The Foundation Program (FP) provides students with an opportunity to advance their understanding and practice of Buddha’s teachings through systematic study and meditation on the essential teachings of Mahayana Buddhism. Foundation Program students study the following five subjects based on Buddha’s Sutra teachings and their corresponding commentaries by our teacher, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso:
The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, or Kadam Lamrim, 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
Students in the FP have an opportunity to follow the same training followed by spiritual practitioners for generations, but without having to abandon their modern lifestyle. Over time, students in FP find that their minds change for the better in significant ways: through taking Buddha’s teachings as personal advice and striving to put them into practice in daily life, they gain authentic spiritual experience, solve their daily problems, improve their relationships at work and at home, and develop a good heart.
Many people have the compassionate wish to benefit others, but few understand how to accomplish this effectively in daily life. Bodhisattvas are friends of the world who have such strong compassion they are able to transform all their daily activities into methods to benefit 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 by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, the effectiveness and profundity of this way of life are clearly revealed and made practical for our modern world.
Composed in the 8th century by the famous Indian Buddhist master Shantideva, this new translation, made under the guidance of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, conveys the great lucidity and poetic beauty of the original, while preserving its full impact and spiritual insight. Reading these verses slowly, while contemplating their meaning, has a profoundly liberating effect on the mind. The poem invokes special positive states of mind, moves us from suffering and conflict to happiness and peace, and gradually introduces us to the entire Mahayana Buddhist path to enlightenment.
Cost: $65 per month. (including during months when FP is not in session)
All General Program Classes are included within your Level 2 or 3 Foundation Program Supporting Membership as well as other discounts on courses and retreats
Our General Program classes are offered on a drop-in basis and there are no requirements for attending. As a more structured program of study, the FP does require students to make some basic commitments:
Kadam Sharon has been practicing meditation and Kadampa Buddhism since 2003 and is the Resident teacher of the Je Tsongkhapa Kadampa Buddhist Center in Asheville. Before Sharon moved to Asheville in 2011, she volunteered as the Education Program Coordinator for several years at the internationally renowned world peace temple for meditation and modern Buddhism, Kadampa Meditation Center New York. There she received teachings and guidance directly from our General Spiritual Director, Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong, guided retreats, and taught classes. She has engaged in numerous focused meditation retreats and is known for teaching others how to develop a peaceful mind with great skill, lightness, and humor. Today, Sharon is a part of the Special Teacher Training Program and teaches numerous meditation classes and retreats in Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC. Sharon and her husband have one son.
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