A Buddhist Podcast – Special Edition – Grade 2 Study Support

October 30th, 2008

Tonight’s show is a bit of an experiment! For some time now we have had a lot of requests from listeners to provide support for the level 2 study courses that are taking place in Europe at the moment. This study will culminate in an exam in mid November for those who want to take it. William Woollard has also had many requests for support in this activity, so we have got together to produce a special edition show!

The exam consists of 5 sections, A, B, C, D and E. Each section has a number of questions. In the exam you will be asked one question from each section. On this podcast, William has prepared an answer for every question. It is NOT a model answer but the kind of answer that William would make based upon the study material provided. Remember the questions require you to use the study material rather than your existing knowledge.

If you are not a member of SGI in Europe at the moment but you would like to follow along, you can hop over to this site and download the study material we are looking at! Remember you need to look for the Grade 2 material.

If you are doing the Grade 1 study course, you still might find value in listening to the show as both Grade 1 and Grade 2 share the same questions in Section E about the Priesthood.

In between all of this study material, we have still found time for some music. On tonight’s show we play a wonderful track by Black Lab called Lonely Boy and for the second time on the show Great Day by the amazing Jody Gnant. Music courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

Thank you for downloading the show! We have a great show coming up in 2 weeks so keep an eye out for it! Thank you as well for all your support.


  1. I met an SGI-USA District Leader recently who simply said “Men don’t study, that’s why they stop practicing”. I find this encouraging in that study can be seen as the key to vitality in ones practice. Through the Gosho it has been possible to address each and every problem I have so far encountered in my life in a more hopeful, determined, engaged, primed, gritted manner. If I forget that this is one aspect of the “Strategy of the Lotus Sutra” I flounder, procrastinate, suffer to a truly unnecessary degree and for a significantly longer period. Keep it up, Gents!

    Comment by Ashley Backhouse — November 5, 2008 @ 6:40 pm

  2. Amazing, thank you so very much indeed….but where is the rest of C and D and E – have I somehow managed to miss it or is it coming up?
    Thank you for your enlightened and hard won rebellion.

    Comment by Anna — November 6, 2008 @ 12:49 am

  3. Thankyou so much! It is fantastic to have the Level 2 material here on the podcast as an outline; I think I would have quit doing this exam otherwise! I’ve already failed it twice (a massive shock!!) – even as a postgrad student who’s written a Masters. Quite a few longstanding members failed the last time it was set in the UK.

    Listening to William’s explanations allows me and my chums a way in -as there is a lot to cover and one can only refer to this material alone as you clearly state- I should know that’s why I failed -by not sticking to the material. I’ve had many people saying how excited and inspired they are about listening to it for interest or for their revision too!

    I am particularly grateful because it is crucial support for my student friends taking the exam across Europe- alone in some or the small sgi countries and have noone to study or chant with near them- this way we can study via Skype etc- having listened to your briefings! Top stuff guys -many of us are so very grateful as always!!! Go Buddhas for 16th!

    Comment by Emma at KCL UK — November 6, 2008 @ 3:38 am

  4. Great to listen to as always. Maybe include Grade 1 next time, just to be fair to all!!!

    Comment by Tracy — November 6, 2008 @ 6:43 pm

  5. Hello, I just started listening to these wonderful podcasts.

    Comment by Nya Taylor — November 7, 2008 @ 7:23 am

  6. Hugely valuable. Thanks for your great efforts. Not sure I’ll get through the exam successfully – but you’ve given me to push to give it a go!

    Comment by Saul — November 8, 2008 @ 1:22 am

  7. Hi guys,

    Thank you so much for doing this podcast. A lovely YW texted me your web address.

    It has been a life saver as I was really struggling this week with the study. My anxiety about taking exams & being so busy was causing me to have a block. This has really put me back on track! This is my second time taking grade two and it is much harder than the last time. The last time I took the grade two exam I didn’t give myself enough time to study.

    Well many thanks again.

    It would be great to have a talk about the history of March 16th!


    Comment by Rosalyn from S.E.London — November 13, 2008 @ 12:54 am

  8. Dear Jason and William,

    Many thanks for your time and consideration in putting this together.
    I’m writing this on the Saturday before the exam and must state that listening to this was so reassuring. I realised that although there are 100 pages of material, in the realm of faith there’s nothing unachievable and this isn’t an academic exercise.

    What I derived from this is the tangible sense that study is something we must master so that on doing so we can spread the joy of the law as you two. I’ll have another listen before heading back to my notes. Best wishes to members throughout the UK and indeed the world who will be advancing in faith tomorrow. And the Invigilators and support staff who are selflessly supporting them behind the scenes.

    Jonathan Werran, Hammersmith

    Comment by Jonathan Werran — November 15, 2008 @ 9:13 am

  9. Hi Jason! I only just got the link to this podcast from Cathi – right at the 11th hour! It is so reassuring to hear William say that it is a tough exam – and to read other people’s experience of finding it hard, even though they are successful academic students.
    Wishing everyone a joyful experience at the exam activity tomorrow – victors one and all!

    Gill Cooke, Truro, Cornwall

    Comment by Gill Cooke — November 15, 2008 @ 7:48 pm

  10. Dear Jason and William,

    I just found this podcast one day before the exam. How fortunate!
    It was brillliant to listen to it. So clear, and well explained!
    Very grateful to you both. I think the experiment works!
    Good luck to all taking the exam tomorrow!

    Comment by carmen aleman, — November 16, 2008 @ 1:48 am

  11. Thank you for making this helpful programme available. Although I took and got the exam some time ago it is always exciting to think and study again as there is always something new to learn.

    A couple of pieces of hopefully helpful critical feedback. There are many occasions where you or William refer to the study and exam as difficult. At one level of course that is true and it is not helpful to deny it but ‘challenging’ is a better word and I always find the enthusiasm of engaging with study can dispel any difficulty as you get into the flow of it. This is not a test in the traditional sense of the word but an opportunity to contact our Buddha selves and could…be fun!
    Also from the point of view of learning and learning theory repetition is always helpful. There are a number of times when a quick repetition of the point eg point 1 2 and 3 was .. is helpful for our wonderful associative minds
    thanks again
    best wishes

    Comment by paul — November 16, 2008 @ 9:41 am

  12. Thanks to your study podcast I passed the Grade 2 Exam!
    Keep up the good work


    Comment by June — January 22, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

Leave a comment