Pali Reading Course (August 2016)

Pali Reading Course
August 2016

I have just made arrangements to hold a Pali reading course in Oxford this coming August; it will take the place of my intensive introduction to Pali, because I have now been giving that on-line three times (and will probably repeat it later in the year).  

The dates for this course are as follows: arrive Monday evening, 15th August, depart Thursday morning 25th August.  There will be no class on Sunday 21st August.  

As in previous years, students on the course will be housed in Clive Booth Student Village, which is owned by Oxford Brookes University.  This is by no means luxurious, but it is astonishingly cheap for Oxford: £30 per night.  Accommodation costs for the entire course thus come to £300.  The accommodation block is less than five minutes walk from the lecture room that we shall be using.  See attachment for details.  

We have to pay for the use of the lecture room and some other expenses.  The cost of the course, excluding the accommodation, will likewise be £300.  This money should be paid to Susan Gianni, .  Because we run this as cheaply as we possibly can, we have to ask that those who pay by PayPal send us an additional £20.  Cheques should be payable to the “Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies”,  and sent to the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford OX2 6UD.  If this is not possible then the second best option is via our PayPal account. In this case we kindly ask that you also cover the transaction fee of approximately £20. If that is not possible either, please contact for further details.  Payment of £600, or £620 if paying by PayPal, must be received by Monday 25th July.

Only ten pupils will be accepted on the course.  If less than six people enrol, I shall probably cancel the course.  

This course will be unlike the introductory course.  It will mainly consist of reading texts together in class.  I have not yet chosen the precise texts, but I plan to include a fair amount of commentary (on canonical suttas), some Visuddhimagga, probably some Jātaka, and some canonical poetry. I really have no idea how much we can get through in nine days.  Feel free to write in with suggestions, but please do not be disappointed should your suggestion not be accepted.  

You will of course need access to the PED, Warder’s Introduction to Pali, and Geiger’s grammar.  

This is mainly about accommodation.  Everything is happening at Oxford Brookes University.  Your rooms are booked at Clive Booth Hall, which is on what they call the Marston campus.  

Firstly here is the link with a map: /

Towels and linen are provided.  I am afraid public transport to these buildings is not very good.  It will be sensible on arrival in central Oxford to take a taxi.  There is a taxi stand in Gloucester Green, just outside the bus station.  

For those arriving from abroad: there is an excellent bus service from Heathrow.  Buses (no. X70) leave Heathrow Central Bus Station every half hour and take about 80 minutes to the terminus, which is Gloucester Green in central Oxford.  

If you want to come from London itself, I strongly advise bus rather than train: the buses are much cheaper and also more frequent.  There are two bus lines: the X90 and the oddly named Oxford Tube.  Both go to Gloucester Green and take about 90 minutes, but rather longer in the rush hour.  I find that the best place to pick up a bus is Marble Arch, because there the bus stops for the two lines are next to each other.  The London terminus for both lines is Victoria, but whereas the X90 starts from Buckingham Palace Road (, the Oxford Tube starts from Grosvenor Gardens, near the main railway station (

Our classroom will be in Red Oak Building on the Headington Hill campus.  This campus lies across the main road from Gypsy Lane campus, which is the main site of Oxford Brookes University.  It is less than five minutes walk along footpaths from Clive Booth Hall; one does not go on motorable roads.  I am sure someone will be able to direct you.  

I am afraid there is absolutely no chance to park either at Clive Booth Hall or on any other Oxford Brookes campus unless you are disabled.

On the Gypsy Lane campus and the Headington Hill campus food and drink can be purchased.  At Clive Booth Hall you will have a shared kitchen fully equipped with utensils, but I am afraid no food.  You therefore need to think about breakfast on the first morning.

Richard Gombrich