Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has designed three special spiritual programs for the systematic study and practice of Kadampa Buddhism that are especially suited to the modern world. These programs are modelled on the three traditional Tibetan methods of study. The three programs are: the General Program, the Foundation Program, and the Teacher Training Program.

Studying Buddhism

Why we need to study and practice the teachings of Buddha:

  • To develop our wisdom
  • To cultivate a good heart
  • To maintain a peaceful state of mind

If we do not strive to develop our wisdom, we shall always remain ignorant of ultimate truth - the true nature of reality. Although we wish for happiness, our ignorance leads us to engage in non-virtuous actions, which are the main cause of all our suffering. If we do not cultivate a good heart, our selfish motivation destroys harmony and good relationships with others. We have no peace, and no chance to gain pure happiness. Without inner pace, outer peace is impossible. If we do not maintain a peaceful state of mind we are not happy even if we have ideal conditions. On the other hand, when our mind is peaceful we are happy even if our external conditions are unpleasant. Therefore, the development of these qualities is of utmost importance for our daily happiness.

The General Program

The General Program (referred to as 'our evening classes' on most of this site) provides a basic introduction to Buddist view, meditation, and practice that is suitable for beginners. It also includes advanced teachings and practices from both Sutra and Tantra. It is taught at every Kadampa Buddhist Center and is an ideal starting point for those interested to find out more about Buddhism and meditation. Classes, which are usually held in the evenings, are open to everyone and are supplemented by optional day courses, weekend courses, and meditation retreats.

The Foundation Program

The Foundation Program provides an opportunity to deepen our understanding and experience of Buddhism through a systematic study of six texts (all available through Tharpa Publications)

  • Joyful Path of Good Fortune
  • Universal Compassion
  • Heart of Wisdom
  • Meaningful to Behold
  • Understanding the Mind
  • Eight Steps to Happiness

The Foundation Program takes approximately four years to complete and requires an enrollment procedure (but not for the full four years!). Presently we are studying Eight Steps to Happiness and are planning to study Joyful Path of Good Fortune next. It is not important to start the course at the beginning of each text.

Contact the Centre to join