Vow 22 – In Depth Study Course

The Vow 22 course in its present form will soon be phased out and replaced by an exciting range of refreshed educational material to help support students in their Pure Land Buddhist faith and practice – further details will be announced soon! However, a
ll existing students can complete the module(s) of the current course which have already purchased.

Thank you very much indeed (to all students past and present) for your support of Vow 22 over the years – my fervent belief is that we have all learned a great deal from each other, and I am very grateful for that. I hope we can continue to move forward together in the same spirit on the Pure Land path with the new and revised course materials as and when they become available. We live in exciting times for Amida Buddhism, and it is important that our educational materials reflect this.
Namo Amida Bu! With metta, Paripurna (Course Leader).

If you would like to be kept updated about the new programme of studies then please register your interest by emailing:


The Vow 22 Programme was named after the 22nd vow of Dharmakara Bodhisattva in the Larger Pure Land Sutra. This vow establishes the bodhisattva ideal within the Pure Land tradition. The aim of the programme was to provide education in Buddhist thoughts from a Pure Land Buddhist perspective. This is an approach to Buddhism grounded in the Pure Land tradition, especially Japanese Pure Land, incorporating critical and socially engaged perspectives. While we centrally draw upon the Japanese Amidist tradition, this is a living faith that is an expression of the faith history of all humankind. 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.

Topics covered included:

  • Contemplation and Worship.
  • Ancestors of the Pure Land Tradition Part One
  • Ancestors of the Pure Land Tradition Part Two
  • Pure Land Buddhism in Everyday Life
  • The Larger Pure Land Sutra
  • Key Pure Land Texts
  • The Lotus Sutra
  • Introduction to Buddhist Psychology
  • Introduction to Buddhist Theology
  • The Pratyutpanna Samadhi Sutra
  • Ojo Retreat
  • Ministry as Profession.

Paripurna Richard Ollier, the main course leader writes: Vow 22 aimed to provide students with a comprehensive grounding in the history, philosophy and practice of Pure Land Buddhism. Although the course was delivered from a distinctly Pure Land perspective, we welcomed students of all persuasions (Buddhist and non-Buddhist) who were genuinely interested in discovering more about this particular form of Buddhism. Indeed, students who are not Pure Land Buddhists often made an especially enriching contribution to the course through their assignments.

It was suitable for those who simply wished to widen and deepen their knowledge of a form of Buddhism that has a long tradition in Asia, but which is a relative newcomer in Europe, as well as for people pursuing ministry in various forms. 

Students do not have to write traditional ‘essays’ in response to assignments (though they can certainly do so if they wish), and can produce creative work (poems, diagrams) and small pieces of research if these kind of response meet their needs. We work in a spirit of inclusion, and value student enthusiasm! We aim to comment in reasonable detail on each assignment submitted to us, but we do not ‘grade’ assignments: we are interested in helping people educate themselves, not in ‘assessing’ them. Students can work at their own pace through the modules – we realise that people often have busy work and family lives, and have to fit studying in around these. We are especially interested in assisting students to reflect constructively on their own ‘religious lives’.


Any questions about the current course or plans for the new course? Email vow22programme.