Distance Learning

Sravasti Abbey Friends Education (SAFE)

On-line distance learning program

Study, meditate on, and discuss the Dharma in virtual community.

Fall 2021 Information

Next session begins September 13. Facilitators connect with you weekly as you learn and practice Buddha’s teachings from home. Great for beginners and long-time students too.

  • SAFE 1A is now full. Check back in a few months for spring registration information.
  • For returning students: Everyone in SAFE Courses 1B thru 10 have been pre-registered. You will hear from your SAFE Facilitator in the first week of September.

What Is It?

Sravasti Abbey Friends Education program helps people to:

  • deepen their spiritual practice through Buddhist study and meditation, and
  • strengthen their connection with Venerable Thubten Chodron and Sravasti Abbey.

Each session is 12 weeks, with Fall and Spring sessions.

Each SAFE course involves:

  • Weekly assigned teachings in video, audio, or written formats
  • Weekly group discussions, facilitated online or locally if there is a SAFE group near you
  • Daily meditation practice
  • Keeping a portfolio of written reflections that facilitators give feedback on

Course participation requires about 3-5 hours of weekly study and at least 20 minutes of daily meditation.

In the breaks between courses, participants stay connected by:

Source Material & Facilitators

The course features teachings by the Abbey’s abbess, Ven. Thubten Chodron. Videos and commentaries by her teachers are also included: H.H. the Dalai Lama, Khensur Jampa Tegchok, Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche, Geshe Sonam Rinchen, and others.

Course facilitators include monastics, monastic trainees, and long-term students who have progressed through the SAFE program.

Requirements & Sign Up

The SAFE program is offered freely, to anyone who:

  • sincerely wishes to learn the Buddha’s teachings and apply them in life
  • wants to be part of an extended Dharma community and contribute to it
  • is willing to commit time and energy to actively engage in the program.

During the course, we strongly encourage you to live within the five precepts: to abandon killing, stealing, unwise or unkind sexual expression, lying, and taking intoxicants.

Read what others have said:

SAFE Curriculum

We currently run nine courses, with more to come. You enroll starting with Course IA and complete each course before enrolling in the next one in sequence.

Course Descriptions I through IX

Courses IA & IB
Introducing the Buddha’s Teachings and the Foundation for Buddhist Practice

Courses 1A and 1B cover topics such as happiness, working with emotions, gaining an accurate view of ourselves and our lives, and how to set up a daily practice.

Course II

Three Principal Aspects of the Path
Course II explores the meaning of renunciation and the determination to be free, the reasons and methods for cultivating it, and how to ascertain when we have generated renunciation.

Course III

Three Principal Aspects of the Path
Bodhicitta is the altruistic intention to benefit all living beings, including oneself, and to become a Buddha in order to do so. This module explores the advantages of bodhicitta, its importance, and how to cultivate it.

Course IV

Karma means action. This module covers virtuous and non-virtuous actions and their results, how the law of cause and effect functions, and how to purify destructive actions.

Course V
The Four Truths for Noble Ones – Part 1

The Four Truths for Noble Ones (often translated as the Four Noble Truths) are the foundation of the Buddha’s teachings. Here we examine our current situation, its causes, the possibility of attaining liberation, and the path to that liberation.

Course VI
The Four Truths for Noble Ones – Part 2

In Part 2, we delve more deeply into the aspects of the Four Truths for the Noble Ones.

Course VII

Once we have a basic understanding of cyclic existence and our human potential, we take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and the Sangha. This course explore what that means.

Course Vlll
The Six Perfections – Part 1
The six perfections – generosity, ethical conduct, fortitude, joyous effort, meditative stability and wisdom – are practices that benefit us and those around us, now and in the future. This course examines the first three practices—generosity, ethical conduct, and fortitude—exploring what makes them “far-reaching,” and how to cultivate them.

Course IX
The Six Perfections – Part 2
This course continues study of the six perfections and looks at the second set of three practices: joyous effort, meditative stabilization, and wisdom; the advantages gained by cultivating them; and methods for cultivating them.

“Due to my participation in the SAFE course, I have a renewed energy for daily meditation. I have a great appreciation for the idea of sangha, and I have a better understanding and greater appreciation for the Dharma!”

Greg Abercrombie

West Linn, Oregon

Heather and Sophie learn online with SAFE.

I learned so much in these courses I’m ready for the next one…..have my books, motivation and commitment all set to go. I rejoice in this unique opportunity to study with Sravasti Abbey.”

Arianne Young

Rockingham, Virginia

Latest Teachings

Newest Photos

Nuns and guests at lake.
Monthly eNews & eTeaching
Find out what's happening at the Abbey.
Learn from books by Ven. Thubten Chodron.
Founded by
Ven. Thubten Chodron

Endorsed by
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Find a library of Ven. Chodron’s teachings on ThubtenChodron.org

Sravasti Abbey

692 Country Lane
Newport WA 99156 USA
[email protected]

Map & Directions