October 22, 2014

10 Beneficial, Fabulous & Free Dharma Teachings.

Jon Fife/Flickr

Wanna be a Buddhist?

The Dharma teaches that we’re all Buddhas. Plus, it gives practical, useful tools for accessing this inner Buddha nature—our own innate goodness, wholeness, abundance and uniqueness.

The good news is that you don’t have to be Buddhist to benefit from Buddhist-based mindfulness practices.

Buddhism teaches us the ways to freedom, which the Buddha called the eightfold path. These teachings have been passed down through the generations, orally and in ancient texts, for centuries.

Today’s advancements in technology allow us to access, practice and learn from a wide variety of Dharma teachers and lineages. This is especially helpful for those of us who don’t have easy access to a teacher in our community. To deepen your spiritual practice and understanding of the dharma, check out any of these awesome sites:

1. Audio Dharma

Audio Dharma is my go-to site for meditation inspiration. It features hundreds of quality dharma talks by Buddhist teacher Gil Fronsdal as well as dozens of other respectable dharma teachers. The site is well-organized, with archived talks dating back to the early 2000s, easily searchable by topic, length or speaker. The audio files can be downloaded or streamed.

2. Dharma Seed

Freely offering Western Buddhist Vipassana teachings, this site is a directory of hundreds of talks by many qualified teachers from both the East and the West. Dharma Seed is “dedicated to preserving and sharing the spoken teachings of Theravada Buddhism in modern languages,” and has digitized talks that used to only be available on cassette or CD. 

3. Tricycle

Tricycle Magazine offers a host of wonderful, free reading, audio and visual resources, as well as a paid membership to access more of their materials.

4. DharmaNet

This site’s learning resource center presents an array of teachings on meditation, compassionate action and wisdom through text, audio and video and links to articles and teachings. Its section on traditions covers all branches of Buddhism including Theravada, Mahayana, Tibetan/Vajrayana, Zen and more.

5. elephant journal

This very site you are reading right now has a veritable gold mine of dharma articles, videos and other resources. You can read three articles free per day, or subscribe for as little as $13 per year to support indie media and learn loads about Buddhism.

6. Thich Nhat Hanh

The Plum Village website offers many resources, including videos of dharma talks by its founder, one of the greatest living Zen masters. They also offer resources for youth via Wake Up International.

7. Pema Chodron Foundation

Founded in 2006, The Pema Chödrön Foundation wants to ensure that this Buddhist teacher’s remarkable work can be supported sustainably into the future. Their website features a slew of her teachings as free PDFs, articles and videos.

8. The Dalai Lama

Amazingly, it is still possible to attend teachings by His Holiness in person, both in Dharamshala, India and internationally. In the meantime, his website features free videos, audio and “messages,” transcripts of many of his talks and speeches from over the years.

9. Tara Brach

The library of audio and video-recorded talks by therapist, author and Buddhist teaching extraordinaire, Tara Brach, features hundreds of free talks dating back to 2006. She even gives some dharma talks in Spanish.

10. Dharma Ocean

This site’s mission is to embody, unfold, and widely offer the unique path to awakening and human fulfillment taught by Trungpa Rinpoche. The plethora of teachings offered here are by Dr. Reggie Ray, a senior student of Trungpa since the 1970s, among others.

These are a handful of my favorite Mindfulness and meditation sites. May they be of benefit!

Please feel free to add additional suggestions in a comment below.


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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: John Fife/Flickr

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timfairweather May 17, 2015 2:07pm

Michelle – thank you for sharing your favorite resources to find Buddhist philosophy and wisdom. It is a surely a great spiritual karma for you to share these. T

Padma Kadag Oct 22, 2014 10:52am

The Buddhist teaches are very very precious and profound. One of the precepts or common manner in which to act as a Buddhist is not to proselytize. Your enthusiasm is apparent and good for you that you feel so strongly about your Buddhism.

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Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a heart-centered writer, teacher and creator of Yoga Freedom.

She has been a columnist on Elephant Journal since 2010 and has self-published inspiring books. She incorporates dharma, hatha, yin, mindfulness, chakras, chanting and pranayama into her teachings and practice. A former advertising copywriter and elementary school teacher, she is now a freelance writer and translator. Michelle learned yoga from a book at age 12 and started teaching at 22. She met the Buddha in California at 23 and has been a student of the dharma ever since. Michelle is now approaching her forties with grace and gratitude.

Join Michelle for a writing and yoga retreat this summer at magical Lake Atitlan in the western highlands of Guatemala!