La Ville au Roi

The true secret of Eleusis is .. this very experience, this moment when one plunges into the completely other, this discovery of an unknown dimension of existence" ~ Pierre Hadot

The Network: La Ville au Roi (Eleusis) has become a network of people interested in the connections between personal experience, Buddhism, psychology and life in the contemporary world. 

The Place: La Ville au Roi is the historic name of David's hermitage, deep in the French countryside in an area of forests, rivers and villages. The term Eleusis alludes to the spiritual traditions of the classical world. The philosophy here draws upon East and West, remythologising, deepening and broadening our appreciation of the dynamic of life in tune with the natural seasons. La Ville au Roi lies in an area off the beaten track, a refuge, retreat and place of peace and replenishment. 

David Brazier , described by the philosopher Mary Midgley as "a great blessing to our age", is a teacher of practical compassion. He is a doctor of philosophy and authority on Buddhist psychology,  head of the Amida Order of Pureland Buddhism and president of the International Zen Therapy Institute. His many writings include a dozen books on Buddhism, psychology and culture. Here at La Ville au Roi he lives a spiritual life close to nature. His root teachers have been in Japanese Zen and Pureland Buddhism, but, in addition, he has studied Thai, Tibetan, Burmese and Vietnamese forms, and also has a deep respect for the mystery paths of all religious traditions. In the past he has been involved in many community development and mental health initiatives, especially in Britain, Bosnia, and India. He teaches on programmes in Asia and the Americas as well as in Europe.

Contact: It is possible to visit by prior arrangement. One to one on-line (skype) sessions can  sometimes be arranged. For e-mail: join the site and use the messaging facility.


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La Ville au Roi (Eleusis) is a site for David Brazier and his friends, readers, colleagues, students and interested others to discuss and share news, views and information relating to work and thought on everything from dream work to politics, spirituality to cookery, existentialism to growing roses, eastern wisdom to modern relationships, and so on. It also carries news and information of the place in France where he lives.

Current Focus

Planning the next international Buddhist Psychology Conference
No Pearl without Grit: The psychology of suffering and awakening
5-8 September 2019, Netherlands

Conference leaflet with details of conference and booking

Update 15 July

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Latest Activity

Désirée Verstraete replied to Désirée Verstraete's discussion Shikantaza in the group QUESTIONS IN THE SAND
"Thank you, (looking for a reconciliation between the two directions ) As so many times I ask a question the answer nearly comes by itself, or at the moment itself or some later. Looking up the poetry of Soen Nakagawa  just after I've asked…"
9 hours ago
Jason Harris and David Brazier are now friends
10 hours ago
David Brazier replied to Désirée Verstraete's discussion Shikantaza in the group QUESTIONS IN THE SAND
"Shikantaza could be "other power", but I think that, despite the theory, many people nowadays actually do it with some idea of personal development in view."
11 hours ago
Jan Wizinowich shared David Brazier's discussion on Facebook
19 hours ago
Jan Wizinowich replied to David Brazier's discussion BUDDHISM and TAOISM in the group ITZI
"I have been doing deep background reading in China history and have been thinking about the interplay of Buddhism and Taoism. Because of my Hawaiian spiritual connection, humans relationship to nature is central to any spiritual practice and belief.…"
19 hours ago
Dayamay Dunsby posted a status
"My latest composition: Namo Amida Bu( ;"
David Brazier replied to David Brazier's discussion HOW TO READ A SUTRA in the group QUESTIONS IN THE SAND
"Precious stones probably means that things are radiant. The awakened person experiences even this world as sharper, crisper, brighter, how much more so the next! There are big dreams and mundane dreams. The big dreams have a more radiant quality.…"
Minsun Sung replied to David Brazier's discussion Course 3 Day 4 Final in the group KOREA 2018
"The courses are over but never finished. One goes on and on until one finds the path. This year has been particullarly fruitful for all of the participants who also overcame the unprecedent summer heat. Thanks David, our Master!"
Jason Harris replied to David Brazier's discussion HOW TO READ A SUTRA in the group QUESTIONS IN THE SAND
"Thank you ever so much for this answer. This really made a lot of sense to me. Very similar to the way Ive heard hexagrams in the I Ching are best approached. Would you say that perhaps understanding the symbology in a sutra is important? For…"
Profile IconJason Harris and Désirée Verstraete joined David Brazier's group


In Dharma practice, questions are very important. Most instances of enlightenment recorded occur in dialogues and most of these start from a question. This is how the Dharma is given and received. It is not just a matter of getting the right answer.…See More
Jason Harris liked David Brazier's discussion HOW TO READ A SUTRA
Jason Harris liked David Brazier's discussion HOW TO READ A SUTRA
Profile IconKusuma Dawn Hart and Jason Harris joined David Brazier at La Ville au Roi (Eleusis)
Minsun Sung commented on David Brazier's group ITZI Conference 2019: No Pearl without Grit
"Wonderful people and new world it must be. Will see if I can take a part in that adventure! "



Created by David Brazier Feb 19, 2016 at 10:12am. Last updated by David Brazier on Friday.

Les articles en français

Created by David Brazier Jan 26, 2017 at 10:52pm. Last updated by Vajrapala Lut Moerman Aug 11.

Artikelen in het nederlands

Created by Vajrapala Lut Moerman Mar 23, 2018 at 6:49pm. Last updated by Vajrapala Lut Moerman Jul 31.

Articulos en Español

Created by David Brazier Jan 24, 2017 at 6:55am. Last updated by Nati May 26.

Articoli in Italiano

Created by David Brazier Mar 23, 2018 at 8:29pm. Last updated by David Brazier Apr 3.


Created by David Brazier Nov 9, 2015 at 1:26pm. Last updated by David Brazier Mar 22.


Created by David Brazier Mar 22, 2018 at 12:03pm. Last updated by David Brazier Mar 22.


Created by David Brazier Jul 20, 2016 at 2:48pm. Last updated by David Brazier Mar 22.


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Created by David Brazier Nov 28, 2017 at 11:40am. Last updated by David Brazier Nov 28, 2017.


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ITZI Conference 2019

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Blog Posts

Running a Course in Korea and Elsewhere

Posted by David Brazier on August 3, 2018 at 1:40 0 Comments

I am currently leading courses on Buddhist psychology here in Seoul, Korea, but as I am putting the course onto this site as we go along, members of La Ville au Roi (Eleusis) are also responding so it is a bit as though the course is going on in several countries at the same time which is nice.

Varlam Shalamov

Posted by Geeta Chari on July 16, 2018 at 0:00 1 Comment

From The Paris Review:

For fifteen years the writer Varlam Shalamov was imprisoned in the Gulag for participating in “counter-revolutionary Trotskyist activities.” He endured six of those years enslaved in the gold mines of Kolyma, one of the coldest and most hostile places on earth. While he was awaiting sentencing, one of his short stories was…


The Buddha, Season 1, Episode 1

Posted by Geeta Chari on June 29, 2018 at 9:21 1 Comment

I have been watching The Buddha on Netflix, and although I came well-prepared to scoff, there is a surprising amount of food for thought from a Pureland perspective. What follows is a review of the Pureland touches in the episode, coloured inevitably by my upbringing in India, although I have now lived in Britain for more than half my life.

The scene opens in the republic of Kapilavastu, depicted as a green and pleasant land, with the Himalayan mountains as a backdrop. (I was…


Nembutsu Question

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on April 20, 2018 at 8:22 1 Comment

I found this in a book that I'm reading. It has challenged my current "understanding" of the Nembutsu. I tend to think of the name itself as salvation and the bridge to the Pure Land...

"...Nembutsu is not a means to gain salvation but a reflection of it. Shinran acknowledges there is nembutsu without true entrusting because he lived in an environment where nembutsu was recited for benefits and merit. By itself it cannot produce true entrusting. Nevertheless, they are inseparable as…


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