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" The way to solve the problems in your life is to open your heart to others. "
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Basic Program

About the FPMT Basic Program

Basic Program webThis program is devised by our Spiritual Director, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche as an integrated program of Buddhist studies within the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT).

The Basic Program is a five-year, twelve-subject course of studies that provides a practice-oriented transmission of the Buddha's teachings to committed students ready to progress beyond introductory-level study and practice.

Its comprehensive curriculum was designed to ensure that students will gain a profound knowledge of the key aspects of the entire Buddhist path, both sutra and tantra. It is taught by our qualified teachers who have completed extensive studies supported by deep practice.

A program of meditation, discussion and examination complements the teachings to ensure that participants develop an accurate working understanding of the dharma as a sound basis for daily practice, contemplative retreat and further study.


Basic Program II (NEW)

with Jampa Jaffe

We are beginning a new round of the Basic Program in 2014. This will be taught by our senior teacher, Jampa Jaffe, and will begin on Monday 3 Feb 2014, 7pm.

BP Brochure 2014 for WebDownload this brochure to find out more about our new Basic Program course, its curriculum, requirements, and schedule.







The first course in this program will be Stages of the Path (Part 1).

Dates & Times: Mondays 7.00-9.00pm; 3, 10, 17, 24 February; 3, 17, 24, 31 March; 7, 14, 28 April; 5, 12, 19, 26 May; 2, 16, 23 June 2014
Venue: Vajrayana Institute, 9 Victoria Square Ashfield NSW

"With study comes understanding; but this must be put to use. It is therefore vital to put as much as one can of what one has studied into practice." -- Lama Tsongkhapa

The celebrated system of teachings known as the Stages of the Path (Lamrim) represents a synthesis of the entire path to enlightenment. Presented in a clear and concise form, these teachings are easy to understand and apply in meditation. Instruction begins with the preliminary practices, and then progresses through the essential practices of the 'beings of the three scopes', including correct guru devotion, renunciation, the altruistic wish for enlightenment and the view of the middle way. As a foundation and context for Buddhist practice, this subject is a key element of the Basic Program.

These teaching sessions consist of talks, meditations, discussions and exercises in an open and relaxed atmosphere. Everyone is welcome.

Cost:  $245/$220 VI member for Feb-Jun 2014; $15/$13 VI member per session, pay at the door.

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About the teacher
jampa jaffe_smJampa Jaffe, also known as Jampa Gendun, has been teaching Buddhism for over twenty years. American by birth, he was a monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for seventeen years and studied for over fourteen years in India. He has spent one year in Thailand, studying and meditating in the Theravada tradition and in 2005 completed a solitary one year retreat in Spain.




Basic Program I

with Geshe Ngawang Samten

Geshe-la has been giving extensive commentaries on the various texts of the Basic Program. He will be finishing his commentary on the Special Insight section of the Stages of the Path in the first half of 2014.

Dates & Times: Thursday 7.00pm-9.00pm; 13, 20, 27 March; 3, 10, 17 April 2014

He will then move onto the next text: Ornament for Clear Realizations.

Dates & Times: Thursday 7.00pm-9.00pm; 24 April; 1, 8, 15, 22 May 2014; 5, 12, 19, 26 June 2014

Maitreya's Ornament of Clear Realizations is the root text for the study of the levels of realization related to enlightenment according to the Middle Way (Madhyamika) school of Buddhist philosophy. This important scripture, traditionally the basis for extensive study in the monastic curriculum, made explicit these levels which were otherwise presented in only a hidden manner in the Buddha's Perfection of Wisdom teachings. From among the seventy topics covered by the Ornament, the eleven topics of Chapter Four have been selected for commentary in the FPMT Basic Program curriculum.

All these teachings of Geshe-la are interpreted by Corey Jackson. Previous audio teachings of Geshe-la on the Basic Program are available here.

Cost: $15/$13 VI member per session, pay at the door.

 About the teacher
geshe samten2010_smGeshe Ngawang Samten was born at Panchamari, MP, India. At the age of nine, he entered the Sera Monastic Institute and took the vows of monk ordination with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Geshe-la completed his studies and attained his Geshe degree at the highest level of a Lharampa, the equivalent of a PhD in Buddhist Philosophy. He taught as a lecturer in the Gelug tradition at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath. Since 2003 Geshe-la has been the main resident teacher at VI.


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