open letter from the Editor, Buddhism Today
Respected Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis, and dear Dhamma friends,
In order to contribute to the propagation of the Buddha's teachings,
and to share the spiritual enjoyment in its practice, we have established
a web site named Buddhism Today - with articles and essays in both English
and Vietnamese - at the address below:
We sincerely hope that you would join us by participating and contributing
your thoughts, comments and essays for the benefit and happiness of all
beings in this world.
I. Purposes and Objectives of
As its name indicates, this home page Buddhism Today focuses on two
-- to study and introduce Buddhism as the original teachings of the
Buddha as well as Buddhist doctrines after the Parinibbaana of the Buddha,
-- to introduce the application or experience of applying the Buddhadhamma
in our daily life, especially in the context of today's conditions. Buddhism
Today, however, centers around Theravaada Buddhism, rather than any other
forms of Buddhism.
In order to serve the first objective, Buddhism Today carries the studies
in the Historical Buddha and his authentic teachings, in parallel with
doctrines developed later in Buddhist history. The concept "Buddhism" here
does not merely denote the Buddha's teachings, as presented in the Pali
Tipi.taka, but also cover the teachings of different schools of thought
in Buddhism as well. The later came into existence as a result from various
approaches, interpretations and applications of the very original teachings
of the Buddha, in various contexts of interaction with different cultures
and regional religions, during the time Buddhism was introduced and expanded.
The original teachings of the Buddha consist of the four noble truths (cattaari
ariya-saccaani), the principle of dependent origination (pa.ticca samuppaada),
the law of moral responsibility (kamma), three principle signs (tilakkha.na)
of all phenomena: impermanence (anicca), unsubstantiality (anattaa) and
non-satisfactoriness (dukkha), as well as the middle path (majjhimaa pa.tipadaa)
as the gateway to freedom, etc. The developed and derived forms of Buddhist
doctrines are, here, confined to the teachings of Sarvaastivaada and those
of Mahaayaana, Zen school as well as Pure Land Buddhism, much developed
in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam.
In order to perform the second function, Buddhism Today provides information,
studies, real life practice and guidelines by senior Bhikkhus, Bhikkhunis
and scholars through the world. All these hopefully would assist you in
your daily spiritual practice for a fruitful outcome. In addition to this,
Buddhism Today also tries to utilize research methodology in modern sciences,
to interpret and communicate the Buddha's teachings. This, in our belief,
could meet with the multiple needs of Buddhists in this scientific age,
with changes and developments in our society at increasing speeds.
On the basis of these two objectives, Buddhism Today would upload to
its site only research articles or practical writings mainly pertaining
to the teachings of the Buddha as well as its application to our daily
life. Buddhism Today will serve as the "bridge" between learning and practicing
Buddhism for the Buddhist communities worldwide, without any discrimination
on the basis of races or social status, Buddhist or non-Buddhist, and gender.
The motivation and objectives of Buddhism Today are to make its honest
and practical contribution to assist you in studying and practicing the
teachings of the Buddha and of his noble disciples (saavakas), either Arahant
II. Thematic Areas of Buddhism
Keeping all these motives and objectives in mind, the thematic areas
of Buddhism Today, generally speaking, cover all studies in the Historical
Buddha and his noble teachings (Buddhadhamma / Buddhasaasana), according
to different schools of thought in Buddhism. In other words, it comprises
of researches on the whole Tipit.aka, its commentaries, as well as essays
by modern scholars and practicing Buddhists from all over the world. The
themes of Buddhism Today can be grouped under following categories:
1. Buddhism for Beginners consists of articles providing the general
information on the historical founder of Buddhism - Gotama the Buddha,
the fundamental teachings of the Buddha, Buddhism around the world, as
well as practical guidance for those who aspire to become enlightened children
of the Buddha, ie. the Buddhists.
2. Questions and Answers assists you to understand Buddhism in the form
of "self-study", in simple terms, easy to remember and to follow.
3. The Buddha and His Teachings is a research and introduction of the
historical Buddha and his profound teachings from different points of views
- ethically, philosophically, linguistically, etc.
4. Buddhist Schools of Thought focuses on the background to the rise
and development of different forms of Buddhism, such as Theravaada, Sarvaastivaada,
5. Buddhist Scriptures introduces to you important Buddhist texts, translated
from both Pali and Sanskrit manuscripts.
6. Buddhism and Ethics covers researches on the Vinaya, practical and
applied ethics such as ahi"msaa, suicide, euthanasia, abortion, professional
ethics, management ethics, ethically social interactions and duties, etc.
7. Buddhism and Philosophy includes researches on epistemology, logic,
ontology in the light of comparison of the Buddha's and Buddhist teachings
to those of other philosophers, both ancient and modern.
8. Buddhism and Psychology consists of researches on Buddhism as a kind
of "psychology without a soul," in comparison with modern psychology.
9. Buddhism and Science comprises of researches on Buddhism from scientific
point of view. It utilizes the methods and approaches of sciences to interpret
the profound teachings of the Buddha.
10. Buddhism and Ecology includes researches on ecosystem from the teachings
of the Buddha as presented in the Buddhist texts. It suggests Buddhist
solutions for the serious problem of degradation of our environment.
11. Meditation Practice presents different methods of calming the mind
from worldly disturbances, for a happy and peaceful life, and to develop
insight and wisdom.
12. Buddhism around the World takes you to different corners of the
world to visit the various cultures and heritages of Buddhism, in the past
and in our present time.
13. Book Reviews introduces to you some good books on Buddhism, theoretical
or practical by Buddhist monks, nuns and scholars.
14. Buddhist Poems and Stories provides you some tips to enjoy life
III. How Can You Help Buddhism
In order to make Buddhism Today to be a real good friend of yours, we
humbly ask you to support us and volunteer your services in one of the
contributing articles, translations of Buddhist texts, writing poems,
stories, and reviewing books,
introducing and asking your family members, friends to do the same,
typing and sending good articles (without infringement to the copyright)
on Buddhism to Buddhism Today , by sending it as an attachment to your
e-mail message. We would prefer to receive it in a standard Word DOC
Buddhism Today sincerely looks forward to receiving your valuable contributions,
supports and assistance, so that its web page could serve as a good friend
of yours and of others in the practice and realization of the messages
of the Buddha.
Yours in the Dhamma,