Urban-Dhamma, Urban-Dhamma they say and is a popular approach, but is it possible that Urban-Dhamma leads to path, fruits and beyond?

Is it possible to transport the Ariya-Magga under such an approach? Is it possible that Urban-Dhamma goes beyond material spheres?

What is the conventional meaning of "urban", how is it perceived at large, the common use of this quality:

(Note that this question in Dhamma is not dedicated for trade, exchange, stacks or entertainment but as a means to make merits toward release from this wheel)

4 Answers 4


I'm not sure what you mean by Urban Dhamma. Do you mean Dhamma practiced in the city? Yes. There's no problem with that.

In his lifetime, the Buddha spent 19 out of 45 vassas at the Jetavana Monastery. This monastery was built by the rich lay disciple Anathapindika.

This monastery was located in the city of Savatthi or Shravasti, which was the capital city of the Kingdom of Kosala with a population of 900,000 in 5th century BCE. It was one of the six largest cities in India, in the Buddha's time. The Buddha had many lay disciples in and around Savatthi, headed by wealthy merchant Anathapindika and wealthy aristocrat Visakha.

So I can't see anything wrong with the practice of the Dhamma in an urban setting.

  • Why answering in a manner as if actually respecting the question and "stand" of whom/what raised it, householder? Isn't the matter one of wishing to share pearls under pigs? Freedom under those trusting in security under cattles?
    – user11235
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 2:21

Google suggests the term is associated with Ven. Kusala (though the urbandharma.org web site isn't very up-to-date).

I haven't listened to his podcasts -- I first heard of him in the comments under this question.

The word "urban" conventionally means "in a city" (or "of a city"), contrasted with "rural" ("in the country-side" perhaps farmland or even woodland), or "suburban".

It doesn't mean much to me as a word -- except that if I were living in a big city (which a lot of people in North America do), the term "urban dhamma" might seem to me to imply a meaning like "dhamma here" (e.g. sandiṭṭhiko).

  • Not sure how much google matches and related to what might return on "urban dhamma" or "urban dharma", just often came across, as well as also related to this Question (translated into German)
    – user11235
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 10:05

There are incredible amounts of distraction in a City. Effort, determination, patience, generosity, virtue, truthfulness. Many important qualities can be developed.


There are many benefits to staying in or close to the city like the access to public facilities, toilets, sauna, healthcare, shelter, food and whatnot.

I think that being otherwise secluded in the forest or a private place to do walking and sitting meditation is the important part.

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