When are the classes offered and how often do they meet?
There are currently two Foundation Program classes being offered through Odiyana Center. The first foundation program meets once weekly. The second meets twice weekly.
1. Thursday Evenings (6:30-8:30pm) at Odiyana KBC
2. Sunday (6:15-8:15pm) and Wednesdays (6:30-8:30pm) at Odiyana KBC
There is an opportunity to enroll in a 3 week free trial. In order to attend this 3 week trial you must email the Education Program Coordinator at email@example.com to set up a phone interview.
Both Foundation Programs are taught by Kadam Eve Arias, the Resident Teacher at Odiyana Kadampa Buddhist Center.
What are the benefits of this study 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 right here at Odiyana KBC.
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 Dharma teachings and to be a part of a strong spiritual community. In this way we are able to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of Buddha’s teachings, maintain a daily meditation practice that is both focused and powerful, and make genuine spiritual progress.
A Unique Study Program
Through regular teachings and meditation, systematic study, and group discussion, the Foundation Program (FP) offers the same training followed by spiritual practitioners in an unbroken lineage dating back to Buddha Shakyamuni. In this way we can gain authentic experience of the Dharma while still maintaining our contemporary lifestyle. By studying on this program we shall 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.
What is the structure?
The secret of the Foundation Program’s success 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 every class, learn the material, and to take a test at the conclusion of the study.
What happens at a class?
Prior to class, students study an assigned portion of the text, usually a few pages long, and memorize the essential points. The class begins with preliminary 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, formulate a conclusion to the text and decide on a weekly practice for daily life. The students share their conclusions and ideas for practice, as well as any questions that arose from the discussion.
What books are studied?
The purpose of the Foundation Program is to provide a systematic presentation of particular subjects of Mahayana Buddhism to enable practitioners to deepen their knowledge and experience of Buddhism.
There are five subjects
The program comprises the following five subjects, based on Buddha’s Sutra teachings and the corresponding commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyato.
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
We are currently studying Meaningful to Behold on Sunday and Wednesdays, and Eight Steps of Happiness on Thursdays.
How much will it cost?
The cost is $60 a month for the once-per-week class and $100 a month for the twice-per week classes to become a monthly member which also includes all General Program Classes at Odiyana Center and its branches, day courses/workshops, and discounts on empowerments and other special events. To find out more about the Foundation Program and how you can join, contact our Education Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-317-8918.