Foundation Programme

Study ProgramThe purpose of the Foundation Programme 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 programme 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

Benefits of the Foundation Programme (FP)

The benefits of studying and practising these texts are as follows:

Joyful Path of Good Fortune – we gain the ability to put all Buddha’s teachings of both Sutra and Tantra into practice. We can easily make progress on and complete the stages of the path to the supreme happiness of enlightenment. From a practical point of view, the Stages of the Path is the main body of Buddha’s teachings, and the other teachings are like its limbs.

Universal Compassion and Eight Steps to Happiness – we gain the ability to integrate Buddha’s teachings into our daily lives and solve all our human problems.

Heart of Wisdom – we gain a realization of the ultimate nature of reality. By gaining this realization we can eliminate the ignorance of self-grasping, which is the root of all our suffering.

Meaningful to Behold – we transform our daily activities into the Bodhisattva’s way of life, thereby making every moment of our human life meaningful.

Understanding the Mind – we understand the relationship between our mind and its external objects. If we understand that objects depend upon the subjective mind, we can change the way objects appear to us by changing our own mind. Gradually we shall gain the ability to control our mind and in this way solve all our problems.

On joining the programme, and at the beginning of each new book or section of a book, each student will sign up to the following commitments:

  1. To attend every class
  2. To prepare for each class by studying the appropriate section of the text and memorizing the essential points
  3. To memorize the condensed meaning (outlines) and/or root text of the book
  4. To sit an examination at the end of the course
  5. To attend at least one puja (chanted prayers) each week of preliminary practices organized by the Centre, eg. Wishfulfilling Jewel (this enables purification, collection of good fortune, and receiving special blessings to make the studies and meditations effective).

Correspondence/Home Study Programme
Students enrol for one subject at a time and to ensure the success of their studies they are asked to keep the same commitments as students attending the live classes (see above) with the exception of commitment 1 ; instead of this they are asked to study for at least four hours each week, and to submit study summaries to the Teacher each month. From time to time, when convenient, they can visit the Centre to receive an oral transmission of the root text from the Teacher.

If you have some previous experience from General Programme classes then you can join at any stage of the book though it is preferable to start at the beginning of a new section. Those who have not previously attended classes are asked to attend some General Programme classes before applying to join.

If you think the Foundation Programme or Correspondence Programme is suitable for you, please ask for further details by emailing the Education Programme Co-ordinator at

Facility Fees: RM80 per calendar month throughout the year (includes unlimited weekly GP classes; all FP classes and attendance at annual Teacher Training Programme retreats – on Lamrim, Refuge, Guru Yoga/Mandala Offering, and Vajrasattva). For Correspondence Programme only RM50 per calendar month throughout the year.

Further information – read this important and special talk Wishfulfilling Jewels for Dharma Practitioners by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso introducing the Foundation Programme for the first time in 1990.