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).
The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies offers the integration of study and practice in exploring the many streams of teaching and expression that flow from the sources of early Buddhism.
Our onsite and online programs combine contemplative and relational elements supportive of personal transformation. As an inclusive community, we welcome all interested in Buddhist inquiry as a way of developing wisdom and compassion for the benefit of all beings.
OUR GUIDING VALUES
- We seek to cultivate harmony, integrity and wisdom in what we do and how we do it.
- We value inclusion, diversity, and equity.
- We commit to acting and speaking in an ethically responsible manner.
- We are committed to offering opportunities for transformation and liberation which is the promise of the Buddha’s teachings.
- We value scholarship, inquiry, discernment and experiential embodied wisdom.
- We are committed to integrating study and practice, scientific understanding, meditative insight, and individual and relational experiences.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE NIPMUC PEOPLE
BCBS respectfully acknowledges the Nipmuc people, who stewarded the land on which the center now stands for generations.
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, body shape, religion, political views, 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.
As a way to uphold our mission and values around DEI, we are using the following policies with regard to course registration:
- Three spaces (or 10% of available seats) will be held for self-identified BIPOC participants until eight weeks before the course begins. At that time, if the three spaces remain unfilled they will be open to anyone who would like to join the course.
- When a course has a waitlist of participants, spaces will be prioritized for BIPOC participants, and then offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
- We have set aside financial assistance for BIPOC and the optional demographic questions on our registration page help us to distribute that assistance where needed and support equity in retreatant participation.
FEMALE ORDINATION STATEMENT
Traditionally, a Buddhist community has four parts, or assemblies: male and female, monastic and lay. Until recently, however, one of these four assemblies, fully ordained female monastics, has often been missing. Only the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya traditions of China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam have an unbroken lineage of fully ordained female monastics. In the Tibetan traditions, following the Mulasarvastivada Vinaya, there never was an order of fully ordained female monastics. In the Theravada tradition, the orders of fully ordained female monastics ceased to exist during the political turmoil of the early 11th century in Sri Lanka. In both Theravada and Tibetan traditions, full female ordination has now been established.
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.