This site contains sutras consisting of instruction on Breath Meditation, and topics of meditation to free the mind from ritual (Brahmin), hatred (Elephant), inequality (Broad-minded), slander (Authentic), by choosing the authentic teachings of the Buddha, and praise (Praise).
It's this last sutra (Praise) which needs to be carefully studied, as it is related to the previous sutra (Authentic).
Then comes the chapter about the Wheel of Dhamma, with sutras about the fearlessness through the metaphor of the Lion, how to be wise (Energy), generosity (Generous) and the story of Āmrapāli the courtesan as seen through ancient Chinese cultural lens.
Regarding Āmrapāli the royal courtesan, she was a well respected Indian woman of high standing because she was well educated and wealthy. The youths she encountered on the way home to prepare a meal for the Buddha and his fellow monks were from well respected clans and respected Āmrapāli, as they went on their way to listen to the Buddha give a dharma talk on being of service to others.
Later, after Āmrapāli spent all night preparing the meal for the Buddha and his monks, she served them when they arrived. Then she donated her park to the Buddha, and later become a Buddhist patroness.
Next comes the chapter on the spiritual friend with sutras describing a good friend, confession (that one is not relying on a good friend) and forgiveness (Forgiveness), the story of Dhammaruci, using the metaphor of lions and sheep to teach proper conduct of monks, appreciation, effort and determination to achieve Buddha-hood (Maitreya's effort), the development of tranquility and penetrating insight to help realize the Four Noble Truths (Calm and insight), contentment (Forest), and instructions on ideal teaching (Teaching).
Finally, the chapter on the Triple Gem is about the Three Treasures of the Buddha, Dharma (the Buddhist Teaching) and Sangha (Buddhist community). It is also about the three qualities of generosity, evenness and meditation; the three conditions a consciousness can receive a womb (Conception) in which the Buddha tells of all the ways conception does not happen except for one way; the three bases of unwavering delight in the Buddha, learning His Dharma, and taking care of the Sangha; virtuous conduct by deed, word and thought to prevent suffering by use of evil words; moderation both in his six senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch and mind (cogitation) and eating, and regularly does his walking-exercises; the three severe afflictions of the mind (covetousness and attachment, hatred and aversion, and ignorance and delusion) and their cures (reflecting on repulsiveness, cultivating friendliness in one's heart, and insight into dependent origination); and the good practice of body, mind and speech to achieve the state of the Unconditioned.
Wikipedia entry on the Ekottara Agama: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekottara_Agama
Āmrapāli is also known as Ambapali: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambapali
Royal courtesan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagarvadhu
Dhamma means the same as Dharma: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma
Dhammaruci Thera: http://www.vipassana.info/d/dhammaruci.htm
An arahant. In the time of Dipankara Buddha he was a young man named Megha (Rain), who heard the Buddha's declaration regarding Sumedha (wisdom), and entered the Order under the latter. Due to wrong association, he left the Order and murdered his mother. Because of matricide, he suffered in Avīci and was later born as a fish.
One day he heard some shipwrecked sailors calling on the name of Gotama Buddha for protection, and, remembering Dipankara's prophecy, the fish died. He was then born in Sāvatthi, and hearing the Buddha preach at Jetavana, he entered the Order and became an arahant. Ap.ii.429f.
Reflections on repulsiveness: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asubha
Dependent origination: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependent_origination
Four Noble Truths: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_noble_truths
- unsatisfactoriness (suffering)
- the origin of unsatisfactoriness
- the final ending of unsatisfactoriness, and
- what needs to be done to overcome unsatisfactoriness (the Eightfold Path)
- right view
- right intention
- right speech
- right action
- right livelihood
- right effort
- right mindfulness
- right concentration