Theravada—literally, the Teachings of the Elders—is an ancient Buddhist tradition that has nurtured practices and teachings of wisdom, love and liberation for over two thousand years. Liberation, the pivotal point around which the tradition revolves, is a deep seeing
into and participation in the reality of “things as they are”: our ordinary world seen and experienced without the filters of greed, hatred, and delusion.
With the ever present, timeless immediacy of “things as they are” as its central reference point, the Theravada school is a fluid and varied tradition evolving in response to the particular personal, historical, and cultural circumstances of its adherents. Today there are over one hundred million Theravada Buddhists in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. The three most influential Theravada countries are Burma, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, and it is from these countries that the tradition has come to the West.
The most popular Theravada practice in North America today is Mindfulness. It was introduced by young Americans who had studied in Southeast Asia and is one of the few Buddhist p
Theravada Buddhism teaches that friendship is an invaluable support for the spiritual life, and spiritual friendships among practitioners, and between students and teachers, are
Through the centuries, Theravada Buddhism has had much to say about politics. Many Southeast Asian kings have tried to live up to the ten virtues and duties for political leaders e
In a number of suttas popular in Southeast Asia, the Buddha speaks about how to live well in the world. The Siga- laka Sutta addresses the responsibilities of our social and fami
Theravada Buddhism distinguishes between the Path of Liberation and the Path of Worldly Well-Being. This corresponds loosely to the Western distinction between spiritual and se
A key element at every stage of the journey is faith. In Theravada Buddhism, faith does not mean blind belief. Rather, it describes trust or confidence in oneself, in the teachings