Diploma in Buddhist Analysis of Mind | DiplomaBuddhistAM

The Buddha’s teachings focus on the resolution of a cognitive error he says we make, when we perceive the world. This view emerged from an analysis of mental processes, in meditation, that continued to engage practitioners for several centuries, as they sought to draw out the full implications of his method.

The collective analyses resulted in a vast corpus known as the Abhidhamma Pitaka. This programme serves as a stepping-stone to the understanding of principles that defines Buddhist psychology. In the first semester, students are introduced to Buddhist philosophy, which provides a basis for understanding the methods and analyses discussed in the second semester. Students are introduced to the Buddhist model of the mind and to the analysis of human experience as preserved in the Pali tradition, primarily through the text Abhidhammattha Sangaho. They are also introduced to developments in other schools, particularly the Sarvastivada; the Sautrantika theory of inferability of external objects; the emptiness of dharmas posited by Nagarjuna and the Yogacara definition of storehouse consciousness, with the eventual conclusion that the human experience of the external world is mind-only. Students will have an opportunity to experience the analytical process in a meditation workshop.

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Key Information

Pedagogy

Teaching-learning occurs in in lecture and seminar format. Students are encouraged to read, present and participate in each session. A meditation workshop in the second semester provides an important experiential component.

Curriculum

 
 
Semester I Semester II
Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy Dharmas in Abhidharma
  Workshop Meditation

Differentiators

The Centre for Buddhist Studies has led the field in innovative curriculum design that addresses the learning needs of students who can engage full time, as well as those who pursue their passion part-time, at their own pace. The faculty have diverse specialisations, which is reflected in the syllabus.

The Diploma in Pali programme provides a good foundation, based on which a student who has a Bachelor’s degree can pursue an M.A. (Pali) at our institution.

Recognising that Buddhism is a living tradition, eminent members of the Sangha are regularly invited to or campus. This gives students an opportunity for experiential learning. The institution has had the privilege of hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama four times. ven. Dhammadipa, a Buddhist monk from the Czech republic, is an annual visitor who has taught several key programmes on meditation texts as well as led retreats.

The K J Somaiya Institute of Dharma Studies has a library with over 30,000 books, which is an important resource.

In addition to the workshops that are an integral part of this programme, students can attend seminars, workshops and field trips that are offered by the institution across the various disciplines. This creates opportunities of learning beyond the classroom and permits interaction with students pursuing different interests: this is a key feature of the learning experience on our campus.

The most unique aspect of our Centre is community engagement at our outreach project, Jetavan, in rural Maharashtra, which is available for students to visit and volunteer for engagement. The centre has been set up in collaboration with Godavari Biorefineries and Ven. Dhammadipa.

Programme Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the programme, a student will:

  • Students will investigate the Buddha’s teachings as psychological method, based particularly on the approach in the Abhidhamma Pitaka and the analysis of experience into irreducible components called dhammas.
  • They will appreciate the different views Buddhist schools held about the nature of reality and the debates within the tradition, as well as the critique of the Abhidhamma method.
  • They will understand the significance of meditation and analysis within the process as a source of knowledge on the Buddhist Path.