The MPOL makes use of the latest online educational tools available, in an e-learning environment. In addition to the written course materials and texts, students will have access to audio recordings of the teachings, review classes in audio or video format, supervised forums, online quizzes and exams, and other tools to facilitate their learning.
The on-line program runs parallel to the residential program and is offered in both English and Italian. Online students are supported in their studies by a qualified teaching assistant.
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.
- Ornament for Clear Realization (Abhisamayalamkara)
- Supplement to the ‘Middle Way’ (Madhyamakavatara)
- Treasury of Manifest Knowledge (Abhidharmakosha) and Commentary on Valid Cognition (Pramanavarttika)
- Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra
- The Two Stages of Guhyasamaja Tantra
Applications for the next subject of the Masters Program:
Treasury of Manifest Knowledge (Abhidharmakosha) and Commentary on Valid Cognition (Pramanavarttika) (January 2019—December 2019) will be accepted until January 1, 2019
The fourth Master Program will begin September 2022!
Ornament for Clear Realization (Abhisamayalamkara)
April 2015—March 2017
Maitreya’s root text presents the stages of clear realization gained on the various spiritual grounds and paths of hearers, solitary realizers, and bodhisattvas that lead to the attainment of omniscience, as well as detailed explanations of fundamental Buddhist topics such as bodhichitta, the Three Jewels, the two truths, the four noble truths, and the four Buddha bodies.
- Ornament for Clear Realization by Maitreya
- The Commentary: Clear Meaning by Haribhadra
- The Explanation: Ornament of the Essence by Gyeltsab Je
Supplement to the ‘Middle Way’ (Madhyamakavatara)
April 2017—December 2018
Chandrakirti’s treatise extensively presents the ten perfections, with specific emphasis on the perfection of wisdom and the many reasonings of the Consequentialist (Prasangika) school for understanding emptiness, as well as other Buddhist and non-Buddhist schools of thought.
- Supplement to the ‘Middle Way’ by Chandrakirti
- Explanation of the ‘Supplement to the “Middle Way”’ by Chandrakirti
- Illumination of the Thought: An Extensive Explanation of Chandrakirti’s “Supplement to the ‘Middle Way’” by Lama Tsongkhapa
Treasury of Manifest Knowledge (Abhidharmakosha) and Commentary on Valid Cognition (Pramanavarttika)
January 2019—December 2019
Dharmakirti’s Commentary on Valid Cognition is a fundamental treatise on Buddhist logic and epistemology, presenting the reasons that prove the possibility of past and future lives, liberation, buddhahood, and so forth through “valid cognition” (pramana). Vasubandhu’s Treasury of Manifest Knowledge is a vast description of the outer and inner world according to Buddhism—the various types of migrating beings and realms and their causes, actions and afflictions, minds and mental factors, and the spiritual paths and persons who traverse them.
The teachings on Valid Cognition will focus on logical inference and the establishment of valid authority, while the teachings on the Treasury will focus mainly on the chapters presenting actions (karma) and afflictions.
- Treasury of Manifest Knowledge by Vasubandhu
- Clarifying the Path to Liberation: An Explanation of the ‘Treasury of Manifest Knowledge’ by Gedun Drub, the First Dalai Lama
- Commentary on Valid Cognition by Dharmakirti
- Elucidating the Path to Liberation According to the Pramanavarttika by Gyeltsab Je
Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra
January 2020—June 2020
Students will study commentaries including Ngawang Palden’s Illumination of the Texts of Tantra to get an overview of the essential points of the four classes of tantra, with particular emphasis on the spiritual grounds and paths of highest yoga tantra.
- Illumination of the Tantric Tradition: The Principles of the Grounds and Paths of the Four Great Secret Classes of Tantra by Choje Ngawang Palden
- Great Exposition of the Stages of Mantra by Lama Tsongkhapa
The Two Stages of Guhyasamaja Tantra
September 2020—June 2021
The class will focus on in-depth analysis of the generation and completion stages of highest yoga tantra, based on the Guhyasamaja Tantra, using commentaries such as Lama Tsongkhapa’s Lamp to Illuminate the Five Stages.
- A Lamp to Illuminate the Five Stages: Core Teachings on the Glorious Guhyasamāja, King of Tantras by Lama Tsongkhapa
- A Guide to the Generation Stage Path of Guhyasamaja Called “Sacred Words of Akshobhya” by Aku Sherab Gyatso
- A Memorandum to the Expository Commentary on the Five Stages of the Completion Stage of Glorious Guhyasamaja Called “Nectar
- From the Mouth of Akshobhya” by Aku Sherab Gyatso
- Self-generation Rite of the Glorious Secret Assembly, The King of Tantras: Arranged for Convenient Recitation in Accordance with the
- Oral Tradition of the Jang Tse College of Ganden
After the conclusion of the studies, there will be a three-month review period and final exam.
In each calendar year, Masters Program classes are suspended two months for summer vacation (from the end of June until the beginning of September) and one month at Christmas (from mid-December until mid-January), with a study-break of one week immediately following the Easter weekend. A two-week lam rim retreat will be scheduled each year from mid-January to the beginning of February. In addition, classes stop for a few days around the Tibetan new year (Losar), which falls in February or March. Resident students are welcome to remain at the Institute during these breaks, whereas the student housing rates do not apply during the summer months.
Teachings with the principal teacher will be held five days a week, from Monday to Friday. The schedule for review classes, discussion groups, and group meditations will be decided in conjunction with the MP staff.
Geshe Jampa Gelek
Geshe Jampa Gelek was born in 1966 in the eastern region of Kham, Tibet. He decided to become a monk early in life. At the age of 16 he left Lhasa, due to the Chinese invasion (1959) and went to India. He studied at Sera Je Monastic University, where, at a very early age of 19, he became a fully ordained monk. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Choden Rinpoche are his main teachers. In 1999, being awarded the title of Lharampa Geshe, he continued his education with the study of tantra, qualifying him to give empowerments and commentaries. Since 2012, together with Geshe Tenzin Tenphel, he is resident teacher at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute.
Geshe Gelek teaches the Masters Program in a very dedicated and enthusiastic manner, sharing his amazing vast and profound knowledge with us.
From Tibetan into English
Ven. Tenzin Sangmo
After ordaining at Chenrezig institute, Australia, at age eighteen, she went to India to pursue her goal of becoming a Tibetan-English interpreter and translator. Understanding that language skills alone were not sufficient, she entered the traditional geshe studies program at Drolmaling Nunnery Dharamsala, India, and then later moved to Kopan Nunnery, Nepal, to continue the geshe studies there.
She has an excellent grasp of spoken and classical Tibetan from nine years of traditional training in the geshe studies program. She has complemented and strengthened her studies with professional training in interpretation, and a further acquisition of classical Sanskrit. She has since gained experience through interpretation for Chenrezig Institute’s Basic Program, conference interpretation, extensive written translations, and editing projects.
MP Teaching Assistant
Sze Gee Toh
She was a college Mathematics teacher before embarking on studies in the Masters Program in 1998. Since graduating with high honors, she has been working for various organizations in Asia, Europe, and America. She enjoys sharing the precious Dharma through her tutoring and translation work.
Sze Gee is since September 2017 our resident teacher assistant through Skype.
Christian Steinert, English Online Tutor:
Christian Steinert (born 1978 in Dresden, Germany) is a dharma practitioner since 2002.
When he came in contact with Buddhism he quickly developed an interest to get a better unterstanding of the Buddhist teachings and a strong interest in philosophical studies.
He studied a 5-year online program in German language called „Systematic Studies of Buddhism“ at the Tibetan Center Jangchub Chöling in Hamburg. Furthermore he also has been studying with Dr. Alexander Berzin and doing translations for him for several years and participated in various courses with Geshe Tenpha Chöphel und Geshe Rigdzin Gyaltsen in Berlin. From 2009 until 2013 he participated in the second round of the FPMT Master Program, starting his studies with the Madhyamaka subject. Since May 2015 he is the online tutor who supports the English correspondence students of the third Masters Program.
Christian combines his background of dharma studies with scientific interest and his technical background as a software developer. He has great interest in Madhyamaka philosophy and the presentation of the different philosophical systems.
Monks and nuns are offered the Online Program free of charge as long as they participate fully in all aspects of the program, such as forums and quizzes, and write all exams.
While classes officially take place nine months a year, costs for the Online Program have been calculated taking into account the breaks for the Tibetan New Year (Losar), Easter, and Christmas, as well as the annual two-week retreats that take place during the residential Masters Program. The monthly tuition fee covers the cost of the services and support provided by the Online Program. Home study students are welcome to join the Online Program either for the entire period of six years or for one or more of the individual subjects. Applications can be submitted up to one month prior to the beginning of each new subject.
Applications for the Masters Program 2015 has been accepted beginning August 10, 2014.
Applications to the individual modules of the Masters Program Online can be submitted up to ten days before the module begins.
To apply to join one or more modules of the Masters Program Online, please fill in and submit the application form below.
If you are accepted into the program, we will contact you via e-mail with more details about the structure of the course and the modalities of payment as well as the deadline for the initial payment. Please do not submit payment prior to being accepted into the program.
Upon receipt of payment for either the first month of the subject or the entire subject, you will be given a password that allows access to the On-line Program website.
Application packets for enrollment in the Masters Program must include the following:
- Application Form: fill in and submit the form below
- One reference letter: from a recognized and qualified Dharma teacher
- Resume (CV) of education and work experience
- Brief summary of your Dharma experience: this should include information on how and when you fulfilled the prerequisites and requirements listed in the section “admission requirements.”
- Statement of purpose: a short essay (500 – 1000 words) stating your motivation for wishing to enroll in the Masters Program online and explaining how this program suits you.
Upon completion, application packets can be sent by email to:
Please send all the requested documents together as attachments in one e-mail, not as text copied into the body of the message. The documents need to be named as above, with your name and last name in the title. For example: “statementofpurpose_Jane_Doe.doc”
Once all your materials have been received, you will be contacted with further information regarding your application.
Given the advanced nature of these studies, online students should expect to commit a substantial amount of time each week in order to reach a good level of understanding of the material.
Students who successfully complete the requirements for the individual subjects will be issued a Home Study Completion Card by the FPMT Education Department
Students who successfully complete all five subjects, pass the final comprehensive exam, and complete a final one-month retreat will qualify to receive the FPMT Masters Program Home Study Completion Certificate
Applications for admission to the Masters Program On-line can be submitted up to one month prior to the beginning of each new subject.
For more information about the Masters Program, please contact:
office telephone: (+39) 050-685009, ext. 1