Asoka1944 wrote:Pete, advice is cheap, so here is mine: Don't overburden yourself with sutras. Pick one or two and study them, by which I mean, read them often, ponder them, read commentaries. It's the same with schools of Buddhism: We can get real confused trying to navigate through all of them. Perhaps look over one sutra from the Theravada and one from the Mahayana to see which resonates with you more. It's all well and good to say that all schools are ultimately the same or lead to the same place, but trying to walk all those paths at once could stretch your legs beyond repair.
Thanks Michael, this confusion has been a bit of a constant recently, and it would be easy to overwhelm myself with a pile of sutras and other books. I found the Satipathana a breath of fresh air, and just working through Sangharakshita's commentary
. I've scanned the Diamond and Heart sutras, which had commentaries included in the print-outs. Reading the Diamond just before bed was strange, as my head felt all over the place from the contradictions. I felt some sense on one level but utterly confused on another! I felt wide awake for a couple of hours after that.
I also bought this Lotus
from a local Buddhist centre today, at the risk of major ligament damage! I will work through each one slowly for sure, but there's some real excitement around about all this at the moment, like Ive swallowed a load of blue Smarties. Will pick a focal point over the week to get ground once again.
PorkChop wrote:If you want simple life lessons to read through literally, go with any of the Pali Sutta Pitaka.
If you want deep philosophical treaties with lots of metaphor that will fundamentally change the way you view the world, go with the Mahayana Sutras (the ones you picked are good examples).
Both? Most of my books are manuals, mostly for work but also self-help/health/lucid dreaming/languages etc so this is probably my default...Asked what books Ive enjoyed learning most from and come back to again and again, it'd be the dense confusing poetic ones that made no sense at first!
chickenman wrote: highly recommend his "heart of the buddha's teaching'.
Yes! the first book on Buddhism I read! I found it an absorbing read and has helped led me here for more.