What is the Foundation Program?
If you’re attending general meditation classes but are wanting more, you might enjoy Foundation Program (FP), the next step in deepening your practical experience of Buddha’s teachings. FP is a systematic study program under the guidance of KMC GA Resident Teacher Gen Kelsang Mondrub, held at Kadampa Meditation Center Georgia
FP classes include:
- Guided in-depth meditations
- Commentary to the text
- Group discussion
- Question & answer opportunities
- The company of spiritual friends
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 Kadampa Meditation Center Georgia.
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.
Why Join Foundation Program?
There are three reasons why we need to study and practice the Teachings of Buddha:
- To develop wisdom
- To cultivate a good heart
- To maintain a peaceful state of mind
If we do not strive to develop our wisdom, we will 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. 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 when are external conditions are unpleasant. Therefore, the development of these qualities is of the utmost importance for our daily happiness.
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 Shakyamuni. In this way we can gain authentic experience of the Dharma while still maintaining our modern lifestyle. By studying on this program we will gain great confidence in meditation practice. Warm friendships develop as students inspire each other, sharing insights and experiences of the spiritual path.
We are currently studying Joyful Path of Good Fortune, a clear and comprehensive explanation of the entire path to enlightenment. We all have the potential for self-transformation, and a limitless capacity for the growth of good qualities, but to fulfill this potential we need to know what to do along every stage of our spiritual journey. With this book, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso offers us step-by-step guidance on the meditation practices that will lead us to lasting inner peace and happiness. With extraordinary clarity, he presents all Buddha’s teachings in the order in which they are to be practiced, enriching his explanation with stories and illuminating analogies. This is a perfect guidebook to the Buddhist path.
How to Join Foundation Program
You can join FP at anytime. If you have any questions, please contact the Education Program Coordinator at Kadampa Meditation Center GA for more information at email@example.com or (678) 453-6753.
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 once a week for two and a half hours. There is also a commitment to participate in at least one chanted prayer session at the Center per month.
What happens at a class?
Prior to class, students study an assigned portion of the text, usually about 4 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 put the teachings into practice during the coming week.
What is studied?
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, 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, Understanding the Mind
The Foundation Program takes approximately five years to complete and requires an enrollment procedure. Please contact the Education Program Coordinator for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
How much does it cost?
Please see our Membership page for information on all the benefits you get at the Foundation Program membership level. Please note that you have the option of joining the Foundation Program at a reduced rate if you live outside the Atlanta area and wish to attend via correspondence.