5 Free courses on Buddhism

Mentioned below are five courses in Buddhism offered by top notch universities. Anybody with an interest in Buddhism or religion can benefit from these courses. The courses cover Buddhist scriptures and practices, relationship with science and ancient history of the religion.

Buddhism and Modern Psychology

This course examines the relationship between science and Buddhism while asking several questions about meditation. The course is offered by Princeton University and can be completed in 20 hours. Post completion of this course students will gain skills in philosophy, psychology, mindfulness and meditation. The course covers several topics including Religious Buddhism and Secular Buddhism, the Eightfold path, Buddha’s discourse on the Not-self and Meditation. The course is delivered in English but one can make use of the English, Spanish or Hungarian subtitles provided.

Buddhism Through Its Scriptures

This introductory course in Buddhism is meant for anybody who wants to learn about the age old practices, beliefs and rituals of Buddhists. The course is offered by Harvard University and can be completed in 4 weeks. During this period students will be familiarized with Buddhist teachings and will be urged to look at them from different perspectives. Students will be exposed to different kinds of Buddhist practices like devotional acts and will learn practical applications of the same.

China’s First Empires and the Rise of Buddhism

This introductory course discusses the Chinese history and culture while exploring on the Qin dynasty conquered China and how the Han dynasty built a stable empire. This course is offered to students by Harvard University and is spread over 15 weeks. The course will also help students understand how Buddhism gained its prominence as a foreign religion, view religions as a historic phenomenon and understand the dynamics of political systems.

Indian and Tibetan River of Buddhism

This intermediate course will help students learn the history and philosophy of Buddhism in India, Tibet, South, South east and Central Asia. Offered by Columbia University, this course can be completed in 12 weeks. The course has been divided into 6 modules where each of the module covers the basics of the Buddhist view of reality and its educational principles. Some topics that would be covered include Buddha and Dharma, the Mendicant Sangha and the three styles of the Buddhist Development Movement. Students will be taught about the main elements of Buddha’s biograph, the five principles of enlightenment social policy, the concept of non-duality and the Three Super Educations.

Buddhism: Diamond Sutra and Zen Meditation

This course is meant for anyone with an interest in Buddhism, Zen meditation or physical science. The course revolves around Diamond Sutra which is one of the most important texts in Buddhism. This course is being provided by the Honk Kong University of Professional and Continuing Education and is designed to be completed in 6 weeks.  By the end of this course students will be able to understand the concept of emptiness in the Diamond Sutra and will be able to apply the right thought to experience this emptiness. Some topics that will be covered include but are not limited to Four Stages of Buddhahood and Adornment of the Pure Land, classifying factors for the ‘myriad’ things in the world and the unconditional phenomenon “The Vajra-cchedika Prajnaparamita”

All the courses mentioned above are delivered in English. Students can enroll to the courses for free but for availing a certificate they would be required to pay a fee. Students can also apply for financial aid if required.

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