The Ven. Nyanaponika Thera bases this work on his “deep conviction that the systematic cultivation of Right Mindfulness, as taught by the Buddha in his Discourse on Satipatthana, still provides the most simple and direct, the most thorough and effective method for training and developing the mind for its daily tasks and problems as well as for its highest aim: mind’s own unshakable deliverance from Greed, Hatred, and Delusion.”
The book includes both the Mahasatipatana Sutta and the Anapanasati Sutta, along with commentary.
Of the five subdivided sections of the whole collection of the Suttas of the Buddha, the fifth section, the Khuddaka Nikaya, “comprises fifteen individual books of which the best known is the Dhammapada and one of the most formative and influential, the Sutta-Nipata.”
The Sutta-Nipata consists of seventy separate suttas arranged into five chapters: “The Chapter of the Snake,” “The Chapter of the Eights,” “The Chapter of the Way to the Beyond,” etc. This particular translation was prepared as “a prose version which would convey the spirit of this important text in contemporary language and . . . for the consideration of readers who may find traditional interpretations inhibiting.”
(In the U.S., the Buddhist Publication Society books and pamphlets are available through both Wisdom Publications and the Washington Buddhist Vihara.)
These booklets cover a huge range and provide a good cross-section of the Buddha’s teaching.
“These thirty-four suttas reveal the gentleness, compassion, power and penetrating wisdom of Gotama Buddha.” Selections include the Kutananda Sutta, the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, and the Mahasatipatthana Sutta.
Known classically as the Anapanasati Sutta, the Pali title of this text is one of the main meditation texts of early Buddhism. Along with the Sutta on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, it is still regarded as one of the two most important scriptures of Theravada Buddhism. “I am breathing in and making my whole body calm and at peace. I am breathing out and making my whole body calm and at peace.”
The Dhammapada is a collection of the sayings of the Buddha. It is a simple, yet thorough, presentation of Buddhist ethics, and can still live up to its original purpose: that of a practical spiritual guide.