This landmark collection is the definitive introduction to the Buddha's teachings - in his own words. The American scholar-monk Bhikkhu Bodhi, whose voluminous translations have won widespread acclaim, here presents selected discourses of the Buddha from the Pali Canon, the earliest record of what the Buddha taught. Divided into ten thematic chapters, In the Buddha's Words reveals the full scope of the Buddha's discourses, from family life and marriage to renunciation and the path of insight. A concise, informative introduction precedes each chapter, guiding the reader toward a deeper understanding of the texts that follow.
In the Buddha's Words allows even readers unacquainted with Buddhism to grasp the significance of the Buddha's contributions to our world heritage. Taken as a whole, these texts bear eloquent testimony to the breadth and intelligence of the Buddha's teachings, and point the way to an ancient yet ever-vital path. Students and seekers alike will find this systematic presentation indispensable.
"I am sure that many people will benefit from In the Buddha's Words."
– Thich Nhat Hanh
"A remarkable book. In the Buddha's Words is an anthology drawing primarily of the first four [widely available translations of collections of the Buddha's spoken teachings], and manages quite successfully to both summarize them and extract their essence. [ . . . ] Although this material has been available for some time now, one of the things that has remained a difficulty for many readers is its complexity and scope. In the Buddha's Words provides a framework with which to see the teachings' overall structure, and it does so in a skillful way. Bhikkhu Bodhi's introductions alone, strung together, would themselves serve as a beautiful and accessible overview of the dhamma. [ . . . ] I think this anthology will rapidly become the sourcebook of choice for both neophyte and serious student alike. In the Buddha's Words reveals the mature understanding of someone who has not only a complete mastery of his material, but also of someone who has deeply understood the nature and intention of the dhamma and who shares it with us as an expression of his own caring. This publication will be very much welcomed by Western meditators and students of the dhamma. [ . . . ] Any amount of study or practice that helps to deepen wisdom and assist us to emerge from layers of delusion is precious. This book could contribute to this enterprise more than almost anything else in print. It gives us access to the very texture of the dhamma, the specific words and phrases, which guided and inspired the Buddha's original students. Bhikkhu Bodhi has created a framework upon which he has placed the key elements of the dhamma for all to plainly see and investigate for themselves. With a map of such clarity in hand, one may tread the landscape with confidence. Those for whom the Buddha's teaching is a living tradition will find this book to be a dear friend and spiritual companion. My overall response to the work is one of gratitude--to the author, the translator and editor, the publisher, and all the other helpers and benefactors who have contributed to making this gift to the world."
– Andrew Olendzki, Executive Director of the Barre Center of Buddhist Studies – excerpted from a three-page review in Buddhadharma
"As close as we'll get to the original teachings and account of the life of the Buddha."
"Congratulations and gratitude to Wisdom for the new publication In the Buddha's Words--if someone relatively new to Buddhism were to buy only one book, this should be it!"
– Jean Smith, author of NOW! and editor of 365 Zen
"In the Buddha's Words has ten chapters, each with an insightful introduction and a handful of sutras, many newly translated, edited and condensed to make them more manageable for the non-scholar. The book begins with a rich explanatory General Introduction that alone would be worth the purchase of the book."
– Right View magazine, from the Mid-America Buddhist Association