Miscellaneous Essays

All of the essays on this page are by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, unless otherwise indicated.

Mostly these essays were first printed in one or another of the various Buddhist magazines, such as Tricycle, and have not yet been included into an essay collection such as Noble Strategy. (Note that there may have been some changes to the essays or their titles since publication.)


2018 Essays

  • Honest to Goodness. A discussion of how the Dhamma was originally taught and learned in a context of apprenticeship assuming certain qualities of character—both on the part of the teacher and of the student—and how those qualities are still an essential part of Dhamma practice. (Also available as pdf format)

  • Names for Nibbāna. Although nibbāna is indescribable, the Buddha had many names for it to suggest why it’s a desirable goal. This short article discusses five aspects of nibbāna suggested by these names. (Also available as pdf format)



2017 Essays


  • First Things First. (revised May 11, 2018) An essay on the primacy of the four noble truths as a guide to the rest of the path, determining the role and function of all the Buddha’s other teachings—including emptiness and the three perceptions. (Also available as pdf format)



2016 Essays


2015 Essays


2014 Essays


2012 and Earlier Essays


The following essay was collected into the essay book “Head & Heart Together,” however in abridged form. The unabridged version is still available here as a .pdf file.