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Summer courses in Oxford

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  • Stephen Hodge
    Dear All, I thought I would forward this. Anybody based in the UK interested this intensive course ? It is very reasonably priced. Note that Pali can be
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 21, 2010
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      Dear All,
      I thought I would forward this. Anybody based in the UK interested this
      intensive course ? It is very reasonably priced. Note that "Pali can be
      learnt in 12 days" ~ well, sort of ...

      Best wishes,
      Stephen Hodge

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Richard Gombrich" <richard.gombrich@...>
      To: <INDOLOGY@...>
      Sent: Monday, June 21, 2010 4:30 PM
      Subject: [INDOLOGY] Summer courses in Oxford

      The Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies and the Society for the Wider
      Understanding of the Buddhist Tradition are offering two free courses
      in Oxford this summer.

      1. Pali Summer School. The Society for the Wider Understanding of the
      Buddhist Tradition (So-Wide) offers an intensive Pali course this
      summer, 14-26 August inclusive.
      Aim. At the end of the course you should be able, using the normal
      aids available, i.e. dictionaries, grammars and translations, slowly
      to read a Pali canonical text and understand it for yourself.

      Is this really possible? I devised the course and have already given
      it five times with great success. Pali can be learnt in twelve days
      because the aim is only to read it, not to write or speak it – though
      you do learn to pronounce it and recite a few chants. There is also
      much less emphasis on memorisation than in a traditional course: why
      memorise things you can easily look up?

      Method. Accordingly, the course is built on learning how to use the
      Pali-English Dictionary published by the Pali Text Society (www.palitext.com
      ). The course begins with learning Pali alphabetical order (it is a
      good idea to start on this before arriving) and throughout the course
      each pupil is constantly using the Dictionary. Tables of the main
      grammatical forms are supplied and, again, students constantly consult
      them for themselves, until they become familiar.

      You are strongly encouraged to buy your own copy of the Dictionary.
      If you live overseas and do not want to carry it to Oxford, you may
      ask the Pali Text Society, when you buy it, to post it to you at the
      OCBS Office (address below).

      Students and teachers sit round a table together
      throughout the course. Students are urged to keep asking questions,
      and to work in cooperation.

      Organisation. The first day, 14 August, is in a sense preliminary.
      Mr. Geoffrey Bamford will explain the grammatical terms and principles
      you need to understand for the course. Experience has shown us that
      unless you have already studied Latin, Greek or Sanskrit you
      definitely should attend.

      The rest of the course is extremely intensive. It is
      cumulative, so that to miss an early lesson is disastrous. The one
      rigid rule is that no one may miss a class in the first week. We
      shall work out the precise timetable when we meet, but the general
      pattern will be that there will be classes each day from 9.30 to 5.30,
      with a long lunch break. There will be homework every evening.

      The course will end at mid-day on Thursday 26th; I hope
      we can then all lunch together.

      Content. We shall start to read original texts from the first
      Monday. I shall be open to suggestions about texts to read. Besides
      the Pali language, the course will discuss the Pali canon and many
      questions concerning the Buddha’s teaching and our evidence for it.

      Practical Arrangements. The course will take place at the main
      (Headington) campus of Oxford Brookes University. Students who do not
      live locally will be housed in single rooms in Clive Booth Hall
      (formerly Morrell Hall), which is ten minutes easy walk from the main
      campus on the Gipsy Lane site, where the classes will be held
      ). I am afraid that normally there is no parking available.

      There are cooking facilities at Clive Booth Hall, at no extra charge.
      There are bar and cafeteria facilities, including breakfast, on the
      Gipsy Lane site, except on Sundays, and we shall ourselves maintain a
      supply of tea and coffee in the lecture room. The charge for the
      bedroom is £25.00 per night, payable in advance for the whole course.

      My tuition and course materials are provided free, but we
      have to pay for some teaching assistance, the lecture room and some
      other expenses. We are therefore charging each student £150.00.
      Since this sum will not entirely cover our expenses, any further
      donation will be very welcome.

      Booking. Please apply to me, Richard Gombrich, at
      , asap. When applying, please supply full contact details, including
      telephone, and let me know your highest educational qualification. We
      also need to know whether you require accommodation, and if so whether
      you want it for the night of Friday 13 August. The closing date for
      applications is 14 July and by that date we require payment in
      advance. Normally that would be £325 for accommodation (if you are
      staying the first Friday night) + £150 fee, total: £475.00. If you
      feel you can afford to make that up to or towards £1,000, so much the
      better. Please send a sterling cheque payable to the Society for the
      Wider Understanding of the Buddhist Tradition. I am afraid it is too
      expensive for us to accept payment in a foreign currency. Please
      address your payment to OCBS Office attention Hazel Benyon, Wolfson
      College, Linton Road, Oxford OX2 6UD.

      Admittance will be first come, first served. No more than 14 will
      be admitted, so hurry to book a place.

      2. Meditation in Yogācāra Buddhism

      Teacher: Professor Florin Deleanu

      Course content:

      The course will offer an introduction to the formation and early
      history of the meditative path of spiritual cultivation in the
      Yogācāra tradition (also known as Yogācāra-Vijñānavāda or
      Cittamātra), one of the major Mahāyāna schools in the Indian
      Buddhism. We shall first survey some of the earlier Śrāvakayāna and
      Mahāyāna ideas which influenced the formation of the Yogācāra path
      of spiritual cultivation. Then we shall focus on this path as it
      appears depicted in some of the key texts of the school, such as the
      Bodhisattvabhūmi, Saṃdhinirmocanasūtra,
      Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra, Madhyāntavibhāgabhāṣya,
      Mahāyānasaṃgraha, etc. Throughout the course, attention will also
      be paid to the basic Yogācāra doctrines which are closely connected
      to its spiritual praxis.


      Knowledge of canonical Buddhist languages is not required. However,
      if most of the participants are familiar with any of the major
      languages of the Buddhist tradition, i.e. Sanskrit, Pali, Classical
      Tibetan, and Classical Chinese, more emphasis can be placed on reading
      and analysing primary sources related to Yogācāra meditative praxis.

      Dates of course: 1 -14 September

      Wednesday 1 September - Tuesday 14 September (except weekends:
      Saturday 4 September, Sunday 5 September, Saturday 11 September, and
      Sunday 12 September)

      Daily timetable: 3-6 p.m.

      1st Class: 3:00 – 4:00

      4:00-4:30: coffee break

      2nd Class: 4:30-5:30

      5:30-6:00: questions and discussion

      Venue: OCBS premises, Wolfson College

      A charge of £40 for administrative expenses will be payable on arrival
      in Oxford.

      Bookings should be made through me, and all inquiries addressed to me.

      Richard Gombrich

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