Kadampa Study Programs
At present, our wisdom is like a young child or a new moon. We may have developed some wisdom from listening to teachings and reading and studying books, but this wisdom needs to be developed much further. By relying on the Three Study Programs, we can gradually increase our wisdom until it is completely mature, like a full moon. With this kind of wisdom, we will have a firm, stable confidence when teaching Dharma to others.
Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche
Founder of the New Kadampa Tradition
Three Levels of Study
Geshe-la has designed three study programs of Buddhist teachings. These programs – the General, Foundation, and Teacher Training Programs – form the very core of the New Kadampa Tradition-International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU), and are what distinguish New Kadampa Buddhism from other traditions.
Drop-in classes for all levels of experience
GP classes introduce basic Buddhist views, and meditation and other practices, suitable for beginners. They also include advanced teachings and the practice of Sutra and Tantra for practitioners at all levels of experience.
Foundation Program (FP) - Currently in progress
A systematic, in-depth study of Buddha’s teachings
For those wishing to take the next step in their study of Buddhism and meditation, FP classes provide a systematic presentation of particular aspects of Mahayana Buddhism. The program aims to enable practitioners to deepen their knowledge and experience of Buddhism. The classes examine five subjects based on Buddha’s Sutra teachings and corresponding commentaries by Geshe-la:
The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, based on the commentary Joyful Path of Good Fortune
The Heart Sutra, based on the commentary The New Heart of Wisdom
Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, based on the commentary Meaningful to Behold
Types of Mind, based on the commentary How to Understand the Mind
Teacher Training Program (TTP) - Currently in progress
Learn to become a qualified Kadampa Teacher.
TTP classes enable practitioners to deepen their knowledge and experience of Mahayana Buddhism, and to train as qualified New Kadampa Tradition Teachers. The program examines twelve subjects based on Buddha’s Sutra and Tantra teachings and corresponding commentaries by Geshe-la. The first five subjects presented are the same as for the Foundation Program. The seven additional subjects are:
Guide to the Middle Way, based on the commentary Ocean of Nectar
Vajrayana Mahamudra, based on the commentary Clear Light of Bliss
The Bodhisattva’s Moral Discipline, based on the commentary The Bodhisattva Vow
Vajrayogini Tantra, based on the commentary The New Guide to Dakini Land
Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra, based on the commentary Tantric Grounds and Paths
The Practice of Heruka Body Mandala, based on the commentary Essence of Vajrayana
Participants also need to observe certain commitments with regard to behavior and way of life, and to complete a number of meditation retreats.