Access to Insight

Access to Insight is a Theravada Buddhist website providing access to many translated texts from the Tipitaka, and contemporary materials published by the Buddhist Publication Society and many teachers from the Thai Forest Tradition.

Access to Insight
Type of site
Informational resource on Buddhism


Access to Insight began in 1993 as a bulletin board system run by a volunteer with support from the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Originally, Access to Insight was one of several publishers of the results of the DharmaNet Dharma Book Transcription Project. As the internet grew in popularity compared to bulletin board services, ATI began to transition to a web-based format. In March 1995 the website became ATI's primary electronic presence; the BBS service was discontinued before the end of the year. In 1998, Access to Insight published a CD version of the website entitled A Handful of Leaves.

In the spring of 2005 the editor began The Dhamma Transcription Project, which formalizes transcription procedures that he had been following over the previous few years.

In October 2013 the editor announced changes to Access to Insight. On December 10, 2013, he announced his withdrawal from further personal contributions, but encouraged others to develop online tools for Dhamma studies ( "A Parting Note to ATI Techies"). He said that his annual financial support of US$1,500 was to be discontinued, and encouraged the future support and maintenance of a commercial-free search engine.

In September 2017 the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies assumed ownership of the domain name and management of the website.


All of the materials available on the ATI website are provided for free distribution. They remain protected by copyright, but may be copied and distributed if unmodified and without payment.

ATI contains texts from the Tipitaka, with an emphasis on conveying what are considered the fundamental ideas of Buddhist teaching, and teachings considered applicable to daily life. The majority of the canonical texts are drawn from the Sutta Pitaka, with others dealing with the Vinaya Pitaka, and little or nothing from the Abhidhamma Pitaka and the commentaries. ATI includes texts from the Pali Canon, many works published by the Buddhist Publication Society, and teachings translated from Thai by the Western-born Thanissaro Bhikkhu, abbot of the Metta Forest Monastery near San Diego, California, USA.

As of 2014 the materials available included over 900 sutta texts and several hundred books and articles, with translations and books contributed by a number of monks and lay scholars. Most texts are available in both HTML and plain text format.

Use in Buddhist communityEdit

Access to Insight is well known to students of Buddhism[1] around the world. For example, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, although he does not have Internet access, proclaims it as a valuable resource,[2] and Pali scholar Bhikku Bodhi also recommends it.[3] It has been cited in the Journal of Buddhist Ethics,[4] Multi-Ethnic Children's Literature[5] and Cross-Cultural Research.[6]

It is also cited in several standard textbooks used in teaching Buddhism.[7][8][9][10][11][12]


  1. ^ Charles S. Prebish, Luminous Passage: The Practice and Study of Buddhism in America. University of California Press, 1999. p. 226.
  2. ^ Thanissaro Bhikkhu. "Thai forest monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu answers questions from Tricycle readers." Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
  3. ^ Bhikkhu Bodhi. In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon. Wisdom Publications, 2005. p. 495.
  4. ^ Avoiding Unintended Harm to the Environment and the Buddhist Ethic of Intention. Journal of Buddhist Ethics
  5. ^ Jarasa Kanok. "Translations and Transformations: Thai Texts for Children in the USA". Multi-Ethnic Children's Literature 27.2.
  6. ^ Michael Minkov. "Self-Enhancement and Self-Stability Predict School Achievement at the National Level." Cross-Cultural Research 42. May 2008. pp. 172 – 196.
  7. ^ Sonam Thakchoe. The Two Truths Debate: Tsongkhapa and Gorampa on the Middle Way. Wisdom Publications, 2007. p. xv.
  8. ^ John J. Holder, Early Buddhist Discourses. Hackett Publishing, 2006. p. 214.
  9. ^ Kevin Trainor. Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide. Oxford University Press US, 2004. p. 244.
  10. ^ Wendy Cadge. Heartwood: The First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America. University of Chicago Press, 2004. p. 227.
  11. ^ Richard H. Seager. Buddhism in America. Columbia University Press, 2000. p. 264.
  12. ^ Christopher W. Gowans, Philosophy of the Buddha. Routledge, 2003. p. 201.

External linksEdit