Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Sutra Study (On Zoom)

May 25 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

Join us for our monthly Sutra (Sutta in Pali) study. We will be meeting on Zoom. The Zoom link will be provided in the email announcement. If you are not signed up to receive our weekly emails, please sign up here: http://eepurl.com/h1xjvz

For the next two months Bill Stauffer will lead us in a study of the role of pleasure on the path. The Buddha teaches there are unskillful pleasures that must be avoided or else it is impossible to awaken. The Buddha also teaches there are skillful pleasures which must be developed and which are necessary for awakening. Clearly, we must be able to distinguish skillful pleasures from unskillful pleasures if we wish to practice effectively. This important subject is not often discussed, but the teachings are readily available in the Pali texts. We will read and discuss selections from these texts.

In the Majjhima Nikaya the Buddha teachesOne should know how to define pleasure, and knowing that, one should pursue pleasure within oneself.”  In the same sutta, the Buddha also teaches that sensual pleasure is “a filthy pleasure, a coarse pleasure … it should not be pursued … it should be feared.”  MN 139.  Please note, the Buddha defines sensual pleasure in a specific way. It may not be what you are expecting.

In the Majjhima Nikaya the Buddha questions Anuruddha about delight: “Anuruddha, do you [monks] all delight in the holy life?”  Anuruddha replies: “Surely, venerable sir, we delight in the holy life.”  The Buddha is pleased with this answer and replies: “Good, good Anuruddha!  It is proper for all you clansmen who have gone forth out of faith … to delight in the holy life.” MN 68.

Below is a list of suttas we will be studying, and you can download them here.


  • MN 139: 9: In this sutta the Buddha teaches how to define skillful and unskillful pleasures.
  • MN 68: 4 – 5: In this sutta the Buddha teaches the importance of delighting in the holy life.

Why do Sensual Pleasures bring more suffering? 

  • MN 14: 6 – 14  This sutta describes many examples of how sensual pleasures bring suffering.
  • MN 36: 17 – 19.  The story of a wet sappy piece of wood is used to explain that sensual pleasures can prevent a person from awakening.
  • MN 75. sections marked in handout. Only a person who is ill can find pleasure in sensual pleasures.  Sensual pleasures increase our suffering.

Why should pleasure inside myself be cultivated?

  • MN14: 1 – 5  Description of the Buddha’s discussion with Mahanama
  • MN 68: 4 – 6, 8 – 13, 24 The value of delighting and being inspired by the holy life.
  • MN 36: 28 – 44  What the Buddha learned about enlightenment when he was a boy under the roseapple tree.From 9:30am to 9:50am we will have 20 minutes of mediation, and the sutra study will begin at 10am after a short break.

If you have any questions, please email us at  info@philabuddhist.org.


May 25
9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:


Philadelphia Buddhist Association



Keep up-to-date with Philadelphia Buddhist Association

Contact Us

Philadelphia Buddhist Association
16 North Bryn Mawr Avenue
PO Box 1355
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
E-mail: info@philabuddhist.org

Philadelphia Buddhist Association © 2024. All Rights Reserved.