foundation programme

The Foundation Programme (FP) provides the opportunity to study Buddha’s teachings in greater depth. It is perfect for those who want to extend their understanding of Buddhism, and learn more about how to put these teachings into practice in their day-to-day lives.

The emphasis is on developing and maintaining a light and positive approach to dealing with the challenges of everyday life. At the same time, the programme helps us make progress on a spiritual path which leads to more profound wisdom and lasting peace and happiness.

Classes include preparatory prayers, guided meditations, teaching and discussion.

Anyone is welcome to join the programme, but we generally recommend that you try the drop-in class programme first. You can also join the programme at any time during the year. To participate you need to be able to commit to regular class attendance (i.e.: it is not a 'drop-in' programme). You are welcome to try out two 'taster' classes before deciding if you want to enrol.

The programme uses a series of books by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, to explore key Buddhist teachings in depth, and is geared to cover the breadth of Buddha’s teachings over time.

Meaningful to Behold is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's commentary on  Shantideva's poem Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life. The poem, composed in the eighth century, is one of the great works of Buddhist literature, and has inspired both Buddhists and non-Buddhists with its insight and beauty.

Shantideva shows us how to transcend our self-centred view of the world, and begin to develop the limitless compassion of the Bodhisattva, whose main concern in life is to benefit others. As it says on the cover of the book: 'How to enjoy a life of great meaning and altruism' - and the poem really is a 'how-to' guide to life, with really practical advice, as well as profound spiritual wisdom.

Meaningful to Behold helps us explore the poem in greater depth, drawing out its relevance to life in the modern world in general, and going deeper in terms of encouraging us to work out how we can take Buddha's advice and apply it to our own individual context so that our lives become infinitely more meaningful, and we become the very best that we can be.

This promises to be a challenging, practical, enjoyable and really worthwhile study project! If you are thinking of joining the class, just chat to Birgit if you would like more information.


where, when, how?

Palmerston North

  • Amitabha Kadampa Buddhist Centre, 174 Albert St.
  • Tuesday evenings from 6.30- 9.00pm

Distance study

If you are not able to get into Palmerston North to participate in the foundation programme, it is possible to engage in distance study. Recordings of classes are made, and then these are made available to you on-line.


There is a standard fee of $75 /month (a lower rate is available if you are unemployed or unable to afford this amount). This covers attendance at FP, 'drop-in', and half-day courses, as well as reduced costs for weekend courses. You are also able to use the Palmerston North library and the gompa at any time.

More information

Please contact Birgit on 06 355 3524 or email  if you are interested in joining, or have any questions about this programme.