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The Dīghanikāya or Long Discourses of the Buddha is one of the four major collections of teachings from the early period of Buddhism. Its 34 suttas (in Sanskrit, sutras) demonstrate remarkable breadth in both content and style, forming a comprehensive collection. The Art of Listening gives an introduction to the Dīghanikāya and demonstrates the historical, cultural, and spiritual insights that emerge when we view the Buddhist suttas as oral literature.
Each sutta of the Dīghanikāya is a paced, rhythmic composition that evolved and passed inter-generationally through chanting. For hundreds of years, these timeless teachings were never written down. Examining 12 suttas of the Dīghanikāya, scholar Sarah Shaw combines a literary approach and a personal one, based on her experiences carefully studying, hearing, and chanting the texts. At once sophisticated and companionable, The Art of Listening will introduce you to the diversity and beauty of the early Buddhist suttas.
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- Karl Lew
I have listened to the Digha Nikaya for years as part of my regular practice. Even so, Dr. Shaw’s excellent book gave me new insights into the depth and breadth of DN as well a renewed sense of wonder. Thank you, Dr. Shaw!
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