Exploring Buddhism

An Intermediate Course taught by Geshe Namdak and Geshe Losel

From 2nd May 2024 - July 24th 2025

Programme d'études

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Open Day | 2 March 2024. Save the date!

We will host an online Open Day on the afternoon of 2 March 2024 together with Jamyang London, where you will be able to ask your questions about the course to Geshe Namdak and the team.

In case of urgent questions, please contact spc@nalanda-monastery.eu

Exploring Buddhism is the newest long-term course offered by FPMT, co-developed by senior FPMT teachers, including Geshe Namdak, Geshe Legtsok and Venerable Joan Nicell.

It was conceived as a bridge between the foundation-level Discovering Buddhism and the FPMT Études approfondies (PEBA). The course presents selected topics that provide a strong basis for more advanced study. 

The teachings take place once a week and is intended for those with a strong interest to study Buddhism with qualified teachers but have busy schedules. It gives the opportunity to strengthen your foundational knowledge while not demanding daily engagement in studies.

In collaboration with Jamyang London Buddhist CentreMaitreya Institute Amsterdam et de Nagarjuna Buddhist Centre Madrid. Nalanda monastery is offering this course mainly for online students.

 

 

Exploring Buddhism has been piloted at several FPMT centres around the world. The first cycle included 8 modules and was as a comprehensive course for students without background knowledge of Buddhism.

In this new cycle, we will focus specifically on the four topics which act as a bridge between Discovering Buddhism and Études approfondies (PEBA), so it will be assumed that students are acquainted with the Buddhist views and path, especially of the Lam Rim.

The course is a collaboration between several FPMT centres, and has been spearheaded by Jamyang London Buddhist Centre and its residential teacher, Geshe Namdak.

Geshe Tenzin Namdak

After completing his university studies in Hydrology, Geshe Namdak worked as an environmental researcher in the Netherlands. He was eventually ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama before completing the 20-year Geshe degree at Sera Jey Monastic University in India, as well as the traditional 1-year Vajrayana study program at Gyume Tantric College

Geshe Namdak‘s incorporates his knowledge of science into his teaching, with a clear, warm and humorous style. Geshe Namdak is currently resident teacher at Jamyang London Buddhist Centre.

 

Guéshé Tenzin Losel Geshe Losel is a graduate of the Institute of Dialectics in Dharamsala, India and studied there under the famous scholar Gen Lobsang Gyatso. 

As a British monk, Geshe Losel is one of very few Westerners who have gone through the long and rigorous Tibetan Geshe studies, a degree which he received from Drepung Loseling Monastic College. Geshe-la is learned in the texts, is a skilled translator and teacher, and has the ability to convey the subtleties of Buddhist thought in lucid English. 

Since many years, he is a residential teacher at Monastère Nalanda, where he has taught courses in the Lam Rim, debate and Vinaya as well as engaged in translation projects.

Le Exploring Buddhism Modules

The complete program is divided into two sections, with four modules each. 

Section One: Exploring the Mind and Philosophy
1. Exploring the Mind
2. Exploring the View, Tenets and the Middle Way
3. Exploring the Fundamentals of Reasoning and Debate
4. Exploring the Sutra Grounds and Paths

  • Exploring the Mind presents the mind or consciousness, our principal means for knowing reality, with its nature, functions and divisions along with mental factors that positively or negatively impact its operation. 

  • This is followed by Exploring the View, Tenets and the Middle Way that teaches the right views we need to know and realize with our mind to bring about transformation by uprooting successively more subtle levels of ignorance that are the roots of suffering. In particular, we examine the various aspects of the tenet systems of the main schools of Buddhist philosophy, culminating in the Middle Way view, which clarifies the deepest meaning of emptiness.

  • The tools we apply for gaining such realizations are presented in Exploring the Fundamentals of Reasoning and Debate. Here, the methods of debate, reasoning, and logical analysis found in traditional Buddhist texts are explained.

  •  The module Exploring the Sutra Grounds and Paths rounds up the philosophical aspect of the program with a presentation of the path for mental development on the way to liberation and enlightenment.

Section Two: Exploring Meditation and Practice
1. Exploring Meditation
2. Exploring the Path
3. Exploring Mind Training
4. Exploring the Conditions for Realizations

  • It starts with Exploring Meditation for us to gain confidence integrating intellectual understanding into the fabric of our being by generating more focused levels of awareness immersed in the Dharma. To proceed on the stages of the path to enlightenment, it is also important to have a good roadmap. 

  • Exploring the Path allows us to get an overview of all topics of contemplation for the entire spiritual journey.

  • Then, in order to develop our full potential, we need to apply the teachings of mind training that convert all experiences, especially hardships, into fuel for path. Exploring Mind Training will explain these invaluable topics. 

  • As a support for developing realizations, it is also essential to engage in prayers and practices that purify negative karma and accumulate vast stores of merit. This is emphasized in the traditional preliminary practices beginning with relying on a teacher, going for refuge and generating altruistic motivation, prostrations, mandala offerings, purifying with the Vajrasattva mantra and others. Clear instructions for doing these practices in the correct and most powerful ways are presented in Exploring the Conditions for Realizations.

Here is a tentative schedule:

Download it here: EB 24 Schedule for Naland

Good to know:

  • Classes will take place on Thursday evenings, while there will be a review class one Saturday a month, provided by FPMT Basic Program graduates at Nalanda Monastery.
  • You’ll access recordings of classes and materials through the online learning platform made available by Jamyang London Buddhist Centre.
  • You’ll learn through a combination of classes, review sessions and discussion sessions.
  • Official course certification from FPMT is available.
  • You will be part of a supportive online community of fellow student-practitioners.
  • Access to the course materials will be available to students for 1 year after the end of the course.
  • français translation will be available for all aspects of the course.

Since this course builds on Discovering Buddhism, it’s desirable for students to have completed that course, or at least to be familiar with the Lam Rim teachings.

As a preparation for the course, you might be interested in the recordings of Nalanda’s Two-year Lam Rim Course or of Jamyang London’s cycle of Discovering Buddhism

Exploring Buddhism is based on Jamyang London Buddhist Centre’s Generosity Model, which means that nobody is turned away due to lack of funds. Everyone are welcome to enrol, regardless of financial circumstances.

You enrol via Jamyang London Buddhist Centre: https://jamyang.co.uk/exploring-buddhism-2

Open Day | 2 March 2024. Save the date!

Jamyang London Buddhist Centre will host an online Open Day on the afternoon of 2 March 2024, where you will be able to ask your questions about the course to Geshe Namdak and the team.

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➡️ Friends of Nalanda (Netherlands) – tax deductible donations.