- Attend our meditation classes and other programs for a period of time, usually for several months, to be sure that they are comfortable with our teachings and tradition.
- Join the Foundation Program (FP), which is a systematic study of commentaries to Buddha’s Sutra teachings. This requires a brief meeting with the Teacher prior to attending and meets on Sunday evenings.
- Participate in the Foundation Program consistently for a period of time (typically a year or more). Students on FP can speak to the Teacher about changing to Teachers Training Program. TTP requires extensive study of even more commentaries to Buddha’s Sutra and Tantra teachings. TTP students are required to observe certain commitments with regard to behavior and way of life, to complete a number of meditation retreats, and to receive the Highest Yoga Tantra Empowerments through our tradition. The books studied in Foundation Program are part of the preparation for the Teacher Training Program.
The Teacher Training Program is taught by Gen Kelsang Chogden, the Resident Teacher at the Kadampa Meditation Center Maryland.
What is the structure?
Students sign up to complete all the books and undertake to attend every class, to learn the material, and to take a test at the conclusion of each book. Class meets twice each week on Mondays and Wednesdays @ 7-9pm. If for a suitable reason a student is not able to attend the class in person, he or she is expected to listen to the class recording and submit a summary. There is also a commitment to participate in at least one chanted prayer session at the Center per week. Generally the students take turns putting up the shrine offerings, setting up the meditation room etc. on the day of their class. In this way we learn about the rituals associated with Buddhist practice.
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?
The cost is $75 a month to become a monthly member which also includes weekly meditation Classes at the Center and branches, weekend events and retreats at the Center.
We are studying the book, Meaningful to Behold, by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.
Meaningful to Behold is a highly acclaimed commentary to the great Indian Buddhist Master Shantideva’s famous spiritual poem Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, one of the best loved and most important Mahayana Buddhist texts. It reveals with poetic beauty and deep spiritual insight how to enter, make progress on, and complete the Buddhist path to enlightenment.
To find out more about the Teacher Training Program and how you can join, contact at epc@meditationMD.org.