of books, articles, and teachings has advanced theories about the practice of mindfulness which are highly questionable and—for anyone hoping to realize the end of suffering—seriously misleading. The main aim of this book is to show that the practice of mindfulness is most fruitful when informed by the Buddha’s own definition of right mindfulness and his explanations of its role on the path.
The Truth of Rebirth: And Why It Matters for Buddhist Practice
. A short treatise explaining that the Buddha did not teach the doctrine of rebirth because he was blindly following the cultural norms of his time. Instead, our resistance to this teaching is pointing to cultural biases of our own that impede progress on the Path.
Selves & Not-self: The Buddhist Teaching on Anatta
. A series of eight talks on anatta
, or not-self, given at a ten-day retreat in Provence, France. Also there are relevant selections from the Pali Canon at end of the book.
The Shape of Suffering: A Study of Dependent Co-arising
. An explanation of dependent co-arising through the analogy of feeding and pulling from the vocabulary of complex, non-linear systems.
The Paradox of Becoming.
Although “becoming” is one of the most important concepts in the Buddha’s teachings, there is no full-scale treatment of it in English. This book attempts to fill that lack.
The Wings to Awakening: An Anthology from the Pali Canon
. The 37 Wings to Awakening were the Buddha’s own summary of his teachings. This book contains Sutta translations organized by topic and with relevant discussion by the author. The internal cross-references are hyper-linked in the epub & mobi versions.
The Mind Like Fire Unbound: An Image in the Early Buddhist Discourses
. Western Buddhists have usually understood the Buddha’s metaphor of nibbana
) as “extinguishing” or “extinction”. This book, which includes an essay and readings from the Pali Canon, examines ancient Indian theories on the mechanics of fire in order to understand the Buddha’s metaphor in its original context.
Skill in Questions: How the Buddha Taught. (revised Jan. 9, 2014)
The content of this treatise has not changed, but all three eBook versions have been recreated from scratch to look and function better as well as provide Pali diacriticals and hyper-linking. If you already have the previous substandard eBook versions in your library, you will want to replace them with these.
This is a treatise about discernment in action, centered on the Buddha’s strategic use of discernment in framing and responding to questions.
Refuge: An Introduction to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha
. A short introduction to the basic principles of Buddhism. Included are readings drawn from the earliest Buddhist texts and essays explaining aspects of the Triple Refuge that often provoke questions in those who are new to the Buddha’s teachings.
A Chanting Gude: Pali Passages with English Translations,
by . This guide also includes a pronunciation guide. Audio (.mp3) tracks of many of the chants are available on the chanting page
of this site.
Frames of Reference
, by . A practical explanation for meditators of the four frames of reference from the Satipatthana Sutta. This is a 66 MB .zip archive containing eight .mp3 audio files
.The ebook and pdf versions are available above
An Unentangled Knowing
, by . Dhamma talks from the foremost woman Dhamma teacher in modern Thailand. This is a 336 MB .zip archive containing twenty-nine .mp3 audio files
. Transcriptions are available from accesstoinsight.org
Printed Book Requests
Printed Book Requests.
The booklist has instructions for requesting printed copies of Dhamma books as well as a list of the titles Metta Forest Monastery has in stock. There are titles available in print that have not yet been made into eBooks. The pdf and html versions of the booklist contain the same information. If you have trouble viewing, printing or downloading one, try the other.