Gil Fronsdal is a highly acclaimed American Buddhist teacher, and founder of of the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California.
In this interview, I ask Gil about his new book, The Buddha before Buddhism, in which Gil provides translation and commentary to one of the oldest extant Buddhist texts, The Atthakavagga, or The Book of Eights. What was so interesting for me to hear was that, perhaps, the Four Noble Truths – widely believed to be the first discourse given by the Buddha – may not have been his first teaching, at all.
Here Gil and I discuss:
- Gil’s new book, The Buddha before Buddhism
- Reaching peace by letting go completely
- Why the Buddha didn’t care about religious purity
- Practical advice for letting go
- Buddhism and civic discourse