Thursday, May 3, 2012
The Buddhist Audio Project
I don't think that sutra study is very popular in the West; many Zen Buddhists prefer Zen literature to classical sutras, both Pali and Mahayana. However, sutra study is a vital component of Buddhist practice. I personally would not feel comfortable studying with a teacher unless s/he were well-versed in traditional scripture.
Since the downloads would be free, the recordings don't have to be professional productions, just as long as the audio is clear and the speaker's voice isn't terrible. (Sorry, but I don't know any other way to put it.) Especially since this is a DIY, grassroots kind of project. The purpose is to spread the Dharma, not aesthetics.
One thing that is really cool is that Buddhism began as an oral tradition, and in a way, this would be bringing that facet of the Dharma back to life.
This could be a way to encourage Buddhists to explore the core Buddhist teachings firsthand. I know there are websites that offer some audio versions of Pali and a few popular Mahayana sutras, but to my knowledge there aren't any that systematically run through the entire canon.
Logistically it doesn't sound too difficult: people could volunteer to read the texts, record them chapter by chapter (for longer sutras), then upload them to a website.
Please share your thoughts and opinions, as well as whether a project like this already exists. Also, if you can come up with a catchier name, let me know.
Photo borrowed from Creative Commons flickr user: Rusty Sheriff.
Posted by Unknown at 8:38 AM