5 Jun
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By    Comments Off on For Dharma Geeks Only

For Dharma Geeks Only

In one of the talks given to the new group of Dedicated Practitioners (DPP5), Tempel Smith mentions a new website that he has “fallen in love with,” so of course I had to check it out.

It’s called Buddha Vacana (which means Words of the Buddha) and basically it’s a way to get a fuller understanding of some of the key words and phrases from the Early Buddhist texts by using side-by-side comparison of the Pali and English translations. What’s really cool — I’m a Dharma Geek, what can I say — is that when you scroll over the Pali word, an info bubble pops up with all the different ways in which that particular word has been translated.

For example, in an excerpt from the Anapanassati Sutta, the well-known teaching about the practice of mindfulness of breathing, anapanassati is broken down into anapana (breath, respiration) + sati (awareness, attention, mindfulness)… and if you click on “for further details” under the word sati, you get:

“sati: the term has two meaning which, although apparently opposed are actually related:

“(1) awareness, attention, mindfulness, fact of being clearly conscious/vigilant. It is one of the seven bojjhangas, said to be the most important because the other six are to be developed along with it. The standard definition of samma-sati, given for example at SN 45.8, actually consists of the description of the four satipatthanas. Sati is one of the five spiritual indriyas and the five balas. Sati as one of the five balas is defined at AN 5.14.

“(2) memory, recollection. This aspect of sati is actually also covered by the definition given at AN 5.14. These two meanings are related in the sense that an awareness supported by the collectedness of concentration is a necessary condition to get proper perception and understanding of what is happening in the present moment, which enables an easy recollection at a later time of what precisely was happening, of what was said, what was done at a prior moment, even a long time before. In one case sati is defined as per what is happening in the present moment, and in the other as per the qualities that develop in the bhikkhu when he has been endowed with this awareness of the present moment for a long time.”

(Each of the italicized words above are hyperlinked to even more information!)


So, OK, the site is not for everyone. But for all you Dharma Geeks…this site is AWESOME.

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