The Buddhist Studies Programme at Chenrezig Institute (Sunshine Coast Queensland) offers intensive study of subjects of the FPMT Basic Programme during full time 4-8 week semesters. During the first and second rounds, these teachings were given by a highly qualified and very experienced Lharumpa Geshe, Geshe Tashi Tsering, assisted by excellent tutors and various senior students. During the third round, Geshe Tashi Tsering was called on to take up an important position at a monastery in India and this role passed to another highly qualified Lharumpa Geshe Geshe Lobsang Jamyang.
With many students studying these subjects for the second time during the second round of the 5 year programme, we have been able to compile reliable homestudy packages for these subjects. For the use of students who wish to study these subjects well but are unable to attend in person at the centre, these packages contain materials from the second round of teachings - Geshe Tashi Tsering’s audio teachings (translated into English by his excellent interpreter, Ven Lozang Zopa), edited transcripts of these teachings, revision questions, tests and answer sheets, as well as additional materials which include charts and other commentaries helpful to the study.
Students are recommended to purchase both the audio and written materials in one of the forms presented on the registration form (on CD or DVD and/or printed out). They should then listen to the teachings directly, study them through the written edited transcripts, revise them using the revision questions and other materials and even test themselves at the end of each week's work. Some students may wish to receive certificates of completion of these homestudy packages and to do so must complete all the tests and return them to the programme coordinator.
There is no time limit for students to complete the packages. They may take as much time as they need to fully understand the sometimes complex material.
In most cases texts to be studied are provided along with the written materials. When this is not the case it is clearly indicated and texts can be purchased at a discount (10%) from the Chenrezig Bookshop.
In general extra readings are not necessary to the study of these subjects but in some cases some books and/or other commentaries may be recommended. These are usually available through the Chenrezig Institute book shop and often may be borrowed from the Chenrezig Institute library. Homestudy students are also encouraged to attend casually at the centre as they are able, especially when the subjects they are studying are being offered. The daily course fee rate is reduced by 50% in this case.
Although students may purchase any of the courses offered (unless a tantric initiation is required), it is recommended that they start with one of the following:
The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life – the foundation of our Mahayana motivation and the basis for all our study and practice
Buddhist Tenets – the views of the different schools of Buddhism – on which many of the philosophical teachings are based
Lam Rim Chen Mo – and extensive study of the entire graduated path to enlightenment.
We also offer, as an introductory package, the materials from our 2007 January Lam Rim Retreat course. This 10 day retreat course (20 teachings in all) was the final one taught by Geshe Tashi Tsering with his excellent interpreter Ven Lozang Zopa and is a wonderful, less extensive, overview of the Graduated Path to Enlightenment. Ask the coordinator for details of this package.We also offer, as an introductory package, the materials from our 2007 January Lam Rim Retreat course. This 10 day retreat course (20 teachings in all) was the final one taught by Geshe Tashi Tsering with his excellent interpreter Ven Lozang Zopa and is a wonderful, less extensive, overview of the Graduated Path to Enlightenment. Ask the coordinator for details of this package.
Senior students from the programme have made themselves available where possible to support home students in their study. This will be done through email or written questions only at this stage.
Note: all audio files are in MP3 format. These files may be played on a computer, a DVD player, MP3 players and some CD players. Transcripts and other documents are in MSWORD or PDF format. If neither of these formats is suitable, please contact the programme coordinator for further advice.
All prices quoted on the registration form refer to the cost for lay students only. Ordained Sangha are offered these packages and all our study materials at the very reduced price of $5 per CD or $7 per DVD plus postage. Discounts are also available for multiple orders and in cases of financial difficulty.
For further information, to place orders for any of our homestudy packages, or to be included on an email list in order to receive further updates, please contact the BSP Coordinator (Kathy Vichta) on or through the Chenrezig Institute Reception Office (P.O. Box 41 Eudlo Qld 4554 OR (07) 5453 2108)
Orders should be made on the Homestudy Registration form and contain full name and address, acknowledgement that you have received the appropriate initiation if necessary and credit card details. The order will then be prepared and posted and the final amount (including postage) deducted from the account.Download Homestudy Order Form
PACKAGES AVAILABLE (as at Jan 2012)
1. THE BODHISATTVA’S WAY OF LIFE
"For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I too abide, to dispel the misery of the world"
This teaching on how to follow the bodhisattva’s path is based on Shantideva's inspirational verses on Mahayana aspiration and practice. Composed more than a thousand years ago, this text is still widely regarded as the most authentic and complete guide for the practitioner aspiring towards the attainment of enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. With kindness, compassion and wisdom, Geshe Tashi Tsering and Geshe Lobsang Jamyang lead students along this powerful and sometimes quite confronting path, helping us to identify and abandon self-cherishing, the biggest of all obstacles to the generation of the pure mind of enlightenment (bodhicitta).
The package includes teachings from Geshe Tashi Tsering as well as tutorials with his assistant teacher, Geshe Lobsang Jamyang. Review questions, tests and extra materials help the student to study this precious material in depth.
The subject was taught over three parts with the profound chapter on the perfection of wisdom taught in its own three-week module. The third part, an explanation of the final chapter on dedication taught over Easter 2007 by Geshe Lobsang Jamyang is currently being edited and students will be informed when that is ready to send out.
2. BUDDHIST TENETS
These teachings on the assertions of the four main schools of Buddhism are the basis for the kind of study undertaken in the advanced study programme. It is therefore one of the subjects that it is recommended that students begin with. We also recommend that any student wishing to join the Buddhist Study Programme studies this subject to provide a firm foundation in the concepts and terminology that are used on a daily basis in the study of further subjects.
3. GROUNDS AND PATHS
This important subject covers the entire paths of the hinayana and mahayana practitioners outlining the progress each type of practitioner makes as they progress towards their individual goals of lesser, middling and highest enlightenment. It identifies and explains clearly the concepts of renunciation (genuine intention to definitely emerge [from samsara]), bodhicitta (the mind of enlightenment with the two aspirations) and the state of mind that allows these states to arise and leads one towards the perfect enlightenment of a buddha.
4. 4TH CHAPTER OF THE ORNAMENT OF CLEAR REALISATION & 70 TOPICS
This fundamental text, composed by Lord Maitreya and brought to this world by Arya Asanga, is the source of all our teachings on method, on thought transformation and the stages of the path to enlightenment.
The 4th Chapter, Complete Preparation, covers the whole Mahayana path, teaching in practical terms what is practised by bodhisattvas at the various stages, all the way to enlightenment. On the advice of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, there is special emphasis on the 37 Aspects of Enlightenment which include the development of concentration through the practice of the Four Close Placements of Mindfulness, the Four Correct Abandoners (eliminating what has been determined as necessary to reject) and the results of concentration, the four Limbs of Miracles.
Although the usual package with the teachings by Geshela and the written materials is quite sufficient to study this subject, during the course our then tutor Gen. Jampa Ignyen gave regular tutorials and meditations containing valuable extra material. We are therefore offering these teachings in MP3 files as an addition to the usual package at a special price of $40 on CD and $20 on DVD.
5. REASON AND LOGIC
In order to comprehend hidden phenomena such as selflessness/emptiness, we must first attain valid inference based upon correct reasons. The understanding of reasons and logic is therefore essential to our study and practice. This module, extended from 4 weeks to 6 because of Geshela’s sincere wish that we all understand this important subject as clearly as possible, investigates the 3 types of correct reasons and the various incorrect or pseudo reasons as well as training us to apply clear reasoning to the stages of the path.
The teachings are fully supported by daily revision questions and study materials.
6. LAM RIM CHEN MO
The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment by the Precious Lord Lama Tsong Khapa is the very basis of all our study and practice within the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. These teachings take the practitioner from the foundational teachings on relying on the teacher, the root of the path, right through to extensive in depth teachings on the development of wisdom, the realisation of the true nature of reality.
Originally planned to be taught over three 8 week modules by Geshe Tashi Tsering, this course was extended to four modules (three between June and December 2004 and one in March/April 2005). As well as the audio files and the edited transcripts of the teachings, the homestudy packages include various extra materials for the students' study and experience of this important material.
Homestudy students will need to purchase the main texts used for the course separately. These are the 3 volumes of The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment from Snow Lion and are available from Chenrezig Institute bookshop at a 10% discount to all homestudy students. Students who have difficulty finding any of these volumes should contact the BSP coordinator for assistance. Module 1 dealt exclusively with Volume 1; module 2 utilised both Volumes 1 and 2; module 3 utilised both Volumes 2 and 3. The final module in 2005 dealt exclusively with the teachings on calm abiding and insight in Volume 3.
The packages are available separately (each module) or as one entire subject (four individual packages in all). Students wishing to purchase all four modules at one time are offered a 20% discount on the total price.
7. THE HEART OF WISDOM SUTRA
A short, pithy course of seven teachings from Geshe Tashi Tsering (with interpreter Ven. Lozang Zopa) on this condensed teaching on the nature of reality.
Geshe-la gave this four-day course for BSP students as well as the general public over the Easter Weekend 2005, during a break in the teachings on the Insight Chapter of the Lam Rim Chen Mo. All those present agreed that these were very special teachings on this profound topic.
The entire course is included on one CD - 7 audio teachings of approximately 90 minutes each, edited transcripts and revision questions for each teaching plus essay questions for completion of the course.
8. THE SUBLIME CONTINUUM OF THE MAHAYANA
It is a unique feature of Buddhism that all beings, even the smallest insect, can attain enlightenment, can become a Buddha!
Why this is so and how it can come about is taught in this beautiful and complex text by Lord Maitreya, the future Buddha, brought into this world by Arya Asanga. Geshe Tashi Tsering gave an inspiring six weeks of teachings on some of the most important aspects of this text, the Three Jewels and the Buddha Nature that is within us all, explaining the meaning of this precious potential and the essential purity of our mind which allows this evolution to the state of complete enlightenment to take place.
9. DEATH, INTERMEDIATE STATE AND REBIRTH – The Three Kayas of the Ground
A clear explanation of the stages of death and rebirth so important for our daily meditation practice as well as our understanding of the practice of tantra. These teachings by Geshe Tashi Tsering (given during the teachings on the Stages of the Tantric Path in 2005) are based on the text found (and commented on) in Death Intermediate State and Rebirth by Lati Rinpoche (this text is not provided as part of the package).
12 teachings in audio and edited transcript form with revision questions and a final assignment.
10. THE STAGES OF THE TANTRIC PATH - MODULE 1 - THE LOWER TANTRAS
These teachings, originally planned to be given over 8 weeks, were actually completed in just less than seven and the complete course of 26 teachings is now available on 8 cds (1 x data cd and 7 audio cds). The course gives an overview of the practices of the three lower classes of tantra with special emphasis on Action Tantra. In explaining the paths of Action Tantra, Geshe-la gave a wonderfully clear, in depth commentary on the Chenrezig Nyung Nay practice.
The text for this study – the first part of The Essential Nectar of the Great Secret by Ven. Kirti Losang Trinley - especially translated for our use by Ven. Lozang Zopa is included on the data cd. These teachings are available ONLY to those who have received a Tantric Initiation (of any level).
11. THE STAGES OF THE TANTRIC PATH - MODULE 2 - HIGHEST YOGA TANTRA
This profound subject is available only to those who have highest yoga tantra initiation. It completes the explanation of the theory and practice of the four levels of tantric practice begun by Geshe Tashi Tsering with the module on the lower tantras in July and August 2005).
This second 8 week module is devoted exclusively to the practice of highest yoga tantra, both the generation and completion stages. Geshe Tashi Tsering believes it is extremely important for his western students to have a clear understanding of this aspect of Buddhist practice, so often misunderstood, and explains even the most esoteric points fully and clearly.
The text for this study - The Essential Nectar of the Great Secret by Ven Kirti Losang Trinley - has been especially translated for our use by our interpreter Ven. Lozang Zopa. It is included in the data material provided for the course (on the data CD).
These teachings are available ONLY to those who have received Highest Yoga Tantra Initiation.
12. COMMENTARY ON THE PRACTICE OF YAMANTAKA VAJRABHAIRAVA
In May and June 2006 Ven. Geshe Tashi Tsering taught extensively over seven weeks on the Highest Yoga Tantra Practice of Yamantaka, during the second round of our Buddhist Studies Programme.
These clear and inspiring teachings are now made available as a homestudy package for those who have received this initiation and wish to understand the practice well. Geshe-la also gave valuable instructions on how to prepare and setup for the Yamantaka retreat.
The package includes:
Seven CDs of audio files (MP3) of all Geshe Tashi Tsering’s teachings
One data CD which contains:
the sadhana referred to during the teachings, specially prepared for this teaching
lightly edited transcripts of these teachings
revision questions prepared daily to facilitate a structured study of the teachings
papers and answer keys for the weekly tests sat by the in-house students
various pictures, charts and extra materials handed out during the in house module and the retreat which followed the teaching
We have previously offered a package of the teachings given in 2001 during the first round of our programme. We believe that this second package is clearer and the materials better laid out for your study, but in order that all students receive all possible information on this important practice, we will now include the entire commentary from 2001 on the data cd of this second package.
NOTE: Those who have purchased the full package of the Yamantaka Commentary given in 2001 will be offered the CDs of the Round Two Yamantaka Commentary given in 2006 - at the cost of $5 per CD (8 CDs = $40).
Those who purchase the 2006 commentary will receive the written materials from the previous commentary included on the data CD.
These teachings are available ONLY to those who have received Highest Yoga Tantra Initiation.
13. MIND AND AWARENESS (LORIG)
"All human accomplishment is preceded by correct cognition."
This subject is an introduction to the Buddhist understanding of the mind and its functions, including both a presentation of cognition in its various valid and distorted forms, and an introduction to Buddhist psychology.
Although this package is not yet fully edited, because of the importance of the subject and the many requests from students, and because the unedited transcripts are of such high quality even without the usual editing, we have released Mind and Awareness and continue to work to bring it up to the standard of the other packages.
Orders should be made on the Homestudy Registration form and contain
full name and address, acknowledgement that you have received the
appropriate initiation if necessary and credit card details. The order
will then be prepared and posted and the final amount (including
postage) deducted from the account.Download Homestudy Order Form
Wherever you go and whatever you do, try to see others as more important than you
-Kuzho Lama Lozang Rigdzin
(Geshe Tashi Tsering)