INTRODUCTION & STUDY GUIDE
Welcome to the Pureland Buddhism Introductory Course
16 lessons guide you from Basic Buddhism to a deeper understanding of the Pureland Tradition. The lessons are appropriate to all: those new to Buddhism, new to Pureland Buddhism and the experienced alike. Students have access to an on-line discussions forum on this site.
There is a one-off payment for the course (£30/$56/€42.73). However, should this make the course difficult to afford, please notify us by filling out the contact form (select "Introduction to Pureland" as category, after you send the message the course facilitator will contact you).
A Recommended Method of Study
1. Each lesson has either an introduction or a resume. Read this at the beginning of the lesson. If it is not clear to you, refer back to previous lessons before continuing.
2. Next read the numbered sections of the lesson through once.
3. Reread the lesson, making sure you understand each section in turn.
4. Answer the self-test questions, writing down short answers.
5. Write your answers to the questions in a message to the course facilitator (CF). You can do this by simply clicking the link at the bottom of the lesson page. Once the CF has received and reviewed your answers s/he will either direct you to review the lesson and subit your answers again, or give you access to the next lesson. This is automatic. You will be notified by the email address you have used to sign up.
6. Refer back to the lesson text to clarify your understanding of any points you had difficulty with.
7. The lessons also have discussion questions. You can consider the discussion questions and write about them on AA. You are encouraged to engage with other students taking the course - previous students have had lively discussions. To view other students responses and post you own simply go to the links on the right hand side of the page when viewing the lesson materials. These will be described as exercises.
8. You can keep the lessons by copying them into a Word/Pages-type file.
9. Write in a notebook and/or AA any thoughts you have about the subject raised in the lesson, either theoretical or in its personal reference to yourself. You can also contact the tutor directly.
10. 24 hours after completing it, go back and reread the text of the lesson.
11. Once in a while, go back and redo the self-test questions from earlier lessons.
12. After every five lessons there is a revision self-test. If there are points you do not remember, refer to the relevant lesson.
You can share your answers on AA.
Note: the usual boundaries of confidentiality apply ie what is shared within the group, remains within the group. You are invited to give at least a thumbnail description of yourself.
For anyone new to Buddhism
The Buddhist teaching is called Dharma. This course introduces the basic concepts and methods of Buddhist Dharma in a simple graduated sequence. The perspective adopted is that taught and practised in the Amida Shu sangha (Amida Pureland School). The word sangha means a spiritual community. Buddhist groups are called sanghas. The Amida Shu is a religious order in the Buddhist tradition. Members of the Amida Order, the Amida Shu and the wider Amida Sangha are to be found around the globe. The Amida Shu in the UK is sponsored by the Amida Trust, a registered religious not for profit charity.
If you are new to Buddhism, you will find everything you need here in order to get a quite thorough understanding of the basic teachings. The course takes you step by step from broad concepts and simple practices toward more subtle points and more advanced methods. The Amida approach draws upon all the main writings and traditions of Buddhism, considering them from a Pureland perspective. Hence it encompasses much material that would be of interest to Buddhists experienced in different traditions. Pureland is the most popular form of Buddhism in the far east. We offer this course to spread interest in Pureland Buddhism.
If you want to study further or if you want to be involved with Amida Trust and the Amida Shu in other ways, you are most welcome. If you are not already a member, do join Friends of Amida Shu to find out more about us.