TRANSLATED BY THANNISARO BHIKKHU
This book, Ajaan Lee’s first, is like a catalog. In it, he gives the full range of his teachings on the practice of the Buddha’s craft, from the observance of the five precepts to the attainment of total liberation. Thus the different parts are written for different people at different stages in the practice, and the reader is advised to read, not judgmentally, but judiciously—taking whatever is useful for his or her own practice, and leaving the rest for others.
The structure of the book, with its two overlapping parts, is explained by the fact that the two parts were originally written and published separately, Part II appearing in 1936 as The Training of the Heart, and Part I the following year as Precepts for Laypeople. In 1939 Ajaan Lee revised and expanded both parts, putting them together as self-sufficient but complementary halves of a single volume. Later, in the early 1950’s, he revised the book once more. This final revised version, however, contained many typographical errors, so I have compared it closely to the 1939 version, basing this translation on whichever version seemed to have the better reading for any particular passage.
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