Foundation Program

//Foundation Program
Foundation Program 2018-01-21T09:42:35+00:00

Foundation Program (FP)

Join us as we study The New Heart of Wisdom.

Wednesdays 6:30pm-9pm with Rebecca Gauthier

Foundation Program is ideal for those who have gained a basic understanding of Kadampa Buddhism through General Program classes, but who wish to learn more and make a deeper commitment to their practice. Through regular teachings, meditation, systematic study and group discussion, the FP offers support and structure to our spiritual life. This program affords an opportunity to gain authentic experience of Dharma without abandoning our modern lifestyle. Warm friendships develop as students inspire each other, sharing insights and experiences of the spiritual path.

The success of the program 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 each 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.

What Happens at a Class?

Prior to class, students study an assigned portion of the text, usually a few pages, and remember 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.

How Do I Join?

Students may attend one classe before deciding to formally join the FP. Enrolling in FP means you become a ‘supporting member’ of TKBC and all other regular classes and retreats are included with your monthly $75 membership.

The Curriculum

Fundamental to the entire Buddhist way of life is the teaching that everything depends upon the mind. The world we experience is the result of our karma, or actions, and all our actions of body, speech, and mind originate in the mind. To change our world we have to start by changing our mind, and this depends upon first gaining an thorough understanding of the mind and how it works. In How to Understand the Mind, Geshe Kelsang provides a comprehensive explanation of the different types of mind and functions of mind. Though dealing with a profound and complex subject, this book is immensely practical, at every turn offering clear advice on how we can use our understanding of the mind to improve the quality of our lives and eventually to attain the true mental freedom of enlightenment.

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 subjects

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.


Students wishing to join FP must first observe classes and talk with our Education Program Coordinator. To find out more about the Foundation Program classes at TKBC, to arrange to observe a class, or to join, please contact our Education Program Coordinator at:

The Heart Sutra is probably Buddha’s most well-known discourse; and yet it reveals an aspect of his teaching – ultimate truth emptiness – that is one of the most difficult to realize.

In this extraordinary book, Geshe Kelsang takes us line by line through the Sutra and explains its hidden meaning with remarkable clarity.

Sincere study of this book lays a firm foundation for meditation on ultimate truth emptiness, which leads to the complete eradication of the ignorance of self-grasping and the experience of permanent inner peace.

The book also includes a special practice based on the recitation of the Sutra for overcoming obstacles and hindrances.

“For the serious student of Buddhism, a better book would be hard to come across.” — THEMIDDLE WAY

FP Winter Dates:
Wednesday, January 24th Introduction to the Foundation Program
Wednesday, January 31st
Wednesday, February 7th
Wednesday, February 14th
Wednesday, February 21st
Wednesday, February 28th
Wednesday, March 7th
Wednesday, March 14th
Wednesday, March 21st
Wednesday, March 28th Kangso
Wednesday, April 7th Discussion
Wednesday, April 14th Discussion
Wednesday, April 21st Review