About Samsara and Nirvana
About the 'Discovering Buddhism' Course
Discovering Buddhism is a foundational course on Buddhist philosophy and practice, drawn from the teachings of the great Tibetan master, Lama Tsong Khapa.
The methods and teachings found in this program reflect the unique teaching styles of two contemporary Tibetan masters, Lama Thupten Yeshe (1935-84) and Lama Zopa Rinpoche (1945 – present). The course is not just theoretical but experiential, aimed at helping students “taste the chocolate” of the Buddha’s words.
The structure of the course has been planned and written by experienced teachers at FPMT’s education department in the US, under the guidance of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the spiritual head of FPMT.
Discovering Buddhism is a good course for students who may be completely new to Buddhism, as well as those who may have done some study and had some experience of meditation and would like to go deeper and know more about Buddhist philosophy and practice.
For those planning further studies in the future, Discovering Buddhism provides a firm foundation for more advanced courses such as Exploring Buddhism, and the FPMT Basic Program.
At Vajrayana Institute, most of the 14 DB modules are taught over a period of four weekly classes, taking around 18 months to complete the full course. Ideally, students start with the first module and progress to the last. However, the modules do not need to be completed in the order they are presented or within any set time frame. Students can enrol in any module at any time. The fourteenth module, “Special Integration Experiences”, involves a retreat and will not be taught. More information on this module can be found at fpmt.org.
In 2023, Discovering Buddhism will be taught online only, via Zoom, with digital copies of materials provided to students for each module. The materials include extracts of teachings given on the topic by great masters such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, as well as weekly notes summarising the main points of each weekly teaching. There is time for discussion online and questions and answers are provided.