Although we now have access to more knowledge than ever before, wisdom is in short supply. Modern education prepares us to function in the world; science helps us live longer, healthier lives. But none of this helps with the fundamental human problems: fear, loss, suffering and so on.
To lead meaningful lives requires wisdom and self-understanding. But where can we find this? The Buddhacloud app opens up a new path to one ancient source of wisdom: the teachings of the Buddha.
With simple and direct translations from the ancient sources, arranged into a library of categories, the Buddha’s Dharma is easier to navigate than ever before. And with guided meditations based on the teachings, you can fashion your own path to meaning and wisdom.
Early Buddhist teaching is a highly original system of thought, and a unique source of wisdom. Although the Buddha lived in North India in the 5th century BC, much of his advice still applies today.
Whether speaking to enquirers from distant lands, or to priests, kings, grizzled ascetics or drunks, the Buddha always has useful guidance on how to live correctly, and how to create spiritual purpose.
Human problems are perennial; according to the Buddha, the world will always be in some kind of trouble. His teachings were offered as a raft to cross a flooded river, or a medicine to heal a poisoned wound.
This medicine includes teachings on psychological discipline, the impermanence of all worldly things, the problems with desire and addiction to pleasure, the practice of mindfulness, the simple merits of being kind, and the attainment of the ultimate freedom, Nirvana.
Buddhacloud is a new and contemporary presentation of the Buddha’s thoughts on the problem of human existence, and the solutions to it.
Buddhacloud was created by Alexander Wynne, a Buddhist scholar who studied at the Universities of Oxford and is now a leading authority on early Buddhism. His books include The Origin of Buddhist Meditation and Buddhism: An Introduction.
A practitioner of meditation for over 20 years, Alex is currently the Assistant Director of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, and the creator of the OCBS Pāli Online Courses.
‘The Buddha’s teachings should be easy to understand, since they emerge from personal encounters between enquirers and the Buddha: questions are asked and direct answers given.
'But these teachings are very old and can be difficult to follow. Buddhacloud resolves this problem by focusing on the meaning of the Buddha's teachings; it then brings them to life through original guided meditations.
'What emerges is a collection of vivid stories, in which the Buddha’s advice can be contemplated in a more personal and direct form, and then internalised through meditation.’
Buddhacloud is an iOS, Android and web app. It contains hundreds of early Buddhist teachings, drawn from ancient sources, and guided meditations based on them.
To lead better lives, we need meaning, not simply therapy. The Buddhacloud app opens up a meditative vision of life, based on the Buddha's teachings: these teachings will help you grow in wisdom; the meditations based on them will help you become more calm and mindful.
The Buddha lived in northern India in the fifth century BC (c.480-400 BC). At the age of 35, and after several years spent seeking a solution to the problem of suffering, the Buddha had an ‘awakening’ and then spent the rest of his life explaining his ideas and experiences to others.
No. The Buddhacloud app is a means of accessing an ancient source of wisdom. The teachings and meditations are open to everybody: the Buddha can inspire the modern world without requiring us to becoming Buddhists.
Yes. Meditation is not a difficult technique suitable for the few. It is a way of life open to all, which only requires discipline and interest. To gain self-understanding does not require any type of mysticism or special knowledge: it only demands a commitment to understanding oneself.
In the Buddha’s teachings, human life is characterised by ‘unsatisfactoriness’ or ‘suffering’: illness, physical pain, death, sorrow, depression and so on. But these problems can be resolved by following a meditative path leading to wisdom. The goal of Buddhism is the state of Nirvana, in which the repeated sufferings of life cease for good.
Despite all the great advances made in knowledge and civilisation, there is no reason to doubt the Buddha's most basic insight: that life is difficult. What the world lacks is what it most essentially needs: a path of wisdom, in the form of meditative approach to life.
Yes. The Buddhacloud app presents the Buddha's teachings as short stories, and sorts them into simply categories. Whether you want guidance on mindfulness, advice on acting morally, or answers to life's most difficult problems, it's easy to find what you want.
The Buddhacloud meditations are based on the ancient teachings of the Buddha. Rather than simply reproducing the ancient texts, they are adaptations of old Buddhist wisdom to the modern world.
The teachings in Buddhacloud come from the the Pali canon, the sacred texts of Theravada Buddhism. These texts were written down in the 1st century BC, but go back to old stories and traditions about the Buddha, dating to the 5th century BC.
All Buddhacloud teachings are taken from the following books of the Pali canon:
AN: Anguttara Nikāya
DN: Dīgha Nikāya
MN: Majjhima Nikāya
SN: Samyutta Nikāya
‘Pali’, the language of the Pali canon, is a northern Indian dialect close to the language of the Buddha. The exact language of the Buddha is unknown, but it would have been very similar to what the Buddha spoke.