I’m an avid reader of books about Buddhism. I also like to give talks about Buddhism, inspired by what I’ve read and by questions put to me by those who come to Budakoda. To prepare a talk I write my thoughts down on paper and then try to put them into some kind of order. This can be a humbling experience, because when you prepare in this way you discover what you don’t know. You discover what arguments you can reasonably defend and what arguments you are unsure of. Over the last few years I have gone through this process many times, sometimes repeating the talks, and when I revisit the talks I find often that what I thought previously was complete, is not complete, and needs to be changed.

I find working with a pen to gather my thoughts on paper is a more creative process for me, than putting my thoughts directly onto the computer. But over time, as I become more satisfied with the talk or piece of writing then they find their way onto the computer. And from the computer they can be shared more widely with others. Of course this doesn’t make them complete nor does it mean that they won’t need changing at some point, but it does mean that, for now, I am reasonably satisfied with these pieces of writing as a record of my current thinking on different topics.

If you read them all you will realise that I am a western buddhist with a western sense of the importance of historical consciousness, who nevertheless values the meaning contained in non-historical or mythical accounts, and who draws on all the traditions of eastern buddhism. Perhaps I have a preference for the early buddhism of the pali canon because I believe that all of the basic ideas and practices of buddhism have their origins there, but I am also greatly inspired by the bodhisattva ideal and by the rich, imaginative world of the mahayana.

I’m also interested in the interface between modern science and buddhism particularly in the area of neuroscience and psychology, and in the relevance of practising everyday mindfulness.

Over time I hope to add more pieces of writing. If you have any comments please do write to me, but in english please. My estonian is not good enough to engage in such discussion. In any case I hope you find something of value in these writings.

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Dharmachari Vaddhaka
December 2010

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