with Resident Teacher Gen Kelsang Tabkay
Tuesdays 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Term resumes August 20th with the Perfection of Wisdom Chapter in Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life.
This is a more in depth study program class that is by enrollment only. It is generally advised to attend one of our drop-in classes for a while before enrolling in this class.
The Foundation Program is a study program for those who wish to study Buddhism in a more in-depth and structured way.
We are studying Meaningful to Behold by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Many people have the compassionate wish to benefit others, but few understand how to accomplish this successfully in daily life. Bodhisattvas are friends of the world who have such strong compassion that they are able to transform all their daily activities into ways of benefiting others. The path of the Bodhisattva was exquisitely explained in the universally loved poem Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life by the 8th-century master Shantideva. With this commentary, the full effectiveness and profundity of this wonderful poem are revealed in full and made applicable for our time.
This practical handbook is essential for those wishing to follow a way of life characterized by greater empathy and compassion for others.
Class Format: Each class includes prayers, meditation, teaching and paired discussion. Classes meet on Tuesdays 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.
As an FP Student, you will be able to attend all General Program Classes at the center, Branch Classes, Introductory Workshops, and weekend retreats free of charge. You will also be able to receive other discounts for Weekend Day Courses, Visiting Teacher Public Talks, and Empowerments.
What is the Foundation Program?
The Foundation Program is a unique structured study program that enables us to gain an experience of Buddhist teachings with a deeper understanding and to develop a regular meditation practice.
The Foundation Program is for those who wish to deepen their understanding and experience of Buddhism by engaging in the systematic study of six essential Buddhist texts.
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
We meet each week during term times and have regular term breaks and a longer break in the summer. Students are requested to enroll for a section of the text and commit to attending all the classes, as well as try to go to a puja (chanted meditation) and General Program class.
Benefits of the Foundation Program
Click here to read about the benefits of the program by contemporary Buddhist master Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.
Through regular teachings, meditation, systematic study and group discussion, the Foundation Program offers deep support for your spiritual life. In essence, it is the same training followed by spiritual practitioners in an unbroken lineage dating back to Buddha Shakyamuni. Its special quality is that we can gain authentic experience without abandoning our modern lifestyle. By studying on this program we will gain great confidence in meditation – from basic techniques for overcoming our everyday problems, to practices leading to unsurpassed happiness and permanent inner peace.
How to join the Foundation Program
The fee for Foundation Program is $65 per month, which includes membership for all Foundation classes, general program classes at the temple and our branch locations, and a discounted rate for workshops, retreats and some special events. Kadampa Meditation Center Phoenix is a registered not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to benefiting the general public through our International Temples Project.
The Foundation Program membership is fully tax deductible.
You are welcome to attend two classes at no cost or commitment. To find out more about the Foundation Program classes at KMC Phoenix, to arrange to observe a class, or to join, please email Michelle Bales, the Foundation Program Coordinator, at FP@meditationinarizona.org.
Gen Kelsang Tabkay
Resident Teacher of KMC Phoenix and Foundation Program Teacher
Video about Foundation Program by another Kadampa Center
"Our present understanding and experience of Dharma is quite superficial. We are like someone who has entered a huge food store and seen many things but sampled only a few. We may have received many different teachings from many different teachers, but we have taken in very little, just a few morsels.
There is a gap between us and the Dharma. It feels as if the Dharma is there and we are here. Our mind is not mixed with Dharma and so we cannot apply it in our daily lives. As a result, our ordinary everyday problems remain. We also find it difficult to integrate our spiritual path into our daily lives so we cannot use this Dharma to solve our daily problems.
When we study Dharma out mind remains passive, like someone watching television. Therefore our life and our Dharma remain completely separate and unrelated.
Why is this? It is because we are not studying and practicing systematically according to a specially designed spiritual program. If we just dabble superficially in a spiritual path we will never gain a deep and stable experience, and our wisdom will never develop to its full potential. This is why the spiritual programs offered by the New Kadampa Tradition are so important.”