Introduction to Early Buddhism

Nancy Acord and others have been working on the English translation of Introduction to Early Buddhism by Bhikkhu Kakmuk of South Korea since September 2015. NBEF has helped the Center for Early Buddhist Studies publish this book in paperback, eBook, and audiobook.

Introduction to Early Buddhism was published in Korean and English in October 2017. This book is available in paperback in Korean and English in South Korea. It is also available in eBook and audiobook (Kindle store & Audible) in English.

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This introductory book contains a systematic and clear explanation of the core teaching of Early Buddhism. Bhikkhu Kakmuk, a faculty member of the Center for Early Buddhist Studies, explains that to understand Buddhism, one must know the five aggregates, the 12 sense bases, the 18 elements, the Four Noble Truths, the 12 links of dependent origination, the 37 requisites of enlightenment, samatha, vipassana, and the threefold training of morality, concentration, and wisdom. Here these subjects are organized into a useful guide in learning Early Buddhism.

NBEF is providing complimentary copies of paperbacks while supplies last. Please send your request to NBEF donates the entire sales amount [net of Kindle and Audible charges] of the eBook and audiobook to the Center for Early Buddhist Studies.

About the Author   Bhikkhu Kakmuk


Bhikkhu Kakmuk was born in the City of Mil-Yang, South Korea, in 1957. While attending the Busan National University and majoring in mathematics education, he became a monastic. He received Novice ordination as a student of Bhikkhu Dogwang of Hwa-um-sha in 1979. He received Bhikkhu ordination from Bhikkhu Jaun in 1982.

After seven years of meditation at various traditional Seon centers in Korea, he hoped to translate Pāli Tipiṭaka into Korean and left for India to study. For the next ten years, he learned Sanskrit, Pāli, and the Prakrits languages, and completed a master’s degree and PhD in the Sanskrit language at Pune University, India. Currently, he is an instructor at the Center for Early Buddhist Studies and is also a professor at the Education Center of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.

The publications he translated or authored are the Translation of the Diamond Sutra with Explanatory Notes, 2001-2017, 9th printing, the Translation of the Abhidhammattha Sangaha, Guidance to the Abhidhamma Manual, Vol.1-2, 2002-2015, 12th printing, revised edition, 2017, co-translated with Bhikkhuni Daerim, Four Kinds of Mindfulness Training, 2003-2013, revised edition, 4th printing, Translation of the Dīgha Nikāya, Vol. 1-3, 2006-2014, 4th printing,  Translation of the Saṁyutta Nikāya, Vol. 1-6, 2009-2016, 3rd printing, Understanding Early Buddhism, 2010-2015, 5th printing, the Collection of Selected Suttas from Nikāyas, Vol. 1-2, 2013-2015, 3rd printing, the Translation of the Dhammasaṅganī, Vol. 1-2, 2016, and the Translation of the Vibhanga, Vol. 1-2, 2018. He also authored numerous theses and articles including The Ganhwa-Seon and Vipassanā, What is the same and different in Seon-Woo-Do-Ryang, 3rd publication, 2003.

He and Bhikkhuni Daerim received a citation from the head of Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and the Tenth Daewon Award in 2012 for completing the translation of the four Nikāyas.

Translator  Nancy Acord


Nancy Acord [a.k.a. Sohn, Dong Ran] was born in Seoul, Korea in 1957 and moved to the United States in 1976. After completing her bachelor’s degree in business administration at California State University in Los Angeles, she worked as a Certified Public Accountant for international accounting firms and as a Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive Officer at a US national healthcare organization. Since retiring from her business career in 2004, she has devoted herself to Buddhist studies. In 2014, she founded the Nibbana Buddhist Education Foundation in the United States.

Editor   Mary Garcia Grant


Mary Garcia Grant started her writing career as a typesetter, proofreader, copy editor and journalist for the Emporia Gazette, the American newspaper brought to prominence by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer William Allen White in Emporia, Kansas. Later she worked at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Science in New York City as an editing assistant to scientists who researched global climate change. Her primary study was in violin performance at Rice University in Houston and the City University of New York at Queens College. She has been a violinist with the Kansas City Symphony for 29 years, and still enjoys writing and editing.

Buddhism as the Science of Enlightenment

Authored by Hwang, Kyung Hwan

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Professor Hwang, Kyung Hwan donated over one hundred copies of ‘Buddhism as the Science of Enlightenment’ [this book is only available in Korean] to NBEF. If you would like to have a copy sent to you, please email your request to NBEF is providing complimentary copies while supplies last.

Hwang, Kyung Hwan was born in the port of Onsan, the city of Ulsan, South Korea. He graduated from the Dongguk University graduate school with a degree in Ethics Education. For the last three decades [since 1977] he has been active in the Korean Institute for Buddhist Studies as a director and a research fellow. Currently, he is a senior research fellow at the Center for Early Buddhist Studies. Since 1980 he has been an active member of the People to People International. He was a president of the Korea Center for People to People International in 1996 and 1997.

  • 13th President of the Korea Center for People to People International

  • Director and Research Fellow of the Korean Institute for Buddhist Studies

  • CEO of the Ulsan Buddhist Broadcasting System

  • Senior Research Fellow of the Center for Early Buddhist Studies

  • President of the Right Buddhist Practice Forum

  • Professor of the Dongguk University Continuing Education Center (Gyeong-ju campus)

  • Honorary Doctor of Philosophy from the Dongguk University

  • CEO of the Jinyang Tanker Co., LTD

  • CEO of the Gyeong-ju ICS

  • Heart Sutra with Explanatory Notes, authored by Kim, Sa Cheol and Hwang, Kyung Hwan

  • Research Paper - “A Study on the Ethical Nature of Silla Buddhism,” authored by Hwang, Kyung Hwan

Coming up next   

NBEF will be publishing an English translation [paperback, eBook, audiobook] of Prof. Hwang, Kyung-hwan's book, Buddhism as the Science of Enlightenment in the United States. Prof. Hwang and Nancy Acord will be collaborating on this project. Prof. Hwang agreed to donate approximately $5,000.00 for the out of pocket expenses for publishing this book and, he graciously donated all the future proceeds to NBEF from the sale of this book. Nancy will donate her service: translation and management of the entire project from end to end without compensation. Nancy donated about $5,000.00 to purchase a new computer, desk, and chair for this project.

New Meditation Center in Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea

Dhamma Arama

Nancy Acord built and opened a new meditation center, Dhamma Arama in Jeju, South Korea in September 2016. This new facility [approximately 1,600 square feet] has a meditation hall and book café. The meditation hall can seat up to 40 participants. In addition, the third floor of the existing building is reserved for the complimentary stay of Dhamma teachers.

The book café has the entire collection of books published by the Center for Early Buddhist Studies in addition to other books related to Early Buddhism. It also holds a collection of many ebooks in English, related to Early Buddhism. 

Dhamma Arama

Dhamma Arama, a neighborhood meditation center, is located in South Korea, Jeju-do, Seogwipo city, Shinsigaji (new downtown) area, opened its door in September 2016. Because of Bhikkhu Kakmuk's precious relations with Dhamma Arama, we were blessed to have Bhikkhu Kakmuk's monthly Dhamma talks at Dhamma Arama from September 2016 through December 2017. This lecture series helped Early Buddhism studies and practice to take root in Jeju-do. Starting with the Dhamma Arama Study Group, the following meetings or groups were formed on Jeju-do

1. Weekly meditation meeting on Fridays at Dhamma Arama
2. Annual meditation retreat from August to October at Dhamma Arama
3. Weekly meditation meeting on Tuesday at Chulli Sanbang
4. Weekend meditation meeting at Muju Seon Center
5. Abhidhamma special lecture series (7) by Bhikkhu Kakmuk at the Halla Jungtowon
6. Monthly study meeting at the Halla Jungtowon by Bhikkhu Kakmuk
7. Dhamma Arama forum formation (Internet)
8. Aranya forum formation (Internet)

Nowadays, so much can be done on the Internet. Dhamma Arama started its internet forum in August 2017. The good thing about the internet is that conversations among Dhamma friends are possible anywhere that there is internet availability. As a result of our continuing efforts, many Dhamma friends are participating in this forum from all over Korea and the USA.

What you cannot do on the Internet is meet your Dhamma friends and meditate together, in person. For that reason, Nancy Acord built the Dhamma Arama neighborhood meditation center. It is a blessing available to very few people to participate in meditation retreats away from home. Although it is a good idea to meditate every day even for a short time, it is not easy to find a quiet place and time to meditate in the modern, hectic living environment. Therefore, it is our hope that such meditation centers will be built in every neighborhood.

Dhamma Session with Bhikkhu Kakmuk and Bhikkhuni Daerim

Dhamma Session with Bhikkhu Kakmuk and Bhikkhuni Daerim

Dhamma Sessions

From September 2016 through December 2017, Bhikkhu Kakmuk held Dhamma sessions at Dhamma Arama on the 4th Sunday of each month. The Dhamma sessions went from 2 pm to 5 pm after a meet and greet luncheon with Bhikkhu Kakmuk. In September 2016, we started Dhamma sessions with his book, Introduction to Early Buddhism. All the participants had been provided with a complimentary copy of Introduction to Early Buddhism by NBEF.

Please join us in making a gift of Dhamma Books

Since November 2016, NBEF has purchased over one thousand books to donate. These include Introduction to Early Buddhism [English and Korean versions] and other books related to Early Buddhism. We have been donating the books to bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, meditation centers, Dhamma study groups, Dhamma friends, and anyone else who requests them in the US, Canada, and South Korea. This effort is on-going as we continue to purchase and donate books on Early Buddhism.

This is a beautiful gift of Dhamma. We are spreading the seeds of Dhamma all over the US, Canada, and South Korea. If you would like to donate to this worthy cause, please deposit funds to the account below or donate via Paypal. Nibbana Buddhist Education Foundation [NBEF] is a US-based, non-profit Buddhist education foundation registered with the US government.

We appreciate any donation, regardless of the amount . Although we are not familiar with the Korean tax law, we do not believe the donation by Korean citizens to NBEF would be deductible for Korean income tax purposes.

Public Funding

Nibbana Buddhist Education Foundation is a public charity 170 (b)(1)(A)(vi) with broad support from public sources. If you would like to make a donation, please press DONATION button here. 


*We also accept checks.
Please send to the NBEF address.

Bank account info for Korean donors
Nonghyup Bank Account(South Korea) 302-0962-7836-11
Nancy Acord c/o Nibbana Buddhist Education Foundation