Study and practice

The recent upsurge of interest in Buddhism, both East and West, has been marked by a vigorous practical orientation and a drive to discover the peace and freedom to which the practice of Dhamma leads. This zeal for practice, however, has often been accompanied by another trait which may not be so fruitful, namely, a tendency to neglect or even belittle the methodical study of the Buddha's teachings.

The interrelationship of study and scholarship with practice is . . . a complex issue . . . What can be said unequivocally is that scholarly knowledge without practical application is barren; vigorous meditation practice without the guiding light of clear conceptual understanding is futile.

Bhikkhu Bodhi

In classical Buddhism, the three avenues to understanding are study, reflection, and meditation.

  1. Study: learning the material, listening to teaching, studying texts.
  2. Reflection: thinking about what you've learned, clarifying questions and understanding, making the material your own.
  3. Meditation: holding the teaching in attention until it becomes part of how you live and function in your life.

Unfettered Mind

Study and Practice Guide
Ken McLeod's Unfettered Mind

Advanced Study and Practice Program
The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS) is offering a one-year program of advanced dharma study and practice. The program provides experienced dharma students with the opportunity to 1) delve more deeply into the meaning and significance of the Buddha's teachings by study of the textual tradition; 2) creatively explore the relationship of these teachings to meditation practice and daily life.

Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies
The Buddhist path engages us in a balanced program of both practice and study. The Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies (SSBS) teaches the tenets of this path.

Where to Begin: Study, Reflection and Meditation

The Case for Study
Bhikkhu Bodhi