Foundation Programme – Friday Evening

Day and Time:
Friday evenings: 7pm – 9pm

Atisha Kadampa Meditation Centre
81 Victoria Road, Darlington DL1 5JQ  Click here for a map

JPoGFFoundation Programme (FP) is an enrollment course that enables us to deepen our knowledge and experience of Buddha’s teachings through a systematic specially designed study programme. If you would like to sample FP you can come along to a free taster session. You can join at any time. To find out more please get in touch:

Class Dates:

April 20 – Free Taster Class
April 27 – Free Taster Class

May 4
May 11
May 18

May 25 – No Class, International Spring Festival at Manjushri KMC

June 1
June 8 – Discussion Class
June 15
June 22
June 29

July 6
July 13
July 20 – Discussion Class

Summer Holidays
Next class: September 7

(These dates maybe subject to change. Please keep in contact with the EPC / FP monitor.)

or phone: 01325 365265

Want to deepen your understanding and join the Foundation Programme?
Please contact the above details.

Everyone is welcome to try a free taster session.

There is a new class starting on Sunday Mornings, 10am – 12noon, you are welcome to try a free taster session there too.

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.

How much will it cost?

Payment for FP is by becoming a member, a standing order of £35 per month is made. Being a member also entitles you to free weekly meditation classes, retreats and guided retreat sessions, guided chanted meditations, your children can go to the childrens class for free and it’s free for all the one off special meditation courses, such as day courses (excluding empowerments).

dragden circleThe Teacher

The Foundation Programme is taught by Kelsang Dragden, the Resident Teacher at the Atisha Kadampa Buddhist Centre.
We are extremely fortunate to have Dragden teaching us here every week.
He is highly respected and recognised for his kind, warm, accommodating heart. Dragden gives profound and practical methods for us to overcome our daily problems permanently. Through applying these teachings we can arrive at a peaceful, happy state of mind, all of the time.

He has a wealth of teaching experience and brings with him boundless enthusiasm and energy, providing an inspiring example of a modern Buddhist practitioner.

Joyful Path of Good Fortune

This immensely practical book explains the complete Buddhist path to Enlightenment

A clear and comprehensive explanation of the entire path to enlightenment. We all have the potential for self-transformation, and a limitless capacity for the growth of good qualities, but to fulfil this potential we need to know what to do along every stage of our spiritual journey. With this book, Geshe Kelsang offers us step-by-step guidance on the meditation practices that will lead us to lasting inner peace and happiness. With extraordinary clarity, he presents all Buddha’s teachings in the order in which they are to be practised, enriching his explanation with stories and illuminating analogies. This is a perfect guidebook to the Buddhist path.

The Foundation Programme studies six books in rotation:

  • 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. By studying this book we have the opportunity to gain a realization of the ultimate nature of reality. By gaining this realization we can eliminate the ignorance of self-grasping, which is the root of all our suffering.
  • How to Understand the Mind – a detailed explanation of the mind based on the works of the Buddhist scholars Dharmakirti and Dignaga.