Dāna (nt.): giving, dealing out, gift; almsgiving, liberality, munificence. As such it constitutes a meritorious act (puññaŋ). (PED)
Interacting that have resulted in this book are innumerable. And many of those streams were actions that were freely given. So this book is my attempt to "pay it forward" in appreciation of all those who have helped me on the spiritual path.
I had originally planned to publish this book with a mainstream publisher, like I did for Right Concentration. If fact such a publisher made me an offer to do just that. But it was going to be 18 months before this book saw the light of day. That seemed silly given that I felt the book was in a suitable condition to be published as an eBook immediately. So during negoiations, I began to consider the idea of self publishing.
Long story, short - I eventually decided to self publish and furthermore to practice generosity by giving the book away for free - it would be my Dāna practice. So the book is free to download.
But we are all in this together. Our little planet is in sad shape as I write this. There is a worldwide pandemic - and that's not the most serious problem facing humanity - global climate change is. We are all going to have to work together to solve these (and many other) problems.
This book also represents an opportunity for you to practice Dāna. If you find the book useful, it would be very nice if you can contribute in some manner to a organization or individual that you feel is working to make the world a better place.
Also, if you have a website, blog, social media account, and want to help get the word out that this book exists, that too would be very nice. Since I'm not using a publisher, my only distribution network is word-of-mouth - or word-of-keyboard.
You are under no obligation to do any of the above to obtain this book, it's available for free. I do hope you find it useful.
-- Leigh Brasington
Also, this book was published as an eBook almost entirely using free tools - other than a laptop and an internet connection. Oh, and a 2nd screen that I got for free. Once my transcribers has gifted me with the transcripts, it was all this huge SODAPI intersection aimed at "me."
I wrote the word processor I used back in the 90's, and have been giving it away for free long enough for it to have some 40,000 downloads. I used a bunch of free software including Firefox, Thunderbird, Chrome, Calibre, SumatraPDF, LibreOffice, Irfanview, and other free utilities too many to remember. The many add-ons to Windows/10 to make it actually functional are also too many to remember, but a shoutout to Classic Shell. And of course there are my own Commnad Line Processor (aka DOS-box) and the other utilities I wrote.
The texts of the Suttas are not only available, they're pretty much ALL available for free - and good translations too. Thank you Sutta Central and Access to Insight and to all the translators who made their translations available for free.
To have access to all these tools, mostly for free, and then be able to write a book and publish it - and then give it away for free - what an amazing time we live it, in that something like this could even be possible. At the time of the Buddha, and for centuries after, you had to go find the guy who had memorized that sutta you wanted to study and have him recite it too you. And then using whatever you learned from doing that over and over, try to tell a few others what you had learned; maybe they might even pass it on. As for physically publishing anything, that was a very long time a'coming, and even then, it was a rich man's game for centuries. It's now possible for anyone to be able to afford to create their own book if they are really motivated. Amazing.
We have these tools that enable us to do research into a subject and then publish a book on what you find, only needing your wits and a computer and a bunch of free stuff. Of course it helps to be retired - computers were good to me. The opportunities we have now, with all these freely available information tools, are limitless - and so are the pitfalls. Make sure you are using your tools in ways that support all people. We're all in this together, we can best deal with the impending crises by all working together.
Free Software Tools Used to Write and Publish this Book
Thank you to all who created these and made them freely available!
|Word Processor||my free to download Unicode Document Processor|
|Pali English Dictionary||my free to download Windows version of the venerable PED|
|Sutta Database||my free to download Windows Sutta database|
|Clipboard Fix-up||Clipbook - my program that remembers multiple clipboard entries|
|eBook Creator||Calibre - indispensable, excellent|
|Browser||Firefox - extermely customizable|
|Email||Thunderbird - email on my computer, not the web|
|PDF Printer||Chrome - prints high quality PDFs from HTML|
|PDF Reader||SumatraPDF - excellent|
|2nd Word Processor||LibreOffice - used to build print-on-demand PDFs|
|Graphics Viewer||Irfanview - the very best image viewer|
|File Differ||Examdiff - tool for visual file comparison|
|Index Generator||PdfPageLookup - index from PDF|
|Start Menu Fix-up||Classic Shell - fixes Win/10 interface to be like Win/2000|
|Unix Utilities||UnxUtils - GNU Unix-like utilities ported to native Win32|
|Command Line Processor||CMDer - my DOS box replacement|
|Win Apps in batch files||DoIt - my fix for batch files that call Windows Apps|
|Traverse Directories||traverse - my program to run prog/batch-file in dir & all subdirs|
|Window Utilities||copy, xcopy, robocopy, move, ren, del, dir, etc, etc, etc.|