Vow 22 – In Depth Study Course

Here are some videos that are part of our Vow22 Series to give you a flavour of what you might find on the Vow22 programme. Some of the modules contain Dharma talks that you can listen to and reflect upon and others focus on texts. The first is a  a talk given by Dr. Richard Ollier about Honen’s Ishimai Koshoman. This text is found in the Key Pure Land Texts in the Vow22 programme offered by the Order. This introductory video is followed by two talks given on April 10, 2021 by Dharmavidya David Brazier, explaining the concept of Other Power.

The Vow 22 Programme is 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.

This programme aims to provide education in Buddhist thoughts from a Pure Land Buddhist perspective. The programme is suitable for those intending to ordain, those offering lay ministry, and those seeking a systematic education in Buddhist principles. The course was created and set up by Dharmavidya David Brazier and was developed by members of the Amida Sangha.

Orientation

The Amida Order Vow 22 Programme is offered from an Amida Buddhist perspective. This is an approach to Buddhism grounded in the Pure Land tradition, especially Japanese Pure Land, incorporating critical and socially engaged perspectives. This approach is self-consciously an evolving confession. Amida Buddha is at work. Western Buddhism is unfolding. While we centrally draw upon the Japanese Amidist tradition, this is a living faith that is an expression of the faith history of all mankind. 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.

Lessons

Lessons include written and audio teachings by Dharmavidya David Brazier, Founder of the Amida School, and you’ll be guided through the course by a personal tutor.

Topics covered include: Contemplation and Worship. Ancestors of the Pure Land Tradition, Pure Land Buddhism in Everyday Life, Contemplation & Worship, and Buddhist Psychology.

Richard Ollier, the main course leader writes: Vow 22 aims to provide its students with a comprehensive grounding in the history, philosophy and practice of Pure Land Buddhism, and, in particular, the work of the founder of the Amida Order, Dharmavidya David Brazier.

Although the course is delivered from a distinctly Pure Land perspective, we welcome students of all persuasions (Buddhist and non-Buddhist) who are genuinely interested in discovering more about this particular form of Buddhism. Indeed, students who are not Pure Land Buddhists often make an especially enriching contribution to the course through their assignments.

It is suitable for those who simply wish to widen and deepen their knowledge of a form of Buddhism which has a long tradition in Asia, but which is a relative newcomer in Europe, as well as for people acting as Buddhist chaplains, or pursuing ministry in various forms. It is particularly pertinent for ordained members of the Amida Order, but it should be noted that it does not qualify people for ordination.

If you are interested, then please register by emailing vow22programme@gmail.com and you will be invited to join google classroom to start. We offer two preliminary assignments and then you are invited to tailor your programme by choosing between thirteen modules, out of which students can choose to take any ten. Many students, do not, however, take the full ten modules: they simply select modules which particularly interest them, or which have particular relevance for them at a certain juncture in their lives. There is no ‘one way’ of pursuing Vow 22 – we provide a course from which students can select the learning they need. It is a course for all abilities: the range of assignments we offer in each module means that there is usually ‘something for everyone’. Our suggested first module is Characteristics of the Amida School, although you can choose to begin anywhere.

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’.

Vow 22 costs £200 GBP for the full course, or £20 per module. Students often pay on a module-by-module basis, though they can pay for the full course all at once if they so desire. Payment can be taken in any currency via Paypal. We understand that some people may find it a challenge to afford these fees, so please email vow22programme@gmail.com if you are interested in taking the course.

Currently, the available modules are:
Preliminary Assignments
Suggested first module:
Characteristics of the Amida School
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.

Modules marked * demand considerable background knowledge and should probably be tackled later rather than sooner in a person’s Vow 22 ‘career’. Whenever a registered student wishes to start a new module, he or she should email vow22programme@gmail.com if they require advice on module choice.

Further information about module content is available on request.

If this course sounds ‘your cup of tea’, we very much look forward to hearing from you!

We use paypal; however, if you wish to make a bank transfer then please email vow22programme@gmail.com for bank details.

Please choose full course (£200) or single module (£20). If you are choosing a single module, please enter the name of the module. If you would like to use a different email address to your PayPal email address, please enter that too.

Please click here to register.

Payment can be taken in all currencies, and will be converted by Paypal.

Any questions? Email vow22programme.