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Samye Ling Tibetan Centre
Home Study Dharma Course

Buddhism Distance Learning: Samye Ling's dharma study course

Study Tibetan Buddhism at Home

This comprehensive, distance-learning programme on Buddhism, 

readily accessible to all, evolved in response to increasing demands we were receiving for a structured and comprehensive dharma study course. Based on the traditional teachings of the finest Tibetan masters who have visited and taught at Samye Ling, it was launched in sping 2008 jointly by  Kagyu Samye Monastery and Dharmacharya Ken Holmes as a three-year programme composed of thirty modules. It  proved very successful. A second intake started in May 2009 and there has been a new intake each year ever since. Since its beginnings, over 1,000  students have joined from 34 countries.


"Intimate and majestic, of challenging depth and extraordinary clarity, I found the course engaging and truly worthwhile right from Module One." Dan O'C.

"For me, this course has opened my eyes and warmed my heart." Kirk.

"A great introduction to Buddhism especially for those interested in the Kagyu tradition. Takes you from refuge and the history of Buddhism to the highest teachings on Mahamudra. Brightened up my inbox every month." J.G., Perth.


The new (2016) intake of students will start studying Year One
of this course in April 2016 *.

You can sign up any time (see below).


The course is based on ten study months a year and is structured as follows:


  • The main basis of the course is a series of monthly study packs. These are prepared by the teaching staff and sent as email attachments. It may be helpful to buy one or two important text books as the course proceeds but the study packs will constitute a complete course in themselves.
  • In the first three years, there were also optional dedicated study weekends at Samye Ling Monastery: four each year.  Each weekend focused on a specific topic but also set a general overview of the quarter-year study period. These were discontinued after 2010 due to low attendance, as the course took on a more international profile. Audio recordings are available for purchase via As mentioned above, the monthly modules constitute a complete course in their own right and these recordings are an optional extra.
  • We provide a student-to-student Internet forum, for frank open discussion and mutual aid, with some limited input, where necessary, from qualified teachers.
  • If there are enough students in a city or area, we hope they  form local "live" groups where people can meet face-to-face to discuss the teachings, perk up their enthusiasm, and clarify issues among themselves, or prepare questions for discussion with teachers. These have proved very useful so far.
  • The original plan was for there to be yearly exams. This has not proved possible or popular, mainly due to the student body being spread all over the world and the varying intensities of interest of  those studying. Many are intimidated by exams. The idea is "on hold" for now but subject to further examination (forgive the pun).


The study material is almost entirely based on teachings given by great masters at Kagyu Samye Ling - principally the 12th Kentin Tai Situpa, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche - and we hope that these precious transmissions, given in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, will be perpetuated through our Nangi Shedra students, thus maintaining a living transmission to future generations, in both content and feel.

You can consult
an interactive Mind Map overview of the Three-Year programme structure here

You can read more about fees, enrolment, signing-up etc. here

Or simply SIGN UP NOW

You can ask specific questions (once you have read the overview) by emailing

Some quotations:

"From abc to Ph D." T.B. of West Yorkshire
"Please continue in the thoroughness with which you have given these teachings these past two years. It has been wonderful to receive the monthly modules." M.B. of Rome.


Thanks for your interest

* The first monthly module ("May" module) will be sent on 28th of April but you are also most welcome to join us if you subscribe after this date.