Dharma Education Center

NOTICE: The temple board as a cautionary measure has extended the tentative suspension all activities until the beginning of October 2020 at the Monterey Peninsula Buddhist Temple. This includes all in-person classes.


The Monterey Peninsula Buddhist Temple sponsors educational classes for those new to Buddhism and to those who wish to add to their knowledge of Buddhism. Classes are 6-8 weeks long held on weeknights for 1 ½ hours. As schedules of classes are confirmed, registration and information will be posted on this page. Classes offered include:

Current Class

Introduction to Buddhism

Offered by the Monterey, Salinas, and Watsonville Buddhist Temple Tri-Temple Dharma Education Center.

When: September 30 to November 11 on Wednesdays 1:00pm to 2:30pm via Zoom (Login required)

Classes require registration for login information. Download flyer or contact organizers at centcoasttritemple@gmail.com for information on registering.

See the Dharma Education Center page for more information.

This course will provide for the student a basic introduction to general Buddhism. Students will learn about the history, culture and rituals contained within the Buddhist religion.  Topics will include the life of Shakyamuni Buddha. We will examine what is known as the six paramitas, the six realms of existence and the Buddhist view of life and death. We will also survey the development of some of the varied Buddhist traditions that evolved from India and spread to China, Japan and the world. Contained within the traditions, rituals and culture of Buddhism are wonderful life lessons and tools we will learn for everyday living. As we examine Buddhism we will also examine its relevance in our everyday lives.

Course fee donations are $10 for Tri-Temple members or $20 otherwise.


Prior Classes

Introduction to Buddhism

This course will provide for the student a basic introduction to general Buddhism. Students will learn about the history, culture and rituals contained within the Buddhist religion. Topics will include the life of Shakyamuni Buddha. We will examine what is known as the six paramitas, the six realms of existence and the Buddhist view of life and death. Contained within the traditions, rituals and culture of Buddhism are wonderful life lessons and tools we will learn for everyday living. As we examine Buddhism we will also examine its relevance in our everyday lives.

Introduction to Jodoshinshu

Traditions and Ritual in Jodoshinshu

This course will cover the history of the True Pure Land Tradition (Jodoshinshu) in Japan and the United States. We will cover the rituals, traditions and customs associated with Jodoshinshu including, chanting, rites of passage, holidays and festivals associated with Jodoshinshu.

Students who take this class will gain a basic understanding of the Shinshu tradition and its history both in Japan. Students will acquire a working knowledge of the traditions and practices unique to Jodoshinshu in America and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the chanting, rituals, holidays and symbolism associated with Jodoshinshu. Finally students will learn about specific rites of passage and their importance in our daily life.

Symbols and Icons in Buddhism

This course will briefly cover the meaning and significance of symbolism and icons. We will look at general Buddhist symbols, statues, paintings and portraits and their significance within the Buddhist tradition. In the final session we will review some of the symbolism and icons specific to Jodoshinshu (True Pure Land) Buddhism.

Students who take this class will gain an understanding of symbolism in Buddhist traditions. Students will acquires a working knowledge of the traditions and practices in Buddhism while gaining an basic understanding of Buddhism and Jodoshinshu.