Any work that is considered canonical by a Buddhist tradition.

There is a way of developing immersion further

beings are intoxicated with life and engage in misconduct by body, speech, and mind. But when one often reflects upon [death], the intoxication with life is diminished.

AN 5.172: Assured (2018)

Featured in the course, " Buddhist Ethics"

‘I’ve developed the heart’s release by love… Yet somehow ill will still occupies my mind.’

Let them enjoy the filthy, lazy pleasure of possessions, honor, and popularity.

A group of monks tries to figure out the meaning of a difficult poem uttered by the Buddha. After offering several interpretations, the Buddha gives his answer.

Mendicants, these seven perceptions, when developed and cultivated, are very fruitful and beneficial. They culminate in the deathless and end with the deathless. What seven? The perceptions of ugliness, death, repulsiveness of food, dissatisfaction with the whole world, impermanence, suffering in impermanence, and not-self in suffering.

On the eight ways that people become defensive when admonished: a useful mirror for how we handle criticism. When was the last time you were “like a wild colt?”

It would be good, lord, if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief

One imagines this sutta was delivered to a group of monks frustrated with an erratic companion. The Buddha gently encourages them to develop empathy by cultivating themselves and to recognize that, in the final analysis, some people are simply best avoided.

This epic poem on grasping firmly the intention to awaken has inspired many generations of Buddhists to live a more ethical and spiritual life and it captures beautifully the aesthetic of Buddhist ethics. Well worth reading again and again and again.

A beautiful reading of some of the most famous verses in Buddhism.

Is it possible, venerable sir, to point out any fruit of recluseship that is visible here and now?

A long and entertaining debate with a skeptic who went to extravagant lengths to prove that there is no such thing as an afterlife.

A magisterial compendium of good advice for lay people.

Khp 5: The Highest Blessings

Featured in the course, " Buddhism 101"

Venerable Shariputra explains five ways to quell anger through wise attention, giving five memorable similes on being determined to find the good in everyone.

Diverse problems demand a diverse range of responses. Rather than selling a “one size fits all” solution, in this sutta the Buddha outlines seven methods for dealing with the afflictions of life and in so doing gives us a comprehensive overview of Buddhist practices.

MN 5: Unblemished (2018)

Featured in the course, " Buddhist Ethics"

‘Others will be cruel; we shall not be cruel here’

Here the Buddha details the seventh factor of the noble eightfold path—right mindfulness. This collects many of the meditation teachings found throughout the canon, especially the practices focusing on the body, and is regarded as one of the most important discourses in the contemporary Theravada tradition.

MN 15: Measuring Up (2009)

Featured in the course, " Buddhist Ethics"

In a practical meditation teaching, the Buddha describes five progressive approaches to arresting unwanted thoughts.

I have taught the Dhamma compared to a raft, for the purpose of crossing over, not for the purpose of holding onto. Understanding the Dhamma as taught compared to a raft, you should let go even of Dhammas, to say nothing of non-Dhammas.

Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, while I was still only an unenlightened Bodhisatta, I too, being myself subject to birth, sought what was also subject to birth

So this holy life, bhikkhus, does not have gain, honour, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of virtue for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakeable deliverance of mind that is the goal of this holy life, its heartwood, and its end.

And how is a mendicant not skilled in characteristics? It’s when a mendicant doesn’t understand that a fool is characterized by their deeds

If there is rebirth, then what gets reborn?

One of the most detailed descriptions of morality in the early canon, this discourse lists twenty kinds of actions: unwholesome and wholesome.

Wisdom and consciousness–these things are mixed, not separate. And you can never completely dissect them

A deep discussion between the Bhikkhuni Dhammadinnā and her student, the layman Visākha, on many profound topics, including the very highest meditative attainments.

‘By this virtue or observance or asceticism or holy life I shall become a great god or some lesser god,’ that is wrong view in his case. Now there are two destinations for one with wrong view, I say: hell or the animal realm. So, Puṇṇa, if his dog-duty succeeds, it will lead him to the company of dogs; if it fails, it will lead him to hell.

Indeed, I have long been tricked, cheated, and defrauded by this mind.

And even those disciples of his who fall out with their companions in the holy life and abandon the training to return to the low life–even they praise the Master and the Dhamma and the Sangha; they blame themselves instead of others, saying: “We were unlucky, we have little merit”

I did not delight in the contemplative Gotama’s speech; I condemned it, rose from my seat, and left!

He doesn’t assume consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.

The Buddha gives a sixteen-step guided meditation on the breath and then explains how this meditation fulfills the four foundations of mindfulness and the seven factors of enlightenment.

The Buddha explains how mindfulness of the body should be cultivated and to what benefits it leads.

The Buddha describes his own meditation on emptiness and tells Ānanda how a meditator can descend into emptiness herself through seclusion and wise attention.

One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, should cultivate relinquishment, and should train for peace.

although I have long waited upon the Teacher and bhikkhus worthy of esteem, never before have I heard such a talk on the Dhamma

The monastic rules for Theravada Bhikkhunis, prepared in a bilingual English-Pali edition for study and recitation.

It is wrong perception that leads to the concepts of being and nonbeing.

What is the one thing, O Gotama, Whose killing you approve?

Suppose a trustworthy and reliable man were to come from the east. He’d approach you and say: ‘Please sir, you should know this. I come from the east. There I saw a huge mountain that reached the clouds. And it was coming this way, crushing all creatures.’

The Buddha is confronted by an angry and rude Brahmin.

who can untangle this tangle?

A pithy and deep sutta on the true difference between the ordinary and the enlightened mind.

Just as two sheaves of reeds might stand leaning against each other, so too, with name-and-form as condition, consciousness comes to be; with consciousness as condition, name-and-form comes to be.

“Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”–“No, venerable sir.”

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.

Now suppose that in the autumn – when it’s raining in fat, heavy drops – a water bubble were to appear & disappear on the water, and a man with sight were to see it. To him it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance could there be in a bubble? In the same way, a man with wisdom sees a feeling. To him it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance could there be in a feeling?

How is a sentient being defined?

Monks! All is aflame!

Insofar as it disintegrates, it is called the ‘world.’

I say it’s not possible to know, see or reach the end of the world by traveling. But I also say there’s no making an end of suffering without reaching the end of the world.

If a bhikkhu seeks delight in [the senses], welcomes them, and remains holding to them, he is called a bhikkhu who has swallowed Mara’s hook. He has met with calamity and disaster, and the Evil One can do with him as he wishes.

Suppose a person was to catch six animals, with diverse territories and feeding grounds, and tie them up with a strong rope.

One should rein in the mind thus: ‘This path is fearful, dangerous, strewn with thorns, covered by jungle, a deviant path, an evil path, a way beset by scarcity. This is a path followed by inferior people; it is not the path followed by superior people. This is not for you.’ In this way the mind should be reined in

Suppose a person was to catch six animals, with diverse territories and feeding grounds, and tie them up with a strong rope.

This famous simile compares physical pain and mental anguish to two arrows: the second of which is optional.

In this controversial sutta, the Buddha declares that everything an individual experiences is not necessarily the result of past karma.

Protecting oneself, bhikkhus, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself.

Protecting oneself, bhikkhus, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself.

You must carry around this bowl of oil filled to the brim between the crowd and the most beautiful girl of the land. A man with a drawn sword will be following right behind you, and wherever you spill even a little of it, right there he will fell your head.

In this famous simile, the Buddha explains how rare it is to receive a human rebirth in the time of a Buddha and encourages us to use the opportunity well.

Whoso has boys, has sorrow of his boys,
Whoso has kine, by kine come his annoys.
Man’s assets, these of all his woes are chief.
Who has no more, no more has grief.

The person who’s to their body-cave
Clouded by many moods…

a perilous flood has arisen,
for those oppressed by old age and death,
let me declare an island to you.
Owning nothing, taking nothing:
this is the island with nothing further.
I call this [island] ‘nibbāna,’
the extinction of old age and death.

Subha Bhikkhuni finds a creative solution to sexual harassment.

indeed there is no thing there

The essential meditation manual of the Theravada Tradition and the book that, legend has it, convinced the Sri Lankan elders to allow Acariya Buddhaghosa to write the (now quasi-canonical) Pāli Commentaries.