|The most reliable version of the teachings of the historical Buddha is found in the Pali suttas, or discourses, which make up about 20 volumes of texts. These teachings were transmitted orally for 400 years and were first written down around 100 B.C.E. Their survival to the present day in such a complete form is so unlikely that it might be considered as slightly miraculous. By studying these original texts we can discover the tremendous rewards that come from hearing the authentic voice of this amazing teacher.
In this 4-week series we will explore a few key texts which contain some of the most important of the Buddha's teachings in their original formulations. In the first class we will offer an introduction to the overall study of these suttas, which present certain challenges given the spiritual, cultural and historical distances involved for us today. Students will be provided with good English translations of all the suttas covered. This series is suitable for experienced meditation students who have some understanding of the Buddha's basic teachings. |