Welcome to homepage of the Vow22 distance learning programme sponsored and run by the Amida Trust.
This site gives registered students and study group leaders access to year one of the Amida Trust Vow 22 Programmes.
The Vow 22 Programme is named after the 22nd vow of Dharmakara Bodhisattva in the Larger Pureland Sutra. This vow establishes the bodhisattva ideal within the Pureland tradition.
This programme aims to provide education in Buddhist thoughts from a Pureland Buddhist perspective. The programme is suitable for those intending to ordain, those offering lay ministry, and those seeking a systematic education in Buddhist principles. The course was created and set up by Dharmavidya David Brazier and was developed by members of the Amida Sangha.
The Amida Trust Vow 22 Programme is offered from an Amida Buddhist perspective. This is an approach to Buddhism grounded in the Pureland tradition, especially Japanese Pureland, incorporating critical and socially engaged perspectives. This approach is self-consciously an evolving confession. Amida Buddha is at work. Western Buddhism is unfolding. While we centrally draw upon the Japanese Amidist tradition, this is a living faith that is an expression of the faith history of all mankind. Tradition here does not simply mean the transmission of something unchanged from the past. It means the continued life of the spirit in the world in an ever new revelation.
Joining the Programme
If you are interested in following this course of study then please follow the step set out below. For general queries and questions about the course contact the course administrator via the email link at the bottom of the page.
- Create an account. This can be done by going to the main page and in the left hand column following the link “create new account”. You can also follow the link here: create account
- Complete all fields of the form and select "I'm registering for an online course". followed by "Vow 22"
- Your membership of Amida Academy is now pending. You should then make payment via Paypal for either a single module or the full course (see details below). See the left hand column of this information page. Once payment is received your membership will be activated.
- On receipt of the automated message please confirm your account and register your password.
- A member of the course team will then contact you to help you to decide the module you will commence the programme with (more information is given below).
- There are four mentors facilitating this programme who are available to guide you if this is required or comment on your contributions to discussions or assignment. They are Richard (username “rjol”), Susthama, Padma and Jnanamati. You are welcome to contact any one of them if you need further information or assistance.
The Programme commences with Preliminary Assignments. These are invaluable in introducing course members to each other, and in setting the tone and ethos of the course. Everyone starts, as it were, from the same spot on a level playing field, before moving on to develop their own particular interests in the Modules.
There are eight modules in year one with a further seven modules available in year two (TBA). Each Module comprises of six Lessons.
YEAR ONE “IDEAS AND TRADITIONS”
Module CAS - Characteristics of the Amida School
Module IBT - Introduction to Buddhist Theology
Module APT - Ancestors of the Pureland Tradition
Ancestors of the Pureland Tradition Part 2
Key Pureland Texts
The Larger Pureland Sutra Study
Lotus Sutra Study
Introduction to Buddhist Psychology
YEAR TWO "FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE"
Module CAW - Contemplation and Worship
Module PSS - Commentary on the Pratyutpanna Samadhi sutra
Module ERL - Ethics and the Religious Life
Module MAP - Ministry as Profession
Pureland Buddhism in Everyday Life
Online OJO retreat
A ‘Vow 22 Module Certificate’ is awarded for each Module on completion.
To gain the full qualification and be awarded a ‘Vow 22 Final Certificate’, candidates need to complete any ten Modules, out of the fourteen available, over the two years. Modules could be completed in any order. PLUS a final certification assignment of approximately 5,000 words on a topic of their choice related to the broad area of Pure Land Buddhism.
With this basic structure, candidates will have enough flexibility to personalise the emphases they wish to make in their study. We would like students to feel that they've got a good handle on the central thrust of the course without fragmenting students' understanding of what Amida practice actually is. Also, a certain amount of choice means that people can vary the pace of the course according to the time available : for example, you could do seven modules in Year One and three in Year Two, or the other way around, or five in each year, or whatever.
In this, as in everything else, we realise and acknowledge that most people undertaking the course will have severe restrictions on available time, family commitments, full time jobs etc :
We are not only sympathetic to this, but also firmly encouraging, and so to keep up morale in the student body which is vital, we will ensure that each student will have a learning mentor who will write a prompt online comment in response to each lesson completed, and a ‘Module Comment’ before certification.
It is also essential to our intention to be mutually supportive, that students be encouraged to comment regularly on each other’s work, as now: we regard this as one of the many truly great things about Vow 22!
On the run up to the end of the two years, learning mentors will keep an eye on students as they near completion of the Modules and the ’ Final Certification Assignment’, and grant ‘extensions’ if appropriate and needed for the completion of work.
Fees £20 per module
£200 for the full course
Students may enrol at anytime. For further information about joining the course please send an email to the course administrator