Delve Deeper into Dharma:
The VMC Foundation Program
Wish to expand your understanding of the Dharma?
Boost your motivation and enhance your practice?
Make new friends who share your enthusiasm for Buddha’s teachings?
As we begin to experience the practical benefits of Buddhist meditation, we develop the wish to deepen our understanding, study advanced topics and become confident meditators. If you feel ready to advance your practice, the VMC Foundation Program is the next step to take. Through this in-depth study of a book with a community of committed practitioners your understanding and experience is sure to grow.
On Sunday, May 19, our center’s long-running Foundation Program began studying a new book, Joyful Path of Good Fortune. This September is a great time for new participants to join the class.
Anyone with an interest is encouraged to try a four-week trial membership in the program, which meets Sunday afternoons at 4 p.m. The trial is free for all center members. Students who decide to join become Foundation Program Members.
Please note: the program does not meet during the summer months; classes will resume after Labor Day.
To get started, please speak with Kadam Matthew or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of our VMC Foundation Program students (October 2018)
Foundation Program FAQs
The Foundation Program meets 4 pm – 6:30 pm every Sunday, except during July and August.
Participation requires our Foundation Membership, which includes unlimited access to all classes and workshops at VMC and discounts on special events such as empowerments ($75/month).
The program assumes some familiarity with meditation and Buddhism – most FP participants attend our general program classes for at least a few months before joining. Those who feel ready to join based on prior experience or a deep wish to advance their practice quickly are welcome to discuss participation with Kadam Matthew.
The classes are based on an in-depth study of a Dharma book that includes weekly reading and meditation assignments. Participation assumes a commitment to attending classes every Sunday, barring major holidays and special circumstances, until the book or a specific section of a longer book is completed, which usually takes about a year.
Program commitment requires students who miss class to listen to a recording of the class and complete a brief written summary.
Class begins with chanted prayers and a guided meditation.
Teacher reads and gives commentary on pages from the Dharma study book, which is currently Universal Compassion.
Students discuss the teachings in pairs, then decide together on the coming week’s meditation assignment.
At conclusion of class, 3 – 4 pages of reading for next week are assigned.
Current Book: ”Joyful Path of Good Fortune“
Buddha demonstrated how to follow a path of inner transformation that leads to the attainment of qualities such as universal compassion and wisdom understanding the true nature of reality.
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 an order in which they can be easily understood and 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 accessible to the modern reader.
It is an invaluable compendium of essential Buddhist practices.
Words from the Author
"The practice of Lamrim is very important because everyone needs to cultivate peaceful states of mind. By listening to or reading these teachings we can learn how to control our mind and always keep a good motivation in our heart. This will make all our daily actions pure and meaningful. By controlling our mind we can solve all our daily problems, and by gradually improving our daily practice of Lamrim we can advance from our present stage to the stage of a Bodhisattva. By progressing further we can become a fully enlightened being. This is the essential meaning of our human life.”
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Tharpaland, November 1988