Monthly Sutra Study

Where and When

Every second Saturday of the month from 9:30AM-12PM at our Radnor Friends Location.

The Sutras are threads (the literal meaning of the word ‘sutra’) of the Buddha’s teachings that were recorded and authenticated by his 500 disciples after his final Nirvana. In Sutra Study, we read the words of the Buddha, the enlightened one, and apply his teachings to the circumstances of our lives. We read a sutra, sit with the words and examine them ourselves. This is the most direct and intimate way to learn about Buddhism, rather than going through the interpretations of second-hand sources.

The Philadelphia Buddhist Association (PBA) Sutra Study program is designed to start with some Pali Buddhist canonical scriptures, including those on: the Noble Search; the Four Noble Truths; and the Not-Self Characteristic, the Fire Sermon and the Buddha’s Last Words. Later, we will study excerpts of a few powerful Mahayana Buddhist canonical scriptures, such as the Heart Sutra, the Plateform Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, the Lotus Sutra, the Lankāvatāra Sūtra, and the Śūrangama Sūtra.

We meet in the morning of the second Saturday of every month. We practice sitting meditation for 20 minutes, from 9:30 AM to 9:50 AM, and start the Sutra Study from 10 AM to 12 PM. A link to the monthly reading will be posted below and on our calendar. We encourage attendees to come prepared to share their understandings, realizations and/or questions of the assigned sutra passage and how it applies to their daily practices and lives.

The Sutra Study is free and all are welcome to attend.

Sutra Study Schedule

Upcoming:

Saturday, ​June 10, 2017
​. Sutra: ‘The biography of Jīvaka Komārabhacca, [the personal physician to the Buddha]’, in the Great Division (Mahavagga) VIII of the Book of the Discipline (Vinaya-Pitaka) Volume IV, translated by I. B. Horner, published by the Pali Text Society, Oxford, 2000
Led by Pierce Salguero

Past:

Saturday, ​May 13, 2017
. Sutra: ​“Sitting Meditation” in The Sutra of Hui-Neng: Grand Master of Zen, Chapter 5 (p. 35-36)
translated by Thomas Cleary
Led by Julianna Lipschutz

Saturday, ​April 8, 2017
. Sutra: “Faith in Mind” by the Third Zen Patriarch, Seng Ts’an​
translated by Master Shengyan
Led by Julianna Lipschutz

Saturday, March 11, 2017
. Sutra: “Heart Sutra
Led by Robert Koller

Saturday, February 11, 2017
. MN 82 PTS: M ii 54, Ratthapala Sutta: About Ratthapala [To the Householder Ratthapala Who Sought Permission from Parents to Go Forth Homeless]
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu © 2006
Led by Robin Carr

Saturday, January 14, 2017
. MN 22 PTS: M i 130, Alagaddupama Sutta: The Water-Snake Simile [“A Discourse about Clinging on Views”]
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu © 2004
Led by Zachary Brown

Saturday, December 10, 2016
. SN IV: Atthakavagga   [“The Chapter on the Goal”]
from the Sutta Nipata [The Group of Discourse], translated from Pali by Luis O Gomez
in The Norton Anthology of World Religions: Buddhism edited by Donald S. Lopez Jr., 2015.
Led by Marcus Bingeheimer

Saturday, November 12, 2016
. MN 28 PTS: M i 184: Maha-hatthipadopama Sutta: The Great Elephant Footprint Simile [“The Four Great Elements & Dependent Arising of the Five Aggregates”], translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu © 2003
Led by Pierce Salguero

October 8, 2016
• MN 10 PTS: M i 55, Satipatthana Sutta: Frames of Reference [“The Four Foundations of Mindfulness”] translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu © 2008
Led by David Carpenter

September 10, 2016
• MN 27 PTS: M i 175, Cula-hatthipadopama Sutta: The Shorter Elephant Footprint Simile, translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu © 2005
Led by Heidi Scheer

August 10, 2016
• MN 4 PTS: M i 16, Bhaya-bherava Sutta: Fear & Terror, translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu © 1998
Led by Julianna Lipschutz

Saturday, July 9, 2016
• Book: The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation: The essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight & Dhyāna Meditation (p. 189-201)—Final Chapter 10: Realization of the Fruits
Led by David Carpenter

Saturday, June 11, 2016
• Book: The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation: The essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight & Dhyāna Meditation (p. 169-187)—Chapter 9: Treatment of Disorders [Or, C. Pierce Salguero’s translation titled “Treating illness“]
Led by David Carpenter, Pierce Salguero & Julianna Lipschutz

Saturday, May 14, 2016
• Book: The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation: The essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight & Dhyāna Meditation (p. 139-153)—Chapter 7: Manifestation of Roots of Goodness
Led by David Carpenter & Robin Carr

Saturday, April 9, 2016
• Book: The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation: The essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight & Dhyāna Meditation (p. 99-137)—Chapter 5: Utilizing Skillful MeansChapter 6: The Actual Cultivation
Led by David Carpenter & Zachary Brown

Saturday, March 12, 2016
• Book: The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation: The essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight & Dhyāna Meditation (p. 77-97)—Chapter 4 : Making Adjustments
Led by David Carpenter & Zachary Brown

Saturday, February 13, 2016
• Book: The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation: The essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight & Dhyāna Meditation (p. 53-75)—Chapter 2 : Renunciation of Desires & Chapter 3: Elimination of the Hindrances
Led by David Carpenter & Zachary Brown

Saturday, January 9, 2016
• Book: The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation: The essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight & Dhyāna Meditation (p. 31-51)—Zhiyi’s Preface & Chapter 1: Fulfillment of the Prerequisite Conditions
Led by David Carpenter

Saturday, December 12, 2015
• Sutra: Sutra of the Eight Realizations of Great Beings (with Annotations)
Led by Robin Carr

Saturday, November 14, 2015
• Sutra: MN 14, Cula-dukkhakkhandha Sutta: The Lesser Mass of Stress
• Sutra: MN 36, Maha-Saccaka Sutta: The Longer Discourse to Saccaka
Led by William Stauffer

Saturday, October 10, 2015
• Sutra: MN118, Ānāpānasati Sutta (“Mindfulness of Breathing”)
Led by Julianna Lipschutz

Saturday, September 12, 2015
• Sutra: MN86, Angulimala Sutta (To Angulimala, a murderer)
Led by Zachary Brown

Saturday, August 8, 2015
• Sutra of Sitting Dhyāna Samādhi
(Selections from The Sutra on the Concentration of Sitting Meditation)
• Zhiyi Six Dharma Gates Chapter Two (Chapter Two)
Led by David Carpenter

Saturday, July 11, 2015
Therigatha: Poems of early Buddhist nuns (Chapter XI)
• The Elders’ Verses II – translated by K. R. Norman
[We will use this version for discussion.]
• Psalms of the Sisters: Canto VI: Psalms of Six Verses – translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Led by Marcus Bingenheimer

Saturday, June 13, 2015
• Sutra: AN 10.60 PTS: A v 108 Girimananda Sutta: Discourse to Girimananda [on Healing Illness] – translated from the Pali by Piyadassi Thera
Led by Robin Carr

Saturday, May 9, 2015
• Sutra: AN 11.16 PTS, Metta (Mettanisamsa) Sutta: Discourse on Advantages of Loving-Kindness – translated from the Pali by Piyadassi Thera
• Sutra Sn (Sutta Nipata) 1.8, Karaniya Metta Sutta: The Buddha’s Words on Loving-Kindness
• Additional translations of Sutra Sn (Sutta Nipata) 1.8 Karaniya Metta Sutta: The Buddha’s Words on Loving-Kindness
Led by Heidi Scheer

Saturday, April 11, 2015
Ud 6.4 PTS: Ud 66
Tittha Sutta: Sectarians (1) translated from the Pali by John D. Ireland
Led by Zachary Brown

Saturday, March 14, 2015
AN 3.65 PTS
Kalama Sutta: The Instruction to the Kalamas translated from the Pali by Soma Thera
Led by William Stauffer

Saturday, February 14, 2015
SN 22.85 at SN III 109
Yamaka Sutta: Discourse to Yamaka
• translated from Pāli by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
• translated from Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi (“The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya” 2003, p. 931-936).
Led by Marcus Bingenheimer

Saturday, January 10, 2015
Maha-parinibbana Sutta: Last Days of the Buddha translated from the Pali by Sister Vajira & Francis Story
Led by David Carpenter

Saturday, December 13, 2014
SN 22.59 Anatta-lakkhana Sutta: The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic translated from the Pali by Ñanamoli Thera
and
SN 35.28 Adittapariyaya Sutta: The Fire Sermon translated from the Pali by Ñanamoli Thera
Led by Robin Carr

Saturday, November 8, 2014
The Four Noble Truths (MN141, Saccavibhanga Sutta: An Analysis of the Truths) translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Led by Frank Hoffman

Saturday, October 11, 2014
The Noble Search (Ariyapariyesana Sutta from Majihima Nikaya26) translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Led by William Stauffer

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