About & Submissions
The Fourth Messenger: Teachings and Art from the Sangha is a website unaffiliated with any specific lineage and welcoming of all readers, both lay and monastic. We are dedicated to publishing works by celibate Buddhist renunciants of all major traditions in order to inspire faith, share insights, and foster a sense of harmony within and between the various schools. Additionally, by offering teachings, essays, poetry, and visual art by monastics, the website, email newsletter, and associated podcast hope to grant the wider community of Buddhist practitioners access to the Sangha’s traditional clarifying influence and the understanding of those who have taken on the renunciant training. The site is managed by Nisabho Bhikkhu, a monk gone forth in the Thai Forest Tradition currently living Washington State.
Why “The Fourth Messenger”?
In the traditional telling, the Buddha embarks on his spiritual search after encountering four devaduta, or divine messengers. The first three — an old person, a sick person, and a corpse — disillusion the prince with the luxury of his youth. The fourth of a wandering mendicant shows him the possibility of a path that might transcend such suffering. By publishing Buddhist monastics who have embarked on the renunciant way, The Fourth Messenger hopes to communicate the faith in awakening such a life embodies.
We accept submissions on a rolling basis for publication on the website, email newsletter, and associated podcast. To submit material, one must be a monastic, such as a bhikkhu, bhikkhuni, sīladharā, or novice, gone forth into a celibate Buddhist order for at least five years, though laity writing about the Sangha and more junior monastics may submit with the sponsorship of a monk or nun of over ten years.
We publish non-political submissions in the following categories:
- Teachings (excerpts from recent Dhamma books, talks, translations, etc.)
- Essays and Interviews (travelogues, memoirs, profiles, analysis of scripture, scholarship, etc.)
- Audio (versions of the above, preferably with accompanying transcript)
- Art and Photography (paintings, drawings, photo essays, etc.)
We generally prefer essays between 500-2,000 words and rarely publish anything over 4,000. All work should be related to the Dhamma and not express views that deviate from basic Buddhist tenets. The website currently does not accept video submissions. Please allow one or two months for a response, as the editors may be on retreat or away from the Internet. After a submission is accepted, the author may be invited to supplement it with associated audio or recorded reading of the piece to publish on the podcast, if he or she wishes.
Submissions, inquiries, and reports of problems with the website may be sent to [email protected].
Welcome to the community; we look forward to seeing your work!
The Fourth Messenger Team