Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha out as ebook


Daniel Ingram is a fairly well known Buddhist teacher in certain circles. He gathered a bit of controversy years ago by being publicly willing to claim arhatship, a level of Buddhist awakening or enlightenment. This is something that is generally not done (whether achieved or not) within the Buddhist community, especially in the Western vipassana community utilizing the same general practices and orientation as Dr. Ingram.

Daniel wrote a book, Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, which he initially offered in blog format and then, later, as a freely downloadable PDF and in wiki format.

This book, and Daniel, propelled a lot of people into the “Hardcore Dharma” movement (as it has been called), including Alan Chapman, whom I blogged about the other day. He’s been influential on quite a few folks to get down to meditating, focusing on practice as the essence and not getting too mired down in theory. For the people that are part of this movement (quite a few of whom are connected with Buddhist Geeks in some fashion), Daniel’s no bullshit approach has been very appealing. You can watch a few videos of Daniel speaking about his approach as well.

Doctoral student, Brooke Schedneck, has written a few blog posts about the movement, here and here, which outline some of the controversy. As she points out, some people are calling it “Pragmatic Dharma” now but the terms are not terribly important.

I’ve had a copy of Daniel’s book since it as a PDF and have worked with some of the techniques, though not in any systematic fashion. I’ve been following the discussions around it, and related teachers such as Kenneth Folk, fairly closely over time. I picked up the paperback of his revised edition a few years ago to support him but have watched for a true ebook format (as PDF is pretty craptastic on ebook readers).

I noticed this last week that his book is now available in Kindle format from Amazon, in ePub from Barnes and Noble, and from Google Books in whatever format they use… I figured this might be a good time to highlight his book and post a few links to it for others since ebook readers are becoming more of the norm, especially in the geek crowd.

You can find it as follows:

You can also view an ebook sample of it at Google Books, which I’ve embedded as a nasty iframe below on my blog.

I encourage those thinking about really knuckling down to practice, especially if interested in Theravadan Vipassana techniques, to check out the book and, perhaps, to just do it for a few months. See how it works out for you!

I’m actually planning on doing so as a project over this winter, working consistently with the practices as Daniel outlines them. When I talk here about Open Source Buddhism, in many ways, I’m talking about people doing exactly what Daniel Ingram has done (with or without claims of awakening). People taking the teachings of the Buddhadharma, regardless of source, working with them intensely to figure out what really seems to work or not, and then teaching them to others, so they can then do the same.

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