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An educational platform dedicated to providing the highest quality research and university-level courses—in Buddhist history, philosophy, and languages—for practitioners and students around the world.

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History

Explore the rich and multifaceted ways in which Buddhists have sought to overcome suffering and attain enlightenment across Asia. Uncover the incredible ways Buddhism has changed, innovated, and been adopted by millions of practitioners across space and time.

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Philosophy

Go beyond mindfulness meditation and study Buddhist philosophy through an immersion into the primary source texts of the traditions. Uncover the theories that animate Buddhist practice in texts such as the Bodhicaryavatara, Visuddhimagga, Lotus Sutra, and more.

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Language

Open new worlds by studying classical Buddhist languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, and Tibetan. Improve your comprehension of Buddhist philosophy, practices, and narratives by immersing with primary texts in their original language.

Our Story

In recent years, the popularity of Buddhism, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga has skyrocketed around the world, with tens of millions of Buddhists and non-Buddhists trying to tame their ever-more-stressed minds daily. Alongside the boom in interest in Buddhism, the last decade has also witnessed a surge in academic research into the history, philosophy, and practice of Buddhism. This scholarship sheds new light on the history and traditions of Buddhism, and challenges old but pervasive misconceptions. Unfortunately, however, much of this knowledge is secured behind institutional paywalls and specialized academic jargon, and is thus largely inaccessible to the larger public.

On the other hand, the world of quasi-Buddhist self-help has ballooned, and people interested in learning more about Buddhism encounter a confusing landscape of wishy-washy claims, gimmicky promotion, and "inspirational" quotes misattributed to the Buddha. 

Buddhist Studies Online was founded by Seth Powell in 2021 to provide continued educational services for the broader community interested in learning more about Buddhism. Buddhist Studies Online aims to bridge the gap between the meditation cushion and the academy—seeking to make accessible the highest quality and most cutting-edge research on Buddhism for practitioners and students.

We offer online courses and trainings on the history, philosophy, and languages of Buddhism—seeking the balance between the highest standards in academic scholarship, yet readily accessible, affordable, and meaningful for the modern practitioner.

Our approach is academic and non-sectarian. We do not seek to replace instruction offered by experienced Buddhist teachers or lineage holders, but believe that the academic and practice-based study of Buddhism are complementary. We welcome students of all backgrounds, whether they are experienced meditators, yoga practitioners, Buddhists, or simply someone interested in learning more about Buddhism.