Foundation Program

How to Understand the Mind
A practical and profound book

Tuesdays, 7-9pm, Starting September 15

How to Understand the Mind, by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, offers a deep insight into our mind and shows how an understanding of its nature and functions can be used practically in everyday experience to improve our lives.

The first part is a practical guide to developing and maintaining a light, positive mind. We learn how to recognize and abandon states of mind that harm us and to replace them with peaceful and beneficial ones.

The second part describes different types of mind in detail, revealing the depth and profundity of the Buddhist understanding of the mind. In particular it reveals the process we go through in abandoning wrong and mistaken minds and eventually attaining qualified spiritual realizations.

“Happiness and suffering are feelings – parts of our mind – and so their main causes are not to be found outside the mind. If we really want to be truly happy and free from suffering we must improve our understanding of the mind.”

–Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche

Starts September 15

Registration and Costs

$80/month for 12 months

…or for the duration of a book study section.

For further information or to apply, please contact the Centre’s Education Program Coordinator.

Foundation Program (FP) is not a drop-in program, and enrollment is required. All FP students sign up at the start of each new book or section of a book. You are also need to have attended General Program classes regularly for a minimum of six months before joining FP. New students are strongly advised to start their study at the beginning of a new book or section of a book. For more information and to inquire about scheduling, please contact the Education Program Coordinator at

You can also contact the Education Program Coordinator to inquire about attending FP via correspondence.

What is Foundation Program?

From the NKT Internal Rules:

The purpose of the Foundation Programme shall be to provide a systematic presentation of particular subjects of Mahayana Buddhism to enable practitioners to deepen their knowledge and experience of Buddhism.  The Programme shall comprise the following five subjects based on Buddha’s Sutra teachings and the corresponding commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso:

1. The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, Joyful Path of Good Fortune
2. Training the Mind, Universal CompassionEight Steps to Happiness
3. The Heart Sutra, The New Heart of Wisdom
4. Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Meaningful to Behold
5. Types of Mind, How to Understand the Mind

In Foundation Program, we study one of these books, page by page, taking to heart the deep meaning of Buddha’s advice.  Each class begins with prayers and  sometimes recitation of a root text. Then the Teacher presents the text with a detailed explanation.  Following this, students discuss in pairs to review the teaching they have just heard and  prepare questions for a later discussion group.  Then the Teacher guides a meditation based on the teaching.

Every fourth session is a group discussion, led by two members of the class who accept questions from students to clarify the meaning of the text.