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Humanistic Buddhist Monastic Life Program (HBMLP) 

The Humanistic Buddhist Monastic Life Program (HBMLP) is an intensive experience in the Buddhist way of life. It offers participants exposure to a way of being that is profoundly different from the constant busyness and distraction of contemporary society. Meditation and contemplation provide a connection to the world and other people. In the process of experiencing a different way of life in a Buddhist temple, one discovers different ways of approaching life in the rest of the world.

Please click here for HBMLP 2024 details.

For over 20 years, Woodenfish has offered program scholarships to ALL HBMLP participants to offset the costs associated with the time off of work or study and travel to Asia. We are dedicated to helping qualified applicants, regardless of financial situation, benefit from the transformative personal experience and hands-on cultural learning we offer.  

Every accepted student will receive a scholarship that covers room, board and other expenses during the program. Beyond this, we ask that participants pay a fee of $500 (USD) for two sets of tailored uniforms, a bag and a set of eating bowls which will be used throughout the program.  Part of the fee will also help cover travel costs for our volunteer staff who will be assisting students throughout the program


Participants in the program are responsible for their own transportation to and from Asia.

Program Overview and Objectives


The objective of the program is to promote understanding of Buddhism by exposing the participants to the daily life, practice and theory of Buddhism within a traditional Buddhist monastic setting.  


The Woodenfish HBMLP provides international graduate and undergraduate students as well as any serious dharma practitioners interested in the study of religion, Buddhism and/or traditional Asian culture first-hand experience with the lifestyle, training, and rituals of contemporary East Asian Buddhist monastics. Moreover, it includes academic lectures and discussions on Buddhist history and doctrine giving the students the appropriate framework for the experience.


The primary goals of the program include:


  • Offering participants a chance to personally experience Buddhism as it is practiced in modern day Asia

  • Providing courses on Buddhism and culture taught by Buddhist monastics and lay scholars

  • Introducing participants to the concepts and practices of Humanistic Buddhism

  • Experiencing and reflecting on Buddhist monastic discipline and traditions

  • Exposing participants to traditional Asian culture and language

  • Cultivating the mind through meditation and mindfulness

To read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about HBMLP, please click here


Have specific questions about HBMLP?  Contact us at




Video Created by HBMLP '15 Student Dylan Pieper

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