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Culture & Religion

Let Harvard teach you about Buddhism in this free online course you can take now

Harvard University’s popular course on Buddhism returns with an interactive feature and great content.
A Buddha statue at Borobudur Temple on June 2, 2015 in Magelang, Indonesia. (Photo by Oscar Siagian/Getty Images)

Buddhism teaches that we crave and cling to ephemeral, impermanent things and states. But these can never fully satisfy us and cause pain and suffering. There is a way out, however. You can liberate yourself – a message that can resonate with a modern person, caught up daily in a dizzying maelstrom of technology, rapid life, media overload, and rampant commercialism.

If you’d like to know more, a popular online course on Buddhism from Harvard University is open for enrollment and you can start taking it right now for free! Yes, you can get onto the middle way and never look back.

We previously wrote about the course “Buddhism Through Its Scriptures” when it was in an archived state, without interactivity. The newly-released course is fully-interactive, with discussion boards. The course is taught by Professor Charles Hallisey, Harvard’s senior lecturer on Buddhist literature.

Why do you need this knowledge in your life? It can help you gain an insight into how a different part of the world thinks and lives. It can help you find inner peace. Or, as related by Hallisey, he hopes to reach people of diverse backgrounds and to teach them how to constructively interact with divisive topics. As it’s certainly a time of argument and high passions on different sides of issues, learning to keep an open mind to take in information in an unbiased way is undoubtedly a useful skill.

Like it states in its mission, “Buddhism Through Its Scriptures” will go through “the rich and diverse beliefs and practices of Buddhists across time and place.” You will also get to experience Buddhism by taking a look at its scriptures.

The course will stay interactive for the next seven months. After that, it will be archived again – available for taking but without the back and forth or discussions.

The course is self-paced, giving you tools to practice open-mindedness and learn how to understand and accept differing perspectives.

Enroll to take it here.


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