Masters Program in Buddhist Studies

NEW MASTERS PROGRAM IN BUDDHIST STUDIES OF SUTRA AND TANTRA BEGINNING IN MARCH 2015

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A rare opportunity to:

  • immerse yourself in an intensive, six-year program of study and practice in the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

  • engage in comprehensive study of the great texts of the Nalanda Tradition with qualified Tibetan teachers and Western tutors

  • integrate study and meditative practice through regular lam rim retreats

  • experience a combined approach to Dharma emphasizing study, practice, and service

  • learn to read texts in Tibetan

  • receive teachings, empowerments, and commentaries from eminent visiting lamas

  • engage with prominent Buddhist scholars and academics

ABOUT THE MASTERS PROGRAM

In March 2015, the next FPMT Masters Program in Buddhist Studies of Sutra and Tantra will commence at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa. The Masters Program is an intensive Mahayana Buddhist residential education program inspired by the geshe studies programs in traditional Gelug monastic universities. Taught by fully qualified Tibetan geshes who are assisted by highly experienced staff, the program offers in-depth study of the great Buddhist philosophical texts, with integration through review, debate, and academic work, as well as extensive contemplative training and retreat experience, providing a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of sutra and tantra. It is a rigorous yet uniquely inspiring and fulfilling way for both ordained and lay Buddhists to learn and practice the Dharma.

As the culmination of the FPMT's Buddhist education programs, in addition to offering students a profound deepening of their Dharma understanding and practice, giving the opportunity to transform the mind and develop inner qualities, the Masters Program serves to train qualified FPMT teachers with good Dharma communication skills.

COURSE FORMAT AND STRUCTURE

The full-time residential program will consist of just over six years of study (nine months per year) and a total of one year of retreat after the conclusion of the studies. The study portion of the program will conclude in mid-2021. 

In addition to teachings with the geshes, students will be supported by review classes with tutors, in which they will deepen their understanding through debate and discussion of the material. Students’ progress is measured by a combination of written and oral exams, research projects, and presentations, and they will also receive instruction in meditation and develop the skills to guide meditations and lead retreats.

Students will also have opportunities to study the classical Tibetan language as well as to participate in seminars by visiting Western Buddhist scholars and academics. Talks by practitioners with extensive retreat experience will also be arranged in order to provide guidance and support for contemplative practice.

INTEGRATION OF STUDY AND PRACTICE

To provide opportunities for integrating the teachings into practice and for students to acquire retreat experience in preparation for the final one-year retreat, students will have regular opportunities to engage in lam rim retreats during the program at the end of each of the principal subjects. They will also be required to participate in regular meditation sessions during the week, and will receive instruction in leading meditations for others.

STUDY THE MASTERS PROGRAM ONLINE

The Masters Program Online (MPOL) offers the opportunity to study the MP to those who are unable to join the residential program, making use of the latest online educational tools available, in an e-learning environment.

CURRICULUM 

Students will study five principal subjects, receiving teachings on and oral transmissions of the main texts and their principal Gelug commentaries from geshes who are qualified lineage-holders. When time permits, the teachers may supplement the teachings with additional texts and commentaries as they see appropriate.

  1. Ornament for Clear Realization (Abhisamayalamkara)
  2. Supplement to the 'Middle Way' (Madhyamakavatara)
  3. Commentary on Valid Cognition (Pramanavarttika) and Treasury of Manifest Knowledge (Abhidharmakosha)
  4. Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra
  5. The Two Stages of Guhyasamaja Tantra