BOOKS> Unlocking the Dīghanikāya (Shaw), and Rongzompa on Dzogchen (Sur)

Nikko Odiseos's picture

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to share two new releases.

1. The Art of Listening: A Guide to the Early Teachings of Buddhism
Exploring the Dīghanikāya–The Long Discourses of the Buddha
by Sarah Shaw (Oxford)

Rather than a standard description, I am including an appraisal from Ven. Bhikku Bodhi which conveys the promise of this book quite clearly:

"For many years I regarded the Dīgha Nikāya, the Buddha’s Long Discourses, as of little personal relevance, seeing it as primarily aimed at enhancing the status of Buddhism in the social and cultural milieu of ancient India. Sarah Shaw’s book has radically transformed my assessment of this collection. Beautifully written and rich in observations, her inspired work shows the Digha to be perhaps the boldest and most majestic of the four Nikāyas. In Shaw’s treatment of the text, the Digha merges two contrasting perspectives in a tense but happy harmony: a panoramic vision of the vast cosmic significance of the Buddha and his teaching, and an earthy view of the Buddha’s concrete physical presence in this world. This contrast, she argues, is seen most poignantly in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, the long narrative on the Buddha’s final journey and passage into nirvana, where he himself exemplifies his teaching of universal impermanence. I believe that for others, too, this book will have a lasting impact on their appreciation of the Digha, offering many new ways of looking at this fascinating collection of early Buddhist texts." —Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

I should also add this will likely be interest to traditions beyond Theravada as there is much in here drawing connections to other Buddhist practices and thought including Pure Land, Vajrayana, and more.

Table of Contents

PART ONE: Orality and Practice in the Early Buddhist Suttas
1. What Is an Oral Literature, and How Does It Work? 
2. Of Bards and Bhāvanā: Oral Literature and Buddhist Practice 
3. Situating the Dīghanikāya amid the Four Nikāyas 
4. Literary Features of the Dīghanikāya 
5. Number Symbolism and the Dīghanikāya 
6. Myth and the Cardinal Points: Creating a Space for “Beings in All Directions” 

PART TWO: Exploring the Suttas of the Dīghanikāya
7. Journeys and the Net of Views: Brahmajāla-sutta—The Discourse on Brahmā’s Net (Sutta 1) 
8. The Fruits of Meditation: Sāmaññaphala-sutta—The Discourse on the Fruits of the Contemplative Life (Sutta 2) 
9. Perception and Its Cessation: Poṭṭhapāda-sutta— The Discourse about Poṭṭhapāda (Sutta 9, Part One) 
10. Self: Poṭṭhapāda-sutta—The Discourse about Poṭṭhapāda (Sutta 9, Part Two) 
11. Repetition and Awakening: Mahāpadāna-sutta—The Great Discourse on the Harvest of Deeds (Sutta 14) 
12. The Buddha’s Last Journey: Mahāparinibbāna-sutta—The Discourse on the Final Awakening (Sutta 16) 
13. How Things Prosper: Mahāsudassana-sutta—The Discourse on the Great King of Glory (Sutta 17) 
14. Establishing Mindfulness: Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna-sutta—The Great Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness (Sutta 22)
15. Origins and How Things Get Worse: Cakkavattisīhanāda-sutta—The Lion’s Roar on the Turning of the Wheel (Sutta 26)
16. The Great Person: Lakkhaṇa-sutta— The Discourse on the Marks (Sutta 30)
17. The Lay Life and How to Behave: Sigālovāda-sutta— The Discourse with Advice to Sigāla (Sutta 31) 
18. Magic, Protection, and the Four Kings: Āṭānāṭiya-sutta—The Discourse of Āṭānāṭā (Sutta 32) 
19. Chanting Together: Saṅgīti-sutta— The Chanting Together Discourse (Sutta 33) 
The Thirty-two Marks of the Great Person 

PAGES: 304
ISBN: 9781611808858

This is also available as an audiobook, read by the author.  


The second release is a paperback reissue

2. Entering the Way of the Great Vehicle: Dzogchen as the Culmination of the Mahāyanā

by Dominic Sur (Utah State)

Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo wrote this treatise in the eleventh century during the renaissance of Buddhism in Tibet that was spurred by the influx of new translations of Indian Buddhist texts, tantras, and esoteric transmissions from India. For political and religious reasons, adherents of the “new schools” of Tibetan Buddhism fostered by these new translations cast the older tradition of lineages and transmissions as impure and decadent. Rongzompa composed the work translated here in order to clearly and definitively articulate how Dzogchen was very much in line with the wide variety of sutric and tantric teachings espoused by all the Tibetan schools. Using the kinds of philosophic and linguistic analyses favored by the new schools, he demonstrates that the Great Perfection is indeed the culmination and maturation of the Mahāyāna, the Great Vehicle.

The Table of Contents is rather too detailed for a posting here, but you can view it in the Browse Indie feature:

PAGES: 272
ISBN: 9781611809619

There are many more recent releases on our website,,  as well.

Desk and Exam copies can be requested from our worldwide distributor, Penguin Random House, at

Best Wishes,
Nikko Odiseos, Shambhala Publications