Three special study programmes
Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has put together three special spiritual programmes on Buddhist psychology, philosophy and meditation instructions, as well as retreats (meditations in solitude) for practitioners of all levels. The emphasis is on integrating Buddha’s teachings into our daily lives so that we can solve our problems and experience lasting peace and happiness in our hearts and in this world.
“… There are three reasons why we need to study and practice the Buddha’s teachings: to develop wisdom, to develop our compassion and to maintain a peaceful state of mind. If we do not strive to develop our wisdom, the ultimate truth – the true nature of reality – will remain forever closed to us. Although we desire happiness, our ignorance leads us to perform non-virtuous actions, which are the main cause of all our suffering. If we do not develop our compassion, our selfish motivation destroys harmony and good relations with other living beings. We do not find peace and have no chance to find pure happiness. Without inner peace, outer peace is not possible. If we do not maintain a peaceful state of mind, we are not happy, even under the best conditions. If, on the other hand, our mind is peaceful, we are happy, even if the external circumstances are unpleasant. Therefore, the development of these qualities is of highest importance for our daily happiness.” ~ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.
These three programs fit well with a modern lifestyle. Tharpaland KMC offers these three study programmes:
The foundation program – create the foundation for an authentic spiritual life
Discover the essential teachings of Buddha for a happy and meaningful life! Students enroll for one book or book section at a time. The emphasis in class is on gaining practical experience in the Buddha’s teachings so that you can apply them in your everyday life. Lessons consist of teachings, meditation and discussion. The foundation program offers the opportunity to deepen your understanding and experience of Buddhism through the systematic study of six texts:
1. Joyful Path of Good Fortune – a commentary on Atisha’s Lamrim teachings, the stages of the path to enlightenment
2. Universal Compassion – a commentary on Bodhisattva Chekhawa’s training of the mind in seven points
3. Eight Steps to Happiness – a commentary on Bodhisattva Langri Tangpa’s Eight Verses of Training the Mind.
4. The New Heart of Wisdom – a commentary on the Heart Sutra
5. Meaningful to Behold – a commentary on Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life
6. How to Understand the Mind – a detailed explanation of the mind based on the works of the Buddhist scholars Dharmakirti and Dignaga.
The study and practice of these texts brings us the following benefits:
Joyful Path of Good Fortune – We gain the ability to put into practice all Buddha’s teachings, both Sutra and Tantra. We can easily make progress and complete the studies of the path to the highest happiness of enlightenment. From a practical point of view, Lamrim is the main part of Buddha’s teachings, similar to a tribe, and the other teachings are similar to branches.
Universal Compassion and Eight Steps to Happiness – We gain the ability to integrate all Buddha’s teachings into our lives and solve all our problems.
The New Heart of Wisdom – We gain a realization of the ultimate nature of reality. Through 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 a Bodhisattva’s way of life. This makes every moment of our life meaningful.
How to Understand the Mind – We understand the relationship between our mind and external objects. When we understand that the objects depend on our subjective mind, we can change the way objects appear to us by changing our mind. Gradually we gain the ability to control our mind and in this way solve all our problems.
Teacher training programme
The Teacher Training Program is designed for those who wish to become authentic Dharma teachers. In addition to the study of fourteen texts from Sutra and Tantra, which include the six texts of the Basic Programme, the students are required to meet certain requirements regarding behaviour and way of life, as well as a certain number of meditation retreats. More information about the current program can be found here.