Introduction to Buddhism
Please take the time to read all the information on this page before registering for one of these courses. This is a prerequisite for joining, and will ensure you get the most out of the course.
As well as the General Information visible below, this page includes information on:
Tushita aims to provide a friendly and conducive environment for people of all nationalities to contact, learn and put into practice the teachings of the Buddha. With this in mind we organize regular introductory courses on Buddhist philosophy and meditation.
Tushita has gained an international reputation for its Introduction to Buddhism courses, which are equally appropriate for beginners and those with some background knowledge. These courses are residential and usually 10 days long.
To study about Buddhist Philosophy is to study about yourself. During the course, experienced teachers explain Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and meditation from a modern perspective, giving instruction in order to help you apply this ancient wisdom to increase peace, happiness, and compassion in your daily life. Topics include:
The body of the course is composed of philosophy classes supported by meditation sessions, all within a silent retreat environment. 10-day courses end with two days of intensive meditation to give you the chance to familiarize yourself with and gain insight into the topics that were covered in the teachings.
All teachings and meditation instructions are given in English.
Adjusting to the Retreat Environment
A course of spiritual study and meditation takes energy, commitment, and discipline. It's a space in which to shut out the distractions of everyday life and come face-to-face with yourself. That isn’t always easy, especially for beginners.
Body and mind are not used to these very different circumstances and may react with discomfort, restlessness, boredom, doubt, criticism, fatigue or sudden, unfounded concern about friends or family. Preparing yourself by anticipating these reactions, and committing to stick to the discipline of retreat even if they arise can be transformatory. Therefore, we have to adjust ourselves to the retreat settings:
Please follow this link for more information about The Retreat Environment.
Preparing for the Course
Complete all your outside communication and arrangements before you arrive for check-in.
In order to successfully participate in the course, you must be really free from all outside commitments for the entire period of the course. All phone calls, e-mails, letters, tickets, flight confirmations, money changing etc must be arranged and organised before the course begins. There is no way to do this during the course, so be sure to tell your family and friends that you won't be in touch until after check-out on the last day of your course (after 1pm). Your phone has to be deposited with us for safe keeping during the course. Our Retreat Environment page explains why this discipline is important.
You must be in good general health, both physically and mentally, to attend this course.
If you feel unwell before the course, please seek medical advice before coming here. If you take part in the course while feeling unwell you will not be able to participate fully and are more likely to prolong your sickness by over-exerting yourself. In addition, we run large courses with shared facilities and have to act responsibly for the welfare of our students; therefore if you have been feeling unwell and have not yet recieved medical advice, we will ask you not to join the course. This applies most especially to those with stomach problems or flu-like symptoms. For more information about Health & Safety, please click here.
We'd like to stress that meditation involves observing the mind with greater focus than in everyday life, and our Introduction to Buddhism courses present psychological ideas which people may find challenging. Our courses provide tools to help students to process these challenges themselves, but we are not psychologists/counsellors, and we have large courses so cannot provide individual counselling. This course / practicing meditation is not a subtitute for professional counselling.
During the course, be prepared to live simply.
Make sure that you have brought everything you'll need.
For a more extensive list of What to Bring, please click here.
Rules of Discipline
It is only possible to stay at Tushita if you are taking one of our residential courses/retreats or are an established Buddhist practitioner doing your own formal Buddhist retreat of a minimum of 10 days duration.
Since Tushita is a semi-monastic meditation centre and not a guesthouse, we ask all of our retreatants and visitors to observe the following rules of discipline in order to maintain an atmosphere conducive to inner reflection and meditation:
"Gompa" is a Tibetan word which we use for Meditation Hall. Because a Gompa is the location of study, meditation and devotional practices, Buddhists consider them to be holy places. In this tradition, the following modes of behaviour are considered respectful in a Gompa and we ask you to follow them while here:
This course is not something "just for fun" or to tick off on a travel itinerary. It is a serious course. However, if done properly it will be a challenging, highly enjoyable and fulfilling experience.
Many people are not sure what to expect and that is all right. However, please only register and attend this course if you intend to participate fully in a serious and committed manner. We understand that following all these rules, and especially keeping the silence, can be difficult, but it is an essential part of the course experience and the staff are here to help and support you in keeping to the rules, in order to aid and maintain the retreat environment.
Should a person intentionally and repeatedly disregard the rules and disrupt other people's course experience, we will ask that person to leave.
For a listing of the Introduction to Buddhism course dates, please:
Click here, or see our Calendar of Events
If you have any further questions, please make use of our Frequently Asked Questions section (or try the SEARCH function at the top right corner of this website window) as your question may already be answered there, before contacting us directly.
To register for one of our Introduction to Buddhism courses, please make sure you have read through the above information. Then complete the online registration form or visit the Tushita Office.
Please don't email just to ask about availability on the course, as usually there is enough space even up to the first day of the course.