The Centre offers Foundation Programme (FP) which provides an opportunity to deepen our understanding and experience of Buddhism through a systematic study of texts written by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
FP is held regularly on Sundays from 9.00am to 1.15pm and taught by Resident Teacher, Ai Peng McBretney. We are studying Universal Compassion. Everyone is welcome to join FP.
The purpose of FP is to provide a systematic presentation of particular subjects of Mahayana Buddhism to enable practitioners to deepen their knowledge and experience of Buddhism.
To find out more about the Foundation Programme, or to try a class to see if it suits you, contact the Education Programme Coordinator at the Centre by phone 01992 571354 or email or speak to your General Programme class teacher for further details.
Benefits of the Foundation Programme
The benefits of studying and practicing these texts are as follows:
Joyful Path of Good Fortune – we gain the ability to put all Buddha’s teachings of both Sutra and Tantra into practice. We can easily make progress on and complete the stages of the path to the supreme happiness of enlightenment. From a practical point of view, the Stages of the Path is the main body of Buddha’s teachings, and the other teachings are like its limbs.
Universal Compassion and Eight Steps to Happiness – we gain the ability to integrate Buddha’s teachings into our daily lives and solve all our human problems.
Heart of Wisdom – we gain a realization of the ultimate nature of reality. By gaining this realization we can eliminate the ignorance of self-grasping, which is the root of all our suffering.
Meaningful to Behold – we transform our daily activities into the Bodhisattva’s way of life, thereby making every moment of our human life meaningful.
How to Understand the Mind – we understand the relationship between our mind and its external objects. If we understand that objects depend upon the subjective mind, we can change the way objects appear to us by changing our own mind. Gradually we shall gain the ability to control our mind and in this way solve all our problems.
For further information about FP, read this inspiring text Wishfulfilling Jewels for Dharma practitioners by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
Why we need to study
There are three reasons why we need to study and practice the teachings of Buddha:
- To develop our wisdom
- To cultivate a good heart
- To maintain a peaceful state of mind
If we do not strive to develop our wisdom, we shall 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. Without inner peace, outer peace is impossible.
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 if our external conditions are unpleasant.
Therefore, the development of these qualities is of utmost importance for our daily happiness!
The programme 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 The 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
To find out more about the Foundation Program, contact the Education Programme Coordinator at the Centre by phone (01992 571354) or email or speak to your meditation class teacher for details.