Learning Dharma means less ignorance and more wisdom. It means more light in your life, no darkness in your mind. It means more freedom in your life to achieve liberation from samsara and great enlightenment. The more you understand Dharma, the more you can benefit others. - Lama Zopa Rinpoche
twelve-subjectFPMT centersHomestudy and OnlineprogramSome of Tibetan Buddhism’s most treasured texts form the heart of the Basic Program. Je Tsongkhapa’s Middling Lam-Rim, Shantideva’s Bodhisattvacharyavatara, the Heart Sutra, Jetsun Chökyi Gyältsen’s Tenets, Maitreya’s Ornament and Tathagata Essence, the Wheel of Sharp Weapons and others guide the practitioner through a comprehensive study of sutra and tantra.Basic Program
The program is now offered in many FPMT centers around the world, and is also avaialble as an online study course.
FPMT Basic Program at Kopan
Learn all about transforming your mind from self centered to other-centered motivation. Be inspired to follow the perfect example of those who have made this transformation. Hear about the qualities of the enlightened mind, and how to attain these qualities in our own mind.
Kopan Monastery offers the program in the form of one or two modules every year, over a period of several years. Venerable Fedor Stracke, the resident teacher of the program, is skillfully presenting the content of each module. Quite often he translate directly from the root text to help claryfying difficult passages. Each module is be studied intensively one to two month, depending on the topic. The Basic program 'travels' well. Many FPMT centers worldwide now offer this program. As the module certificates are recognized everywhere it can be studied at different locations.
This year a 3-months Lam Rim Retreat is offered as part of the FPMT Basic program at Kopan. Check here for more information on this: FPMT Basic Program 2015
Ven. Fedor Strackehas been a Buddhist monk since 1988 and spent over fifteen years studying at Sera Je Monastic University and attending public teachings given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Since 1996, Ven. Fedor has been teaching in FPMT centers and has served as a Tibetan interpreter for various geshes. He currently is resident teacher at Aryatara Institute in Germany. He has been teaching the Basic program at Kopan now for 8 years. At the same time he is translating Gyaltsab Je's commentary toEngaging in the Bodhisattva's Deeds and Losang Chökyi Gyältsen's Wisdom Debating Ignorance.
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.
This is a great opportunity to study philosophy with a qualified teacher in a supportive and congenial environment. Extensive study material will be made available for the students.
Details of Content
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 knowledge 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 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. The subjects 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.
Weelly exams help to keep the stuents on track. These exams are compulsory. Attending the final exam for each module is highly recommended. 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 Basic Final Exam and will be able to train further to obtain a FPMT Basic program teacher's certificate.
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.
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. Depending on the modules, special restrictions may apply. Please check with us closer to the time.
This course is a full time study program and attendance at all sessions is required.
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 meditation sessions will provide an uninterrupted continuum of practice.
* 6.45 Morning meditation
* 7.30 am Breakfast
* 9.00 - 11 00 Teaching
* 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.