Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~ Buddha
If the Buddha was alive today, he might add one more to that quote…great Buddhism websites. There are literally thousands of websites that relate to Buddhism, so it’s hard to find ones that are really helpful and top-notch. Not to worry, just like the eightfold path, here is a list of the top five that you may want to check out.
- Learning: BuddhaNet (www.buddhanet.net)
This website has been around since 1996 and has a wealth of information for anyone who is interested in Buddhism. If you are just starting out on the path, check out their Buddhist Studies page which gives plenty of information including a quick 5 minute introduction to Buddhism. But there is plenty more from daily quotes, magazine, audio, ebooks, etc. This is why BuddhaNet tops our #1 position. 2013 Update: No change, as this is still the largest and best site around that has information for every Buddhist branch.
- Magazine: Tricycle (www.tricycle.com)
No, this isn’t a kids website but that of a very popular Buddhist magazine of the same name. You’ll find plenty of articles (this is a Magazine website after all) but other things you never expected. There is a new community feature that allows you to talk to other like minded individuals, find out about upcoming retreats, and ‘trikeworthy’ items you should check out. If you like the website, you might want to check out a subscription to their print magazine. 2013 Update: Tryicyle still leads the pack as the mainstay Buddhist magazine, but Buddhanet has a list of others you can view as well: http://www.buddhanet.net/l_mags.htm
- Group: Buddhist Peace Fellowship (www.bpf.org)
If you are into social issues, this is the website (and group) for you. Their primary goal is promoting non-violent socially engaged Buddhism (you can learn more about that by clicking here). Yes, you can change the world. 2013 Update: There is no shortage of groups out there since I first wrote this article, but I’d like to introduce you to Buddha’s Light International Organization (BLIA). With temples worldwide, it’s perhaps one of the largest groups you can find near you. Their worldwide headquarters is at http://www.bliahq.org/, and for those in the United States the main temple is Hsi Lai temple in Southern California (http://www.hsilai.org/).
- News: The Buddhist Channel (www.buddhistchannel.tv)
Although not actually a “TV” station, this was the replacement for the old Buddhist News Network (BNN) and is the only site dedicated entirely to Buddhist news. Yes, there are new technology out there that can create fancy pages of news on any topic, but this website is devoted to it. Nicely organized based on what you would like to read about. 2013 Update: I found a great RSS feed aggregator known as “Dharma Dots” which pulls all different types of Buddhist news and articles into one place. You can find it here: http://dharmadots.com/
- Books: Shambhala Publications (http://www.shambhala.com/)
One of the biggest publishers of books on Buddhism (as well as other topics), this is a nice place to browse through all the Buddhist books they have and see if one (or more) interests you. It’s always good to get a wide variety of thoughts and experiences along your way with Buddhism. 2013 Update: My favorite new book publisher is Buddha’s Light Publishing (BLP), which is actually based out of my refuge temple but makes books available worldwide. Primarily focusing on classical texts, modern teachings, and Humanistic Buddhism, they have many bestsellers and even offer 46 free eBooks! http://www.blpusa.com/ and the new 2013 catalog can be found here: http://www.blpusa.com/download/webcatalog2013.pdf
This is but a very small sampling of the many websites out there. You can do a Google or Bing search for the kind of Buddhist website you are looking for, talk to friends in an online community for their recommendations, and even check out our #1’s online listing of different Buddhism websites (click here to view the list).