Special Programs

The study center in Barre offers a variety of programs from two resident scholars and a wide range of visiting faculty. A rich diversity of topics are covered for those interested in the Buddhist tradition and meditation practice. Programs range from one-day and weekend offerings, to five or seven days; some are as long as two weeks. Special programs include:

Going Forth Program

PLEASE NOTE: The Going Forth online program has been closed to new students for now. (The on-campus Going Forth course in June 2014 will still take place.) Please check back in future for more information.

The program has offered monthly texts and reflections, and weekly questions, from 2012 through 2014. Although we began this project with no end date in mind, we realize that impermanence applies in this case, too.

For those participating now, there will be no immediate changes. We will continue to offer the monthly text and essays through August 2014. Current students will continue to have access to all the course material on the website, and be able to participate in commenting, even after that date. We are still planning how it will change after that but will provide more information as that becomes clear. Our hope remains that in some indefinable ways the Going Forth discussions will continue to provide a semblance of “community” to like-minded people in a far-flung network.

In light of this, we will no longer accept new members to the program.

The BCBS GOING FORTH program created a virtual community that inspires the daily practice and guides the ethical living of a far-flung network of some 300 Buddhist practitioners who are retired or close to retirement. Building upon the ancient Indian paradigm of this being a precious opportunity for personal growth, we use the classical teachings from the Pali texts as primary source material for regular personal reflection, and then encourage a series of conversations between participants, both online and in person.


Integrated Study and Practice Program (ISPP)

The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies offers one-year programs that seek to integrate meditation practice with the study of Buddhist thought. The programs provide experienced dharma students with the opportunity to delve more deeply into the meaning and significance of the Buddha’s teachings, and to creatively explore the relationship of these teachings to meditation practice. These programs are generally designed for students with an established vipassana meditation practice.

The programs are led by Andrew Olendzki, Executive Director and Senior Scholar at BCBS, and Gloria Taraniya Ambrosia, an experienced dharma teacher and member of BCBS’ core faculty.

Admission to the ISPP is by application only. The current program, which runs September 2013 to September 2014, is full. The next ISPP program would begin in 2015. Please check back toward the end of 2014 for an update.


Self-Study Program

The Self-Study Program is for experienced students who may be looking for a quiet place to investigate the Buddhist tradition on their own through the integration of study and practice. We welcome scholars to come and experience the benefits of a contemplative environment for their work, and we invite meditators to explore the benefits of the academic inquiry into the Buddhist tradition. Applications must be submitted at least two weeks in advance, and space is only available when courses are not in session.
For more information, contact bcbs@dharma.org about available times.

Here is the self-study application form.

Bhavana Program

The Bhavana Program is a unique form of study and practice that integrates daily morning periods of textual study into an otherwise silent vipassana retreat schedule of sitting and walking meditation. A dharma talk is given each evening which relates the textual study to experiential practice, and interviews with the meditation teacher are also scheduled. Look for courses with “Bhavana Program” in the title.


Buddhist Psychology Program

The Buddhist Psychology Program investigates in depth the early Buddhist science of mind growing out of its profound contemplative practices, and explores the growing interface between Buddhist thought and modern psychology. Through an affiliation with the Institute of Meditation and Psychotherapy, CE credits are available for most mental health and other professionals.
For a list of upcoming courses, click here and select “Psychology Courses” from the “filter courses” drop-down box.