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This site might be of interest:http://www.buddhanet.net/
I'm sorry if this has been asked before and I'm duplicating discussions.Is there a guide to self study? I live some way from my nearest meeting point and to e honest I think I'd rather start off on my own with a bit of guidance.
This site might be of interest:http://www.buddhanet.net/I second this. BuddhaNet has self-study courses. Also if you want Pali Canon suttas/sutras, http://www.accesstoinsight.org is a good one (and downloadable).
I tend to think that neither sutra nor teacher *is* the dharma. The dharma is our practice in the 'manure' of our life.
I think it'd be difficult for most newbie's to just pick up the Pali Canon or even the Tibetan Book of the Dead and just start reading. When you don't know the basic framework of Buddhism it's hard to get all the verses into any sort of meaningful context.
Meditation should be the first thing with a method as you find by chance.