Foundation Programme – Sunday

Day and Time:
Sunday mornings: 10am - 12noon

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

Enjoy an incredible structured class to deepen our knowledge and experience of the teachings through a specially designed study programme.
If you would like to sample this Foundation Programme (FP) you can come along to a free taster session.
You can join at any time. To find out more please get in touch:

You are welcome to attend any of the classes during this time, or we can send you the recordings.

Class Dates:

January 10 – quiz

January 17 – Start new book

January 24

January 31

February 7

February 14 – with Discussion

February 21

February 28

March 7

March 14

March 21 – with Discussion

Easter break

April 11

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

or phone: 01325 365265

Everyone is welcome to try a free taster session.

What happens at a class?

in a meditation class discussionThe class begins with beautiful prayers and a guided meditation. The teacher then reads from the book while explaining in detail how to apply the instructions to solve our everyday problems. Afterwards the students divide into pairs to discuss the section. The teacher and students then conclude by deciding together what to meditate on in the next class and how to practice what has been learnt 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 means you can come to any weekly meditation classes for free. Retreats and guided retreat sessions, guided chanted meditations are all free to members, and your children can go to the childrens class for free. Plus 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.

The New Eight Steps to Happiness

An in-depth and practical explanation of one of Buddhism's best-loved teachings, Eight Verses of Training the Mind, by the great Tibetan Bodhisattva, Langri Tangpa. Clear methods are simply presented for transforming all life's difficulties into valuable spiritual insights, for improving our relationships, and for bringing greater patience, empathy and compassion into our daily life. For centuries, these methods have brought lasting peace, inspiration and serenity to countless people in the East. Now, with this book, Geshe Kelsang shares the immeasurably rich insight of this ancient wisdom to help us find greater happiness and meaning in our busy, modern lives.

This is an excellent book to go through if you are new to the Foundation Programme and want something a bit more than the regular evening classes.

Atisha Kadampa Meditation CentreThe 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.