study programmes



The Amitabha Centre offers two study programmes for those who would like to extend their understanding of Buddhism and learn more about how to put Buddhist teachings into practice in their day-to-day lives:

foundation programme (FP)

Weekly classes are held in Whanganui and Palmerston North, and these are also available for home study for those who cannot make the face-to-face sessions.

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. The teachings themselves are drawn from a series of books by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and are geared to cover the breadth of Buddha’s teachings.

As part of the programme you need to be able to commit to regular class attendance classes (i.e. it is not a ‘drop-in’ programme), and undertake some reading and study during the week between classes.

teacher training programme (TTP)

The teacher training programme is offered in conjunction with the foundation programme and is offered in Palmerston North and Whanganui, and to those who are studying at a distance. In addition to undertaking the foundation programme, students are expected to attend four weekend retreats during the year, as well as attend four 'teaching skills' sessions during the year. These will be held at the Amitabha Centre in Palmerston North

Both programmes are taught by our resident teacher Gen Kelsang Demo. She is a Buddhist nun and experienced teacher with a real commitment to supporting her students' learning and progress.

 who can enrol?

Anyone is welcome to join the programmes, but we normally recommend that you have tried our drop-in classes first. You can join the programmes at any time.

You are also welcome to try out two free 'taster’ Foundation Programme sessions before deciding if you want to enrol. Please contact Gen Demo know if you would like to come along.

class times

  • Palmerston North: Tuesday evenings, 6.30 - 9.00 pm
  • Whanganui: Thursday evenings, 7.45 - 9.15 pm. & Friday mornings, 6.00 - 7.00 am.
  • Teacher training retreats: Four weekends (Saturday morning - Sunday afternoon) during the year
  • Teacher training - Skills: Four sunday afternoons during the year

(please see Foundation Programme &/or Teacher training programme for specific dates for 2015)


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 Amitabha Buddhist Centre Reference Library and gompa at any time.

more information

For more information about class content, dates and times please see Foundation Programmes and/or Teacher Training Programme.

Please contact Gen Demo on 06 355 3524 or email  if you are interested in joining, or have any questions about these programmes.