Buddhist Life / Buddhist Path


 An Introductory Course on Buddhism

Instructor: Bhikkhu Cintita

– book, class, podcast –


Buddhist Life / Buddhist Path: the book

Go here for downloadable ebooks or hardcopies. Free copies are available at the vihara and will be distributed the first day of in-person class.

Overview of the course

This course consists of two 6-week segments. The classes/chapters are best taken in order, but each is relatively self contained, except:

12. (Awakening) presupposes 11. (Disentangling mind), and
11. presupposes 8. (Foundational Wisdom).

We meet from 3:00 – 4:30 for lecture (generally with a short tea/coffee break), but as an individual option you may also come from 4:30 – 5:00 or beyond for casual Q&A and discussion.

Buddhist Life covers the basic values, understandings and practices that constitute a devout Buddhist life in a Buddhist community. It has no prerequisite. The topics for the 6-week program are as follows:

1. Buddha – 2. Generosity – 3. Harmlessness – 4. Purity – 5. Harmony – 6. Refuge.

This is the Buddhism as it is lived by most Buddhists, that Buddhist children learn, that defines the norms of the Buddhist community. It is primarily grounded in ethics, virtue and harmony.

Buddhist Path covers the understandings and practices that lead to awakening. It has no prerequisite, though it is recommended that the Buddhist Life course be taken first. The topics for the 6-week program are as follows:

7. Higher Training – 8. Foundational Wisdom – 9. Training in Virtue – 10, Training of Mind – 11. Disentangling the Mind – 12. Awakening.

This is the path of intense training for higher attainments generally undertaken by relatively few Buddhists. It is primarily grounded in human psychology and meditation, but builds on the elements of a Buddhist life.

Together the two courses provide a comprehensive and detailed understanding of Buddhism based on the earliest sources. This is Buddhism as far as can be discerned as the Buddha taught it and before the development of distinct sects and schools, such as Zen, Tibetan and Theravadin. These courses provide an intellectual understanding, but with a practice orientation. They are meant to be supplemented by practice in community and in meditation. Those who complete both courses are invited to join the Early Buddhism Discussion Group, in which we read and explain actual discourses of the Buddha.

These courses are offered at no charge since the Dharma is really priceless. Come join us! Please visit our meetup group page (linked below) to register. If you miss some of the classes you will be able to catch up using the audios posted for the on-line course. Each of the courses will be repeated two or three times per year at Sitagu Buddha Vihara.

Notice that course materials are provided below in pdf form, and that audios are linked also below, a new audio appearing shortly after each class meeting. If you undertake the course, try keep up with the readings and try to attend each week. If you miss a week, please listen to the audio for that week. Many participants both attend and listen to the audio. The course material has a lot of depth given the length of the course, so it is important to study outside of class. But at the end of the course you will know a lot about Buddhism.

This course is intended for new Buddhists, for those just exploring, for adherents of other faiths who would like to know how Buddhist wisdom can supplement or enhance their experience of their root faith, or for students of comparative religion. We do not emphasize practice (meditation, for instance), but provide supplemental opportunities for practice at the vihara and through one-on-one instructions.

Register for the class by emailing Bhikkhu Cintita below.

Useful Links

On-line Course

Podcast lectures are available HERE. The following are recordings of in-person classes offered at the Sitagu Buddha Vihara. While working through these materials, feel free to direct questions to the instructor, Bhikkhu Cintita, at ashin.cintita@sitagutx.org. At least drop a line to introduce yourself and to let him know you are participating on-line.

9 Responses to “Buddhist Life / Buddhist Path”

  1. J Says:

    I won’t be able to come to the courses, but would I be able to follow along with the audios posted afterwards?

    Thank you,


  2. New Textbook: Buddhist Life/Buddhist Path | Buddha-Sāsana Says:

    […] The book can now be downloaded as a pdf HERE. Copyright restrictions are under Creative Commons as noted on page iv.  Print copies are available for the cost of printing HERE, or will be available for free in the Sitagu Buddha Vihara library. Information about the course based on this text, including audios of previous classes, is available HERE. […]


  3. Candace Says:

    When will the next course start? If there is going to be another, I’d like to join it. Thank you for reading my question.


  4. Stacy Tabish Says:

    I would like to sign up for the next course on August 5th or 12th please. I believe my daughter would like to attend as well. Thank you and enjoy your trip to Minnesota.


  5. R Says:

    This is amazing. Thank you for sharing this course for free!


  6. Candy Babich Says:

    I missed last week’s Sunday class. Where can I find it? I think you said you were going to post them online somewhere?


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