Recommended Online Resources


E-learning

Buddhism and Modern Psychology on Coursera: Offered by Princeton University, this free course is taught by Robert Wright, author of Why Buddhism is True. The course material directly parallels his book as he was teaching this course while working on the book. Fundamental Buddhist concepts are explored such as the Four Noble Truths, not-self, and the Five Aggregates. These are analyzed alongside theories of evolutionary psychology and particularly the modular theory of the mind. Both are then evaluated according to experimental evidence in the fields of psychology and neuroscience in general. Interviews from well known Buddhist figures and experts in the field of psychology complement Professor Wright’s lectures. Coursework includes video lectures, forum participation, and peer reviewed assignments.

Buddhism Through its Scriptures on EdX: Offered by Harvard University, this free course (paid certificate available) is part of the series World Religions Through Their Scriptures, which is a credit based program (€276 at the time of this posting) that also covers Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikkhism. The course material includes reading segments from a wide range of sources. The lectures, discussions, and assignments involve interpreting these readings using tools and strategies presented in the course.

De-Mystifying Mindfulness on Coursera: Offered by the University, this free course (paid certificate available)takes mindfulness in general for its subject matter. So although Buddhist forms of mindfulness are included in the course material, you’ll also encounter Taoism, Stoicism, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Meditation exercises are included alongside the standard video lectures, discussion prompts and peer reviewed assignments.

Online Pali Courses: Levels 1 – 3 from the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies: A self-paced all online course (fee required for each level) that will familiarize you with the Pali language and the transition of suttas. The courses consist of a series of video lectures and quizzes along with downloadable vocabulary guides for reference.


Other Resources

Access to Insight: Readings in Theravada Buddhism. This site contains a comprehensive list of translated suttas, commentaries and study guides, primarily from Thanissaro Bhikkhu. This site is well organized and an excellent resource for all students and practitioners in their varying stages of progress on the path. For those new to Buddhism, the Beginnings link on the home page is a great place to start.

DhammaTalks.org: Talks, Writings & Translations of Thanissaro Bhikkhu. A related site to Access to Insight, Dhamma Talks houses not only an extensive collection of translated suttas, but also a wide range of downloadable materials. These include both talks and meditations, as well as chants, chanting guides and ebooks. I highly recommend the collection of talks on the Noble Eightfold Path for beginners and seasoned practitioners.

A Handful of Leaves Library: A collection of downloadable texts on Buddhology, Studies in Early Buddhist Meditation, Meditation Theory and Practice, Early Buddhist Epistemology, Indology, Indigenous Buddhism, Texts & Translations and Language, Dictionaries & Reference Materials, along with other miscellaneous texts. Many of the texts on my Recommended Reading page can be found in this library. There is also a collection of papers by various authors at a separate sub-page on this site.

Study Buddhism: Formerly the Berzin Archives, this site focuses on Tibetan Buddhism and includes articles, interviews, and downloads on a variety topics and from the perspectives of various schools that fall under the general heading of “Tibetan Buddhism.” There is a section for beginners that provides a comprehensive overview of the “Universal Values” of Buddhism. Within the sections on Tibetan Buddhism, Lam-rim, Abhidharma, Vajrayana and other topics here, you’ll find teachings arranged in course format. You can also search and browse to focus in on the specific readings and audio lectures that relate to your current interests. If you’re ready to jump right into the deep end, may I recommend Dr. Berzin’s series of lectures on Self-Voidness and Other-Voidness.

Mind & Life Institute: Founded through the partnership of His Holiness the 14th Dalai the and scientist/philosopher Francisco Varela, this organization has the stated mission of, “Bridging science and contemplative wisdom to illuminate our shared humanity and inspire action.” Among their work, you may find their annual “Dialogues” the most interesting and applicable to your own practice, study and/or research. Presentations and discussions at these events are recorded with panels made up of monastics including the Dalai Lama himself, noted scientists and researchers, as well as other religious figures. Conversations frequently involve how Western science and what His Holiness refers to as Buddhist science may inform one another. You can browse a video library of these dialogues here. My favorite is Mind and Life XXVI: Mind, Brain and Matter, which touches on topics such as neuroplasticity and quantum physics.


This page will be updated periodically.

%d bloggers like this: