Reviewed by senior Western monastics within the Thai Forest Tradition, this course represents a robust introduction to basic Theravada Buddhist Dhamma concepts through the use of simple Pali vocabulary roughly based on that featured in the Navokavada, the centerpiece of the Thai Nak Tham examinations. In this course, curated by Ajahn Kovilo, an American monk ordained at Abhayagiri Monastery in 2010, Students will:

  • Find introductory, explanatory videos for each group of Dhammas.
  • Read primary Discourses to see concepts in context.
  • Learn traditional interpretations from Commentarial literature.
  • Study perspectives from a range of modern teachers.
  • Orient to practice-based (patipatti) application of theory (pariyatti)
  • Test their understanding of terms through optional quizzes.
  • Have the option of joining online discussion with fellow students.
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A unique feature of this course is its sympathetic, faith-based approach to these teachings. This curriculum offers not an agnostic sociological approach to the Buddha’s teachings but an insider’s view. Though many competent and sincere lay teachers exist, this platform will feature only ordained Theravada monastics – bhikkhus and bhikkhunis – but will not limit its perspective to the interpretations from only one country. Thus, this course features readings, audio, and video from monastics of multiple nationalities: Thai, Sri Lankan, Burmese, and Western.

The course, with its many hyperlinked references, videos, audio samples, interactive testing, and flashcard elements, is designed primarily for online study over time. To thoroughly digest the wealth of information and resources provided, a period of four months time is suggested for completion. It can, of course, be completed more rapidly or savored more slowly and a skeleton outline is available in PDF format here as a useful resource for offline or communal study, such as classes in a monastery or other group.


Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi Ajahn Pasanno Ajahn Thanissaro
Ajahn Sucitto Ajahn Kaccana

Ajahn Candasiri


This is a made-up quote: “This course is better than the Visuddhimagga!”
– Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Contributor


Duration: 4 months (recommended)
Time Commitment: 2  hours per week (recommended)
Pace: self-determined
Pre-requisites: none

Content Overview

This course involves lessons which lead students through a stepwise, progressive enumeration of groups of Dhammas similar to that found in the Aṅguttara Nikāya. The Course is broken up into Eight Units with each unit providing enough material for a suggested two weeks of in-depth study. The course discussion forum hosted through Discord can be reached through the link to the right.