What is the Foundation Program?
The Foundation Program (FP) provides students with an opportunity to advance their understanding and practice of Buddha’s teachings through systematic study and meditation on the essential teachings of Mahayana Buddhism. Foundation Program students study the following five subjects based on Buddha’s Sutra teachings and their corresponding commentaries by our teacher, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso:
- The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, or Kadam Lamrim, based on the commentary Joyful Path of Good Fortune
- Training the Mind, or Kadam Lojong, based on two commentaries, Eight Steps to Happinessand Universal Compassion
- The Heart Sutra, based on the commentary The New Heart of Wisdom
- Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, based on the commentary Meaningful to Behold
- Types of Mind, based on the commentary How to Understand the Mind
The Benefits of the Foundation Program
Students in the FP have an opportunity to follow the same training followed by spiritual practitioners for generations, but without having to abandon their modern lifestyle. Over time, students in FP find that their minds change for the better in significant ways: through taking Buddha’s teachings as personal advice and striving to put them into practice in daily life, they gain authentic spiritual experience, solve their daily problems, improve their relationships at work and at home, and develop a good heart. * Read the benefits of the Foundation Program as presented by NKT founder, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, in England in 1990.
The Commitments of the Foundation Program
Our General Program classes are offered on a drop-in basis and there are no requirements for attending. As a more structured program of study, the FP does ask students to make some basic commitments:
- Students keep the intention to attend every class during the FP term (terms are September through late December and early January through June), and try not to miss more than two classes per term
- Students read ahead and memorize the essential points of the text
- Students memorize the root text and/or the condensed meaning of the text
- Students take one exam per year to check their understanding of what they have studied
- Students attend at least one group meditation class per week, as possible.
- Cost | $70 per month, 12 month commitment– this includes member level benefits like unlimited weekly meditation classes (an additional 8-12 classes per month) and more! (click for more info)