Meditation in Reading and the Thames Valley

In-depth Study Programmes

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Foundation Programme (FP)
TRY A FREE TASTER SESSIONS:
  • Sunday Mornings:  9am – 1pm  TASTER SESSION 7 MAY  info here
  • Monday Evenings:  6 – 9.30pm  TASTER SESSION ( contact us to arrange a date ) info here

Everyone is welcome to come along to these free free taster sessions or to arrange a taster session at a time that suites.

A Unique Study Programme

There are two separate Foundation Programmes at Kadampa Meditation Centre Reading, both are taught by the Resident Teacher, Gen Kelsang Wangmo.

Through regular teachings and meditation, systematic study, and group discussion, the Foundation Programme (FP) offers the same training followed by spiritual practitioners in an unbroken lineage dating back to Buddha Shakayamuni. In this way we can gain authentic experience of the Dharma while still maintaining our contemporary lifestyle. By studying on this programme 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 programmes have breaks every few weeks and longer breaks over the holiday periods; allowing plenty of time for holidays and other activities.

What is the structure?
The secret of the Foundation Programme’s success lies in the manageable commitment made by the student and in the clear structure of study. Students sign up the following commitments:

  • study a book or part of a book
  • try to attend every class
  • learn the material
  • try to attend a chanted meditation (puja) once per week
  • complete a test once per year

Each book or section generally takes between six months to a year to complete. Many students take turns putting up the shrine offerings and setting up the meditation room on the day of their class. In this way they learn about the rituals associated with Buddhist practice.

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 from the book while giving commentary to the text. Afterwards the students divide into pairs to discuss the section. The teacher and students then conclude what to meditate on in the next class and how to practice during the week.

The Teacher
Gen Kelsang Wangmo in Buddhist nun and the Principle Teacher of Kadampa Meditation Centre Reading. She has been studying and practicing Kadampa Buddhism for over fifteen years and is loved for her gentle and joyful approach and her sincere example.

How much will it cost?
Payment for FP is by becoming a member, a standing order of £40 per month is made. Being a member also entitles you to free weekly meditation classes, retreats, chanted meditations, day courses and workshops (excluding empowerments).

Where is FP?
All classes are held at Kadampa Meditation Centre Reading, 9 Bath Road, Reading, RG1 6HH (map)

Books studied
The Foundation Programme studies six books:

  • Eight Steps to Happiness – a commentary to Bodhisattva Langri Tangpa’s Eight Verses of Training the Mind.
  • Joyful Path of Good Fortune – a commentary to Atisha’s Lamrim instructions, the stages of the path to enlightenment.
  • Meaningful to Behold – a commentary to Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life.
  • Universal Compassion – a commentary to Bodhisattva Chekhawa’s Training the Mind in Seven Points.
  • The New Heart of Wisdom – a commentary to the Heart Sutra.
  • How to Understand the Mind – a detailed explanation of the mind based on the works of the Buddhist scholars Dharmakirti and Dignaga.

Contact us (shantidevaeducation@gmail.com) for more information about enrolling or to arrange a taster session.

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