Today I’m happy to welcome you to The Open Buddhist University at GitHub. Congratulations on your admission!

As you may have noticed, there are two primary ways to study here: taking our courses or hanging out at the library.

The library contains all the best content I’ve found for learning about Buddhism. Every piece featured in the bibliographies has been vetted for both accuracy and relevance.

As I slowly review and add more content, I highlight the best finds here as well as in the email newsletter, so be sure to subscribe for the best free content on Buddhism available online.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces you might want to check out if you haven’t already:

A lonely temple, nestled in the mountains of central Taiwan, says goodnight.

In this beautiful letter to a friend (and one of my favorite books period), Thay offers practical advice and encouragement to cultivate mindfulness: the quality of presence and wakefulness in our life. From washing the dishes to answering the phone, he reminds us that each moment holds within it the seeds of understanding and peace. Highly recommended for all, especially newcomers to Buddhism or meditation, or anyone looking to brighten their day.

In this essay, Judith Shklar (not a Buddhist) ponders the implications of placing cruelty first (as the Buddha did). She shows how this position stands at odds with both Christian piety and neoliberal apathy and carves out a more realistic humanism than either extreme.

On separating out early from later Buddhism and why it matters.

Ajahn Geoff explains how the monastic institution works by creating an economy of gifts.

Who was the Buddha in his own words? In this story, he calls himself the “Tathagata” or “Truth-Arriver”, and he responds to a question on what will become of him after his death. The Buddha explains that he doesn’t talk in such terms, as he has overcome all such notions as “I am the body” or “I am the mind” so how could such a question ever be answered? He ends the discourse by famously saying that all he teaches is suffering and the end of suffering, thus redirecting our attention from empty philosophical musings to the things that matter most.

Ajahn Brahm gives a talk on how to achieve harmony in real life, where we all-too-often meet difficult people.

What lies behind this insistence on love is a worry: without a deep-seated fear that one day love would no longer exist (or exist in the same way) why would anyone feel that they have to insist upon it so much?

Congratulations again on making it here. I hope you learn something truly worthwhile, and I invite you to email me (at the address below) with any questions or feedback you may have.

Yours etc,
The Librarian, Than Khemarato