Please Read Chapter 6 “No Self”

April 18, 2015

We will spend one more class, tomorrows (4/19/15) on Chapter 6, which is perhaps the most content-rich of the book. Next week will take up Chapter 7 on the Buddhist Path. Chapter references are to Rupert Gethin’s Foundations of Buddhism.

Burmese New Year at the Monastery

March 26, 2015

I would like to invite members of this list and their families (whether or not you have participated in any of our Words of the Buddha classes, to the annual Burmese New Year Festival, also known as the Water Festival (Thingyan). This generally attracts 200-300 people. Highlights are ethnic dancing and music and really good food. People invariably have a lot of fun and it is very family friendly. Expect to get wet. If you have not been to the monastery, this is also a good way to meet the monks and to see our pagoda. Here is the announcement:

The Theravada Dhamma Society of America
invites you to our

New Year – Thingyan Festival

Saturday 18 April, 2015, 9am – 4pm
at Sitagu Buddha Vihara
9001 Honeycomb Dr., Austin, TX 78737

11:00 a.m- Lunch offering for the Monks
11:30 a.m– Lunch for the lay people,for the sake of Sitagu Shwe Zigon Pagoda,
     you may purchase various traditional Burmese food in Nibban Zay.
1:00 p.m-Taking the Refuges and Precepts, Offering of Requisites, Dhamma Talk and sharing of merits, honoring to elders, (Thetkyee Puzawpwe), pouring water (Thingyan) and Entertainment.



Starting a Buddhist Practice

March 6, 2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Sitagu Buddha Vihara (
9001 Honeycomb Dr., Austin, TX

A couple of people who started the Foundations of Buddhism class last weekend have requested some instruction on beginning a Buddhist practice. I am schedulng this event in response.

During this period we will cover basic meditation, including advice on establishing a home practice; the importance of Refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha; the practice of the five basic ethical precepts; the practice of generosity; and the role of etiquette and ritual in Buddhism, including things like home altars and Buddhist chants. I can also offer a tour of the monastery, and I will try to get at least one of the Burmese monks to put in an appearance. Please wear loose (and modest) clothing for sitting on the floor comfortably.

Also, you are invited to join us for lunch. A ritual offering is made to the monks at 11:30 and then lay people eat shortly thereafter. You can participate in the offering and then enjoy Burmese cuisine. Please bring something to offer to both monks and lay folks if it is convenient for you; just think potluck. There may be about 20 people there at lunch altogether.

Please RSVP, so that I know how many people will come.

If the time is not convenient, I can meet with anyone one-on-one at your convenience. Just email me at Also, if anyone is interested in a two or three day retreat at the monastery in the week following this event let me know. This is spring break for some people.

New Course Starting: Foundations of Buddhism

February 13, 2015

The final class of Words of the Buddha at Austin Zen Center will meet Sunday, February 15, 2015. Two weeks later, the following class will start, but at the Sitagu Buddha Vihara:

Foundations of Buddhism

Instructors: Bhantes Cintita and Nalaka

Sundays 2:00 – 3:30 pm, starting March 1

At the beautiful Sitagu Buddha Vihara in Oak Hill (SW Austin)

The class is free and no preregistration is necessary. Come join us!

The class will cover life of the Buddha, overview of Buddhist schools and scriptures, the Four Noble Truths, the Buddhist community, Buddhist cosmology, the sense of self and its arising, Buddhist practice, Buddhist higher philosophy, the Mahayana movement and evolving modern traditions. The course is short but comprehensive.

Further information …


Future Classes and a cancellation

January 27, 2015

First, Words of the Buddha is cancelled for Sunday, February 1, 2015 2:00 PM has been cancelled. We have been preempted by a Zen Center retreat. We will meet again the following week.

As many of you know, we have almost finished the very detailed and comprehensive study of the text In Buddha’s Words. Many of you who have signed up for this Meetup group are probably interested in a more concise introduction to Buddhism. I intend to begin offering this around the end of February, so stay tuned. I may offer it at the Sitagu Buddha Vihara in SW Austin (Oak Park) monastery instead of at the Austin Zen Center.

If anyone has any specific requests or ideas for other classes or activities I might offer, please let me know. If you have further questions, you can email me at ashin dot cintita at sitagutx dot org.


Words of the Buddha/Consciousness and Being preempted December 7

December 4, 2014

The third meeting of our four-part lecture series Consciousness and Being will be on Sunday 2:00 December 14. We have been preempted December 7 by the annual week-long Zen Rohatsu Sesshin. Because of the density of this lecture series, if you have missed either of the first two lectures on Consciousness and Being, please listen to the audios and study the handouts available HERE. We hope to see you on the 14th.

Lecture Series: Consciousness and Being

November 15, 2014

The Buddha’s Twelve-fold Chain of
Dependent Co-Arising

sponsored by Words of the Buddha

with Bhikkhu Cintita

Whoever sees Dependent Co-Arising sees the Dharma.
Whoever sees the Dharma sees Dependent Co-Arising.”

This principle of Dependent Co-Arising is a profound teaching, hard to see. It is through not knowing, not understanding and not thoroughly realizing this teaching that beings are confused like a tangled thread, thrown together like bundles of threads, caught in a net, and cannot escape hell, the nether worlds and the wheel of samsara.”

These two quotes indicate the great importance the Buddha himself placed on Dependent Co-Arising (paṭiccasamuppāda), which is, after all, the foundation of Buddhist psychology. It is most familiarly represented by the following causally linked chain of experiential factors:

Ignorance → Notions → Consciousness → Subject and Object → Sense Bases → Contact → Feeling → Craving → Attachment → Being →Birth → Despair, Old Age, Death, this Mass of Suffering

This series of four talks will introduce the primary mechanisms of Dependent Co-Arising and discuss their critical importance in Buddhist practice. The Dharma will be offered at no cost. Audios of missed lectures will be available on-line.

Austin Zen Center, 3014 Washington Sq. Austin, TX 78705.
Sundays, November 23, 30, December 14, 21, 2:00-3:30.

Bhikkhu Cintita is a bhikkhu (monk) ordained in the Burmese Theravada tradition, a former priest in the Japanese Soto Zen tradition and before that a scholar in the American academic tradition. He normally teaches a class,Words of the Buddha, every Sunday at this same time and place. His Web site is


Class Cancelled Nov. 2

November 2, 2014

Sorry, I have the worst cold I’ve had in years and need to rest all day. I will certainly be by normal lively self by Nov. 9.

Kathina Robe Offering Ceremony, Saturday, Nov. 1

October 11, 2014

Members of Words of the Buddha,

You are warmly invited to our Kathina Robe Offering Ceremony on Saturday, Nov 1, 2014, at Sitagu Buddha Vihara, Austin, TX ,USA. If you have not been to the Burmese monastery, this will be a good opportunity to tour and see the wonderful pagoda.

Scheduled events:

11:00 a.m    -Offering of lunch to the 12 Monks & 1 Nun
11:30 a.m     -Lunch for lay people
1:00   p.m    -Offering of Kathina Robes, Dhamma Talk and
Sharing Merits
2:00   p.m    -Entertainment

Free Lunch for lay people will be provided. Please bring any traditional dishes and desserts that you would like to offer to monks or share with others. You are also requested to inform the Vihara, if you plan to offer food so that they may make arrangements for offering accordingly. Contact Bhante  at

Class will be cancelled Oct. 12, 19.

October 4, 2014

I will be in Minnesota for 10 days. The 3-month traditional Rains Retreat during which monks restrict travel will end on October 9. After that our monks will take various trips to other monasteries. This will be somewhat of a home-coming for me: I lived in the monastery near St. Paul for about seven months in 2010. The class will meet as planned on Sunday October 5, then again on Sunday October 26. See you both days.


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