The Sutta Slime project is my attempt to share what I have learned from the early Buddhist teachings in a way that is easily - and freely - accessible.
My name is Dillon. I was once on track to be a Buddhologist, but I dropped out of graduate school because I was losing my mind. Eventually, I converted, and began practicing Buddhism instead of just studying it. Initially, I practiced Vajrayana, though my practice was limited (for a number of reasons). I no longer consider myself a Vajrayana practitioner; these days, my Buddhist faith and practice is informed primarily by the "Early Buddhism" movement.
The "Early Buddhism" movement is primarily the result of academic endeavors to uncover the oldest strata of Buddhist teachings through scholarly disciplines such as textual comparison. This also involves identifying teachings which likely originated as innovations while the monastic tradition developed. For example, if we find a text which is shared between the Pali and the Chinese canons, we may reasonably assume that this text qualifies as being part of "Early Buddhism" - especially if it is mirroed in Tibetan and Sanskrit collections as well. On the other hand, if a text is only found in one particular collection, we may assume it was introduced after the Buddhist community had split into its various sects.
I truly believe that this is the most reliable way for us, all these centuries after the Buddha's death, to uncover what he taught - and identify those parts of the living Buddhist traditions which he didn't teach. However, I want to be transparent in telling you that this is a new movement rooted in academia. It goes against a massive body of tradition, and this certainly has its own problems.
In fact, transparency is an important part of this project. Here are some other things I'd like you to know:
I have no authority by which to teach. I encourage you to take what I post on this website with a grain of salt. Scrutinize everything I say and use your best judgment. Rely on other sources, both traditional and academic.
My experience with meditation is quite limited.
I do not understand Pali (I hope to change this eventually).
I am religious. I believe that Buddhism is a religion and oppose those who suggest it is something else - be it a "philosophy," a "way of life," or any other turn of phrase used to avoid the uncomfortable implications of the word "religion."
I take supernatural doctrines such as the belief in gods and various realms of rebirth at face-value. I believe they are true in a literal sense. I oppose those who try to bend these doctrines into metaphor. It is impossible to approach the Buddhist texts in good faith and walk away with the conclusion that the Buddha spoke of rebirth merely as a metaphor for different states of mind or emotional tones.