• The Early Teachings of the Buddha with Sarah Shaw

  • By: Sarah Shaw, Wise Studies
  • Narrated by: Sarah Shaw
  • Length: 6 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This lecture series with Sarah Shaw looks at several texts in the Pali Canon from the Dīgha Nikāya, the “collection of long discourses”. Sarah explores the Buddha’s teachings on subjects, including meditation, ethics, meditative states, and conditionality. This series is an excellent foundation for understanding the underpinnings of all Buddhist philosophy.

The discourses are set within narratives of the Buddha’s life. These texts have varied genres designed to have different effects. They range from prescriptive ways to apply the practice, to evocative imagery that symbolizes the teaching, to ethical recommendations about how to act in the world. This course explains the context and background of these timeless teachings.

  • Session One: Sarah gives an overview of the course. She offers a historical and cultural background for the early suttas and discusses some of the key teachings in Buddhist philosophy, including the four noble truths and the eightfold path.
  • Session Two: Samaññaphala-Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life - Through the story of King Ajātasattu’s visit to see the Buddha, we are introduced to the stages of meditative absorption, the jhānas.
  • Session Three: Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna-Sutta: The Great Discourse on the Establishing of Mindfulness - Sarah covers the four foundations of mindfulness in this, one of the most famous, important, and most widely studied texts in the Pali Canon.
  • Session Four: The Mahāsamāya-Sutta, a very popular ceremonial text, and the Mahāsudassana-Sutta, a visualization of the "palace" in the "city" of the mind, ruled by a great king, the Buddha in an earlier life as Bodhisattva.
  • Session Five: The Sangīti-Sutta - Sariputta, one of the Buddha’s chief disciples, gives a talk listing the principles of the Buddha’s teaching.
  • Session Six: The Sigālovāda-Sutta - The Buddha instructs a young man on how to live an ethical life.
  • Session Seven: The Mahānidāna-Sutta - The Great Causes Discourse - In this session, Sarah explains this key text on the principle of dependent origination.

Sarah Shaw received her PhD in English from Manchester University. After studying Pali and Sanskrit at Oxford, she began teaching and writing on Buddhist subjects. She has written several books on meditation theory and practice, and jātaka literature. She is the author of several books, including Introduction to Buddhist MeditationThe Jātakas: Birth Stories of the Bodhisatta, and her most recent book, The Spirit of Buddhist Meditation. She is a member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, and Wolfson College. She is a fellow of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies.

©2017 Wise Studies (P)2017 Wise Studies

What listeners say about The Early Teachings of the Buddha with Sarah Shaw

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An “interesting”take from a “British” perspective

This is a classic “western” understanding of Buddhist mythology and cosmology.. I enjoyed it, but did not really learn anything about Buddhism except a modern secular perspective that tends to “psychologize” and therefore makes the Buddhist vocab more understandable to people with western education...

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  • Tout en chantant
  • 11-20-21

Very shallow and poorly put together

This lectures are terribly boring. First of all they have been very poorly edited which means that at some point she jumps from one level of the subject to another quite unexpectedly making the whole thing and clear (for example her explanation of the jahnas).
She speaks very very slowly which I find distracting, and in a kind of popular way that does not do the subject justice.
And I am going to try and finish it but it has become a chore!

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  • Buddhasamagama
  • 04-18-20

Beautiful

Beautifully read and with deep, deep content. Thank you 😘 also you included your dog! Nice one hahaha

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