Dharma Audiobooks

Dharma Audiobooks

Dharma Audiobooks is a new audiobook label with a clear brief: to present Buddhist recordings of all kinds – biographies, histories, talks, suttas and sutras from all traditions, commentaries and classic literature by Western Buddhists – in informed and professional productions. The recordings draw on all the main traditions – Theravada, Mahayana, Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese – as well as the rapidly increasing Western Buddhist tradition and feature some of the leading teachers and writers.

The titles include popular introductions such as Buddhism Plain and Simple and What The Buddha Taught and classic talks such as The Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddha to recordings from the Pali Canon, biographies such as Cave In The Snow and The Life of Milarepa. All titles can be downloaded from Audible.

AT LAST: THE CONNECTED DISCOURSES OF THE BUDDHA

THE SAYUTTA NIKĀYA

Ever since the recording of The Middle Length Discourses, in the translation by Bhikkhus Ñanamoli and Bodhi, was released in August 2019, Dharma Audiobooks has had numerous, regular requests for more of the complete Pāli translations of the Nikāyas.

Now, Taradasa’s recording of The Connected Discourses have been published on Audible – and quite a sizeable release it is, running to nearly 60 hours!!!

Bhikkhu Bodhi approached his task – started and finished by himself this time –initially in his normal meticulous, academic manner, balancing a very approachable translation of the text – and the Buddha was clearly concerned with communicating clearly without undue complexities and obfuscations!! – with an immense amount of introductory material.

In this, Bhikkhu Bodhi wanted to present the suttas in the best way possible for a 21st century audience, providing a context of physical, historical, philosophical and doctrinal matters to support the original Pāli text. His considerable erudition is a great service to the original texts.

However, his approach was book-based: it was designed to work as notes, footnotes, extended classification etc. This doesn’t really work in the linear format in which audiobooks live! So we at Dharma Audiobooks went to some considerable trouble to re-work the supplementary material, for example – placing the general introductions, the background and the specific introductions before each section rather than in introductory blocs.

Therefore, this recording does not follow the book version at all times. But the heart and purpose of Bhikkhu Bodhi’s concept has been maintained, we hope!

The Connected Discourses were clearly collected in the manner which has come down to us in order to preserve the Buddha’s teaching for an oral environment. There are many repetitions, many suttas with tiny variations as, so tradition and the Nikāyas suggest, the Buddha often repeated a teaching; and his followers felt it was important to record in their prodigious memories, every instance. Therefore the listening experience of the Samyutta Nikāya has to take this on board. To repeat, repetition is frequent!

Nevertheless, this recording offers a very strong connection with many key teachings, including ‘dependent origination’, ‘the five aggregates’, ‘the six sense bases’, ‘the seven factors of enlightenment’, ‘the Noble Eightfold Path’, ‘the Four Noble Truths’ and many more.

In addition to the recording, you will receive a sizeable downloadable pdf containing information which makes the navigation of the audio very user-friendly. It not only lists the five Parts, every vagga and the sutta, but also where to find the key teachings.

We hope this new recording will be of value to you in the further understanding and enjoyment of the Dhamma. Taradasa and I spent weeks in a small but private recording studio in the heart of Cambridge – at a time when Covid-19 was creating its own challenges for everyone. We would go in at 9am and, with a break for lunch and the occasional 10 minutes ‘time out’, record, discuss when necessary and make the occasional adjustments…and then emerge at 5pm. It was a challenging time, but we generally ended each day with a feeling of enrichment rather than fatigue. For us, it meant that we could appreciate, even more, the message of the Buddha, and his temperate but uncompromising expression of that message. And, of course, it brings us closer to the world when the Dhamma made its first extraordinary impact 2,500 years ago.

Nicolas Soames

RECENT RELEASES

THE CONNECTED DISCOURSES OF THE BUDDHA
Read by Taradasa

This volume offers a complete translation of the Saṃyutta Nikāya, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, the third of the four great collections in the Sutta Pitaka of the Pāli Canon. The Saṃyutta Nikāya consists of fifty-six chapters, each governed by a unifying theme that binds together the Buddha’s suttas or discourses….Continue Reading

THE LOTUS SŪTRA
Read by Taradasa

The Lotus Sūtra is one of the most important Mahāyāna texts and the most widely read, chanted and revered, particularly in Asian Buddhist countries, notably China and Japan. It is the root text, so-to-speak, of the ‘Pure Land’ schools, which often regard it as the principal Buddhist sutra, the study and practice of which projects the participant along the path to nirvana….Continue Reading

 

THE MIDDLE LENGTH DISCOURSES OF THE BUDDHA
Translated by Bhikkhu Ñānamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi • Read by Taradasa

This audiobook offers a complete translation of the Majjhima Nikāya, or Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, one of the major collections of texts in the Pāli Canon, the authorized scriptures of Theravada Buddhism. This collection – among the oldest records of the historical Buddha’s original teachings – consists of 152 suttas or discourses of middle length, distinguished as such from the longer and shorter suttas of the other collections…Continue Reading

THE DIAMOND SUTRA THE HEART SUTRA THE SUTRA OF HUI NENG

THE DIAMOND SUTRA, THE HEART SUTRA, THE SUTRA OF HUI NENG
Read by Ratnadhya

These three sutras are the most important texts for the Chan (Chinese) and Zen (Japanese) Buddhist traditions, though they are very different in character and provenance. The Diamond Sutra (Vajracheddikā Prajña Pārāmitā Sutra in Sanskrit) has the distinction of being “the earliest complete survival of a dated (11 May 868) printed book’…Continue Reading

THE VIMALAKIRTI SUTRA
Translated by Burton Watson • Read by Taradasa

The Vimalakirti Sutra is one of the most popular of all Mahayana sutras, being especially loved and revered in the Far East. One of the reasons for the Sutra’s popularity is that its principal character, Vimalakirti, is not a Buddha or a Bodhisattva, or even a monk, but a layman with a family living in Vaishali in India, leading – apparently – a secular life… Continue Reading

BUDDHIST MEDITATION: THE BREATH
by Vessantara • Read by Vessantara

The Mindfulness of Breathing meditation has been practised in the Buddhist tradition for 2,500 year. It is now widely used not just among Buddhists, but increasingly in the secular world as the basis of mindfulness training, and in other contexts such as yoga and, in recent times, stress and pain management… Continue Reading

THERAGĀTHĀ

Poems of Early Buddhist Monks

Translated by Mrs Caroline Rhys Davids and Ajahn Sujato • Read Ratnadhya and Tejasvini

The Theragāthā is one of the most striking texts in the Pāli Canon. It is a collection of 264 poems or verses – some short, some long – by monks who, traditionally, lived at the time of the Buddha, and which expressed their experience of insight, the culmination of their spiritual path.  Continue Reading

WHAT THE BUDDHA TAUGHT
By Walpola Sri Rahula • Read by Taradasa

Long regarded as one of the best introductions to Buddhism, What the Buddha Taught draws on the actual words spoken by the Buddha to give a lucid and accurate account of the fundamental principles of Buddhist doctrine. Richly supported by extracts rom the ancient texts, Walpola Rahula gives clear and direct explanations of Buddhism’s essential teachings… Continue Reading

AT LAST: THE CONNECTED DISCOURSES OF THE BUDDHA

THE SAYUTTA NIKĀYA

Ever since the recording of The Middle Length Discourses, in the translation by Bhikkhus Ñanamoli and Bodhi, was released in August 2019, Dharma Audiobooks has had numerous, regular requests for more of the complete Pāli translations of the Nikāyas.

Now, Taradasa’s recording of The Connected Discourses have been published on Audible – and quite a sizeable release it is, running to nearly 60 hours!!!

Bhikkhu Bodhi approached his task – started and finished by himself this time –initially in his normal meticulous, academic manner, balancing a very approachable translation of the text – and the Buddha was clearly concerned with communicating clearly without undue complexities and obfuscations!! – with an immense amount of introductory material.

In this, Bhikkhu Bodhi wanted to present the suttas in the best way possible for a 21st century audience, providing a context of physical, historical, philosophical and doctrinal matters to support the original Pāli text. His considerable erudition is a great service to the original texts.

However, his approach was book-based: it was designed to work as notes, footnotes, extended classification etc. This doesn’t really work in the linear format in which audiobooks live! So we at Dharma Audiobooks went to some considerable trouble to re-work the supplementary material, for example – placing the general introductions, the background and the specific introductions before each section rather than in introductory blocs.

Therefore, this recording does not follow the book version at all times. But the heart and purpose of Bhikkhu Bodhi’s concept has been maintained, we hope!

The Connected Discourses were clearly collected in the manner which has come down to us in order to preserve the Buddha’s teaching for an oral environment. There are many repetitions, many suttas with tiny variations as, so tradition and the Nikāyas suggest, the Buddha often repeated a teaching; and his followers felt it was important to record in their prodigious memories, every instance. Therefore the listening experience of the Samyutta Nikāya has to take this on board. To repeat, repetition is frequent!

Nevertheless, this recording offers a very strong connection with many key teachings, including ‘dependent origination’, ‘the five aggregates’, ‘the six sense bases’, ‘the seven factors of enlightenment’, ‘the Noble Eightfold Path’, ‘the Four Noble Truths’ and many more.

In addition to the recording, you will receive a sizeable downloadable pdf containing information which makes the navigation of the audio very user-friendly. It not only lists the five Parts, every vagga and the sutta, but also where to find the key teachings.

We hope this new recording will be of value to you in the further understanding and enjoyment of the Dhamma. Taradasa and I spent weeks in a small but private recording studio in the heart of Cambridge – at a time when Covid-19 was creating its own challenges for everyone. We would go in at 9am and, with a break for lunch and the occasional 10 minutes ‘time out’, record, discuss when necessary and make the occasional adjustments…and then emerge at 5pm. It was a challenging time, but we generally ended each day with a feeling of enrichment rather than fatigue. For us, it meant that we could appreciate, even more, the message of the Buddha, and his temperate but uncompromising expression of that message. And, of course, it brings us closer to the world when the Dhamma made its first extraordinary impact 2,500 years ago.

Nicolas Soames

Nicolas Soames co-founded and ran the award-winning spoken word label Naxos AudioBooks. Over a period of 20 years he built a list of 800 recordings of classics of world literature – from Homer and Dante to Austen, Dickens, James Joyce and Proust.

Dharma Audiobooks was started in 2015, recording Buddhist texts from all traditions and all ages, both ancient and modern. In 2016 he launched Ukemi Audiobooks with the purpose of recording neglected classics mainly from Western traditions – both fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Greek and Latin texts to philosophy (Nietzsche and Schopenhauer), psychology and psychoanalysis (Freud and Jung); and 20th century classics, including Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks and the early novels of Samuel Beckett.