About the Foundation Program
The Foundation Program gives you the opportunity to engage in a structured study and meditation program on the essential teachings of the Buddhist spiritual path. Buddhism teaches that to find lasting happiness and meaning in our lives we need to follow a spiritual path. To follow this path it is important to have a close connection with a qualified teacher who can give us personal advice and encouragement, to listen to pure teachings and to be a part of a spiritual community. In this way we are able to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of Dharma (Buddha’s teachings), maintain a daily meditation practice that is both focused and powerful, and make genuine spiritual progress
We are currently studying How to Understand the Mind
This book offers us deep insight into our mind, and shows how an understanding of its nature and functions can be used practically in every day experience to improve our lives.
Part 1 is a practical guide to developing and maintaining a light, positive mind – showing how to recognize and abandon states of mind that harm us, and to replace them with peaceful and beneficial ones.
Part 2 describes different types of mind in detail, revealing the depth and profundity of the Buddhist understanding of the mind. It concludes with a detailed explanation of meditation, showing how by controlling and transforming our mind we can attain a lasting state of joy, independent of external conditions.
For more information, including how to enroll, please email info@MeditationInFortMyers.org
Anyone who feels ready for this type of study may enroll. If you enroll, then you should have the intention to complete the book, or section of a book, for which you have joined.
If you are have an interest in joining the class that is currently in session, please speak with our Resident Teacher Kelsang Chopag.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the program commitments?
Students may enroll to study either a whole book or a part of a book. The student agrees to attend every class, learn the material, and to take a written test at the conclusion of the study. The class meets once a week for two hours. There is also a commitment to participate in at least one drop-in meditation class or chanted prayer at the Center each week.
What happens at a class?
Before each class, students study an assigned portion of the text, usually a few pages long, and try to memorize the essential points. Each class begins with chanted prayers and a guided meditation. The teacher then reads the assigned section 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.
When is the class?
Classes are held on Tuesday evenings from 7:00pm – 9:15pm at Samudrabadra Kadampa Buddhist Center in Fort Myers. The class meets most weeks with a few scheduled breaks throughout the term.
How much will it cost to enroll?
The cost is $65 per month to become a Center sponsor, which also includes admission to our weekly drop-in meditation classes at the Center and branches.
How do I enroll?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request information about enrollment.
We recommended that students attend our drop-in classes before enrolling in Foundation Program.
What are the benefits of joining a study program?
Through regular teachings and meditation, systematic study, and group discussion, the Foundation Program offers modern people the same kind of training followed by spiritual practitioners over the generations dating back to the time of Buddha Shakyamuni. In this way we can gain authentic experience of Buddha’s teachings while still maintaining our contemporary 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. Warm friendships develop as students inspire each other, sharing insights and experiences of the spiritual path.
Which subjects are studied on the Foundation Program?
The program covers the following five subjects, based on Buddha’s Sutra teachings and the corresponding commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso:
- The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, based on Atisha’s instructions and the commentary Joyful Path of Good Fortune
- Training the Mind, based on Bodhisattva Chekawa’s Training the Mind in Seven Points and Geshe Langri Tangpa’s Eight Verses of Training the Mind and their respective commentaries, Universal Compassion and Eight Steps to Happiness
- The Heart Sutra, based on the commentary The New Heart of Wisdom
- Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, based on the commentary Meaningful to Behold
- Types of Mind, a detailed explanation of the mind based on the works of Buddhist scholars Dharmakirti and Dignaga and the commentary How to Understand the Mind
About the Teacher
The Foundation Program is taught by Kelsang Chopag, an American Buddhist monk and the Resident Teacher of Samudrabadra Kadampa Buddhist Center.
Please contact us at (239) 454-5572 or info@MeditationInFortMyers.org.