Introduction to Pāli

A 7 day residential course in West Sussex, with Pāli scholar Andrew Olendzki

23rd – 30th June 2017: Micklepage Retreat Centre, Sussex, UK

This seven-day intensive course gives beginning students a solid introduction to the Pāli language and the primary literature of early Buddhism, enabling them to begin the process of learning to read the texts for themselves.

There are three components which are blended together throughout the week.

1. Academic. The course covers the place of Pāli in the family of Indic languages, the scope and diversity of the Pāli Canon, how to use the various reference protocols for the Pāli texts, understanding the Pāli alphabet and script, how to look up words in the Pāli/English dictionary and understand the information the dictionary provides, online tools and resources for research and for language study, the advantages and drawbacks of the secondary literature, and more.

2. Linguistic. The basic principles of word construction and of Pāli grammar are reviewed and clearly explained, including the inflection of nouns, verbal forms, syntax, an analysis of key Buddhist technical vocabulary, various literary conventions; the distinction between prose and verse, including an appreciation of poetic meter, and various strategies one might take toward translation.

3. Experiential. The course is designed for students with an interest in meditation and in putting the teachings into practice in their own experience. We work with selected passages and texts that point directly to lived experience, such as the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, and engage from time to time in meditation that is guided by these passages. Oral recitation is an important part of the course, not in the form of traditional chanting, but as a way of learning proper pronunciation and cadence, and as a means of bringing the material alive in experience.



ANDREW OLENDZKI, PhD, was trained in Buddhist Studies at Lancaster University in England, as well as at Harvard and the University of Sri Lanka. The former executive director of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) and of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS) in Barre, Massachusetts, and executive editor of the "Insight Journal," he is now senior scholar at Integrated Dharma Institute.

Event Details

  • Numbers are limited for this course – please book early to avoid disappointment
  • Accommodation is shared
  • All meals are vegetarian and provided
  • If paying a deposit – balance to be paid no later than 4 weeks before the module start
  • A limited number of Bursary places are available for this course.
  • Please read the Booking Conditions before booking

This course has now sold out, please feel free to join our waiting list below and we will contact you should a place become available.

  • June 23, 2017 - June 30, 2017
    6:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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Micklepage Farmhouse and Barn, Nuthurst Road, Nuthurst, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 6RG, United Kingdom



Micklepage is a unique rural retreat set in the peaceful Sussex countryside.
A beautiful historical farmhouse and barn with a barn chapel set in its own grounds.

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