Advanced Program

Basic Programme in 2021 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 also 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 2021 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.

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 these teachings. Please send your email address to [email protected] in order to receive transcripts and other materials to your inbox.

Here are the dates of the modules for the 2021:

Module 6 – 4 weeks Tuesday 2nd March to Thursday 25th March

Module 7 – 4 weeks Tuesday 13th April to Thursday 6th May

Module 8 – 4 weeks Tuesday 1st June to Thursday 24th June

These modules will be followed by teachings on Mind and Awareness and Buddhist Tenets (dates to be confirmed)

Please consider making a donation to help Chenrezig Institute continue to offer the dharma. 

The suggested donation for each four week module (in person or online) is $240 – but there is no set amount.

Don’t let finances get in the way of your listening to the Dharma. Donate what you can to support the continuation of the spiritual programme at Chenrezig Institute and online.

It is important that you leave a comment towards the bottom of the donation page saying that your donation is for the Buddhist Studies Program/Basic Program.

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.

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. 


Our teacher, 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.

Geshe Tsultrim has a warm-hearted, caring and practical approach to teaching Dharma. He teaches in Tibetan with the help of his professional translator, Ven. Kartson.

Ven Kartson has been at Chenrezig Institute since 2006. He has translated for various lamas including HE Ling Rinpoche and teaches in Australia and Israel. He is an FPMT Basic Program Graduate and has now taken the role of tutor. His extensive knowledge and warm, entertaining style make tutorials a popular part of the program.

  • 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 the subjects taught and our motivation for our study and practice.

  • Audio files of Meditations, Teachings, and Tutorials will also be uploaded to an online dropbox to which all will be given access
  • Full-time students who fulfill all course criteria, as well as satisfactorily completing tests, may receive graded certification at the end of the subject.