For those who wish to delve more deeply into the teachings, we offer the Foundation Program (FP) on Sunday afternoons.
On the FP, we engage in the systematic study of key Buddhist texts in order to gain a deep and lasting understanding and experience of the spiritual path, as well as an authentic confidence as a meditator and practitioner. These study classes also help us to become part of a community of practitioners who are sincerely putting the teachings into practice. With weekly reading assignments from the text, as well as commentary, discussions and meditations on the week’s readings, these study classes create the conditions for us to develop deep inner experience of the teachings.
The Foundation Program is currently closed to new students. If you'd like to be informed of the next opportunity to join, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and join us for our General Program classes in the meantime.
A UNIQUE STUDY PROGRAM
Through regular teachings and meditation, systematic study, and group discussion, the Foundation Program (FP) offers the same training followed by spiritual practitioners in an unbroken lineage dating back to Buddha Shakayamuni. In this way we can gain authentic experience of the Dharma while still maintaining our contemporary lifestyle. By studying on this program we shall gain great confidence in meditation – from basic techniques for overcoming our everyday problems to practices leading to unsurpassed happiness and permanent inner peace. Warm friendships develop as students inspire each other, sharing insights and experiences of the spiritual path.
About this Book: The New Heart of Wisdom
This completely new presentation by the author of Modern Buddhism offers truly liberating insights and advice for the contemporary reader. It reveals the profound meaning of the very heart of Buddha’s teachings – the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras.
The author shows how all our problems and suffering come from our ignorance of the ultimate nature of things, and how we can abandon this ignorance and come to enjoy pure, lasting happiness by developing a special wisdom associated with compassion for all living beings.
Questions About the FOUNDATION PROGRAM
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The secret of the Foundation Program’s success lies in the manageable commitment made by the student and in the clear structure of study. Students sign up to study a book or part of a book, agree to attend every class, learn the material, and to take a test at the conclusion of the study. Class meets once a week for two and a half hours.
If for a suitable reason a student is not able to attend the class in person, he or she agrees to catch up by listening to a podcast of the class. There is also a commitment to participate in at least one chanted prayer session at the Center per month. Generally, the students take turns putting up the shrine offerings and setting up the meditation room on the day of their class. In this way they learn about the rituals associated with Buddhist practice.
WHAT HAPPENS AT A CLASS?
Prior to class, students study an assigned portion of the text, usually a few pages long, and memorize the essential points. The class begins with chanted prayers and guided meditation. The teacher then reads the assigned selection from the book while giving commentary to the text. The students then divide into pairs to discuss the material. The teacher and students conclude by deciding what to meditate on in the next class and how to practice during the coming week.
WHEN IS THE CLASS?
Class is once a week, on Sunday Afternoons from 4:00pm – 6:30pm.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
The cost is $70 a month to become a Center Supporter. And added benefit is that at this membership level, all general program classes (with the exception of a few special events a year) are included.
WHAT BOOKS ARE STUDIED?
The purpose of the Foundation Program is to provide a systematic presentation of particular subjects of Mahayana Buddhism to enable practitioners to deepen their knowledge and experience of Buddhism. When joining an FP class, the student commits to complete the study one one of these books.
FIVE SUBJECTS: The program comprises the following five subjects, based on Buddha’s Sutra teachings and the corresponding commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso:
1. The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, based on the commentary, Joyful Path of Good Fortune
2. Training the Mind, based on the commentaries, Universal Compassion and Eight Steps to Happiness
3. The Heart Sutra, based on the commentary, The New Heart of Wisdom
4. Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, based on the commentary, Meaningful to Behold
5. Types of Mind, based on the commentary, How to Understand the Mind
MORE QUESTIONS? Email us at email@example.com