Intensive Buddhist Study Course 2013
31st July - 21st September 2013
Details of the FPMT Basic Program
Designed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the Basic Program provides a comprehensive, practice oriented transmission of the Buddha's teaching as exemplified by the tradition of the great Tibetan master, Je Tsong Khapa.
The Basic Program is not a purely intellectual program, on the contrary: the goal is to integrate intellectual knowlege and study with in depth meditation on the subjects. To study these texts at Kopan Monastery provides a rare opportunity to study and practice traditional Buddhist texts in a traditional Buddhist environment, which greatly supports the generation of insights and understanding. The daily teachings will be complemented by daily meditation classes to deepen ones understanding of the topics.
The Basic Program subjects may be studied in any order; however, the Stages of the Path (lam-rim) provides the overall context for the other subjects and for meditation practice throughout. Understanding Tenets and Mind and Cognition will help with the ninth chapter of Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds, and Seventy Topics and Ornament will be difficult without studying the other subjects first.
The basic program consists of nine core subjects and three supplementary topics. These 12 subjects of the program have been spaced over five years and are complemented by a three month Lam-rim retreat in the sixth year. Only those who have passed the exams relating to the nine core subjects and the three month Lam-rim retreat will be eligible to participate in the final exam and obtain a FPMT Basic program teacher's certificate.
This Year's Basic Program
In the past five years Ven. Fedor has taught already several modules of the Basic Program, such as the Middle Lam Rim, Lorig, Tenets, Heart sutra, Bodhisattvas Way of Life etc. Those who attended his classes were impressed by the clarity and depth of his teachings, and by his dedication to make the subjects accessible to everybody. The program is very intensive, as in a relatively short time much ground is covered.
When you study Buddhism you are studying yourself -- the nature of your body, speech and mind -- the main emphasis being on the nature of your mind and how it works in everyday life. Why is it so important to know the nature of your own mind? Since we all want happiness, enjoyment, peace and satisfaction, and since these things do not come from ice cream but from wisdom and the mind, we have to understand what the mind is and how it works.
Stages of the Path (Lam Rim)
Date: 31 July 2013 - 21 September 2013Cost of the course to be announced
The Stages of the Path teachings are a compendium of the Buddha's teachings, arranged in the sequence they are supposed to be practiced, with the emphasis on how to generate bodhicitta.
The subject Stages of the Path (Lam-rim) gives a framework of reference for all Buddhist topics, e.g. one can easily understand their intent and place in the path. It explains how to meditate on the path, train in the three higher trainings and practice the six perfections.
The text used for the Basic Program Presentation of the Stages of the Path is the Middle Lam-rim by Lama Tsong Khapa, which explains in great detail also the practice of calm abiding and superior insight.
The basic program is not a purely intellectual program and will be complemented by daily meditation classes to deepen ones understanding of the topics. To hold it in Kopan provides a rare opportunity to study and practice traditional Buddhist texts in a traditional Buddhist environment, which greatly supports the generation of insights and understanding.
The days will be divided into teachings, meditation sessions and discussion/debate sessions. The study week will be six days similar to the monastery schedule but the morning and evening meditations session will be daily to provide an uninterrupted continuum of practice.
Schedule of teachings:
1. Section: Beginning up to Calm Abiding
2. Section: Calm Abiding
3. Section: Superior Insight
Registration for the course is by application only. Application forms will be available from 1. February 2013. Please write for more information and an application form to 'kopan (at) mail.com.np'
Conditions of Attendance:Course participants should have sincere faith in the Dharma and the teachings of the Buddha and a genuine interest in the study of Buddhist philosophy. Also required is a strong commitment to Attendance at all sessions I and to complete the section of your choice..
Tantric Grounds and Paths (HYT required) 23 - 30 September 2013
Start: 23 September 2013
End: 30 September 2013 with exam
Conditions of Attendance:
Highest Yoga Tantra Inititation is required to attend these teachings. Registration for the course is by application only. Application forms will be available from 1. February 2013.
Please write for more information and an application form to 'kopan (at) mail.com.np'
The Teaching schedule
The days are divided into teachings, meditation sessions and discussion/debate sessions. The study week will be six days similar to the monastery schedule. Daily morning and evening meditations session will provide an uninterrupted continuum of practice.
Daily Schedule:* 6.45 Morning meditation
* 7.30 am Breakfast
* 9.00 - 11 00
* 11.30 Lunch
* Free study time after lunch
* 3.30 - 5.00 Teaching
* 6.00 - 6.45 Meditation
* 6.45 Dinner
* 7.30 Study group
Exams are held every week, to help prepare the student for the final exam at the end of the module. To pass the exam, the knowledge of the students will be taken into consideration as well as other factors such as attendance, discipline and behavior. Having completed exams on the nine core subjects is the prerequisite to attend the final exam of the Basic Program. To receive this certificate, all modules have to be attended, and the required exams have to be passed.
Designed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the Basic Program is especially suitable for students wishing to progress beyond introductory level courses, who are ready to commit themselves to more in-depth study and practice. Consisting of nine subjects plus three optional supplements, the curriculum uses standard root texts and commentaries. A support program of meditation, discussions, retreats and study tools such as exams, homework and reading assignments ensures that participants develop an accurate understanding of the Dharma as a basis for daily practice, contemplative retreat and further study.
An FPMT Basic Program Certificate will be awarded by the FPMT to students who successfully complete the final, comprehensive exam. Candidates for this exam must have completed all the subjects of the core curriculum and a three month Lam rim retreat as part of the program. They also have to satisfy the Basic Program criteria for behavior and conduct: to sincerely engage in the practice of refraining from killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct (adultery) and intoxicants, while developing their concern for others and awareness of positive and negative states of mind, and developing the practice of patience and the bodhichitta motivation over the course of their Basic Program studies.
The program offers students an opportunity to become qualified teachers certified by the FPMT, based on their academic understanding, meditation experience, and exemplary behavior. This is part of Lama Zopa Rinpoche's vision for the Basic Program.
Recommended reading as preparation for the BP
An updated readinglist for this year's program will be available at a later date.
* Steps on the Path to Enlightenment - Commentary on the Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path vol. 1 & 2 by Geshe Sopa (Beginner to Medium)
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