The purpose of the Foundation Program (FP) is to provide a systematic presentation of particular subjects of Mahayana Buddhism to enable practitioners to deepen their knowledge and experience of Buddhism.
The program comprises the following five subjects, based on Buddha’s Sutra teachings and the corresponding commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche:
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 The New Eight Steps to Happiness
3. The Heart Sutra, based on the commentary The New 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 How to Understand the Mind
BENEFITS OF THE PROGRAM
The benefits of studying and practicing 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, or Lamrim, is the main body of Buddha’s teachings, and the other teachings are like its limbs.
Universal Compassion and The New Eight Steps to Happiness – we gain the ability to integrate Buddha’s teachings into our daily life and solve all our human problems.
The New 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 that 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.
How to Understand 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.
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