what is the foundation program?
The Foundation Program (FP) is a uniquely structured study course, comprising six texts that form the basis of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) of Buddhism. These texts are written by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, a contemporary Buddhist Master and founder of the NKT in the West. FP enables us to gain a deep understanding and experience of Buddhist teachings and meditation practices. It is ideal for those who have a general understanding of Buddhism, but who wish to learn more. The FP is currently studied at hundreds of Kadampa Centres worldwide.
…we are able to gain authentic experience without abandoning our modern lifestyle.
In essence, the FP is the same training followed by spiritual practitioners in an unbroken lineage dating back to Buddha Shakyamuni. Its special quality is that we are able to gain authentic experience without abandoning our modern lifestyle. Through studying on the FP we can make great progress, and gain confidence in our meditation practice. It takes us from simple methods for overcoming our everyday problems, to understandings that lead to a more permanent happiness and inner peace.
what text are we presently studying?
Buddha demonstrated how to follow a path of inner transformation that leads to the complete eradication of all traces of negativity and confusion from the mind and the attainment of sublime qualities such as universal compassion and wisdom realizing the true nature of all phenomena.
During his life he gave many teachings revealing the practices that lead to this realization of enlightenment. Later, the great Indian Pandit Atisha arranged all these teachings in the order in which they are to be practiced. This special arrangement became known as the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, or Lamrim.
In Joyful Path of Good Fortune, Geshe Kelsang provides a systematic, step-by-step commentary to these teachings rendering them completely accessible to the modern reader. It is an invaluable compendium of essential Buddhist practices.
what is the commitment?
Joining the Foundation Program involves enrolling for one section of a book, or a whole book at a time. Students commit themselves to studying sincerely, attending each scheduled class, trying to memorize the main points of the subjects covered and sitting an exam at the end of the book, or section. Also, students are encouraged to attend a puja (chanted meditation session) once a week at the Centre.
Each class consists of preparatory prayers, guided meditation, commentary by the teacher and paired discussion. Every sixth week, two students from the group summarize the topics recently covered and present them to the class to facilitate discussion. Studying in this way gives our Dharma practice a helpful structure and helps us to gain fuller experience of the teachings.
why the need for a committed study program?
We may have received some teachings or read some Dharma books and find them relatively easy to understand and accept, but we find it difficult to integrate this advice into our daily lives, or use it to solve our problems. At the moment, when we study Buddha’s teachings, our mind remains passive, like someone watching television. Therefore, our daily life and our Dharma practice remain completely separate and unrelated. Why is this? It is because we are not studying and practicing systematically according to a specially designed spiritual program. If we pick at Dharma randomly we shall never gain deep and stable experience.
- Excerpt from a talk given by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
what are the details?
Time: Sundays 3pm-7pm
Venue: Khedrubje Centre
Class Fee: $70 per month which also entitles you to attend any drop-in classes and courses held by Khedrubje Centre.
Schedule: Class 1: 3.00 – 4.45pm / Meal: 4.45 – 5.30pm / Class 2: 5.30 – 7.00pm
Term times: Terms run from February through to mid-June, and early August through to December.
Interested? If so, then please ask at class, call us on: (02) 4385 2609 or email: email@example.com
Trial: You are welcome to trial the program for free at any time.