Advanced Program

Basic Programme in 2020 The Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life


Chenrezig Institute’s Fifth Round of FPMT’s Basic Programme

Since 1997, the Basic Program has been taught, developed and refined by our resident teachers at Chenrezig Institute, Khensur Rinpoche, Geshe Tashi Tsering, Geshe Lozang Jamyang, and more recently Geshe Phuntsok Tsultrim, ably assisted by very qualified interpreters and tutors. Chenrezig Institute has now completed four full rounds of all subjects of the Basic Program, and two years of Middle Way studies at the masters programme level.

In the words of the very precious Kyabje Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche: ‘Establishing the study programme makes it more sure that the students take it seriously to learn and complete the texts and clearly understand the Buddhist philosophy for their own deeper and clearer understanding, for their attainments, realisations and enlightenment. Also you need that clearer and deeper understanding to spread the Dharma to other beings.’

The Basic Programme is a unique and contemporary course providing a well-rounded structured education in the Buddhadharma for committed students ready to progress beyond an introductory level of study and practice.

The Basic Programme, as laid out by FPMT, comprises nine core subjects plus three supplementary subjects. At Chenrezig Institute, it has been studied over a period of four to five years in intensive study modules of between 6 – 8 weeks scheduled throughout the year. Now, under new and challenging conditions we will be offering these precious teachings online, in various formats, to allow students to study at home in their own safe environment.

Basic Programme courses in 2020 will be taught by our precious resident teacher, Geshe Phuntsok Tsultrim, personally chosen for our centre by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. We are very fortunate that he will continue to be assisted (for 2020 at least) by Ven Kartson, our excellent Advanced Programme interpreter and tutor who is himself a Basic Programme graduate.

Basic Programme meditations (9.30-10.00), teachings (10.30 – 12.00), discussions  (2.00 – 2.45) and  tutorials (3.00-4.00pm) on Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life with Geshe Phuntsok Tsultrim and Ven Kartson and senior sangha members.

Shantideva’s profound text teaches the development and maintenance of bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment, through the intensive study and practice of the six perfections, the path of the Bodhisattva.

All are welcome to join but please send your email address to [email protected] in order to receive transcripts and other materials to your inbox.

Click here for Online ZOOM link 

Meeting ID: 372 934 059
Password: 029924
Download Zoom first if you haven’t already got it (through the link provided)
We are + 10 hours.

Here are the dates of the modules for the rest of the year:

Module 3 – 6 weeks Tuesday 4th August until Thursday 10th September.

Module 4 – 4 weeks Tuesday 29th Sept to Thursday 22nd October

Module 5 – 4 weeks Tuesday 3rd November to Thursday 26th November


Please consider making a donation to help Chenrezig Institute continue to offer the dharma through these difficult times. 

Certification will be possible for students wishing to ‘complete’ this Basic Programme module. This will depend on the usual requirements which will be sent out on request.

If you’d like to be included on a Basic Programme email list, send your details to [email protected] and feel free to send this information on to anyone you feel would be interested accessing these precious teachings online. 

All are welcome to join but those wishing to complete the module with certification need to contact [email protected]. 

• Meditations, Teachings, Discussions and Tutorials will all be broadcast on Zoom and Youtube.
• Meditations are an integral part of the course and all students should attend. They will be led by senior students and will focus on our motivation for our study and practice.
• Discussions are intended only for full-time students
• Video of Teachings and Tutorials will be uploaded to YouTube for later watching
• Audio of Meditations, Teachings and Tutorials will also be uploaded to an online dropbox to which all will be given access
• Full-time students will be expected to fulfil course criteria as well as sitting for tests and will receive graded certification at the end of the subject
• Casual students may attend the meditations and main teachings of course, and may also attend the tutorials and discussions but are asked not to take an active part since they will not have attended all sessions.

Anyone may currently access the teachings through Zoom or YouTube, but it’s good to go on our Basic Programme email list to have access to our dropbox and to receive emails of transcripts, other materials and information. For any inquiries or to be included our email list please contact [email protected]

Geshe Phuntsok Tsultrim is immensely popular for the warm and approachable way in which he presents the Dharma and inspires our community. He became a monk at Sera Je Monastery in India, where he was awarded his Geshe degree (the equivalent of a doctorate in Buddhist studies) in 2005. He began teaching at Chenrezig Institute in 2014 after being chosen for our community by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. He teaches in Tibetan with the help of his professional translator, Ven. Kartson.

Geshe Tsultrim has a warm-hearted, caring and practical approach to teaching Dharma. He has been the resident Geshe at Chenrezig Institute since 2014. Since then he has taught Dharma from both inside the Gompa and by the example he sets outside the Gompa.