Buddhism: Researching the Religion of the Buddha
For nearly 500 years after his death, the Buddha's teachings were passed through generations of the monastic community by oral tradition. In the late first century BCE they were first written down in a collection known as the Pali Canon. Since then a variety of additional texts and translations have appeared as a means for disseminating his ancient wisdom. Now in the 21st century we have the benefit of a new medium; the Internet is a resource utilized by lay practitioners and monastics alike for bringing the religion of Buddhism to the world.
One of the oldest enduring Eastern religions, Buddhism was founded in India during the sixth ... read more »
During Buddhism's 2,500 year history, several thriving sects have emerged, each with a unique take ... read more »
Whether you're looking for the Pali Canon, Zen parables and koans, Mahayana text, or scholarly ... read more »
Many prominent Buddhist organizations host sites with information aimed at helping you further your ... read more »
Whether you're looking for a statue of the Buddha to serve as inspiration in your practice, a book ... read more »
Buddhism has a large, vibrant community of online practitioners. Cyberspace abounds with Buddhist newsletters, directories, discussion groups, and blogs. In this section we'll direct you to some popular resources for an intimate perspective on the religion.
- Approach discussion forums cautiously. Because it's impossible to know the credentials or authority of anyone posting on a message board, there's no guarantee for the quality of the information. Conversely, forums can also be excellent sources of information and customized advice. So what's the bottom line? Use them, but also use discretion.
- Buddhism blogs are a fascinating and useful resource for practicing Buddhists and aspiring Buddhists alike. They typically offer commentary and analysis of contemporary society, culture, art, and the individual, all through the lens of Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy.
- The Blogisattva Awards are given annually to the best English-language Buddhist blogs on the Web. Categories are wide-ranging and include best writing, blog post of the year, and best blog. Use this site to locate blogs or read the highest quality Buddhism-related posts of the year.
- The primary publishers of blogs are individuals, but certain organizations (such as the Buddhist review Tricycle), publish blogs of their own.
- Most blogs have blogrolls (lists of recommended blogs and Web sites found in the margins of the page) comprised of useful Web sites on related topics. Visiting a few of them is a good way to find new favorites.
For discussion boards and forums ...
Buddhism Portal E-Sangha
is one of the most frequently recommended interactive Buddhist resources on the Web. It's easy to navigate and offers a Buddhist forum, live chat, and has links to a long list of Buddhist blogs, all found on the homepage.
The Buddhist Society of Western Australia
(BSWA) has a mediated forum to which people can post any questions they have on Buddhism. Discussions include "Buddhism for Beginners" forum, "General Forums," "Community" forum, and others. The "Dhamma Talks
" link offers podcasts, recordings of Buddhist discussion groups and guided meditations, PDF files of the Enlightened Times newsletter, and more.
is an extensive forum for Buddhist discussion. You must complete a free registration to post on the site, although you're allowed to view postings without creating an account. Members can respond to existing posts or start entirely new "threads" (discussions) on their own. Because it is an open forum, however, some discussions can get personal.
is a magazine whose contents are posted online along with links to many other Buddhist resources. Contributors frequently post blogs that encourage user comments. There is also an open forum to which you can contribute; registration is free.
is a philosophy and religion forum that offers discussions on many topics within Dharmic religions and faiths. Members often post questions which are promptly answered by a Web site administrator. Register for free to post on the discussion board, or view the discussions as a nonmember.
For blogs ...
Integral Options Cafe
explores all things in life, so long as they relate in some way to the Buddhist world view. This gives author William Harryman the freedom to address myriad issues. Posts might cover music, science, weight loss, and the Dalai Lama on consecutive days.
, a blog written by a British philosophy student and practicing Buddhist, serves as a platform for the author to investigate the teachings of Buddha and the doctrine of the religion. According to the author it's "part of an on-going tussle with the traditions of Buddhism in the hope that, out of the confusion, some kind of clarity might eventually arise ... or at least the confusion itself might be fruitful."
are affiliated with the Buddhism review of the same name. At this page you'll find the latest posts from the blog's six writers, not all of whom post regularly. The writers have diverse backgrounds that unanimously reflect close familiarity with the faith, ranging from scholarly study to devoted practice.
is a Ph.D. student in Buddhist studies. His blog incorporates political, social, and environmental awareness and commentary with his Buddhist perspective and Buddhist philosophy.
Absent Of I
is a somewhat enigmatic blog that traces one individual's spiritual journey. Entries demonstrate the author's exploration of Buddhist concepts and their applicability to daily life.
For other sources ...
The Journal of Buddhist Ethics
is a great way to keep up with contemporary Buddhist discourse. Take a look at current or back issues of the Journal, or visit their online eBook project
to learn about new titles. The "Resources" section provides a wealth of links to other sites and organizations that can aid in your study.
The Buddhist Channel
has a Web site that offers daily information about the Buddhist community with links to "News," "Features," and "Reviews." News is organized in areas like Asia Pacific, The Americas, Europe, and World. The Features section includes links to original content on topics such as Arts and Culture, Healing, and Travel, to name a few. Reviews cover books and music geared toward the Buddhist community.
's Web site offers links to Buddhist studies and contemporary publishing. Go to the "Educational Programs & Institutions" and "Publishers and Resources" lists for links to publications on current Buddhist culture.
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