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Video about Foundation Program by another Kadampa Center

with Kelsang THarden
Sundays 2:00pm – 4:00pm 

Foundation program is a unique in-depth study program including guided meditation, teachings, and discussion. It is a perfect option for those wishing to go deeper into their practice in a structured way.

The Foundation Program is a structured weekly study program by enrollment that involves a number of commitments that help support our practice including attending every weekly class (Sundays 2-4pm, with breaks for holidays) and studying small sections of the text in advance.



About the current text, How to Understand the Mind

How to Understand the Mind  by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche is an extraordinary book - at once practical and profound. Wherever you are on your spiritual path, this book is indispensable.

It offers a deep insight into our mind and shows how an understanding of its nature and functions can be used practically in everyday experience to improve our lives.

The first part is a practical guide to developing and maintaining a light, positive mind. We learn how to recognize and abandon states of mind that harm us and to replace them with peaceful and beneficial ones.

The second part describes different types of mind in detail, revealing the depth and profundity of the Buddhist understanding of the mind. In particular it reveals the process we go through in abandoning wrong and mistaken minds and eventually attaining qualified spiritual realizations.

The book concludes with a practical explanation of fourteen meditations that comprise the Buddhist path to enlightenment. For each meditation there is an explanation of:

1. The purpose of the meditation
2. The object of the meditation
3. The actual meditation


Class Format: Each class includes prayers, meditation, teaching and paired discussion. 


What is the Foundation Program?

The Foundation Program is a unique structured study program that enables us to gain 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.

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 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. 


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.


To find out more about the Foundation Program classes at KMC Phoenix, to arrange to observe a class, or to join, please email the Foundation Program Coordinator at

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Kelsang Tharden 
Foundation Program Teacher

VENERABLE GESHE KELSANG GYATSO has designed a variety of special study programs to help students systematically progress in their practice of Kadampa Buddhism.

"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.”

Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche 

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