Introduction to our Olympia Foundation Program

 

After a taste of our General Program classes you may wish to deepen your practice by enrolling in a Foundation Program (FP) in either Olympia or Tacoma. “FP” is a unique, structured study program that enables students to gain deeper understanding and experience of Buddhist teachings, and develop a regular meditation practice.

We are offering an introductory session to give you a sense of the program and if it’s right for you. You can read more about the program below. Students may attend three classes before deciding to formally join the FP.

UNIVERSAL COMPASSION: AN OVERVIEW

The heart of Buddha’s teachings is unconditional love and compassion. In this inspiring explanation of the popular Buddhist poem Training the Mind in Seven Points, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso reveals powerful and far-reaching methods for us to develop these altruistic states. Ancient meditative techniques that have been tried and tested for centuries are brought alive and made relevant to our everyday experiences. Also included is a practical explanation of how we can transform our day-to-day problems—even the most demanding and difficult conditions—into opportunities for personal and spiritual development. By pointing the way to an unchanging freedom and happiness, this immensely readable book challenges us to grow, and will have a remarkable impact on our life.

ABOUT FOUNDATION PROGRAM
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 hours.

WHAT HAPPENS AT 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?
Attending class on one of our open enrollment dates is the best time to join, but you may also join at other times by contacting us first at [email protected]. Enrolling in FP means you become a ‘member’ of TKBC and all other regular classes and retreats are included with your monthly $65 membership.