Barre Center for Buddhist Studies offers residential and online courses combining study, discussion, and meditation for connecting sangha, supporting curiosity, and expanding and deepening personal practice.
Because the majority of BCBS offerings are held only partly in silence, teachers and students have the opportunity to connect over meals, in small groups, and around the grounds.
All are welcome. No specific study or practice experience is required for the vast majority of our courses.
BCBS was founded in 1991 by Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg and is located just through the woods and down the hill from Insight Meditation Society (IMS).
Barre Center for Buddhist Studies is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to exploring Buddhist thought and practice as a living tradition, faithful to its origins, yet adaptable to the current world. The center provides a bridge between study and practice, between scholarly understanding and meditative insight. It encourages engagement with the tradition in a spirit of genuine inquiry.
BCBS offers a variety of courses, workshops, retreats, and self-study programs to further research, study, and practice. Our programming is rooted in the classical Buddhist tradition of the earliest teachings and practices, but calls for dialogue with other schools of Buddhism and with other academic fields. All courses support both silent meditation practice and conscious investigation of the teachings.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies acknowledges that many people face barriers to participating in our work due to biases and social structures based on race, class, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion and other factors. Thus, in accord with Buddhist teachings as we understand them, BCBS takes a proactive approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and is engaged in ongoing initiatives to promote these three values throughout our work.
A Buddhist community by tradition consists of four assemblies, which are male and female, monastic and lay. Yet, among the different lineages of Buddhism present in the modern day, often one of these four assemblies is no longer in existence. The reason is a lack of fully ordained female monastics. These are only found in the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya traditions of China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. In the Tibetan tradition, following the Mulasarvastivada Vinaya, an order of fully ordained female monastics has never come into existence. In the Theravada tradition, such an order has ceased to exist during a period of political turmoil in the early 11th century in Sri Lanka. At present, in both of these traditions efforts are under way to revive or create new orders of fully ordained female monastics. In Sri Lanka the revival is well under way since ordinations undertaken in 1998, which have also spread to Thailand. In the Tibetan tradition the Karmapa has recently taken significant steps meant to lead to the creation of an order of fully ordained female monastics in Tibetan Buddhism. In America, these different ordination traditions are adapting to new conditions to create possibilities and opportunities for female ordination.
In recognition of the importance of according equal opportunities for women and the need to avoid any type of discrimination, BCBS supports the full ordination of women, their training and education, and their ongoing work as teachers.