Early Buddhist Writings

A few years ago I read some of the earliest Buddhist texts that we currently know of and was shocked at how different they are to what is generally taught as being Buddhism today. Even Theravada Buddhism, which has the claim of being the oldest surviving school of Buddhism, often presents its teachings in very different ways. These early teachings were direct, forceful and devoid of complexities and lengthy philosophising. They reminded me much more of the pithy statements of Zen and Dzogchen Buddhism, which is surprising as these Buddhist schools are chronologically much later developments that occurred roughly 1000 years after the Buddha’s time. Continue reading