Foundation Programme (FP)
The Foundation Program gives you the opportunity to engage in a structured study and meditation program on the essential teachings of the Buddhist spiritual path right here at Drolma Kadampa Buddhist Centre.
Buddhism teaches that to find lasting happiness and meaning in our lives we need to follow a spiritual path. To follow this path it is important to have a close connection with a qualified teacher who can give us personal advice and encouragement, to listen to pure Dharma teachings and to be a part of a strong spiritual community. In this way we are able to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of Buddha’s teachings, maintain a daily meditation practice that is both focused and powerful, and make genuine spiritual progress.
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.
What is the structure?
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 twice a week (Wednesdays & Sundays) for two hours each time. 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 an MP3 download 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.
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.
Five subjectsThe 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 New 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
Currently on Wednesdays at 18.30-20.30hrs and Sundays 11.00-13.00hrs. We are studying How To Understand the Mind.
Through studying, meditating and putting the instructions in this book into practice in our daily life we shall gain a deep and profoundly life changing experience of the nature and function of the mind. Never before has such a practical and systematic study of the mind been made so accessible to modern day people.
times and venue
The FP classes are run twice per week during term times.
Wednesdays 18.30-20.30pm & Sundays 1100-1300hrs
Drolma Kadampa Buddhist Centre, 260 Dogsthorpe Road, PE1 3PG
term dates in 2013
Wed 4 Sep - Sun 20 Oct
Wed 6 Nov - Wed 18 Dec
we are currently studying
The foundation programmes is taught by our
Resident Teacher, Hung Tran
There is an opportunity to enroll in a FREE 1 week trial (2 consecutive classes with downloads for missed classes). In order to attend this please email us email@example.com to arrange a chat with us and to welcome you.
costs & benefits of membership
You can join Foundation Programme at any time, the current fee is £35 per month. This fee also entitles students to free entry to all classes and day courses (not social events) at Drolma centre.
If you are interested and wanted to come in the free trial classes or to join up, or require further information please contact us
telephone : 01733 755444
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to facilitate your learning we offer flexible study options so you can participate in the study of meditation & Buddhadharma that is suitable for you.
1. Class attendance
FP is taught at the centre and the usual method is by attending as many sessions as you can manage. It is very beneficial to attend these classes to meet with fellow students and share your experiences as well as develop and enjoy the support of a spiritual community.
2. Mix of class based & distance learning
We are aware of the commitments that you already have to your life, work and family. So there is also an option of combining class attendance with distance learning by download of a recording on MP3.
When studying by distance learning we shall only request that you listen to the recordings and submit a brief summary to us. Your summary will be looked at by the resident teacher. Also you may submit questions at our regular group discussions to get further clarification on various points of the relevant sections from the study book.
3. Distance learning
If your personal circumstances where distance and commitments prevent you from attending any of the classes then we shall be happy to facilitate your wish to study on FP by complete distance learning - all we request is for you to submit a summary of the class after you've listened to it within a reasonable time frame.