Buddhism Study Guide

Please note that this study guide is a work in progress!

This is a study guide compiled by members of the Beyond the Temple community to assist those who would like to study and practice Buddhism in an organised way without having to follow any one teacher. Texts are ones recommended by community members who are well educated in the dharma and have found these texts of great value.

‘Now the Blessed One spoke to the Venerable Ananda, saying: “It may be, Ananda, that to some among you the thought will come: ‘Ended is the word of the Master; we have a Master no longer.’ But it should not, Ananda, be so considered. For that which I have proclaimed and made known as the Dhamma and the Discipline, that shall be your Master when I am gone. ‘

Maha-Parinirvana Sutra, Part 6, Verse 1.

In a teaching on September 4-6th 2019 in Dharamsala, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said (at 1:27:30) how important it is to follow the dharma based on reasoning and understanding, not just out of faith.

‘And if you are able to understand, cultivate faith based on understanding the teaching, on the basis of reasoning, then I say that the teaching of the Buddha may remain, even through the 22nd, 23rd centuries and so forth. Whereas if you only follow the teachings of the Buddha on the basis of mere faith, blindly, then it may not survive for long. So it’s important to study the basis level of reality and how, on understanding the basis, the reality of things, you can cultivate the path to transform yourself.”

HH Dalai Lama

We recommend that, in alignment with what the Buddha taught, you read carefully and examine the content to see if it makes sense to you. Perhaps at some point we may provide a discussion group where some of these texts can be discussed and clarified. In the meantime, keep a note of your questions or of anything you’d like clarified. If you’re a member of the Beyond the Temple Facebook group, you can ask your questions there.

‘Do not accept any of my words on faith,
Believing them just because I said them.
Be like an analyst buying gold, who cuts, burns,
And critically examines his product for authenticity.
Only accept what passes the test
By proving useful and beneficial in your life.’

– The Buddha, the Jnanasara-samuccaya

Introduction

Pali Tradition

Buddhism for the Modern World

Sanskrit Tradition

More texts coming later …

The Third Turning of the Wheel of the Dharma – Vajrayana

Texts to come …