Thānissaro Bhikkhu

Handful of Leaves vol. 2: An Anthology from the Majjhima Nikaya

Handful of Leaves vol. 2: An Anthology from the Majjhima Nikaya

The Majjhima Nikāya — the Middle Collection — is the second collection in the Sutta Piṭaka. It takes its name from the length of the discourses it contains: shorter than those in the Long Collection, longer than those in the Connected and Numerical Collections. There are 152 suttas in all. This anthology offers complete translations of 100 of these suttas, and excerpts from three.

The suttas in the Majjhima Nikāya are among the most interesting and informative of the Canon. However, when they were collected they were organized for ease of memorization, not for ease of study. So, as an introduction to the collection, here is a list of suttas organized by topic, from the more fundamental to the more advanced.

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About Thānissaro Bhikkhu

Thānissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff) is an American Buddhist monk in the kammaṭṭhāna (Thai forest) Tradition. After graduating from Oberlin College in 1971 with a degree in European Intellectual History, he traveled to Thailand where he studied meditation with Ajahn Fuang Jotiko, who was himself a disciple of the late Ajahn Lee.

He joined the order of monks in Wat Dhammasathit in 1976, where he remained after the death of his teacher in 1986. In 1991, he traveled to the San Diego County hills of the US, where he helped Ajahn Suwat Suwaco establish Metta Forest Monastery (Wat Mettavanaram). He has been abbot of that monastery since 1993.

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu is perhaps best known for his translations of the Dhammapada and the Sutta Pitaka - more than 1000 suttas - and so the main share for the sutta translations for the website Accesstoinsight, and his translations of 'Dhamma-talks' from the Thai forest Ajahns. He has also written several of his own works on the Dhamma and study guides for his Pali translations.

You yourselves must strive, the Buddhas only point the way

Buddha, Dhp 276