Wings to Awakening—An Anthology from the Pali Canon
For the student who wants to dig deeply into the Buddha’s teachings, “Wings to Awakening” is one of the best anthologies available because of its very specific focus on the “how” and “what” of the Buddha’s Awakening. As Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes in the Preface:
“Many anthologies of the Buddha’s teachings have appeared in English, but this is the first to be organized around the set of teachings that the Buddha himself said formed the heart of his message: the Wings to Awakening (bodhi-pakkhiya-dhamma).
The material is arranged in three parts, preceded by a long Introduction. The Introduction tries to define the concept of Awakening so as to give a clear sense of where the Wings to Awakening are headed. It does this by discussing the Buddha’s accounts of his own Awakening, with special focus on the way in which the principle of skillful kamma (in Sanskrit, karma) formed both the “how” and the “what” of that Awakening: The Buddha was able to reach Awakening only by developing skillful kamma—this is the “how”; his understanding of the process of developing skillful kamma is what sparked the insights that constituted Awakening—this is the “what.”