Foundation Program

Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life
Meaningful to Behold

Tuesdays, 7-9pm
The third part of our study begins September 4.

FP_booksOur Foundation Program book study combines study, meditation, and group discussion, focusing on the ancient wisdom in Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life and the modern, practical application of the profound advice held within Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s commentary, Meaningful to Behold.

If you are interested in joining the Foundation Program and entering into a serious and well organized practice, please contact our Resident Teacher, Gen Kelsang Dema by email ( or before or after a class at the Centre.

FP students pay a monthly fee of $80 for a minimum of one year, or complete course of study, which entitles them to the privileges of a Supporting Member. For further information or to register, please contact the Resident Teacher or the Education Program Coordinator.

Correspondence Students

Correspondence study is available throughout Alberta. Please apply to our Education Program Coordinator and Resident Teacher to participate in the Foundation Program by correspondence.

What is Foundation Program?

Foundation Program is a course of study developed by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso for the New Kadampa Tradition that is offered to students with some experience who wish to improve their understanding and personal experience of Buddhadharma.

Foundation Program (FP) offers a systematic and in-depth approach to the study and practice of the path to enlightenment. Students registered in the Foundation Program students commit themselves to the thorough and complete study of one topic of Buddhism – a single book or part of a book. This opportunity includes weekly classes, clear instructions on how to prepare and study for a Dharma class, discussion according to the principles of Buddhist scholarship, practice of making prayers and requests and an exam to check our own progress in understanding. The Foundation Program focuses on an in-depth study of these particular subjects:

  • The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lamrim), based on the commentary Joyful Path of Good Fortune
  • Training the Mind (Lojong), based on the commentaries Universal Compassion and Eight Steps to Happiness
  • The Heart Sutra (Perfection of Wisdom), based on the commentary Heart of Wisdom
  • Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (advice from Shantideva), based on the commentary Meaningful to Behold
  • Types of Mind (Lorig), based on the commentary How to Understand the Mind

Geshe Kelsang upon the initiation of the Foundation Program:

Our present understanding and experience of Dharma is quite superficial. We are like someone who has entered a huge food store and seen many things but only sampled a few. We may have received many different teachings from many different teachers but we have taken in very little – just a few morsels. There is a big gap between our mind and Dharma and we cannot apply Dharma in our daily lives. Our approach remains passive, like someone watching television and our mind remains as uncontrolled as before. Why is this? It is because we are not studying systematically, according to a specially designed program. If we just pick at Dharma randomly we shall never gain deep and stable experience. For this reason the spiritual programs offered in the NKT Centres are very important.