Foundation Program

Join us as we start Chapter 4 of Meaningful to Behold on September 19th


with Resident Teacher Kadam Michelle Gauthier
Tuesdays 6:30pm – 8:30pm and once a month on Sunday 11:45am-3:30pm

The Foundation Program is a study program for those who wish to study Buddhism in a more in-depth and structured way.

We are studying Meaningful to Behold by Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Many people have the compassionate wish to benefit others, but few understand how to accomplish this successfully in daily life. Bodhisattvas are friends of the world who have such strong compassion that they are able to transform all their daily activities into ways of benefiting others. The path of the Bodhisattva was exquisitely explained in the universally loved poem Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life by the 8th century master Shantideva. With this commentary, the full effectiveness and profundity of this wonderful poem are revealed in full and made applicable for our time. This practical handbook is essential for those wishing to follow a way of life characterized by greater empathy and compassion for others.

Class Format: Each class includes prayers, meditation, teaching and paired discussion. Classes meet on Tuesdays 6:30pm – 8:30pm and once a month on Sunday 11:45am-3:30pm . Current class schedule.

 You are welcome to attend two classes before committing to join. Each trial class is $10. As a FP Student, you will be able to attend all General Program Classes at the center, Branch Classes, Introductory Workshops,  and weekend retreats free of charge. You will also be able to receive other discounts for Weekend Day Courses, Visiting Teacher Public Talks and Empowerments.

 What is Foundation Program?

The Foundation Program is a unique structured study program that enables us to gain an experience of Buddhist teachings with a deeper understanding and to develop a regular meditation practice. It is ideal for those who have an introductory understanding of Buddhism and who wish to learn more. We meet each week during term times, and have regular term breaks and a longer break in the summer. Students are requested to enroll for a section of the text and commit to attend all the classes, as well as try to go to a puja (chanted meditation) and General Program class.

Read a transcript of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s  teaching on the Foundation Program here:  Geshe Kelsang’s Foundation Program Transcript

Benefits of Foundation Program

Through regular teachings, meditation, systematic study and group discussion, the Foundation Program offers deep support for your spiritual life. In essence, it is the same training followed by spiritual practitioners in an unbroken lineage dating back to Buddha Shakyamuni. Its special quality is that we can gain authentic experience without abandoning our modern lifestyle. By studying on this program we will gain great confidence in meditation – from basic techniques for overcoming our everyday problems, to practices leading to unsurpassed happiness and permanent inner peace.

Joining the Foundation Program

The fee for Foundation Program is $65 per month, which includes membership for all Foundation classes, general program classes at the temple and our branch locations, and a discounted rate for workshops, retreats and some special events. Kadampa Meditation Center Phoenix is a registered not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to benefiting the general public through our International Temples Project. Foundation Program membership is fully tax deductible.

You are welcome to attend two classes before committing to join. Each trial class is $10. To find out more about the Foundation Program classes at KMC Phoenix, to arrange to observe a class, or to join, please  email Michelle Bales, the Foundation Program Coordinator, at or call (602)243-5220.

The Texts

The Foundation Program is for those who wish to deepen their understanding and experience of Buddhism by engaging in the systematic study of six essential Buddhist text.


Joyful Path of Good Fortune – A commentary to Atisha’s Lamrim instructions, The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. By studying Joyful Path, we gain the ability to put all Buddha’s teachings of both Sutra and Tantra into practice. We can easily make progress and complete the stages of the path to the supreme happiness of enlightenment. From a practical point of view, Lamrim is the main body of Buddha’s teachings, and the other teachings are like the limbs.

universal compassion
Universal Compassion – A commentary to Bodhisattva Chekhawa’s Training the Mind in Seven Points. By studying Universal Compassion, we gain the ability to integrate Buddha’s teachings into our daily lives and solve all our human problems.

The New Heart of Wisdom
– A commentary to the Heart Sutra. Through studying Heart of Wisdom, we 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.


meaningfulMeaningful to Behold – A commentary to Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. When we study Meaningful to Behold, we learn how to transform our daily activities into the Bodhisattva’s way of life, thereby making every moment of our human life meaningful.

How to Understand the Mind
– A detailed explanation of the mind, based on the works of the Buddhist scholars Dharmakirti and Dignaga. By studying Understanding the Mind, we understand the relationship between our mind and its external objects. If we understand that objects depend upon the subjective mind, we can change the way objects appear to us by changing our own mind. Gradually, we shall gain the ability to control our mind and in this way, solve all our problems.

8 stepsEight Steps to Happiness
– A commentary to eight beautiful verses that comprise one of Buddhism’s best-loved and most enduring teachings, Eight Verses of Training the Mind. Composed by the great Tibetan Bodhisattva, Langri Tangpa, this short poem shows how we can transform all life’s difficulties into valuable spiritual insights.

FP Student Corner

Summary form for missed classes.
Current class schedule.