Peter Skilling: Buddha’s Words for Tough Times (#182)


This episode of the Wisdom Podcast, recorded live as a Wisdom Dharma Chat features special guest, Peter Skilling. Peter is a special lecturer at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, and an honorary associate, Department of Indian Sub-Continental Studies, University of Sydney, Australia. Until his retirement in 2017, he was a professor of the French School of Asian Studies (EFEO) based in Bangkok. He is an honorary member of the Siam Society, Bangkok, and in 2017 he was elected an honorary fellow of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai. He has published widely on the Buddhist literature, history, and epigraphy of South and Southeast Asia. In this Wisdom Dharma Chat host Daniel Aitken and Peter discuss Peter’s new anthology, Buddha’s Words for Tough Times, and more.

During this episode, Daniel and Peter discuss:

  • Peter’s newest release Buddha’s Words for Tough Times;
  • his inspiration for writing the book; 
  • the important roll images play for us as readers;
  • heedfulness (appamāda) and its relation to mindfulness;
  • how the Buddha’s words remain relevant in today’s climate; and 
  • much more!

Images discussed in this episode: 

  • Four apramāda seals: Apramāda seal from Lower Burma, Mandeville collection. Apramāda seals from India, Cunningham collection at the British Library. Page 242.
  • Frontispiece: Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust, licensed under CC0. Page ii
  • Frontispiece Buddha after excavation in Sultanganj in 1862 and, on the right, E. B. Harris with some of the Sultanganj images. Source: Harris, Description of Buddhist Remains Discovered at Sooltangunge. See also figures 9 and 11. Page v.
  • Image of the Buddha teaching, with etching of a stūpa in outline on reverse. Seventh century, Bihar. Height, 33 cm. British Museum (acc. no. 1854,0214.1). For the text of the inscription, see appendix 2, figure 54. Pages 25–26.

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