foundationprogram

*Please contact our Education Program Coordinator in advance if you are interested in attending Foundation Program (epc@odiyana.org / 860-874-1970)*

Class meets weekly on Thursdays (6:30-8:30pm) at Odiyana Center, 36 Main Street, East Hartford, CT.

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.

The Teacher
The Foundation Programs are taught by Kadam Eve Arias, the Resident Teacher at Odiyana Kadampa Buddhist Center.

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 chanted 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. The teacher and students conclude by deciding what to meditate on in the next class and how to practice during the coming week.

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.

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 Eight Steps of Happiness. Written by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Eight Steps to Happiness is a commentary to one of Buddhism’s best-loved teachings, Eight Verses of Training the Mind, composed by the great Tibetan Buddhist Master, Bodhisattva Langri Tangpa. These eight short verses contain in essence the entire Buddhist spiritual path, with a particular focus on developing loving-kindness.

When is the class?
Foundation Program: Eight Steps to Happiness meets once weekly: Thursday evenings (6:30-8:30pm).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 epc@odiyana.org to set up a phone interview.

How much will it cost?
The cost is $60 a month to become a monthly member which also includes all General Program Classes at Odiyana Center and its branches, day courses/workshops and retreats at the Center, and discounts on empowerments and other special events. To find out more about the Foundation Program and how you can join, contact us at epc@odiyana.org or 860-874-1970.