1. Guide to Tipitaka
In this book, Professor Ko Lay guides us through the entire Tipitaka by giving us a detailed introduction to the main sections, and brief synopses of some of the important suttas in the Pali Canon.
2. A Summary of Majjhima Nikaya
This summary is from "MAJJHIMA NIKAYA: THE MIDDLE LENGTH SAYINGS", edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi. This new translation of the entire Majjhima Nikaya -- one of the most important collections of suttas in the Pali Canon -- is based on the posthumous manuscripts of Bhikkhu Nanamoli.
3. The Buddha's Words on Kamma
Kamma concerns everyone. We make it, a great deal of it, every day while we are awake. In the crowded bus returning home someone stamps on one's foot, one curses -- bad kamma -- but after quick reflection one realizes "Ah, no mindfulness" and this is good kamma. At home at last, one comforts the sick, then plays with the children and tells them some Jataka stories -- all good kamma. Decisions, choices and desires are kammas made in the mind. More kamma is made when one talks after having decided. Still more kamma is added if after this one acts as well.
4. Everyman's Ethics
Sigala was the son of a Buddhist family residing at Rajagaha. His parents were devout followers of the Buddha, but the son was indifferent to religion. The pious father and mother could not by any means persuade their son to accompany them to visit the Buddha or his disciples and hear the noble Doctrine. The son thought it practically useless to pay visits to the Sangha, as such visits may entail material loss. He was only concerned with material prosperity; to him spiritual progress was to no avail.
5. Kalama Sutta: Charter of Free Inquiry
The instruction of the Kalamas (Kalama Sutta) is justly famous for its encouragement of free inquiry; the spirit of the sutta signifies a teaching that is exempt from fanaticism, bigotry, dogmatism, and intolerance. The reasonableness of the Dhamma, the Buddha's teaching, is chiefly evident in its welcoming careful examination at all stages of the path to enlightenment.
6. The Discourse on Right View
Just as the dawn is the forerunner and first indication of the rising of the sun, so is right view the forerunner and first indication of wholesome states. For one of right view, right intention springs up. For one of right intention, right speech springs up. For one of right speech, right action springs up. For one of right action, right livelihood springs up. For one of right livelihood, right effort springs up. For one of right effort, right mindfulness springs up. For one of right mindfulness, right concentration springs up. For one of right concentration, right knowledge springs up. For one of right knowledge, right deliverance springs up.
7. The Living Message of Dhammapada
The Dhammapada is a work familiar to every devout Buddhist and to every serious student of Buddhism. This small collection of 423 verses on the Buddha's doctrine is so rich in insights that it might be considered the perfect compendium of the Dhamma in its practical dimensions. In the countries of Theravada Buddhism the Dhammapada is regarded as an inexhaustible source of guidance and spiritual inspiration, as the wise counselor to which to turn for help in resolving the difficult moral and personal problems inescapable in daily life.
8. The Five Mental Hindrances
Unshakable deliverance of the mind is the highest goal in the Buddha's doctrine. Here, deliverance means: the freeing of the mind from all limitations, fetters, and bonds that tie it to the Wheel of Suffering, to the Circle of Rebirth.
9. Inspiration from Enlightened Nuns
In some respects, the inspiration from these poems may be stronger for women than for men, since these are in fact women's voices that are speaking. And when the theme of the poem is the mother-child bond, this is bound to be the case. However, at a deeper level the sex of the speakers is irrelevant, for the ultimate truths which they enunciate explain the universal principles of reality which are equally valid for men and for women.
10. Commentary on the Mahaaraahulovaadasutta
The Commentary brings the sutta nearer to our daily life. It is encouraging and uplifting, demonstrating the power of the Dhamma which can lead us to the final liberation of dukkha, of the cycle of birth and death. The Commentary tells us about Raahula's defilements and very human tribulations; he was attached to the beauty of his body and he was hoping for a position of honour from his father, the Lord Buddha. The Buddha knew that he was almost succumbing to his defilements, but he did not reproach him, he did not tell him that he should not have such thoughts.