6 Modules in Holland and 2 Retreats in Switzerland
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The Buddha envisaged a path that led directly to its culmination in a deeply ‘embodied’ understanding of the Four Ennobling Truths (ariya sacca) and the freedom entailed in such a realisation. Such a path addressed every dimension of a human being’s existence by pulling together the various facets of their personality – emotions, intellect, reason, passion and energy – and directed them at the consummation of the goal.
The 2016-17 CPP Sangha
The Committed Practitioners Programme (CPP) is an integrated approach to the study and practice of the Dharma that is rooted in the Buddha’s teaching of the path to liberation. The opportunity to 1) study the texts (pariyatti), 2) develop and cultivate our experiential understanding of the teaching (patipatti) and investigate how they apply to our meditation practice and daily life, 3) understand what is meant by realisation (pativedha), and 4) learn and practice together with like-minded people, developing community over an extended period of time, orients the programme.
CPP offers a number of different, yet interwoven strands within its framework – teaching, discussion, community, reflection and investigations applied in our daily lives. All participants will have previous experience with Dharma practice and a working knowledge of core Buddhist concepts. The programme is an opportunity for students to learn and practice together. One of the intentions of this two year programme is to encourage participants to embed the teaching in every area of their lives.
The six modules are held at ITC Naarden in Holland, and offer an in-depth exploration of the teachings of the Buddha. These modules include sustained blocks of teachings and discussion, delivered in English. Times for questions and several sittings each day are scheduled. There are periods of silence during two of the meals each day. Modules begin with dinner on the first evening and after lunch on the final day. The modules offer plenty of opportunity for the programme participants to interact and are intended to foster community as well as peer relationships.
The two retreats are held at Beatenberg retreat centre in Switzerland. Both week-long retreats have a study practice format, and are held in silence apart from the teaching sessions.
There is a regular assignment of Dharma themes to investigate and apply in the periods between modules. Selected reading is encouraged, but the most significant step is to reflect upon the reading and explore and apply it in your own life.
Part of the CPP program is a mentoring relationship with a faculty member or an associated teacher familiar to the CPP program and its style of teaching and suggested practices. While you may already have a previously existing mentoring relationship with a Dharma teacher, you will for the duration of the CPP programme be paired with a mentor provided by the teaching faculty; this will be a teacher from the CPP faculty or someone affiliated with Bodhi College and its trainings. You are encouraged to have contact with your mentor every 6 weeks, focusing on the current course material and its practical application. We anticipate these check-ins to be half an hour in length and it is important to keep the arranged dates.
The mentors have access to the source book, and the sessions need not be face to face. The conversations between mentor and student are to be held in confidence by both parties unless there is agreement or need to share the discussion with others. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange the mentoring sessions, and the mentoring relationship is a dāna relationship: your mentor does not receive any payment and may well be living on dāna.
- Applications are only accepted upon enrolling for the full course (1.5 years).
- The course teachers will review all applications.
- Successful applicants will be notified after the deadline of 30th September at the latest.
- Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are now offering this course at a regular rate and a supported rate; the latter is intended for those whose income has been adversely affected by the pandemic. The regular rate for the entire programme is €5300, and the supported rate is €4990. This includes accommodation, meals and a contribution towards the livelihoods of our teachers for the 6 modules. Please pay which is appropriate for your circumstance.
- NB: The two retreats at Beatenberg and the mentoring received between sessions are offered on a Dāna-basis, and there will be the opportunity to make a contribution for these offerings following each session/retreat.
- Applicants are invited to apply for our bursary fund should they need it, once their applications has been accepted. Please see the Bursary guidance on the website.
- The fee can be paid in instalments during year 1 and 2 , a schedule of payments will be sent with your confirmation of enrolment.
- Deposit due when your place is confirmed will be 30% of the overall rate.
Our pricing system
Bodhi College offers this programme on a fixed fee basis – meaning that the fee paid covers all costs, including the venues, our overheads, travel costs and contribution towards the livelihood of our teachers. The only exceptions are the retreats at Beatenberg, which operates on a dāna structure, and the individual mentoring provided by our teachers. These are offered on a dāna basis, meaning our teachers receive no compensation other than that which is offered by the students. There will be opportunity to make your contribution at the end of each retreat and individually for your mentoring sessions.
For the rest of the course, unlike previous years, a contribution toward the living costs of the teachers is included in the price. The cost breaks down to roughly €4540 per person for course costs and a €750 teacher fee (for the 6 modules only).
If you’d like more information about our course pricing structure, please visit our website. You can also read a letter from college co-founder Stephen Batchelor, explaining the change from dāna to fee based pricing here.
Booking and Eligibility
CPP requires participants to have approximately 50 days silent retreat experience. When you register, you will be asked to fill in an online application form detailing this experience and a personal statement. When you submit the application online, a place will be held for you until the application has been verified by the teachers. At this point, you will be asked to pay your deposit and this will secure your place on the course. It helps us greatly if you can complete the application online, but should you be unable, please contact the bookings administrator who will help you book onto the programme.
Please read the Booking Conditions before booking
- Module 1: 5–10 December – Stephen Batchelor and Akincano Weber; ITC Naarden
- Module 2: 12–17 March – Christina Feldman and Jaya Rudgard, ITC Naarden
- Retreat 1: 7-14 May – John Peacock and Akincano Weber; Beatenberg
- Module 3: 19-24 August – Yuka Nakamura and Akincano Weber; ITC Naarden
- Module 4: 14-19 October – Martine Batchelor and other teacher tbc ; ITC Naarden
- Module 5: 3-8 March – Christina Feldman and Christoph Köck, ITC Naarden
- Retreat 2: 17-24 June – Christina Feldman, Yuka Nakamura and Jaya Rudgard, Beatenberg
- Module 6: 18-23 August – Christina Feldman and Christoph Köck; ITC Naarden
There are limited single rooms at our venues and, if available, they are reserved for people with the greatest medical needs. Participants must therefore enrol with the expectation to share a room or state clearly the need for a single room in the application.
CHRISTINA FELDMAN is a co-founder of Gaia House and a guiding teacher at Insight Meditation Society, Barre, Massachussetts. The author of a number of books, she has been teaching insight meditation retreats internationally since 1976. She is one of the teaching faculty of the CPP programme, dedicated to the study and application of the early teachings of the Buddha and is engaged in teaching the Buddhist psychological foundations of mindfulness to those training to teach mindfulness-based applications in England, Belgium and the Netherlands. Her most recent book Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology, written with Willem Kuyken, was published in the summer of 2019.
JAYA RUDGARD began meditating in the 1980s and practised for eight years as a nun in the Thai Forest tradition in England with Ven. Ajahn Sumedho as her teacher. She is a graduate of the Insight Meditation Society/Spirit Rock Teacher Training and teaches Insight Meditation and mindfulness in the UK and internationally. Jaya is a qualified yoga teacher and a certified Holden Qigong instructor.
CHRISTOPH KÖCK was born in Vienna, Austria, and spent 17 years of his life as a Buddhist monk in the Theravadin tradition. He lived mainly in monasteries connected with Ajahn Chah in Thailand and the West. Currently he lives in Vienna, working as a psychotherapist in a private practice. He teaches Buddhism and meditation internationally, and is trained to teach MBSR and MBCT.
YUKA NAKAMURA has practised Buddhist meditation in different traditions since 1993, has a PhD in Developmental Psychology and is a certified MBSR-teacher. Trained as a Buddhist meditation teacher by Fred von Allmen she teaches meditation at Beatenberg (Switzerland), Gaia House (UK), Insight Meditation Society (Barre, MA) and other places. Yuka offers MBSR-courses and MBI-trainings at the CFM Zentrum für Achtsamkeit (CH).
JOHN PEACOCK is both an academic and a Buddhist practitioner of nearly fifty years. Trained initially in the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition in India, he subsequently spent time in Sri Lanka studying Theravada. After doing a doctorate in philosophy, he taught Buddhist and Western philosophy and then Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol. He went on to be Associate Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, co-direct the Master of Studies programme in MBCT(Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy) at Oxford University, and teach Buddhist psychology on the same course. John is now retired from academia and continues to teach meditation, as he has done for more than thirty-five years.
STEPHEN BATCHELOR is a translator, teacher, artist and writer known for his secular approach to the Dharma. A co-founder of Bodhi College, his books include Buddhism Without Beliefs, Living with the Devil, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist and After Buddhism. His most recent publication, The Art of Solitude, was published by Yale University Press in 2020. He lives in southwest France with his wife Martine.
MARTINE BATCHELOR author of Meditation for Life, The Path of Compassion, Women in Korean Zen and Let Go: A Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits. Her latest works are the The Spirit of the Buddha, What is this? and The Definition, Practice and Psychology of Vedana. She is a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council. She teaches meditation retreats worldwide and lives in France. Recently she has been involved with the Silver Sante Study, teaching meditation, mindfulness and compassion to seniors in France to see if this could prevent ageing decline.
AKINCANO M. WEBER is a Swiss Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist (MA). A former monk, he has lived and practised for 20 years in European and Thai Forest monasteries. Particular interests are early Buddhist texts, stillness and contemplative psychology. He is the guiding teacher of Atammaya Cologne, Germany, part of the CPP programme and of several Mindfulness teacher training courses, and teaches meditation and Buddhist Psychology in secular and traditional contexts in Europe and overseas.