Buddhist Life / Buddhist Path


 An Introductory Course in Two Parts
(formerly called Foundations of Buddhism)

Instructor: Bhante Cintita

12-week course starts Sunday July 16, 2017 and ends October 1.

Sundays 4:00 – 5:30 (6:00) pm

At the beautiful Sitagu Buddha Vihara in Oak Hill (SW Austin, TX USA)

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 4:00 – 5:30 for lecture (generally with a short tea/coffee break), but as an individual option you may also come from 5:30 – 6:00 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 on-line. Each of the courses will be repeated two or three times per year.

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.

Useful Links

Sri Lankan boy reciting Pali texts spontaneously HERE. Search Youtube for Dhammaruwan for more.


Bhante Cintita is in the process of writing a new introductory text on Buddhism. Your feedback will contribute to the final outcome. The following are draft chapters to be used in the current course.

Buddhist Life / Buddhist Path: the book


click here for inexpensive softcover

Workbook (updated 07/16/17)

Audios, July-October, 2017

  1. Buddha, July 16
  2. Generosity, July 23
  3. Harmlessness, July 30
  4. Purity, August 6
  5. Harmony, August 13
  6. Refuge, August 20
  7. Higher Training, September 3
  8. Foundational Wisdom, September 10
  9. Training in Virtue, September 17
  10. Training of Mind, September 24
  11. Disentangling the Mind, October 1
  12. Awakening, October 8

 Click HERE for audios of previous courses.

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