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
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, and
-- 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
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 or
II. Thematic Areas of Buddhism Today
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
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
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 Today?
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 following ways:
contributing articles, translations of Buddhist texts, writing poems,
stories, and reviewing books,
introducing and asking your family members, friends to do the same, and
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 format.
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,
Bhikkhu Thich Nhat-Tu